Cornwall, ON – A new program aimed at sparking and supporting innovative tourism ideas for Cornwall & SDG Counties was officially announced today at 10:00 in the City of Cornwall. The “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program will match selected applicants from the region with a tourism mentor and provide a $3,000 grant to help take their new tourism idea to the next level of development.
Innovation in the tourism industry is critical for the region to respond, adapt and recover from the significant impacts and evolving travel landscape as a result of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
“I am proud to support such a collaborative, and innovative program, that is sure to bring new ideas and life to Cornwall and the SDG Counties” shares Cornwall Mayor, Bernadette Clement. “This program is a great way to focus on the tourism industry in a time that has been particularly hard for tourism-based businesses. I am eager to see what new initiatives may come from the program.”
The “Spark” Program was first piloted in Windsor Essex in 2018 by the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, and has now expanded to over 10 regions across the province. Its goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits.
“We are excited to be launching the “Spark” Program in Cornwall & SDG Counties,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead of the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab. “We are keen to spark and support new tourism ideas that will enhance the region’s tourism offerings and drive innovation.”
Applications are encouraged from individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations based in Cornwall & SDG Counties from September 17th to October 30th, 2020. Following a review process, the top applicants will be invited to a Pitch Session where three finalists will be selected.
The Cornwall & SDG Counties “Spark” Program is being led by Cornwall Tourism, Cornwall Tourism Development Fund, SDG Counties, and the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab.