Over the past few months, the federal and provincial governments have announced unprecedented yet necessary measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and help businesses and individuals weather the storm with financial relief.
We know the impact of these measures will require our tourism industry to make tough decisions regarding how best to respond in the midst of many unknowns.
OHTO is committed to working with our communities to do everything we can to provide information and updates to help our sector make informed decisions. To that end, we will be updating this page on a regular basis to include links to resources that are relevant to the needs of our industry.
Full list of Federal and Provincial support measures for businesses and individuals.
- Government of Canada’s Resources for Canadian Businesses
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- FEDEV Ontario
- Employment and Social Development Canada COVID-19 Services
- BDC Support for Entrepreneurs
- Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses
- Government of Ontario updates
- Ontario Chamber of Commerce Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses
- Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Hon. Lisa MacLeod’s 10-Point Action Plan
- Resources for keeping you and your employees safe during the pandemic via Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Ontario’s Workplace PPE Supplier Directory
- The detailed list of Stage 1 openings as of May 15.
- The detailed list of Stage 2 openings as of June 9.
- The detailed list of Stage 3 openings as of July 13.
There are several other tourism organizations that play an important role in distilling the information being released on a daily basis to the tourism sector. We encourage our stakeholders to review the following list of organizations, and subscribe to their newsletters wherever possible.
- Haliburton Highlands
- OVTA & Renfrew County Economic Development
- Lanark County Tourism Association
- Frontenac County
- Lennox and Addington County
- Hastings County
- Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)
TIAO, the voice of tourism in Ontario, is working to consult with the provincial government to ensure the unique needs of tourism-based businesses are met by their relief programs.
- Destination Ontario
Destination Ontario promotes Ontario as a travel destination.
- Attractions Ontario
Attractions Ontario promotes attractions in the province, such as adventure tourism businesses, museums, historical attractions, etc.
- Festival and Events Ontario
Festivals and Events Ontario supports the festival and events industry in Ontario.
- Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association
ORHMA is dedicated to fostering a positive business climate for Ontario’s hospitality industry.
- Tourism Industry Association of Canada
TIAC is the voice of Canada’s tourism industry, and is working to consult the federal government to shape relief programs.
- Destination Canada
Destination Canada is a Crown corporation owned by the Government of Canada, whose mission is to unite and empower Canada’s tourism leaders through compelling research, strategy, and storytelling to drive visitor economy.
- Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) focuses on creating partnerships between associations, organizations, government departments and industry leaders from across Canada to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Canada.
- Ongoing: Digital Main Street is offering free ongoing webinars to help you build your skills in digital marketing, social media, and website best practices. View their schedule here.
Recorded Webinars & Additional Resources
- With the launch of Destination Ontario’s Ontario.Live website, it’s not too late to get your business registered for a listing.
- The provincial and federal governments announced further funding for Digital Main Street, to help small businesses reopen, recover, and grow after COVID-19. Click here to find out if you are eligible for support.
- Postmedia has launched a marketing grant program which provides grants starting at $500 per month for the months of June, July, and August 2020. Click here to learn more and apply.
- Sage Canada has created a handy tool for business owners to sort out which federal government programs they may be eligible for.
- The Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, and Motel Association (ORHMA) has launched DineSafe.ca, a resource for re-opening and creating guest confidence and comfort, geared towards food service operators.
- If you have been unable to access existing measures, apply for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) which provides interest-free loans to help support fixed operating costs of small- and medium-enterprises. $39.4 million is allocated to Southern Ontario rural businesses and will be delivered through FedDev Ontario and local CFDCs. Click here for FAQs and here to apply.
- Google for Small Business has prepared a page with resources to help you get your business through COVID-19, including tips for keeping your page update, and free digital skills training.
- The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has published a series of resources with health and safety tips and good practices.
- Every Wednesday, people all across Canada are encouraged to order takeout from their local restaurants for Canada Takeout Day. Establishments can add their listing for free to their website.
- Tourism HR Canada is offering free Emerit online training courses.
- BC Hughes has published a blog on what your tourism business can do during a global crisis.
- Minister Lisa MacLeod’s tele-townhalls are available to listen to here.
- Destination Canada’s webinars are available to view here.
- Destination Northern Ontario’s Adapt2020 webinar series recordings are available to view here.
Surveys & Research Results
- Due to ongoing inquiries about insurance providers, TIAO has also launched an insurance survey which you can fill out here.
- Due July 31: TIAO is inviting the tourism industry in Ontario to keep them informed of current issues by filling out their seventh survey here by July 31.
- In the days leading up to the initial phase 2 openings in the province, a survey of 2000 Ontarians sought to measure the impact that the pandemic will have on travel within Ontario this year. View the summary of the results for great insights into what to expect. The full results can be found here.
- The results of TIAO’s 6th survey can be found here.
- An online survey was conducted between May 29-31 to gauge Ontarian’s views on stage one re-opening, which shows insight into how ready Ontarians feel to travel.
- Destination Ontario is measuring the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy and consumer sentiment. View results from April 22 and May 21.
- Destination Canada is polling Canadians on an ongoing basis regarding their sentiment to welcome visitors to their area. Click for results.
- OHTO’s second survey results (collected May 1-8) can be viewed in comparison to the first survey results (March 16-20) here.
- Destination Canada has released an Impact and Recovery report on the Business Events Industry in Canada which you can view here.