MARTINSVILLE – The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation’s Tourism Office was recently awarded $5,000 to help increase visitation and tourism revenue. The award was funded through the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total, VTC awarded more than $625,000 for 33 tourism marketing projects across the state for Virginia’s localities.
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 135 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $2.1 million, providing more than $2.7 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.
VisitMartinsville partnered with the Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation and Rooster Walk Inc. to supply matching funds for the project.
According to Beth Stinnett, Assistant Director of Tourism & Film Office Coordinator for VisitMartinsville, “the idea of this project is to help showcase some of the hidden gems that Martinsville-Henry County has to offer. We are known and loved for Martinsville Speedway and are proud to say that there are many other “winning” attractions here as well. We hope that this marketing campaign will help spark visitors’ curiosity to learn more about visiting Martinsville-Henry County.”
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.
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%.