Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program Expanded
Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program (STSSP) will be expanded to include additional businesses and organizations in the event sector and accommodation sector categories of the program.
“Saskatchewan’s tourism industry has been significantly affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses will continue to face challenges as they strive to return to some degree of normal activity in the months ahead,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Private campgrounds and RV parks, and licensed outfitters are critical businesses in our tourism industry, and so our Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program is being expanded to ensure those organizations are eligible.”
The STSSP was announced on August 10, 2020, to support Saskatchewan’s tourism sector, which has been crippled by COVID-19. Eligible operators can receive a one-time payment to help mitigate the challenges of the pandemic. To qualify, tourism businesses must show a minimum of 30 per cent decline in revenue in June 2020, compared to the business’s average monthly revenue in 2019.
The program will be expanded to include privately-owned RV parks and campgrounds, and all licensed outfitters, as eligible “accommodation sector” businesses.
The Saskatchewan Growth Plan includes a bold goal to “increase tourist expenditures in Saskatchewan by 50 per cent” by 2030. In 2019, there were nearly 12 million visits to and within Saskatchewan and visitor expenditures totalled $2.2 billion. Estimates indicate Saskatchewan’s tourism industry could see a decline of at least $730 million in visitor spending in 2020.
To date, the STSSP has processed 426 applications and provided more than $10 million in support to Saskatchewan tourism businesses.
Applications will be accepted until October 1, 2020.