New River Valley Receives Grant for Agritourism Marketing
New River Valley Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing
Governor Ralph Northam announced recently that Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties received $2,500 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total VTC awarded more than $840,000 for 56 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 232 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $3.1 million, providing more than $3.9 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.
The regional partnership received a $2500 grant for its Blue to New Regional Agritourism Brand Launch project. The intent of this program is to introduce and build awareness for the “Blue To New” New River Valley regional agritourism brand. This in turn will build upon our chest of marketing tools for attracting new visitors to the New River Valley and extending the existing regional tourism brands through association with local food products and farm experiences.
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and may consist of Virginia towns, cities, 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 entities.
Research shows that every VTC dollar invested in grants resulted in $16 of direct visitor spending. Marketing campaigns that received Marketing Leverage Grants increased visitation by 15%.
“Virginia’s tourism industry is a key pillar of our economy and growing it is a great way to create new jobs and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “These grants help communities across the Commonwealth discover new ways to market themselves to travelers by creating new tourism products and enhancing existing attractions and destinations. These efforts improve the visitor experience, making it easy for travelers to discover why Virginia is for Lovers.”
“The Marketing Leverage Program grants continue to provide critical funding for our tourism businesses across the state, and demonstrate the power of public-private partnerships,” said Esther Lee, Secretary of Commerce & Trade. “These dollars are injected into local economies across the Commonwealth, helping to create vibrant communities and premier destinations that attract travelers from all over the world. These efforts help to ensure that Virginia remains the best state in the nation not only to visit, but to live, work, and raise a family.”
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2016, tourism generated $24 billion in revenue, supported nearly 230,000 jobs and provided $1.7 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.
Giles County, Virginia is located in Southwest Virginia approximately 40 minutes south of Roanoke and just west of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. With easy access to the New River, world class dining and lodging properties, and historical attractions for the entire family, Giles offers adventure in Virginia’s Mountain Playground™. Come find your playground at our Visitors Center located at 203 N Main Street, Pearisburg, VA 24134 or find us online at gilescounty.org or by calling 540-921-2079. For interviews or onsite visits, please contact Cora Gnegy, Tourism Marketing Director. We can arrange and assist with any media needs. For more information about planning your visit to Giles County or about activities and events, please visit www.gilescounty.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.