The Northwest Territories and federal governments are launching a new $1.5 million funding program to help tourism businesses in the territory during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, the NWT’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) announced it was contributing $750,000 to the Growing and Recovery by Investing in Tourism fund. The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is contributing the other $750,000 through the federal Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.
“Given the challenges our economy is facing, we are pleased to provide this specific funding to benefit the NWT tourism industry,” Katrina Nokleby, NWT’s ITI minister was quoted as saying. “Our tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by Covid-19, and it is imperative that we continue [to] support it through the pandemic and into recovery.”
The fund aims to encourage product development and marketing as well as cover some of the operational costs of NWT tourism businesses affected by travel restrictions.
There are three streams of funding available.
A maximum of $75,000 may be granted toward the development of a new tourism product or the enhancement of an existing product. Up to $10,000 can be used for marketing, with a priority on marketing to NWT residents. Finally, up to $5,000 may be be put toward seasonal maintenance, minor infrastructure repair, equipment maintenance, preparatory work, fuel costs, and – for lodge operators only – one round-trip charter flight.
Tourism businesses can apply for the one-time funding at ITI regional offices.
To be eligible for the funding, they must rely on travellers for a significant portion of their income. Airlines are ineligible unless they hold a valid tourism operator licence.
Businesses will be required to contribute 10 per cent cash equity and use NWT suppliers. Projects must be completed by March 31, 2021.