Local projects among those awarded state tourism grants
The Virginia Tourism Corporation awards the grants. Each grant is matched by funds from a minimum of three local organizations and used to support marketing initiatives including advertising, Web development, online marketing and brochures. The 3-1 matching funds provided by local partner organizations leverages the $800,000 in grant funds into more than $2 million invested in tourism marketing. In total, more than 180 public and private partner organizations will work together as a result of the grant program.
The Waynesboro projects receiving funding are the City of Waynesboro’s rebranding and marketing initiative, which received a $28,211 grant; the Artisans Center of Virginia’s “Take Home a Piece of Virginia,” which received a $10,000 grant; the Shenandoah Valley Art Center’s River City Fall Foliage initiative, which received a $10,000 grant; the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Department’s Run the Valley Series, which received a $5,000 grant; and the Tourism Association of Greater Waynesboro’s mobile marketing program, which received a $4,642 grant.
“Tourism is an integral part of the Virginia economy – providing nearly $18 billion in revenue and employing more than 204,000 people,” McDonnell said. “These grant funds are designed to spur economic development through tourism. The state’s investment maximizes local marketing funds – allowing for localities to double and sometimes triple their marketing power to attract more visitors to local destinations.”
The Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships and to extend the Virginia is for Lovers brand. The objective of this program is to leverage limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply. Partners may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other entities.
“Virginia’s tourism marketing has a proven 5:1 return on investment, meaning that every dollar the state invests in marketing provides $5 back in tax revenue alone,” said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the VTC. “These grants are a tremendous resource for localities that helps get attention for local destinations and generate the revenue and jobs that tourism creates.”