VICTORIA, BC: Fifty-four new tourism projects throughout B.C. are receiving funding under the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s (CERIP) destination development stream.
The destination development funding invests in implementation-ready tourism infrastructure and amenities projects that support the recovery and resilience of tourism. It creates jobs and develops infrastructure that will attract visitors to B.C. communities when travel resumes. Approved projects include campground and recreational-vehicle site development, alpine and mountain bike trails, boat launch upgrades, construction and/or renovations of visitor amenities and Indigenous interpretive centres.
“Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic, while making sure we’re ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.’s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong.”
Funding for the destination development stream of the CERIP totals $20 million. Funding from the ministries of Municipal Affairs and Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development also includes projects that support the tourism sector. An additional $34.5 million has been allocated for 95 tourism-related projects from these other CERIP funding streams, totalling almost $55 million toward tourism resiliency and development throughout B.C.
Successful projects were chosen for their demonstrated tourism benefits to communities and British Columbians, along with new jobs, many of which will provide employment for apprentices, youth, new Canadians, women and First Nations. Eligible applicants included local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations.
“We are thrilled to receive funding in order to establish a destination heritage trail along the scenic banks of the Harrison River, providing a unique ecological and cultural experience near to Vancouver,” said Sah-ahkw, Chief Ralph Leon Jr., Sts’ailes Nation. “With ever-present views of the river, the trail links numerous ancestral Sts’ailes villages, crosses salmon-bearing channels and passes through centuries-old orchards. We envision the trail as a critical link between the past and the present, Elders and youth, traditional teachings and education, and importantly our community and others who wish to learn more about us, our rich history and homeland.
“Our Elders have told us we need to share our history and traditions, because it is through dialogue and immersion that we will find collective values, reconciliation, ensure respect for sensitive ecological and cultural places, and a better path towards our shared future in the Harrison River Valley. We also view the heritage trail as an important route to creating positive career opportunities for our people and stimulating the local economy.”
CERIP is providing $100 million in one-time infrastructure grants for shovel-worthy projects throughout B.C. These projects will improve community economic resilience, develop tourism infrastructure, support unique heritage infrastructure and support economic recovery for rural communities.
CERIP’s funding is distributed across five different streams managed by separate partner ministries: Municipal Affairs; Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operators and Rural Development; and Children and Family Development.
Written and released by BC Government