Tourism Growth Program in British Columbia
Applications for the Tourism Growth Program are no longer being accepted. Submitted applications are under assessment. Applicants can view their Submitted Application in the Portal under the “View Submissions” tab.
PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians.
PacifiCan’s goals are:
- quality jobs for British Columbians
- competitive industry clusters
- globally successful businesses
- growth that includes rural, Indigenous and underrepresented communities
To support B.C.’s dynamic tourism industry, PacifiCan is making strategic investments in growing companies through the new Tourism Growth Program.
On this page
- Program overview
- Eligible applicants
- Eligible project activities
- Eligible costs
- Ineligible costs
- Expected results
- Application Requirements
Tourism drives economic development and diversification in many Canadian regions and communities. The Government of Canada’s Tourism Growth Program (TGP) aims to help small and medium-sized businesses, tourism organizations, and local communities to grow and develop tourism products and experiences that position Canada as a destination of choice.
Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, including PacifiCan, the $108 million TGP provides regionally tailored funding over three years to support communities, businesses and not-for-profit organizations in growing and developing local tourism projects and events.
The TGP contributes to the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, which charts a course for long-term growth, investment, and stability in Canada’s tourism sector, from coast to coast to coast. The program also complements provincial/territorial programs and other federal support for the tourism sector.
The TGP program is open to businesses and not-for profit organizations. Businesses may apply for interest-free repayable contributions. Not-for profit organizations may apply for non-repayable contributions.
Applicants must also meet the following mandatory criteria:
All eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.
- Must be financially viable businesses, operating for a minimum two years in British Columbia;
- Restaurants, accommodation and retail are not normally eligible. Some exceptions can be made for restaurants or accommodations that are an anchor for a tourism community.
Indigenous tourism is vital to the economic development and growth of Canada’s tourism sector, from coast to coast to coast, and is a priority under the Tourism Growth Program. Through the $108 million TGP, approximately 15 percent of funding will specifically support Indigenous tourism initiatives. Indigenous applicants are invited to apply through the process below.
Applicants eligible for funding under the TGP include entities such as:
- Incorporated small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs),
- Not-for-profit organizations (including tourism associations and organizations),
- Post-secondary institutions,
- Indigenous-owned businesses (including sole proprietors) or Indigenous organizations, or
- Governments (municipal/provincial and related entities)
Project activities must include at least one of the following priority areas (in no order of preference):
- Support active tourism – projects that attract domestic and international visitors to participate in outdoor recreational experiences. This also includes improvements to make active tourism inclusive and accessible.
- Increase tourism benefits for communities – projects that increase visitors to smaller communities and rural areas, thereby extending the benefits of tourism in B.C.
- Support Indigenous tourism industry – projects that are either Indigenous-owned or led that improve or increase Indigenous tourism experiences, which is one of the fastest growing international segments in B.C.’s tourism market.
- Support economic, environmental and cultural sustainability – projects that support economic, environmental and culturally sustainability.
- Extend the tourism season – projects that support the development and delivery of shoulder season products.
- Complement support provided through provincial programs – projects that align with efforts across the federal government and complement provincial, regional and local programs and initiatives.
Note that as the TGP focuses on growth, preference will be given to project proposals with a demonstrated focus on:
- High Impact
- The project will create or maintain jobsFootnote 1, increase visitors, and achieve strong revenue growth.
- Lasting Impact
- The benefits will last beyond the life of the project.
- Community Alignment
- For businesses: The project aligns with community or regional tourism strategies, where possible.
- For not-for-profits: The project supports tourism in multiple communities (e.g., advancing a cluster or corridor strategy) or is a high-value collaboration amongst community partners.
- For businesses: The project has strong leverage (i.e., seeking 50% or less funding from PacifiCan)
- For not-for-profits: The project has strong leverage (i.e., seeking 65% or less funding from PacifiCan).
The agency will also consider the overall regional distribution of projects.
Eligible project activities
Eligible projects must be incremental to the applicant’s existing activities and align with at least one of the six program priorities listed above. Examples of project activities may include, but are not limited to:
- helping operators to improve and/or create innovative tourism offerings attractive to domestic and international visitors,
- supporting digitization, automation, or technology integration investments that enhance SME productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness,
- supporting businesses with promoting tourism products, including digital and virtual reality experiences,
- extending the tourism season by assisting tourism SMEs in the development and delivery of shoulder season products (e.g., winter tourism product development), developing capacity for more inclusive tourism experiences (e.g., enhancing accessibility of tourism assets, staff training to ensure welcoming, inclusive environments to diverse clientele),
- developing and/or implementing sustainable tourism plans in communities based on research and market analysis,
- supporting destinations to implement tourism plans that create or improve local assets, facilities, and planning for key infrastructure, including trails, and other activities related to growing tourism.
Eligible businesses can apply for interest-free repayable funding of up to $250,000 to support the growth of tourism operations. Preference will be given to projects seeking 50% or less funding from PacifiCan. The stacking limit (from other government sources) cannot generally exceed 50% of eligible capital costs and 75% for other eligible costs.
Eligible not-for-profit organizations proposing commercial projects can apply for repayable funding of up to $250,000 to support the growth of the tourism industry. Preference will be given to projects seeking 65% or less in funding from PacifiCan. The stacking limit may be up to 90% of eligible costs.
All non-PacifiCan sources of funding must be confirmed at time of application and start date of the project.
All proposed costs should be incremental and essential to the implementation of the project. Costs that may be eligible for reimbursement include:
- Infrastructure upgrades, such as trail development and leasehold improvements, etc.
- Costs incurred in designing new or improved tourism products and services
- Purchase and/or rental of machinery and equipment directly related to the authorized project
- Professional services (project implementation, design and engineering services)
- Costs related to community engagement and planning such as facilitation and rental of meeting space
- Marketing costs (e.g. design, promotional materials, advertising, digital media content, products demonstrations, participation at trade shows, website development, design, and improvement) are eligible in the case that they are associated with a larger project that is not solely marketing
- Acquisition of new technology that will improve performance and productivity
Costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis for a 12-month period prior to the receipt of a funding application, but no earlier than March 29, 2023.
All project activities must be completed and costs incurred by March 31, 2026.
Costs deemed not incremental, and/or not directly related to project activities will be ineligible for reimbursement, for example:
- Refinancing of an existing debt
- Purchase of any assets for more than the fair market value of the said asset
- Costs of amortization or depreciation of assets
- Lobbying activities
- Salary bonuses and dividend payments
- Entertainment expenses
- Motor vehicles that can be licensed for off-site use
- Land and building acquisition
- Donations, dues and membership fees
- Ongoing operational costs and hospitality
Project costs incurred by the applicant in the absence of a signed funding agreement with PacifiCan are incurred at the sole risk of the applicant.
PacifiCan is looking to support projects that have a viable plan to produce strong economic outcomes in the tourism sector. Applicants must quantify, substantiate and later report on the following expected results that are applicable:
- Number of communities supported
- Number of project partners
- Number of jobs created
- Number of jobs maintained
- Revenue growth ($)
- Number of entities supported
- Number of visitors
PacifiCan requires the items below to support your application for funding:
- A completed Application Form
- Financial Statements for past two years (including the most current)
- Interim Financial Statements (past six months)
- Detailed Budget; and
- Evidence of other funding sources (where available, provide written confirmation). Funding will only be considered confirmed if written proof is provided. It is mandatory that you attach confirmation of other (non-RDA) sources of funding if “confirmed” funding has been selected. There is a maximum of one attachment for each confirmed funder.
If the project has confirmed funding at the time of application, please attach proof of all sources of non-PacifiCan funding. PacifiCan considers the following as sources of confirmed funding:
- Letters of confirmation;
- Signed agreements; and
- Financial and/or bank statements.
This documentation is necessary to consider non-PacifiCan funding as confirmed.
We may require additional documentation and information as part of a more detailed assessment.
- PacifiCan will not assess saved applications that have not been submitted.
- Signing and submitting the application form does not constitute a commitment from PacifiCan for financial assistance.
After Submitting an Application
Applications will be evaluated on their ability to achieve the Tourism Growth Program objectives and on their ability to demonstrate:
- High impact
- Lasting impact
- Community alignment
- Strong leverage
Although PacifiCan may engage applicants directly on outstanding questions or issues, applicants are advised to submit a complete and thorough application.
Reporting and Project Funding
What is the likelihood that I will receive funding?
Only applications demonstrating the highest merit and fit with TGP objectives will be considered for funding.
How are disbursements made?
If you are successful in obtaining TGP funding for your project, PacifiCan will normally provide the funding in periodic reimbursements, based on the submission of claims for reimbursement. These reimbursements will be released to recipients for the approved portion (i.e. up to 100%) of eligible projects costs that have been incurred and paid.
Recipients will need to plan project cash flows accordingly based on the timing of the claims and the period to process the reimbursement. PacifiCan will provide an orientation to this process to all those who are approved for TGP funding.
Potential funding recipients are expected to have secured all non-PacifiCan requested project financing before applying.
What kind of reporting is required during the project?
All successful recipients will sign a standard Contribution Agreement with PacifiCan. The Agreement outlines the obligations of the funding recipient, including the submission of claims information and periodic progress reports (minimum 2 per year).
When must projects be completed?
Projects may vary in duration, typically ranging from a few months to a couple of years. All project activities and costs must be completed by March 31, 2026.
Contribution towards a commercial project with a SME are interest free and fully repayable.
For additional Tourism Growth Program information, contact us directly at 604-666-6256 or 1-888-338-9378 (toll-free) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailing address: 1300-300 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6B4
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