March 7, 2016
Rooster Walk Inc. was one of 39 state tourism initiatives to be awarded a $10,000 grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Matching More Than $812,000 in Tourism Grants
Program will generate $3.4 million in marketing initiatives
39 local tourism programs to receive public-private marketing dollars to bolster economy; grants will impact at least 153 statewide tourism entities
RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that more than $812,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 39 local tourism initiatives as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program. The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars and will ultimately impact at least 153 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $2.6 million, providing more than $3.4 million total in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.
Speaking about today’s announcement at an event in Richmond, Governor McAuliffe said, “Tourism is an industry that provides enormous opportunity to grow, diversify and build a new Virginia economy. The Marketing Leverage Grant program is designed to spur job creation, economic development, and visitor spending through new or enhanced tourism products. These grants are proven to increase visitation by creating marketing partnerships and effective marketing programs.”
Research shows that every VTC dollar invested in grants resulted in $16 of direct visitor spending. Marketing campaigns that received Marketing Leverage Grants increased visitation by 15%.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2014, tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue, supported 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 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.
VTC’s 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 not-for-profit entities. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually - matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.
“The Marketing Leverage Program grants support tourism product development and marketing in every part of the Commonwealth and contribute to the economic health of our communities,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “These public-private partnerships will help attract visitors to Virginia who will spend money in our cities and towns to support job growth.”
The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open in April 2016. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information.
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