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Apply for funding before May 13!

Travel Alberta’s competitive investment funds are now open for applications. Under the new investment framework, which took effect April 1, 2022, more than $15 million dollars will be invested annually to help tourism businesses, communities and organizations enhance and grow their products and year-round experiences.

This is good news for all Albertans because a prosperous visitor economy diversifies and drives economic growth, creates jobs and supports businesses.

The new investment framework aligns with Travel Alberta's Bootstrap Plan by investing in product development, encouraging job creation and sustainable growth in key tourism regions. The dispersion of funds ensures projects are measurable and impactful, helping grow annual tourism spend to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

Accordingly, you’ll notice some things have changed, including investment opportunities, eligibility criteria and reporting requirements.

Two funds are available that you can apply for now: the Cooperative Investment Fund and the Product Development Fund.

Cooperative Investment Fund

As in previous years, the Cooperative Investment Fund empowers communities to grow tourism revenue through destination development, promotion, and cultural activities. What’s different this year is that the focus is more rural due to the creation of the Community Investment Fund. It’s not about less money, but about distributing the monies differently.

Funding streams within the Cooperative Investment Fund include:

  • Rural Development and Promotion provides up to $100,000 to grow rural visitation through destination development and promotion.
  • Events and Festivals provides up to $100,000 to drive tourism revenue through cultural events and festivals across Alberta.
A group of friends doing a tasting at Eau Claire Distillery
Eau Claire Distillery received growth funding to assist in the expansion of their “Prohibition Experience” speakeasy venue. The upgrade will keep guests at the distillery campus longer, providing a year-round, all-encompassing guest experience.
Over 45 communities across Eastern Alberta collaborated on the "Go East of Edmonton" Road Trip passport, encouraging visitation to the area.

Product development fund

Formerly known as Capital and Assets, the Product Development Fund supports tourism growth through asset and experience enhancement, development and diversification, as well as new start-ups. Funding will be distributed across three streams:

  • Growth provides up to $500,000 to renovate or revitalize existing infrastructure, scale up capacity, or develop a new product or service (minimum 50% fund matching required).
  • Innovation provides up to $125,000 for new assets to diversify products and experiences.
  • Incubator provides up to $75,000 to new tourism businesses with strong growth potential in operation for at least six months. This is a new funding stream designed to better support tourism entrepreneurs and start-ups in the early stages of their journey.
The Philip J Currie Museum received innovation funds to develop a two-hour rafting experience to introduce visitors to the ecology of the area.

In addition to the Cooperative and Product Funds, a Community Investment Fund was created this year to empower local organizations to take a more strategic approach to destination development. Travel Alberta will be working with key NorthStar and Constellation DMOs (destination marketing organizations) to help align each region’s specific tourism development opportunities with Bootstrap priorities. This fund is limited to NorthStar and Constellation partners only.

For more information on the program, eligibility requirements and to apply for the Cooperative Investment and Product Development Funds.

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