Pictured above: A look at the LOVE letters installation at Smith River Sports Complex.
Martinsville (March 15, 2019) — Today, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation’s Tourism Office (VisitMartinsville) announced that it has received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) “50 Years of Love” grant fund. “50 Years of Love” is part of VTC’s efforts to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers tourism slogan, which was created in 1969 by Richmond-based advertising agency Martin & Woltz.
VisitMartinsville partnered with Bassett Historical Center, Cocoa Trail Chocolates, Dipper’s Ice Cream, Hamlet Vineyards, the Jeweler’s Edge, Miles in Martinsville, Martinsville Speedway, Mountain Valley Brewing, Piedmont Arts, Rives Theatre, Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival, Smith River Sports Complex and the Spencer-Penn Centre to celebrate all there is to love in Martinsville-Henry County. Special events are being planned throughout the year between the tourism partners and VisitMartinsville.
“Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic tourism slogans in the world, and we are thrilled to be celebrating “50 years of Love” with partners from around the Commonwealth in 2019,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “This grant program provides an engaging opportunity for destinations across the state to showcase what makes a vacation in Virginia so special, and helps to show travelers why Virginia is for Lovers still rings true 50 years later.”
“The 50 Years of Love planning has been fun and I can’t wait to see everything come together,” said Beth Stinnett, Assistant Director of Tourism and Film Office Coordinator for the EDC. “We are thrilled to celebrate alongside the VTC and we are ready to show people why they will love Martinsville – Henry County.”
Find details on our 50 Years of Love plans at www.VisitMartinsville.com/love.
In total, VTC awarded $390,000 to 39 tourism marketing programs across the Commonwealth to help increase visitation and revenue. Each grant recipient received a $10,000 grant for its “50 Years of Love” project, with the requirement of engaging 10 or more tourism partners in order to receive grant funding.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand, which is celebrating 50 years in 2019. Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2017, visitors spent $25 billion, which supported 232,000 jobs and contributed $1.73 billion in state and local taxes.
About Virginia is for Lovers
Fifty years after its creation, Virginia is for Lovers continues to be one of the most recognizable and iconic tourism slogans of all time. Virginia is for Lovers was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame on Sept. 21, 2009. The slogan was included in the Advertising Icon Museum alongside fellow 2009 inductees, the AOL Running Man, the Budweiser Clydesdales and State Farm’s slogan, Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There. This recognition came on the heels of Forbes.com tapping Virginia is for Lovers as one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time. Today, a new generation is discovering love for Virginia’s mountains, beaches, history, theme parks, vibrant cities, outdoor activities, sports and hospitality.
For more information about 50 Years of Love, please visit https://www.virginia.org/virginiaisforlovers.