The importance of having a robust online presence and effective digital marketing has increased exponentially over the past few years. Tourism businesses can access a variety of grants, programs, and resources to help launch or improve their digital platforms and offerings, ensuring they are keeping up to speed with the changing landscape and consumer demands.
Canada Digital Adoption Program
In March 2022, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP). Over four years, the program will provide $4 billion to support up to 160,000 small and medium-sized businesses launching or improving their online presence. Eligible businesses can apply to access one of two streams:
- Grow Your Business Online: Provides micro-grants of up to $2,400 to put towards e-commerce opportunities/technology.
- Boost Your Business Technology: Provides grants of up to $15,000 to cover up to 90% of the eligible costs of hiring a digital advisor.
Visit the Government of Canada website to learn more about the programs, review eligibility, and apply.
Digital Generator and Digital Greenhouse
The Canada Council for the Arts launched two funding initiatives in the fall of 2021:
- Digital Generator: Provides grants of up to $40,000 to help eligible "arts groups, collectives, and organizations build digital capacity, and transform their business models and operations."
- Digital Greenhouse: Provides grants of up to $50,000 to help eligible "artists, arts groups, collectives, and organizations develop projects that leverage digital technology to address sectoral and digital challenges."
Click the links above to learn more about each program, review eligibility, and submit your application.
Destination BC (DBC) Tourism Digital Academy
DBC’s Tourism Digital Academy is a complimentary 8-week program that offers interactive sessions and one-on-one coaching for tourism businesses wanting to develop their digital marketing knowledge and skills further. Applications are now being accepted for the program's next intake, which starts on March 21.
For those individuals who prefer working through the program at their own pace, there is also a self-guided version, which registered businesses can access for up to 6 months.
DBC's Learning Centre provides additional resources and tools on various topics, including digital and social media marketing.
Destination Canada Marketing Tips & Trips
Destination Canada's Marketing Tips & Tricks webpage offers helpful resources for tourism businesses, including a six-part video series covering several aspects of digital marketing.
If you have an Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) card, you can access LinkedIn Learning for Libraries, which offers access to LinkedIn's library of tutorials and courses covering various topics, including digital marketing. You can sign up for an ORL card online if you don't already have one.
Blogs and Other Helpful Resources
There are several helpful blogs and learning resources available online:
- Skift is a leading source for the travel industry, offering daily and weekly newsletters covering various topics related to travel and tourism.
- Meta Blueprint provides online courses, training, and certifications for the company's products, including Facebook and Instagram.
- The TikTok for Business Blog shares updates, insights, and creative inspiration.
- The Pinterest Business blog offers news and best practices.
- Numerous blogs offer up-to-date insight on social media strategy, trends, and more—here is a handful to check out: