Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SWAC localities receive Virginia tourism grants

 Afton Mountain overlooking Shenandoah Valley.

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell has announced that the Virginia Tourism Corporation will award matching grant funds in the amount of more than $660,000 to 45 local tourism initiatives as part of VTC’s Marketing Leverage Grant program.  The grants help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 3:1 to create marketing projects such as Web sites, social media, and advertisements.

“Tourism plays such a vital role in Virginia’s economy,” said Governor McDonnell. “These grants help bring more visitors to Virginia, and in doing so they help create and sustain jobs while generating revenue for businesses and tax income for the localities and the Commonwealth.”

Tourism in Virginia generated $19 billion in revenue in 2010, provided $1.3 billion in state and local taxes and supported more than 200,000 jobs. 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.

The objective of VTC’s Marketing Leverage Program is to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships and extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand.  To apply for a grant a minimum of three entities must partner financially.  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 entitiesIn total, VTC awards approximately $1 million annually - matched and leveraged on average three to one by partner dollars - to more than 80 communities across the Commonwealth.

“The power of partnerships is vital in maximizing Virginia’s effectiveness in attracting visitors, “said Rita McClenny, interim president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “When Virginians work together to create exceptional tourism projects such as these our grants become an investment certain to pay dividends for the Commonwealth.”

Details on the grant awards are below. The next round of Marketing Leverage Program grants are now open and will be due on October 11, 2012. Localities interested in applying should visit for more information.

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

County of Giles
Live- Work - Play: Destination Giles
Petersburg Area Regional Tourism (PART)
Walk In Lincoln's Final Footsteps
Appalachian Sustainable Development
Rooted in Appalachia - Food Brand
City of Waynesboro - Tourism Office
Comprehensive Destination Marketing, Research, Feasibility and Strategic Planning
Town of Colonial Beach Tourism Council
Play, Stay & Get Away in Colonial Beach, Virginia
DelFosse Vineyards and Winery
Jefferson Heritage Trail
The Crooked Road
The Crooked Road Music Festival
Virginia Arts Festival
The Arts Celebrated Daily - In and Beyond the Concert Hall
Shenandoah Valley Travel Association
Shenandoah Valley Regional Branding Initiative (SVRBI)
Town of Gate City
Grillin' at the Gate
Barter Theatre
Drive Market and In Market Plan - Abingdon
Spring 2012
Pulaski County
NRV SkyFest Air Show
Northern Neck Tourism Commission
Northern Neck Heritage Area Marketing Program
An Achievable Dream Inc.
3rd Annual Run for the Dream Half Marathon, 8K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run
Wythe County
New River Trail Challenge/Max Meadows Heritage Day
Light's at Stone Mill
Buy Local
Premier LLC
"Golf and Family Vacations" Marketing Campaign
Friends of Southwest Virginia
Authentic, Distinctive, and Alive; Regional Recapture
Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau
Abingdon Tourism Brand Integration
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum
Stay and Play
Red Hill - Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation
Bluegrass, Barbecue & Brew Festival at Patrick Henry's Red Hill
Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival
Jamestown Settlement Café
America's Historic Triangle Marketing Program
Virginia Highlands Festival Inc.
Virginia Highlands Festival Marketing Program
The Homestead
Summer & Fall at The Homestead
Wilderness Road: Virginia's Heritage Migration Route
Explore Virginia's Heritage Migration Route
Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables
Promoting the Shenandoah Valley as a Premier Wedding Destination
Lee County Tourism
Camp in the Cumberland Gap and Experience the Wilderness Road
Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau
Virginia's Blue Ridge Brand Rollout and Marketing Initiative
City of Galax, Tourism Department
Galax: The Best Pick in Virginia
The Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce
Good Times, Tastes & Traditions Fall Celebration
James City County
2012 Kingsmill Championship
Fig Street Inn
Cape Charles Bed & Breakfast Association (CCBBA)
Shenandoah Valley Art Center Inc
River City Fall Foliage Weekend
Nelson County Tourism
Virginia Cider Association
Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers
Anthem Richmond Marathon Rebranding Initiative
Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
Alleghany Highlands Ecotourism Product Development
Artisans Center of Virginia
Artisan Trail Network: Bedford & Shenandoah Counties and "Virginia's Western Highland's Artisan Trail"
Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc.
Virginia Chili Blues n' Brews Festival
Waynesboro Parks & Recreation
Park to Park Half marathon promotion
Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance
Arts in Williamsburg 2012 - Williamsburg Area Arts Month Promotion 2012
City of Newport News Development Department
Frontier Airlines Media Blitz/Campaign
The Prizery
Expect the Extraordinary
Orange Downtown Alliance
Edible Food Fest in Orange
Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau
Bristol: Birth of Country Music

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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