Regional tourism receiving pandemic recovery funding
The Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association will receive $2.3 million to invest in regional tourism development.
As part of the province’s Stronger BC economic recovery plan B.C.’s six tourism regions will receive a total of $13.6 million to create employment opportunities, attract new businesses and spur economic diversification within communities.
“We recognize these are challenging times and we appreciate the sacrifices everyone is making to flatten the curve and be safe,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This funding for regional tourism organizations was a call to action to help B.C. communities to be ready to welcome travellers as soon as it’s safe to do so and it reflects our Government’s commitment to work collaboratively and support people to get back to work.”
Examples of regional tourism development projects include accessibility upgrades along a scenic route, connecting tourism experiences across a region such as overnight trip itineraries, points of interest along highway corridors, and supporting the development of more Indigenous tourism experiences. Projects proposed will be determined in partnership with local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits and regional tourism management organizations.
“The Kootenay Rockies region has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our tourism businesses many of whom are small, seasonal and locally owned, are extremely concerned about their ability to continue operating in 2021,” said Kathy Cooper, CEO, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association. “This investment will be instrumental in supporting our tourism destination’s recovery and resiliency. We look forward to engaging with our partners to ensure the funds address major experiential gaps, align with B.C.’s Strategic Framework for Tourism and our regional Destination Development Strategy, thereby resulting in the biggest economic impact to our destination.”
Engagement with communities to review existing or identify new regional initiatives will take place between now and January 2021, with final decisions on projects made by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport in March 2021.
All projects are to start by December 31, 2021 and will be completed by March 31, 2023.
Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association