Alberta’s municipalities and non-profit organizations have significant potential to expand tourism within the province. But despite Alberta’s strong reputation and ability to cater to tourists, each year there are many missed opportunities to draw Albertans, Canadians, and international tourists. Groups that organize tourism events should consider ways to expand and create new tourism opportunities within Alberta.
Fortunately, Alberta’s Tourism Growth Innovation Fund (TGIF) is available to reduce the cost and risk associated with organizing tourist events. Through TGIF, event organizers can receive Alberta government grants for Destination Development and Product Development, two areas of projects that typically create expenses that organizers would otherwise have to cover independently. By offsetting a portion of these costs, events can thrive and grow at an accelerated pace, helping more tourism events to succeed and attract more visitors.
The Tourism Growth Innovation Fund provides up to 25-50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $75,000 in Alberta tourism grants per program stream, per fiscal year.
To get started with TGIF tourism grants, eligible Alberta-based municipalities and non-profit organizations must develop a comprehensive application package that consists of an application form and supporting documents. Applications are accepted twice annually, once in the spring and once in the fall. Application review takes approximately eight weeks; if approved, applicants can begin incurring funding-eligible expenses.
What are Tourism Growth Innovation Fund (TGIF) Alberta Grants?
The Tourism Growth Innovation Fund is an Alberta government funding program designed to spur tourism within the province. By providing tourism organizations and municipalities with non-repayable government grants, these groups will better develop and expand tourism events and secure Alberta as a top tourist destination.
Eligible applicants may receive up to 25-50% of tourism project expenses to a maximum $75,000 per funding stream, per fiscal year in government funding for tourism.
By nature of grant funding, TGIF will only support future projects. Tourism events and planning projects that have already occurred are not eligible for funding and can lead to applications being rejected or scaled-down. To participate in the program, eligible applicants should explore upcoming events and planning activities that surround them, build a formalized plan with a budget, and submit it for funding consideration well in advance of activities being performed.
Project Eligibility: TGIF Alberta Government Grants for Tourism
There are two types of projects considered for Tourism Growth Innovation Fund grants. They include:
- Destination Development: Preparation of planning documents such as destination management plans, tourism opportunity assessments and gap analyses, community assessments, community visitor surveys, and product feasibility studies.
- Product Development: Development or enhancement of tourism experiences or programming, including expansion into complementary tourism products or niches that enhance visitor appeal.
Applicants Eligible for the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund
Tourism Growth Innovation Fund applicants are required to qualify for funding under their applicable project stream. Eligible applicants include:
- Destination Development: Incorporated non-profit organizations with a tourism development mandate/function, municipalities, Métis Settlements, First Nations, and partnerships between two or more eligible entities.
- Product Development: Non-profit operators of tourism attractions that have operated an attraction for at least three years.
How to Get Started with the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund
To apply for the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund, eligible applicants must develop a comprehensive application package and submit it to the Alberta government during one of the program’s semi-annual intakes. There is typically an application intake in the spring (April 1-30) and fall (October 1-31). Application packages must include the program’s application form, in addition to supporting documents like letters of support and financial information.
To discuss your suitability for the Tourism Growth Innovation Fund and learn how to optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.