BALTIMORE, MD (February 4, 2022) — Governor Hogan today announced that $9.6 million has been awarded to the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism to support tourism marketing, promotion, and development throughout the state. The funding is through the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $750 million American Rescue Plan: Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program. The program specifically provides $510 million in state tourism grants to advance the economic recovery and resiliency of communities where the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries were hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The tourism industry has shown its strength and determination since the beginning of the pandemic. Over the last several months, our administration has worked hard to support local hospitality businesses with grants to sustain them through the health emergency,” said Governor Hogan. “This new EDA funding will help our state and regional tourism offices do what they do best – invite people to Maryland and enjoy all that our state has to offer.”
From the $9.6 million in funding, $2.8 million will be used to award the 25 officially recognized Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) so they can invest in inviting residents and visitors back to restaurants, entertainment venues, wineries, breweries, attractions, shops, and services in communities across the state.
Partnerships are vital to the success of the tourism industry, and $1.9 million will be awarded to state and local government agencies, economic development organizations, and other industry partners to further develop tourism opportunities across Maryland. Specifically, this is focused on opportunities where the industry benefits from visitor spending, including events designed to encourage overnight travel and events surrounding hospitality training and workforce development.
Because Maryland’s natural resources and outdoor recreation are vital to residents and citizens alike, these entities will be awarded $2 million to create access to outdoor recreational activities and provide educational resources about recreating responsibly.
“We are incredibly grateful to receive nearly $10 million from the Economic Development Administration in support of our state’s tourism and recreation sectors,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “These funds will help each of Maryland’s five regions increase visitation, boost business sales, and support the workforce throughout the industry.”
The remaining $2.9 million will be used by the Office of Tourism to support its 18 Scenic Byways marketing promotion to drive visitors to Maryland’s towns, attractions, and accommodations along these routes.
Those interested in applying for this new round of EDA funding can find the application and more information EDA Grant Information.