Programs & Resources

Funding & Partnership Opportunities

The OHTO strives to work collaboratively with its partners in tourism to support a responsible tourism approach that will actively engage our thriving industry and build a stronger, resilient future for our communities. We have three guiding principles we consider for program development and decision-making:

  1. Inclusivity – supporting diversity, equity and inclusion.
  2. Community Alignment – meeting the needs of visitors, while enhancing the quality of life of residents.
  3. Sustainability – providing long-term environmental, socio-cultural and economic benefits to the community.

OHTO aims to inspire and lead the regional tourism industry and its communities in a sustainable direction forward through specialized programming and resources that ensure supports are available along the way. If you are interested in learning more about responsible tourism and how you can embrace this approach to tourism, the OHTO team is ready to connect with you and discuss the opportunities.  

Current Funding Opportunities with OHTO

**NOTE: The TRIPP funds for 2023-2024 have been fully allocated. If you have a project that is ongoing (multi-year) and/or in the event OHTO does receive additional funding, we encourage you to submit your project for consideration. The applications we receive help us demonstrate the need for additional partnership funds from our funding partners.

TRIPP is intended for collaborative projects involving two or more partners. This program offers up to $5,000 for projects that run from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.

Applications are being accepted in anticipation of available funding being released by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis and will be awarded depending on the availability of the anticipated funding. 

Visit the TRIPP Resource Page for a detailed program overview, important program guidelines and how to apply!

Certification and Training with OHTO

OHTO in partnership with Canada's 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is pleased to offer a FREE Registration Code to eligible members to complete the Rainbow Registered Accreditation Program for 2SLGBTQI+ Friendly Businesses and Organizations. CGLCC links 2SLGBTQI+ businesses in Canada to the wider business and corporate community. It fosters economic growth by supporting and nurturing 2SLGBTQI+ businesses, entrepreneurs, students and allies, and by helping Canada’s corporate world connect with the 2SLGBTQI+ business community.

What Does it Mean to be Rainbow Registered?

Rainbow Registered is a national accreditation for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses and organizations. When visitors see a Rainbow Registered symbol, they know the business or organization meets a stringent set of standards to ensure 2SLGBTQI+ customers feel safe, welcomed, and accepted.

The accreditation program grants a time-limited recognition to businesses and organizations for demonstrating compliance with the quality standard. Accredited businesses are deemed market ready for the 2SLGBTQI+ customer and given the right to be associated with the program’s prestigious Rainbow Registered designation mark.

Benefits of Accreditation

  • Ensure 2SLGBTQI+ customers feel welcome and accepted
  • Listing in the Rainbow Registered directory
  • Rainbow Registered Welcome Kit (window decal, desk card)
  • Website badge
  • Access to CGLCC Associate Member Benefits

OHTO currently has funding available to cover the registration fee for:

  • Small-sized Businesses: 10 employees or less
  • Medium-sized Businesses: includes associations, agencies and nonprofits 11–99 employees

To sign up for a promo code and complete the program for free, please complete this short questionnaire. A member of the OHTO team will follow up with you in a few days with any follow-up questions and/or provide you with your promo code. Please note: promo codes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

We wish to thank Destination Northern Ontario and the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport for their generous support.

OHTO has partnered with Not 9 to 5 for an exclusive offer to OHTO members so members can complete the CNECTed Course and become certified, at no cost. 

Not 9 to 5 is a non-profit global leader in mental health advocacy for the food service and hospitality sector. Through practical education and meaningful community-building, they are reimagining the industry by breaking stigmas and fuelling hope. Not 9 to 5 aspires to normalize mental health training, sick leave, workplace accommodations, healthcare benefits, support and resources to all. 

What is CNECTed?

CNECTed is a mental health certification and training program for the entire hospitality and culinary workforce. The program offers skills, resources and tools to learn how to identify, understand and respond to crisis situations and equip employers with vocabulary, tools and coping strategies for improving workplace mental health.

To sign up for the OHTO promo code to complete the CNECTed Course for free, complete this short questionnaire.  A member of the OHTO team will follow up with you with any follow-up questions and/or provide you with your promo code. Please note: promo codes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Did you know: 

Whether you’re a manager or an owner, employers have a responsibility to cultivate a psychologically safe work environment for their staff. Workplaces that avoid discussion of mental health issues are more prone to absenteeism, internal conflicts, and attrition. With resources and education through Not 9 to 5, you can be proactive in providing your workplace and team with the tools they need.

Joining the CNECTing community and becoming CNECTed certified will equip you to empower your team with mental health education and a community of support. Certification is an excellent first step towards improving psychological safety in your establishment. Everyone benefits from committing to improving workplace mental health, including your guests.

OHTO & GreenStep Solutions 

OHTO has partnered with GreenStep Solutions, a leading organization helping businesses and organizations to measure and improve their sustainability performance, to support those interested in achieving Sustainable Tourism Certification. 

How will this help my business?

Tourists are looking for ways to be more sustainable in their travel and look for ways to verify businesses engaging in sustainable actions. Research shows that businesses actively trying to address social and environmental issues in their business retain employees better, and have a more loyal consumer base. All of this generates higher returns for tourism businesses by engaging in behaviours that are good for people, the planet, AND profit. 

Being Sustainable Tourism certified helps you recognize the good things you’re doing and gives you guidance and support to work on the initiatives you want to employ, as well as shows customers, employees, and fellow business owners that you are doing good things for the world, and have the credibility to prove it. 

Getting Started

Step 1: The first green step is to complete the Free Sustainability Scorecard to get an idea of where your tourism business or destination is doing well, and where you have room for improvement based on your current performance across four key categories: Management, Social and Economic, Natural and Cultural, and Environmental.

Step 2: Once you have your score, please contact the OHTO team and a team member will follow up with the next steps. 

Current Funding Opportunities outside of OHTO

The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program is administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBBIA) and is designed to assist small businesses with the adoption of technologies. The program will provide training, advisory support and grants to brick-and-mortar small businesses looking to increase their capacity through digital transformation. The application portal is now open and applications will be accepted until September 30th, 2023.

This grant is open to any business that meets the Participant Requirements - please be sure to review it in more detail.

Elibigle Costs included:

  • Digital Marketing e.g hiring a consultant/agency/person to execute Digital Marketing Initiatives
  • Website e.g. Redesign, improvement of an existing website, development of a new website
  • Software e.g. Graphic design software, productivity software, social media software, security software etc.
  • Digital Training e.g Ongoing digital training courses (in-person & online)
  • Hardware (maximum $1000) e.g must be hardware deemed necessary (as determined by OBIAA in its sole discretion)

View the full list of Frequently Asked Questions and visit their website for complete details.

Recently Closed Program

Be inspired by the success stories from recipients of the Regional Tourism Relief Fund

On April 6, it was announced that Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization received a non-repayable contribution of $3 million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), to deliver the Tourism Relief Fund to tourism businesses in the Ontario’s Highlands region.

The  Regional Tourism Relief Fund – Ontario’s Highlands (RTRF-Ontario’s Highlands) is an application-based program that will help facilitate the recovery and long-term growth of the tourism economy within the region, supporting tourism stakeholder investment into experience development, experience enhancement and destination development programs.

Eligible applicants and projects successfully awarded will be funded based on non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs for for-profit incorporated businesses and up to 100% of eligible costs for not-for-profit incorporated organizations.   

The fund is open to incorporated businesses, not-for-profit incorporated organizations, municipalities, and Indigenous, First Nation, Metis and Inuit-owned businesses, communities, and organizations within the geographic boundaries of Ontario’s Highlands. If your incorporated business or organization offers a tourism experience and you are seeking support for an eligible project within Haliburton County, Hastings County, Lennox and Addington County, Frontenac County, Renfrew County and Lanark County we encourage you to apply.   

We are grateful to be working in partnership with Indigenous Tourism Ontario to further support Indigenous businesses and organizations. If your business or organization is 51% or more Indigenous-owned and controlled, please visit  ITO’s Tourism Relief Fund webpage to apply and access additional program support. As the recognized voice for Indigenous tourism in Ontario, ITO’s program is customized to the needs of Indigenous communities, organizations and businesses. For questions, contact 

Funded by: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, visit to learn more