Local attractions and businesses that draw in tourists can now apply for funding to get the proper tools needed to make sure their staff and visitors are safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding will pay for things like signage, plexiglass, gloves and masks. 

Cochrane Tourism Association Executive Director, Jo-Anne Oucharek says there's a couple of different ways to access the money. 

"The tourism operators who are either open or going to be open based on Alberta Health regulations now have the opportunity to apply for two streams of funding through the Travel Alberta Cooperative Investment Program."

One is for product experience and development and there's two intakes. One for summer projects and one for the fall for programming that will run in the fall and winter.. 

Oucharek says "Some of the new eligible expenses for that include capital costs for COVID-19 related costs. like plexiglass, barriers, gloves, masks and signage to make sure there's social distancing happening at those attractions and through those tourism businesses."

There are several places eligible for this funding Oucharek says "Things like the museums. We partner with the Stockmen's Memorial Foundation and the Cochrane Historical Museum. Tour operators like Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary and Studio West. Any of the restaurants who are partnering with tourism. So restaurants and retail stores who offer tourism products."

She says a lot of people are planning to stick closer to home this summer and this will help ensure people feel safe while exploring the area. 

"Everybody's plan is to make sure that the consumer is comfortable coming out and exploring in the Cochrane area."

Oucharek says "We are partnering with the tourism operators to make sure that they have all the details that they need in place. We want people to come to Cochrane but we want them to know it's safe and we want our businesses to be safe as well."

For more information go here.