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Virginia tourism programs receive marketing funds; no recipients in Waynesboro

Pride LOVEworks A number of organizations in the region received funding to help with marketing events and expanding their reach in Virginia and beyond. More than $3.2 million in matching grant and sponsorship funds were awarded this week to 236 tourism programs announced during National Travel and Tourism Week.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Regional Marketing, Marketing Leverage and VA250 Marketing Leverage program awards were announced Monday and designed to help events and tourist destinations throughout the Commonwealth increase visitation and traveler spending through 2024.

Local partners have committed more than $15.5 million to match the VTC funding. The funding will impact 1,161 partners throughout the state. 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.

“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “From first-time applicants like Foxfield Races and Paradise Springs Winery to large music festivals in Hampton Roads and Southwest Virginia driving inbound overnight visitation, these programs show that tourism and tourism partnerships help Virginia’s vibrant communities grow and thrive.”

Some of the recipients include Crozet Park, the Red Wing Roots Festival, the Tom Tom Festival, Lime Kiln, Nelson County Tourism, Heifetz International, Queen City Mischief & Magic, the Staunton Music Festival and The Blackburn Inn and Conference Center.

“Driving inbound out-of-state overnight visitation is a key economic strategy and the VTC grant and sponsorship programs help create unique partnerships that have tangible economic impacts across Virginia in all nine GO Virginia Regions,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Many of these programs also support regional marketing initiatives designed to encourage Virginians to explore their own state.”

There were no grant recipients included in Waynesboro.

A full list of those receiving marketing funds may be found here.

About the programs

  • The Virginia Regional Marketing Programs assist Virginia Destination Marketing Organizations and established Virginia special events and festivals with marketing and/or production.
  • The Marketing Leverage Program is a program to leverage existing marketing funds available to Virginia travel industry partners including small businesses, DMOs, private sector attractions, accommodations and events.
  • The VA250 Tourism Marketing Program is a partnership between the VA250 Commission and Virginia Tourism Corporation and is designed to support, promote, and market programming, events and interpretive signage specifically related to the framework of America’s 250th commemoration.

VTC will have a VA250 Tourism Marketing Program grant round and a Microbusiness Marketing Leverage Program grant round opening in the summer and fall.

Organizations and businesses that are interested in applying may visit vatc.org/grants

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.