Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Local Virginia Tourism Programs to Receive Public-Private Marketing Funds to Drive Visitation

RICHMOND — To kick off National Travel & Tourism Week, Gov.  Glenn Youngkin announced that more than $3.27 million in matching grant and sponsorship funds will be awarded to 268 tourism programs — including several local organizations — as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Grants programs.

The funding programs are designed to leverage local marketing dollars with matching state funds to increase visitation and traveler spending through 2025, according to the governor’s office.

This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $9.2 million to match the VTC funding, providing more than $12.5 million in new marketing and event production activity focused on increasing overnight visitation to Virginia across all nine GO Virginia regions.

The funding will be awarded to 268 marketing programs, ultimately impacting 1,230 combined partners, according to the governor’s office.

“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Youngkin. “Across the Commonwealth, the tourism industry recognizes the importance of having inventive strategies to showcase all that Virginia has to offer. These grants will support those efforts and help draw thousands of additional visitors to the Commonwealth to experience everything that makes Virginia so special.”

VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation, the governor’s office said.

Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding.  Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related non-profits and private businesses.

The various grant programs assist Virginia Destination Marketing Organizations and established Virginia special events and festivals with marketing and/or event production costs, it added.

Locally, the following programs received grant funding through the initiative:

“The VTC grant programs continue to inject critical funds into communities across the Commonwealth, helping to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “The tourism industry in an incredible employment on-ramp for high school and college students, part-time workers, and those interested long-term hospitality careers. From kitchen line cooks to regional executive hotel managers, these funds support a robust hospitality workforce by inducing tourism demand and increasing overnight visitation.”

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