WASHINGTON – July 26, 2021 – Travel Fairness Now, a non-profit coalition that supports greater competition, transparency and fairness for consumers, today praised the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and Secretary of Commerce Raimondo’s announcement that it is allocating $750 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to help accelerate the recovery of the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation industries.
The Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program is one of a six-part, $3 billion investment in America’s communities, the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades.
“Travel is far more than passage on a form of transportation,” said Kurt Ebenhoch, executive director. “Travel is an entire experience built on a combination of tours, public parks and museums, and more at a destination.”
“We are pleased to see the administration recognize that for travel and tourism to fully recover, support is needed for more than airlines,” Ebenhoch added. “The entities eligible for these grants help create affordable vacations and memorable experiences for travelers.”
The grants are part of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021.
According to the Department of Commerce, the Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program grants – the second largest in the six-part plan – consist of:
- $510 million in state tourism grants through non-competitive awards to help states quickly invest in marketing, infrastructure, workforce and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business and international travel.
- $240 million in competitive grants to help communities that have been hardest hit by challenges facing the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors to invest in infrastructure, workforce or other projects to support the recovery of the industry and economic resilience of the community in the future.
Eligible applicants include state and local governmental entities, institutions of higher education, not-for-profit entities, unions and tribes. EDA is not authorized to provide grants to individuals or for-profit entities.
More information and the grant application can be found here.
Travel Fairness Now recognizes that policymakers need to consider transportation, but believes they should also consider the entire, holistic travel and tourism experience. Governments have to engage in a deeper and more expansive view – with the American consumer at the center of it.
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