This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, 804-225-4260, | Virginia Tourism Corporation, Caroline Logan, 804-545-5572,

Governor McAuliffe Announces 62 Local Tourism Programs to Receive Public-Private Marketing Funds to Bolster Growth

~Program will generate $4.4M in marketing initiatives and impact more than 264 statewide tourism entities~


RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced more than $772,000 in matching grant funds to be awarded to 62 local tourism initiatives as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program (MLP).  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 $3.64 million to match the VTC grants, providing more than $4.4 million in new marketing funds to increase visitation to Virginia. The grants will ultimately impact more than 264 other statewide tourism entities.

“Today, we take another critical step in supporting one of Virginia’s largest private sector industries and the individual communities across the Commonwealth that foster it,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These Marketing Leverage Program grants provide a vital opportunity for destinations and businesses across the Commonwealth, helping to create jobs, promote economic development, and increase visitor spending. I congratulate the more than 260 tourism partners across the Commonwealth that received funding for 62 projects – not only the highest number of partners awarded in the program’s history, but the highest dollar match by partners in a single funding cycle.”

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 provide vital funding to our tourism businesses across the Commonwealth, helping to make Virginia an incredible place to visit, but also to live,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Through the MLP grant program, Virginia Tourism has helped demonstrate the power of partnerships, as well as the economic power of tourism. I thank all of our tourism partners and members of the General Assembly for their support of this program.”

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for the Commonwealth. In 2015, tourism generated $23 billion in revenue, supported 223,100 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 7:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue. 

Details on the grant awards are below. The next round of VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants will open on April 11, 2017. Localities interested in applying may visit for more information.

A full list of Marketing Leverage Program grant recipients can be found below.

Program Name

Lead Partner

Award Amount

1864 Shenandoah Campaign Film and Third Winchester Orientation Film

Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation


2017 VA Commonwealth Games at Liberty University - Border State Outreach

Virginia Amateur Sports


90th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival ®

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival


Alleghany Highlands Arts & Mountain Heritage

Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism


Artisan Trail Network: Ever Expanding, Evolving & Engaging

Artisans Center of Virginia


Back of the Dragon

Tazewell County


Bike the Valley Marketing Program

Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission


Biplanes and Triplanes

Military Aviation Museum


Birthplace of Country Music – Marketing Campaign for 90th Anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions

Birthplace of Country Music


Blue Ridge Root to Table

Nibblins LLC


Cape Charles Art Soaked Weekends: July 2017

Experimental Film Virginia


Celebrating Virginia in NYC with Richmond Ballet

Richmond Ballet


Create Your Own Story in Wytheville, Virginia

Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau


Damascus, Crossing Paths

Town of Damascus


Danville Pittsylvania County Tourism Advisory Committee

Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce


Discover Bristol Marketing Initiative

Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau


Discover the Birthplace of American Wine: Revamping of Brand Identity and Online Presence.

Monticello Wine Trail


Discover Virginia’s Romantic Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop - “Where Mountains, Wine & Adventure meet

Discover Shenandoah


Downtown Blacksburg - 2017 Campaign

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.


Experience Appomattox

Appomattox County Chamber of Commerce


Experience Russell

Russell County Tourism


Fairfax County Interactive Rich Media Advertising Campaign

Visit Fairfax


Farm-to-Fork in Luray & Page County

Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce


Get Outside and Play "in the Burg"

Back Home on the Farm


Glass Arts Conference/Spring Marketing

Chrysler Museum of Art


Hampton Roads Sports Commission

Hampton Roads Sports Commission


Key to the City

Visit Alexandria


Kick Up Your Heels

Virginia Highlands Festival


Lex It Up!

Rockbridge Area Tourism


Marketing the 40th Anniversary of the Richmond Marathon

Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers


Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville Speedway


Music Lovers Weekend Getaway Package

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, Inc.


Newport News Craft Beer Tourism Program

Economic Development Authority of the City of Newport News, Virginia


NVVC 2017 Canada Program

Visit Loudoun


Olde Towne Portsmouth Summer Arts Promotion

Olde Towne Business Association


Richmond Beer Trail Marketing Campaign - Spring 2017

Richmond Region Tourism


Roanoke River Blueway Promotion

Roanoke Valley - Alleghany Regional Commission


Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail Magazine

Shen. Valley Wine Growers Assn.


Showcasing the Blue Ridge Parkway



Simply Panache Getaways

Mango Mangeaux, LLC


Southwest Virginia Outdoor Expo



Southwest Virginia: “A Different Side of Virginia” Multimedia Marketing and Branding Initiative

Friends of Southwest Virginia


Spartan Race

Infinity Downs


SquirreLee University Marketing Initiative

Stratford Hall


Starr Hill Brewery IPA JamBEERee & Hop On Tour Promotions

Starr Hill Brewery


The Breaks: Centuries of Struggle

Breaks Interstate Park


The Crooked Road Visitor Guide 2017

The Crooked Road


The Perfect Getaway...Is Not So Far Away

Northern Neck  Tourism Commission


The Year of Discovery

Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation


Thomas Jefferson Craft Beer Tasting Event

Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest


Today's Shenandoah Valley

Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission


Tom Tom Founders Festival

Tom Tom Founders Festival


Virginia is for Music Lovers

Virginia Arts Festival


Virginia Marine Trades Association – Boat Virginia

Virginia Marine Trades Association


Virginia's River Realm Brand Videos

Town of Kilmarnock

$7,500.00 Phase 2 Launch

Virginia Distillers Association


Visit Shenandoah

Shenandoah Valley Travel Association


Waterford Fair

Waterford Foundation, Inc.


Website Creation - Abingdon, VA

Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau


Website Rebuild and Design and Update Marketing Materials and Images

Garth Newel Music Center


Western Front Hotel....Experience Southwest Virginia!

Western Front Hotel


Williamsburg Harvest Celebration

Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance