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Birthplace of Country Music Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant

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Birthplace of Country MusicBristol, TN/VA -- Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total VTC awarded more than $796,000 for 45 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 173 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 $2.5 million, providing more than $3.3 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

The Birthplace of Country Music received a $10,000 grant for its WBCM Radio Bristol Marketing Launch Campaign. The Birthplace of Country Music partnered with the Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau and Believe in Bristol in order to obtain the grant.

"With the high cost of advertising it is very difficult for non-profit tourist attractions and agencies to budget enough funds to reach an audience on a consistent basis," said BCM Executive Director Leah Ross. "Virginia Tourism Corporation's Marketing Leverage Program helps us stay competitive in the tourism industry."

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.

“These Marketing Leverage grants provide businesses with the tools and funding they need to thrive and succeed in an overly-competitive market,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Investing in these tourism businesses positively contributes to the New Virginia Economy, and helps to make the Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“The grants support Virginia businesses, and help to foster an environment where businesses can succeed,” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “These funds allow businesses to maximize partnership dollars for powerful tourism marketing programs, helping to not only make Virginia a competitive player, but also attract businesses to the Commonwealth in the future.”

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2014, tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue, supported nearly 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.

Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.

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