Program overview

The Ontario Tourism Recovery Program (OTRP) will support eligible tourism businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. OTRP is a competitive, application-based program supporting private-sector tourism businesses that are significant drivers for their regional tourism economies.

Program funding will help successful applicants:

  • prepare to reopen safely
  • develop adaptative and innovative tourism products
  • retain and create tourism jobs
  • support tourism recovery in their region and throughout Ontario

Successful applicants can use funding for expenditures, such as:

  • reopening and operating expenses, including staff salaries and maintenance
  • health and safety measures to support the safety of visitors and workers
  • attracting visitors through tourism product and experience improvements and marketing

As part of the OTRP eligibility criteria, applicants must have experienced eligible revenue decline of at least 50% in the reported 2020–2021 year (COVID impact year), compared to fiscal year-end 2019 (pre-COVID baseline year).

The program’s funding formula uses a percentage of qualifying revenue losses and salary and wage expenditures to determine the maximum potential award amount.

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • number of employees who work at the business
  • visitors generated (historical)
  • business growth (historical)
  • business re-investment
  • market readiness and reopening plans

Funding decisions will also take into consideration the significance of the applicant’s business to its local tourism region.


To be eligible for this program, applicants that operate eligible tourism businesses must meet all of the following requirements:

  • be a for-profit business, legally incorporated (federally or provincially) as of January 1, 2018
  • operate an eligible tourism business in Ontario and have a Canadian bank account
  • have experienced eligible revenue decline of at least 50% in the reported 2020–2021 year (COVID impact year), compared to fiscal year-end 2019 (pre-COVID baseline year)
  • have annual financial statements for fiscal year-end 2018, 2019 and the reported 2020–2021 fiscal year that reflects the impacts of COVID-19 and related losses
  • have issued at least one T4 to an employee in 2019
  • normally be open to the public at least 12 consecutive weeks per year and open at least five days per week during operating season
  • be open, as permitted, in 2021

Federal, provincial, and municipal governments, their agencies, and any independent agencies affiliated with these governments are ineligible for this program.

Eligible accommodations

Bed and breakfasts

  • A bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment, usually a house, that rents rooms for short-term overnight accommodation, primarily to tourists, and includes breakfast in the room rate. The business must report revenue as business income for income tax purposes, and not as rental income
  • Does not include:
    • short- and long-term property rentals
    • rooming houses
    • employee lodging


  • Businesses that offer destination accommodations that provide a range of services and feature extensive indoor and/or outdoor leisure activities on the premises either seasonally or year-round

Hotels, motels, inns, and lodges

  • Businesses that provide short-term, transient lodging (less than 30 days), housekeeping and other amenities
  • Does not include:
    • membership or timeshare rentals
    • residential hotels
    • student or employee housing
    • guest homes
    • homestays

    Hotels adjacent to casinos are only eligible for the accommodations portion of the business.

Hunting and fishing camps or lodges

  • Businesses that provide access to outpost wilderness camps or housekeeping cabins, meals and/or guides. They may also provide transportation to the facility, and sell food, beverages, and hunting and fishing supplies

Cottages and cabins

  • Businesses that provide overnight, weekly, or short-term accommodation in self-contained cottage or cabin units. Business must report their revenue as business income for income tax purposes, and not as rental income
  • Does not include:
    • short- and long-term property rentals
    • rooming houses
    • employee lodging

Campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks

  • Businesses that operate both serviced and non-serviced seasonal and transient sites to accommodate campers including their tents, tent trailers, travel trailers and recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Does not include permanent residential mobile home sites

Eligible attractions

Farm-based tourist attractions

  • Farm-, agriculture-, and horticulture-based businesses that provide entertainment, education, or active participation in the activities of the farm or operation. This may include guided interpretive tours, culinary interpretive experiences, hands-on activities, mazes, animal rides/petting barns, and wagon/sleigh rides
  • Does not include farms offering only pick-your-own or retail sales

Amusement parks, theme parks, water parks and midway operators

  • Businesses that provide recreational, educational, cultural, scientific, environmental or entertainment-related activities. These are delivered through a variety of attractions, including mechanical rides, water rides, games, shows, theme exhibits and concessions

Indoor and outdoor recreational attractions

  • Businesses that offer experiences and maintain facilities driving tourist visitation for active, guided or interpretive participation in sport and recreational activities.
  • Includes:
    • motorsport parks
    • rock, rope and ice climbing
    • bungee jumping
    • ziplining
    • tree-top trekking
    • recreation adventure facilities
    • facility based, guided paddling, dogsledding, cycling
  • Does not include:
    • sport facilities
    • stadiums
    • arenas
    • amateur and professional sports and hobby teams
    • clubs and recreational leagues
    • gyms
    • fitness facilities
    • tour guides and operators without facilities
    • rental only operations

Scenic/sightseeing tours

  • Businesses that provide in-province tours and transportation with interpretive guiding for tourists. Includes guided sightseeing motor coaches, tourist railways, scenic helicopter tours, hot air balloon rides, trams, trollies, cable cars and gondola rides
  • Does not include:
    • transportation-only services such as taxi and limousine services
    • car, truck or RV rental or leasing services
    • online transportation platforms and their drivers that connect riders with transportation services

Zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums and eco- and nature centres

  • Businesses that offer educational and interpretive displays, experiences and facilities for environmental, conservation, live plant and animal life, for public viewing and participation

Museums, historic and heritage attractions

  • For-profit businesses that offer interpretive historical sites, exhibitions and collections of historical, cultural, environmental, entertainment and educational value. Includes all museum types, planetariums and sport-halls of fame
  • Does not include retail art galleries, retail antique/artifact sales centres

Indigenous attractions

  • Businesses that are majority-owned, operated and/or controlled by First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples and which demonstrate a connection and responsibility to the local Indigenous community and traditional territory where the operation is based

Performing arts, music and entertainment venues

  • Businesses that operate facilities regularly used for live performances of music, arts or theatre as the primary feature of their operations
  • Does not include:
    • nightclubs
    • dance halls
    • private members clubs
    • bars and restaurants where live performances are not the primary feature of their operations
    • promoters, presenters, producers, operators and managers that do not own performance facilities

Cinemas (motion picture and video exhibition)

  • Businesses with venues offering motion picture-based features, attractions and experiences including indoor, outdoor and drive-in cinemas/theatres, 3-D interactive, motion picture or video experiences

Boat tours

  • Businesses providing water tours and excursions, including recreational canal or river transportation, houseboat/canal boat rentals, scenic and sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, and guided charters for fishing or sailing
  • Does not include:
    • freight and commercial transportation and vessels
    • water-taxis
    • rentals of boats for personal use


  • Businesses that provide public mooring space, facilities and commercial services for transient recreational boaters

Convention and conference centers

  • Businesses that operate exhibition hall facilities for rental and commercial interests, including conventions, meetings, trade shows and large events
  • Does not include residential, office, warehouse, retail, arenas, stadiums or commercial buildings with meeting space, meeting and conference planners and meetings/conference supply services businesses

Destination spas

  • Businesses that operate a destination wellness spa, with or without accommodations, that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit. Business offers a variety of health treatments, therapies and wellness services employing licensed professionals including Massage Therapists registered with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
  • Does not include:
    • medical spas
    • physical therapy centres
    • day spas offering esthetic treatments or non-RMT massage
    • massage therapy centres
    • exotic massage parlours and spas

Wineries, breweries and cideries

  • Businesses providing visitor experiences, tours, information sessions and demonstrations in addition to their primary operations of wine, beer, ale, and cider production, bottling, sales and distribution


  • Businesses providing visitor experiences, tours, information sessions and demonstrations in addition to their primary operations of distilling, blending and mixing liquor
  • Does not include commercial distilleries with no visitor/tourism experiences, bars, restaurants

Golf courses

  • Golf courses open to the general public that provide recreational golf facilities, practice resources, driving ranges and instruction. Multi-plex participatory golf facilities are also eligible
  • Does not include:
    • private or membership-only golf courses
    • driving ranges not part of a golf course facility
    • indoor simulation golf facilities
    • miniature golf courses

Ski and snow attractions

  • Businesses operating downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, or tubing facilities including equipment such as ski lifts and tows

Eligible transportation businesses

Commercial passenger airlines

  • Businesses that provide scheduled or chartered inter-city passenger service within Ontario
  • Does not include non-passenger services (for example transport of cargo, freight, parcels; medical transportation services) and flights that depart from or arrive in a community outside of Ontario

Motor coaches

  • Businesses that provide scheduled or chartered inter-city passenger service within Ontario
  • Does not include:
    • non-passenger services (for example transport of cargo, freight, parcels)
    • motor coach services that depart from or arrive in a community outside of Ontario
    • transportation only services and their drivers, such as taxi or limousine services and online transportation platforms, that connect riders with transportation service

Ineligible tourism businesses

Ineligible accommodations

  • Short- and long-term rental properties, including those listed through online platforms for vacation rentals. Includes short- and long-term rental properties that report income as rental income on their income tax
  • Multi-tenant (rooming) houses or boarding houses
  • Guest houses and home stays
  • Vacation rental homes
  • Lodgings owned or leased by businesses to house employees
  • Student residence complexes
  • Membership, timeshare hotels
  • Residential hotels
  • Residential mobile home sites
  • Overnight and day camps for children and youth
  • Resort management services

Ineligible attractions

  • Festivals and events
  • Casinos and gaming
  • Restaurants and foodservice
  • Personal care services (hairstylists, esthetician, massage, etc.
  • Retail operators
  • Sport, fitness and recreation facilities and rental equipment

Ineligible transportation businesses

  • Cargo and freight airline or motor coach businesses
  • Medical transportation flight services
  • Transportation-only services and their drivers, such as taxi or limousine services, and online transportation platforms that connect riders with transportation services
  • Vehicle and equipment rental and leasing

Funding formula

As part of this program’s eligibility criteria, applicants must have experienced a qualifying revenue decline of at least 50% in the reported 2020-2021 year (a period that reflects COVID-related losses) compared to fiscal year-end 2019 (a pre-COVID, baseline year).

Businesses that qualify for the program and are successful in their applications will be eligible for funding up to the lesser of:

  • Up to 20% of 2020-2021 qualifying revenue losses, compared to fiscal year end 2019,or
  • Salaries and wages for fiscal year 2019 according to the following tiers:
    • Tier 1 – More than $4,000,000 in salary and wage expenses in 2019. Funding cap: $1,000,000
    • Tier 2 - $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 in salary and wage expenses in 2019. Funding cap: $500,000
    • Tier 3 - $1,300,000 to $1,999,999 in salary and wage expenses in 2019. Funding cap: $250,000
    • Tier 4 – Less than $1,300,000 in salary and wage expenses in 2019. Funding cap: $100,000

Qualifying revenue

Qualifying revenue is calculated by identifying total revenue (as it appears on the applicant’s annual financial statements) and deducting ineligible sources of revenue for the applicant and, where applicable, its subsidiaries.

Qualifying revenue excludes:

  • any revenue from off-site or direct-to-consumer wholesale or retail sales (for example, grocery, LCBO, online ship-to-home)
  • third-party service agreements
  • consulting or management fees
  • government funds (grants and other sources of funding)
  • interest income

Businesses that received funding through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant or the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant are still eligible to apply for this program.  Successful applicants will have the value of those grants deducted from their total Ontario Tourism Recovery Program funding.

What you’ll need to apply

The following information and documents are required for the applicant and all of the applicant’s fully owned subsidiaries that are eligible for the program.

  • articles of incorporation
  • audited annual financial statements for fiscal year-end 2018, 2019 and one of the following: 1) annual financial statements for fiscal year-end 2020 or 2021; or 2) interim financial statements for the 12-month period identified in the alternate reporting option for 2020-2021
    • If the applicant has subsidiaries, financial statements must be consolidated
    • Statements must be third-party audited statements or review engagements prepared by a licensed professional, including the auditor’s opinion/assurance, income statement, balance sheet and notes
    • If third-party statements are not available, the applicant may submit annual financial statements (balance sheet and income statement) accompanied by a dated and signed chief financial officer certified statement that verifies the accuracy and approval of all information contained therein
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number (Indigenous-owned businesses do not need a CRA business number)
  • corporation’s legal name and operating business name (trade name), if different
  • number of visitors for fiscal year end 2018 and 2019
  • expenditures on salaries and wages for fiscal year end 2019
  • net income for fiscal year end 2018 and 2019

Details on how businesses that own and operate subsidiaries apply will be available when the program portal launches on October 13, 2021.

Meeting eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding. Applications will be assessed competitively using funding and assessment criteria. Awarded funding can be applied to eligible expenses for expenses incurred between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

Program guidelines

Full program details, eligibility and application requirements will be available on October 13, 2021 at

If you have questions in advance of the OTRP portal launch on October 13, 2021, please contact: