CARLISLE, PA (February 17, 2010) - The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors approved the 2010 Tourism Grant Program and Tourism Infrastructure Loan Fund for Cumberland Valley.

During 2010, the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau (CVVB) will allocate up to $100,000 of the Cumberland Valley's Lodging Tax Income to support these two new initiatives to support the Valley's tourism assets.  Up to $50,000 has been set aside for each of the programs.

"We are delighted to be able to offer these two new programs to our stakeholders.  We will closely monitor the demand and success of these programs with the hope that we can expand our financial support over time.  Grant and loan programs are an excellent way to expand our current staff capacity and reach to grow visitation to the Cumberland Valley", said Shireen Farr, Director of Tourism.

The purpose of the Tourism Grant Program is to create collaborative marketing opportunities that will increase tourism visitation and overnight stays in Cumberland Valley.  Applicants must be a Cumberland County based profit or not for profit hospitality enterprise.  The matching grant program is intended to fund new and ongoing marketing projects that will supplement the marketing and promotion efforts of the CVVB.

The Tourism Infrastructure Loan Fund will make available loans at a rate of up to 3.5% and will allow hospitality venues in Cumberland County to update their facilities and other tourism assets to enrich Cumberland Valley's tourism experience through the funding of capital projects. The revolving loan program will be administered by the bureau's sister agency, Cumberland County Economic Development (CCED).

The CVVB and CCED will be sending out more details about the programs, including acceptable uses for the grant and loan funds, application processes and timelines. Both programs will be merit based and approved by a special CVVB grant committee or the CCED loan committee.

The mission of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is to promote Cumberland County as a tourist destination, attract visitors to the area, enhance the visitor's experience, and to encourage and promote overnight stays.