On July 12 the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced a new federal funding program to assist the tourism industry with recovery.

This new Tourism Relief Fund (TRF ) will provide $500 million in support for the tourism sector over a two-year period. The majority of the funding, $485 million, will be delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) directly to tourism businesses and organizations to help aide in the creation of new tourism experiences, or enhance existing ones. Of this $485 million, a minimum of 10% will be invested in Indigenous tourism projects.

Additionally, $15 million will be delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to support destination development, seasonal and local attractions, human resources and skills development.

Funds delivered to businesses will be either non-repayable (contributions up to $100,000) or repayable (contributions up to $500,000). Not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous organizations (not generating profits) will be eligible for non-repayable contributions.

To find out if your business or organization qualifies for TRF funding and to apply, go to Western Diversification at https://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/20179.asp.

We’d like to acknowledge and thank the Tourism Industry Association of Canada for their tenacious advocacy and leadership on this item.