October 28th, 2021

Horwath calls for $1,000 Tourism Credit to help local businesses catch up during low season

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and the NDP are proposing a $1,000 tourism tax credit to encourage people to come back to tourism and hospitality businesses.

Horwath was in Prince Edward County Thursday, calling for the tax credit to be implemented now to help tourism businesses make it through the tourism low season, which has already started.

“Ontario’s awesome restaurants, theatres, bed-and-breakfasts, wineries and attractions create hundreds of thousands of jobs. I’m so excited about the reopening, but Doug Ford put small and local businesses at a disadvantage for so long, and now the reopening comes as the low season is already underway,” said Horwath.

“Local tourism and hospitality businesses need and deserve more help to make it through the winter. We need to secure those jobs. Support entrepreneurs’ dreams. And boost local economies until they catch up.”

The Travel Ontario Tax Credit is a bill by NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls). It offers all households $1 back for every $1 spent, up to $1,000, to eat, stay, play and tour in Ontario.

The Bay of Quinte region is home to more than 40 wineries, several breweries and distilleries, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and world-class restaurants and recreation destinations. Every year it welcomes about three million visitors who spend about $300 million, but the vast majority of tourism happens in the summer months. Province-wide, 90 per cent of tourism businesses saw revenue drop during the pandemic, averaging a whopping 70 per cent.

“Doug Ford’s choices led to long, painful lockdowns. Then he gave big fish corporations the chance to open faster than the local businesses. Let’s help local tourism businesses catch up – and let’s do it now, so the low season doesn’t claim anyone’s job or their dream.”


The Travel Ontario credit is part of Horwath and the NDP’s Safe Reopening Fund – a plan to give Ontario businesses a better chance to make this reopening permanent.

  • A vastly improved third round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments Unlike Doug Ford’s earlier choices, this time, the government must not leave any business behind – providing a new payment to bridge to reopening every small or medium-sized local business that’s experienced revenue decline compared to pre-pandemic revenues.
  • A $1,000 tourism and local restaurant tax credit The Travel Ontario Tax Credit bill from NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) gives families a $1,000 tax credit to visit qualifying tourism businesses in Ontario, including qualifying purchases at restaurants, hotels, outfitters and attractions.
  • Targeted re-opening support for personal care and service-based businesses Especially impacted by necessary public health measures, personal care businesses like salons and service-industry businesses like restaurants need access to a Safe Reopening Grant in order to help them implement the new protocols and make sure they stay open.