Canada has launched the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), a $500-million national program that is part of a broader $1-billion package to support the tourism sector. The funding was first proposed by the Trudeau government in its 2021 federal budget.
The goal of the TRF is to help Canada’s tourism industry welcome back domestic travellers by creating new or enhanced tourism experiences and products, and to attract international visitors by repositioning Canada as a world-class destination.
The fund will also be used by tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, improve their products and services and position themselves for post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Since the pandemic began, Meetings Mean Business Canada has advocated to various levels of government to support our industry. Along with many other important partners, the coalition has elevated government understanding of the important contribution made by business events to the Canadian economy,” says Clark Grue, Chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada.
“Today’s announcement reflects the federal government’s understanding of the pandemic’s impact on our industry over the past 18 months. We’re very pleased to see this financial support available to help Canada’s business events industry rebuild for the future.”
Highlights from today’s announcement by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages:
- Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) will deliver $485 million directly to businesses and organizations to help them adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.
- A minimum of $50 million will go toward funding Indigenous tourism projects.
- $15 million will be available, through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, to support destination development, seasonal and local attractions, and human resources and skills development. This funding will help leverage the reach and expertise of national tourism organizations to support pan-Canadian or multi-regional activities addressing challenges facing the tourism sector on its path to recovery, such as conferences and events, training and research, and strengthening networks. Contributions to businesses will be either non-repayable (contributions up to $100,000) or repayable (contributions up to $500,000).