The Superior-Douglas County Visitor Bureau received a $150,000 stimulus grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, according to a news release.

In total, the state awarded nearly $12 million in Tourism Relief to Accelerate Vitality Economic Lift grants to 158 organizations. The grants, announced last week, aim to assist tourism promotion and tourism development organizations across Wisconsin in their efforts to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the news release said.

A number of other organizations in the region received funding. The Ashland Chamber of Commerce received nearly $81,000; the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau received $109,000; the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce received $51,500; the Iron River Area Chamber of Commerce received $1,250; and the Washburn County Tourism Association received $12,000.

The program is funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The dollars will help ensure local tourism organizations can remain operational and have the money needed to promote local business activity, including the precautions businesses are taking to keep visitors safe, the news release said.

Tourism is one of the largest industries in Wisconsin. According to the Department of Tourism, in 2019, Wisconsin travel spending drove $22.2 billion in total business sales, $13.3 billion in direct visitor spending and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. More than 100 million visitor trips to Wisconsin sustained over 200,000 jobs throughout the state.