State awards $30 million in ARPA funding to support statewide recovery of tourism industry

April 13, 2023

The Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today that it has awarded a total of $30 million through the Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program for 26 projects across the state. The program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), is focused on supporting projects that further the recovery of the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries.

“Our state’s strong tourism industry is important to our economic success, and we’re proud to provide support through the Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Many Missouri communities rely on tourism, travel, and hospitality for continued economic growth. Grant awards made through this program will give new life to attractions and local assets that are enjoyed by countless Missourians and visitors.”

The Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program was launched in October 2022. The program awarded competitive grants to applicants, including destination marketing organizations (DMOs), convention and visitors bureaus, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and chambers of commerce affected by the pandemic. Grant awards will fund a variety of projects, such as welcome and recreation centers, property renovations, museum expansions, park improvements, indoor and outdoor attraction development, and more.

“The tourism industry has an $18.4 billion impact on Missouri’s economy, supporting more than 280,000 jobs. It was also one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic,” said Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “That’s why, through this program, we’re committed to investing in the recovery and future growth of Missouri tourism. This is just another way we’re building a stronger economy and creating greater opportunities for Missourians.”

“This award announcement is exciting for recipient organizations and their local economies,” said Shad Burner, Director of Federal Initiatives for the Department of Economic Development. “Our team designed this program to support projects across all our state’s regions, including rural areas depending on tourism to build resiliency. We’re pleased to see communities of all sizes receiving grants that will help them recover today and thrive tomorrow.”

Details on recipients of the Local Tourism Asset Development Grant Program are available here.

To learn more about DED’s ARPA-funded grant programs, visit

About the Missouri Department of Economic Development

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) works to create an environment that encourages economic growth by supporting Missouri’s businesses and diverse industries, strengthening our communities, developing a talented and skilled workforce, and maintaining a high quality of life. As one team built around the customer and driven by data, DED aspires to be the best economic development department in the Midwest. Through its various initiatives, DED is helping create opportunities for Missourians to prosper.

For the latest updates on DED’s current or future programs and initiatives, visit DED’s website.

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