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Regional Relief Recovery Fund

TIAO Announces DMOs receiving FedDev Ontario support to provide financial relief and support recovery

On May 31, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) would receive $30 million in FedDev Ontario Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) funding.

With this funding, TIAO is providing financial support to destination marketing organizations (DMOs) across southern Ontario that have experienced significant revenue shortfalls since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. DMOs are an integral part of local tourism economies and will help drive visitors back into
local communities as our provincial economy reopens safely. This influx of visitors will help generate new revenues for tourism dependent SMEs and will be the catalyst for economic recovery across the province.
Today, TIAO today is pleased to announce that the following DMOs have been successful in their application for funding and will receive a grant based on the size of their organization.

These DMOs are:

Tourism London, Haldimand County, Tourism Oxford, Town of LaSalle, ChathamKent Tourism, Tourism Leamington, Tourism Windsor, Essex, Pelee Island, Tourism Sarnia Lambton, Norfolk County Tourism, County of Middlesex, Tourism Niagara Falls, Niagara West Tourism (Southcoast), Tourism Niagara-on-theLake, Twenty Valley Tourism, Tourism St. Catharines, Tourism Hamilton, Tourism Burlington, Visit Oakville, Tourism Brantford, County of Brant, Explore Waterloo, Stratford Tourism Alliance, Perth County Tourism (west), Visit Guelph Fergus & Elora Tourism - also represents Centre Wellington, Tourism Goderich, Tourism Toronto, Tourism Brampton, Tourism Vaughan, Tourism Markham, Tourism Clarington, Six Nations Tourism, Dufferin County, Experience York Region, Blue Mountain Village Association, Owen Sound Tourism,
Tourism Barrie, Visit South Georgian Bay, Orillia and Ontario's Lake Country Tourism, Heart of Georgian Bay/North Simcoe Tourism, Peterborough & the Kawarthas, Northumberland Tourism, Town of Cobourg, Trent Hills Tourism, Visit Kingston, Prince Edward County, Bay of Quinte (incl Quinte West & Belleville), Tourism Cornwall, Tourism 1000 Islands, United Counties of Stormont Dundas Glengarry, Brockville Chamber of Commerce, United Counties Leeds Grenville, Ottawa Tourism, Prescott-Russell, Lennox & Addington, Ottawa Valley Tourism and Town of Perth (East).

Payments to successful applicants will be released between June 23 and 30.

"Our tourism industry and the 1.8 million people it employs across Canada haven been hit hard by COVID-19, and we’re here for them. This important partnership between FedDev Ontario and TIAO will help more people discover the wonders ofntheir own backyards. Our message to the tourism sector and those whose
livelihoods depend on it is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together.We’re working with you to support good jobs and help tourism come back strong.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and
Official Languages and Minister responsible for Federal Economic
Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“We’re delighted to confirm today the names of the destination marketing organizations (DMOs) that will receive funding from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). This financial support will help DMOs to communicate with travellers about the wide and diverse tourism offer throughout our province. It will help to showcase the extensive health and safety precautions being taken by businesses and operators as we move with caution reopen our economy and rebuild trust with domestic and international travellers.
TIAO would like to thank Minister Joly and FedDev Ontario for their commitment to supporting the tourism industry whilst we navigate these unprecedented times.”

Beth Potter, Chief Executive Officer and President of TIAO

“This is welcome news and we appreciate this significant investment through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provided by FedDev Ontario, in support of the hospitality and tourism industry, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Destination Markham Corporation, this funding program will assist local businesses on the road to recovery and encourage people to explore
and discover all that our vibrant and thriving communities have to offer, while ensuring public safety remains our top priority.”

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti

Regional Relief Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound economic impact on businesses and organizations across the country. The tourism sector in particular has suffered, as travel and tourism-related activities have ceased. From the outset, the Government of Canada has introduced measures to support sectors affected by the pandemic, including the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), launched on May 13. 

The national $ 962-million fund, being delivered through Canada's regional development agencies, aims to support businesses and tourism SMEs across Canada that have been unable to access existing federal relief measures. In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario is delivering $ 213 million to support the region's SMEs. 

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario supports Ontario's vibrant and diverse tourism industry and advocates for the importance of the industry to economic development and job creation. 

That is why today, the Honorable Mélanie Joly (May 31st), Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) will receive $ 30 million in FedDev Ontario RRRF funding to provide financial relief to destination marketing organizations (DMOs) across southern Ontario that have experienced significant revenue shortfalls. 

DMOs are critical to the fabric of local tourism sectors in communities across the region. The funding delivered by TIAO will support southern Ontario's DMOs to drive visitors back into local communities as the economy reopens. This, in turn will help generate new revenue for tourism dependent SMEs and help local economic recovery in communities across the region. 

Canada's tourism sector showcases its culture, diversity, natural beauty and unique experiences to the world. It generates significant economic benefits across the country and supports one in 10 jobs. The funds being delivered in partnership through FedDev Ontario and TIAO will help to support the economic recovery of this critical sector in the months to come. 

The assistance to DMOs will be provided in the form of non-repayable contributions. 

Read the press release here .

Read more about the RFFF here

Please note we're still awaiting details on how FedNor will be distributing their financial support in Northern Ontario. As soon as we receive that information we will disseminate it through our channels. Please see FedNor's website here for the latest information.

What constitutes a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) ?

To be eligible to receive funding applicants must meet the following definition of a DMO.

DMOs are organizations that help promote and market local attractions, accommodation options, tourism services, transportation, associated retail stores, restaurants, and events.  The objective of DMOs are to attract visitors to relative destinations including, Indigenous and Francophone destinations, and develop local economies as a result of increased tourism.

The financial relief provided to DMOs through this project will allow them to launch dedicated marketing campaigns to drive visitor activity back into their communities, while reducing pressure for tourism operators to pay DMO association fees. 

This project will allow tourism operators to retain their revenues and recover more rapidly from the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Timeline for Applications

Applications Open - June 5

Deadline for applications - June 15

Notification to applicants - June 19

Payments released by - June 23-30


How the funding is awarded

TIAO will determine the amount of funding for each DMO using comparable metrics including the size of each DMO’s operating budget and availability of other government funds. The amount that each DMO receives may be comparable up to approximately 50% of their operating costs over a six-month period.

The assistance to DMOs will be provided in the form of non-repayable contributions. 



How to apply and required information

Download the application via fillable form here or alternatively download the PDF application here.

To complete the form and receive funds you will need to provide or demonstrate the following:

(a) A copy of your financial budget for 2020 operations including proof of year on year revenue shortfalls. 

(b) The number of your employees, broken down to full-time, part-time and seasonal status.

(c) Intended application of funding and how it will benefit the tourism industry.

(d) How the applicant will regularly report back on progress and how it is meeting the intended use of provided funding.

(e) To be able to receive funds electronically.

(f) Provision of logo,  main point of contact and signing officers.

***Please note funds cannot be used towards anything that the applying DMO is already receiving government support from in another separate application.***


Additional Information for Applicants (June 9th Update)

As part of our statement of work with FedDev Ontario, TIAO will lead weekly calls with the DMOs to ensure a collaborative approach to supporting/reigniting the tourism industry in Ontario.  These calls will focus on both the strategic approach and the implementation of tactics that you will use.  

As such, when completing your application you should consider planning, as part of an all Ontario effort, for rebuilding tourism in a phased approach.   For instance, strategies and tactics be focused on promoting Ontario from the local level and out.  The phased approach will follow a path like this:  

First - Hyper-Local (Shop, buy, eat and stay local - support food & drink, retail, artists, attractions, agri-tourism – get out and explore your own community);  

Next – Explore Ontario (as Ontarians regain confidence and are willing to travel a little farther afield and explore the region or the one next door (think revisiting parks, trails and attractions);

Then – The Ontario Bucket List (what iconic site/taste/experience is on offer in your destination).  

Please note that all recipient DMOs will be required to participate in weekly group calls with TIAO to share progress and to continue to build collaboration with fellow recipient DMOs.

FAQ for the RRRF

In response to the most commonly asked questions about the project. We have produced a set of FAQ in English and French.

Download our FAQ in English here.

Download our FAQ in French here.