MADISON, Wis. (WAOW)— On Monday, Gov. Tony Evers and Tourism Secretary-designe announced the launch of the Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift (TRAVEL) stimulus grant program.
The $8 million program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and funded through the state's discretionary Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars. Grants will be distributed to Wisconsin's tourism promotion and tourism development organizations for the purposes of resuming business operations and helping restore economic activity.
“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.”
According to a press release, two types of grand funding will be available: funds to support the continuation of operations due to impacts of COVID-19 and marketing funds to promote a safe and healthy experience for travelers and residents amid the pandemic.
Tourism promotion and tourism development organizations can apply for one or both types of grants, long-term marketing campaigns unrelated to COVID-19 are not eligible.
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.
“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."