Tourism Growth Program

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Empowering tourism
— A dive into the new Tourism Growth Program

Tashi Farmilo
Local Journalism Initiative

QUEBEC – Tourism in Quebec is set to witness a transformative boost with the launch of the Tourism Growth Program (TGP), a strategic initiative by the Canadian government, delivered locally by Canada Economic Development (CED). Aimed at fortifying the tourism industry, the TGP promises to usher in significant economic benefits, with a special emphasis on Indigenous communities.

One of the unique aspects of the TGP is its tiered delivery structure. CED will offer direct assistance for projects requiring financial aid between $60,000 and $250,000. Additionally, the program will be delivered in collaboration with the Société des attractions touristiques du Québec (SATQ) for projects under $60,000 and Indigenous Tourism Quebec (ITQ) for all Indigenous-led initiatives. Notably, ITQ will allocate 15% of the total TGP budget to Indigenous tourism projects, highlighting the program’s commitment to inclusivity and cultural preservation.

The SATQ, operating under the brand name Événements Attractions Québec (ÉAQ), has been chosen by CED to coordinate a fund dedicated to applications for financial support of $60,000 or less. The Fonds de soutien au développement de l’offre touristique (FSDOT) aims to bolster the capacity of tourist attractions and small, local festivals and events in Quebec. François-G. Chevrier, Director General of ÉAQ, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “This investment will significantly enhance the competitiveness of Quebec’s tourism offerings, enabling regional businesses to thrive and attract visitors from beyond our borders.”

Marie-Justine Torres, Press Secretary for the Minister of Tourism, highlighted the significance of the TGP for regions like the Outaouais:  “These areas are rich in parks, museums, and festivals, making them prime candidates for the benefits of the TGP,” she remarked. “We are particularly excited about the emphasis on sustainable and Indigenous tourism, which aligns with our goals for regional development.”

Patricia Auclair, Deputy Executive Director of Indigenous Tourism Quebec, praised the partnership with CED, stating, “This collaboration will enable Indigenous attractions to draw more visitors and contribute to economic growth, enhancing the overall tourism landscape in Quebec.”

The Tourism Growth Program is designed to support the growth of Quebec’s tourism industry, with a focus on sustainability, inclusivity, and regional development. Eligible applicants for the FSDOT include businesses and organizations in Quebec that seek financial support for tourism activities. The program’s eligibility criteria require that these activities align with the main objective of enhancing the region’s attractiveness to visitors and complement other regional stakeholders’ efforts. For Indigenous projects, the TGP targets Indigenous SMEs, NPOs, and social economy enterprises operating in the tourism industry. These projects must demonstrate their potential to support the industry, foster sustainable tourism development, and increase the capacity of local attractions to attract visitors from outside Quebec.

For more information or to apply for funding under the FSDOT, interested parties can reach out via email to fsdot@eaq.quebec. For Indigenous projects, the Indigenous Tourism Quebec website provides resources, or inquiries can be directed to info@tourismeautochtone.com.