WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Tourism and Economic Development Department is encouraging residents and visitors to get to know local businesses and their owners with the Faces of Tourism program.
The goal is to “highlight the many faces of the industry” within the county with the hopes that those visiting the business will share their experiences with others.
The department kicked off the program through the use of social media during National Tourism Week, which was May 2-8. The initial program included discounts at local businesses.
Every day during National Tourism Week, the department shared stories from local business owners to educate the public — as well as out-of-owners — on what’s available around the county.
That will continue with monthly events that will consist of a “familiarization tour” of a local hospitality business for a “behind-the-scenes experience,” the department announced Tuesday.
Tours will be held once a month from June through October and again in January through April of next year. The events will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays.
“We believe with so many new developments in our region, there is no better time to engage, educate and activate members of our community to become even more knowledgeable and influential representatives for the tourism industry and its impacts on our overall economy,” said Tourism and Economic Development Coordinator Brenda Black. “Our goal is to have as many members as possible in our community gain better insight into our tourism assets, help cross-promote those assets when approached by visitors and gain perspective of the economic impact those business have for our community.”
Those wishing to participate must register in advance for each tour. Participants will learn about different industry sectors including: unique lodging, culinary arts, hotel and motel operations, area attractions, farm visits, outdoor recreation, arts and culture and amenities at area resorts, camps and event venues.
The extension of the program will begin on June 14 with a tour of Woodbine Farm Market in Strasburg and be followed by tours of Suzanne’s Studio in Woodstock on July 12, Muse Vineyards in Woodstock on Aug. 9 and Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs on Sept. 13. Tours for remaining months have yet to be announced.
Participants will receive a tourism toolkit, “Faces of Tourism” swag bag, lunch and certificate of completion.
“Tourism and Economic prosperity depend on each and every one of us, from those who work in the tourism industry daily to those who live here and tell others about it,” the news release said.
The tours are open to business owners, employees and Shenandoah County residents.
To register, contact Black at [email protected] or 540-325-0069 by the first of each month. Tours are capped at 20 participants. Comfortable shoes are recommended for the tours.