Evaluating the American Rescue Plan

A Multi-Agency Collaborative Analysis of Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Recovery Grants


The National Governor Associations’ Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and Oregon State University’s (OSU) Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) have partnered to complete a 2-year research project assessing the effectiveness of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARP) Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation recovery grants.

NGA Center’s goal is to expand the impact of successful EDA/ARP recovery projects by sharing successful strategies with Governors’ tourism, outdoor recreation, workforce, and economic development advisors. By assisting Governors and their staff in adopting ARP best practices, policies, and strategies, the NGA and CORE aims to increase economic development through the expansion and diversification of local outdoor recreation economies, making them more inclusive, and increasing higher skilled, higher wage job opportunities.

Learn more about the EDA's Research Grant to the NGA Center and CORE.


Near + Long Term Economic Development

Connect research with policymakers who can advance near and long-term economic development and
tourism projects.

Updating Research
Data Annually 

Update and add to the research data on an annual basis, re-examine results periodically, and sharing this information with our outdoor recreation and workforce and economic development networks.

Translate Outdoor Rec Economic Data
Translate outdoor recreation economic data into useful policy, identifying best practices and actions Governors can take to replicate results.
Build Resilient Businesses
Assist Governors and their states’ tourism and outdoor recreation sectors recover, regionalize, diversify, and build businesses that are resilient to economic shocks like the pandemic and climate change.


This project will assist state, local, and federal leaders by identifying policies and implementation strategies that can be adopted to help the tourism and outdoor recreation sector recover, regionalize, and diversify to build businesses that are resilient to economic shocks. We’re excited to partner with EDA and CORE on this important initiative.

Timothy Blute Director, NGA Center



What is the American Rescue Plan?

The EDA Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program invests $750 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support communities across the country whose economies were hard hit by damage to these sectors from the COVID-19 pandemic. With funding going to every state and territory across 185 awards, EDA’s investments are rebuilding the travel and tourism sector and creating a more equitable, competitive, and resilient industry.

The Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program is divided into two components—$510 million awards directly allocated to every U.S. state and territory and a $240 million competitive grant program. Each state or territory is utilizing its directly allocated funds to engage in activities that best support their travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors. These activities include but are not limited to workforce training, new construction or upgrades to existing tourism infrastructure, tourism marketing and promotion, and tourism-related economic planning.



These documents were prepared by the National Governors Association using Federal funds under award ED22HDQ3070131 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.


If you would like more information on this project, please contact
Jessica Rackley (jrackley@nga.org
) or Sally Rood (SRood@nga.org).