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Tourism team featured at Halifax County Chamber banquet

Virginia Tourism Corporation representatives Elizabeth McLaughlin, Steve Galyean and Wirt Confroy will be the guest speakers at the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 annual meeting and awards banquet to be held Tuesday, March 27. 

“With the opening of the new South Boston-Halifax County Visitors Center, we thought this would be an interesting topic for local business people to learn how tourism impacts the economy,” said Betty Jones, chairman of the annual meeting committee.

“Everyone benefits from tourism, but many do not realize it. Visitors not only spend money in accommodations but also in restaurants, gas stations, stores, physicians’ offices, and the list goes on. People need to understand that increasing visitor’s knowledge of what is here will increase the chances for them to eat, shop and visit,” Jones said.

Linda Shepperd, executive director of the Department of Tourism, said she is elated these three people are going to speak.

“They are not only extremely knowledgeable but also dynamic presenters. People will enjoy their presentations,” Shepperd said. “I have seen them speak and can assure people, they will not be boring.”

Elizabeth McLaughlin is the vice president of research at Virginia Tourism Corporation and on the agency’s executive team.

McLaughlin directs all facets of the agency’s research initiatives, including estimating the economic contribution of tourism and in measuring and analyzing VTC’s advertising and marketing efforts for the commonwealth.

Her research assists local communities in developing visitor profiles to best understand who comes today, what they do, how long they stay, and what they were exposed to along the way.

Steve Galyean serves as VTC’s Director of Tourism Development, leading a division focused on strategic planning assistance, identifying funding sources and work with other local, state and federal agencies.

Halifax County’s own Wirt Confroy is the director of partnerships and outreach for VTC. He works with Virginia communities to maximize partnership development and leverage VTC’s marketing assets. Confroy also manages the Commonwealth’s Tourism Development Financing Program for VTC.


The banquet will be held at the World of Sports beginning at 5 p.m. with a social.

• Tickets may be purchased at the chamber office or by calling 434-572-3085.

• Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is this year’s event sponsor, and Blue Ridge Beverage Co., Inc. is the contributing sponsor.