The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has announced the recipients of its Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift (TRAVEL) Stimulus Grants. Among the recipients were Douglas and Washburn Counties, with the Superior-Douglas County Visitor Bureau receiving $150,349 and the Washburn County Tourism Association receiving $11,835.
“Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Representative Nick Milroy (D-South Range). “I am grateful that Governor Evers and his administration have allocated necessary federal funding to our tourism industry in order to support our small businesses and communities during these challenging times.”
The goal of the Wisconsin TRAVEL Stimulus Grant Program is to assist tourism promotion and tourism development organizations across Wisconsin in their efforts to recover from the economic fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic. TRAVEL Stimulus Grants are funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding from the grant goes towards ensuring local tourism organizations can remain operational and have the money needed to promote local business activity, including the precautions businesses are taking to keep visitors safe. TRAVEL Stimulus Grants were awarded to 158 organizations totaling $11,894,966.26.
“It is so important that local tourism organizations have the resources they need to continue uplifting businesses in Northwestern Wisconsin and sharing with the public the ways these businesses are working hard to keep patrons safe and healthy,” Milroy added.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in Wisconsin. According to the Department of Tourism, in 2019, Wisconsin travel spending drove $22.2 billion in total business sales, $13.3 billion in direct visitor spending, and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. More than 100 million visitor trips to Wisconsin sustained over 200,000 jobs throughout the state.