Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky, | Virginia Tourism Corporation: Caroline Logan,, (804) 545-5572

Governor Northam Announces 44 Local Tourism Programs to Receive Public-Private Marketing Funds to Bolster Growth

Program will generate more than $3.8 million in marketing initiatives and impact more than 182 statewide tourism entities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $965,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 44 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). The MLP grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $2.8 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $3.8 million in new marketing funds to increase visitation to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact at least 182 other statewide tourism entities.

“As we celebrate five decades of the iconic ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ slogan this year, I am thrilled to see such tremendous partnership, innovation, and growth within one of our most important industries,” said Governor Northam. “Tourism entities throughout Virginia understand the value of strategic and innovative marketing initiatives in promoting what makes this Commonwealth a great place to live, work, and visit. These grant funds are designed to support exciting new development projects and programs that will help attract more travelers and increase visitor spending, while also improving our communities, generating revenue for our regional economies, and creating job opportunities for Virginians.”

The VTC 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 businesses. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually—matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.

“The tourism industry has an incredible impact on Virginia’s economy, and the development of new tourism product is essential to our success,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Last year, visitors to Virginia spent $26 billion, which supported 234,000 work opportunities in our communities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. By leveraging the power of public-private partnerships, the Marketing Leverage Program grants will help inject even more critical dollars back into Virginia’s economy.”

The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open on September 10, 2019 with a December 17, 2019 deadline. Localities interested in applying may visit for more information.

A full list of Marketing Leverage Program grant recipients can be found below.

Program Name

Lead Partner


Abingdon CVB: Piloting A Partnership for Growth

Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau


Barter Theatre: Two Stages for Theatre Lovers of All Ages

Barter Theatre


Birds, Brews, and Barbecue

Eastern Shore of Virginia Birding and Wildlife Programs, Inc.


Birthplace of Country Music – Marketing Campaign for Country Music Documentary

Birthplace of Country Music


Carroll County Tourism

Carroll County Tourism


Crozet Trolley Co. Marketing Launch

Crozet Trolley Co.


Destination/Relocation Project

Martinsville–Henry County Tourism


Discover Bristol Content Amplification

Discover Bristol


Discover Something New in Historic Appomattox Tourism Magazine

Appomattox Chamber of Commerce


Dominion Valley Park Gospel Music

Dominion Valley LLC


Downtown Ashland Tourism Promotion

Downtown Ashland Association


Embrace the Wild

Buchanan County Tourism


Executive Leadership Program

Visit Alexandria


Expanding the Message – Giles A Place to Play, Stay, Love, and Enjoy | Virginia’s Mountain Playground™

Giles County Tourism


Experience our Front Porch from Your Back Porch – Digital Storytelling in SWVA [Phase 1]

Friends of Southwest Virginia


Explore NRV Website

New River Valley Regional Commission


Festy 10

The High Country Presents LLC


Fire, Flour and Fork’s “Future of Food” Agritourism Tours

Real Richmond Food Tours


Gateway to the World: Enhancing the dot com

Halifax County Tourism


Get Outside!

Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority


Hills, Chills, and Thrills Asset Collection

Town of St. Paul


Kids Trail in Virginia

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center


LET’S GO! Virginia’s EPIC Shenandoah Valley Vacation

Shenandoah Valley Travel Association


LOCKN’ Supports Virginia Music



“Love Louisa” Marketing Campaign

Louisa County Chamber of Commerce


Made in Bath County Experiences

Bath County Office of Tourism


Make Highland County Your Arts Destination

Highland County Arts Council


Marketing the Legacies of Early Virginia

Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc.


Martinsville Speedway – Spring 2019

Martinsville Speedway


Music and So Much More

The Crooked Road


Ready for Our Close Up – Shining a Light on the ‘New’ Wytheville

Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau


Rooster Walk 12 Music & Arts Festival

Rooster Walk Inc.


“Seasons” Campaign

Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office


The Annual Green Top Outdoor Expo

Green Top Sporting Goods


The Competitive Traveler

Roanoke Outside Foundation


The Place to Play

Sessions Hotel


The River is Calling You

Town of Kilmarnock


Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest


Tom Tom Summit & Festival 2020

Tom Tom Foundation


Virginia Foothills



Virginia is for Farmers Market Lovers

Virginia Farmers Market Association


Virginia Oyster & Wine Festival at On Sunny Slope Farm

On Sunny Slope Farm, Inc.


Virginia Spirits Trail and Passport Program

Virginia Distillers Association


Website Redesign – Discover Dinwiddie ~ Define Your Experience!!!

County of Dinwiddie


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