RICHMOND, VA. - Governor Ralph Northam announced that Barter Theatre received $5,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program. In total, VTC awarded more than $965,000 for 44 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
Barter Theatre received a $5,000 grant for Barter Theatre: Two Stages for Theatre Lovers of All Ages. Barter Theatre partnered with Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau and Abingdon Olive Oil to supply $5000 in matching funds for the project. This marketing program helps Barter Theatre attract more patrons, including young adults and families, to increase visitation to Abingdon. Barter Theatre serves as a vital economic driver in our region, generating $40 million in local business and tax revenue annually.
The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships, and extending the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand. A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a grant. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, 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 businesses. In total, VTC awards approximately $1.7 million annually - matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.
“As we celebrate 50 years of Virginia is for Lovers in 2019, it is so encouraging to see such tremendous partnership, initiative, and growth within the tourism industry,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “Tourism partners from across the Commonwealth have come together to create important new development projects and programs that will attract more travelers and increase visitor spending. These grant funds help destinations improve our communities, create jobs for our citizens, and make Virginia an even more attractive place for visitors and businesses alike.”
In 2018, tourism in Virginia generated $26 billion in revenue, supported more than 234,000 jobs and provided $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.