Tourism Council sees jumps in website traffic, leads

WOODSTOCK – At its monthly meeting Tuesday, the Shenandoah County Tourism Council discussed a recent grant it received, reflected on website traffic as well as other analytics and recapped a handful of recent events.

Jenna French, director of tourism for the county, explained a nearly $3,500 grant received by the county for the purposes of creating some brochures.

“We got the notification that we received a grant for $3,470 from VTC (Virginia Tourism Corporation) and the World War I/ World War II Commission to produce a brochure that will highlight historically significant sites around the county that pertain to World War I and World War II. It’ll talk about the events that we have coming up around the commemorations (anniversary celebrations of those wars) and it’ll highlight stories from the homefront and veterans for those wars. That was very exciting news for us.”

French explained that page views on the department’s website are higher than they were at this same time last year. Year-to-date page views for this year are at 43,216 compared to 18,718  last year. French called it a “huge jump.”

The department’s recent advertisement in Southern Living Magazine also provided a big bump as far as awareness goes, netting 400 leads over the past month. French said that number of leads is high, given that other tourism entities in the area have seen less results from advertising in the same publication.

“That (Southern Living advertisement) has been really huge for us,” French said. “What’s most interesting about that is in talking to my counterparts in Winchester and Harrisonburg. They had mentioned that they’d advertised with Southern Living in the past and they got almost no leads from them. … The fact that we got 400 in just one month is pretty remarkable.”

French said that the county’s name may have played a role in those leads, as people see Shenandoah County and better associate it with the Shenandoah Valley.

The council also agreed to cancel November’s meeting due to Tourism Council scheduling conflicts relating to a conference.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com.