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Gov. Northam announces local tourism programs to receive public-private marketing funds

(Photo: FILE)

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that more than $840,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 56 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation's (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program.

The MLP grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grant funds.

This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $3.1 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $3.9 million in new marketing funds to increase visitation to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact at least 232 other statewide tourism entities.

“These grants help communities across the Commonwealth discover new ways to market themselves to travelers by creating new tourism products and enhancing existing attractions and destinations. These efforts improve the visitor experience, making it easy for travelers to discover why Virginia is for Lovers," Governor Northam said.

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.

Some of the local MLP grant recipients are as follows:

  • Blue to New Regional Agritourism Brand Launch, Giles County - $2,500
  • Erik the Travel Guy goes to Montgomery County VA, Montgomery County Regional Tourism Office - $5,000
  • Experience Appomattox Marketing Campaign, Appomattox Chamber of Commerce - $5,000
  • Explore the New River City—How One Family Helped Shape Virginia, Radford Heritage Foundation - $2,375
  • Lynchburg is for Lovers, Academy Center of the Arts - $2,500
  • Martinsville Speedway - Fall 2017 VTC Marketing Leverage Program, Martinsville Speedway - $25,000
  • NRV Trail Guide, New River Valley Regional Commission - $2,500
  • Philpott 3, Martinsville/Henry County Tourism - $5,000
  • Pulaski Paths Forward, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce - $10,000
  • Rails, Trails and Ales in Virginia's Blue Ridge, Virginia's Blue Ridge - $50,000
  • Revitalized Downtown Wytheville Campaign 2018/Expanded Wytheville Website Phase Two, Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau - $50,000
  • Rives Theatre in Martinsville VA, Rooster Walk, Inc. - $3,200
  • Roanoke Street Pub, Deschutes Brewery - $12,500
  • Your Ticket To The Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Travel Association - $5,000
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