The federal government has announced a new $500 million Tourism Relief Fund to support tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements. The fund will be rolled out over two years.
What funding is available for businesses?
- non-repayable project contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs; or
- fully repayable project contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs.
Who can apply?
Applicants must fall under one of the following categories to be eligible for funding:
- A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience,
- Part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism-dependent community, or
- An anchor product or service in a destination.
Are hotels eligible?
Eligible projects will fall under one of two themes:
- Product development, or development and enhancement of tourism experiences to help tourism businesses adapt to the “new normal,” to modernize tourism offerings, and to help the sector adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.
- Destination development projects that would position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development, in-line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
Hotels may qualify if they are:
- recognized as an anchor attraction in a local destination,
- are a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience in a region, or
- are part of a defined tourism cluster.
Potential projects for hotels that meet the criteria outlined above may vary based on regional needs. Some examples include:
- Seasonal dispersion: investments in the development of tourism products to extend the hotel’s offerings into a new season (e.g. summer hotel creates winter programming to expand its open season).
- New/expanded product offering: bringing in a new program (e.g. a culinary program) and/or adapting current programming to the local/regional market. This could increase the price point and/or length of stay.
- Digital adoption: creating and/or enhancing online booking tools for a hotel.
- Health and safety: funding for PPE.
What are the timelines?
- The project start date cannot be earlier than April 19, 2021. For projects already underway, insert the day from which your organization began incurring eligible costs for activities associated with this project.
- The project end date cannot be later than March 31, 2023.
- Costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis up to 12 months prior to the receipt of a project application, but no earlier than April 19, 2021.
For more details on the eligibility criteria and application process, please consult the application guide.