Maybe you already have a project that needs a boost, or maybe you are starting with a fresh slate. Either way, we want to help you get those creative juices flowing. There are many types of projects that could potentially qualify you for funding. Remember, even if you are part of the excluded sectors, you can potentially partner with organizations in your community on a project that meets the criteria and addresses the priorities laid out by the federal government.
Ideas for Attractions
Audio Tour and Podcast
Create an audio tour of your attraction. Make it available online as a podcast. This makes your attraction more accessible and entices visitors to your attraction.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
The future is now and the future is digital. Enhance the visitor experience by creating an interactive and immersive experience that will have them coming back for more!
Getting your visitors to get hands-on is a sure fire way to create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime. Develop an experience that gets your visitors DOING rather than spectating.
If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s the importance of having an online presence. Whether you need online ticket sales, or just a simple landing page website, we can help you make it happen!
Farm to Table
Farm to table experiences have been identified as a key priority for tourism development. Though restaurants are omitted from applying directly, network with your local farmers to create tourism experiences that take the visitor out of the restaurant and into the field.
Expand your Capacity
Add new attractions and experiences to engage more visitors. Think about how you can build off your current offerings. No need to re-invent the wheel, here. Shoot us a message, and we can brainstorm with you!
Invest in renovating and modernizing your attraction to keep it vibrant and sustainable for years to come. Updating your space will give a reason for your loyal customers to come back to check you out, and leave a lasting impression on newcomers.
Ideas for Festivals & Events
Improve Event Infrastructure
Fencing, porta-potties, audio-visual, staging, ticketing solutions…the list goes on! There are a lot of expenses that go on behind the scenes at an event. Let us help you cover the costs.
Greening Your Event
Sustainability is a big federal priority! There are many ways to make your event greener, whether it’s by installing water refill stations, going paperless, or by reducing your carbon footprint, we want to hear your ideas!
Throw a Pride Festival
Canada is built around shared values of diversity, equity, optimism and personal security. Research shows that LGBTQ2+ travelers like to travel, and return to places where they had good experiences. Can your community benefit from becoming more inclusive?
Annual Food Fair
Showcasing local flavours is a great way to get your community on the foodie radar. Ontario is ripe with farm fresh foods, and foodies will travel the world to eat the best of the best. Show off your local flavours!
Ongoing Concert Series
Music is at the heartbeat of a culture. Whether you host a show at a unique local venue, or out in the fresh air surrounded by nature, bring people together through the magic of music.
Start a Street Festival
Who doesn’t love a local street festival? Food! Vendors! Entertainment! They really do have it all. Are you a BIA? Consider this a sign that it’s time to showcase your members with a good ol’ fashion street fest!
Ideas for Trails Organizations
Create a New Trail
Trails are a great way to extend your shoulder seasons. Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, the list goes on! Maybe an art walk in your downtown?
Maintain an Existing Trail
Have a trail that needs a little TLC? Improve the signage, maybe fix that footbridge, or put a new coat of stain on those railings. There are may ways you can give that trail a glow-up!
Podcast/Self-guided Digital Tour
Adding animation to your trail will enhance the experience for your visitors. Work with a local historical society, or nature expert to discover and share interesting tidbits with your visitors.
Upgrade Trail for Accessibility
Install benches on a trail and mark them on a map. Create an accessibility guide for your trail, indicating slope, stairs, rest areas. Resurface and/or widen the trail. Remove visual barriers at sitting height. Include braille and audio descriptions to your signage.
Ideas for Destinations
BIAs, Chambers of Commerce, Destination Management Organizations, Municipalities, Conservation Authorities
Develop a Strategy
Plan for tourism growth success! Hire professionals to help develop or grow a tourism strategy. Iron out those details: marketing, sustainability, accessibility, inclusivity. Tourism is multi-faceted and there are always new ways to improve and grow.
Implement that Strategy
Maybe you already have a strategy that’s ready to be implemented, but you just need a boost to help get it over the finish line. We can help you there!
Is your destination ready for an influx of visitors? Public seating/patios, way-finding (signage), public washrooms (and maintenance), picnicking areas, waste receptacles, bicycle racks and lock-ups, EV stations.
Develop a Mixed-Use Space
Maybe your community needs a new mixed-use space to host events and activities. Good venues are a key element to growing a tourism economy.
Planters, gardens, flower baskets, banners, a new coat of paint, a fountain, a town clock, fencing, tree-planting, historical markers.
Collaborate with Locals
Develop tourism partnerships that involve and benefit your locals. Artisans could benefit from a public art program. Seniors could share their knowledge and local lore with visitors. Local restaurants could host foodie workshops. Perhaps you have locals who would benefit from an Indigenous Tourism Partnership?
Does your destination need a website? A travel directory? Events calendar? Maybe you can develop an online trip planner that features your key attractions? A virtual farmers’ market? There are many ways to use the online space to drive visitation.
Produce marketing materials to promote your destination. Brochures, billboards, maps, guides. Expand into the digital space with video, social media campaigns, and online advertising.
Could visitors and residents alike benefit from better connectivity? Collaborate with local businesses and telecom providers to provide free WiFi for all.
Ideas for Everyone
Wheelchair and Mobility Accessibility
Install fixtures and fittings to aid balance, install wheelchair ramps, widen doorways, upgrade washrooms, create accessible parking, resurface walkways, remove visual barriers at sitting height.
Accessibility for Vision & Hearing Impairment
Include braille in signage, include both written and audio descriptions, add warning stripes to steps, develop immersive multi-sensory experiences, develop technologies such as apps to aid your guests.
Accessibility for High Needs Guests Traveling with a Companion
Consider how your attraction can be more accommodating to guests who must travel with a companion. Consider incorporating quiet spaces and calming rooms. Implement visual signage using pictures instead of words.
Enhance Safety Protocols
Upgrade seating capacity to increase space between visitors. Accommodate contactless transactions. Install shields such as sneeze guards. Create outdoor seating. Increase capacity for sanitation. Buy PPE for your workers like masks, face shields, and gloves.
Be More Inclusive
All people have a right to be included in the tourism economy. Acknowledge the multitude of gender expression by offering all-gender washrooms. Be more welcoming to guests with children with booster seats, highchairs, strollers, change tables, and a quiet room for feeding and calming. Do you require translation services to better accommodate your guests?
Education & Training
Develop e-learning modules and train tourism ambassadors on how to better welcome guests. Implement education and training for your staff around issues of diversity. Work with local schools to develop programs that get youth involved in tourism.
Create tourism programs that add a benefit to the residents, such as a those that increase access to food and shelter. Reduce fossil-fuel related emissions with increased access to public transportation, bike shares, or through the installation of EV charging stations. Decrease harm from increased tourism traffic by adding fencing and signage around natural attractions. Create education opportunities to teach visitors how to lower their impact on the local environment.
Expand for the Off-Peak and Shoulder Seasons
If you normally attract visitors in the summer, consider ways that you can welcome guests in the winter and vice-versa. Apple orchards may develop cider-making workshops. Ski hills might offer downhill mountain biking. Wineries can collaborate with local chefs to offer hands-on cooking and wine-pairing classes. The only limit is your creativity!
Applications for funding are now open!
Deadline: May 15, 2022
How Does this Work?
Successful applicants will be eligible for up to $100,000 in funding for projects that enhance tourism experiences; help tourism businesses adapt to the “new normal,” modernize their offerings and help the sector adopt more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
All applications will be evaluated by the Central Counties Tourism Partnership Committee and CCT Staff. The criteria for success are bound by the rules that govern the Tourism Relief Fund.
Application deadline is May 15th, 2022. Funds must be spent by December 31st, 2022
We encourage all stakeholders to apply now.
Determine your eligibility. The funding is limited to incorporated entities that currently have a role to play in the local visitor economy with certain exclusions.
Review program and federal priorities to determine the types of projects your organization can develop and execute that will build tourism capacity and grow the visitor economy. Browse ideas that we’ve put together for you.
Step 3 (OPTIONAL)
We highly recommend that you complete the Tourism Ambassador Program, an e-learning course available through the Central Counties LearningLab. This is NOT a requirement and you will still qualify for funding if you do not complete this step.
Complete the application form, where you will be asked to provide a project overview, and details about how you expect to increase capacity and/or contribute to the visitor economy.