MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney announced the launch of the Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality and Economic Lift stimulus grant program. This $8 million effort is aimed at providing much-needed support to the tourism industry.

Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, TRAVEL 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 stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The tourism industry is among the hardest hit by COVID-19,” said 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.”

Two types of grant funding will be available through the TRAVEL grants: 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 resident consumers amid the COIVD-19 public health emergency. Tourism promotion and tourism development organizations can apply for one or both types of grant funding. Long-term marketing campaigns unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic are not eligible.

This effort is funded through the state’s discretionary Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act dollars. Full program details, eligibility standards, grant application, and program contact information are available here. The Department of Tourism is accepting applications now through Sept. 28 and grants will be announced by late October.

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