03 2012 »

Applications being accepted for tourism grant programs

All programs are open to the first 30 applicants

Bismarck, N.D. – Applications are now being accepted for the North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism Division’s three tourism-related grant programs. These grants support the development of new tourism infrastructure and the marketing and promotion of tourism attractions and events in North Dakota.

“These grant programs are an investment in North Dakota’s tourism industry through development of new infrastructure and promotion of our state’s unique offerings,” said Sara Otte Coleman, director of North Dakota Tourism. “By creating new tourism infrastructure and focusing dollars on marketing individual experiences, we’re able to attract more visitors who will spend their money here, ultimately creating new wealth for our state.”

Expansion Grant Program

The Expansion Grant Program supports new or expanding tourism or recreation facilities or designated development areas primarily by funding infrastructure projects. Grants range from $5,000 to $24,000 in any given year. This is a matching grant requiring the sponsor to provide one dollar for every two dollars of grant money being requested.

Eligible attractions or sites must have the ability to attract visitors from 50 miles away and retain them for at least three hours. Eligible attractions include recreation, historical sites, festival and cultural events, lodging and food services related to historical, cultural or recreational tourist attractions and guide services.

To allow additional time for construction, this grant cycle has moved to the spring. Applications for the Expansion Grant Program are due no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 13. Only the first 30 applications will be forwarded to the review committee.

Events Grant and Marketing Grant Programs

The Events Grant Program and Marketing Grant Program provide a maximum of $5,000 in matching funds for promotion of regional events and for specific tourism marketing plans.

The Events Grant Program provides funds to communities and event promoters wanting to regionally promote their 2012 tourism-related event. Qualifying events must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be two or more days in length.
  • Must be an annual event (no centennial celebrations, etc.).
  • Must be a unique event (e.g. no Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc., celebrations).
  • Must have visitor appeal and growth potential.
  • Can occur anytime during the year.


The Marketing Grant Program provides funds to develop marketing materials to promote an experience, activity or place unique to North Dakota. Criteria for this grant are:

  • At least 75 percent of marketing activities resulting from the grant must be promotional, focused on providing travel information.
  • Communication must focus on illustrating unique North Dakota experiences in support of the state’s tourism branding, “North Dakota Legendary,” to maximize brand equity.
  • Must demonstrate partnerships and regional collaboration in the promotional effort. Applications that package or cross-sell tourism experiences, learning-based vacations and new-technology- based marketing programs will be given priority.


The application deadline for the Marketing Grant and Event Grant Programs is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 31. Only the first 30 applications in each of the match grant programs will be forwarded to the review committee.

All applications can be downloaded at www.ndtourism.com/industry/nd-tourism-grants/. For more information or questions, contact Dean Ihla with North Dakota Tourism at 800-435-5663 or dihla@nd.gov.

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