For Immediate Release: January 31, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Tourism Corporation: Caroline Logan, clogan@virginia.org, (804) 545-5572

Governor Northam Announces 33 Local Tourism Programs to Receive Public-Private Marketing Funds to Bolster Growth

Program will generate nearly $2.7 million in marketing initiatives and impact over 135 statewide tourism entities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $625,000 in matching grant funds to be awarded to 33 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). The MLP grant funding is designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $2.1 million to match the VTC grants, providing nearly $2.7 million in new marketing funds to increase visitation to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact more than 135 other statewide tourism entities.

“Virginia tourism is a crucial sector of our economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth,” said Governor Northam. “The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program gives localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”

This grant enables localities to broaden their marketing scope and stimulate new tourism marketing programs that otherwise may not have been possible without this program. Communities and destinations across the Commonwealth understand the importance of creating innovative marketing initiatives to attract travelers from all over the world to discover for themselves why “Virginia is for Lovers.”

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 Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing programs across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Tourism is an important part of Virginia’s economy as it adds to our economic diversity and is an instant revenue generator. In 2017, tourism injected $25 billion into the Virginia economy and provided 232,000 jobs. The Marketing Leverage Grant helps leverage limited marketing dollars to increase visitor spending and encourages public-private partnership opportunities.”

Details on the grant awards are below. The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants are will open on April 2, 2019, with a June 25, 2019 deadline. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information.

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

Program Name

Lead Partner

Award Amount

2019 Mount Rogers Naturalist Rallies and Summer Camps

Blue Ridge Discovery Center

$3,145

43rd Annual Norfolk Harborfest (2019)

Norfolk Festevents, Ltd.

$12,500

Be a Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Virginia’s Blue Ridge

$25,000

Beerwerks Untappd

Augusta County

$50,000

Birthplace of Country Music – Marketing Campaign for Marty Stuart Special Exhibit

Birthplace of Country Music

$12,500

Bristol: Sounds Good Marketing Campaign

Discover Bristol

$20,000

Come Together!

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, Inc.

$5,000

Connect

Virginia Highlands Festival

$21,783

Curating Killer Content

Rockbridge Area Tourism

$18,500

Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center

Scott County Economic Development Authority

$50,000

D-Day 75th 2019

National D-Day Memorial Foundation

$8,627.50

Destination Bedford New Brand Marketing Launch

Bedford Tourism and Welcome Center

$42,000

Destination Wytheville: Experience Premier Outdoor Recreation

Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau

$25,000

Discover Cape Charles: Virginia’s Cape

Cape Charles Main Street, Inc.

$5,000

Discover Virginia’s Middle Peninsula

Middle Peninsula Alliance

$3,750

Fiddle, Art, & Stroll

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts

$4,997

Find Your Way to Play: Abingdon’s Destination Guide

Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau

$13,983

Float through History in the Northern Neck

Northern Neck Tourism Commission

$5,000

Formed by Utrip. Fun for Visitors. That’s Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission

$25,000

Hanover Tourism Initiative

Center of the Universe Brewing Co.

$3,725

How Can We Help You?

Martinsville/Henry County Tourism

$5,000

Mountains of Music Loud and Clear: Maximizing Opportunities through Partner Relationships

The Crooked Road

$25,000

PPTF 2019 VTC Marketing Campaign

Petersburg Preservation Task Force

$25,000

Slinging Dirt and Burning Up  Roads

Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority

$25,000

Smith Mountain Lake Brand and Marketing Launch

Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce

$13,866

Step Into Blacksburg Phase 2 Website Expansion

The Blacksburg Partnership

$5,002

Tall Ship Providence

Visit Alexandria

$50,000

The Richmond International Film & Music Festival

The Richmond International Film & Music Festival

$6,250

This is Our Rush Hour Goes Digital

Shenandoah County

$50,000

Toast the Coast: Beer, Wine & Shine Trail

Newport News Tourism

$5,000

Virginia Capital Trail Weekend Getaway Marketing Campaign

Virginia Capital Trail Foundation

$5,000

Virginia is Your Spring Destination for the Arts

Virginia Arts Festival

$50,000

What Will You Put IN, in St. Paul?

Town of St. Paul

$5,000

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