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Culture, Lifestyle & Sports

Delaware is using federal money to bolster tourism in the First State

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Delaware Tourism Office
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Delaware is investing over seven million dollars to help the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries recover from the pandemic.

The funds are part of the Economic Development Administration’s $750 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Program.

Delaware’s Division of Small Business is seeking proposals from the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries for nine-to-12 sub-awards.

The state intends to split a million dollars between the three counties for tourism marketing efforts in areas that drive the state’s tourism industry. $1.5 million dollars is earmarked for Parks and Recreation to increase accessibility at parks and create more WiFi availability.

Another $5.2 million will be divided among three to five projects for a Commercial Corridor Challenge to offer creative solutions to help tourism thrive and withstand future disasters.

Gov. John Carney is excited about organizations competing to enhance the state’s tourism.

"Attractions to apply for a funding to enhance the experience that they provide to our visitors," said Carney."So it's a really unique and one-time opportunity, and we're looking forward to seeing some great applications there."

Carney says visiting Delaware is popular for those out of state.

"One of the advantages of being a small state that's not as densely populated as others as we get a lot of visitors because they're moving and they're visiting here from large metro areas like Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, greater New York City," said Carney. "And so Delaware is quite an attraction for them as they seek less densely populated opportunities to basically live and visit and work."

Tourism entities have until December 3 to apply, and they can do so at bids.delaware.gov.

Grant recipients will be notified in late December.