$30 million awarded to Missouri tourism industry projects

(KBSI) – The Department of Economic Development awarded a $30 million through the Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program for 26 projects across the state.

The program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and part of Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget plan. It is focused on supporting projects that further the recovery of the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries.

Projects in southeast Missouri:

  • Carter County – Welcome Center – $630.454
  • Caruthersville Area Arts Council – vacant property renovation – $519,552
  • City of Cape Girardeau – park visitor enhancements – $250,000
  • Sikeston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inc. – Visitor Center and Rodeo Museum – $484,138

“Many Missouri communities rely on tourism, travel, and hospitality for continued economic growth. Grant awards made through this program will give new life to attractions and local assets that are enjoyed by countless Missourians and visitors,” said Governor Parson.

The Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program was launched in October 2022. It awarded competitive grants to applicants, including destination marketing organizations (DMOs), convention and visitors bureaus, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and chambers of commerce affected by the pandemic.

Grant awards will fund a variety of projects, such as welcome and recreation centers, property renovations, museum expansions, park improvements, indoor and outdoor attraction development, and more.

Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development, says the tourism industry has an $18.4 billion impact on Missouri’s economy. It supports more than 280,000 jobs.

“It was also one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic,” said Kost. “That’s why, through this program, we’re committed to investing in the recovery and future growth of Missouri tourism. This is just another way we’re building a stronger economy and creating greater opportunities for Missourians.”

Shad Burner, Director of Federal Initiatives for the Department of Economic Development says the award announcement if exciting for the recipient organzations and their local economies. “Our team designed this program to support projects across all our state’s regions, including rural areas depending on tourism to build resiliency,” said Burner. “We’re pleased to see communities of all sizes receiving grants that will help them recover today and thrive tomorrow.”

Tap here to view details on all the recipients of the Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program.

To learn more about DED’s ARPA-funded grant programs, visit ded.mo.gov/arpa.

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