Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency supports tourism industry to help maintain local jobs and come back strong 

News release

Government of Canada invests $16 million to strengthen Atlantic Canada’s tourism sector and help the industry move forward

Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry is crucial to the vitality of communities across the region. Every year, millions of visitors are drawn to Canada’s East Coast for its spectacular landscapes, delicious food and friendly people. Tourism supports over 100,000 good jobs at more than 8,000 businesses across Atlantic Canada, playing a crucial role in local economies – and also local pride.

Federal government support for local tourism in Atlantic Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced $16 million in federal investments to support the tourism industry across Atlantic Canada.

Delivered by ACOA, this funding will support 79 tourism initiatives led by communities, businesses and organizations across the region. This targeted investment includes more than $2.4 million to destination development and marketing organizations, which will support 10 projects to help attract visitors to Atlantic Canada.

This complements the funding that each province is receiving from Destination Canada for destination marketing organizations, $4.5 million in total, to implement targeted marketing programs and encourage residents to discover their own backyards.   

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting Atlantic Canada’s tourism businesses through this difficult time. This includes significant measures to help them keep employees, manage cash flow and pay rent. It also includes the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to cover those who don’t qualify for other programs, nearly doubling the budget of ACOA and the other Regional Development Agencies. Finally, the government has redirected $30 million from Destination Canada’s budget towards domestic travel, one of the first times it will be promoting Canada to Canadians.

In partnership with local organizations, ACOA is working to support the region’s tourism operators, encourage local tourism and help Atlantic Canadian tourism come back strong.


“From the Cabot Trail to the Bay of Fundy, the beaches of Cavendish to the mountains of Gros Morne, it’s not hard to see why visitors are drawn to Atlantic Canada. Yet our tourism industry and those whose livelihoods depend on it has been hit hard by COVID-19, and we stand with them. Our message is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this together and come back strong.”

-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Communities and businesses across Atlantic Canada are working feverishly to make the most of this tourism season. I’m pleased that ACOA is working with the tourism industry to support communities and operators at this critical time. Today’s announcement will support 79 important projects that will protect jobs and help businesses move forward with local tourism opportunities, while ensuring the industry is prepared to welcome visitors to Atlantic Canada as soon as it is safe to do so.”

- René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (ACOA and Official Languages)

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through various ACOA programs, which support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance the development and growth of businesses and facilitate innovation.

  • ACOA is investing $9 million to support 69 tourism projects across the four Atlantic provinces.

  • ACOA is also contributing more than $2.4 million to support ten initiatives with nine destination development and marketing organizations in Atlantic Canada to promote, grow and support tourism in their city, region or experience sector.

  • On May 31, Minister Joly announced that over the next 18 months, Destination Canada, Canada’s national tourism marketing organization, will invest $30 million in provincial marketing organizations (PMOs), which will be matched by provinces and territories, to deliver locally-led marketing programs.

  • Atlantic Canada’s $4.5 million share of Destination Canada funding is being distributed as follows: $500,000 for Prince Edward Island; $1 million each for New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador; and $2 million for Nova Scotia.  

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·        To find out more about our programs and services, please visit the ACOA website

·        Follow us on Twitter @ACOACanada and on LinkedIn @ACOA-APECA

·        Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Cathy Thériault
Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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