Please determine the best use of the ARPA funding for your tourism efforts. The needs will be different, so it is imperative to quickly begin planning discussions so you can maximize the use of these funds for your destination.
All expenses should be used to support economic recovery from the COVID pandemic or the resulting negative economic effects.
Documentation: No matter how you choose to use the funding, documentation of any decision-making will be key.
These lists are extensive and represent the most common types of expenses, but they are not all-inclusive. Even though an item may be found in a list, it does not guarantee reimbursement.
All questions about eligible or ineligible items must be directed to [email protected].
Fees or expenses related to strategic marketing actions or methods that promote your destination.
- Paid social media
- Television (broadcast and streaming)
- Radio, podcast and streaming audio platforms
- Brand partnerships/sponsored content
- Out-of-Home (billboards, transit, digital, etc.)
- Digital videos and banners
- Print Advertising
- Includes Virginia Travel Guide Advertising
- Search Engine Marketing and/or Google AdWords
- Familiarization Tours and Events
- Including expenses for hosting, transportation, lodging, meals, activities
- Welcome Center Study Tours
- Tour Buyers/Meeting Planners/Sports Rights Holders/AAA Counselors
- Influencer Marketing
- Includes influencer events, content creation, FAMs
- Fees related to hosting the Visitor Center Seminar
- Consumer Events
- Must be organized for the purpose of attracting visitors to the destination
- Booth rental and participation fees associated with registration for trade shows for Domestic Sales & Marketing shows
Must be conducted through third-party vendors. Internal staff time and employee payroll are not eligible expenses.
- Paid Media Management
- Media Outreach
- Press release services
- PR agency services for media inquiries related to tourism promotion
- Content Creation
- Creative Design/Campaign Production
- Includes photography, videography, graphic design and printing services.
- Includes production expenses for photo and video shoots, like talent or staging
- Includes design and production expenses for local visitors guides, attractions guides and brochures.
- Includes design and production of tradeshow display units that will be used in conjunction with travel promotions at travel and trade shows.
- Website Development/Updates that were not previously planned or necessary prior to COVID
- Hosting and maintenance fees are not eligible
- Marketing research or economic impact analyses
- Focusing on efforts to support increased visitation
- Directly supporting campaign development to attract visitors and drive tourism expenditures to support economic recovery
- Measuring the use of ARPA recovery funds to support tourism recovery
Fees or expenses must be related to bringing new and innovative products, experiences, or services related to tourism. Making more products available to tourists will encourage new and repeat visitors. Eligible projects must be completed and fully available for use to the consumer by the ARPA deadline. Project must be able to prove support of economic recovery by attracting new travelers.
- Tourism Development Projects that will increase visitation to a locality
- Tourism development projects identified by communities participating in DRIVE 2.0 program that support economic recovery.
- Certified Tourism Information Centers enhancements or updates that increase visitor’s awareness and/or promote visitation of the locality or region.
Localities that have specific tourism development project questions should consult with Horne ([email protected]), who can provide additional information.
ARPA funds must be used for new projects geared at increasing visitation. ARPA funding cannot be used to supplant or replace a locality’s existing tourism funding commitment for existing DMO budgets, marketing and/or staffing.
- Administrative costs, payroll costs
- Retroactive spending
- VTC LOVEwork creation
- Please use the LOVEwork Reimbursement Program with your existing general budget funds instead.
- Enrollment fees for Virginia Welcome Centers and Safety Rest Area Partnership Marketing Advertising Program
- Partners are encouraged to participate with their existing general budget funds, but ARPA funds may not be used for VTC’s PMAP program.
- VTC Industry Advertising Co-op Program
- Partners are encouraged to participate with their existing general budget funds, but ARPA funds may not be used for VTC’s annual co-op. VTC has developed additional Paid Media Programs specifically for ARPA funds.
- Participation fees for VTC Domestic Sales client events and programs
- Partners are encouraged to participate with their existing general budget funds, but ARPA funds may not be used for VTC’s Domestic Sales co-op opportunities.
- Net reduction in tax revenue
- Deposits into pension funds
- Tourism education registrations
- Hosting and maintenance fees in association with website development
- Industry event registrations such as VA-1 Tourism Summit
- Registrations or expenses related to award ceremonies, fundraisers or political events
- Maintenance fees
- Tourism master plan development or strategic planning
- General infrastructure costs such as water or sewer
- Rainy day funds or financial reserves
- Promotional products
- Prize money
- Purchase or production of items for resale
- Acquisition of land or buildings
- Payments of debt
- Ads or content that appear on a political or unsavory website or publication, determined at the discretion of VTC
- Personal Protective Equipment products
- Purchase of alcohol for meetings, events, sponsorships, etc.
- Tourism Development Financing Program