oneida-county-tourism.JPGUtica N.Y. - Oneida County Tourism (OCT) is pleased to announce the launch of a new competitive grant program that will provide financial and technical assistance for the promotion of tourism attractions, events and activities operated by eligible nonprofit organizations and for profit businesses in Oneida County, New York.  Oneida County Tourism has dedicated $81,825.00 to fund the Tourism Marketing Grant Assistance Program (MGAP). During its 2010/2011 budget process, OCT allocated 12% of the Oneida County Occupancy Tax receipts to fund the program.  Minimum grant requests are $1,000.00 with maximum grant requests set at $7,500.00. No grant match will be required. Eligible businesses and organizations must be from Oneida County.  Grant activities may include ad placements, website development, brochures, direct mail, travel show attendance, and more.  "With these funds, Oneida County Tourism is positioned to help tourism organizations and businesses grow their reach in advertising and promotions thus benefitting all partners involved with increased visitation to Oneida County," stated Beth Irons, Chair of the OCT Board of Directors. Goals of the OCT MGAP program are to:
  1. Expand the advertising reach of tourism businesses and organizations beyond Oneida County
  2. Promote a positive image and increase awareness of Oneida County's attractions and events
  3. Increase overnight stays in Oneida County lodging facilities
Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism, stated "The intention of the grant program is to expand the advertising and promotional efforts of tourism and tourism related businesses/organizations marketing their attractions, activities and events.  Administering this type of program aligns with our organizational mission to promote the brand and encourage visitation to Oneida County and the Central New York Region."  An independent Grant Review Panel has been established to review and evaluate applications as per the guidelines and make recommendations for grant awards to the Oneida County Tourism Board of Directors for final approval.  The seven member Grant Review Panel is comprised of business professionals working in Oneida County including one (1) marketing professional, two (2) media professionals, one (1) lodging/hospitality industry professional, one (1) Oneida County Tourism Board Member, and two (2) At Large Business Professionals. Application deadline is April 1, 2011. Award notifications will be announced in May 2011 followed by a public awards ceremony scheduled to take place on June 1, 2011. The Application, Grant Guidelines and complete details can be found at www.OneidaCountyTourism.com/MGAP

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Contact: Kelly Blazosky, President Oneida County Tourism 315-724-7221 800-426-3132 http://www.theGetawayRegion.com http://www.oneidacountycvb.com