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New consortium of counties promotes regional tourism

October 29th, 2007 · No Comments

A new regional consortium is promoting tourism in Surry County and six neighboring counties in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia.

The first result of this collaboration is a portal web site,, commissioned by the North Carolina & Virginia Regional Tourism Board on behalf of the Northwest North Carolina/Southwest Virginia Regional Tourism Initiative. The initiative’s seven counties in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the city of Galax, are cooperating to promote regional tourism as a means of economic improvement for the counties and the region. Professional Networks Inc. of Galax created and maintains the web site.

The regional tourism initiative’s goals are:

  1. To provide the region’s citizens with new and improved employment opportunities in the tourism industry and in the many businesses that provide goods and services to this sector of the economy.
  2. To assist tourist-oriented businesses in advertising to national and international tourist markets.
  3. To increase the tourism cash flows into the regional economy and the local economies.
  4. To increase the tax revenues of the member local governments in order to lower the overall tax burden for the citizens of the member governments.
  5. To build regional, national and international awareness of the natural beauty of the area and its opportunities for wholesome, family-oriented tourism.

The group soon will launch a marketing campaign to promote the region’s attractions including its scenic beauty, musical heritage and wineries.

“It’s a very homogenous region. There’s the same history, the same people and the same common geography,” said Dr. Jim Harrell Jr., chairman of the initiative. “The more you get into this, the more promise you see that it has. If we get this going and push the wine region, the music, outdoors, crafts, scenic beauty and laid-back relaxing lifestyle, we can get a whole lot of people to stay here for a week.”

Harrell, a Surry County commissioner from Elkin, leads a steering committee made up of representatives from Galax and the seven participating counties: Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin, Alleghany, Stokes, Grayson and Carroll. Each county contributed $7,500 to the effort.

The organization also will apply for a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant and for funds from other sources.

The regional tourism initiative’s members and tourism partners include:

Alleghany County, NC – Alleghany County Government – Alleghany County Chamber of Commerce

Carroll County, VA – Carroll County Government – Carroll County and Historic Hillsville

City of Galax, VA – Galax City Government – Tourism Department, City of Galax

Grayson County, VA – Grayson Area Information Network

Patrick County, VA – Patrick County Government – Tourism Department, Patrick County

Stokes County, NC – Stokes County Government – Stokes County Economic Development

Surry County, NC – Surry County, another a new portal site, with links to the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce; the Mount Airy Visitors Center’s site,; the Elkin-based Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce; and a new site for the town of Elkin,

Wilkes County, NC – Wilkes County Government – Wilkes County Chamber of Commerce

Yadkin County, NC – Yadkin County Government – Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce – Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce

Regional Partner – Blue Ridge Host (A Tourism Host Organization)

The North Carolina & Virginia Regional Tourism Board has its offices in the Surry County Government Center, 118 Hamby Road, Suite 329, Dobson, NC 27017.

Tags: Businesses · Economic development · Tourism

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