Delaware gets $7 million in federal funds to support tourism

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The State of Delaware will spend  $7 million in support of travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. 

The funds are part of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $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. The Department of Commerce awarded $510 million in  State Tourism grants. Delaware received over $7 million of those funds. 

Requests for proposals (RFPs) are now live on bids.delaware.gov for the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. Funds being awarded through  sub-awards include: 

  • $1,000,000 (approximately $333,333 per county) devoted to marketing efforts to provide recovery and resiliency to the areas that drive Delaware’s tourism industry
  • $1,500,000 (approximately $500,000 per county) devoted to Parks & Recreation to increase accessibility at parks and create more opportunities for WiFi access.
  • $5,250,000 to be divided among three to five projects for a “Commercial Corridor Challenge” for organizations to offer solutions to help the tourism industry thrive and withstand future disasters.

    A targeted emphasis, according to the RFP,  will be on projects that are either located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone and/or result in the creation of jobs or improved accessibility to jobs within Travel, Tourism and/or Outdoor Recreation for people living in one of Delaware’s Promise Communities. Promise Communities are identified as 17 zip codes by United Way of Delaware. The following is a link to a listing of Promise Communities.

“These funds will provide necessary support to the tourism industry that was hard hit during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Gov. John  Carney. “Delaware’s $3.5 billion tourism industry employs over 44,000 Delawareans and we need to band together to come up with solutions that help the industry recover and prepare it for future challenges. We’re grateful to our partners in the federal government, (Commerce) Secretary Raimondo, and others, who have given us this opportunity.” 

Interested tourism entities can visit bids.delaware.gov to review the RFP and apply. 

The deadline for proposals is December 3, and awardees will be notified in late December of this year. Proposed projects will be ineligible to apply if they are included in any other American Rescue Plan funding request.

Construction projects require compliance with NEPA and Davis Bacon as well as local environmental regulations. All projects will require EDA pre-approval. No projects will be considered on a retroactive basis. 

Below is the state RFP document that offers more details.

Click to access STA22002-TRAVELTOU-rfp.pdf

 

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