(The Center Square) – The federal government is sending more than $15.3 million to help New Jersey’s tourism industry rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is part of the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $750 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program. The initiative includes $510 million in State Tourism grants.
On Wednesday, the EDA announced $196 million in grants to 24 states and territories, including New Jersey. Last month, the agency announced $314 million in grants to 34 states and the District of Columbia.
“The State Tourism grants give states and territories the flexible opportunity to boost their local tourism industry and ensure that jobs are restored and tourists return safely,” Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in an announcement.
The money will go toward marketing campaigns to promote state and regional assets, workforce training and infrastructure projects in New Jersey. Officials say the “investment” will reduce damage to the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation industries caused by the pandemic.
Some other regional states, such as New York ($44.9 million) and Pennsylvania ($17 million), received more than New Jersey.
Separately, the state’s tourism division said the state saw “a strong bounce-back summer” this year on the Jersey Shore and specifically in Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The positive year included a 71% increase in bed tax revenues.