Press release from Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
RICHMOND, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today nearly $800,000 in tourism marketing grant funds for more than 40 local tourism initiatives across the state.
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 three to one 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. Governor McDonnell recently increased funding for the program as part of his efforts to increase economic development through tourism.
"Tourism is an integral part of the Virginia economy – providing nearly $18 billion in revenue and employing more than 204,000 people," said Governor McDonnell. "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 (VTC) 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."
Details on grant awards are below. The next round of the Tourism Marketing Leverage Program will open August 8, 2011. Localities interested in applying should visit www.vatc.org for more information.
VTC Marketing Leverage Grant Awards
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia that generates nearly $18 billion in revenue, supports more than 204,000 jobs and provides $1.24 billion in state and local taxes.