Grant program to help Wisconsin’s tourism industry

wisconsin state capitol

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and other state leaders announced an $8 million effort to support the tourism industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Life (TRAVEL) stimulus grant program launched on Monday and will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

“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,” Gov. Evers said.

Two types of funding will be available through TRAVEL grants, according to a release from governor’s office. Money will be used to keep tourism operations going amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote a safe experience for travelers during this time. Tourism promotion and tourism development organizations can apply for both types of funding. Long-term marketing campaigns unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic are not eligible, the release said.

The effort is funded through the state’s portion of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars.

“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,” said Wisconsin Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney.

The Department of Tourism is accepting applications now through 4:00 pm Central Time on September 28, 2020 and grants will be announced by late October.

Last year, over 113.2 million visits statewide generated an estimated $22.2 billion, including $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue.