NEWS RELEASE: Rural communities to benefit from tourism investments

VICTORIA – Rural communities affected by mill closures throughout British Columbia will benefit from $1 million in funding to develop tourism opportunities, creating new jobs for people.

“British Columbia is an amazing place with unparalleled natural beauty that we are proud to invite the world to come explore,” said Premier John Horgan. “This tourism investment will help bring new visitors to rural communities throughout the province, while also helping diversify and boost local economies.”

Tourism contributes significantly to the economies of many communities in B.C. This funding from the Province will be provided through Destination BC to the five regional destination marketing organizations (RDMOs). Each RDMO will receive $200,000 in catalyst funding to support strategic planning and destination development in rural communities impacted by mill closures.

“As the tourism market continues to expand globally, there are many communities in B.C. that hold great potential for tourism growth,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “This funding will help rural communities impacted by mill closures develop new tourism opportunities, create good-paying jobs and give residents access to all the things that make an area attractive to visitors.”

RDMOs will work in collaboration with the affected communities and government to prioritize the needs of the people who live there and determine what tourism investments will have the greatest impact.

Quick Facts:

* Government and Destination BC have led destination development planning for the last three years. This work is the first of its kind in B.C. and focuses on the supply side of tourism, rather than demand: www.destinationbc.ca/what-we-do/destination-management/destination-development/

* Over 70% of Destination BC’s program support is directed towards tourism marketing and destination management programs in small and rural communities throughout B.C.

* B.C. welcomed 6.1 million international visitors in 2018.

* Tourism employs over 137,000 people and generated $18.4 billion in revenue for B.C. in 2017.

Learn More:

There are five RDMOs in B.C.:
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast – www.landwithoutlimits.com
Kootenay Rockies – www.krtourism.ca
Northern B.C. – www.travelnbc.com
Thompson Okanagan – www.totabc.org
Vancouver Island – www.tourismvi.ca

Contact:

Carla Wormald
Communications Manager
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
250 208-4309

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