Note: This press release was originally distributed by the office of Governor Tony Evers.
RICHLAND CENTER — Gov. Tony Evers today awarded $15 million in grants for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) throughout the state. Today's investment is a part of the governor's more than $140 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund investment in Wisconsin's tourism and entertainment industries.
“Wisconsin's tourism industry was one of the first and hardest hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic, but our local folks at DMOs statewide have been innovative, dedicated, and resilient, and it's because of them that this industry is bouncing back and better,” said Gov. Evers. “I am glad to be using these funds to support their good work, along with our more than $200 million investment in Wisconsin's tourism industry. From the largest convention and visitor bureaus in Milwaukee and Wisconsin Dells to the smallest chambers of commerce in Pepin and Cassville, the $15 million investment awarded today will help continue to fuel our local recovery efforts and ensure those rebounds are felt statewide.”
The Destination Marketing Organization Grant Program will help 120 local DMO organizations across the state expand on their work to attract regional, national, and international visitors to explore all that Wisconsin has to offer.
“Together with our local Destination Marketing Organizations, we are at a critical moment in the tourism recovery, and these funds will jumpstart Wisconsin’s tourism recovery that will uplift local economies and hospitality workers,” said Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-designee Anne Sayers. “Wisconsin's $17.3 billion tourism industry is not just big fun, it’s also big business.”
Funded by the ARPA and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) with guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Destination Marketing Organization Grant Program was designed to assist tourism, convention and events organizations that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 120 organizations received grants ranging from $2,000 to $1 million based on expenses incurred by eligible tourism-promotion and tourism development organizations.
“Destination Marketing Organizations are at the heart of the tourism industry, and by supporting them, we’re able to help local communities bring more visitors to our beautiful state,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan.
Applications for the DMO grant program opened on Aug. 25, 2021, and closed Sept. 29, 2021. Full list of grant awardees is here.
For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.