Utah Office of Tourism Receives $1 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Aid Recovery of Tourism Economy in Utah


Photo courtesy of the Emery County Travel Bureau

Press Release

The federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Utah Office of Tourism to support the state’s response to the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the deep and lasting impacts COVID-19 has had on the tourism industry, the 2020 CARES Act allowed the EDA to offer assistance, for the first time, to “travel and tourism-related marketing campaigns.” Eligible projects needed to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, foster economic resiliency and encourage the creation and retention of local jobs.

The Utah Office of Tourism’s two-year project has three distinct components: an industry training program, destination recovery plans and an in-state marketing campaign. The grant, to be matched with $250,000 in state funds, is expected to create 256 jobs high-pay and/or high-skill jobs.

“Our goal is to train the tourism industry in best-practices to thrive in a post-pandemic world, prepare our individual destinations for economic recovery and encourage residents to travel responsibly in Utah,” said Vicki Varela, Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism. “These projects touch on all areas that COVID-19 has affected our work: business skills, community preparation and mitigating the impact of visitation on our public lands.”

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

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