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Program overview

The product development fund has three investment streams designed to assist Alberta businesses and municipalities with launching new tourism infrastructure initiatives, acquiring experience assets, and assisting with visitor program development.

Please ensure to review all investment streams for the product development fund to ensure eligibility of your organization to apply. An applicant may only apply to ONE of the product development streams.

On this page:

Growth
Innovation
Incubator

Growth

Grow your business to its greatest potential

Investments support tourism businesses and organizations in the purchase, construction, and/or renovation of a tourism related product or experience. Projects must be shovel-ready tourism infrastructure initiatives.

Note: a shovel-ready project is where planning, engineering, permits, and legal considerations are finalized and that, with sufficient funding, construction can begin within a very short time.

Investment range: up to $500,000 with fund matching required

Although applications for growth funding are now closed, we encourage you to submit an expression of interest for the development of your new tourism product.

Submit an expression of interest

A couple looks at antiques at Old Strathcona Antique Mall, Edmonton.

Details & eligibility

  • Applications for 2022-23 are now closed, however we would still encourage any prospective projects to submit an expression of interest. The Travel Alberta team will review your expression of interest and follow up with you in advance of the 2023-24 intake period. Submit now
  • Once a Travel Alberta Tourism Manager approves your EOI, an application will be forwarded to your organization. Please note - receiving an application form from Travel Alberta does not guarantee funding. Please submit application to investmentapplications@travelalberta.com
  • Once a funding recipient has been approved, a Travel Alberta Grant Agreement will be formulated.
  • Upon approval of project, 75% of approved funds will be released to the organization. Upon proof of payment of the 100% of expenses, the final payment installment of 25% will be released upon completion of project.

  • Business/community is of strategic importance to defined travel corridors and/or the project is in alignment with local/regional tourism master plans
  • Creates a new purchasable tourism experience within Alberta
  • Contributes to job creation and economic growth
  • Diversifies the seasonality of product offering for the operation/region
  • Supports the Indigenous tourism sector
  • Supports sustainability practices within the tourism operation

  • Private sector Alberta based tourism businesses, Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities with a focus on tourism
  • Businesses and not-for-profits must have a minimum three years in operation
  • Applicant’s tourism offering must be available no less than 120 days per year
  • All applicants are required to have an active ATIS account and associated listings.

  • Organizations whose activities are under the jurisdiction of the provincial or federal government
  • Non-Alberta based businesses
  • Applicants whose projects will be completed during the approval process
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Airports
  • Casinos
  • Travel Agencies
  • Transportation Services (Taxi, Limo, Vehicle rental)
  • Virtual tourism offerings
  • Hotel/Motels 50 rooms or greater (Franchise properties)
  • Vacation property rentals

  • Regular facility upgrades, maintenance or regulatory compliance
  • Purchase or lease of land
  • Licensed, motorized vehicles
  • Costs related to replace, repair, or upgrade a piece of equipment
  • Office furnishings or décor, office equipment including computers, copiers, phones, etc
  • Highway, business or community signage
  • Construction, expansion, or enhancements of community recreation facilities
  • Stand alone bathroom construction and renovation
  • Conference and event based centres
  • Campground upgrades/expansions to add more sites, add services, or update/add additional buildings such as washrooms
  • Construction or expansion of major hotel developments (over 50 rooms)
  • On-going operating costs including administration, staff salaries, administrative expenses, and maintenance costs
  • Legal, insurance, audit, or banking interest fees
  • Costs related to working capital, debt service, operating losses, capital losses or redemption of capital
  • Road construction such as paved or gravel access roads
  • Consultants/contractors for grant administration
  • GST/HST
  • Costs which Travel Alberta, at its discretion deems ineligible

  • Expenses to be incurred between April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023
  • 2020 and 2021 Financial statements which would include an income statement and balance sheet
  • Infrastructure related projects require a written endorsement from the local municipality (city, town or county). In addition, copies of all supporting documentation must be provided as applicable to the project, including but not limited to:
  • Legal description of the property and copy of the registered title or lease agreement number
  • Business/operating license obtained
  • If the project is on land leased from the crown – a letter from a representative of the appropriate government authority indicating the proposed project is permitted under the lease agreement will be required.
  • Tourism & commercial recreation lease obtained. (highlight and brief description)
  • Municipal land use bylaw requirements met
  • Development/recreation permits obtained
  • Copies of property plans and development dimensions
  • Construction schedule with associated budget timeline

  • Revenue Generation
  • Job creation
  • Visitation (domestic and international)

Innovation

Innovation investments support existing tourism businesses and communities with the purchase cost of new capital assets which help to diversify the product offering and/or visitor experience. Further, this fund will support program and content development for the new experience. 

Note: A capital asset is used in a company’s business operations to generate revenue over the course of more than a year and is not intended for sale.

Application period: April 1-May 13, 2022. Applications are now closed.

Investment range: Non-matching investment up to $125,000

Details and eligibility

  • Please complete and sign the below application form and submit to investmentapplications@travelalberta.com
  • Investment decisions will not be made until after the closing date of May 13, 2022.
  • Upon approval of project, 75% of approved funds will be released to the organization. Upon proof of payment of the 100% of expenses, the final payment installment of 25% will be released upon completion of project.
  • The funding will be sent via electronic transfer. If you do not have an EFT payment process set-up with Travel Alberta, we will email you the appropriate form for completion.
  • It is at the sole discretion of Travel Alberta to manage funding requests and decline projects that may not qualify or if the program is over subscribed.

  • Of strategic importance to defined travel corridors and/or the project is in alignment with local/regional tourism master plans
  • Creates a new purchasable tourism experience within Alberta
  • Contributes to job creation and economic growth
  • Diversifies the seasonality of product offering for the operation/region
  • Supports the Indigenous tourism sector
  • Supports sustainability practices within the tourism operation

  • Private sector Alberta based tourism businesses, Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities with a focus on tourism
  • Businesses and not-for-profits must have a minimum three years in operation
  • Applicant’s tourism offering must be available no less than 120 days per year
  • All applicants are required to have an active ATIS account and associated listings.

  • Organizations whose activities are under the jurisdiction of the provincial or federal government
  • Non-Alberta-based businesses
  • Applicants whose projects will be completed during the approval process
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Airports
  • Casinos
  • Travel Agencies
  • Spas
  • Transportation Services (Taxi,Limo,Vehicle rental)
  • Hotel/Motels 50 rooms or greater (Franchise properties)
  • Vacation property rentals
  • Virtual tourism offerings

  • Lease, or purchase costs of equipment that provides a new purchasable visitor activity not currently offered by the applicant or enhances the product offering and visitor experience
  • Motorized vehicles that are integral to the visitor experience or create a new experience (if a vehicle is already owned by the company, would not be eligible for additional vehicle purchase)
  • Specialized equipment that allows the organization to serve a more diverse market such as those with varying physical abilities
  • Seasonal temporary or movable structures that improve visitor comfort and enhance the experience
  • Costs of permits and licensing required to diversify the scope of activities or experiences
  • Experience pilots
  • Interpretive programming development including costs related to the enhancement and/or development of a new tourism experience
  • Content development including photography, video, and written content (shot list must be included with the application)

  • Program excludes buildings and structures, leasehold improvement, infrastructure and fixed equipment 
  • Costs related to replace, repair, or upgrade a piece of equipment
  • Purchase of goods for sale in the regular course of the business operation
  • Office equipment including computers, copiers, phones, etc
  • Highway, business or community signage
  • Operating costs including administration, staff salaries, administrative expenses, legal fees and on-going maintenance costs
  • Motorized vehicles for corporate operations or additional motorized vehicles for an operation conducting tours
  • Legal, insurance, audit, or banking interest fees
  • Consultants/contractors for grant administration
  • GST/HST
  • Costs which Travel Alberta, at its discretion deems ineligible

  • Revenue generation
  • Job creation
  • Visitation (domestic and international)

Expenses to be incurred between April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023. Expenses will need to be invoiced by a qualified third party and documented in the financial reconciliation.

Incubator

Incubator investments support new/emerging tourism businesses with strong growth potential to scale up their operations. This may be done through purchase, construction, and/or renovation of a tourism related product or experience. It will also support the purchase of new capital assets, as well as initiating business planning and promotional support.

Application period: April 1, 2022 to December 15, 2022 

Investment range: Non-matching investment up to $75,000

Contact a destination development manager to apply. 

Details and eligibility

Please contact your Travel Alberta Tourism Investment Manager to speak further about the Tourism Incubator Fund. After working with Travel Alberta team, an application will be forwarded to your organization if applicant meets eligibility criteria

  • Business/community is of strategic importance to defined travel corridors and/or the project is in alignment with local/regional tourism master plans
  • Creates a new purchasable tourism experience within Alberta
  • Contributes to job creation and economic growth
  • Diversifies the seasonality of product offering for the operation/region
  • Support the Indigenous tourism sector
  • Support sustainability practices within the tourism operation

  • Private sector Alberta based tourism businesses in operation from 6 months to 3 years, with business plan showcasing strong potential growth.
  • Applicant’s tourism offering must be available no less than 120 days per year
  • An Alberta Tourism Information Service (ATIS account) will be a requirement once experience is being offered to visitors. Please visit ATIS for more information.

  • Businesses who have been in operation for 3+ years
  • Organizations whose activities are under the jurisdiction of the provincial or federal government
  • Non-Alberta-based businesses
  • Applicants whose projects will be completed during the approval process
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
  • Airports
  • Casinos
  • Travel Agencies
  • Transportation Services (Taxi,Limo,Vehicle rental)
  • Hotel/Motels 50 rooms or greater (Franchise properties)
  • Vacation property rentals

  • Please refer to the eligible infrastructure and/or asset purchase expenses in the Growth and Innovation streams above
  • Up to $5,000 in promotional expenses (including ad buying and media FAM trips)
  • Experience pilots
  • Interpretive programming development including costs related to the enhancement and/or development of a new tourism experience
  • Business planning and marketing strategy development by a qualified third party
  • Content development including photography, video, and written content (shot list must be included with the application)
  • Website development and online sales platforms
  • New membership fees

  • Please refer to the ineligible infrastructure and/or asset purchase expenses in the Growth and Innovation streams above
  • Lease/purchase of commercial vehicle if organization already owns a vehicle for guiding operations. 
  • Salaries or wages for company
  • Agency or other management fees
  • GST/HST
  • Costs which Travel Alberta, at its discretion deems ineligible

Expenses to be incurred between April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023

  • Revenue generation
  • Job creation
  • Visitation (domestic and international)