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Shenandoah Valley Travel Association awarded $10K ’50 Years of Love’ Virginia Tourism grant

50 years of loveThe Shenandoah Valley Travel Association has received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation “50 Years of Love” grant fund.

The fund is part of VTC’s efforts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism slogan, which was created in 1969 by Richmond-based advertising agency Martin & Woltz.

Fifty years after its creation, “Virginia is for Lovers” has become one of the most recognizable and iconic tourism slogans of all time. “Virginia is for Lovers” was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame on Sept. 21, 2009. This recognition came on the heels of tapping “Virginia is for Lovers” as one of the top ten tourism-marketing campaigns of all time. Today, a new generation is discovering love for Virginia’s mountains, beaches, history, vibrant cities, and outdoor recreation.

“Virginia is for Lovers’ is one of the most iconic tourism slogans in the world, and we are thrilled to be celebrating fifty years of love with partners from around the Commonwealth in 2019,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “This grant program provides an engaging opportunity for destinations across the state to showcase what makes a vacation in Virginia so special, and helps to show travelers why Virginia is for Lovers still rings true fifty years later.”

“The Shenandoah Valley region is one of the most established tourism destinations in Virginia, and SVTA is here to help it keep growing. SVTA – now in its 95th year of promoting history, outdoor adventure and scenic wonders in the Valley – is proud to partner with Virginia Tourism’s continuing campaign to show travelers how much there is to LOVE about this iconic place,” said John Robbins, spokesperson for SVTA.

In total VTC awarded $300,000 to 30 tourism marketing programs across the Commonwealth to help increase visitation and revenue. Each grant recipient received a $10,000 grant for its 50 Years of Love project, with the requirement of engaging 10 or more tourism partners. As part of the grant, SVTA partnered with the following 12 organizations to promote awareness of the 50 Years of Love campaign.

  • Delaware North at Shenandoah National Park
  • Discover Shenandoah
  • Grand Caverns
  • Luray Caverns
  • Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce
  • Shenandoah Caverns
  • Shenandoah River Outfitters
  • The Mimslyn Inn
  • The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
  • The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival
  • Visit Staunton
  • Wayne Theatre

Tourism is one of Virginia’s most powerful industries – bringing in billions of dollars in tax revenue and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs for Virginians. Tourism-supported jobs are irrevocably tied to our cities and towns, outdoor recreation, beautiful scenery and historic landmarks.

The facts and stats below are a glimpse of the positive economic impact of Tourism in Virginia.

  • The Shenandoah Valley region accounted for nearly $1,452,436,673 in travel and tourism expenditures in 2017.
  • Travelers spent $68 million a day in Virginia in 2017.
  • The travel industry is the fifth largest private employer in Virginia accounting for 7% of employment.
  • Spending by travelers supports $1.73 billion in state & local tax revenue – that adds up to savings of $650 per household statewide.
  • In the Shenandoah Valley, the savings is closer to $543 per household.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. In addition to supporting the mission and Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association is one of the country’s oldest travel organizations. More information at

About Shenandoah Valley Travel Association (SVTA)

Founded in 1924, SVTA is one of the oldest regional tourism promotional organizations of its kind in the United States. The association promotes the tourism assets of the beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley to the rest of the world. SVTA is a membership-based organization that receives no lodging or meal tax revenues. It operates two major inbound travel websites – and

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