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Tourism programs tapped for public-private marketing funds

virginiaGovernor Terry McAuliffe today announced more than $772,000 in matching grant funds to be awarded to 62 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program.

The MLP grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $3.64 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $4.4 million in new marketing funds to increase visitation to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact more than 264 other statewide tourism entities.

“Today, we take another critical step in supporting one of Virginia’s largest private sector industries and the individual communities across the Commonwealth that foster it,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These Marketing Leverage Program grants provide a vital opportunity for destinations and businesses across the Commonwealth, helping to create jobs, promote economic development, and increase visitor spending. I congratulate the more than 260 tourism partners across the Commonwealth that received funding for 62 projects – not only the highest number of partners awarded in the program’s history, but the highest dollar match by partners in a single funding cycle.”

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 grants provide vital funding to our tourism businesses across the Commonwealth, helping to make Virginia an incredible place to visit, but also to live,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Through the MLP grant program, Virginia Tourism has helped demonstrate the power of partnerships, as well as the economic power of tourism. I thank all of our tourism partners and members of the General Assembly for their support of this program.”

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth. In 2015, tourism generated $23 billion in revenue, supported 223,100 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 7:1 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.

Details on the grant awards are below. The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open onApril 11, 2017. Localities interested in applying may visit for more information.

A full list of Marketing Leverage Program grant recipients can be found below.

Program Name Lead Partner Award Amount
1864 Shenandoah Campaign Film and Third Winchester Orientation Film Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation $8,515.00
2017 VA Commonwealth Games at Liberty University – Border State Outreach Virginia Amateur Sports $5,000.00
90th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival ® Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival $25,000.00
Alleghany Highlands Arts & Mountain Heritage Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism $14,700.00
Artisan Trail Network: Ever Expanding, Evolving & Engaging Artisans Center of Virginia $7,866.50
Back of the Dragon Tazewell County $5,000.00
Bike the Valley Marketing Program Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission $12,500.00
Biplanes and Triplanes Military Aviation Museum $5,000.00
Birthplace of Country Music – Marketing Campaign for 90th Anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions Birthplace of Country Music $25,000.00
Blue Ridge Root to Table Nibblins LLC $25,000.00
Cape Charles Art Soaked Weekends: July 2017 Experimental Film Virginia $5,000.00
Celebrating Virginia in NYC with Richmond Ballet Richmond Ballet $13,232.00
Create Your Own Story in Wytheville, Virginia Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau $25,000.00
Damascus, Crossing Paths Town of Damascus $5,000.00
Danville Pittsylvania County Tourism Advisory Committee Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce $25,000.00
Discover Bristol Marketing Initiative Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau $25,000.00
Discover the Birthplace of American Wine: Revamping of Brand Identity and Online Presence. Monticello Wine Trail $5,000.00
Discover Virginia’s Romantic Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop – “Where Mountains, Wine & Adventure meet Discover Shenandoah $2,500.00
Downtown Blacksburg – 2017 Campaign Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. $4,500.00
Experience Appomattox Appomattox County Chamber of Commerce $4,500.00
Experience Russell Russell County Tourism $5,000.00
Fairfax County Interactive Rich Media Advertising Campaign Visit Fairfax $12,500.00
Farm-to-Fork in Luray & Page County Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce $25,000.00
Get Outside and Play “in the Burg” Back Home on the Farm $12,448.50
Glass Arts Conference/Spring Marketing Chrysler Museum of Art $14,317.00
Hampton Roads Sports Commission Hampton Roads Sports Commission $5,000.00
Key to the City Visit Alexandria $25,000.00
Kick Up Your Heels Virginia Highlands Festival $9,350.00
Lex It Up! Rockbridge Area Tourism $23,000.50
Marketing the 40th Anniversary of the Richmond Marathon Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers $25,000.00
Martinsville Speedway Martinsville Speedway $25,000.00
Music Lovers Weekend Getaway Package Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, Inc. $5,000.00
Newport News Craft Beer Tourism Program Economic Development Authority of the City of Newport News, Virginia $5,000.00
NVVC 2017 Canada Program Visit Loudoun $9,375.00
Olde Towne Portsmouth Summer Arts Promotion Olde Towne Business Association $2,250.00
Richmond Beer Trail Marketing Campaign – Spring 2017 Richmond Region Tourism $5,583.00
Roanoke River Blueway Promotion Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission $5,000.00
Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail Magazine Shen. Valley Wine Growers Assn. $7,500.00
Showcasing the Blue Ridge Parkway Primland $25,000.00
Simply Panache Getaways Mango Mangeaux, LLC $5,000.00
Southwest Virginia Outdoor Expo Heartwood $5,000.00
Southwest Virginia: “A Different Side of Virginia” Multimedia Marketing and Branding Initiative Friends of Southwest Virginia $25,000.00
Spartan Race Infinity Downs $17,500.00
SquirreLee University Marketing Initiative Stratford Hall $4,976.00
Starr Hill Brewery IPA JamBEERee & Hop On Tour Promotions Starr Hill Brewery $14,932.50
The Breaks: Centuries of Struggle Breaks Interstate Park $15,500.00
The Crooked Road Visitor Guide 2017 The Crooked Road $13,100.00
The Perfect Getaway…Is Not So Far Away Northern Neck  Tourism Commission $5,000.00
The Year of Discovery Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation $3,000.00
Thomas Jefferson Craft Beer Tasting Event Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest $5,000.00
Today’s Shenandoah Valley Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission $25,000.00
Tom Tom Founders Festival Tom Tom Founders Festival $25,000.00
Virginia is for Music Lovers Virginia Arts Festival $25,000.00
Virginia Marine Trades Association – Boat Virginia Virginia Marine Trades Association $2,500.00
Virginia’s River Realm Brand Videos Town of Kilmarnock $7,500.00 Phase 2 Launch Virginia Distillers Association $5,000.00
Visit Shenandoah Shenandoah Valley Travel Association $9,050.00
Waterford Fair Waterford Foundation, Inc. $7,431.00
Website Creation – Abingdon, VA Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau $25,000.00
Website Rebuild and Design and Update Marketing Materials and Images Garth Newel Music Center $12,500.00
Western Front Hotel….Experience Southwest Virginia! Western Front Hotel $14,166.50
Williamsburg Harvest Celebration Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance $5,877.50