Tourism efforts get COVID relief funds

November 19, 2020

Four local and regional tourism initiatives will receive matching grants as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Recovery Marketing Leverage Program.

Grant recipients include:

• Spearhead Trails, $10,000, “Battle of the First Wave.”

• Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority, $10,000.

• St. Paul’s Western Front Hotel, $10,000.

• Town of St. Paul tourism marketing, $20,000.

Gov. Ralph Northam Monday announced more than $1.9 million in matching grants will be awarded to 161 Virginia tourism initiatives.

VTC revised its traditional marketing leverage program and created the RMLP to support tourism initiatives in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

While visitors spent $27 billion in the commonwealth in 2019 — a 3.4 percent increase over 2018 — supporting 237,000 work opportunities and contributing $1.8 billion in state and local taxes, 2020 projects forecast a major decline in tourism revenues.

Applicants joined with two other partners to apply for the VTC funds. Partners may consist of cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events and other tourism-related businesses.

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