Sinema’s STEP Act ensures existing economic development grants provide direct relief to Arizona’s tourism industry during the coronavirus pandemic
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the bipartisan STEP Act—legislation modifying existing Economic Development Administration grant programs to provide direct support to Arizona’s tourism industry and promote economic recovery from the coronavirus.
“Tourism fuels Arizona jobs, and our state’s economic recovery depends on a strong travel industry. Ensuring Arizona’s tourism sector has the resources needed to rebound from the coronavirus will help keep businesses doors open and get Arizonans back to work,” said Sinema.
“Arizona's tourism industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a loss of $7 billion in visitor spending,” said Kim Sabow, President and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. “The STEP Act will provide much-needed resources to the industry so we can save jobs, further implement health and sanitation protocols as well as boost tourism promotion when it is safe to do so. We thank Senator Sinema for her leadership on this issue and for championing policies that will help such a vital industry in our state.”
Arizona’s tourism industry has lost $7 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a 50% unemployment rate in the travel industry alone. Sinema’s STEP Act helps the tourism and travel industries recover by authorizing $10 billion in funding through existing Economic Development Administration grant programs to provide grants for tourism and travel entities impacted by COVID-19.
The STEP Act is supported by the U.S. Travel and Tourism Association.