PRINCE RUPERT, BC: In the Cariboo and North Coast regions, four communities with local economies that depend heavily on visitors have received $2.4 million to support tourism infrastructure development.
“This direct investment in tourism-dependent communities was a call to action from the tourism sector and an integral part of our recovery plan,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These projects will provide good-paying jobs now, create valuable assets for communities and attract more visitors in the future.”
The 46 new tourism-development projects were identified by the communities and include updated trails for e-bikes and adaptive trikes, signage, solar electric-vehicle charging stations, sea kayak touring and picnic facilities, water park construction, and creating an arts and culture stage.
“The projects funded through the Tourism Dependent Community Initiative in the North and Cariboo regions represent strong local partnerships,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “The much-needed upgrades to the ferry landing in Prince Rupert and the pedestrian crossing in Smithers mean more transportation accessibility, and the Lillooet and 100 Mile House projects build on infrastructure welcoming visitors. Together, these projects are a strong investment to help tourism in our regions recover faster from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Thirty-two communities have received a combined $19.4 million through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
Communities have been identified as tourism dependent, based on a combination of criteria, including:
- collecting the municipality and regional district tax;
- having a population of fewer than 25,000 and located outside of Metro Vancouver or the Capital Regional District; and
- having a higher percentage of accommodation-sector wages in comparison to total employment wages.
The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
“A very sincere thanks to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport for its support of this important project for our communities,” said Peter Busse, mayor of Lillooet. “This initiative will shine as an example of the important financial support for small B.C. communities that rely heavily on tourism, such as ours, in their recovery from COVID-19. This RV park and campground will provide increased revenue, jobs and business opportunities for the Sekw’el’was community, which will operate and caretake the property and provide visitors with a rich cultural experience. Special appreciation goes out to Chief Edwards of Sekw’el’was/Cayoose Creek Band for their continued support for collaboration. The partnership that Lillooet experiences with Sekw’el’was is a true testament for desired reconciliation within our communities.”
This is one of three infrastructure investment programs for tourism as part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, including:
- the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program;
- Destination Development; and
- the Regional Tourism Development Initiative.
B.C. communities that received tourism-dependent community funding are Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount, Whistler, Barriere, Port Alice, Clearwater, Powell River, Squamish, Nelson, Parksville, Ladysmith, Gibsons, Port Hardy, Sechelt, North Cowichan, Grand Forks, Prince Rupert, Qualicum Beach, Smithers, 100 Mile House and Lillooet.
Written and released by BC Government