North Dakota Tourism Industry Newsletter August 18, 2020

Commerce continues to accept applications for the ERG Program

Commerce would like to encourage businesses to apply for the Economic Resiliency Grant (ERG) if they have not done so already.

As of Aug. 18, Commerce received 2,513 applications and anticipate more until the application window closes.

The ERG application window opened Aug. 12 and will remain open until Aug. 28 for the first round of funding. Until all funds are awarded, businesses will continue to have the opportunity to apply for funds to cover costs associated with business improvements to reduce the spread of infection and instill consumer confidence in the marketplace.

Creating a safe environment for both consumers and employees is an important step to ensure businesses thrive.

Businesses that receive funds from the ERG will have the opportunity to showcase their efforts in creating a COVID-safe marketplace with marketing materials provided by Commerce. Here are some social media examples for qualifying businesses.

Questions about the ERG can be sent to businesshelpCOVID19@nd.gov.

NEW Care19 Alert app is available NOW!

The Department of Health launched the NEW Care19 Alert app last Thursday and this technology can be one of the most important tools in the COVID-19 arsenal in the effort to protect lives and livelihoods. It is a vital resource in keeping our tourism businesses and attractions open while maintaining personal privacy.

Care19 Alert works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10 to 20 minutes. iOS and Android devices that have the app installed will anonymously share these random keys if they are within close proximity for at least 15 minutes. Each day, the device downloads a list of all random keys associated with positive COVID-19 results submitted by other app users and checks them against the list of random keys it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there is a match, Care19 Alert may notify the individual, taking into account the date and duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength which is used to estimate proximity.

Widespread use is critical to the success of this effort as contact tracing is an important pillar as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic. In today’s highly connected and mobile world, where COVID-19 infections are spreading at an alarming pace, contact tracing efforts require efficient and effective use of both technology and physical processes to investigate the contact history of individuals who test positive to the virus infection.

By using Care19 Alert in conjunction with the original Care19, now called Diary, residents can maximize the number of people who can be notified of exposure. Both apps maintain your privacy and work seamlessly to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 by providing timely notifications to a broad range of users in an efficient and secure manner.

Be a part of a communitywide approach to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help to save lives in North Dakota. ADD YOUR PHONE TO THE COVID-19 FIGHT.

North Dakota’s 2020 influencer campaign off to a great start

The 2020 influencer campaign program is in full swing! So far, we have hosted seven national travel bloggers within a span of five weeks. To date, this has resulted in seven blog posts and 545 social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter and Pinterest. The influencers have also visited 15 communities throughout North Dakota. In total, we have reached 9,454,832 million people across the country. Here are a few of the posts:

Kids are a Trip: Grand Forks to Pembina Gorge

All eyes on North Dakota sunflower fields during annual bloom

North Dakota Tourism Division's sunflower campaign continues to garner media attention. The campaign attracted just shy of 15,000 unique pageviews in its first three weeks at NDtourism.com.

New greetings await travelers entering North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Transportation is updating welcome signs at key entry points in the state. The new signs incorporate the state’s new branding message inviting travelers to be legendary.

Travel Tidbits

Deadline for annual Governor's Photo Contest submissions drawing near

There’s still time to get those last-minute photos in for the 2020 North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism. The deadline is Aug. 31. Please share this information with people in your communities. Photographers can submit photos to one or more of the following categories: Road Trips, #InThisTogetherND, Wildlife, Badlands Scenery, Beyond Badlands Scenery and Main Street ND.

Tourism Industry Update

Keep an eye out for future Tourism Industry Update calls. North Dakota Tourism will schedule the sessions as needed to pass on updated data and information pertinent during the pandemic.

Click here to watch previous updates.

Historical Society seeking public input on historic preservation goals

The North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office and the State Historical Society of North Dakota invite the public to complete a survey of historic preservation goals and activities for the five-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Responses will be collected through Jan. 1, 2021, and will be used to determine the future of historic preservation in the state.

View the current preservation plan on the State Historical Society website. Please direct questions to Historic Preservation Specialist Zachary J. Lechner or call 701-328-3576.

Scenic Byway Foundation training leaders help their byways thrive

Click here for the Scenic Byway Foundation newsletter for details on how to help your local byways and backways thrive.

Border closure extended again

Canadian and U.S. officials have agreed to keep the border closed to non-essential travel through at least Sept. 21, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The recreational travel ban will be revisited at that time.


Unforgettable outdoor adventures in North Dakota.

Wide open spaces road trip in North Dakota.

Buffalo City theme park proposed in Jamestown.