Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables receives Virginia Tourism Corporation grant for tourism marketing
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables received $5,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total VTC awarded more than $852,000 for 46 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
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 195 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $2.1 million, providing more than $3 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.
Hermitage Hill received a $5,000 grant for its “Promoting the Shenandoah Valley as a Green Wedding Destination.” Hermitage Hill Farm partnered with Greater Augusta Regional Tourism and Hampton Inn of Fishersville to supply $5000 in matching funds for the project “Promoting the Shenandoah Valley as a Green Wedding Destination.”
This program targets an increasing trend of brides, grooms and event planners who are eco-friendly and conscious of the consumption of resources that would normally be used in a wedding. Choosing a sustainable venue, recycling waste and reducing consumption are some of the key components to hosting green weddings. A growing trend for using locally sourced foods is another key ingredient to planning a green wedding. With the Shenandoah Valley’s agricultural heritage, this area is a natural choice for supplying catered events with homegrown produce which will create a viable source of income to our region.
“Greater Augusta Regional Tourism is thrilled for Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables and the possibilities of its eco-friendly initiative,” said Amanda Glover, Director of Economic Development for Augusta County. “Becoming a green wedding destination is a great fit with the Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro region, and we believe it will have a significant and positive impact on businesses throughout the area.”
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and 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 not-for-profit entities.
“These grants equip local tourism businesses with the tools they need to stay competitive,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Marketing Leverage Program grants help support and grow a robust and diversified New Virginia Economy and encourage strategic marketing of tourism products and businesses across the Commonwealth, generating revenue and jobs.”
“The grants are supporting businesses across the Commonwealth, contributing to the overall economic health of our communities,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “The state’s investment maximizes local marketing funds, allowing for localities to double and sometimes triple their marketing power to attract more visitors. This is a powerful tool for small businesses across the state.”
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2013, tourism generated $21.5 billion in revenue, supported 213,000 jobs and provided $1.42 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.
Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.