MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Sept. 20, 2017) - 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 $967,000 for 50 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 200 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 $2.9 million, providing nearly $3.9 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.
Martinsville Speedway received a $50,000 grant for its Martinsville Speedway Project. Martinsville Speedway partnered with the Martinsville & Henry County Chamber of Commerce and the Martinsville & Henry County Tourism to supply $27,000 in matching funds for the project to help promote the upcoming First Data 500 race weekend.
"Martinsville Speedway is a cornerstone of Martinsville-Henry County's Tourism destinations and the Tourism Office is proud to support all of their marketing efforts," said Martinsville and Henry County Director of Tourism Sarah Hodges. "This has been a fantastic year for race fans at the Speedway, and it will be even more exciting this fall.
"Martinsville-Henry County and the state of Virginia appreciate the contributions Martinsville Speedway makes to our community and the Commonwealth, and are excited to celebrate 70 years of racing at the paperclip."
"Both the Virginia Tourism Corporation and Martinsville/Henry County Tourism play a vital role in our ability to bring thousands of people to Martinsville Speedway every year," Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. "We have fans in all 50 states that join us every year for race weekend and this grant goes a long way in helping attract them to us."
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.
"Today, we are making a strategic investment in one of Virginia's most important and growing industries," said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "Tourism is the Commonwealth's fifth largest industry, and every dollar spent on new product development means economic growth, jobs, and improved quality of life for Virginia families. The Marketing Leverage Program grants fund innovative marketing initiatives for tourism entities across the Commonwealth, helping them to promote Virginia as a premier travel destination."
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%.
"The Marketing Leverage Program grants are an important way to support our nationally- and internationally-acclaimed tourism industry," said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "Last year, tourism generated a record $24 billion in revenue, which supported 230,000 jobs and contributed $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, and helped spark growth in all regions of the Commonwealth. Tourism is a sound investment for the Commonwealth, and these funds provide a critical stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue."
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