Fernie’s tourism industry gets provincial boost
Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett announced last month that Fernie will receive $439,042 for projects this year that help support tourism infrastructure and amenities.
The funding comes from our government’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) program and will allow Fernie to implement projects, such as golf course improvements, winter shuttle service, and a visitor information centre.
The program is incentive-driven, with contributions based on accommodation revenues from the previous year of business in 14 eligible municipalities. In 2012/13, the B.C. 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 program 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 initiatives 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 initiative are Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.
“This significant amount of funding from the Resort Municipality Initiative program will help beautify Fernie for the many tourists who enjoy our city,” said Bennett.
“Completely encircled by the Canadian Rockies, Fernie is one of the best destinations for an authentic mountain town experience with some of the best skiing in the world. The Province’s Resort Municipality Initiative is an excellent program that allows us to promote and continually improve tourism in our community. Fernie is very fortunate to have access to this program,” added Jikki Gyorki, executive officer of Tourism Fernie.