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Posted: March 21, 2017

$600k for Kootenay Rockies tourism marketing

The B.C. government is investing more than $600,000 in provincial tourism sector associations to support tourism marketing activities in the Kootenay Rockies, announced Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour this morning in Cranbrook.

The funding stream comes from Destination BC’s Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program and will support a number of projects in multiple communities throughout the province. The enhanced tourism marketing and advertising campaigns will showcase the sector areas as premier destinations for year-round tourism experiences.

Tourism is a vital part of the East Kootenay’s economy.

Through partnerships with provincial sector associations, funds will help promote hiking and biking trails, camping/RV sites, backcountry lodges, golf courses and snowmobiling routes in the Kootenay Rockies region.

Tourism is one of B.C.’s largest industries, a key sector of the BC Jobs Plan, and a major job generator. The province enjoys a competitive tourism advantage, thanks to diverse and scenic landscapes, world-class tourism products and experiences, excellent infrastructure, rich culture and geographic accessibility to visitors, a Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour press release outlined.

Destination BC, the provincial tourism marketing agency, delivers on key actions under the provincial tourism strategy ‘Gaining the Edge: 2015-2018,’ and plays a key role in leading tourism marketing and development activities for the province. It is an industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders throughout the province to co-ordinate marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels.

“One of the strengths of our growing economy is a vibrant tourism sector. This funding will help showcase the area’s stunning beauty and world-class adventure sports to the world. We know that the tourism sector is an important economic driver and this investment will encourage more people to #ExploreBC and experience the sights, experiences and warm hospitality the Kootenay Rockies has to offer,” Bond said.

“The world is increasingly captivated by all that British Columbia has to offer, year-round. And, the Kootenay Rockies – with its spectacular wilderness adventures, mountain biking, snowmobiling, heli-skiing, stunning lodges and golf courses – has a lot to showcase,” said Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination BC. “The spirit of our Co-op Marketing Partnership Program is to align the marketing done by all stakeholders, from Destination BC to communities to tourism sectors. This collaboration creates a bigger bang for the buck and more support for tourism operators in every part of our industry. Everyone wins.”

These grants are in partnership with the following provincial sector programs: Mountain Bike Tourism Association, BC Golf Marketing Alliance, BC Lodging and Campground Association, Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, BC Snowmobile Federation and the Backcountry Lodges of BC Association.

The province invests over $98 million annually in the tourism industry across every region to grow and market the sector.

In 2015, the tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenues, $7.4 billion in GDP, and supported nearly 19,000 tourism-related businesses, with 127,700 employed in the industry.

British Columbia saw over 5.5 million international visitors in 2016 – an increase of 12.3% – translating to over 600,000 more visitors in 2016 compared to 2015.


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