Program aims to Spark innovative accessible tourism ideas
A new program aimed at sparking and supporting innovative accessible tourism ideas in the Kootenay Rockies tourism region was officially announced Jan. 17 by local and provincial tourism partners.
The “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program will match selected applicants from the region with a tourism mentor, provide a $3,000 grant and additional partner support to help take their new tourism ideas to the next level of development.
The goal is to find, foster and support new accessible tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits.
Applications are encouraged from entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations based in the Kootenay Rockies from January 17 to February 28. Following a review process, five finalists will be invited to a virtual Pitch Session where three winners will be selected.
The “Spark” Program was first launched in Ontario in 2018 by the Tourism Innovation Lab and has now expanded to several regions across British Columbia.
The Kootenay Rockies Accessible Tourism “Spark” Program is presented by Destination British Columbia in collaboration with the Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, and the Tourism Innovation Lab.
“We are pleased to offer the ‘Spark’ grants and mentorship program, once again,” said Kathy Cooper, CEO, Kootenay Rockies Tourism.
“This launch in the Kootenay Rockies region will provide businesses with a unique opportunity to build on their existing Accessible products and enhance the value of the experiences they are providing to visitors. We believe proving this opportunity to crease some new offerings will complement the existing compelling products our regional businesses are currently providing their visitors.”
Richard Porges, President & CEO, Destination BC added: “Destination BC is excited to launch the ‘Spark’ Program in the Kootenay Rockies region to support mentorship opportunities for local entrepreneurs as they endeavour to create accessible and innovative new tourism offerings and experiences.”