The Government of Canada continues to support the tourism sector for a strong recovery and future growth.

July 15, 2022 · Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada will benefit from LGBT+ market readiness training to help the tourism sector recover and attract visitors to the region.

Canada has much to offer visitors: breathtaking landscapes and wide open spaces; diverse and inclusive experiences; and welcoming people from coast to coast to coast who provide outstanding service. Combined with a strong focus on health and safety and high COVID-19 vaccination rates, Canada is among the most alluring and smartest destination choices.

The pandemic has had an undeniable impact on Canada’s tourism sector. The Government of Canada continues to help tourism businesses recover and position the industry for strong future growth.

Today, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, announced an investment of $341,804 through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) to support Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) in Atlantic Canada. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

This support will allow the CGLCC to deliver an LGBT+ Tourism Market Readiness Program. Inclusion training, market information sessions, destination audits, business accreditations, and other resources will be offered to prepare tourism operators across Atlantic Canada to better serve the LGBT+ travel market. The initiatve will help make the region more welcoming for all, creating an inclusive and prosperous tourism industry.

Launched in July 2021, the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) was created to help organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, offer innovative products and services to visitors and prepare to welcome back travellers. The TRF is administered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).


“As we recover from this pandemic, we are focused on being there for the tourism sector. With the support announced today, tourism businesses and organisations in the Atlantic Canada region will be able to prepare for the future. This is an important step in the recovery effort that will allow visitors to discover the world-class tourism experiences we have to offer.”

– The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Canadian tourism sector continues to be one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to supporting businesses and organizations through these challenging times, keeping safety as the top priority while ensuring they get support to quickly recover, innovate their products and services, and thrive. The Tourism Relief Fund will help businesses adapt, make improvements, and be ready to welcome back guests. It also feeds into a broader strategy to help the sector survive the pandemic, recover and grow. The Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers.”

– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“Canada is already one of the most welcoming countries in the world for LGBT+ travellers and Atlantic Canada is well positioned to establish itself as a world-class destination for this important market. We are investing in inclusion and market readiness programs that will help businesses remove barriers and provide unforgettable travel experiences for all visitors to our region. When our tourism industry grows, our economy thrives.”

– Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“The global LGBT+ travel market is estimated at $22 billion USD. As businesses become increasingly aware of the potential of this growing market, they have realized the unique needs of this diverse community. In response, our team in partnership with Tourism HR Canada, worked to create the Rainbow Registered accreditation program, Canada’s first national standard for safe and inclusive spaces for the LGBT+ community. This program, in addition to a number of our development and training resources for the LGBT+ community, are now able to be rapidly rolled out to businesses and organizations across Atlantic Canada. This fantastic show of support from the Federal Government will create a lasting legacy of inclusivity for LGBT+ visitors, customers and employees throughout the region.”

– Darrell Schuurman, CEO of Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

Quick facts

  • Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is a national non-profit organization that brings together LGBT+-owned and operated businesses and advocates on their behalf to build a more diverse and inclusive business community. This member-based organization offers programs such as diversity and inclusion training, the Rainbow Registered Program, advocacy initiatives, the OUT For Business Initiative for youth entrepreneurs, and LGBT+ tourism market readiness.
  • Canada is home to over 100,000 LGBT+-owned businesses. These businesses generate over $22 billion in economic activity and employ over 435,000 Canadians.
  • The tourism sector is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. In 2019, tourism generated over $104 billion in revenue and directly employed 692,000 people, including those in underrepresented groups like women, students, racialized people, and Indigenous populations.
  • With a national budget of $500 million, including $485 million for regional priorities administered by Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and $15 million for national priorities administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Tourism Relief Fund is part of the billion dollars in tourism support announced in Budget 2021.
  • A minimum of $50 million of the fund’s budget has been earmarked for Indigenous tourism projects. Indigenous communities that rely heavily on tourism have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
  • $48.5 million from the Tourism Relief Fund has been allocated to ACOA to administer the fund in the Atlantic region.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mike Critchley
Senior Communications Advisor
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Darrell Schuurman
Co-Founder and CEO
CGLCC – Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce