The City of Salem has received $10,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s (VTC) Recovery Marketing Leverage Program. The initiative is designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging limited local marketing dollars through a local match of the state grants funds.
Salem will use the VTC Recovery Marketing Leverage grant funds to increase and lengthen the visits of attendees at our NCAA and CIAA Championship events. In 2021, Salem is scheduled to host NCAA National Championships in Division III Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse and Softball along with Division II Women’s Lacrosse.
“Before the pandemic, fans and coaches from across the nation attended these events and contributed greatly to the local economy,” says Carey Harveycutter, Salem Tourism Director. “This tourism grant will allow us to focus some of our energy on attracting non-participating coaches to attend our events by offering them special lodging and dining incentives.”
More than $1.9 million in matching grant funds were awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives through this program. During this funding cycle, local partners will provide more than $5.6 million in-kind value to match the VTC grants. The grants will ultimately impact 483 statewide tourism entities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality industries in Virginia. As the Commonwealth slowly reopens for business, VTC offered these grant funds as a first step to re-entry into the marketplace to spur economic activity and future travel across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Tourism is a crucial section of the Virginia economy and when we invest in this industry, we support local job creation and drive regional economic growth, which is desperately needed now due to the pandemic,” says Governor Ralph Northam. “These funds give localities and businesses access to critical marketing resources that will help bring more travelers to our Commonwealth, increase visitor spending, and grow demand for Virginia products.”
Tourism is one of the Commonwealth’s largest economic engines, with visitors to Salem spending more than $73,469,286 in 2019, supporting 742 work opportunities and contributing $5,669,456 in local and state tax revenue. The tourism and hospitality industries have also been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic, experiencing decreased revenue and job loss, along with the temporary closure of many tourism-related businesses. A revived tourism economy can help spur new economic activity and inject critical funds back into Virginia communities.
Salem also received a similar $10,000 grant in July.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel and film destination. In 2019, visitors to Virginia spent $27 billion, which supported 237,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more, visit virginia.org