Applications will be accepted, starting this week, for a $100-million recovery program aimed at helping tourism operators across the province in the attraction, accommodation and leisure travel sectors.
Announced by the province in late September, the Tourism Recovery Program opens to applicants on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
“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,” Ontario Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod said in a Sept. 27 news release.
“This critical funding will help support regionally significant businesses, while protecting jobs in communities that rely on the tourism industry.”
According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, tourism‐related industries experienced a loss of 94,000 jobs between August 2019 and August 2021.
The Tourism Recovery Program is geared toward for-profit businesses that have experienced a loss of at least 50 per cent of eligible revenue in 2020-2021, as compared to 2019.
Eligible businesses include inns and lodges, boat tours, ski centres, live performance venues, cinemas, drive-in theatres, and amusement and water parks.
The funding is aimed at helping businesses reopen safely, develop innovative tourism products, and retain and create jobs in tourism.
There are no restrictions on how the money can be used – recipients are directed to use the money in whatever way best suits their business.
Examples 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.
The initiative was originally outlined in the 2021 Budget.