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.
2019 Mount Rogers Naturalist Rallies and Summer Camps
Blue Ridge Discovery Center
43rd Annual Norfolk Harborfest (2019)
Norfolk Festevents, Ltd.
Be a Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Birthplace of Country Music – Marketing Campaign for Marty Stuart Special Exhibit
Birthplace of Country Music
Bristol: Sounds Good Marketing Campaign
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, Inc.
Virginia Highlands Festival
Curating Killer Content
Rockbridge Area Tourism
Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center
Scott County Economic Development Authority
D-Day 75th 2019
National D-Day Memorial Foundation
Destination Bedford New Brand Marketing Launch
Bedford Tourism and Welcome Center
Destination Wytheville: Experience Premier Outdoor Recreation
Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
Discover Cape Charles: Virginia’s Cape
Cape Charles Main Street, Inc.
Discover Virginia’s Middle Peninsula
Middle Peninsula Alliance
Fiddle, Art, & Stroll
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts
Find Your Way to Play: Abingdon’s Destination Guide
Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau
Float through History in the Northern Neck
Northern Neck Tourism Commission
Formed by Utrip. Fun for Visitors. That’s Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission
Hanover Tourism Initiative
Center of the Universe Brewing Co.
How Can We Help You?
Martinsville/Henry County Tourism
Mountains of Music Loud and Clear: Maximizing Opportunities through Partner Relationships
The Crooked Road
PPTF 2019 VTC Marketing Campaign
Petersburg Preservation Task Force
Slinging Dirt and Burning Up Roads
Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority
Smith Mountain Lake Brand and Marketing Launch
Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
Step Into Blacksburg Phase 2 Website Expansion
The Blacksburg Partnership
Tall Ship Providence
The Richmond International Film & Music Festival
This is Our Rush Hour Goes Digital
Toast the Coast: Beer, Wine & Shine Trail
Newport News Tourism
Virginia Capital Trail Weekend Getaway Marketing Campaign
Virginia Capital Trail Foundation
Virginia is Your Spring Destination for the Arts
Virginia Arts Festival
What Will You Put IN, in St. Paul?
Town of St. Paul
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