City tourism program to enable locals to learn about Dan River Region attractions

Danville is launching a program that will include workshops and tours for residents and community leaders to learn more about the Dan River Region’s attractions.

Named the “I Am Tourism: Visit SoSi Ambassador Program,” it will provide participants with in-depth knowledge of Danville’s assets and dining, shopping and lodging options in the city and Pittsylvania County.

The Danville Office of Economic Development & Tourism created the program “to provide training for those who would like to become tourism ambassadors for Danville and Pittsylvania County,” said Lisa Meriwether, the city’s tourism manager.“The more we know and the more we can share, the more visitors will come and enjoy our community,” Meriwether told the Danville Register & Bee. “It is also important and beneficial for our hotel, dining, attraction and retail partners to have more confidence in answering guests’ questions and making suggestions on what there is to see and do in our communities.”

Meriwether added that local tourism officials want residents, tourism stakeholders and businesses to see the city and county from the perspective of a visitor.

“Locals and lifetime residents will learn to be visitors in their own backyard and understand the important role tourism plays in our economy and building a sense of community pride,” she said.

The program will include interactive workshops and a guided bus tour of the Danville area led by Joyce Wilburn, who has given tours of Danville to more than 2,000 people from 42 states and 22 countries over the years.

Training is free and open to the public, but space is limited to 50 individuals per workshop and two people per business.

The program will include half-day sessions held quarterly, with the first workshop to be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research at 150 Slayton Ave. in Danville.

Future sessions and tours will be held Oct. 24, Jan. 30, 2025 and April 24, 2025.

During the training and tours, “we will pretend to be newcomers on a 90-minute city tour and see familiar sites with a fresh perspective,” Wilburn said in a prepared statement. “I will be very surprised if participants don’t learn something new, even if they are lifetime residents.”

The tour will provide participants with a history of Danville — how and why it became a city — and descriptions of many of its tourist sites including the Danville Science Center, The Langhorne House and the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History, Meriwether said.

It will also include narrative about Danville’s retail and dining options, Meriwether said.

During workshop sessions, participants will engage in group activities including developing multi-day itineraries using regional guides, maps and visitor information to help them, Meriwether said.

They will also learn about tourism’s impact on the state and community, Danville’s Visit SoSi tourism initiative and programs offered by the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Interested participants can register at

Original Article Here (by John Crane, Danville Register & Bee)