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County makes push for tourism

SOUTH POINT — Next spring new signs are expected to grace the entrances of all the villages in the county and the city of Ironton.

But that new look is only the start of a long-term public relations campaign to promote Lawrence County as a must-see attraction on the national tourism circuit.

“We have a small committee that is working on an overall campaign to market the entire county,” Viviane Vallance, director of the county’s convention and visitors bureau, said. “We want a uniform look for all the products we use to market the community.”

But before the PR experts come to Lawrence County, Vallance and her committee want to decide which aspects of the area’s past and present they want to showcase.

“We don’t want a consultant to come in and tell us what we need to do,” she said. “We want a consultant to come in and learn about our community, our past.”

Right now the committee has representation from business, private and media sectors.

“If we are really going to treat travel and tourism as an economic engine for our county, it has to be universal throughout the county,” Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp., said.

“I think there is a real benefit that when you are driving through the county all signage is such one can have a local uniqueness to be part of a larger system that speaks to tourists.

“The tourist attractions from the greenhouses to the horse stables to Wayne National Forest ATV trails to boat launches, we will eventually tie those in. It is something that shows Lawrence County as standing out.”

Vallance said the convention bureau looks at this project as ongoing.

“Your promotion plan has to change for the markets,” she said. “We have to gauge what the trends are. Our first phase is to come up with a uniform logo and theme for the county.”