Tourism Grant Guidelines


The Clayton County Tourism Authority (CCTA) is pleased to announce the FY24 Tourism Grant Program designed to enhance visitor and tourism promotional efforts, and tourism product development for Clayton County. The Tourism Grant assists entities with tourism marketing, promotion, tourism product development, attractions, special events, and festivals that will foster local economic impact through tourism ultimately resulting in increased visitation from outside of the Clayton County area and higher destination appeal.

The Clayton County Tourism Authority administers the grant with funding from a portion of the local hotel/motel tax held by Clayton County government. Grants are reviewed by the CCTA Board of Directors.  The maximum grant request is $75,000.00.  Award amounts are at the sole discretion of the CCTA.


The purpose of this grant program is to provide funds for marketing, product development, and other qualified expenses directed towards increasing the number of overnight visitors to Clayton County from outside of the area.

Projects which target and support Clayton County tourism drivers and the Clayton County Tourism Authority’s strategic priorities and audiences will be given special consideration.

Clayton County Tourism Drivers 

  1. African American History and Culture
  2. Diversity and Inclusion
  3. Clayton County Local and International Culinary Scene
  4. Film Festivals

Tourism Grant Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must fulfill all the following:

  1. Be an officially designated not-for-profit, governmental, or quasi-governmental entity.
  2. Have completed at least one year of fiscal operation as a not-for-profit.
  3. Must represent an ongoing, sustainable organization.
  4. Applying for funds for a non-retroactive project.
  5. No qualified entity may serve as a fiscal agent for a non-qualified entity.
  6. Must be able to demonstrate the ability to execute its project without depending on the continued financial assistance from these funds.  It should be the intention of the organization to be self-sustaining.
  7. Applicants must be located in Clayton County. Or, if it is a festival/event it must take place in Clayton County.
  8. Provide a sponsorship benefits package equivalent to the dollar amount of grant funds. Sponsorship benefits could include, but are not limited to: event tickets, website exposure, print advertising acknowledgement, press passes, etc.

A mid-point, one-page summary progress report is required.  This will serve as a checkpoint on the grant activity progress.

A final report is required for each grant at the end of each grant cycle. A link for submission of the final report will be sent one month prior to deadline.  The final report, which addresses the following (in order), will be formatted online to include space for a summary-type report and uploads as required:

  1. A description of the qualifying event or activity
  2. Benefits to Clayton County and the traveling public
  3. Actual attendance and attendance tracking method
  4. Impact on tourism in Clayton County
  5. Marketing plan results
  6. Effect on Clayton County Provide number of room nights generated in Clayton County hotels.
  7. Samples of advertising and promotion including tear sheets, brochures, photographs, video, other collateral, digital advertising, broadcast affidavits, may be attached.
  8. Vendor receipts for expenditures utilizing tourism grant funds

Tourism Grant Core Stipulations

  1. Failure to use funds as specified in the contract may result in penalties up to and including a full refund of grant.
  2. Failure to submit the agreed upon mid-point summary progress report and final report by the deadline is unacceptable and may result in penalties up to and including a full refund of grant.
  3. Project applicants cannot transfer funds from one specific tourism project to another without a written request and approval by the CCTA. Submit any requests for official modification to Beth Bailey at and Tamara Patridge at Approval to transfer funds is not guaranteed.
  4. Organizations receiving a Tourism Grant must have a reciprocal link on their website to The consumer must be able to reach in one click.
  5. Any media (photography, video and/or audio) obtained through this grant program must be shared with the CCTA for promotional use.
  6. Applicants who do not comply with all deadlines and procedures may be disqualified, required to refund the full amount of grant received, and ineligible to receive Tourism Grant Funds for one year.
  7. There is no guarantee that all applicants will be awarded a grant. Although a project may qualify, limited funds may not allow all projects to receive assistance. All decisions regarding awarding or not awarding grants are at the sole discretion of the CCTA.

Marketing Fund Applicants: Qualifying Programs and Events

Programs: Qualifying entities may be not-for-profit, governmental, or quasi-governmental entities which promote their products and/or services to visitors from outside the Clayton County area.

Festival/Event: A festival is a cultural event or group of events planned, produced, and promoted in a well-defined period and organized to occur at regular intervals, usually on an annual basis, all related to a common cultural form, theme or vision.

Marketing Fund Applicants: Funding Purposes

All grants must be used for expenses directly related to the project. Grants must be used for marketing and other qualified expenses directed toward increasing hotel/motel room nights (overnight visitors) and toward bringing visitors to Clayton County from out-of-market (50+ miles outside of Clayton County).

Greater consideration is given to projects that are planned in conjunction with another non-profit organization. The list below is a guide but is not comprehensive. Eligible allowable and disallowable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following:

Allowable Expenses

  1. Development of new events or major exhibits and activities
  2. Out-of-market tourism advertising/marketing or promotion including digital, social media, print, television, direct mail, radio, printing of brochures, inserts, display banners for events, or other types of advertising/marketing.
  3. For purposes of this grant “Out-of-Market” is considered 50+ miles outside of Clayton County. Local media outlets do not normally meet the intended purpose of the grant and will receive less consideration than media outlets located 50+ miles outside of Clayton County.
  4. Production costs of media advertising, photography, videography, website, and social media development
  5. Marketing expenses, including outside professional marketing service
  6. No more than 10% of grant funds may be used for postage

Disallowable Expenses

  1. Capital expenditures
  2. Rental of offices, repairs, renovation and/or remodeling of facilities
  3. General operating or administrative expenses
  4. General staff or personnel costs (excluding sales and marketing staff)
  5. Interest or the reduction of deficits or loans
  6. Expenses incurred or obligated before grant project approval
  7. Projects restricted to private or exclusive participation, other than certain grand and pre-opening expenses
  8. Scholarships or endowments
  9. Cash awards of any description
  10. Expenses not directly related to the approved program
  11. Activities related to any for-profit organization
  12. Activities or materials which violate the law

Marketing Fund Applicants: Target Markets

Target Markets

  • Near Drive – 250-mile radius of Clayton County
  • Fly-Drive – visitors utilizing Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a hub for drive travel (visitors fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, obtain rental car for travel exploration)


  • Leisure Traveler (as defined by U.S. Travel Association)
    • A Leisure Traveler is on a trip away from home and stays overnight in paid accommodations, or on a day or overnight trip to places 50 miles or more, one-way, away from home which includes visits to friends and relatives as well as trips taken for outdoor recreation and entertainment purposes.
  • Transient Traveler (as defined by U.S. Travel Association)
    • A person or persons who are predominantly on-the-move and seek short (and often urgent) hotel stays.
  • Group/Motorcoach Traveler (as defined by American Bus Association)
    • A group tour consists of a group of people who want to have a travel experience with others with a common interest.

Marketing Fund Applicants: Grant Review Criteria

Applications are evaluated in the following areas but not limited to: *

  • Uniqueness of campaign or event
  • Marketing plan
  • Ability to attract and service visitors
  • Fiscal stability and administrative ability
  • Potential for greater local economic impact in hospitality industry

*The Clayton County Tourism Authority reserves the right to use their full discretion in making final determination on award recipients.

Product Development Grant Applicants: Project Criteria

For a project to be considered it should meet the following basic criteria:

  1. Increases visitation or enhances visitor experience
  2. Integrates well with the existing destination product and Clayton County’s brand
  3. Generates economic benefits and/or quality of life improvements for local community
  4. Is sustainable, and financially and conceptually viable

Product Development Grant Applicants: Goals of Tourism Product Development

  1. Increase the number of products, experiences and services available for visitors and locals
  2. Grow the number of visits, length of stay and spending by visitors
  3. Improve the profitability of tourism businesses
  4. Keep Clayton County, GA, competitive with other destinations

Product Development Grant Applicant: Match Required

The applicant must be able to match each dollar by a quarter ($75 grant request + $25 your match = $100 project costs). Applications that include cash matches will be given higher consideration than those with in-kind matches.  The term in kind (or in-kind) generally refers to goods, services, and transactions not involving money or not measured in monetary terms.

Tourism Grant Application Process

The Tourism Grant Program consists of these basic areas:

  1. Completed online application
  2. Grant awarded by the Tourism Grant
  3. Signed agreement between the applicant and the Clayton County Tourism Authority

A mid-point summary progress report is due no later than January 16, 2025. A final project report is due to the CCTA no later than May 8, 2025.

FY24 Tourism Grant Timeline for Application and Awards

April 4, 2024 Application open
May 9, 2024 FY24 Application deadline (4:00 p.m.)
July 31, 2024 Target date for notifying FY24 grant recipients
August 8, 2024 Check presentation and agreement signing at Clayton County Tourism Authority Board Meeting
January 16, 2025 FY24 Mid-point report due to the Clayton County Tourism Authority
May 8, 2025 FY24 Final Reports due to Clayton County Tourism Authority