WISCONSIN – Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday announced that $10 million in federal America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will be used to provide grants to local governments and tourism-entity nonprofits for tourism-related investment projects.
Grants of up to $3.5 million will be awarded to regional entities through a competitive application process to eligible infrastructure projects such as convention centers, travel infrastructure, public or nonprofit attractions, and more.
“Wisconsin’s tourism industry was one of the hardest-hit throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but these folks are innovative, dedicated, and resilient, and we’re working to make sure our tourism industry can bounce back from this pandemic,” Evers said in a news release. “These investments in tourism infrastructure are not only critical to ensuring that recovery continues, but that our investments help build a strong future for the industry to continue to grow.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic of the past year, Wisconsin’s tourism industry supported more than 157,000 jobs across the state and had a $17.3 billion impact on the state economy in 2020. So far in 2021, the industry is seeing recovery above 2020 numbers as travelers make up for missed vacations while reconnecting with friends and family.
The new grants are being funded by the ARPA and will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). Individuals and businesses interested in receiving more information about the grants, including application, should sign up to receive alerts at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIGOV/subscriber/new?topic_id=WIGOV_135
Tuesday’s announcement is a continuation of the Evers administration’s efforts to support the tourism industry’s recovery and rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. The latest funds are in addition to the previously announced $140 million in ARPA funding for Wisconsin’s tourism and entertainment industries. That funding included:
- $75 million for lodging grants;
- $11.25 million for movie theaters;
- $12 million for live event small businesses;
- $2.8 million for minor league sports teams;
- $10 million for live venues;
- $15 million for destination marketing organizations;
- $8 million for summer camps;
- $1 million for the Wisconsin Historical Society to assist in reopening historical sites;
- $7.5 million to increase marketing support for Wisconsin’s tourism industry.