Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Newport News Economic Development Authority received $5,000 for its Newport News Craft Beer Tourism Project from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. The Newport News Economic Development Authority partnered with the Newport News Tourism Development Office and the Newport News Hospitality Association to supply $5,000 in matching funds for the project which promotes craft beer and culinary tourism to Newport News.
The project consists of a Newport News-dedicated episode of Untapped VA, a national television show that showcases the craft beer movement in Virginia, as well as a digital advertising campaign aimed to increase craft beer tourism to Newport News from neighboring states. Tradition Brewing Co. is the first and currently the only craft beer company in Newport News.
In total, Virginia Tourism Corporation awarded more than $772,000 for 62 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 260 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. 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.
This funding cycle, the local partners matched the VTC grant dollars with more than $3.64 million, providing more than $4.4 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia. Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2015, tourism generated $23 billion in revenue, supported nearly 223,100 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 7:1 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.