Utah Office of Tourism receives $1M in CARES Act Recovery grant

Zion National Park. Photo: Flickr/Les Haines

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 2, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Office of Tourism has received a $1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the federal Economic Development Administration.

The funds will support the state’s response to the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic, said a news release from the office.

The 2020 CARES Act allowed assistance, for the first time, to “travel and tourism-related marketing campaigns,” the news release said. Eligible projects needed to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, foster economic resiliency and encourage the creation and retention of local jobs, the news release said.

The Utah Office of Tourism’s two-year project has three components:

  • An industry training program
  • Destination recovery plans
  • An in-state marketing campaign

The grant, to be matched with $250,000 in state funds, is expected to create 256 high-pay and 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 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.”


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