The US Economic Development Administration (EDA) Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Program invested $750 million in funding America’s rescue plan to support communities across the country whose economies are suffering from damage to these sectors from the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 pandemic were hit hard. Funding 185 awards across states and territories, EDA’s investments are rebuilding the travel and tourism sector, creating a more equitable, competitive and resilient industry.
Learn more about Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation grantees by exploring the American Rescue Plan Impact Map.
The Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program is divided into two components:
- State tourism promotion: $510 million in direct grants to help states invest rapidly in marketing, infrastructure, labor and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business and international travel.
- Competitive Grants: $240 million to help communities hardest hit by challenges in the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors to invest in infrastructure, labor or other projects to support industrial recovery and economic resilience to support the community in the future.
Each state or territory uses its directly allocated funds to engage in activities that best support its travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors. These activities include, but are not limited to, workforce training, new construction or upgrading of existing tourism infrastructure, tourism marketing and promotion, and tourism-related economic planning. The competitive grant program is spread across 126 awards to help communities across the country rebuild and strengthen their travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. The competitive funding is expected to generate $1.1 billion in private investment and create or save 10,291 jobs, the grantees estimate. This program was designed to prioritize equity, and as a result, more than 50% of competition awards are expected to directly benefit historically underserved communities and populations. Additionally, $29.3 million in 12 awards supports coal communities and $21.2 million in 9 awards supports indigenous communities.