Partnership Funding - RTO 9

Partnership Funding

Each year, RTO 9 works hand-in-hand with tourism partners to enhance experiential tourism across the South Eastern Ontario region. RTO 9’s Partnership Fund is designed to forge strong and diverse partnerships that either build on existing tourism products or introduce new tourism products. These projects serve to enhance the region’s diversity of offerings to create a competitive advantage in tourism experiences throughout the South Eastern Ontario region. The Partnership Fund is not a grant program, it is a Partnership Program that requires a buy-in of 50% of eligible project costs from the applicant.

Definition of ‘Partnership’

Partnership is defined as the agreement of RTO 9 to work with one or more entities on a specific project in support of RTO 9’s Business Plan for the current year. Partners who are awarded funding through the Partnership Funding program receive more than money to help reach their project goals.  RTO 9 provides guidance in partnership building, experiential tourism development, and digital marketing designed to utilize partner synergies and drive tourists to the region. RTO 9 works in collaboration with our tourism partners to ensure projects come to fruition. RTO 9 partners with operators to share costs on a 50/50 basis and provides guidance in the areas of development, and digital marketing.

Who is eligible to apply?

Partnership Funding for 2024-2025 is intended solely for tourism businesses interested in undertaking tourism-related initiatives that increase visitation to the South Eastern Ontario region. Organizations that are just looking for the funds and are not interested in learning or understanding how their project fits within the tourism landscape will not be considered for this program. We truly are looking for organizations that want to help grow the visitor economy which, in turn, will make our communities vibrant places to live and work. For more information on eligibility and the application process, consider registering for one of our Partnership Fund information online sessions here.

The funding window is now closed. The next funding window will open on July 5th, 2024.

Please connect with Meg Dabros at mdabros@region9tourism.ca for all questions related to our application process.

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Application for 2024/2025 Partnership Funds

RTO 9 continues to offer partnership funding opportunities to our individual tourism operators to help with expanding their business operations in our region. Partnership Funding is not available to DMO/DMP offices, Business Investment Areas, Chambers of Commerce, Museums, Municipalities, or any other membership-based associations.

Look at your proposed project through a tourism lens. Is your project going to help you drive and retain visitors from outside of your community or outside of the region? Is there opportunity for them to spend money while they are here? Is there a way to measure the success of your project and at what points are you going to share your stories with RTO 9?

The funding window is now closed. The next funding window will open July 5th, 2024.


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Partnership Fund Guidelines

Included in this guide is information regarding the Partnership Fund program including the following: program rationale, partnership eligibility requirements, funding parameters, and the 2024–2025 project initiatives. Approval of Partnership Funds is dependent upon RTO 9 receiving their 2024–2025 Transfer Payment Agreement from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport (MTCS).


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Information Sessions

Join Meg from RTO 9 as she goes through the 2024/2025 Partnership Fund application, guidelines and eligibility requirements for the first in-take period. This information session will go through the application process and help you determine whether your project or organization is eligible to apply, how the program works, and what expenses can be incurred under the project. This is your opportunity to get familiar with the program before applying!


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DMO/DMP Letter of Support

Connecting with your local DMO/DMP/DMMO to discuss your project is a requirement of the Partnership Fund application process. Your local contact will be able to provide support to assist you in the completion of your project - whether that be getting you connected with a supplier, marketing support, or guidance - they are a crucial component in the success of your project. Not sure who you should be reaching out to? Click the button below to see our sub-regional partners in each destination!


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Application Assistance & Resources

The key to a successful application is preparation, a clear understanding of your project and how it impacts tourism in the region, and ensuring that you provide all the relevant information without overwhelming reviewers with information. Concise and clear applications that demonstrate a high understanding of RTO 9 objectives to grow tourism in the region are more likely to receive funding. Be sure to see our Presentations & Recordings page for workshop recordings on not-for-profit and for-profit grant writing tips.