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Experience the LOVE of Virginia

Governor McDonnell Announces Tourism Marketing Grants

~Grant program to generate nearly $4 million in marketing initiatives~

RICHMOND, Va. (August 15, 2013)  - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that nearly $1 million in matching grant funds will be awarded to 54 local tourism initiatives as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation's Marketing Leverage Grant program. The grants help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 282 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 to create marketing projects such as web sites, signage, social media, and advertisements. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with nearly $3 million, providing $4 million total in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

"Grants such as these enable our localities to more effectively market themselves to potential visitors," said Governor McDonnell. "When more visitors come to Virginia, the localities and the Commonwealth realize increased tax revenue, businesses prosper, and new jobs are created."

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2011 tourism generated $20.4 billion in revenue, supported 207,000 jobs and provided $1.32 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 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 - to more than 80 communities across the Commonwealth.

"These grants enable local tourism partners to undertake projects that might otherwise be beyond their fiscal reach," said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. "The Marketing Leverage Grants program supports initiatives by our partners that make Virginia the best place to live, work, and play. VTC is proud to have a real impact on the ideas and programs that organizations around the state have to support the tourism industry and economy as a whole."

Details on the grant awards are below. The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants are due October 22, 2013. Localities interested in applying may visit www.vatc.org for more information. 




Culpeper Department of Tourism

Culpeper Arts Microsite and "One More Thing to LOVE" Video Development


Wise County

Wise County: Niche Marketing Play n' Stay


Great Country Farms

Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail


The Blacksburg Partnership

Step Into Blacksburg Marketing Initiative


Waterford Foundation Inc.

Waterford Homes Tour & Craft Exhibit


Blue Mountain Brewery

Blue Mountain Brewery and Barrel House Brewery Marketing


Town of Farmville

The Heart of Adventure


Birthplace of Country Music

Birthplace of Country Music Multi-Media Image Launch Campaign


Artisans Center of Virginia

Artisans Center of Virginia: Website Development to Efficiently Elevate Marketing


Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

Introducing "The MARKETPLACE"


Red Hill - Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation

Bluegrass, Barbecue & Brew Festival at Patrick Henry's Red Hill


Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce

Virginia Travel Show Partnership


Virginia Motorcycle Dealers Association

Virginia Motorcycle Dealers Association - Motorcycle Grand Tour of Virginia 2013


Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance

Williamsburg Area Arts Month 2013


Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce

Smith Mountain Lake, It's Closer than You Think MOBILE Promotion'



Africana Virginia Beach 2013 featuring FunkFest


Swift Creek Mill Theatre

2013-2014 Chesterfield for Active Seniors Tourism Initiative


Millsap-Baker Estate LLC

Destination Weddings and Overnights in Damascus


Barter Theatre

Abingdon: Barter is Just the Beginning


Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Thomas Jefferson's Wine Festival


The State Theatre Foundation

Marketing Leverage Program for the State Theatre in Culpeper, Virginia


Town of Lawrenceville

Town of Lawrenceville Tourism Branding


The Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge Area AAA Carolinas Co-op


Staunton Convention & Visitors Bureau

Staunton Tourism Destination Marketing, Research & Strategic Plan


Town of St. Paul

Clinch River Valley Initiative: Building a Regional Identity


Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce

Shenandoah Autumnfest


Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc.

The Patsy Cline Historic House


Virginia Campground Association

Virginia is For Camping Lovers


City of Poquoson

Poquoson Marine Tourism


Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium c/o Visit Fairfax

Northern Virginia Canadian Marketing Campaign


Carroll County Tourism

Niche Markets & Networking - Blue Ridge Plateau


Orange County Department of Tourism

Orange/Madison Advertising Campaign


Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association

Presidents Passport: Northern Virginia Expansion


Stratford Hall-Robert E. Lee Memorial Association

Stratford Hall Wine and Oyster Festival Advertising


Discover Shenandoah

Discover Shenandoah - a beautiful place for wine


Holston Mountain Artisans

Block Party - A Celebration of Quilts


Town of Damascus

Damascus, Stay A While


Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Inc

America's Historic Triangle Marketing Program


Fish Virginia First

Fish Virginia First - Where The Fish Are


Virginia Creeper Trail Club

Virginia Creeper Trail Marketing Campaign


Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau

It's Always Play Time in Abingdon - Website Design


Castleton Festival

Castleton Festival - 2013 Fifth Anniversary Season


Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

Alleghany Highlands Outdoor Lovers Video


Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau

Bristol CVB: Launching the Birthplace of Country Music


County of Mecklenburg

New County Tourism Branding Development, Training and Collateral


Roanoke Regional Partnership

Roanoke is for Outdoor Lovers


Floyd County Tourism Development Council

Floyd County Official Tourism Website - Visit Floyd, VA!


Arts Enter Cape Charles

Harbor for the Arts Festival Marketing Program


Franklin County Office of Economic Development

Visit Franklin County Brand Development and Marketing Initiative


Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center

Increasing Bus Tour Business to Staunton, VA


Morven Park (The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation)

Co-Marketing Loudoun's Historic Homes


Tradition Club at Stonehouse

Traditional Golf Trail 2014 Promotion


City of Waynesboro-Tourism

Social Buying Destination Marketing - Mountains to Main Street Campaign


Botetourt County Office of Tourism

All Trails Lead to Botetourt


Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit www.Virginia.org to start planning a vacation or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.



Media Contacts:

Office of the Governor
Contact: Taylor Thornley Keeney
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Email: Taylor.Keeney@governor.virginia.gov

Virginia Tourism Corporation
Contact: Caroline Gibson
Phone: (804) 545-5572
Email: cgibson@virginia.org

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