The Ontario government announced on Wednesday a total investment of $68.5 million through the Tourism Relief Fund for Indigenous Tourism Ontario and 11 Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) across southern Ontario.
This was announced by Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
The investment will help tourism businesses and communities safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare for future growth, said a news release.
With an investment of $3.5 million, Indigenous Tourism Ontario will provide non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Band Councils, and Indigenous communities to invest in new or enhanced tourism experiences, upgrade tourism assets, and attract domestic and international tourists. ITO will also deliver the Renew Indigenous Tourism program to support Indigenous organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs as they work to recover from the pandemic. This investment will support up to 40 Indigenous projects to create and maintain up to 100 jobs.
As part of this investment, 11 RTOs across southern Ontario will also receive a combined investment of $65 milion to distribute funding through non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to southern Ontario tourism-oriented businesses and organizations to innovate and invest in new and enhanced tourism experiences to attract visitors from within Canada and around the world. This investment will support up to 1,300 tourism entities and create or maintain up to 4,100 jobs. Please see the backgrounder for additional project details.
In total, this overall investment will support 1,340 tourism entities and create and maintain 4,200 jobs. More information on how to apply for support will be available on the ITO and eligible RTO’s websites shortly.
As well, the application portal for the Tourism Relief Fund remains open on the FedDev Ontario website and interested organizations are encouraged to apply online.
“The Government of Canada investment announced today will ensure small tourism businesses and organizations in southern Ontario are supported as they find new and innovative ways to attract visitors. The tourism sector is vital to communities and drives economic growth in local economies in southern Ontario and across Canada. Our government will continue to ensure the tourism sector has the tools it needs to recover so it is well-positioned for a strong and resilient economic future,” said Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.