The U.S. Commerce 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.
Delaware is one of the states to receive a grant.
The Delaware Division of Tourism referred an inquiry on the Delaware grant to the Governor’s office, which did not respond to a request for comment.
The 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 the 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.
“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.