Major's Hill Park, view of Parliament, Cycling

Destination Development Fund

Apply for the Destination Development Fund

If you have an idea that can attract visitors to Ottawa, and you require funding assistance to get your project off the ground, you can apply for the Destination Development Fund.

Ottawa Tourism is committed to investing in strategies to improve Ottawa as a destination for visitors with strategic, project-based funding.

The Destination Development Fund assists Ottawa-based not-for-profit organizations and for-profit businesses in the tourism space. With the goal of developing quality tourism products that stimulate demand for the destination, this will stimulate increased tourism and expenditure, and encourage private sector tourism investment in Ottawa. To date, 85% of tourism products funded are still active in the destination.

This application-based program is designed to encourage and support collaborative tourism development initiatives that align with the following strategic objectives, and that can demonstrate long term benefits to Ottawa and the surrounding region:

  • Create a new, innovative destination offering, which will result in increased overnight visitation and positive word-of-mouth;
  • Develop the destination by creating new experiences that will be recurring, permanent and/or make a momentous impact on conversations about Ottawa in key markets whether through social media or word-of-mouth;
  • Create and enhance tourism offerings to build greater visitor experiences; and
  • Create opportunities to build tourism sector capacity, engagement, collaboration and investment.

For more information on the program’s priority areas and application process, visit the Destination Development Fund Applicant Guide (.pdf) and read through the Application form (.pdf). For those ready to apply, please register on our online portal and complete the Eligibility form.

Success stories

New attraction development and infrastructure projects

Attractions, facilities, and/or tourism infrastructure projects that have resulted in measurable improvements to Ottawa’s tourism offering. These projects are often inclusive of multiple economic development partners and benefit a number of elements in the community.

Innovation projects

Projects that use innovation and surprise to elicit an emotional visitor experience in Ottawa. These projects have lended themselves well to extensive social media sharing and become sought-after stops in Ottawa for this purpose.

Tourism project feasibility studies

Studies whose objective is to support the development of the tourism offering in Ottawa and ensure the financial viability of a desired larger-scale tourism-oriented project.

Expansion of the regional and/or niche tourism offer

Eligible projects include creating tourism routes and circuits, developing themed tourism experiences or products and other initiatives that contribute to expansion of the regional tourism offer in line with Ottawa’s destination brand.

Creation/expansion of festivals and events

Projects in this category must be accessible to the general public, generate significant overnight visitor attendance, provide a range of visitor data and animate the destination.

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