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Tourism | Optimizing financial support measures for your organisation

Updated on February 22, 2023

Hard hit by the pandemic, environmental issues and labour shortages, organizations and businesses in the tourism, leisure and culture industries must sometimes review infrastructures and business plans. They need financial assistance to do this.

A number of financial aid programs have been adopted by governments and regional bodies to help organizations in Québec and Canada get through this period of change.

Consult the support measures for tourism businesses.

Where to start?

Each program has its own special features. Getting a good understanding and making sure you meet all the criteria can be somewhat complicated.

So, how can you be sure you’re taking full advantage of available financial assistance programs?

The key is to prepare a strong application so that government analysts can process your file quickly. You should:

  • Provide a statement of your situation;
  • Include a revised business plan that is both concise and convincing;
  • Demonstrate that your business is viable.

How to prepare a good case?

Funding agencies generally receive 10 times more applications than available subsidies. It’s important to stand out to increase your chances of being selected.

Before you start filling out forms, take the time to review the eligibility criteria. You want to have the right information on hand and provide the best possible answers to their questions. A carefully crafted application will increase your chances of receiving a fast response and getting approved.

Preparing applications for financial assistance can be difficult and complicated for managers who are already overwhelmed with decisions to make.

Our tourism, leisure and culture team is familiar with all currently available relief programs, as well as their specific eligibility criteria, and the key issues in various sectors and regions. Contact our experts. We’re here to help.

Here are some of the programs available to help you implement your projects and undertake your transformation when necessary.

Support measures in tourism
Support measures for the arts
Support measures for restaurant industry
Regional economic development

Support measures in tourism

Programme d’aide à la relance de l’industrie touristique (PARIT) to support sustainable, innovative projects

The purpose of this program is to support the development and consolidation of an innovative, progressive and sustainable tourism offer to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the Québec tourism industry. A 10% top-up of the financial assistance is possible for projects with an eco-responsible theme. The program is in place until March 31, 2024, depending on the availability of funds.

Explore Québec program

The Explore Québec program is a subsidy that makes it possible for receptive travel agencies, tour operators and agencies to offer interesting, reduced-rate packages to Quebeckers.

The program comprises three components: On the road packages, Air packages, Electric packages. It ends on March 31, 2023 or on depletion of the budget envelope. For more information, go to the Québec government website.

Programme Explore Québec sur la route

This program offers financial support of up to $10 million to travel agencies, tour operators and incoming agencies holding a regular permit from the Office de protection du consommateur that wish to offer travel packages in Québec.

Programme d’appui au développement des attraits touristiques (PADAT)

This program supports private investments through loans and loan guarantees. It is intended for for-profit and non-profit organizations (NPFOs) and cooperatives legally constituted in Québec, as well as recognized Indigenous communities and nations.

Part 1: Support for development of tourist attractions

This minimum financial assistance of $150,000 is available in the form of a loan, loan guarantee and grant. The maximum amount awarded is $5,000,000, not to exceed 60% of eligible costs.

Projects funded must be invested in a tourism infrastructure, product, service or equipment with the goal of creating jobs and increasing revenues and visitor numbers.

Part 2: Funds for business tourism financing for hotel establishments

This fund is specifically intended for the renovation and upgrading of ageing hotel infrastructures in order to prepare these businesses for recovery, but projects for the construction of new hotel establishments in tourist regions with a shortage of accommodation units are now eligible.

Funding is in the form of a term loan of a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $5,000,000 and could cover up to 90% of eligible work costs.

Go to the Investissement Québec site for more information.

Destination durable et action concertée support mechanism

This measure is intended for not-for-profit and for-profit organizations , municipal entities and recognized Indigenous communities or nations. Its purpose is to better anchor Québec’s tourism offer in the communities and reduce its environmental footprint.

The objective of selected projects must be to counter climate change, increase the resilience and competitiveness of tourism businesses, maximized the tourism industry’s contribution to the social and economic vitality of the communities visited and increase the attraction of Québec and its regions. Consult the website for more information.

Federal government Tourism Relief Fund

The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), administered by Canada’s regional development agencies and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), is a new $500-million national program. This fund will help tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, improve their products and services and position themselves for post-pandemic economic recovery.

A minimum of $50 million of the TRF will specifically support Indigenous tourism initiatives and organisations.

Entente de partenariat régional et transformation numérique en tourisme 2022-2025 (EPRTNT 2022-2025)

The purpose of this program is to renew and enhance the tourism offering in regions. Selected projects must stimulate the local economy and foster the growth of a responsible and sustainable tourism offering. You will find all the details of this regional partnership on the Quéebec government website.

Programme d’innovation touristique

This program is designed to meet the needs of tourism industry businesses by developing solutions to: improve their productivity, competitiveness or efficiency, address the labour shortage, foster their digital shift, reduce the environmental footprint of tourism activities. You can find more information on the government website or on the MT Lab website.

Centrale d’achats en tourisme de l’Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec

This sanitation equipment and supplies purchasing group allows all registered tourism businesses to reduce their costs for products that meet the needs of maintenance, protection and compliance with new health safety standards. Visit the Alliance website to learn more and to register.

Programme d’accessibilité aux établissements touristiques (PAET)

To help tourism establishments improve the accessibility of their infrastructures for people with disabilities, this program offers a grant of up to 80% or 90% of eligible costs, depending on the type of establishment, for a maximum amount of $100,000. Consult the details of this grant on the website.

Incubator-accelerator for tourism projects north of the 49th parallel

The Québec government is creating an incubator-accelerator that will help tourism projects north of the 49th parallel. This incubator will be headed by three sector tourism associations, Fédération des pourvoiries du Québec, Indigenous Tourism Québec and Aventure Écotourisme Québec. Click here for more information.

Reconnect Ontario Marquee Event Fund 2022

This fund provides financing to cover up to 50% of eligible costs to support Ontario municipalities and organizations to host major, high-impact events that meet the Department’s definition of a popular event. Consult the site for more information.

Tourism Small Business Assistance Project

The Tourism Small Business Assistance Project provides non-repayable contributions of $45,000 or less per business. These contributions are intended to support small tourism businesses in carrying out small investment projects to adapt or develop their products and services to the needs of their clientele in order to support their development and seize recovery opportunities.


Québec financial assistance for festivals and tourist events

In order to position Québec as a tourist destination on the national and international scene, the Québec government supports festivals and major tourist events with assistance of up to 50% of eligible costs. This program promotes the development of festivals and tourist events in a responsible and sustainable manner. Consult the government’s information site.

Federal Support – Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative

To support Canadian festivals and events hard hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to adapt and enhance their activities, Canada Heritage has a budget of $200M over two years. Eligible organizations organize major recurring festivals and events with annual revenues exceeding $10M. Go to the government website for more information.

Montréal’s Assistance Program for Events and Festivals

Consult Tourism Montréal’s Assistance Programs for Events and Festivals for more information on their assistance programs for one-time initiatives or festivals and events.

Restaurant industry

Free training program on digital transformation in restaurant and hotel services

The Québec government is awarding a grant of up to $3,550,235 to the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) to support the implementation of a training program and a center of excellence in artificial intelligence. Offered free of charge, this training program will allow restaurant and hotel owners to learn about the best business practices and inform them about the methods and tools available in Québec, as well as the contribution of artificial intelligence in optimizing the management of their activities. Consult the announcement to learn more.

Regional Economic Development

Programme d’appui aux actions régionales

With a $10.2M annual envelope, the objective of the Programme d’appui aux actions régionales (PAAR) is to support the realization of projects that help promote community vitality, and the attraction and growth of the National Capital region. Consult the site for more information.

Programme de développement de l’offre touristique des parcs régionaux (DOTPR)

This program offers financial assistance of up to $250,000 to support the development of activities and infrastructures in regional parks. For more information on this program, go to the website.

Regional innovation ecosystems

Through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REDI) program, Canada Economic Development (CED) supports projects that help create a regional entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation and promote business development, growth and competitiveness. Consult the website for more information.

Attracting investments or tourists from outside Québec

Through the Québec Economic Development Program (QEDP), CED also supports projects aimed at promoting the regions in order to increase the presence of international organizations or encourage increased spending by tourists from outside the province. Consult the website for more information.

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