$3M in grants to help communities promote Illinois tourism

Visit Quad Cities

Tourism promoters throughout Illinois are urged to apply for grants of up to $100,000 from nearly $3 million in Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program funding recently made available by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

The money is designed to fund promotional efforts by local governments, municipalities, nonprofits and local promotional groups such as Illinois’ Certified Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) to attract visitors to destinations, attractions, and events throughout Illinois.

J.B. Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker

“As we continue to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, my administration is laser-focused on rebuilding our state’s tourism industry,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a recent news release. “I am proud to announce that DCEO is launching nearly $3 million in funding for local governments, municipalities, nonprofits, and more to attract visitors from around the nation — and the globe — to our great state. We are the Land of Lincoln, the home state of Obama, and the heart of the Midwest — all while touting the kindest people you’ll ever meet and, yes, the best pizza you’ll ever try.”

Visit Quad Cities President and CEO Dave Herrell is among the tourism leaders around the state who are celebrating the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant funding.

“Governor Pritzker continues to demonstrate a firm commitment to tourism and add needed investments for our economic recovery,” said Mr. Herrell, who also chairs the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitor Bureaus. “The Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program is yet another opportunity for Visit Quad Cities to pursue and use as the Illinois certified Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Quad Cities and the official destination marketing and management organization for the region.”

DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia added: “With hidden gems, world-famous attractions and natural wonders in every corner of our great state, tourism is a critical part of the Illinois economy, and this new program will help draw more visitors to explore all Illinois has to offer.”

Illinois will use the grant funds to match local funds used to promote destinations, attractions and events through marketing such as promotional materials, media production costs, billboards, promotional materials at trade shows. The ultimate goal is to support promotional projects that increase visitation and overnight stays, thereby fueling the local economies across the state.

Applications for funding will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 12. To learn more and to apply for a grant click here.

DCEO has prioritized local tourism recovery through multiple grant funding efforts and opportunities, including $25 million for two rounds of the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant Program, $4 million for Route 66 tourism funding, and more than $285 million for restaurants, hotels and small businesses in the tourism/travel industry through the Back to Business (B2B), Business Interruption Grant (BIG) and Emergency Hospitality grant programs.

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