WOODSTOCK – County leaders are pushing residents to take advantage of the countless tourist attractions up and down the valley, preparing them to enjoy and even participate in tourism season.

During National Tourism Week, which starts Sunday and runs through May 11, a number of businesses are offering perks for Shenandoah County residents.

Historically, National Tourism Week has been an outward-facing effort, said Kary Haun, the marketing and public relations assistant for the county’s tourism office. Shenandoah County, on the other hand, is aiming to create an introspective event, encouraging its own citizens to take advantage of everything they have at their fingertips.

Haun said she has been reaching out to businesses around the county, asking them to participate in the festivities. The response has been good, she said, as an array of businesses are offering benefits ranging from complimentary snacks to free admission for anyone with proof of residency within the county.

Jenna French, director of the county’s Economic Development and Tourism Office, pointed to tourism as the No. 2 industry in the county behind agriculture. When tourists come to town and spend their money, it boosts the local economy. When locals spend their money at home, it has the same effect.

This year, French and Haun are encouraging locals to get out and see what the county has to offer so they can act as ambassadors for the county, telling their friends and family visiting what there is to do.

“Studies show that 49 percent of people traveling cite visiting friends and family as their primary reason for travel, so we want to make sure our locals are armed with the knowledge of all our great attractions and amenities so they can make recommendations when those friends and family arrive,” French wrote in an email. “It’s also a great way for us to give back to our local community and the people that support what we do on a daily basis helping make Tourism the number two industry in Shenandoah County.”

National Tourism Week activities and perks begin Sunday at select locations. More details and a full list of participating businesses can be found online at https://visitshenandoahcounty.com/event/national-tourism-week-2019.

IF YOU GO:

Special deals for Shenandoah County residents:

• Curtain Call Coffeehouse Cafe: 10% discount on any purchase.

• Fort Valley Ranch: 10% off all trail rides.

• Edinburg Mill Restaurant: Mention National Tourism ad on visitshenandoahcounty.com and get 15% off of the entire bill, excluding alcohol.

• Shenandoah Caverns: Free caverns admission for up to a family of four.

• Woodbine Farms: Free cookie.

• Posey Thisisit Llama Farm: Call 540-436-3517 for farm tours by donation.

• Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum at Edinburg Mill: $1 off museum admission, souvenir “Edinburg” magnet for those touring the museum.

• Virginia Museum of the Civil War: Free admission to the museum and a 10% discount in the General’s Store.

• Woodstock Museum: Free admission, extended hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 5-11.

• Corhaven Graveyard: Free tour, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. RSVP required: 434-922-2029.

• Route 11 Potato Chips: – Free 6-ounce bag of Rt. 11 Potato Chips.

• Hupp’s Hill: Free stadium seat cushion.

• River Bluff Farm Bed & Breakfast: 20% off per night stay (two-night minimum)

• Jacob Swartz House: $75 for a historic cottage for the night. Call for details.

• North Mountain Vineyard: 10% discount

• Jon Henry General Store: Free honey stick with purchase.

– Contact Max Thornberry at mthornberry@nvdaily.com