Newfoundland and Labrador offers $25M to support tourism sector through pandemic 

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is launching a $25-million program to support the tourism sector that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small and medium-sized tourism operators can apply for one-time funding contributions of $5,000 or $10,000, depending on their gross sales.

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The Tourism and Hospitality Support Program, announced Monday, is a short-term program aimed at helping operators cover business costs as they face losses from the drop in visitors this year.

The province says the money will come from “existing resources” and a COVID-19 contingency fund legislators approved this spring.

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Premier Dwight Ball says the government recognizes the tourism industry’s role as an economic driver in the province and says the fund aims to fill a gap left by the absence of out-of-province visitors.

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Ball says half a million people from outside Newfoundland and Labrador visit the province each year, but non-permanent residents are currently banned from entry as part of the effort to limit COVID-19 infections.

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Applications to the program open June 8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2020.

© 2020 The Canadian Press