The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation's (EDC) Tourism & Film Division recently hosted a FAM (Familiarization) Tour highlighting area amenities. A dozen participants took the tour, representing area attractions, special event centers, hotels, industries and community development organizations.
The Martinsville-Henry County FAM tour is designed to give area hospitality staff and other interested parties first-hand experience so that they are more knowledgeable about area amenities. According to Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County, "Tourism is a growing industry that brings more than $64 million dollars to our local economy each year. It's important for our citizens and front-line employees to be as informed as possible about things to see and do in the area so that they can share their knowledge with new and potential visitors."
Participants on the tour were able to hear representatives from each business/venue speak about their role in tourism. Steve Rucker, owner of Rucker's Antique Emporium and Auction House, reported that "The FAM tour was a chance to promote not only our own business, but also what the city and county has to offer visitors and locals. It was a great opportunity to showcase our business and get one-on-one time with folks that may not know what's available within their community." Rucker added that the experience "Definitely brought much needed exposure to our Antique Emporium".
Amanda Gray, Marketing Director of the Smith River Sports Complex, participated in the tour so that she can market the complex to prospective tournament directors who are looking for entertaining activities and unique destinations for the athletes to take part in while in town for competition. Gray noted that "By participating in the FAM tours, our staff is better equipped with knowledge of the area to answer questions visitors may have."
Robin Campbell, Executive Administrator of Phoenix CDC, participated in the tour to visit and learn about different attractions in the community and see improvements that are being made in many areas. She explained that the "Knowledge will assist Phoenix CDC in determining what community vitality opportunities might be available for us to pursue. It is very impactful to see the transformation taking place and it makes you feel proud to be a part of Martinsville and Henry County."
The next FAM tours will be held on December 4th and March 12th. Individuals wishing to participate in future tours may sign up by calling 276.403.5945 or sending email to Tourism@YesMartinsville.com.