Local tourism programs to receive public-private marketing funds through 2025

May 28, 2024

RICHMOND, VA – To kick off National Travel & Tourism Week, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced  that more than $3.27 million in matching grant and sponsorship funds will be awarded to 268 tourism programs as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Grants programs.

Among the recipients will be four local entities.

These funding programs are designed to leverage local marketing dollars with matching state funds to increase visitation and traveler spending through 2025. This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $9.2 million to match the VTC funding, providing more than $12.5 million in new marketing and event production activity focused on increasing overnight visitation to Virginia across all nine GO Virginia regions. The funding will be awarded to 268 marketing programs, ultimately impacting 1,230 combined partners.

“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Across the Commonwealth, the tourism industry recognizes the importance of having inventive strategies 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.”

VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation. Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related non-profits and private businesses.

These various grant programs assist Virginia Destination Marketing Organizations and established Virginia special events and festivals with marketing and/or event production costs.

  • The Marketing Leverage Program is a reimbursable grant program to leverage existing marketing funds available to Virginia travel industry partners including small businesses, DMOs, private sector attractions, accommodations, and events.
  • The Virginia DMO Grant Program is awarded to DMOs for marketing expenses that show positive and significant economic impact on tourism and must include marketing plans designed to drive visitation to Virginia.
  • The Virginia Special Events & Festivals Program is for marketing and production of Virginia-based special events and festivals occurring in 2024. These events must have at least two years of prior attendance since 2017 with minimum attendance tiers.
  • Local recipients include The Town of Cape Charles for Cape Charles Goes Social $11,086.88; The Eastern Shore Tourism Commission for the Foodies Guide to Virginia’s Eastern Shore $14,600; Moonrise Jewelry in Cape Charles for A Girl’s Getaway to Coastal Cape Charles $10,000;  and the Virginia Oyster Trail, for a publication unveiling the richness of Virginia’s Oyster Culture,  $10,000.

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