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Utah Office of Tourism receives $1M in CARES Act Recovery to aid state’s tourism economy



The federal Economic Development Administration 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.

The 2020 CARES Act allowed 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, a news release stated.

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

  • An industry training program,
  • Destination recovery plans,
  • 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” stated Vicki Varela, managing director of Utah Office of Tourism in a news release. “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 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.

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