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2008 Session

Budget Bill - HB29 (Chapter 847)

Virginia Tourism Authority

Item 125

Item 125

First Year - FY2007Second Year - FY2008
Tourist Promotion (53600)$16,805,049$15,740,260
Financial Assistance for Tourist Promotion (53606)FY2007 $675,000FY2008 $525,000
Tourist Promotion Services (53607)FY2007 $16,130,049FY2008 $15,215,260
Fund Sources: 
GeneralFY2007 $16,805,049FY2008 $15,740,260

Authority: Title 2.2, Chapter 22, Article 8, Code of Virginia.


A.1. The Department of Transportation shall pay to the Virginia Tourism Authority $1,100,000 each year for continued operation of the Welcome Centers. The Department of Transportation shall fund maintenance at each facility based on the agreed-upon service levels contained in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Virginia Tourism Authority and the Department of Transportation.  Included in the amounts in this paragraph is $100,000 each year for maintenance of the Danville Welcome Center.   This appropriation shall be subject to the following conditions:  conveyance by the City of Danville to the Commonwealth of sufficient real estate to encompass the Danville Center State 29 Welcome Center near the intersection of the Route 29 and Route 58 bypasses, three miles from the North Carolina border, together with ingress and egress, by deed in a form satisfactory to the Attorney General; and execution of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the City of Danville whereby the Virginia Tourism Corporation contracts with vendors to offset expenses in the Center's operation and to provide maintenance and security at the Center.


2. To the extent necessary to fund the operations of the Welcome Centers, the Virginia Tourism Authority is authorized to collect fees paid by businesses for display space at the Welcome Centers.


B. Upon authorization of the Governor, the Virginia Tourism Authority may transfer funds appropriated to it by this act to a nonstock corporation.


C. Prior to July 1 of each fiscal year, the Virginia Tourism Authority shall provide to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees and the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget a report of its operating plan. Prior to September 1 of each fiscal year, the Authority shall provide to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees and the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget a detailed expenditure report and a listing of the salaries and bonuses for all Authority employees for the prior fiscal year. All three reports shall be prepared in the formats as previously approved by the Department of Planning and Budget.


D. The State Comptroller shall disburse the first and second year appropriations in twelve equal monthly installments. The Director of the Department of Planning and Budget may authorize an increase in disbursements for any month, not to exceed the total appropriation for the fiscal year, if such an advance is necessary to meet payment obligations.


E. Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $100,000 the first year and $100,000 the second year from the general fund to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy to develop African-American heritage trails in Virginia programs. Funds may be used to support research positions and to develop such programs, as well as to promote and market the programs.


F. Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $225,000 the first year and $225,000 the second year from the general fund for the Tredegar National Civil War Center, a national comprehensive museum and education center in the City of Richmond.


G. Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $2,500,000 the first year and $1,250,000 the second year from the general fund to advertise and market the Jamestown 2007 commemoration and for a partnership leveraging program.


H. Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $25,000 the first year and $100,000 the second year from the general fund to support the activities of the Coalfield Regional Tourism Authority.


I. Out of the amounts provided for Tourist Promotion, $250,000 the first year and $250,000 the second year from the general fund shall be provided to "See Virginia First," a public-private partnership operated by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters to advertise Virginia tourism.  The Virginia Association of Broadcasters shall provide a total of at least $750,000 in advertising value to promote tourism in Virginia in each fiscal year.


J. Out of the amounts provided for Tourist Promotion, $110,000 the first year and $110,000 the second year from the general fund shall be provided to support the "See Virginia First" cooperative advertising program operated by the Outdoor Advertising Association of Virginia. The Outdoor Advertising Association of Virginia shall provide a total of at least $330,000 in advertising value to promote tourism in Virginia in each fiscal year.


K.  Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $1,700,000 the first year and $1,700,000 the second year from the general fund to promote the Virginia tourism industries.  These funds shall be used, among other purposes, to initiate strategies to expand growth tourism industries such as Virginia history tours, wine and epicurean tours and other packaged travel itineraries.


L.  Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $425,000 the first year and $425,000 the second year from the general fund for grants to regional and local tourism authorities and other tourism entities to support their efforts. 


M.  Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $500,000 from the general fund in the first year for film promotion activities.  These funds shall be used for history-themed theatrical or television productions that are intended to increase awareness about Virginia's significant role in the country's history. These productions will bring increased awareness to history and other topics and serve as a way to increase visitation to related tourism sites.   To be eligible for funding, a production company shall film in Virginia and utilize Virginia labor, goods and services.


N.  The Virginia Tourism Authority shall place a high priority on marketing rural areas of the state.


O.  The Virginia Tourism Authority shall report to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committees by November 30, 2006, on the location, staffing, programming, capital, maintenance and operating cost requirements and standards for the Commonwealth to include public, nonstate owned and operated visitor centers in the state's network of Welcome Centers.


P.  The Virginia Tourism Authority is authorized to accept on behalf of the Commonwealth the conveyance, by deed in a form satisfactory to the Attorney General, of the Potomac Gateway Welcome Center located at 3540 James Madison Parkway in King George County.    A Memorandum of Agreement shall be executed to delineate the responsibilities of each party with regard to the operation and maintenance of the Center. To assist in the transition of the Center to ownership by the Commonwealth $80,000 from the general fund the first year and $337,135 the second year shall be provided to cover the Center's operating costs.


Q.  Out of the amounts for Tourist Promotion shall be provided $50,000 the first year from the general fund to conduct a marketing and promotions study of opportunities to expand tourism in the New River Valley region.  The Virginia Tourism Authority shall contract with qualified organizations in the region to undertake this analysis.


R. Out of the amounts for this Item, $153,183 the second year from the general fund shall be appropriated to support the operations of the Danville Welcome Center.