The Ontario government will be waiving and reducing certain land use and licence fees for resource-based tourism industries in 2021. The value of the relief for more than 300 businesses is $1-million. The province’s continued support for the resource-based tourism industry will help local businesses that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Ontario’s tourism industry continues to be heavily impacted by public health and safety measures related to COVID-19, and this includes the hundreds of businesses that make our provincial parks and conservation reserves vibrant tourist destinations,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
The Minister said this much-needed relief to these businesses, many of which are family-owned, will help Ontario Parks and support local jobs.
The government will remove 2021 annual land use fees for commercial outpost camp permit holders, and defer payment of land use fees for commercial youth camps.
Some commercial operators under service agreements in Ontario Parks for 2021, will see reduced fees as well. Resource-based businesses do not need to apply for this relief. Refunds or invoice adjustments will be automatically provided to eligible businesses currently operating in Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves.
This funding builds on the more than $1.3 million in relief provided to resource-based tourism operators at provincial parks and conservation reserves during the 2020 operating season. With these investments, total support from the Ontario government for the tourism, culture, sports, recreation, and heritage industries since the start of COVID-19 now totals $625 million.
Ontario’s system of provincial parks and conservation reserves is largely funded through the collection of user fees, including monies collected from resource-based tourism operations. The money collected in Ontario Parks stays in Ontario Parks and is used to offset the cost of operating the entire system.