State Marketing Grant Targets Canadian Tourists

The Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium received a $9,375 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program as part of a five-jurisdiction effort to lure more Canadian tourists to the region.

The money will be used to support targeted, digital and social campaigns that will raise the profile of Northern Virginia—branded by the consortium as Virginia’s Cultural Region—in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

The grant was part of more than $772,000 distributed by the VTC for 62 tourism marketing projects across the state. The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars.

Visit Loudoun CEO Beth Erickson is president of the consortium, which is comprised of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. She said the aim of the organization is to work together for mutual benefit rather than compete for the same tourism dollars.

“Visitors don’t see boundary lines so we recognize the opportunity to promote the region as a whole, accentuating the varied tourism products across all of our jurisdictions,” Erickson stated. “This collaboration has already proven successful and this grant will allow us to develop additional campaigns that position the cultural region as a must-visit destination for Canadian travelers.”

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.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the awards Tuesday. about the grant announcement. “These Marketing Leverage Program grants provide a vital opportunity for destinations and businesses across the Commonwealth, helping to create jobs, promote economic development, and increase visitor spending. I congratulate the more than 260 tourism partners across the Commonwealth that received funding for 62 projects—not only the highest number of partners awarded in the program’s history, but the highest dollar match by partners in a single funding cycle,” he stated.

In 2015, tourism in Virginia generated $23 billion—with Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties ranking at the top three highest contributors, according to state figures.

Learn more about the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium at nvvc.virginia.org.

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