Matching Funds

The “VisitErie Tourism Matching Funds for Cooperative Marketing” program has been developed to increase the economic impact of tourism in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Download the Tourism Matching Funds for Cooperative Marketing guidelines and application here .

VisitErie partners in good standing are eligible to apply for dollars from VisitErie to be used as a match fund for VisitErie partner cooperative advertising initiatives. The program goals are to encourage cooperative programs between local tourism-related businesses that will nurture relationships and broaden the message to potential visitors, attract tourists and visitors from outside Erie Matching funds recipientsCounty and encourage overnight stays and day trips. Awards are granted on the basis of merit as determined by the established criteria.

 A total of $75,000 is available for the program which runs July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019. Funding requests ranging from $2,000-$15,000 will be considered.  Funded Cooperative Marketing Programs will receive a dollar for dollar match from VisitErie. 

A matching funds workshop is scheduled for Tuesday January 16, 2018 from 3-5 pm at the Intermodal Center 2nd floor meeting room to review the guidelines and application process, meet VisitErie partners and discuss potential cooperative programs suitable for your business. Applicants are welcome to meet individually with Emily Beck or send a draft of the application for review prior to due date.

Please note our deadline date has changed.  Applications for the 2018-2019 Matching Funds program are due February 28, 2018

Tourism Matching Funds for Cooperative Marketing applications are due Wednesday February 28, 2018 by 4:00 PM. Contact Emily Beck at VisitErie, 814-454-1000 ext. 124 or for questions.

Eligible Applicants:

  1. Applicants must be a Business ($250), Corporate ($1,000) or Executive ($5,000) level partner of VisitErie.
  2. In addition to VisitErie, the proposed program must involve no less than two (2) participants (current VisitErie partners) directly related to the travel industry.


VisitErie Matching Funds Works!


 Program: Mazza Instant Getaway, Spring 2017

Promoting a comprehensive getaway package including wine, food and overnight stays in Erie County. The Facebook, Pandora, Pittsburgh Magazine and advertising campaign generated 30,809 clicks to the Mazza getaway pages.  “VisitErie’s matching funds program has been instrumental in helping Mazza expand reach and stretch marketing dollars. The program’s focus on cooperation with other attractions and hotels has helped pave the way for us to collaborate with these partners beyond the grant - providing additional benefits for all involved.”  - Mario Mazza, Mazza Vineyards, General Manager

Program: Lake Erie Ale Trail Travel Package, Spring 2017

Promoting overnight hotel packages with LEAT during American Craft Beer Week in April and May 2017 targeting craft beer enthusiasts in the Pittsburgh metro market with Pandora, Facebook and print advertising. "With the help of VisitErie and their Matching Funds Program, the Lake Erie Ale Trail has been able to grow & expose itself to outside markets that would never have been possible without them." - Chris Sirianni, LEAT President, Brewerie at Union Station, President/G.M.

Program: Orchestrate Erie
Promoting two separate concerts, Casablanca and Emperor Concerto, and an overnight package in February and March 2017 targeting the tri-state area and Philharmonic enthusiasts with a multimedia approach.

 “I can’t stress enough the positive value and impact of the Matching Funds program sponsored by VisitErie.  By having the ability to advertise in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and the surrounding counties, we were able to bring a significant amount of first-time ticket buyers into the city, showcasing Erie's world-class talent and historical concert hall.”  
Steve Weiser, Executive Director- Erie Philharmonic

Program: Great Lakes Beach Glass & Coastal Arts Festival, Spring 2016
Promoting the Beach Glass & Coastal Arts Festival in the form of an overnight stay package with Sheraton Hotel targeting Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh Southern Ontario, Niagara Falls, Ashtabula, multimedia approach. “The matching funds grant awarded by VisitErie made a noticeable difference with the outcome of our event. We saw an increase in the gate by almost 70% from the previous festival and know that a large part of our guests were from the out of town market areas that we targeted. Our grant partners were equally as pleased due to the positive outcome it had with all of our businesses.”   - Jennifer Reed, Relish Inc.


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