More than $625,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 33 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP).
The MLP grant funding is designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $2.1 million to match the VTC grants, providing nearly $2.7 million in new marketing funds to increase visitation to Virginia.
The grants will ultimately impact more than 135 other statewide tourism entities, including Patrick County.
Grants will enable localities to broaden their marketing scope and stimulate new tourism marketing programs that otherwise may not have been possible without this program. Communities and destinations across the Commonwealth understand the importance of creating innovative marketing initiatives to attract travelers from all over the world to discover for themselves why “Virginia is for Lovers.”
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 is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing programs across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Tourism is an important part of Virginia’s economy as it adds to our economic diversity and is an instant revenue generator. In 2017, tourism injected $25 billion into the Virginia economy and provided 232,000 jobs. The Marketing Leverage Grant helps leverage limited marketing dollars to increase visitor spending and encourages public-private partnership opportunities.”
The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants are will open on April 2, 2019, with a June 25, 2019 deadline. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information.