The Government of Canada has just launched the Tourism Relief Fund, to be delivered through FedDev Ontario. The Tourism Relief Fund 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.

This fund has a $500 million budget (ending March 31, 2023) and will focus on product development and destination development. The fund will empower businesses to create or enhance tourism experiences and products to attract visitors and to help the sector provide the best Canadian tourism experiences. 

Contributions to businesses will be either non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50 per cent of eligible costs OR fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75 per cent of eligible costs. 

The fund will offer a minimum of $50 million to support Indigenous tourism initiatives and $15 million will be dedicated to national initiatives that support the advancement of national tourism priorities. Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and band councils or other Indigenous organizations and co-operatives.  

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.