The federal government has created a new grant program to support small businesses and non-profit organizations with projects and initiatives that bring tourists to Canada.
The aptly named Tourism Growth Program, announced today, is supported by a pool of $108 million in funding over three years. Of this pool, 15% will be set aside for Indigenous tourism programs.
“Not only is it numbers, but it is about the pride. The pride that people have to share their stories and landscapes, to share what makes them their own in their city,” said Soraya Martinez Ferrada, the federal minister of Tourism, during a press conference held at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver on Monday.
“The tourism sector is the only sector that completely shut down during the pandemic. But we have not recovered equally, and not everywhere. We have not recovered the momentum of growth we had before the pandemic.”
The program will be administered by the federal government’s seven regional economic development agencies.
The federal government is aiming to increase the tourism industry’s contribution to Canada’s GDP by 2030. Currently, the tourism industry accounts for $38 billion of the country’s annual GDP and supports about two million jobs.