Did you know that there is a tourism relief fund in Canada? The fund was established to provide financial assistance to Canadian businesses and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what you need to know about it.
The tourism relief fund was established in March 2020. It is a joint initiative of the government of Canada and the tourism industry. The fund provides financial assistance to Canadian businesses and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is administered by Destination Canada, which is a national tourism organization. The fund is open to all Canadian businesses and organizations involved in the tourism industry. It includes businesses that provide goods or services to tourists, as well as businesses that are located in tourist destinations. Eligible recipients can receive up to $75,000 in financial assistance.
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What Is the Tourism Relief Fund?
The tourism relief fund is a program offered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. It provides financial assistance to Canadian businesses and organizations that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted. The tourism relief fund is open to all businesses and organizations in Canada that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and funding is awarded based on the applicant’s losses.
The Tourism Relief Fund, which is administered by Canada’s regional development agencies and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), assists tourism businesses and organizations in adapting their operations to meet public health requirements while also investing in products and services that will help them grow in the future.
With a budget of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), this fund will promote Canada as a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe by:
- assisting tourism businesses in developing new or improving existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors;
- I am assisting the sector in repositioning itself to welcome international visitors by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences available to the world.
What Are the Eligibility Criteria?
Entities that cater primarily to visitors are eligible applicants, such as:
- Tourism associations, for example, are non-profit organizations.
- Other Indigenous groups and cooperatives, such as band councils
Applicants must meet at least one of the following requirements to be considered for this fund:
- Participate in the visitor experience as a significant provider or operator.
- Support downtown cores as part of a specified tourism cluster or a tourism-dependent community.
- In a tourism destination, provide an anchor product or service.
How to Apply?
Please read through the applicant guide before applying.
Applicant guide here
Fill out the Tourism Relief Fund application form online when you’re ready, and then submit it to us:
- through the application for financial assistance page; or
- by mail to the ACOA regional office in your province.
Below is the link for the application form here
Which Activities Are Eligible?
Projects funded by the Tourism Relief Fund will include:
Destination development projects: Projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments and support destination development prospects in line with the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy’s objectives.
Product development: for example, projects that improve tourism experiences, assist tourism businesses in adapting to the “new normal,” and encourage adopting more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
Recognizing local realities, RDAs will collaborate to address the needs of businesses and communities on a regional level, providing consistent support across Canada at this critical time.
Indigenous tourism projects are critical to Canada’s economic recovery efforts, and they are a top priority for the Tourism Relief Fund. A minimum of $50 million will be allocated to Indigenous tourist activities under the fund. Contributions to Indigenous entities that do not generate revenues are typically non-repayable. Indigenous people are encouraged to apply using the procedures outlined below.
Support for Tourism at the National Level
ISED will administer a $15 million fund to promote national tourism initiatives linked with Canada’s Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, including destination development, seasonal and geographic dispersion, and human resources and skills development. This financing allows national tourist organizations to use their reach and experience to support pan-Canadian or multi-regional initiatives, including conferences and events, training and research, and network strengthening that address difficulties facing the tourism sector as it recovers.
What Is the Amount of Funds Provided?
Non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for up to 50% of qualifying expenditures; or fully repayable contributions of up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs will be made to enterprises.
Non-profit organizations and Indigenous enterprises that do not make a profit will be eligible for non-refundable contributions.
Contributions to the project would not exceed $500,000, and the project’s minimal funding requirements will determine the exact contribution amount.
The tourism relief fund has already made a significant impact in many countries. For example, the organization has helped rebuild the Dominican Republic’s infrastructure after the devastating hurricanes in 2017. The tourism relief fund also partnered with the World Bank to provide $2.5 million for a project that will improve the tourist experience in Haiti. This project includes renovating airports, improving access to information, and promoting responsible tourism. These are just a few examples of how the tourism relief fund makes a difference in countries that rely on tourism for economic growth. The organization is committed to helping these countries recover from any setback caused by the decline in tourism.
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