To help ignite business growth in the tourism industry, HHBRTA is proud to offer fully funded business support to both start-ups and established tourism businesses through our Business Incubation Mentorship Program.

Successful applicants to the Business Incubation Mentorship Program work closely with our panel of mentors to:

  • Prioritize ideas for product development into actions for their business
  • Explore innovation and identify gaps for improvement
  • Get an understanding of how to align products and experiences with target audiences, destination demand drivers, and competitiveness and readiness factors for their sector
  • Determine pricing and distribution
  • Build business efficiencies and establish distribution partnerships
  • Get a clear understanding of how to implement a marketing plan for their product or experience

Applicants for the business incubation mentorship program must:

  • Be a tourism business located within the boundaries of Hamilton, Halton, Brant (Regional Tourism Organization 3) interested in undertaking an initiative that will increase visitation to the region
  • Be the business owner or in a decision-making position who can agree to and fulfill the expectations of the program
  • Be looking to develop or diversify their product and service, marketing plan and efforts to expand and grow
  • Be open to collaboration with other tourism operators in our region
  • Demonstrate visitor and market readiness, including being licensed and insured
  • Be prepared to allocate financial budget and time to support the creation, development and marketing of your new product or experience
  • Commit to and be comfortable working with a mentor for a pre-determined amount of hours at a time that suits both mentor and mentee
  • Be willing to pursue the suggestions provided by the mentor
  • Commit to continuing to engage with HHBRTA and the local DMO to grow and develop Hamilton Halton Brant as a travel destination

Click here for complete Business Incubation Mentorship Program Guidelines

Click here for the Business Incubation Mentorship Program Application

To learn more about enhancing existing or developing new tourism products through the Business Incubation Mentorship Program, contact Bev Scott, Manager Business and Visitor Experience Development.


  • John Edgar, Partner

    Paris Beer and Malting Inc.

    “We worked with Chris Hughes, and it was very helpful developing an experiential program. We have yet to launch it due to uncertainties around covid but look forward to taking action this fall. Chris brought a wealth of planning experience and fresh ideas to the table.”

  • Ashley Brown

    Browndale Farm

    “Having an experienced event coordinator to talk through ideas with and develop new out of the box ideas was a great asset in continuing to grow the tourism branch of our business”

  • Vincent Sowa, Mead Maker

    Backed by Bees

    “As a new business developing experiential offerings it is often difficult to keep focused with so many items competing for your attention. The HHBRTA Mentorship Program was instrumental in helping our team maintain focus as we developed a suite of unique experiences. Our mentor’s expertise was evident and helped us to methodically approach our tour and product offerings. As a result we feel we were set up for success.”

  • Cayla Awalt, Assistant Manager, Marketing & Communications

    John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

    The Building Back Better Mentorship Program was a fantastic opportunity for John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to learn and benefit from the distinct expertise and depth of knowledge of an experienced tourism industry advisor. The Airport’s mentor, Jill Vandal, was highly supportive in formulating various strategies to help refine and enhance Hamilton International’s digital marketing efforts, website content, and partnerships to further strengthen the Airport’s position as a gateway for visitors to the Heart of Ontario. Jill championed both Hamilton International and Hamilton, Halton, Brant throughout this entire process, fueling each session with her passion, creativity, and valuable insights. We are fortunate that the HHBRTA selected Hamilton International to work collaboratively with Jill through this unique tourism development program and look forward to supporting a robust recovery of travel and tourism by attracting visitors to the region and encouraging them to stay and explore all that is has to offer.