$800,000 to increase tourism in Virginia’s localities

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




Artisan Center of Va.

Take Home a Piece of Va.


Shenandoah County

Shenandoah County Shines


Richmond CVB

Greater Richmond Video Series


Colonial Athletic Assoc.

Va is for Lovers of CAA


The Crooked Road

The Collaborative Crooked Road


Draper Mercantile Trading Co.

Concert Series Marketing



Friends of Southwest Virginia

Inviting the World to SWVA


Round the Mountain

Digital Online Artisan Maps


Northampton County

Cross the Bay for a Day


Goochland County

Discover Goochland


Northern Neck Tourism

One-Tank Marketing


Scott County

Outdoor Recreation Marketing


Waterford Foundation

Waterford Homes Tour


Tazewell County

Back of the Dragon


Roanoke River to Trails

Tobacco Heritage Trail


Roanoke Valley CVB

Blue Ridge Mountain Marketing


Virginia Beach CVB

Live, Love, Run the Winter


Smyth County Tourism

Blue Ridge Highlands Fishing Trail


Virginia for the Arts

Minds Wide Open 2012


Boydton Historic Renaissance

Southern Virginia's Little Village


Jamestown Settlement

America's Historic Triangle


Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce

It's Closer Than You Think Campaign


Piedmont Arts Assoc.

Discover Martinsville's Museums


Depot Arts Assoc.

Entertain Your Sense of Art


City of Poquoson

Seafood Festival and Recreation


City of Radford

Phase V Tourism Initiative


Town of Brookneal

Brookneal Wine Festival at Red Hill


City of Waynesboro

Rebranding and Marketing


SoVa Wine Trail

Wine Through Southern Va.


City of Galax/Grayson Co.

Bluegrass, Blue Ridge, Blue Skies


Wilderness Road

Brochure and Marketing Plan


Thomas Jefferson Foundation

Greater Charlottesville Marketing


Visit Loudoun

Lansdowne Resort Family Campaign


Nelson 151

Nelson 151


Virginia Golf Vacations

Click, Play and Save


Waynesboro Tourism Assoc.

Mobile Marketing


Waynesboro Parks & Rec.

Run the Valley Series


Shenandoah Valley Art Center

River City Fall Foliage


Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Wine Festival


Hague Winery

Good Life Now and Then


Visit Fairfax

Banner Advertising Campaign


Abingdon CVB

Entertain Your Senses


Out of Woodstock Productions

Virginia Renaissance Fair


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.

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.