Tourism Relief Fund in southern Ontario
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Now open for applications
The Tourism Relief Fund, administered by Canada's regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. With a budget of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives and $15 million for national initiatives, this fund will position Canada to be a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe by:
- empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors
- helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world
Indigenous tourism projects are important to Canada's economic recovery efforts and a priority under the Tourism Relief Fund. Under the fund, a minimum of $50 million will specifically support Indigenous tourism initiatives. Contributions to Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will normally be non-repayable. Indigenous applicants are invited to apply through the process described below.
National tourism support
An envelope of $15 million, delivered by ISED, will support the advancement of national tourism priorities aligned with Canada’s Tourism Growth Strategy, such as destination development, seasonal and geographic dispersion, and human resources and skills development. This funding provides the opportunity to leverage the reach and expertise of national tourism organizations to support pan-Canadian or multi-regional activities addressing challenges facing the tourism sector on its path to recovery, like conferences and events, training and research, and strengthening networks. More details will be available shortly.
Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as:
- not-for-profit organizations, such as tourism associations
- band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives
To be considered eligible for this fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience
- be part of a defined tourism cluster or a tourism dependent community, including supporting downtown cores or
- provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination
For more details on eligibility criteria, please consult the Application guide.
Tourism Relief Fund projects will focus on:
- product development: for example, projects that enhance tourism experiences; help tourism businesses adapt to the "new normal", to modernize their offerings; and, encourage the adoption of more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices
- destination development: for example, projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development prospects in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy
Recognizing local realities, the RDAs will work to address the needs of businesses and communities on a regional basis, offering consistent support across Canada in this critical time.
For more details on the eligibility criteria, please consult the Application guide.
- Contributions to businesses will be either:
- non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs or
- fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs
- Note: A business cannot receive a combination of a non-repayable and a repayable contribution for the same project.
- Assistance to cover operational needs will only be considered on a case-by-case basis (repayable for businesses and non-repayable for not-for-profits). Contact us for more information.
- Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will be eligible for non-repayable contributions
- project contribution amounts would not exceed $500,000. The actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project
Submitting an application
Start the application process by using the Applicant checklist.
If this fund is not right for you, see what other FedDev Ontario support is available. Review more funding opportunities or visit our business services page. You can also find out more about the Government of Canada's complete suite of COVID-19 relief support.
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