May 31, 2020
By Jeremy Logan
Ottawa is earmarking millions of dollars for the promotion of holiday travel inside Canada as it seeks to help the tourism industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money announced by Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly Sunday morning includes $30 million that was originally earmarked for attracting foreign visitors to Canada.
The funding will instead be used to help provinces and territories encourage Canadians to discover their “own backyard” as the country’s international borders remain largely closed due to COVID-19.
The government is also setting aside around $40 million so tourism agencies in southern and northern Ontario as well as western Canada can adapt their operations to the pandemic.
The funding comes as some tourism industry leaders are asking for all levels of government to clarify and co-ordinate their rules and regulations around travel ahead of the summer season.
The tourism industry employs about one in 10 Canadians and a report last month suggested it could lose up to $47 billion this year because of the pandemic.