The province has confirmed that the $100 million Ontario Tourism Recovery Program, previously announced in the spring budget, will launch in mid-October.
The goal of the program, notes a news release from the province, is to help stabilize the province’s tourism industry as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.
The program will help for-profit tourism businesses in the attraction, accommodation, and leisure travel sectors protect critical jobs in communities across the province and help them prepare to reopen and safely welcome back visitors.
“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 Lisa MacLeod, the minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries.
“This critical funding will help support regionally significant businesses, while protecting jobs in communities that rely on the tourism industry.”
Businesses that help drive employment and visitors to their regions are eligible to apply for the Ontario Tourism Recovery Program. These organizations are key employers and tourism generators in all regions of the province.
Eligible tourism businesses include inns and lodges, boat tours, ski hills/resorts, live performance venues, cinemas, drive-in theatres, and amusement and water parks.
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 Oct. 13, 2021.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply visit www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/awards_funding/OTRP.shtml.