Lynchburg Tourism Program Has Regional Impact

Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg's decision to not renew its tourism program contract with the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce might have an impact throughout the region.

The owner of DeVault Family Vineyards says because of Discover Lynchburg, the chamber's tourism arm, the Campbell County winery has had exposure on an international level.

"I would have never have been able to be in an international advertisement market had it not been for Discover Lynchburg," said Sharon DeVault. "What has been invested from Discover Lynchburg dollar for dollar, we're getting five to ten times fold in advertisement on a national and international level."

The president of Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest says the program has helped secure grant money for events, including the upcoming wine festival held at the Bedford County site.

"They help promote it. They are helpful in us reaching out for grant money for additional resources that do not come from the City of Lynchburg," said Jeffrey Nichols, President of Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. "People who visit Poplar Forest stay in hotels, go to restaurants, go shopping in the area, including in Lynchburg City itself."

The city manager says the current tourism staff will move under city administration January 1. They city wants control of the tourism budget on a year-to-year basis, instead of the long-term contract the chamber had hoped for.