Gov. Tim Walz has announced more than $1 million in "crisis grants" to help boost visitors to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist areas.
The money, which will be made available via the state's tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota, will support "nonprofit tourism promotion organizations" in an effort to attract more people to different regions of the state.
These organizations, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, will be able to use the money for marketing campaigns designed to encourage people to travel and stimulate the economy in struggling communities.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the Minnesota travel industry and communities that rely on that tourism,” said Governor Walz. “These crisis grants will provide immediate relief for the travel organizations that contribute so much to the vitality of our state."
The recipients of some of the grants have already been selected and they will be notified of the amount they're receiving shortly. Others can request grant funding until Mar. 21.
"Explore Minnesota is happy to offer financial assistance to destination marketing organizations that have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, including significant budget shortfalls and tourism spending loss," said Explore Minnesota Director, John Edman.
"The tourism crisis grant program will support vital marketing efforts for Minnesota communities and business that heavily rely on the local tourism economy. Now, more than ever we need to find ways to support the Minnesota tourism industry and crisis recovery efforts.”