MD Office of Tourism Development Accepting Grant Applications for Marketing Campaigns

Last Updated on Jan 7, 2015 at 10:55am | Tourism & Recreation

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development (OTD) has launched a FY 2015 Private Sector Consumer Advertising Impact Program that is intended to grow tourism sales tax revenues and incubate collaborative partnerships that be sustained independently over time. Subject to the availability of funds, OTD will grant up to $150,000 to match funds spent by private sector businesses or partnerships for marketing campaigns which occur between March 1, 2015 and October 31, 2015. Grants will be awarded in amounts between $25,000 and $50,000, and the review team has the discretion to award proposals in whole or in part.
 
Deadline: Completed applications (application form and 2 spreadsheets) must be emailed to Marci Ross, Maryland Office of Tourism Development, at mross@visitmaryland.org and received by 4:00 p.m. on February 2, 2015. The email subject line must read “FY15 Private Sector Consumer Advertising Impact Program Application” to identify it. Please allow 48 hours for an email confirmation from OTD. Ms. Ross may be reached by phone Monday through Friday at (410) 767-6286.
 
Criteria: To be considered for funding, the project must market a “packaged” product that includes a minimum of a one-night stay in a Maryland lodging establishment with one or more additional Maryland tourism sales tax generators as part of the experience. Accurately estimated gross tax impact will be a key evaluation criterion. The grant funds must be used for advertising in key feeder markets.
 
Eligibility: Tourism businesses, associations, and tourism marketing organizations such as Town, County, or City Destination Marketing Organizations are eligible to apply to this program. All applicants must be in good standing with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation and the Comptroller’s Office.
 
Allowable Expenses: Funds can ONLY be used for the purchase of advertising space or time in print, broadcast and/or digital platforms. Advertising must run between March 1 and October 31, 2015. All other expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.

Grant Amount: Grants will be awarded in amounts between $25,000 and $50,000 from a total pool of funding up to $150,000.
 
Match: Cash match equal to the grant is required. For example, a $25,000 grant requires a minimum $25,000 direct cash match for a total cash investment of $50,000.
 
Example of a Eligible Program: For example, the Vermont Office of Tourism & Marketing initially funded SkiVermont, a marketing partnership between the state’s ski resorts. Another example is Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program which utilizes matching grants to expand private sector marketing and advance the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand.
 
Questions should be directed to Marci Ross at the Maryland Office of Tourism Development at (410) 767-6286 or by email at mross@visitmaryland.org.