The $100 million Ontario Tourism Recovery Program, previously announced in the spring budget, opens for applications on October 13. The Tourism Recovery Program will support for-profit tourism businesses in the attractions, accommodation, and leisure travel sectors that help drive employment and visitors to their regions. Eligible businesses include hotels, inns, resorts, boat tours, ski hills, distilleries, hunting and fishing camps, airlines, motor coaches, live performance venues, cinemas, drive-in theatres, amusement parks, museums, and Indigenous attractions. 

The Tourism Recovery Program will support tourism businesses that have experienced a loss of at least 50% of eligible revenue in 2020-21 compared to 2019. Eligible applicants will receive up to 20% of 2020-2021 qualifying revenue losses with a funding cap of $1 million. Program funding will go towards helping businesses reopen safely, develop innovative tourism products, and/or retain and create tourism jobs. Eligible expenses 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 will be accepted from October 13 to November 10, 2021. The review process will take 8 weeks – the program is very competitive (there is no guarantee that applications will be successful even if they meet all of the eligibility criteria). Applicants will be assessed on criteria such as whether the business is a key visitation driver to the region, a significant employer, and whether they are a key revenue generator. Audited financial statements will not be required to apply. 

For more information, read the news release here and TIAO's article here.

For a full list of eligible businesses, activities, and application details, visit the Ontario Tourism Recovery Program page here

Full program details, including all eligibility criteria and application requirements, will be available when the application portal opens on October 13.

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