Ottawa is earmarking millions of dollars to promote holiday travel inside Canada as it seeks to help the tourism industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds announced by Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly on Sunday include $30 million originally intended to attract foreign visitors through the federal tourism marketing agency, Destination Canada.
Instead, the money will be used to help provinces and territories encourage Canadians to discover their "own backyard" as the country's international borders remain largely closed due to COVID-19.
The government is also setting aside around $40 million so tourism agencies in southern and northern Ontario, as well as western Canada, can adapt their operations to the pandemic, particularly as what would normally be the busy summer season approaches.
"A lot of people who have lost their jobs are in the tourism sector right now and the entire idea right now is to save the summer, but to save the summer differently," Joly told The Canadian Press.
"There's an entire movement across the country to shop locally. We see that people want to discover or support even more their local businesses. ... Well I would add to that a new movement: visit local. And rediscover your beautiful city and your region."