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WHITEHORSE, YT: The tourism industry will be the industry hit hardest and longest by the effects of COVID-19. TIA Yukon has created a unique partnership with Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Yukon University, Yukon First Nation Culture and Tourism Association and the Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon to bring Yukon’s tourism industry the Yukon Elevate Tourism Program (ELEVATE). The program focuses on developing businesses for re-entry into tourism markets once travel restrictions are lifted, not to be confused with ‘business relief’, which supports tourism operators while current travel restrictions prevent them from generating revenue (and which is addressed by other programs).
ELEVATE is designed to respond to the disproportionate impacts of the crisis on the tourism industry and to help the sector be better positioned to thrive in 2021 and beyond. The program is meant to encourage the Yukon’s tourism industry to contribute to a rethinking, restructuring and rebuilding of tourism in the territory so that the industry can be more progressive, more impactful, and more sustainable in the long term.
ELEVATE is funded by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and the Government of Yukon’s Department of Tourism and Culture.
“The Elevate Program will help Yukon’s tourism operators adapt their businesses to better weather the challenges posed by the pandemic”, says TIA Yukon Executive Director Blake Rogers. “We believe it will be an essential tool in the comprehensive toolbox of support that tourism businesses will need to ensure their survival and continued operation once we are able to welcome visitors again.”
Elevate includes two key streams: one of professional service support valued at $5,000 and administered by YukonU’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a stream which provides funds for adaption projects up to $15,000 representing a total maximum of $20,000 in funding accessible to tourism businesses.
It is expected that approximately 100 tourism businesses will apply for the program to receive the critical support they require to ensure their continued operation and prepare for 2021 and beyond.
Please visit www.tiayukon.com/elevate for more details on the program.