Tourism funding programs

Together with Destination Marketing Guelph, Tourism and Destination Development have three funding programs available, designed to support the development and attraction of new tourism initiatives across the City of Guelph. The objectives of the funding streams are to support projects that demonstrate an ability to drive overnight stays at local accommodations and a strong visitor appeal.

All funding is made available through the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).

Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) Administration Policy

Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) Administration Policy, passed in April 2024, outlines three funding portfolios to support strategic tourism investments that prioritize the advancement of Guelph’s reputation as a must-see visitor destination. Applicants are highly encouraged to review the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) Administration Policy as all funds are subjected to the requirements and processes laid out in the policy.

Applications are now open. Sign up for the Network News to stay up to date with information about the funding streams and tourism in the City of Guelph.

A second round of funding for activities set to take place in 2025 will open in November 2024.

Funding streams available for 2024

Applications are being accepted for the following funding streams for any activities that have taken place or will take place between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024.

Destination Animation Fund

Supports tourism operators who are looking to leverage partnerships within the industry to increase Guelph’s destination attractiveness through new tourism products and initiatives. Applicants may receive up to $5,000 with a 10% matching contribution requirement. Please review the applicant guidelines for additional details.

Destination Animation Fund Application Guide (PDF)

Marketing Material Development Fund

Drawing from the Destination Gaps and Needs Fund, this program is designed to support the creation of new accessible, physical, and digital marketing materials to help tourism operators steward the Guelph story and tourism opportunities in a cohesive way. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate to create new partnerships and submit joint applications. Applicants may receive up to $2,500. Funds will be coordinated by Tourism staff and paid directly to the vendor. Please review the application guidelines for additional information.

Tourism Marketing and Material Development Fund Application Guide

Gather Here Sponsorship Fund

Supports the attraction of new larger-scale events in Guelph such as conferences, sporting events, and festivals. Successful applicants should be able to demonstrate high rates of visitor attraction, the ability to increase Guelph’s brand awareness, and collaboration with local accommodations and conference venues. Applicants seeking over $25,000 must demonstrate how they meet major event criteria.

Applications for the Gather Here Sponsorship Fund will be accepted on a rolling basis until 2027.

Please review the application guidelines for details.

Gather Here Sponsorship Application Guide

Applicants are encouraged to book an appointment with Tourism and Destination Development before submitting a Gather Here Sponsorship Fund applicantion to ensure this fund is right for your event. Contact Business support services.

Program eligibility

Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Individuals or unincorporated entitles are ineligible to receive funding.

All funding streams are offered on an annual basis to make strategic, equitable and measurable investments in new or enhanced projects that prioritize:

  • Attracting visitors for overnight, extended stays at local accommodations
  • Strong collaboration among local and regional partners
  • Advancing Downtown attraction efforts
  • Increasing or enhancing sports and events offerings in the City
  • Advancing efforts to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in the tourism sector

All successful applicants must be in good standing with the City of Guelph.

Apply for the tourism funding streams in 5 steps

  1. Read the Destination Animation Fund Application Guide, Tourism Marketing and Material Development Fund- Application Guide, Gather Here Sponsorship Application Guide and the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) Administration Policy to understand grant requirements, eligibility, and selection criteria.
  2. Set up a DecisionHub account to access the online grant application.
  3. Choose which grant to apply for and complete the appropriate application (linked above).
  4. When prompted, you will need to attach a copy of the attestation cover letter and budget form.
  5. Submit completed Destination Animation Fund and the Marketing and Material Development Fund applications by June 28, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.

Evaluation

Evaluation of applications will use a standardize rubric that aligns with the expectations of the program. Applications made by for-profit organizations will be evaluated and awarded by Destination Marketing Guelph while applications made by not-for-profit organizations will be evaluated and awarded by the City of Guelph.

Applications will be evaluated according to their alignment with the funding programs’ objectives and the expected outcomes. Review the rubric for evaluation.

Although we hope to award as many applications as possible, awards will be determined funding available and scores determined by the evaluation rubric.

Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by August 31, 2024.

Reporting on a grant

If you receive a grant, your organization will be required to report on how the funds were used and document the impact the project or event had on the tourism economy.

A template will be provided with reporting criteria to successful applicants. If the recipient fails to fully complete and submit the report within the stated timeframe, the organization may be disqualified from future funding opportunities.

Additional resources

For more information

Victoria Filippelli, Economic Development Officer – Tourism
Economic Development & Tourism
519-822-1260 extension 2079
[email protected]