The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, in partnership with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, has launched a funding program that will help the Northwest Territories tourism industry recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

ITI regional offices will start accepting applications for the Growth and Recovery by Investing in Tourism Fund, a $1.5 million, one-time program cost-shared equally by ITI and CanNor. ITI will deliver the program on behalf of both governments.

Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment notes that given the challenges the NWT economy is facing, the GNWT is pleased to provide this specific funding to benefit the NWT tourism industry.

“Our tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by Covid-19 and it is imperative that we continue support it through the pandemic and into recovery.”

The objective of the GRIT Fund is to address COVID-19 impacts on tourism businesses by encouraging product development and marketing as well as contributing to select operational costs.

Mélanie Joly, Minister responsible for CanNor stated that tourism is a cornerstone of the economy of the NWT supporting good jobs across the territory which is why the federal government, through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, is working in partnership with the territorial government to help it flourish once again.

“Our message to tourism businesses and those whose livelihoods depend on them is clear: we’ve been here for you with significant measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help tourism in the Northwest Territories come back strong.”

The fund will enable tourism businesses to be ready to provide even greater services when travel restrictions ease and visitors return. Tourism businesses will be required to contribute 10 percent cash equity and use NWT suppliers to stimulate the local economy. Projects must be complete by March 31th.