Provincial funding boosts tourism in Kimberley
The government of British Columbia is investing $87,876 for projects this year that help support tourism infrastructure and programming in Kimberley, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell announced Dec. 18.
The funding comes from the B.C. government’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) program and will allow Kimberley to implement projects such as improvements to the Sullivan Mine Interpretive Train and trail development for mountain biking.
The program is incentive-driven, with contributions based on accommodation revenues from the previous year of business in 14 eligible municipalities. In 2012-13, government is providing over $10 million shared among British Columbia’s 14 resort-oriented municipalities.
This is the sixth year the RMI program has been in operation, with over $61.7 million being directed to the program since 2007. RMI is a strategy that addresses the unique circumstances of resort-oriented municipalities and provides an ongoing revenue stream to develop and enhance local tourism-related infrastructure and amenities to grow local and regional tourism economies. Some examples of RMI projects that have been funded throughout the 14 municipalities include trail system maintenance, public art, visitor centre enhancements, shuttle services and visitor sign improvements.
The 14 communities that participate in the RMI program are Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.
“Our government recognizes how important a role resort municipalities play in the economic prosperity of our province. This initiative provides local governments with the financial certainty to facilitate a great visitor experience and ensure visitors will return,” Bell stated.
“Kimberley is one of the best locations in B.C. for mountain biking and the Province’s Resort Municipality Initiative has allowed us to promote and continually improve our mountain biking infrastructure. Kimberley is very fortunate to have access to this program,” noted Steve Brine, director, Kimberley Trails Society.