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Friday March 9, 2018

Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Martinsville-Henry County Tourism received $5,000 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. 

Martinsville-Henry County Tourism received a $5,000 grant for its Philpott 3 project. MHC Tourism partnered with Franklin County Tourism and Patrick County Tourism offices to supply $10,000 in matching funds for the project, which was designed to increase visitation and commerce to, and around, Philpott Lake; supporting the three communities who share this asset.

“This partnership with Franklin County, Patrick County and Virginia Tourism has allowed us to promote Philpott Lake in a way we could not do alone. Philpott Lake is such a great asset to our local communities and the state of Virginia as a whole and we are very pleased to have this opportunity to share it with new and repeat travelers”, according to Sarah Hodges, MHC Director of Tourism.

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.  

Patrick County Director of Tourism Sandra Belcher states, "With 100 miles of shoreline surrounded by over 20,000 acres of protected federal and state land holdings, Philpott Lake is a find for outdoor lovers!  I am proud to be a part of promoting awareness of this magnificent gem with Henry, and Franklin County"!

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%.

“This is an exciting time for Philpott Lake hitting that 65 year milestone – aging like a fine wine,” commented David Rotenizer, Director of Tourism with the Franklin County Office of Economic Development.  “The partnership of P3, the Philpott Three, has been a unique opportunity for our three localities to work together in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which manages the lake.  Stay tuned for more exciting details about the P3 initiative.”  

“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. 

The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area.  The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play.

Tags: Bassett, Virginia, Henry County, Martinsville, MHC Economic Development Corporation, Philpott Lake