Pictured are: Jesse Vail, UPLIFT; Simon Jones, UPLIFT; Kofi Boone, UPLIFT; Amanda Hodges; Tony Waldron; Selena Thornton; Carol Kline, UPLIFT; Rebecca Page; and Jillian Medlin, Executive Director of Caswell County Chamber of Commerce.

As shared by The Caswell Messenger last fall, the tourism development authority in the county has begun its work in order to help position the community for future tourism opportunities. This work is funded by the taxes paid by visitors that stay overnight here in the local hotel or at an Airbnb or Verbo rental.

Last week there was gathering of a cross section of community business/organization owners/managers to learn more about the UPLIFT program that is available to Caswell County. This program is for rural NC counties so that we can work together to build a tourism initiative that will be best for everyone in the community.

The goal of the UPLIFT program is to boost tourism to rural and under-served North Carolina communities. This is to be accomplished by providing tourism practitioners and local leaders with the knowledge and resources to strengthen and connect rural tourism sites, services and business targeted regions within the State. This includes natural, recreational, cultural, agricultural, culinary, built as well as other tourism experiences and services.

UPLIFT is a three-year program that will be in three phases. The first phase is underway now as the UPLIFT committee is out visiting the counties in the program to understand where each stands. Phase two will involve them providing the technical assistance and professional development in our county that can last up to 12-15 months. This will include plans and action items we can take as a community to get us where we need to be for the types of tourism the community wants to have. The third phase will involve having tours of our county promoted to visitors. For more information go to https://www.uplifttourism.com/ .