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COVID-19 Updates

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.




Stay Connected

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.





  • 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.

Surveys & Upcoming Webinars

  • Register to join one of two upcoming webinars hosted as part of the Adapt 2020 Webinar Series. On On June 3, Tony Elenis, the President and CEO of Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, and Motel Association (ORHMA) will host a webinar on “Re-opening Ontario’s Hospitality Industry”. Click here to register. The June 4 webinar, “Locals First – Creating Experiences to Appeal to the Local Ontario Market” will help businesses understand who their short-term Ontario-based customer might want. Register for that one here.
  • Destination Canada will host a webinar on COVID-19 research on June 3.
  • The Adventure Travel Trade Association is hosting a Campfire Chat on June 4 to discuss creative ways to encourage customers to spend their time and money on experiences. The webinar is open to anyone and requires pre-registration here.
  • The Provincial Government is asking for the general public’s feedback to help develop a plan for economic recovery. Click here to fill that survey out before the June 12 deadline.

Recorded Webinars & Additional Resources

  • Destination Canada is polling Canadians on an ongoing basis regarding their sentiment to welcome visitors to their area. Click here for results from May 11 and May 19.
  • If you have been unable to access existing measures, you can now 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.
  • OHTO’s second survey results (collected May 1-8) can be viewed in comparison to the first survey results (March 16-20) here.
  • If you are looking for PPE to use when your business reopens, check the province’s Workplace PPE Supplier Directory here.
  • 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. Click here to visit the page.
  • Destination Canada has released an Impact and Recovery report on the Business Events Industry in Canada which you can view here.
  • Destination Ontario has shared the results of research into the impact that COVID-19 has had on the Canadian economy and consumer sentiment, as of April 22. Click here to read the results.
  • The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has published a series of resources with health and safety tips and good practices here.
  • The Destination Canada webinar held on May 12 is available for viewing here. You can also view their April 28 webinar, their April 1 webinar here, and their March 20 webinar here.
  • Canada Takeout is a new initiative created to support restaurants throughout COVID-19. Every Wednesday, people all across Canada are encouraged to order takeout from their local restaurants. Establishments can add their listing for free to their website.
  • Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) recently hosted Hon. Lisa MacLeod and Beth Potter (TIAO) on their FEO On the Air podcast. Listen to the 30 minute recording here.
  • Tourism HR Canada is offering free Emerit online training courses.
  • If you missed the tele-townhalls with Minister MacLeod, click for the recordings: March 19 session and March 26 session.
  • Shopify is offering free ongoing webinars to help those who are trying to set up online sales or optimize their sales.
  • The Ontario Government has set up a “Stop the Spread Business Information Line” where you can call with business-related questions. See the full details here.
  • BDC’s past webinar on coping with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business is available for viewing here.
  • Smith School of Business and Queen’s University’s webinar on the immediate and long-term impacts on business in Canada is available here.
  • BC Hughes has published a blog on what your tourism business can do during a global crisis.