The City of Salem announced last week it had received $55,000 in grant funding from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Incentive Program.
The city said it will use the funds throughout 2023 to promote and market a number of events, including the Salem Fair, Salem Half Marathon, music events at Longwood Park, as well as local antique shops.
“Virginia’s Championship City applies to everything we do in Salem,” Salem Tourism Director Carey Harveycutter said. “From the fair’s midway to the music performer’s stage to the back booth in one of our fabulous antique stores, we want our patrons to have a first-class experience. These generous grants will help us enhance all of these events and activities.”
The Salem Fair’s $20,000 grant will go towards enhancing advertising efforts in Southwest Virginia, Richmond and Northern Virginia. The Salem Half Marathon’s $14,887 award will help organizers attract runners from Raleigh, Richmond and Charlotte to participate in races and experience Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The $20,000 Destination Marketing Grant will bring music lovers from other areas into Salem to enjoy “Jazz in July” and “Pickin In The Park.” In addition, a portion of this grant will be used to elevate the profile of Salem’s various antique shops that that the city said regularly lures in out-of-town visitors.
Earlier this month, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that VTC had awarded more than $3.2 million for 236 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.
“These marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” Youngkin said. “These programs show that tourism and tourism partnerships help Virginia’s vibrant communities grow and thrive.”
Salem has received a total of eight grants from the Virginia Tourism Corporation since 2020, totaling $120,000.
“Driving inbound out-of-state overnight visitation is a key economic strategy and the grant and sponsorship programs help create unique partnerships that have tangible economic impacts across Virginia,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said. “Many of these programs also support regional marketing initiatives designed to encourage Virginians to explore their own state.”