Delaware Governor Announces Tourism Industry Investments

WILMINGTON, DE (STL.News) Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Small Business on Monday announced that the State of Delaware will be investing over $7 million as part of the recovery effort in travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries.

The funds are part of Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $750 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, which provides $510 million in State Tourism grants and $240 million in Competitive Tourism grants that will be awarded to advance the economic recovery and resiliency of communities where the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries were hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The Department of Commerce awarded $510 million State Tourism grants. Delaware received over $7 million of those funds.

Requests for proposals (RFPs) are now live on bids.delaware.gov for the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries.  Funds being awarded through 9–12 subawards include:

  • $1,000,000 (approximately $333,333 per county) devoted to marketing efforts to provide recovery and resiliency to the areas that drive Delaware’s tourism industry
  • $1,500,000 (approximately $500,000 per county) devoted to Parks & Recreation to increase accessibility at parks and create more opportunities for WiFi
  • $5,250,000 to be divided among three to five projects for a “Commercial Corridor Challenge” for organization to offer creative solutions to help the tourism industry thrive now and to withstand future disasters

“These funds will provide necessary support to the tourism industry that was hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Carney.  “Delaware’s $3.5 billion tourism industry employs over 44,000 Delawareans and we need to band together to come up with solutions that help the industry recover and prepare it for future challenges.  We’re grateful to our partners in the federal government, Secretary Raimondo and others, who have given us this opportunity.”

“Rebuilding the travel and tourism industry is a key component of the Biden Administration’s plan to build back better and restore the competitiveness of the United States on the global stage,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo.  “The State Tourism grants give states and territories the flexible opportunity to boost their local tourism industry and ensure that jobs are restored and tourists return safely.”

Interested tourism entities can visit bids.delaware.gov to review the RFP and apply.

The deadline for proposals is December 3, 2021 and awardees will be notified late December of this year.  Proposed projects will be ineligible to apply if they are included in any other American Rescue Plan funding request. Construction projects require compliance with NEPA and Davis Bacon as well as local environmental regulations.  All projects will require EDA pre-approval.  No projects will be considered on a retroactive basis.