Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Martinsville Speedway received $50,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total VTC awarded more than $796,000 for 45 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 173 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 $2.5 million, providing more than $3.3 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.
Virginia is the only state that hosts four Sprint Cup Series points races a year. The Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 is one of only 10 races that are a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, a 10-race elimination style playoff format to determine the series’ champion.
“Tourism is a huge industry in Virginia,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “For Martinsville Speedway to have the support of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, with its Virginia is for Lovers brand, we will continue to play a major role in bringing tourism dollars to the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
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 not-for-profit entities.
“These Marketing Leverage grants provide businesses with the tools and funding they need to thrive and succeed in an overly-competitive market,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Investing in these tourism businesses positively contributes to the New Virginia Economy, and helps to make the Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“The grants support Virginia businesses, and help to foster an environment where businesses can succeed,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “These funds allow businesses to maximize partnership dollars for powerful tourism marketing programs, helping to not only make Virginia a competitive player, but also attract businesses to the Commonwealth in the future.”
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2014, tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue, supported nearly 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 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.
Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.
The Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 is the first race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.