U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $314 million in American Rescue Plan State Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation grants to 34 states and the District of Columbia.
These investments will support marketing, infrastructure, workforce and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business, and international travel. All 59 states and territories were invited to apply for these grants. Additional state grants are expected to be awarded in coming weeks and months.
Projects vary in scope based on locally driven needs. For example, several states – from Alaska to Vermont – will establish marketing campaigns to draw tourists back. Oklahoma will use its grant to make improvements to one of its most visited parks, Robbers Cave State Park. Minnesota will utilize some of its funds for infrastructure improvements at public water access. Louisiana plans to add educational curricula to highlight and preserve two historical state parks.
“Rebuilding the travel and tourism industry is a key component of the Biden Administration’s plan to build back better and restore the competitiveness of the United States on the global stage,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The State Tourism grants give states and territories the flexible opportunity to boost their local tourism industry and ensure that jobs are restored and tourists return safely.”
“The coronavirus pandemic devasted the travel and tourism industry – the linchpin of local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “EDA is proud to give state and territory leaders the resources to build back better through locally led strategies that uniquely address the challenges and opportunities of their local travel tourism and outdoor recreation industry.”
The funds are part of EDA’s $750 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, which provides $510 million in State Tourism grants and $240 million in Competitive Tourism grants that will be awarded to advance the economic recovery and resiliency of communities where the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries were hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The $510 million State Tourism grants – along with today’s reopening of international travel to the United States – are critical steps in the recovery of the travel and tourism sector from the coronavirus pandemic.
The following states were awarded grants today:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
For more about EDA’s Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation and other American Rescue Plan programs, please visit: https://www.eda.gov/arpa/.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.