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NWT Tourism Coronavirus Update #20 - GNWT-ITI Relief for Licensed Tourism Operators

Dear valued members,

We have received news from the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Industry, Tourism & Investment that it has implemented two additional initiatives to assist Northwest Territories tourism operators with some business expense relief through these unprecedented, difficult circumstances. Minister Katrina Nokleby announced these initiatives in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

Both measures require amendments to the Tourism Regulations to be finalized. This work is in progress and won't take long to complete. 

Tourism Operator License (TOL) Fees
The first initiative is that the 2020/21 fees for the renewal of a Tourism Operators Licence (TOL) or a significant amendment of a TOL application are waived. Tourism operators who have already paid their TOL renewal fees for the 2020/21 season will be refunded by GNWT. Once the amendments are formalized, GNWT ITI will be contacting the TOL holders to process the refund in a timely manner.

Those who have yet to pay their renewal fees will not be required to submit payment. Furthermore, any TOL holder who submits an application for a significant amendment during the GNWT's 2020/21 fiscal year will not be required to make a payment in order for the process to be initiated, provided all other relevant documentation is provided. 

Liability Insurance
The second initiative will permit TOL holders the ability to maintain their TOLs without needed to hold valid insurance, so long as they are not providing guided tourism activities. Currently, the Tourism Act requires TOL holders to maintain a minimum of $1 million liability insurance at all times. Interested TOL holders will be able to apply to their regional ITI Licence Administrator for a waiver to temporarily discontinue holding insurance, until such time as they once again provide guided tourism activities. If the Licence Administrator is satisfied that the applicant meets the criteria, the waiver may be granted. The main criteria is focused on the operator's inability to conduct tourism activities due to circumstances beyond their control.

We continue to advocate on your behalf for help through this difficult time and we hope that these GNWT ITI initiatives bring some more positive relief to our tourism operators.

You can access all of the GNWT's business and work related COVID-19 information by clicking here.

Please don't hesitate to reach out directly to me. I can be reached at 867-873-5007, Extension 1005 or by email at

Take care.  Stay safe.  Be kind.

Cathie Bolstad
Chief Executive Officer
Northwest Territories Tourism