Second Round of Grants Approved to Help Make Travel More Accessible in Michigan

Release Date

Contact:
Nick Nerbonne
[email protected]
517.230.2599

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) today approved $366,637 in federal Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds for 11 local destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to conduct community accessibility audits and to meet the needs of the visually impaired by making destination websites more accessible.

Approved by the MSF board in August of 2023, the Accessible Traveler Grant Application initiative is intended support local DMOs in providing a more accessible experience to all users, increasing tourism and driving growth in Michigan’s economy. 

“Travel Michigan and the MEDC are committed to ensuring that all are welcome in Pure Michigan,” said Kelly Wolgamott, Interim Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are proud to continue our support of statewide travel destinations as they proactively work to create a more accessible and inclusive environment in their communities by becoming more welcoming to travelers of all abilities.”

Funding for the initiative is part of a $10,307,393 EDA State Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation grant allocated to Michigan in 2021 for statewide travel and tourism marketing and advertising efforts to help the travel industry rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants could apply for up to $100,000 per project and must provide a 50 percent financial match based on the project’s total cost. Potential grantees also provided a communication plan supporting how they would execute their proposed plan and recognize the EDA and the MEDC/Travel Michigan as supporting partners.

All proposals were evaluated by a five-person committee made up of MEDC staff and outside accessibility specialists. Travel Michigan received 11 applications and the evaluation committee reached a consensus recommendation to award grants to all applicants as detailed below: 

Michigan CVB/DMO Grant Applicants

Type of Grant

Grant Request

Committee Recommended

Battle Creek/Calhoun County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Website Development

45,000.00

45,000.00

Great Lakes Bay Region Quality of Life Council

Website Development

30,562.50

30,562.50

Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Website Development

13,500.00

13,500.00

Keweenaw Tourism Council

Website Development

10,000.00

10,000.00

Mackinac Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Website Development

51,000.00

51,000.00

Marquette Country Convention & Visitors Bureau

Website Development

28,950.00

28,950.00

Munising Visitors Bureau

Website Development

27,000.00

27,000.00

Total

 

206,012.50

206,012.50

 

 

Michigan CVB/DMO Grant Applicants

Type of Grant

Grant Request

Committee Recommended

Charlevoix Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Community Audit

50,000.00

50,000.00

Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Community Audit

46,125.00

46,125.00

Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau

Community Audit

15,000.00

15,000.00

Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau

Community Audit

49,950.00

49,500.00

Total

 

161,075.00

160,625.00

 

Today’s grant approvals are part of a second round of funding that follows an initial round of 16 grants that were approved by the MSF Board in January.

To learn more about accessible travel opportunities in Michigan, visit michigan.org/accessibility.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.