U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Mark Begich, D-Ark., and Charles Schumer, D-NY, this week introduced the Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act. The bill aims to increase regional tourism across the country by creating a competitive grant program to promote domestic tourism. Tourism is the fifth-largest industry in Minnesota, generating $11 billion in sales and providing nearly 11 percent of the state’s total private sector employment.

“Minnesota is a diverse state that has an abundance of travel and vacation opportunities,” Klobuchar said. “This bill will strengthen local economies and create jobs by bringing businesses together to promote tourism in communities throughout Minnesota and across the country.”

The TRIP Act creates a matching grant program in the Department of Commerce to promote domestic tourism through local-regional partnerships. Grants would benefit regional areas as well as provide benefits to less-marketed tourism destinations. More than $691 billion is spent on travel and tourism each year and more than 85 percent is the result of domestic travel.