GNWT Launches Two New Support Programs for Tourism and Accommodations

News Releases

Yellowknife — June 7, 2021

Today, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) Caroline Wawzonek announced two new support programs for licensed tourism operators and licensed accommodation providers across the Northwest Territories (NWT).

The two programs, the Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP) for tourism operators, and the Supplement for Tourism Accommodation Relief (STAR) Program for accommodation providers who meet the criteria, were developed to support two of the hardest hit sectors impacted by the pandemic.

PREP will assist licensed tourism operators with eligible fixed costs within the NWT at a minimum of $2,500 (to a maximum of $100,000). Home-based tourism businesses will be also able to access this relief funding.

With licensed accommodation providers reporting significant drops in occupancy levels, the STAR program will provide financial assistance for eligible expenses in facilities with three or more rooms. 

Building on the support and critical partnership of the federal government last year, the two programs are available for application now, and will provide support to these two sectors as they continue to look forward to travel restrictions easing. 


“While we are all looking forward to travel restrictions easing, until that happens industries that rely more heavily on out-of-territory investment will continue to need support to be ready for recovery. The tourism and accommodation sectors are an important part of our diversified economy, and two significantly impacted industries that require targeted assistance. I believe these new programs will help these sectors maintain their footing to be able to welcome visitors back to our territory.”

- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick facts

  • In the fall of 2020, 75% of tourism businesses reported a decline in revenues of at least 50%.
  • Average occupancy levels for hotels reporting dropped from 65% in 2019 to 39% in 2020.
  • Accommodation providers’ costs have increased due to now mandatory standards of sanitization and personal protective equipment.
  • These programs build on previous supports from the GNWT, delivered in partnership with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

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For media requests, please contact:

Jacqueline McKinnon

Strategic Advisor

Industry, Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

767-9202 ext. 63039