Arlington, Regional Destination Partners Awarded Virginia Tourism Gra

Published on March 08, 2018

  • First-ever marketing collaboration among Arlington, Capital Region USA, Charlottesville & Albemarle County, Loudoun, Richmond and Staunton

  • Video and photography to be used for U.S. and international tourism promotion

  • Goals: increased visitation and visitor spending at local businesses

Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS) received $9,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program grant fund as lead of a regional marketing collaboration with Capital Region USA, Charlottesville & Albemarle County, Loudoun, Richmond and Staunton. In total, VTC awarded more than $840,000 for 56 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 232 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $3.1 million, providing more than $3.9 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

Road Trip videos highlight five Virginia destinations

ACVS received a $9,000 grant for its Brand USA Road Trip Video initiative. Arlington is partnering with Capital Region USA, the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors BureauVisit Loudoun, Richmond Region Tourism and the Staunton Convention and Visitor's Bureau to supply $42,800 in matching funds for the project.

The partners are taking advantage of a cooperative marketing program from Brand USA, the public-private partnership focused on increasing international visitation to the U.S. In May, a Brand USA video crew will spend a week in Virginia shooting a series of six music-only videos, including a two-minute compilation featuring Arlington, Charlottesville & Albemarle County, Loudoun, Richmond and Staunton. The videos will feature a couple on a Virginia road trip, showing the fun and diverse experiences visitors can have when they stay five or more days in the Commonwealth.

"The Road Trip project is a perfect example of the power of partnership," said ACVS Director Emily Cassell. "Five great Virginia destinations are combining efforts with regional, state and national tourism marketing organizations to showcase their unique experiences in an exciting itinerary. In addition to extensive domestic and international online promotion, we'll each end up with high-quality video and photography we can use for years to come."

Grant program encourages partnerships, drives economic growth

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending.  Research shows that every VTC dollar invested in grants resulted in $16 of direct visitor spending. Marketing campaigns that received Marketing Leverage Grants increased visitation by 15 percent.

"Virginia's tourism industry is a key pillar of our economy and growing it is a great way to create new jobs and opportunity in every corner of the Commonwealth," said Governor Northam. "These grants help communities across the Commonwealth discover new ways to market themselves to travelers by creating new tourism products and enhancing existing attractions and destinations. These efforts improve the visitor experience, making it easy for travelers to discover why Virginia is for Lovers."

About the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

A division within Arlington Economic Development, the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service is Arlington County's official destination marketing organization. Funded primarily through a guest-paid, 1/4-cent tax on hotel rooms, ACVS promotes Arlington as the best place to stay, shop, dine and play when visiting the Washington, D.C. region. For more information on Arlington tourism, visit