Community News

Winter Blues Jazz Fest Receives Marketing Grant from Virginia Tourism

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Winter Blues Jazz Fest will receive $5,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Program grant fund. In total, VTC awarded more than $812,000 for 39 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia's localities through tourism.

Event co-founder, Jennifer Raines, owner of Quirks of Art, acted as the lead partner on this grant proposal. They received a $5,000 grant for the second annual Winter Blues Jazz Fest event. Raines partnered with Steve Rose of Williamsburg Event Rentals, the DoG Street Pub, the Muscarelle Museum, Williamsburg Winery, and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance to supply matching funds to market the event to potential visitors to the Williamsburg area. The event, which took place in Williamsburg this past January, attracted approximately 1,900 attendees to 13 individual events.

"The Virginia Tourism Corporation's Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism opportunities to grow visitation in our region and the State. The grant for the Winter Blues Jazz Fest allowed for additional marketing to grow awareness for this amazing weekend in Williamsburg. The event was a major success and we look forward to continuing to work with the event organizers, the City of Williamsburg and the Virginia Tourism Corporation to grow awareness and visitation to our amazing region," said Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance President, Karen Riordan.

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is meant to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. 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.

"The Marketing Leverage Grant program is designed to spur job creation, economic development, and visitor spending through new or enhanced tourism product," said Governor McAuliffe. "These grants are proven to increase visitation by creating marketing partnerships and effective marketing programs."
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%.

"These grants support businesses across the Commonwealth, contributing to the overall economic health of our communities," said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. "These public-private partnership are a wonderful example of the power of collaboration, and help support and grow a robust and diversified economy, encouraging strategic marketing of tourism products and businesses across the Commonwealth."

Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. In 2014, tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue, supported nearly 217,000 jobs and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 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.

The 2017 Winter Blues Jazz Fest will take place from January 12-15, 2017. More online at www.winterbluesjazzfest.com.

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