Application period for financial assistance
The first call for projects will take place from September 29 to November 2, 2021. The dates of the calls for projects are published in the Tourisme Québec en action newsletter as well as on the Ministère du Tourisme’s social networking pages.
The general objective of the program is to support the development and consolidation of an innovative, scalable and sustainable tourism offer to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the Quebec tourism industry.
Its specific objectives are as follows:
- To increase the adaptation of the offer of Quebec tourism businesses in the context of the global pandemic related to the COVID-19.
- Strengthen the development and consolidation of tourist attractions that have a structuring effect on their region, that encourage the retention of Quebecers or that motivate travel.
- Increase the economic and social vitality of communities and regions through the development of a sustainable, original and diversified tourism offer.
- Promote the adoption of good practices in terms of social responsibility by tourism businesses.
The following organizations are eligible for the program
- legally constituted for-profit organizations (LPOs);
- legally constituted non-profit organizations (NPOs)
- legally incorporated cooperatives
- Municipal entities;
- Aboriginal communities or nations recognized by the National Assembly;
- any grouping of the above-mentioned clienteles.
For the purposes of the rules governing the stacking of financial assistance, the term “municipal entities” includes municipal bodies within the meaning of section 5 of the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information (R.S.Q., c. A-2.1).
In all cases, the company must be legally constituted under the laws of the governments of Quebec or Canada and doing business in Quebec. Eligibility does not entail any guarantee of funding or any obligation on the part of the Ministry of Tourism.
Businesses and organizations that operate a tourist accommodation establishment must comply with the laws and regulations in force concerning this type of establishment and hold an establishment number.
Outfitters must be licensed and in good standing and have fulfilled any obligations under the Wildlife Conservation and Development Act and Regulations.
- Crown corporations, departments and agencies of the Government of Quebec or Canada
- companies under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act or the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
- companies listed in the Register of companies not eligible for public contracts (RENA);
- Applicants who, during the two years preceding the application for financial assistance, failed to meet their obligations after having been duly put on notice to do so during the awarding of previous financial assistance.
Your organization must meet the following conditions:
- Be registered on bonjourquebec.com, if applicable, with the exception of start-up projects.
- Have eligible project costs of at least $500,000.
- If required, hold the “Quality-Safety Accredited” seal from Aventure Écotourisme Québec, have initiated the process of obtaining it or commit to undertaking such a process.
- Provide confirmation that it has the necessary funds and loans to ensure the down payment.
- Provide all the documents required at the time of application, including a business plan.
Additional criteria may be announced in advance of a call for proposals to allow proponents to prepare accordingly.
Eligible projects are those related to:
- Reconstruction, including the demolition of existing obsolete infrastructure
- Interior or exterior development;
- adaptation or conversion;
- Acquisition or replacement of equipment;
- the development of a new tourism experience.
Projects for the construction of a new establishment in the “Hotel Establishment” category are eligible only in tourism regions that have a deficit of accommodation units:
- Eastern Townships;
However, these projects cannot be located on the territory of a municipality that is part of the Montreal or Quebec City census metropolitan area (CMA).
The following are not eligible:
- projects for the acquisition of a business
- Bed and breakfast projects;
- hotel condominium projects;
- projects involving less than four tourist residences or businesses renting less than four tourist residences, unless these projects are part of a global accommodation or activity offer
- projects involving bicycle paths, snowmobile trails, golf courses and wharves
- Retail projects;
- projects involving tourist information offices
- Restaurant projects;
- Gaming sector projects;
- projects related to the sale and consumption of alcohol or cannabis;
- projects completed or in progress before the date of submission of the application for financial assistance;
- work that is similar to regular maintenance.
For an Economuseum, agri-tourism or gourmet tourism project, financial assistance may take into account work related to the facilities and equipment required for the sale of products resulting from this type of project. These components are essential to the tourism experience offered to visitors in this field.
In addition, elements related to the restaurant business may be considered when they do not constitute the main activity of the business.
Eligibility of costs is determined by the Ministry of Tourism. Eligible costs are:
- direct costs;
- Incidental costs;
- Other costs incurred and paid solely and specifically by the recipient of financial assistance and billed to the recipient for goods and services required to complete the project.
Costs incurred in carrying out the project (construction, reconstruction, expansion, development, adaptation or conversion and replacement of infrastructure or equipment, and the deployment of a new tourism experience).
Costs related to the development, improvement and enhancement of land or trails.
Costs associated with the purchase and installation of specialized equipment or furniture.
The cost of acquiring boats or rolling stock to enhance the customer experience.
Costs of acquiring land, easements, rights-of-way and other related costs. However, such costs cannot be incurred with a related company or when the asset in question is owned, in whole or in part, by one or more of the company’s shareholders.
The cost of surveying the site.
Costs related to quality control at the job site.
Net taxes (excluding the reimbursed portion) related to direct costs.
Fees paid to recognized professionals, including design or engineering professionals, technical personnel or consultants retained for project supervision and management, or fees for accountability.
Salaries and other forms of compensation for any permanent employees of the Recipient, including those related to planning, engineering, architecture, supervision, management and any other services provided. However, such expenses may not exceed the lesser of 5% of eligible costs or $100,000.
Net taxes (excluding the reimbursed portion) on incidental costs.
Fees related to the development of the project (preliminary studies, business plan, eco-responsible development plan), even if they were paid before the application for financial assistance was submitted (maximum of two years).
Costs related to the integration of a work of art into a building or a site with respect to the application of the Policy for the Integration of the Arts into the Architecture and Environment of Government and Public Buildings and Sites.
Net taxes (excluding the reimbursed portion) for other costs.
The costs of acquiring a business and its infrastructure.
The portion of the Quebec Sales Tax and the Goods and Services Tax as well as other costs for which the recipient (or a third party) is entitled to a reimbursement.
Donations or in-kind contributions (volunteer work, goods and services).
The cost of services or work normally provided by a Recipient or any agent of the Recipient (regular maintenance and housekeeping)
Transfers of assets.
Direct or indirect operating or administrative costs
Normal maintenance and operating costs.
Costs for which the Recipient has contractual commitments prior to the submission of the application for funding, with the exception of project development fees as described above.
Promotion and marketing costs, including website redesign.
Animal acquisition costs.
Administrative equipment and materials costs.
Storage equipment and materials.
Equipment and material costs for retail space
Lease costs for land, buildings and other facilities (long lease).
The project submitted will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria
- Its relevance;
- its potential for tourism benefits in its region
- its responsible and sustainable profile
- its feasibility.
Please refer to the specific analysis criteria and guidelines.
Applications for financial assistance are examined in batches for each call for projects. The Ministry gives priority to those that best meet some of the assessment criteria mentioned above. The prioritized criteria are specified for each call for projects.
For the first call for projects, priority is given to initiatives that :
- presenting a distinctive character;
- Responding to an issue or a need;
- targeting tourist attractions;
- ready to be launched;
- involving a responsible and sustainable tourism approach.
Calls for projects are held as funding becomes available. Each call specifies the envelope available for financial assistance:
- the maximum financial assistance rate: 50% of eligible costs;
- the maximum grant: $5 million or $2 million for new lodging establishments, including the increase for the eco-responsibility component
- the possibility of obtaining an increase in the rate of financial assistance of 5% to 10% for projects that meet eco-responsibility criteria.
Exceptionally, for a project supported following the first call for projects, the promoter may obtain a delay that will allow him to submit the necessary justification for the eco-responsibility criteria and to be entitled to an increase in the rate of financial assistance, if applicable.
Terms of payment of financial assistance
Financial Assistance Agreement
In order to receive financial assistance, the recipient must sign a financial assistance agreement with the Ministère du Tourisme. This agreement determines in particular :
- the eligible work and costs;
- the terms and conditions for the payment of the financial assistance
- the obligations of the recipient and the Ministry of Tourism.
The financial assistance is awarded in the form of a grant (non-repayable contribution) and is payable in two cash instalments:
- A first payment, corresponding to 60% of the financial assistance, is made after the financial assistance agreement is signed.
- A second payment, corresponding to 40% of the financial assistance, is made after receipt of the required reporting documents.
However, when all the work has been completed, with the exception of that relating to the Policy for the Integration of the Arts into the Architecture and Environment of Government and Public Buildings and Sites of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, and the actual cost of the work is at least equivalent to the total eligible cost provided for in the financial assistance agreement, a second payment, corresponding to 30% of the financial assistance, may be made after receipt of the required accountability documents.
In such a case, a third and final payment, corresponding to 10% of the financial assistance, is made when the work related to the Policy has been completed.
Similarly, when a recipient has undertaken to obtain the “Quality-Safety Accredited” seal from Aventure Écotourisme Québec, the principle of three payments applies.
In this case, the third and final payment, corresponding to 10% of the financial assistance, is made once the recipient has obtained this seal.
Conditions relating to financial assistance and accountability
At the end of the work related to the project, the organization that received financial assistance must submit a report from an external auditor indicating the following elements
- the start and end dates of the work
- the actual total cost and the cost of each project component listed in the financial assistance agreement
- the sources of funding for the project
- that all project costs were incurred and paid by the eligible organization;
- where required, information that the organization has been awarded the “Quality-Safety Accreditation” seal by Aventure Écotourisme Québec or has taken steps to obtain it.
A tourism impact statement must be submitted annually, starting the year following the completion of the work, for a period of five years.
Project Funding and Stacking Rates for Government Assistance
Funding for each project must include a down payment from the recipient. This must come from a non-government source.
A project may not receive non-repayable financial assistance from another Ministère du Tourisme program, including programs set up in partnership with regional or sectoral tourism associations or Investissement Québec’s Programme d’appui au développement des attraits touristiques (PADAT).
The maximum cumulative government assistance includes the total amounts granted to cover eligible project costs by all departments and agencies of the governments of Quebec and Canada and municipal entities.
The following table summarizes the percentages applicable to the capital outlay and the stacking rules for government assistance, depending on the eligible organizations.
|Maximum stacking of government assistance1
|Note 1: For the purposes of the stacking rules for government assistance, a non-repayable amount is considered based on 100% of its value, while a repayable amount is considered based on 50% of its value.
Note 2: This excludes the additional percentage of financial assistance that may be granted for projects that meet eco-responsibility criteria.
|Aboriginal community or nation (including NPOs and NPCs)
|Organization located in Îles-de-la-Madeleine
|Grouping of clients
|Selon le type d’organisation, le pourcentage le moins élevé s’applique.
You can benefit from a bonus of up to 10% of the financial assistance rate granted to you if you wish to invest in one or more eco-responsible themes as part of your project.
Consult the details of the bonus related to eco-responsibility.
Rules for awarding contracts
The financial assistance granted is accompanied by the obligation to proceed with a public call for tenders for the awarding of a construction contract when it is of $100,000 or more.
When the recipient is a municipal entity, it is subject to the legislative and regulatory provisions governing the awarding of contracts.
The bidder must be licensed under the Building Act and qualified to perform a construction contract.
Construction costs over $100,000 that have not been publicly tendered are considered ineligible for the program.
Policy for the Integration of the Arts into the Architecture and Environment of Government and Public Buildings and Sites
All projects for the construction or expansion of a building or site that is open to the public, in whole or in part, for the purposes of information, recreation, or obtaining a good or service, must comply with the Policy for the Integration of the Arts into the Architecture and Environment of Government and Public Buildings and Sites.
The project proponent must submit to the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications a description of the project and detailed information on its total cost. The Ministère de la Culture et des Communications validates the eligibility of the project and the amount allocated to the artwork, if any.
Costs related to the integration of art with architecture are included in the eligible costs of the project.
For more information on this policy, you can consult the Application Guide.
Equality access program
An LPO with more than 100 employees that receives financial assistance of $100,000 or more must commit to implementing an equality access program that complies with the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
The recipient must provide the Ministry of Tourism with the documents required under the Contractual Obligation Program – Employment Equality.
The program expires on March 31, 2024. Payment of financial assistance is subject to the availability of funds.
Data will be collected to measure the results of the program:
- the expansion or conversion of tourist attractions or facilities
- the adaptation of the tourism offer to the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
- the implementation of good practices in corporate social responsibility;
- the implementation of innovative projects or components;
- Increasing the number of attractions with a multi-season offer;
- the diversification of the activity offer of the tourism region concerned;
- the creation and maintenance of quality jobs;
- the increase in the responsible and sustainable tourism offer.
An evaluation of the program based, among other things, on the targeted results will be carried out no later than January 31, 2024. This process will aim to compare the results obtained with the initial situation, in accordance with the Directive concerning program evaluation in departments and agencies, adopted on February 19, 2014. The Ministry of Tourism will forward this evaluation to the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor.
Applying for financial assistance
In order to be considered for financial assistance, the promoter must submit a complete file during the call for projects.
Before submitting an application, they must
- verify if they are among the eligible clienteles;
- Find out what types of projects are eligible;
- Be aware of the assessment criteria;
- Find out about the eco-responsibility bonus and determine whether they wish to include their project in it;
- gather the required documents;
- submit an application on the Ministère’s Financial Assistance portal.
To access the Financial Assistance portal
Customer Service and Program Management Branch
Ministry of Tourism
You are invited to contact the Tourism Development Advisor in your region before submitting your application for financial assistance. This person will be able to guide you through the process.