On April 6, Regional Tourism Organization 8 (RTO8) 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 Kawarthas Northumberland.

Support is available for incorporated 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.

Through RTO8, for-profit businesses in City of Kawartha Lakes, City of Peterborough, Peterborough County and Northumberland County 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 Tourism Businesses, and Incorporated Not-For-Profits that service tourists on a regular basis.  This program is to assist in the recovery of the tourism industry within Tourism Region 8 as defined by the Province of Ontario – City of Kawartha Lakes, City of Peterborough, Peterborough County and Northumberland County. This fund will help position the Kawarthas Northumberland region to be a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants can apply for a non-repayable contribution between $25,000 and $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible project costs for incorporated for-profit businesses and up to 100% of eligible project costs for not-for-profit organizations and municipalities. Costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis up to 12 months prior to the receipt of a project application, but no earlier than April 19, 2021. All projects must be completed by, and all project expenses incurred no later then, December 31, 2022.

Eligible applicants must be part of the tourism ecosystem and include:

  • incorporated businesses, primarily small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • not-for-profit incorporated organizations (including tourism associations and destination marketing organizations) 
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Indigenous Sole Proprietor
  • co-operatives (for-profit and not-for-profit)
  • municipalities, Municipal Development Corporations, and related entities
  • post-secondary institutions

Note: ONE application per eligible applicant.  You may have multiple projects but can only submit ONE application

Ineligible Applicants:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotel chains
  • Retail sector
  • Sole proprietorships

Note: independent businesses may be considered for funding if they are an anchor product and the main reason for attracting tourists to the region. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.

For more details on eligibility criteria and eligible activities, please consult the application guide and our FAQ page

Are you an Indigenous owned and controlled business?

RTO8 / Kawarthas Northumberland is proud to work in partnership with Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) to deliver 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, you have the option to apply directly through TRF@indigenoustourismontario.ca or directly through RTO8. 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 RTO8 will work collaboratively to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in the Kawarthas Northumberland region.

How to Apply

The application intake for the Tourism Relief Fund is now closed.

Questions? Or need clarification? View our FAQ page or contact us at brendawood@rto8.com