RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – At the start of National Travel and Tourism Week, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that 259 local and regional tourism programs – including dozens in southwest and central Virginia – will receive more $2.7 million in matching grant and repayable sponsorship funds.
Officials say these public-private marketing funds are part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Leverage Marketing Program (MLP) and Regional Marketing Program (RMP), which are designed to leverage local marketing dollars. with matching public funds to increase visitation and spending by travellers. .
During this funding round, the governor’s office says local partners will commit more than $12.4 million to match VTC funding, providing more than $15 million in new marketing activities. Then, funding will be awarded to 215 local and regional tourism entities, impacting 259 programs and more than 1,000 partners combined.
“Tourism is a major economic driver for the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing and creating good jobs and pumping vital dollars back into our communities,” Youngkin said. “Virginia’s tourism industry has been relentless in its recovery efforts, developing innovative, best-in-class strategies to support the economy. These grant funds will help build on this momentum, further underscoring that Virginia is open for business and the best place to live, work and travel.
According to a statement released by Youngkin’s office on Monday, May 2, the VTC’s MLP is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, driving new tourism marketing through partnerships, and expanding the brand.” Virginia is for Lovers”.
“Using the hub-and-spoke tourism model, six Virginia entities are partnering financially to apply for funding,” Monday’s statement said. “Partners may be cities, towns, counties, Virginia 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.”
Meanwhile, the VTC RMP was reportedly created by legislation sponsored by State Senator Tommy Norment to help Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) generate overnight visits, as well as additional funding for special events and festivals of economic importance in order to increase night visits. DMO special events and festival funding is expected to generate more than 125,000 room nights over the next 18 months.
“Virginia Tourism’s marketing leverage and regional marketing programs provide the tourism industry with the tools it needs to succeed and thrive in an incredibly competitive landscape,” said Caren Merrick, Secretary of Commerce and Commerce. “Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in Virginia, and it is imperative that we are able to market the abundance of travel experiences across the Commonwealth, inviting new travelers to discover for themselves why Virginia is for lovers.”
According to the officials, the next cycle of the MLP of the VTC will open in the coming months while the next cycle of the RMP will open in early 2023. Organizations and companies wishing to apply should follow this link to find more information.
The following locations, organizations, and events in Southwest and Central Virginia are among the 2022 VTC grant recipients:
- $5,000 for the Blackwater Music Festival at the Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg
- $5,000 for “FloydFest 2022: Heartbeat” from Across the Way Productions, Inc. to Floyd
- $5,000 for Appomattox’s “June 19th Celebration” for Equality in Appomattox
- $10,000 for Balloons Over Rockbridge Hot Air Balloon and Music Festival from Balloons Over Rockbridge in Lexington
- $20,000 for the “Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival” from Beaver Dam Farm Sunflowers, LLC in Buchanan
- $19,590 for Bedford Tourism’s “Destination Bedford Disc Golf”
- $5,000 for “Road Trip to Nelson 29” from Blue Mountain Barrel House and Organic Brewery in Afton
- $5,000 for the “Blue Ridge Crossroads Regional Tourism Campaign” from the Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority in Galax
- $20,000 for the Central Virginia Business Coalition’s “Building Bedford” in Forest
- $10,000 for Galax City’s “Galax DMO”
- $45,000 for City of Salem Tourism’s Bike Carvins Cove/Sale Fair/Summertime Fun in Salem
- $10,000 for the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History’s “Share What You Love: Weaving together Danville’s Story” project
- $20,000 for Danville Office of Economic Development’s “Visitor’s Guide / City of Danville and County of Pittsylvania”
- $15,000 for Floyd County Calling All Outdoor Enthusiasts
- $10,000 for the Galax Fire Department’s “HoustonFest”
- $10,000 for Galax Moose Lodge #733 “86th Old Fiddlers Convention”
- $5,000 for Glencoe Mansion, Museum, and Gallery’s “Mary Draper Ingles: The Journey Home” in Radford
- $29,945 for “The OLD, the NEW, the HIGHEST, and YOU/Share the Music, Share the Adventure, Share What You Love” from Grayson County to Independence
- $5,000 for the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce Virginia Cantaloupe Festival in South Boston
- $21,000 for the Halifax County Department of Tourism’s “Halifax County Field Trips/Taste of HalifaxVA” in South Boston
- $20,000 for the Highland County Chamber of Commerce’s “Highland Maple Festival” in Monterey
- $2,650 for the West Virginia Historical Society’s “A New Look at Link” in Roanoke
- $5,000 for JBR Vineyards, LLC’s “Stay, Play, Dine, Wine” program in Radford
- $10,000 for “Wanderlove: Rocking Rockbridge Summer Six” from Lexington and Rockbridge Area Tourism in Lexington
- $10,000 for Lime Kiln Arts, Inc.’s “Summer Concert Series” in Lexington
- $5,000 for Mount Rogers Regional Partnership’s Quality of Life Campaign in Wytheville
- $5,000 for the National D-Day Memorial Foundation’s “National D-Day Memorial Website Redesign” in Bedford
- $20,000 for the Nelson County Dark Skies Trail and Nelson WinterMarkt
- $25,000 for Pulaski County’s “Play Outside/Pulaski County’s Sounds of Summer”
- $2,350 for “Gravista 2023” from Ride Gravista LLC in Lexington
- $5,000 for River Rock Entertainment, Inc./Dr Pepper Park at Bridges’ Dr Pepper Park Summer of Fun in Roanoke
- $20,000 for Roanoke City Parks and Recreation’s “Go Outside Festival”
- $10,000 for the Roanoke Outside Foundation Blue Ridge Marathon/Down by Downtown
- $20,000 for “Summer Adventures in Virginia’s Blue Ridge” from Roanoke Valley to Roanoke
- $10,000 for Rooster Walk Inc.’s “Rooster Walk 12 Music & Arts Festival” in Axton
- $30,000 for Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “SML Data Driven Targeted Digital/Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival/Now That You’ve Found Us, Come Back and Explore” at Moneta
- $10,000 for IRONMAN Group’s “IRONMAN 70.3 Carilion Clinic Virginia’s Blue Ridge” in Roanoke
- $2,400 for the City of Bedford Office of Economic Development’s “Destination Centertown Bedford VA”
- $1,250 for the City of Christiansburg’s “Rockin’ Main Street”
- $10,000 for “Discover Rocky Mount” from the Town of Rocky Mount
- $10,000 for “Virginia Spirits Shine Bright in Downtown Rocky Mount and Franklin County’s Moonshine Capital” from Twin Creeks Distillery in Rocky Mount
- $5,000 for “SEARCH(S) – Sharing the Excitement of Arts, Recreation, Culture, History and Sports in Martinsville-Henry County” from the Uptown Partnership in Martinsville
- $20,000 for the Virginia Amateur Sports, Inc. Virginia Commonwealth Games in Lynchburg
- $20,000 for the “Virginia is for Racing Lovers” Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway in Alton
- $30,000 for Wytheville Convention and Visitors Bureau “Get lost in the moments, not the crowds / Catch your breath in Wytheville”