WISCONSIN — Governor Tony Evers announced a new $8 million TRAVEL grants program in support of the tourism industry in Wisconsin.
The new grant program, Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift (TRAVEL) stimulus grant program, is aimed at helping local tourism organizations navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The tourism industry is among the hardest hit by COVID-19,” said Gov. Evers. “The TRAVEL grants are designed to sustain local operations, staffing, and relief stimulus activities to drive immediate spending and reinforce safe travel in support of local businesses across the state.”
The funds will go towards continuing operations within the industry, and marketing to promote a safe and healthy experience for travelers and resident consumers.
Tourism promotion and tourism development organizations can apply for both types of grants.
The new effort is funded by the CARES act and is already taking applications. Applications can be submitted through Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. Grant winners will be announced by late October.
According to a press release from the governor's office, "The tourism industry supports 202,217 full- and part-time jobs in Wisconsin and last year, the state achieved a return on investment of $8 in tax revenue per $1 promotional spend...the impact of tourism advancement activities upon Wisconsin's economy stretches well beyond the tourism industry."
“We’re thankful to Governor Evers for allocating CARES Act funding to this much-needed TRAVEL grant program,” said Secretary-designee Meaney. “While these grants will provide immediate opportunities to sustain the important economic development activities of tourism organizations, they will also fuel Wisconsin’s economic recovery in every sector that tourism touches."