February Industry Newsletter

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Tourism Industry News | 0 comments


Along with National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (NACCA) and The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB), Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is conducting this research to understand current impacts of the pandemic; impact of government supports; as well as crucial needs of Indigenous businesses. Complete the #C19IndigenousBizSurvey and your input could help shape policy decisions that will directly affect your business.

Survey Link

Leading the Way to Tourism Recovery With the Great Taste of Ontario

The Culinary Tourism Alliance is leading the way to the recovery of Ontario’s hospitality and tourism industries. The Great Taste of Ontario is a collaborative marketing campaign that provides tourism organizations across Ontario with the tools to create detailed travel itineraries promoting local businesses and attractions. Through strategic promotional campaigns and partnerships, the Great Taste of Ontario will play a key role in local travel plans for Ontarians.

There are over 80 passports for travellers to download and check-in at businesses – earning points toward prizes made by local artisans, or toward a donation to a local food charity. Find out more.


Federal Government Announces the Launch of HASCAP

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
On Tuesday, January 25, 2021 the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced the launch of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). As first outlined in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, HASCAP will provide financial support to businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service.

Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million.

Eligible businesses can start applying as early as February 1 at principal financial institutions and more widely by February 15. Interested businesses should contact their primary lender to get more information and to apply.

Read the full news release here.

Learn More

More Funding for Tourism Businesses /
Plus de Fonds Pour Les Entreprises Touristiques

The Government of Canada is making available an additional $500 million in support from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for small businesses suffering from COVID-related losses. At the same time, the Government has committed to making at least 25% of those funds available to the struggling tourism sector.

This expanded RRRF funding is similar to that offered under additional support through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). It is intended for businesses that do not qualify for CEBA funding.

The Government of Canada has been supporting businesses and protecting jobs since the pandemic began, and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. At this time, we seek your help. Your membership needs to know that this additional financial support is available, if they have sustained COVID-related losses since April 1, 2020, or if they anticipate losses up until March 31, 2021.

Learn More and apply on the FedNor website.
Or, if you have questions, please 
contact FedNor.

Le gouvernement du Canada accorde un soutien supplémentaire de 500 millions de dollars dans le cadre du Fonds d’aide et de relance régionale (FARR) pour les petites entreprises qui continuent à souffrir de pertes liées à la COVID-19. En outre, le gouvernement affectera au moins 25 % de ces fonds au secteur du tourisme en difficulté.

L’ajout de fonds permet au FARR est similaire à celui offert dans le cadre d’un soutien supplémentaire par le biais du Compte d’urgence pour les entreprises canadiennes (CUEC). Il est destiné aux entreprises qui ne sont pas admissibles au CUEC.

Le gouvernement du Canada soutient les entreprises et protège les emplois depuis le début de la pandémie, et continuera de le faire aussi longtemps qu’il le faudra. Nous sollicitons maintenant votre aide. Vos membres doivent être au courant que ce soutien financier supplémentaire est disponible,  s’ils ont subi des pertes liées à la COVID-19 depuis le 1er avril 2020, ou s’ils prévoient des pertes jusqu’au 31 mars 2021.
Vous pouvez en apprendre plus et présenter une demande sur le site web de FedNor

Si vous avez des questions, veuillez communiquer avec  FedNor.

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs

Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which helps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020. This new program will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners during this challenging period.

Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support
This is a one-time grant of up to $1000 for eligible businesses with 2 to 9 employees. Sectors include retail, accommodation and food services, and more. 

Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants
This grant will cover the entire length of time that public health restrictions are in place for municipal and education property taxes and energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil).

Learn More
User Application Guide
Apply Here


The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp in Canada. The Safe Travels Stamp is an international symbol designed to allow travellers to recognize governments and companies around the world, which have adopted health and hygiene, standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

The future is unpredictable but as Ontario begins the rollout of vaccinations and the province opens up, we want you to be ready to operate and welcome guests safely. Get certified with the Safe Travels Stamp this year and provide travellers with the confidence that your business has the necessary measures in place for a safe visit.

Northeastern Ontario Tourism encourages its members to strive for traveler confidence; one way to ensure your business is following safety standards and effectively communicating those standards to potential visitors is having a Safe Travel Stamp.
See full list of businesses with the Safe Travel Stamp here.

Apply Now

2020-21 Travel Intentions Surveys Results

Destination Northern Ontario in partnership with key RTOs, DMOs and Destination Ontario engaged Abacus Data to a conduct two-wave market research survey to give us some actionable insights to guide our activities, provide information to stakeholders and assist in counselling tourist operators as we respond and progress through the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to the main report for each wave, Destination Northern Ontario had Abacus Data develop a report focusing specifically on RTO13.  All four reports can be accessed on the DNO website at

To view all four reports » Click here! 

Northern Ontario Tourism Trails Strategy

The Northern Ontario Tourism Trails Strategy is a comprehensive plan to guide the development and management of a sustainable trails network within Northern Ontario that will both encourage visitors to stay longer as well as to attract new visitors.

Commissioned by Destination Northern Ontario and completed in March 2020, the goal of the Northern Ontario Tourism Trails Plan is to provide an integrated and strategic approach not only in identifying priority trails and how to further develop them but also how to enhance their communities’ offerings to trails tourists.


State of Tourism in Canada during COVID-19’ Dashboard Reports

TIAC and Twenty31 have compiled monthly reports that provide a snapshot of the state of the tourism industry globally and in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dashboard provides valuable insight to inform future strategies in economic recovery.

Summary of key insights from November 2020:

  • Countries and regions are heading into lockdown with greater knowledge and are using that to inform a more targeted approach.
  • Three vaccines have been approved, but distribution logistics and public wariness are obstacles in mass vaccination.
  • It’s unclear whether proof of vaccination will be required for international travel or just proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Learn More


Stay Informed About Covid-19 Announcements, Including Activity Restrictions by District Health Unit Region

Enhancing public health and workplace safety measures in the province-wide shutdown

Learn about the second declaration of emergency to address COVID-19 in Ontario.

Learn more here.

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.
Learn more here.

Health Units in Northeastern Ontario

Resources and information from the Nipissing Parry Sound District Health Unit (NPSDHU) here.

Resources and information from the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) here.

Resources and information from the Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD) here.

Resources and information from the Timiskaming Health Unit (THU) here.

MHSTCI has advised the following for tourism operators asking if they can book into the future:

In response to the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases, a declaration of emergency was made on January 12, 2021 for all of Ontario. The purpose of the state of emergency is to help keep people at home as much as possible and save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19 in communities, prevent the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed, and protect vulnerable populations and those who care for them.

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government issued a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities.  The Chief Medical Officer of Health is urging all Ontarians to limit trips outside of home, except for essential purposes only such as work where it is not possible to work from home, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor healthy physical activity.  In addition, travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas, should only be for essential purposes.

However, there is nothing in the emergency order or supporting regulations that prohibits a person from making a booking for a future stay at a fishing resort or other short-term rental.  However, we recommend that resorts make their cancellation policy clear to customers before accepting bookings, and that customers carefully review this policy before booking.

Keri Buttle
Executive Assistant
Vic Fedeli, MPP/Député (Nipissing)
219 Main St. East
North Bay ON P1B 1B2
T: 705-474-8340
F: 705-474-9747


Minister MacLeod to Host Webinars Outlining
Ontario’s COVID-19 Financial Supports

From February 1st to February 10th, the Honourable Lisa Macleod will be hosting 13 regional webinars that outline supports offered by the government of Ontario including:

  • Small Business Support Grants of up to $20,000
  • Property Tax and Energy Bill Rebates
  • Main Street Relief Grant for PPE Support of up to $1000
  • Not For Profit Support with Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Support for Arts Organizations

If you are interested in applying for these programs and you would like to learn how to access these supports, please sign up to attend the webinar for your region here.

Mon, Feb 1, 2021 10:00 AM
Ottawa Regional Business Support Webinar

Mon, Feb 1, 2021 2:00 PM
GTA Regional Business Support Webinar

Tue, Feb 2, 2021 10:00 AM
York, Durham & Headwaters Regional Business Support Webinar

Tue, Feb 2, 2021 3:00 PM
Bruce Peninsula, Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe Regional Business Support Webinar

Wed, Feb 3, 2021 10:00 AM
Kawarthas Northumberland Regional Business Support Webinar

Wed, Feb 3, 2021 2:00 PM
South Eastern Ontario Regional Business Support Webinar

Thu, Feb 4, 2021 10:00 AM
Ontario ‘s Highlands Regional Business Support Webinar

Thu, Feb 4, 2021 2:00 PM
Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Muskoka and Parry Sound Regional Business Support Webinar

Fri, Feb 5, 2021 2:00 PM
Northern Ontario Regional Business Support Webinar

Mon, Feb 8, 2021 10:00 AM
Southwest Ontario Regional Business Support Webinar

Tue, Feb 9, 2021 10:00 AM
Niagara Regional Business Support Webinar

Tue, Feb 9, 2021 2:00 PM
Hamilton, Halton & Brant Regional Business Support Webinar

Wed, Feb 10, 2021 2:00 PM
Huron, Perth, Waterloo & Wellington Regional Business Support Webinar

Sign Up Here

The Office of the Employer Adviser (OEA) is an independent agency of the Government of Ontario, providing free, confidential and expert worker’s compensation services to Ontario employers.
For more information please visit our website at employeradviser.caThe OEA is hosting a series of FREE webinars on various WSIB topics. Join us for these informative sessions by registering below.Completing The Form 7
Feb 2, 2021   |  Time: 10:00 am ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar walks you through an employer’s obligation to complete their ‘report of accident’ – the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB) Form 7.  You will learn what information the WSIB is looking for and best practices for answering the form questions.Claims Management Tips
Feb 4, 2021    |  Time: 2:00 pm ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar provides you with helpful practices to better manage your Workplace Safety & Insurance  needs – starting from your hiring practices to dealing with an injured worker and their subsequent return to work.SIEF and Cost Reduction Tools
Feb 9,  2021    |  Time: 2:00 pm ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar explains the tools available to employers to reduce their accident costs and, in some cases, have them removed entirely.

WSIB Appeals
Feb 11, 2021    |  Time: 2:00 pm ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar outlines the appeal process, the different levels of appeal, and how to prepare for either your own, or your worker’s appeal.

Section 50 Unlawful Reprisals
Feb 17, 2021    |  Time: 10:00 am ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar explains the process and timelines for responding to a Section 50 unlawful reprisal allegation, and the OEA services available to help employers facing such an allegation.

COVID-19 Update
Feb 18, 2021    |  Time: 10:00 am ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar provides updates on WSIB matters stemming from the COVID-19 situation and how they may impact employers.

Rate Framework
Feb 23, 2021    |  Time: 2:00 pm ET  Click Here to Register
This webinar outlines the new ‘Rate Framework’ and how your company will be assessed going forward. Learn how these changes will affect your company. This webinar is a general level presentation intended for all employers who have some experience dealing with the WSIB from a premium/assessment perspective.

Mental Stress
Feb 26, 2021    |  Time: 10:00 am ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar outlines the legislative modifications that have changed the handling of mental stress claims, and how mental stress entitlement, both traumatic and chronic, is determined by the WSIB.

A Practical Guide to Return to Work for Employers (Non-Construction)
Mar 2, 2021    |  Time: 2:00 pm ET  Click Here to Register
This webinar explains the benefits of having a return to work program, your legal obligations under the WSIA, key steps for implementing a return to work program and plan, as well as resolution strategies for disputes in return to work.

A Practical Guide to Return to Work for Employers (Construction)
Mar 4, 2021   |  Time: 10:00 am ET   Click Here to Register
This webinar explains the benefits of having a return to work program, your legal obligations under the WSIA, key steps for implementing a return to work program and plan, as well as resolution strategies for disputes in return to work.

We look forward to you joining us. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

Attention tourism operators and small businesses located in Sudbury!

Register now for your upcoming Elevating Canadian Experiences workshops. Taking place on February 2 & 3, 2021, these free and interactive workshops will assist small and medium tourism operators and other tourism organizations in developing strategies to maintain their businesses, and develop winter and shoulder season and culinary experiences to attract visitors back once Canada is ready to welcome them again.

The culinary workshop has been tailored specifically to your region and will explore elevating visitor experiences through meaningful and memorable interactions with food & drink. This workshop provides an overview of a process for creating experiences that align with culinary tourism readiness standards and best practices.

The Winter and Shoulder Season Tourism workshop is designed to help expand the opportunity for tourism operators in rural communities and those operating in the winter and shoulder seasons to attract new visitors and grow their businesses.

Register Here

Future-proof your career with Ontario Tourism Education Corporation’s (OTEC’s) new resiliency training series. This series was developed to address worker skills gaps and build a more resilient workforce. The series includes 4 workshops and 2 courses each 2-3 hours long. The workshops aim to support worker retention and improve employee satisfaction. Upon completion of the workshops, participants will receive a certificate.

This training is FREE for qualifying participants. More information here.

Safe Travels Stamp Webinar: What is it, and Do I Qualify?

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in conjunction with the industry, including Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), have created a self-certified Safe Travel Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols the WTTC has put together for every aspect of the hospitality and tourism sector.
The specially designed stamp will allow travelers to recognize governments and companies around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

For more information and to register for today’s webinar » Click here!


Join ITO and Great Lakes Cultural Camps at Explorers’ Edge virtual event “Howl at the Full Moon”!

Date: January 28, 2021
Time: 8pm to 8:45pm EST

Great Lakes Cultural Camps will be sharing the significance of wolves in Indigenous culture presented in partnership with ITO. Outdoor adventure educator and naturalist Robin Tapley will give us a little instruction on how wolves communicate, our special guest wolf pack will help him demonstrate, and then everyone can head outside and howl at the full moon wherever you are in the world.

What better way to celebrate what’s known in the almanacs as “The Wolf Moon” than to let your Covid frustrations out with the rest of your baying bubble? Send photos or videos of your baying bubble in action to Explorers’ Edge and you’ll be entered to win amazing prizes. Join in the fun and register using the link below!

Register Here

Nominations Now Open for 2021 Indigenous Women in Leadership Award

Proudly presented by Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and LNG Canada, the Indigenous Women in Leadership (IWIL) award recognizes successful and accomplished Indigenous women leaders – role models that empower and inspire others. The annual IWIL award is nationally recognized and serves as a platform to the future.

CCAB encourages nominations from all First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit and Métis business, political and nationally engaged women whose work has changed the lives of people in their communities and nationally. Nominations are open until January 31st, 2021. Nominate now.

Every week during the month of February, Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) will be offering virtual sessions to help event organizers and suppliers adapt, pivot, and evolve. FEO is dedicating the month to education, preparation, and imagination as we look ahead to what 2021 might hold. Weekly programming will include a revised awards program, Tuesday talks sessions, Wednesday networking roundtable, and Thursday keynote panels discussing topics like:

  • COVID-19 Recovery
  • Risk Management
  • Sponsorship during COVID-19
  • Digital & Virtual Events

For more information contact: Debbie Mann at [email protected].

Register Here

2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival resumes its call for submissions for the first annual Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards (SSIMA)
The SSIMA will present awards representing a variety of music genres as well as awards for cultural contribution, significance, legacy and social voice. The award show itself will be two hours in length including the presentation of awards to the winners and live performances from finalists throughout the evening. Submissions to 18 awards categories are open until April 1, 2021. Learn more about the event here.

About Northeastern Ontario Tourism

Northeastern Ontario Tourism (NeONT) is a not-for profit organization dedicated to promoting the region as a premier travel destination with the goal of increasing tourism revenue for our Partners, and the region as a whole.