ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is launching a $25-million program to support the province’s ailing tourism sector.
Premier Dwight Ball said the government recognizes tourism’s role as an economic driver in the province, noting it’s been one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Local economies are energized by the tourism operators. They’re key to sustaining many of our rural and small communities,” Ball told a news conference Monday. “By supporting tourism, we’re fostering economic development, which is critical to diversifying, growing and strengthening our economy.”
Under the Tourism and Hospitality Support Program, small- and medium-sized tourism operators can apply for one-time funding contributions of $5,000 or $10,000, depending on their gross sales.
The province says the money will come from “existing resources” and from a COVID-19 contingency fund legislators approved this spring.
It is a short-term program aimed at helping operators cover business costs as they face losses from the steep drop in out-of-province visitors this year.
Ball said approximately half-a-million people from outside Newfoundland and Labrador usually visit the province each year.