New funding program to provide $1 million a year for community tourism projects

Minister Pillai speaks on new funding program for community tourism projects.

Today Minister of Tourism and Culture Ranj Pillai announced a new $1 million Community Tourism Destination Development Fund to support community projects across the Yukon that focus on sustainable tourism development in their community or region. 

The new annual funding program will be available to local businesses, First Nations governments, First Nation Development entities, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for projects that will improve tourism related services and infrastructure. Projects can focus on improving accommodations, attractions, activities and amenities. Special consideration will be given to umbrella projects where local organizations are working together to create more tourism opportunities in their community.

Eligible businesses and organizations can apply under Tier 1 for projects with budgets up to $100,000 and under Tier 2 for projects with budgets between $100,001 and $500,000. The deadline for the first intakes is February 15, 2023, for Tier 1 applications and March 15, 2023, for Tier 2 applications. 

Full program guidelines and application forms will be available online on November 30. An information session will be held on November 30 from 11 am to 12:30 pm at Yukonstruct in Whitehorse and virtually over Zoom. The session will be recorded and posted online. Outreach sessions will be organized in the coming months in communities across the Yukon.  

This new fund will strengthen tourism capacity in communities across the Yukon as the tourism sector continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also support actions in the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy, by growing tourism business revenue, building capacity in the Yukon to provide outstanding visitor experiences, creating healthier communities and sharing the Yukon’s uniqueness with the world.

The Community Tourism Destination Development Fund will position the Yukon as an even stronger tourism destination for Canadians and people around the world. This new funding shows our commitment to implementing the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy and will support local tourism businesses who are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. I encourage tourism operators to attend the upcoming information session and learn more about how they can receive funding to move forward their local projects.

Minister of Tourism and Culture and Economic Development Ranj Pillai

Destination Canada welcomes the news that the Government of Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture is allocating resources to destination development within the Territory. Through strategic investments in our communities and collaboration within the tourism ecosystem we can transition to a thriving regenerative visitor economy that positively contributes to the wealth and well-being for all the peoples of Canada.  

Senior Vice-President Destination Development, Destination Canada Gracen Chungath

TIA Yukon supports the new Community Tourism Destination Development funding for badly needed tourism infrastructure. It is in direct alignment with the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy, which supports outstanding visitor experiences in communities to make the Yukon a premier year-round destination. The fund can support employee accommodation, which we know is a top priority around the world, and Yukon’s tourism industry is looking for this kind of program.

Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon Neil Hartling

Quick facts 
  • The Community Tourism Destination Development Fund has two funding tiers:

    • Tier 1: Total project budgets up to $100,000; and
    • Tier 2: Total project budgets from $100,000 up to $500,000.
  • “Destination development” is guided by the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy and aims to help communities grow and manage themselves as destinations. Destination development supports the evolution of a community into a desirable destination for travelers, with a unique focus on providing compelling experiences, quality infrastructure and extraordinary services to attract repeat visits.

  • The establishment of this fund also aligns with current best practices in the sector including the focus on destination development in the current corporate plans for Destination Canada, the Government of Canada’s leading organization focused on tourism.

  • The fund is subject to the 2023/24 Government of Yukon’s budget approval. 

  • The program will be evaluated in 2024/25 to determine if it is meeting objectives.

Media contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
[email protected]

Alicia Debreceni
Communications, Tourism and Culture
[email protected] 

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