In mid-July, the Government of Canada announced the launch of the Tourism Relief Fund, providing $500 million in funding, over two years, to support the tourism sector through recovery and for future growth. 

The fund, which continues to accept applications from eligible businesses and organizations, is being administered by regional development agencies across Canada and Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). From the $500 million in funding, a minimum of $50 million will specifically support Indigenous tourism businesses and $15 million will be administered by ISED to "support the advancement of national tourism priorities aligned with Canada’s Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, such as destination development, seasonal and geographic dispersion, and human resources and skills development."

Information from the Application Guide

To be eligible for funding, tourism businesses (primarily small- and medium-sized enterprises), non-profit organizations (including tourism associations and destination marketing organizations), and Indigenous/First Nations/Métis owned businesses and organizations must fall under one or more of the three parameters outlined in the application guide:

  1. A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience.
  2. Part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism-dependent community.
  3. An anchor product or service in a destination. 

Eligible for-profit businesses can access the following funding:

  • non-repayable contributions under $100,000 (rate of assistance of 50% of eligible costs), or
  • fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 (rate of assistance of 75% of eligible costs).

For non-profit organizations and Indigenous entities, the contributions will normally be non-repayable and will not normally exceed $500,000. 

Eligible projects must fall under one of two themes:

  1. Product development/development and enhancement of tourism experiences to help tourism businesses adapt to the ”new normal,” to modernize tourism offerings, and to help the sector adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.
  2. Destination development projects that would position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development, in-line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

Examples of project activities can be found in the application guide

Eligible businesses and organizations in British Columbia can apply for the fund through Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan).