Virginia unveils high-tech Virtual Visitor Centers

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore unveiled the Virtual Visitor Center, a multistation, computer-based kiosk that will be installed at welcome centers and rest areas.

Through the kiosks, motorists will be able to book hotels and golf tee times, find out weather and road conditions, print directions and view videos of attractions.

They will feature touch screens and high-speed Internet access, which will link to Virginia Tourism Corp.'s Web site at

The kiosks, available 24 hours a day, will be installed in the state's 10 manned welcome centers and 31 unmanned rest stops during the next six years.

The first, a prototype model developed by VTC and Virginia's transportation department, is expected to be installed at the Carlson rest stop, off Interstate 95 near Petersburg, in April.

Gilmore said plans also are under way to upgrade and rebuild the welcome centers and rest stops.

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