Ottawa is handing out $100 off at local hotels in bid to revive tourism amid the pandemic

Visiting Canada’s capital during the COVID-19 pandemic is getting cheaper, as Ottawa Tourism hopes to bring Canadian visitors in.

To encourage visitation to Ottawa from nearby cities like Montreal and Toronto, Ottawa Tourism is launching an initiative that gives visitors $100 off at a number of hotels. The hope is that it draws people in and allows them to spend more in Ottawa following months of lost revenue for local businesses.

Bookings must be done using the links on the Ottawa Tourism web page, using either the promo code or booking link as specified. The offer can’t be combined with any others, or access on any third party booking engines. It also only applies to participating properties that are listed on the webpage. Bookings must be made before September 30 for stays until December 31.

This isn’t the first time Ottawa Tourism has tried to woo visitors to the city.

Before this, Ottawa Tourism launched its campaigned called ‘It’s On Us.’ Visitors who booked in a similar way received a $100 Visa gift card to spend as they wish during their time in Ottawa.

Back in May, Ottawa Tourism painted local tourism as a dire situation.

May and June are typically very busy for Ottawa, as they are popular for meetings, conventions and school groups, but this year with COVID-19, the bookings weren’t happening.

According to the tourism body, 90 per cent of visitors to the city are usually Canadian, with Montrealers and Torontonians travelling to the city the most often.

This was tough for Ottawa, as tourism minister Lisa MacLeod pointed out, because tourism is the third largest economic driver in Ottawa.

The province as a whole at the time reported a nearly $17.5-billion loss in Ontario’s tourism sector due to COVID-19.