Rhode Island tourism industry gets $10.6M federal grant
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is getting a $10.6 million boost from the federal government to help the state’s tourism and hospitality industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Daniel McKee said Tuesday.
The grant from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will be used to support projects, businesses, and jobs in the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors, he said in a statement.
“This sector has been severely impacted by the pandemic, and these funds will go a long way in ensuring this sector not only bounces back but is even stronger going forward,” the governor said.
More than 26 million people visited the state in 2019, pumping $7 billion into the economy and generating $843 million in state and local tax revenue. That fell to 21.6 million visitors in 2020, spending $4.9 billion and generating $597 in state and local taxes, according to the state’s tourism agency.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted so many elements of this important industry, but this grant will help the state recover and become even more resilient as we continue to emerge post-pandemic,” state Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said.
The state’s grant proposal included boosting advertising and marketing to attract new overnight visitors, and development of new attractions and events to boost visitation.