TRIP helping tourism operators prepare for NWT reopening to visitors

News Releases

Yellowknife — March 2, 2022

Following the long-awaited announcement from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO), tourism operators have a tangible goal for the 2022 travel season; on March 1, the territory reopened to leisure travel and operators are preparing to welcome visitors back.

To assist operators with their reopening efforts, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), in partnership with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), introduced the first intake of the Tourism Restart Investment Program (TRIP), launched in October 2021, which provided $640,000 from the GNWT and $800,000 from CanNor.

To ensure operators had the opportunity to access this funding before the end of the fiscal year, the program was relaunched in January 2022, with a funding increase to $50,000 per operator, and approximately a $500,000 top-up from the GNWT.

Operators could apply for:

  • marketing activities for Canadian (domestic) and international audiences, 
  • recruitment, training, and capacity building for new and returning employees,
  • adapting or enhancing protocols for tourism activities, and
  • infrastructure upgrades to meet health and safety requirements.

The first October 2021 intake of TRIP generated more than $800,000 in funding for tourism operators and tourism-related businesses. The second January 2022 intake provided funding to the amount of $1.2 million, bringing the funding total to approximately $2 million for licensed tourism operators and tourism-related businesses from every region.

Applications for the second intake were closed on February 9, 2022, to allow for application assessments and allocating the funds in time for operators to be able to spend and have the work completed by March 31, 2022.


“The OCPHO has been tireless in its protection and guidance of NWT residents during the pandemic for nearly two years. The NWT’s reopening is such a welcome and critical action to help tourism, one of the hardest hit industries globally, to plan its recovery. While we have identified and invested in relief and recovery programs since the start of the pandemic, these programs are no substitute for the operators delivering their products and services to their clients and visitors in person.”

- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

“Today’s announcement, in partnership with the GNWT, is part of our Government’s commitment to tourism operators and businesses across the NWT, which are so essential to the diversification and sustainability of the northern economy. This funding support provides key investments to help refresh and restart tourism-related businesses by helping build tourism infrastructure, enhance employee capacity and create marketing opportunities to attract visitors to NWT. Foundational investments in tourism infrastructure provide tourism operators with the tools and resources they need for recovery and future growth.”

  • Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“The NWT tourism industry has shown great resilience through the difficult economic stresses brought on by the pandemic. These additional funds will help tourism-related businesses adapt, re-launch and be part of the broader economic recovery underway across Canada. From breathtaking landscapes to unique festivals and distinct cultures to vivid displays of aurora, tourism across the NWT has so much to share with Canadians and the world. Initiatives like this go a long way to helping ensure that our tourism operators and businesses will be ready to welcome back tourists when the time comes.”

  • Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • TRIP was initially a $1.44 million jointly funded initiative (contribution by CanNor $800,000 and GNWT $640,000) in October 2021; approximately $800,000 was provided to tourism businesses. 
  • The program was relaunched with an additional more than $500,000 in January 2022; approximately $1.2 million was provided to tourism businesses during this second intake.
  • Total amount for funding dispersed to tourism businesses under TRIP was approximately $2 million.
  • Applicants were required to contribute cash equity of 10%.

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For media requests, please contact:

Jacqueline McKinnon

Strategic Advisor, Communications

Department of Industry Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

(867) 767-9202 ext. 63039