Explore Minnesota Tourism Crisis Grants 2021


There’s no doubt the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic hit Minnesota Tourism Bureaus hard. Travel restrictions and shut-downs have reduced travel significantly, which has greatly affected marketing budgets for DMOs and CVBs across the state.

Many tourism organizations rely on collected tourism/lodging taxes to fund tourism marketing and to promote their communities. Without their typical funding, budgets face even greater shortfalls. Fortunately, funds have been allocated to assist DMOs and CVBs to continue to promote their communities and stimulate travel to their destinations.

The Tourism Crisis Marketing Grant Program

Now through March 15, 2021, tourism organizations can apply for funds through the non-competitive Phase II Crisis Grant program. The funding for qualified tourism entities has been predetermined, and Explore Minnesota will notify recipients of their award. Funds must be spent by December 31, 2021, with any qualifying campaigns completed.

The following marketing activities are allowable under the Phase II Crisis Grant:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Google AdWords and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Production of photo and video assets
  • Website development and enhancement, including content creation through a vendor (hosting and maintenance fees are not eligible)
  • Media production, ad creation, graphic design services
  • Visitor guide production, development, and distribution
  • Direct mail
  • Social media management through a vendor
  • New and existing event operations support held within the executed contract dates, subject to limitations

You can find and download guidelines and request forms below:

If you need any assistance with any of the above marketing tactics, W.A. Fisher can help. Additionally, you can request a FREE website review and through February 28, 2021, you can save $500 on a new website. Reach out and we’ll get right back to you.



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