The Ontario government is investing almost $4.4 million to support the long-term sustainability of the province’s tourism industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government funding will help carry out safe experiences, like virtual festivals and events, and will contribute to supporting tourism operators through two new efforts: the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund.
Today, Minister @MacLeodLisa announced an investment of $912,000 in 14 provincial initiatives through the new Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund to help Ontario’s tourism industry recover from the impacts of COVID-19. https://t.co/ntw9M9KKtR pic.twitter.com/gRfrcpXh5S
— Heritage Sport Tourism Culture Industries (@ExploreON) December 3, 2020
“It is critical that we support organizations as they adapt and find new ways to engage and reconnect Ontarians with their local communities while creating local jobs,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, in a statement.
“Through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund, our government’s investments will help support the economic and social recovery of communities across Ontario, making sure we are well positioned to re-emerge stronger, and once again showcase how Ontario offers the world in one province.”
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The government will invest more than $3.4 million through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, which will support 27 local events and initiatives.
This funding will also support festival and event organizers as they adapt to new public health measures that were brought on by the pandemic, with virtual, drive-thru, and other events that have been approved by public health.
The minimum operating budget requirement for the program is being waived by the government to make it accessible to more community organizers.
Today I announced $4.3 M in tourism funding from the Tourism Economic Development & Recovery Fund and the Reconnect Festival and Event Program with @TIAOtweets @SeeTorontoNow @stacktmarket & @thebentway! pic.twitter.com/wowjxRi5Ep
— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) December 3, 2020
The provincial government is also investing more than $912,000 in the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund, which is a program that provides funding for projects that encourage the development of innovative tourism products, support tourism investment, or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry.
The deadline for applications for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program is December 22 at 5 pm, while applications are being accepted for the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund on an ongoing basis.