Tourism operators and related businesses in the Northwest Territories can now apply for a piece of $1.5 million in funding meant to help offset the financial strain the industry has experienced since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will be administered by the N.W.T. Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment but is jointly and equally financed by the territorial government and the federal government through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
According to a press release Wednesday, the Growth and Recovery by Investing in Tourism fund will encourage “product development and marketing as well as contributing to select operational costs.”
This is, in part, to prepare tourism businesses for whenever border restrictions are lifted. Travel to the N.W.T. has been restricted to resident and essential workers since late March.
The tourism industry in the N.W.T. has been particularly hard hit.
“Given the challenges our economy is facing, we are pleased to provide this specific funding to benefit the N.W.T. tourism industry,” stated Tourism Minister Katrina Nokleby in the press release.
“Our tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 and it is imperative that we continue to support it through the pandemic and into recovery.”
Eligible businesses include those that rely on travellers for “a significant portion of their income.” That includes: “tourism services, tourism activities, accommodations, restaurants and entertainment for people who are travelling.”
Up to $75,000 per applicant is available for new tourism product development and innovations; up to $10,000 per applicant is available for local marketing; and up to $5,000 per applicant is available for certain operations and maintenance costs associated with tourism businesses.
Applications for the fund are available through regional Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment offices. Applicants will be expected to contribute a 10 per cent “cash equity” and use N.W.T. suppliers in their proposals.
Projects must be complete by March 31.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Scrapped 2020 cruise season will cost communities in Nunavut, Canada almost $1 million, Eye On The Arctic
Denmark: Who is allowed into Denmark from Sweden right now?, Radio Sweden
Finland: Finland to begin coronavirus testing at seaports and airports, Yle News
Greenland: Greenland changes COVID-19 rules for travellers from Iceland, Faroe Islands, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Iceland reinstates COVID-19 restrictions after spike in domestic infections, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021, Eye on the Arctic
Sweden: Summer tourism recovery is slow going in Sweden, Yle News
United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press