The Virginia Tourism Corporation is awarding more than $812,000 in grants to bolster local tourism programs.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office says the funds will leverage more than $2.6 million in matching funds from local partners, providing $3.4 million in funding to support marketing campaigns to attract visitors to Virginia.

McAuliffe says the tourism grants have been proven to increase visitation to the state through marketing partnerships and programs.

Among the groups receiving funds is the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association.

McAuliffe’s office says tourism generated $22.4 billion in revenue and provided $1.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.

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Photo Credit: Promotional image of bicycle riders in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Virginia Tourism Corporation