Ottawa Tourism – Destination Development Fund


Ottawa Tourism’s Destination Development Fund assists tourism businesses and organizations in developing quality tourism products and experiences that encourage the competitiveness of its tourism sector, stimulate increased destination visitation and visitor spend, and encourage private sector tourism investment in Ottawa.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is up to a maximum of 50% of eligible project expenses.


Eligible applicants must belong to one of the following groups:

  • Incorporated, for-profit businesses;
  • Ottawa Tourism member;
  • Indigenous communities;
  • Counties and/or municipalities;
  • National and/or provincial industry sector associations;
  • Incorporated, not-for-profit organizations;
  • Ad hoc groups and for-profit or not-for-profit organizations that are not incorporated must find a qualified applicant to act as the proponent of the project;
  • Applicants must also be able to demonstrate financial and administrative stability, and be in good standing with Ottawa Tourism members, stakeholders, industry partners and MAT collecting accommodation properties.

Who is not eligible:

  • Project applicants with an accumulated deficit greater than 25% of total revenue or an accumulated surplus (not including capital assets) greater than 100% of total revenue;
  • Political parties;
  • Organizations whose activities are deemed to come under the jurisdiction of other levels, divisions, departments or agencies of government (e.g. school boards, social services, hospitals, etc.); and
  • Applicants outside of the municipality of Ottawa.

Priority consideration will be given to projects and initiatives that sit within the following areas:

  • Rural tourism development;
  • Indigenous tourism development;
  • Waterfront/shoreline tourism development;
  • Enhancement of Ottawa’s destination image;
  • Bilingualism and/or francophone tourism development;
  • Cultural tourism development/expansion;
  • Sustainable tourism development;
  • Diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

Applications Steps:

Documentation Needed:

If selected to proceed to Phase 1 by Ottawa Tourism, the applicant will be asked to provide a Statement of Intent containing the following information:

  1. Confirm that the applicant’s project is located in the City of Ottawa;
  2. A brief overview of the organization, its mandate, membership structure (if applicable) and
    any related/affiliated parties;
  3. Demonstrate a track record of operation;
  4. A summary of the proposed project, its anticipated impacts on the destination, and
    its impacts in relation to Ottawa Tourism Destination Development Fund program objectives;
  5. A summary of the proposed costs and financing (including status of financing).
    Please note that in most cases, the applicant is also expected to provide a percentage of the
    financing for the proposed project;
  6. Demonstrate the capacity to undertake the proposed project;
  7. Describe the project’s key risks and mitigation strategies;
  8. Demonstrate the need for Destination Development Fund support and its incremental impact
    on the project in terms of scope, location, and timing; and
  9. Contact information, including:
    a) legal business name, common/operating business name;
    b) business address; and
    c) name, telephone number, and email address of primary contact.

If selected to proceed to Phase 2 by Ottawa Tourism, the applicant will be asked to provide a full application (via provided Application Form) containing additional detail and substantiation of the Phase I information, including:

  1. Validation/evidence of the proposed opportunity and its projected impacts;
  2. Financial projections and underlying assumptions;
  3. A full project description, implementation plan and schedule;
  4. Project business plan, including forecasted cost and revenue estimates;
  5. Proof of ownership/control of any assets required for the project (intellectual property, land/building for example);
  6. Analysis of key project risks and mitigation strategies;
  7. Compliance with all relevant statutes, regulations and other funding agreements; and
  8. Other information as required.

Other Things to Note:

Applications for the Destination Development Fund are accepted year-round, with the exception of Festivals and Events which have set intake periods each year and Cultural attractions.


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