The Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Recovery and Innovation Program (TRIP) is an application-based program designed to strengthen resiliency in our tourism sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The TRIP funding program is separated into two funding streams:
- TRIP – Partnership Projects: Intended for collaborative projects involving two or more partners. This program offers up to $30,000 for projects that run from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
- *NEW* TRIP – Capital Projects: Geared specifically to small to medium sized tourism businesses, this program intends to offset up to 80% of eligible capital expenses incurred to modify operations to a maximum of $20,000 in non-repayable funding. Applications to this funding stream will be accepted beginning Jan. 15, 2021 and on an ongoing basis until Dec. 31, 2021, or until funds are depleted.
TRIP – Capital Projects
The Ontario’s Highlands’ Tourism Recovery & Innovation Program (TRIP) – Capital Projects is an application-based funding program available to support small to medium sized tourism businesses as they adapt their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, this program supports modifications and retrofits to operations and facilities to offer safer visitor experiences.
Tourism business operations have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only have businesses experienced loss in tourism revenues but many have had to, and will continue to incur additional costs to modify their operations in order to safely serve the general public. The TRIP – Capital Projects funding will support small to medium sized tourism businesses as they adapt to the public health guidelines and requirements, and will:
- Assist tourism businesses to adapt their visitor experiences to meet health and safety reopening protocols;
- Regain consumer confidence that public health and safety is a priority for the industry;
- Allow continued operations whenever possible in response to public health restrictions; and
- Mitigate the financial burden COVID-19 continues to place on local tourism-dependent businesses.
This program offers funding of up to 80% of eligible capital expenses to a maximum of $20,000 in non-repayable funding.
An online application portal has been created and will begin accepting applications on Jan. 15, 2021. Funding will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to applications received before Jan. 31, 2021. Eligible project costs must have been incurred between June 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021. Not all eligible projects are guaranteed acceptance.
Business owners interested in applying for this program are encouraged to review the program and eligibility guidelines and click “Apply” at the end of the guidelines. Be prepared to submit an application as soon as possible. Please review this list of frequently asked questions.
OHTO gratefully acknowledges the generous support from Ottawa Tourism in the development of this program, along with the collaboration of our six county partners: Haliburton County, Lanark County, Renfrew County, Hastings County, Lennox & Addington and Frontenac County.
TRIP – Partnership Projects
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our tourism sector. While several provincial and federal programs have been launched to support our industry through this crisis, OHTO identified the importance of working with our communities at the grassroots level to explore collaborative and innovative initiatives that more specifically address the needs of our region.
Now more than ever, our communities need to be working together to deliver positive experiences that align with new visitor expectations as they relate to COVID-19. This program offers up to $30,000 in financial support for collaborative projects that will:
- increase the quality and quantity of outdoor experiences in the region;
- increase collaborative promotional initiatives around travelling safe and travelling local;
- increase community understanding of and support for the visitor economy;
- increase the quality and availability of the tourism workforce in the region;
- increase diversification of tourism businesses;
- support sustainability through strategic planning and research.
If you are interested in this program, we encourage you to review the Program Guidelines before you submit an initial project brief here. Project ideas are entertained throughout the year, however potential applicants should keep in mind the fiscal time frame of April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
Partnership agreements are established for eligible projects as long as funds are available. The level of support will be determined case-by-case, based on criteria outlined in the guidelines.