Cornwall Ontario – Tourism businesses and organizations across southern Ontario and Canada offer a variety of exciting new experiences to visitors. They can now enhance those experiences with funding from the Tourism Growth Program.

Over $30 million is available to businesses and organizations in southern Ontario to develop tourism attractions and experiences that will draw people to our country and communities. About 15% of the investment will support Indigenous-led tourism initiatives. Applications are currently being accepted. Tourism businesses and organizations can visit the Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario page to see if they are eligible and submit an application.

“The profound economic impact of tourism cannot be understated,” says Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Every year, southern Ontario attracts millions of visitors to enjoy its natural beauty, vibrant events and festivals, unique rural and Indigenous experiences, and world-class destinations. The Government of Canada is committed to the success of southern Ontario’s tourism industry.”

The Tourism Growth Program is a key component of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, which charts a course for long-term growth, investment, and stability in Canada’s tourism industry. By continuing to take action to help the tourism industry grow and prosper, the Government of Canada is helping businesses and communities to create memorable experiences, grow and contribute to their local economies.

Quick Facts

  • There will be two application periods in southern Ontario. The first is open now and closes February 29, 2024. The second will open in the summer 2024.
  • Eligible applicants include:
    • incorporated small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the tourism industry
    • Indigenous-owned businesses (including Indigenous sole proprietors) or Indigenous tourism organizations
    • not-for-profit organizations (including tourism associations and economic development organizations)
    • governments (municipal/provincial/territorial and related entities)
  • The Tourism Growth Program was announced in Budget 2023. Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) will deliver $108 million, over three years, to businesses and organizations to help diversify regional economies.
  • In 2023, Ontario welcomed 8.6 million international tourists in the first seven months. Tourism spending accounts for $36 billion or 4% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $400 million in more than 1,350 tourism-related businesses and organizations, estimated to create over 4,500 jobs and maintain over 15,400 jobs. This included nearly $140 million in tourism support through Tourism Relief Fund.

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