Tourism Relief Fund – Quebec - Applicant’s Guide
Part of the QDEP program
Complementary to the main Tourism Relief Fund webpage, this guide is intended to provide additional information on the Fund and how to apply.
Description of the Tourism Relief Fund
The Tourism Relief Fund (the Fund) has a $500 million budget envelope for all of Canada for a duration of two years, from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2023. Of this amount $118.7 million is reserved for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec (CED) to implement the Fund in Quebec.
The objective of this relief fund is to support tourism entities in strategically adapting their products and services to public-health requirements, while planning for and investing in recovery efforts for future growth. The Fund aims to give them the means to take advantage of domestic market opportunities and help the sector prepare to welcome international visitors.
In additional to the eligibility criteria set out on the main page (i.e. being: a supplier/operator essential to the visitor experience, member of a defined tourism cluster or a destination’s flagship product), organizations and their projects must meet the following criteria:
- Be a “tourism entity”:
In the context of the Fund, a tourism entity is an entity mainly intended to attract or host tourists* in the sectors of recreation and entertainment, accommodation, tourism transport (excursions and experiences) or tourism circuit planning and organizations. The entity must also be part of the tourism ecosystem or work to support an entity that is part of this ecosystem, such as a professional or support service provider.
*Definition of tourists: people who take a trip outside their home town for one night or more but less than a year, and who use commercial or private accommodations.
The following are also taken into consideration in analyzing and prioritizing projects:
- Strategic importance for the region’s tourism sector
- Contribution to a region’s economic development
- Job creation
- Region’s dependence on tourism, including downtowns
- Support for the Indigenous tourism sector
The following organizations are normally ineligible for the Fund:
- Hotel chains
- Self-employed workers and sole proprietorships
NOTE: Under very exceptional circumstances, restaurants or Canadian-owned hotels that meet the Fund eligibility criteria could be considered. Please contact CED at the email address or telephone number provided in the “Submission of applications” section for further information.
- Compensation for loss of revenue
- Refinancing of an existing debt
- Reimbursement of capital on a debt
- purchase of goods at a cost that exceeds their fair market value
- Amortization costs
Percentage of eligible costs (rate of assistance)
- The maximum contribution rate for repayable commercial contributions is up to 75% of eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000.
- The maximum contribution rate for non-repayable commercial contributions is up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $100,000.
- The maximum contribution rate for repayable non-commercial contributions is generally 90% of eligible costs.
Government assistance stacking limit
The maximum level (stacking limit) of Total Government Assistance (federal/ provincial/territorial/municipal assistance) is 100% of eligible costs.
Examples of activities and projects
Development and enhancement of tourism experiences to help tourism businesses adapt to the “new normal” to modernize tourism offerings and help the sector adopt more environmentally sustainable practices.
Examples of activities:
- Creating, adapting and improving protocols and permanent infrastructure to meet health and safety requirements for visitors and employees so businesses can continue to function.
- Help operators who traditionally depend on international markets, like downtowns, to create innovative and attractive tourism offerings for local and domestic visitors before international tourists return.
- Modernizing operations, attractions, green initiatives and online sales.
- Strengthen capacity to provide more inclusive tourism experience (e.g. training staff to provide welcoming and inclusive environments for a diverse clientele, gender-neutral washrooms, etc.).
Examples of projects:
- A wine association develops itineraries and routes with interactive tools that allow visitors to explore a wine region on their own, encouraging them to stay longer and spend more money visiting towns and villages along the way, and further establishing the region's reputation as a culinary destination.
- To meet public health requirements and visitors' expectations of physical distance, an amusement park hires a consultant to minimize congestion and maximize the use of space by reconfiguring it. The Fund could then be used to support investments in the necessary physical changes
- Destination Development to support projects that would enable communities to capitalize on post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium and long-term investments, as well as support for destination development, consistent with the goals outlined in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
Examples of activities:
- Assist local communities in developing sustainable tourism plans based on research and market analysis and designed to rebuild community confidence in tourism.
- Equip small and medium-sized tourism businesses to extend their product and service offerings to increase visitor numbers during the winter and slower seasons.
- Assist destinations in planning tourism infrastructure and implementing tourism plans that create or enhance local facilities.
- Support the development and implementation of tourism economic development recovery plans that address key market responses when travel can safely resume.
- Enhance tourism services and experiences that will meet visitor expectations post-COVID-19, including assisting communities and SMEs in developing experiential tourism.
- Implement strategies to reactivate and enliven downtowns and main streets through activities, public art, and the use of mixed-use spaces.
- Support growth and market expansion activities for tourism businesses that are critical to the regional economic vitality and business climate.
Example of project:
- An organization hires a tourism consultant to begin a development process or improvement of a tourist route comprising several attractions in a region, including microdestinations, in consultation with local stakeholders.
Cash flow needs: Tourism entities with cash flow needs related to the impacts of COVID-19 may also apply for financial assistance related to this need under the Fund. Please contact CED for more details and to find out the terms and conditions that apply.
Submission of applications
Applications for funding will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. The initiative ends on March 31, 2023.
For more information or to apply, contact us.
An advisor will answer your questions, assess your eligibility and, if applicable, forward you the documents you need to complete to apply, which may include but are not limited to:
- Application form, including:
- Your organization’s legal name and contact information
- Authorized person(s)
- Employment and diversity information
- Declaration in relation to the Lobbying Act and legal proceedings
- Environmental compliance
- Authorization and commitment
- Project plan, including:
- A description of your organization and activities, including your tourism attendance statistics
- A description of your project, its costs, financing and expected economic benefits
- Your financial statements for the last two years and the most recent interim statements
- Your projected financial statements for the next two years
- Environmental characterization grid
Once all the requested information has been received, a decision will be rendered as soon as possible as per our service standards.