Ontario is investing $100 million in the province’s tourism sector to help it recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The money will be distributed through the new Tourism Recovery Program, which will help for-profit tourism businesses in the attraction, accommodation, and leisure travel sectors.
Eligible tourism businesses include inns and lodges, boat tours, ski centres, live performance venues, cinemas, drive-in theatres, and amusement and water parks.
“The last 18-months of the pandemic have been the most challenging Ontario’s tourism industry has ever faced. Previously an economic powerhouse for the province, tourism has been hit by the triple threat that COVID-19 represents – a health, economic and social crisis,” said Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod. “This critical funding will help support regionally significant businesses, while protecting jobs in communities that rely on the tourism industry.”
The Ontario Tourism Recovery Program will support tourism businesses that have experienced a loss of at least 50 per cent of eligible revenue in 2020-21 compared to 2019. Program funding will help successful applicants prepare to reopen safely, develop innovative tourism products, retain and create tourism jobs, and support tourism recovery in their region and throughout Ontario.
Successful recipients will have the flexibility to apply funds to any eligible expenses and do what makes the most sense for their businesses. Expenses could include reopening and operating costs such as staff salaries and maintenance, health and safety measures for visitors and workers, tourism product and experience development, or marketing.
Applications for this program will open on October 13, 2021.