The Government of British Columbia is growing tourism economies by providing $10.5 million this year to 14 resort municipalities throughout the province. Invermere is receiving $212,515 to support local tourism.
The Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) supports the BC Jobs Plan and Gaining the Edge: BC’s Tourism Strategy by helping small resort-based municipalities address the unique challenges they face as seasonally dependent economies to grow their tourism offerings.
The District of Invermere has received $1,396,667 since qualifying for funding in 2009 and will use the most recent instalment for planned activities including beach improvements, enhancing public gathering spaces, and improving directional/interpretational signage.
Invermere has focused its RMI spending on growing its year-round tourism economy and creating a more diversified local economy with greater employment opportunities. In 2012, work was completed to ensure that Kinsmen Beach remains a welcoming and active centre within the heart of Invermere. The investment in the new amenity building at Kinsmen Beach has begun attracting new events and expanding existing ones. Invermere has also promoted alternative transportation options and lower greenhouse gas emissions through introduction of a mountain-valley shuttle service and improved cycling options.
B.C.’s tourism sector is one of the eight key sectors identified in the BC Jobs Plan creating more than 125,000 jobs and over $13.5 billion in revenues in the province. Since 2006 over $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies in the 14 communities.
Participating municipalities undertake programs or projects which will encourage visitors to stay longer and visit more often. Projects range from building pedestrian and mountain biking trails, boat launches, and beach improvements to holding festivals and events.
Municipalities participating in the RMI program are Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.
The RMI program objective is to increase the number of visitors and their length of stay, and broaden resort activities to help expand the length of the tourist season, increase employment, and diversify the local tax base. Through local stakeholder consultation, each resort municipality develops a five-year plan that sets out the broad direction and desired outcomes to guide their future tourism development and promotion.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
“We want to see our resort communities thriving. The Resort Municipality Initiative is designed to help improve and strengthen the economies of these tourism hot-spots. It also means more jobs and ensuring visitors return to the communities for years to come.”
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State Tourism and Small Business -
“Tourism is a key economic driver throughout the province. We’re pleased to be able to provide this additional funding. It’s an investment in 14 resort communities to support further growth in tourism.”
Mayor of Invermere Gerry Taft -
“The Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) is crucial for small communities like the District of Invermere. We’re able to construct public spaces and improve services like our Mountain to Valley shuttle, which links skiers with our nearby ski resort, Panorama Mountain Village. These investments help us grow. We plan to use the most recent funds to enhance our downtown core and create a public gathering and performance space. We’re improving tourism year-round in Invermere.”
- Since 2006, through RMI, more than $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies.
- Tourism is one of the largest industries in the Province. In the last decade, tourism revenue in B.C. increased by 42.9%. B.C. continues to grow its tourism sector throughout the province, in part by using the 'Gaining the Edge' tourism strategy. It focuses on developing key tourism products such as touring vacations, city experiences, skiing and snowboarding, Aboriginal tourism, conventions and meetings, as well as outdoor adventure/eco-tourism.
- Total tourism wages and salaries were $4.3 billion in 2012, an increase of 4% since 2011. In 2012, the tourism sector employed 127,300 British Columbians. That is almost one in every 15 jobs in B.C. and an increase of 0.6% from 2011.
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
To learn more about the program, please visit: http://www.ruralbc.gov.bc.ca/about/RMI/RMI_Index.html
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour