Eight local tourism organizations recently received more than $740,000 through the Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift (TRAVEL) stimulus grant program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
The program – funded through the state’s discretionary federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act dollars – was designed to help the state’s tourism promotion and development organizations resume operations and restore economic activity. The grant dollars will be used to reimburse tourism organizations for operational and marketing expenses that promoted safe, healthy experiences for travelers and residents.
Local organizations that received TRAVEL grants were Destination Door County, $491,411.42; Destination Sturgeon Bay, $78,482; Sister Bay Advancement Association, $53,500; Egg Harbor Business Association, $43,090; Ephraim Business Council, $36,821.51; Fish Creek Civic Association, $19,263; Baileys Harbor Community Association, $10,669.04; and Door County North, $7,404.75.
Destination Door County President/CEO Jack Moneypenny said he was glad to see the Department of Tourism recognize the work that area tourism organizations have done to support the county’s largest economic driver during a challenging year.
“These grant dollars provide reimbursement for money already spent on things like hand-sanitizer stations and cleaning supplies, grab-and-go visitor-information kits and enhanced marketing efforts that promoted safe travel practices,” Moneypenny said. “It also helps cover lost revenue and puts us in a better position for a stronger recovery in 2021.”
In Door County, tourism brought in $374 million in visitor spending in 2019 and an additional $107 million in business sales when indirect and induced impacts are factored in. Tourism spending in 2019 also generated $39.2 million in state and local tax revenue.