Ontario Supporting Resource-Based Tourism Jobs


Ontario Supporting Resource-Based Tourism Jobs

2021 Budget provides $1.3 million in targeted relief to businesses affected by COVID-19

April 1, 2021

Natural Resources and Forestry

TORONTO – The Ontario government is providing $1.3 million in financial relief for the resource-based tourism industry by waiving certain licences and crown land use fees. Licensing fees have been waived for bear hunting and baitfish harvesters and dealers.  Additionally, Land Use Fees for Commercial Outpost Camps, Bear Management Area fees and Baitfish Harvest Area fees have been waived. This initiative is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy. Total support from the Ontario government for the tourism, culture, sports, recreation, and heritage industries specifically since the start of COVID-19 now totals $625 million.

“The tourism industry was one of the first sectors affected by public health and safety measures related to COVID-19 and could be one of the last to recover,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “As an industry that contributes significantly to Ontario’s economy, especially in rural communities, the local impacts have been devastating. That’s why our government is providing financial relief to businesses in this incredibly important industry.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, resource-based tourism operators continue to express significant concerns about their business and ability to stay viable in the economic landscape. This critical industry has been impacted by health and safety measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, which have resulted in substantial revenue losses for predominantly small- to medium-sized, family owned businesses.

Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. With vaccines being distributed, hope is on the horizon. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to finish the battle with COVID-19, building on the government’s record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.

Quick Facts

  • There are approximately 1,600 resource-based tourism businesses across Ontario. Many of these businesses are small- to medium-sized and family owned, operating in central and northern Ontario on a seasonal basis.
  • In 2020, the ministry provided $1.2 million in relief to the resource-based tourism industry by waiving certain licences and crown land use fees as well as refunding revenue received.
  • To support Ontario’s tourism, hospitality and culture industries, that have been among the most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario is investing an additional $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support these sectors. This builds on previously announced investments of $225 million, bringing the total to more than $625 million since the pandemic began.
  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy. Ontario’s COVID-19 action plan support now totals $51 billion over four years.


“People in the tourism, hospitality, culture, sports, and recreation industries have been particularly hard hit by the necessary public health restrictions. To protect jobs in these industries, our recent Budget invested an additional $400 million, bringing our total support to more than $625 million since the pandemic began. With these additional measures, we will ensure that Ontario remains a terrific place to discover.”

– Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy
Minister of Finance

“This has been the most challenging year the tourism industry has ever faced. To help ensure our sectors come back stronger than before, I’m pleased to share that our government will be supporting our sectors through the 2021 Budget with nearly $1 billion worth of support. By working together, we will ensure your industries can continue to support the double bottom line – both their culture and economic impact – so that Ontario remains the best place in the world to live, work and play.”

– Hon. Lisa MacLeod
Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

“Nature & Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) applauds the efforts of the Ontario Government to help hunting and fishing lodges and outposts across the North. The tourism industry in Northern Ontario was the first sector hit by the impacts of this pandemic and will take the longest time to recover. These small business owners are facing a second year of uncertainty around a re-opening of the border and impacts of COVID-19; they have taken on insurmountable debt. This support from the Ontario Government to help reduce operating costs by waiving crown resource fees for a second year will most certainly help to reduce some of the burden and stress these operators are facing. NOTO thanks the Minister and the Ontario Government for the continued support of the resource-based tourism sector.”

– Laurie Marcil
Executive Director, NOTO

Related Topics

Business and Economy

Information about Ontario’s economy and how to do business here. Includes economic development opportunities, research funding, tax credits for business and the Ontario Budget. Learn more


Learn about the government services available to you and how government works. Learn more

Jobs and Employment

We’ve got the resource and supports to help connect job seekers with employers. Learn more

Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more