RTO 9 Tourism Relief Fund

On April 6, Region 9 Regional Tourism Organization (RTO9) received a non-repayable contribution of $3 million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), to deliver the Tourism Relief Fund to tourism businesses in South Eastern Ontario.

Support is available for small businesses in the tourism sector to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and seize new market opportunities through enhanced or new products and services.

RTO9 will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. For-profit businesses in South Eastern Ontario can apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible project costs and not-for-profit organizations can apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for 100% of eligible costs.

The Tourism Relief Fund is available to; SMEs* Incorporated Private Sector Tourism Businesses, Indigenous, First Nation, Metis and Inuit owned Tourism Businesses, and Incorporated Not-For-Profits that service tourists on a regular basis, Indigenous Band Councils and Municipalities. This program is to assist in the recovery of the tourism industry within Tourism Region 9 as defined by the Province of Ontario. All expenditures must be made for upgrades to facilities, services, or enhanced sustainability, inclusivity programming that will benefit the visiting tourist and/or tourism employees.

The intention of this fund is to enhance tourism offerings within Region 9 (South Eastern Ontario), and to become a more sustainable and inclusive destination.

Tourism Relief Fund projects will focus on:

  • Product development: for example, projects that enhance tourism experiences; help tourism businesses adapt to the “new normal”, to modernize their offerings; adopt more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
  • Destination development: for example, projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development prospects in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

Tourism businesses in the region are changing. We encourage all incorporated businesses that are owned, managed, led, or serviced by under-represented groups; Indigenous, Women, Francophone, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, Newcomers to Canada, Visible Minorities, and LGBTQ2+ communities to apply. We also encourage Not-For-Profit organizations that support tourists to complete the application. Band Councils and Municipal governments are encouraged to submit an application.

Quick Facts

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is also delivering the Tourism Relief Fund in support of Indigenous tourism in the province of Ontario. If your business or organization is 51% or more Indigenous-owned and controlled, please visit ITO’s Tourism Relief Fund webpage* to apply** and access additional program support. As the recognized voice for Indigenous tourism in Ontario, ITO’s program is customized to the needs of Indigenous communities, organizations, and businesses. Together, ITO and RTO 9 will work collaboratively to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in the South Eastern Ontario region.

Applicants should not submit through both organizations.

Funding Available per applicant (RTO 9 Program)

  • SME Incorporated Private Sector – 50% of Eligible Costs up to $100,000 reimbursement
  • Indigenous, First Nation, Metis and Inuit owned, Tourism Businesses – 50% of Eligible Costs up to $100,000 reimbursement
  • Incorporated NFP – 100% of Eligible Costs up to $100,000 reimbursement
  • Indigenous Band Councils – 100% of Eligible Costs up to $100,000 reimbursement
  • Municipalities – 100% of Eligible Costs up to $100,000 reimbursement
  • SME* – Have fewer than 500 employees

Please consult the guidelines before completing the application

Timelines (RTO 9 Program)

Application Deadlines

  • Opens April 12, 2022, and closes May 15, 2022, at 4:00pm

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.


Katherine Hobbs – Project Manager,

khobbs@region9tourism.ca RTO 9