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Rural Tourism Research and Data Grants 

Rural Tourism Research and Data Grants will help destination communities discover and share critical information that can improve the efficiency, sustainability, and overall economic impact of the tourism industry. These grants may also support projects that analyze tourism trends, visitor behavior, cultural exchange, environmental impacts, and other topics that help inform policy decisions and support tourism growth.  

Tourism stakeholders may request up to $25,000 in grant funding for a variety of projects, including but not limited to the following categories: 

Local governments, tribes, chambers of commerce, destination organizations, and other nonprofit organizations that support travel and tourism are eligible to apply. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to match a portion of their grant request with cash or in-kind contributions. Grant funds from SWT should not pay for staff salaries, debt, or interest payments associated with eligible projects. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to collaborate with local destination marketing organizations and industry partners on eligible projects. 

2024 Application Timeline 

March 1 – 31: Application period | View the recorded info session

April: A review committee of industry experts will evaluate the leading applications. 

May 1: Award recipients will be notified by email. 

June 1: Estimated date grant funds will be made available. Grantees have one year to expend the funds. 

Stipulations for Working with Contractors 

Tourism Stakeholders should express an intention to seek contract work from a third party without naming a vendor. When describing the work, applicants should specify deliverables and the desired qualifications of vendors.  

Applicants must also abide by the following stipulations as outlined by the Washington State Department of Commerce:  

If a micro-purchase (up to $10,000) 

If a small purchase ($10,001 – $30,000) 

For purchases above $30,000 (or $40,000 if using a certified small or veteran-owned business), applicants will need to follow the federal procurement process outlined in 2 CFR 200 procurement

Applicants awarded grant funds must submit all contracts/contractors involved with each project to SWT for review and approval. Contractors must be billed on a reimbursement basis after services are rendered. If applicable, some eligible expenses can only be covered at OFM reimbursement rates

Reporting Requirements  

Grantees must submit two reports (an interim and a final evaluation) and comply with quarterly check-in meetings for the duration of the grant project. If awardees fail to submit an evaluation, their consideration for future grants may be adversely affected.  

The project evaluation should include: 

Be sure to view the FAQ for this grant program as well as the application portal FAQ. For additional questions, contact Tamara Rice at tamara@stateofwatourism.com. Additionally, you can watch the recording of the info session for more information.

These funds are made possible through a federal grant from the Economic Development Administration, awarded to State of Washington Tourism by the Washington State Department of Commerce for tourism industry pandemic recovery.