43 local tourism initiatives to receive $927,000 in matching grants as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program

Funds will generate $3.2 million in marketing initiatives for 43 local tourism programs

RICHMOND, VA, 2017-Jan-10 — /Travel PR News/ — Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that $927,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 43 local tourism initiatives as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 159 other statewide tourism entities.

Through the MLP, local organizations must match state grant funds by a minimum of two to one to support marketing projects in order to receive funding. This funding cycle, local partners will match VTC grant dollars with more than $2.3 million, providing more than $3.2 million in new marketing efforts to increase visitation to Virginia.

“The grants offered by the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program provide tourism businesses with a powerful funding resource to market themselves to travelers both across the United States and internationally,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These funds provide localities and businesses across the Commonwealth with the necessary resources to continue to attract visitors and increase demand for Virginia products in the global marketplace. We will continue to support and expand our tourism outreach to spur growth for our communities and small businesses as we build the new Virginia economy.”

VTC’s Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships, and extending the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a grant. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related entities. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.9 million annually – matched and leveraged, on average, three to one by partner dollars.

“These grants are significant for the Virginia tourism industry, as more than 70 percent of tourism businesses have annual marketing budgets of less than $10,000,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Every dollar invested in these grants resulted in $16 of direct visitor spending. Additionally, marketing campaigns receiving MLP grant funds increased visitation by 15 percent. This kind of effective marketing results in more travelers coming to Virginia to stay longer and spend more money, injecting critical dollars into our economy.”

Details on the grant awards are below:

Tourism Initiative Locality/Organization Grant Award
2016 Norfolk Festevents Marketing Norfolk Festevents, Ltd. $ 50,000
A Bright New Day in Winchester Winchester-Frederick County Tourism $ 48,134
A New Path To Jefferson: Developing a Tourism Friendly Website for Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest $ 10,000
Abingdon Arts in Profile William King Museum of Art $ 10,000
America’s Historic Triangle Welcomes American Revolution Museum At Yorktown Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. $ 50,000
artoberVA 2016 CultureWorks $ 18,340.50
Brand USA 2016 Program for China and the UK Arlington Convention and Visitors Service $ 14,907
Clarke County Fall Studio Tour Clarke County Economic Development and Tourism $ 5,000
Coastal Virginia Social Media Marketing Campaign Coastal Virginia Tourism Alliance $ 6,665
Coastal Virginia: The Birthplace of American Cuisine Professional Hospitality Resources, Inc. $ 50,000
Expanded Market Promotions for Mountains of Music Homecoming The Crooked Road $ 50,000
Find it in Radford 2016 Radford Visitor’s Center $ 4,839
From Freedom to Flowers: Bringing Visitors to Roanoke through the Art of Attraction Taubman Museum of Art $ 25,000
Gather, Learn & Grow on Floyd’s Blue Ridge Plateau Festival Farm Productions LLC – Chantilly Farm $ 5,000
Giles County Outdoor Destination Campaign Giles County Tourism $ 21,177
GO St Paul! Gathering Opportunity Saint Paul Tomorrow $ 3,738.50
Go to Town! Tourism Brand Launch Campaign Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office $ 15,000
Halifax County African American Heritage & Cultural Trail Halifax County Department of Tourism $ 2,250
Halifax County Restaurant Week Town of South Boston $ 2,000
Historic Downtown Wytheville: Gateway to Adventure Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau $ 50,000
Let The Heart of Appalachia Call You Home Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority $ 50,000
Martinsville Speedway Martinsville Speedway $ 50,000
Nottoway Visitor Packets Downtown Blackstone, Inc. $ 3,809
Public Relations and Native Advertising Campaign 2 Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau $ 25,000
PUSH! Film Festival Marketing Program Believe in Bristol $ 5,000
Radio Bristol – Crooked Road Radio Program Birthplace of Country Music $ 10,000
Richmond Region Outdoor Lifestyle Video Richmond RegionTourism $ 10,000
Riverside Center is for Theater Lovers Riverside Center for the Performing Arts $ 10,000
Roanoke Go Outside Festival Roanoke Go Outside Festival $ 6,750
Seasonless Sensation: A Return to Abingdon Barter Theatre $ 10,000
Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Staunton CVB $ 50,000
Shocktober Takes Over October Paxton Campus $ 10,000
Southwest Virginia Craft Beer Marketing Initiative Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau $ 10,000
Southwest Virginia Wine Trail Heartwood $ 5,000
StayVA.org Website Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia $ 23,926
Story Telling in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge $ 50,000
Summers in Pulaski Town of Pulaski $ 3,750
This Is Our Rush Hour:  Shenandoah County Marketing Campaign Shendandoah County $ 50,000
Virginia Capital Trail Video Marketing Virginia Capital Trail Foundation $ 10,000
Virginia is for “Opera” Lovers: Fall in Love with Opera AND Virginia Virginia Opera $ 50,000
Virginia Wine and Brine Chatham Vineyards $ 21,000
Virginia’s Artisan and Oyster Trails – Responsive & Visible Artisans Center of Virginia $ 10,000
Visit Mecklenburg Website Reimagining and Launch Mecklenburg County Tourism Office $ 10,500

The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants are now open and are due on November 30, 2016. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information.

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2015, tourism generated $23 billion in revenue, supported 223,100 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes for the Commonwealth. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a five to one return in tax revenue for Virginia, and grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue. For more information on the Virginia tourism industry, please visit www.virginia.org.

SOURCE: Virginia Tourism Corporation


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