Governor Northam Announces Public-Private Marketing Grants to Support 57 Local Tourism Programs

Governor Northam Announces Public-Private Marketing Grants to Support 57 Local Tourism Programs
A scene from Rooster Walk 10 at Pop's Farm.

August 16, 2018

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $890,000 in matching grant funds will be awarded to 57 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP).

In Martinsville-Henry County, Martinsville Speedway received $25,000 for their Spring 2018 program, and Rooster Walk, Inc. received $10,842 for the Rooster Walk 11 Music & Arts Festival. 

The MLP grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $4 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $4.9 million in new marketing funds to increase travel to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact at least 232 other statewide tourism entities.

“Tourism continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most innovative industries in Virginia, proving to be a substantial revenue generator year after year,” said Governor Northam. “Across the Commonwealth, tourism businesses recognize the importance of having inventive, strategic marketing initiatives 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—our scenic beauty, exciting restaurants, historic sites, music venues and festivals, charming small towns, oysters, wine, craft beer and more.”

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. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually—matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.

“The Marketing Leverage Program grants 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 Brian Ball. “The tourism industry is a huge economic engine for Virginia. Last year, visitors spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes. By leveraging these marketing funds and public-private partnerships, the Marketing Leverage Program grants will help spur even more economic activity, funneling dollars back into our cities and towns across Virginia.”

The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open on September 5, 2018, with a November 7, 2018 deadline. Localities interested in applying may visit for more information.

A full list of recipients can be found here


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