Monday, August 10, 2009

Virginia Tourism Corporation Awards Funding

The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) announced that the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the lead entity in partnership with the O. Winston Link Museum and the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, has been awarded $3,000 in funding through VTC’s Virginia Is For Lovers Marketing Leverage Program for the partners’ Train Lovers marketing promotion.

The state’s marketing leverage program helps stimulate new tourism spending through regional and local partnerships’ marketing initiatives. These partnerships leverage funds to enable attractions to advertise outside their local area, promotion which they would not otherwise be able to afford.

Applicants must consist of at least three partners and present a proposal for an initiative that meets a stringent set of requirements.

Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of VTC, said that this kind marketing leverage funding is essential for many local tourism initiatives, particularly in tough economic times.

“Tourism is an instant revenue generator, bringing in powerful tax dollars that support our communities,” said Bailey. “This is a small but impactful matching grant program that helps our local partners get the most out of their marketing, which is essential to bringing visitors to Virginia,” she said. “We know that for every dollar Virginia invests in tourism marketing, five dollars in state and local taxes are generated for the Commonwealth.”

“In the steam era particularly, Roanoke was the envy of the railroading world because of the powerful locomotives built here by the Norfolk & Western Railway,” said Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation. “The partners already welcome a considerable number of train lovers from across the country and the world, but this leverage program gives us an opportunity to take our promotion of Roanoke’s rich rail heritage to a whole new level.”

Bailey said that the revenues generated by tourist expenditures help build a strong tax base. “With all of the state taxes generated by tourism, a road could be built from Virginia Beach to Dallas, Texas.” Further public investment in tourism is essential in ensuring more people, staying longer and spending more money, she added.

Tourism in Virginia is a $19 billion industry and providing $1.2 billion in state and local tax revenues for Virginia’s communities. Tourism also supports 210,000 Virginia jobs and contributes $4.3 billion in payroll and salaries.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Finance, Local Events

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