Tourism Relief Fund in Western Canada
Now open for applications.
The Tourism Relief Fund, administered by Canada’s regional development agencies and Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), supports tourism businesses and organizations 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 operators 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 offering 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, $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 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), will support the advancement of national tourism priorities aligned with Canada’s Federal 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
- provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination
For more details on eligible applicants, please consult the applicant 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” and 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 regional development agencies (RDAs) will work to address the needs of businesses and communities on a regional basis across Canada and offer consistent support across the country in this critical time.
For more details on the eligibility criteria, please consult the applicant 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.
Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will be eligible for non-repayable contributions.
Project contribution amounts would not normally exceed $500,000. The actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project.
Submitting an application
Before submitting an application, please make sure to consult the applicant guide.
Once you are ready, please complete and submit the Tourism Relief Fund application form.
For more information on the resources available for businesses, visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page, consult the Managing your business during COVID-19 page or download the Canada Business application.
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