COVID-19 has had a continued and devastating impact on Virginia’s tourism and hospitality industry in Virginia. As the Commonwealth prepares to restore tourism economic impact, VTC is offering these funds to spur economic activity and travel across the Commonwealth.
See the language from Chapter 1, 2021 Acts of Assembly below:
1) $50,000,000 to the Virginia Tourism Authority (320) to support local domestic marketing organizations, as well as the Authority’s marketing and incentive programs.
VTC has retained the services of a professional management company, Horne LLP, as partner in the development and implementation of Tourism’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) program. Horne will collect and review all program applications for compliance with VTC’s guidelines as well as broader state and federal compliance. The company will also be responsible for collecting and retaining all federally-required documentation to ensure that this program meets all federal regulations and can withstand potential audits.
The ARPA program management portal may be accessed through this link: APPLICATION PORTAL
For Questions, applicants should contact Horne first, and if specific VTC input is needed, Horne will contact the appropriate VTC staff member. Please use the following email:
- Available funds have been allocated across all 133 Virginia counties and independent cities based on the relative share of each locality to total state tax revenue attributable to tourism in 2019.
- 50% of allocated funds will be available upon approval of your plan. The remaining funds will be disbursed upon receipt of adequate documentation of payments for those items.
- There is NO match requirement.
- State/Federal agencies are not eligible to apply for this funding.
- Only online submissions will be accepted.
- Please do NOT send – via email or regular mail – any attachments or supplemental materials. These materials will NOT be reviewed. Only submit the requested and required information via the online application portal.
- More information on eligible and ineligible items and general program questions (FAQs) may be found at their respective links and on the right side of this page.
If you have an officially recognized Virginia Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) – as of July 31, 2021 – a DMO Letter of Support MUST be included with your application. If there are multiple DMOs within your locality, each DMO MUST submit a Letter of Support.
For a list of recognized Virginia DMOs, please visit: https://www.vatc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/DMOlist.pdf.
Create Your Plan
Virginia ARPA Marketing Programs
VTC is offering three key marketing resources to assist you in planning and implementing your ARPA-funded marketing efforts: a refreshed WanderLove Creative Campaign; vetted Paid Media Programs; and helpful Media Planning Guidelines.
Virginia ARPA Tourism Product Development
VTC has opportunities for DMOs to utilize their ARPA grant funding for community tourism development projects identified through the DRIVE 2.0 program.
The Drive 2.0 program focuses on identifying a community’s most competitive tourism product development need. These projects may be eligible for ARPA grant funding.
In addition, communities may also use ARPA funds for Tourism Development as long as the project is completed by ARPA deadline and can show that it helped with economic recovery by attracting new travelers.
Submit Your Plan
The web pages found under vatc.org/arpa contain guidance and information to assist in creating and submitting your marketing plans to utilize the federal ARPA fund allocations as appropriated by the Governor and the General Assembly. Reporting and documentation requirements necessary to meet the federal instructions related to the appropriate uses of the funds based on specific criteria can be found within the application portal. In addition to this information, please refer to the FAQs page, the Eligible/Ineligible items reference page, and the Marketing Programs pages for further assistance.
Download, print, and complete this version for initial planning before online submission.
NOTE: FINAL PLANS MUST BE SUBMITTED ONLINE VIA THE PORTAL.
- Plan Submissions can begin as early as October 29 , 2021.
- Plan submission must be received by no later than December 30, 2022.
- Approvals will be made as plans are submitted and reviewed.
Thank you for participating in this process. Together we can work to restore a healthy tourism economy for Virginia. For further information please access the links below for additional resources to help develop your plan.