• Contact Department Staff

    • Steve Galyean
      Director of Partnership Marketing Development
      (804) 545-5517
    • Angela Wiggins
      Partnership Marketing Development Coordinator
      (804) 545-5553
  • VTC Marketing Leverage Program

    Applications are closed. Next round will open Spring 2014.   

    Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program

    The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing programs through the creation of tourism partnerships and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign. The objective of this program is to leverage limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. This objective can be accomplished through actions including the following:

    • Encouraging and stimulating investment by combined efforts of local, regional and statewide entities for marketing initiatives;
    • Marketing Virginia as a year-round leisure travel destination for individuals and groups;
    • Marketing Virginia as a meeting, convention, sports, green, and/or environmentally friendly travel destination;
    • Marketing Virginia to international travelers;
    • Targeting the drivers of visitation to Virginia, such as history and heritage, beaches, affluent travel, epicurean travel, small town America, and/or outdoor recreation;
    • Extending the limited ”Virginia is for Lovers” campaign budget by tying local and regional marketing initiatives into the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign.
    • Assisting partners in developing a comprehensive and measureable marketing program based on pertinent research.

    A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply for funding consideration. Partners may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations (DMO), private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities. DMOs are not required to be a financial partner; however, all applications must include a letter of support from each DMO(s) within the project coverage area. DMOs can be – and are encouraged to be – partners in the application. A list of DMOs can be found at http://www.vatc.org/consumerservices/dmolist/. Programs that are regional in scope are encouraged. State/federal agencies may not be the lead partner in an application. Applications that include state/federal agencies must have a minimum of two additional, non-state/federal agency financial partners. All partners in the application must be listed on www.Virginia.org and must provide a reciprocal link to www.Virginia.org from their website. One partner must serve as the lead partner who will administer the program. The lead applicant can only be the lead partner in one program per funding cycle and the program can apply only in one funding tier. A potential vendor of services for or to the application partnership program, either directly or indirectly, cannot be a partner in the application. Applicants are encouraged to seek services through a competitive bid process and are encouraged to utilize SWAM (Small Business, Women, or Minority-Owned) vendors, when possible. For more information about SWAM certification, please visit http://www.dmbe.virginia.gov/.

    There are two levels of funding in the VTC Marketing Leverage Program. The maximum match amount in each program will be as follows:

    Up to $10,000 Maximum award of $10,000 with a 1:1 match required

    $10,001 to $50,000 Minimum of $10,001 up to a maximum of $50,000 with
    a 2:1 match required (two dollars from partners matched by one dollar from VTC).

    There are very limited funds for this program, therefore funding will be awarded on a merit scale. Awarding of funding is based upon information contained in the application and will be scored based upon the VTC Marketing Leverage Program Scoring Guidelines (Page 4). Since awards are determined from these scores, the application must be as complete as possible. Do not assume that the review team is familiar with your area, or project, so be sure to include all requested information. Actual award may or may not equal amount requested and is based on available funds at the time of award. In making decisions on funding applications, the Virginia Tourism Corporation may consider such factors as type and scope of the applying organizations, the organization’s additional resources, past awards to, and applications from, the applying organizations, the impact and priority of the proposed project, the timetable, the number of applications received, the dollar amounts of the applications received and most importantly, the impact of the project’s ability to increase and track overnight stays and visitor revenue in the program coverage area.

    Eligible Program Expenses

    • Placement of Advertisements – (includes print ads, radio, television, etc.). Ads must promote the applicants area to visitors. Applications must incorporate some aspect of the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign. Applications that more fully integrate the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign marketing opportunities will score higher. If the proposal includes media outlets that are not part of the VTC Partnership Advertising Opportunities, justification should be included as to why the proposed media outlet is used.
    • Printed Materials – Travel related printed materials including brochures, media kits, group tour publications, meeting planner publications and other printed information materials designed to promote the partner’s area as a travel destination. Such projects must include a marketing mechanism and plan for promoting the availability of such printed materials.
    • Website Development – Development of websites to promote the applicants areas are eligible. Maintenance fees for websites are NOT eligible. Websites must include the Virginia is for Lovers logo and must provide a reciprocal link to www.Virginia.org from their website. Such projects must include a marketing mechanism and plan for promoting the availability of such websites.
    • Electronic Marketing – Search engine optimization, banner and website advertising, and other electronic marketing initiatives are eligible expenses.
    • Production of B-Roll video footage and high resolution photography. Any such materials produced should be offered for use by VTC for promotional purposes and should comply with VTC Usage Rights. Please contact VTC prior to production of such materials for complete technical requirements and VTC Usage Rights policies.
    • Travel and Trade Show Booth Rental/Participation Fees – Fees associated with registration at travel and trade shows are eligible. Travel expenses, including accommodations, and transportation, are NOT eligible for funding.
    • Dues and Memberships – Fees that are required to participate in marketing initiatives or travel trade shows are eligible.
    • Fulfillment Costs – Fees associated with mailing collateral materials as a result of the marketing programs are eligible as well as the cost of toll-free numbers associated with the programs.
    • Tradeshow Displays – Design and production of display units that will be used in conjunction with travel promotions at travel and tradeshows are eligible.
    • The cost of doing research directly related to your project. Typically 2% to 5% of your projects overall cost should be set aside for research. Please see the Performance Measures sections on Pages 9-12 for more information.

    Ineligible Program Expenses

    The following will NOT be funded by the VTC Marketing Leverage Program:

    • Programs that do not contribute to increased visitation to the partner’s area and to Virginia.
    • Administrative expenses including office space, salary and personnel costs, office supplies, office equipment, normal office postage, other administrative costs and overhead costs. (Toll-free numbers associated with the programs will be funded as described above, as will postage fulfillment costs directly associated with the programs).
    • Costs of promotional items (such as pens, pencils, etc.)
    • Event start up and production costs.
    • The cost of signage, including fabrication and installation, is not eligible.
    • Maintenance fees for websites are NOT eligible.
    • Travel expenses, including accommodations, and transportation, are NOT eligible for funding.


    Please subscribe to the VTC Dashboard for announcements of the VTC Marketing Leverage Program and other VTC information. For more information visit http://www.vatc.org/tourism/newsletter-signup/

  • Resources

    Fact Sheet - PDF 

    Download a sample of the 2013 Fall Marketing Leverage Program Application - DOC 

    VTC Brand Tool Kit - PDF 

    Planning Your Photo & Video Needs - PDF 

  • Questions?

    Questions regarding the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program should be addressed to: 

    Virginia Tourism Corporation
    Angela Wiggins
    Development Coordinator
    901 East Byrd Street
    Richmond, VA 23219