Photo by Rachel Martin on Unsplash

On April 6, Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) received a non-repayable contribution of $7 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 BruceGreySimcoe.

In an April 29 media release, 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.

If your tourism business is owned, managed or led by, or serves under-represented groups; Indigenous, women, Francophone, youth, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, visible minorities, or LGBTQ2S+ communities, then as the diversity of tourism offerings and leadership in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties and the cities of Barrie and Orillia grow, this financial support will assist you and your organization as you recover from the pandemic and enhance your product offerings and workforce strategies.

RTO7 will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to SMEs (small to medium-size enterprises with fewer than 500 employees), incorporated private sector tourism businesses, Indigenous, First Nation, Métis and Inuit owned tourism businesses, and incorporated not-for-profits that service tourists on a regular basis, Indigenous band councils and municipalities in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties and the cities of Barrie and Orillia.

The intention of this fund is to enhance tourism offerings within Region 7 (BruceGreySimcoe) and to create a more sustainable and inclusive destination. Enhancing the sustainability of the region may include enhancements to the extensive trail systems, diversity and inclusivity training and product development.

“Tourism is a billion-dollar-plus, year-round industry in BruceGreySimcoe and provides employment for tens of thousands of residents seasonally and year-round. The tourism industry is starting to recover but needs assistance to meet the changing travelling patterns of today’s tourist. Sustainable and inclusive tourism options that meet the needs of the tourist will also meet the needs of the residents within the region," said Bill Sullivan, CEO, Regional Tourism Organization 7. "Projects could include increasing the number of EV chargers and trail amenities, such as garbage containers and portable washrooms, to assist in the management of trail usage in popular areas while minimizing the pressures on the environment and the residents."

Sullivan said it becomes a win-win for everyone. "Maintaining a healthy tourism industry is part of a healthy community."

For more information or to access guidelines and applications, visit