Western Economic Diversification Canada working with tourism businesses to bolster the industry’s recovery efforts in western Canada

News release

Government of Canada to invest $3.45 million in regional tourism

May 31, 2020 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Tourism showcases Canada’s landscapes, culture and experiences to millions of visitors from Canada and from around the world. As a result, this vibrant industry is a significant economic driver and the source of pride and local jobs for many communities, but is also one that is most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With domestic and international travelers staying at home, the industry is doing everything it can to stay afloat. That is why the Government of Canada continues to put in place supports for industries and their businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are the backbone of the economy.

Targeted support for tourism areas most in need

To mark National Tourism Week, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced today $3.45 million to bolster recovery efforts for Western Canada’s tourism areas. This funding is the result of the close collaboration between WD and tourism organizations and businesses across Western Canada to identify gaps and key areas needing additional support. The funds will support keystone assets and regionally-based tourism associations that provide services to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Investments like this are only a part of the many Government of Canada supports available to Canadian businesses. Western Canadian tourism SMEs are encouraged to seek aid through:        


“The long-term prosperity of many Canadian communities depends on a thriving tourism industry. We are here to help SMEs and their communities start rebuilding the western Canadian tourism sector. To them I say: your courage and resiliency is truly inspiring. Let’s continue to work together to face the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Use the resources in place, reach out to us through Western Economic Diversification Canada. We’re here to listen and to support.”

-       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Every year, visitors to our province spend billions in our communities and support thousands of jobs Alberta families depend on. While our tourism industry has been faced with unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19, leaders in Alberta’s tourism industry are rising to the challenge. We welcome today’s announcement. This additional funding helps address an important need to accelerate our tourism industry’s recovery.”

-       The Honourable Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

“Tourism businesses are an essential component of our region’s economy and quality of life, particularly in small and remote communities. We are thrilled that the long-term resiliency program initiated to provide hands-on support to our region’s tourism businesses is evolving across BC, spurring rapid recovery and long term sustainability for this vital industry.”

-       Line Robert, Island Coastal Economic Trust, Chief Executive Officer

Quick facts

  • Tourism Week in Canada is May 24-31, 2020. It’s an annual celebration of Canada’s tourism industry, workers and captivating attractions that welcome visitors from home and abroad. Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is intensifying its efforts to support the recovery and growth of this strategic sector of the western Canadian economy.

  • The funding announced today is provided through WD, which strategically invests in projects that promote sustainable community economic diversification, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

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

Media Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada

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