The Province is investing $20,000 to support marketing of the Kootenays as a tourism destination announced MLA for East Kootenay Bill Bennett, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.
The investment is being made through Destination BC’s Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program and will support the MyKootenays.ca project that leverages the “Super, Natural British Columbia” brand. The funding will showcase tourism experiences including driving itineraries highlighting culture, heritage, arts, wellness, soft adventure and culinary tourism in the area. The communities featured on MyKootenays.ca include Invermere, Radium Hot Springs, Fairmont Hot Spring, Fernie, Cranbrook and Kimberley.
Tourism is one of B.C.’s largest industries, a key sector of the BC Jobs Plan, and a significant job creator. The province enjoys a competitive tourism advantage thanks to diverse and scenic landscapes, world-class tourism products, excellent infrastructure, rich culture and geographic accessibility to visitors.
Destination BC is the Province’s crown agency for tourism marketing and is helping deliver on key actions under the provincial tourism strategy Gaining the Edge: 2015-2018. They are an industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to coordinate marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels.
Bill Bennett, MLA, East Kootenay-
“Today’s investment highlights the Kootenay region and showcases the unique market ready tourism experiences it has to offer. Tourism fuels the local economy, creating well-paying jobs for our citizens and that’s why the government is investing in projects like this.”
Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination BC -
“With the summer season just around the corner, international visitors and locals will soon tour the Kootenays to experience natural hot springs, wellness spas, heritage sites, culture, local food and wine, and towns surrounded by spectacular mountains. With so many different tourism stakeholders in the region, Destination BC’s Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program brings all their marketing efforts together and aligns them to amplify results. This strategy creates a bigger bang for the buck for the community, and it’s a similar story happening all over the province. In fact, tourism currently generates the highest GDP among all natural resource industries in B.C. and has high-growth prospects for the future.”
- The Province invests over $98 million annually in the tourism industry across every region to grow and market the sector.
- The latest tourism statistics show that in January 2017, there were close to 23,427 more visitors to the province over January 2016 – representing a 9.2% increase.
- In 2016, 5.5 million international visitors came to B.C. - a 12.3% increase compared to 2015.
- In 2015, the tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenues, $7.4 billion in GDP, and supported nearly 19,000 tourism-related businesses, with 127,700 employed in the industry.
Destination BC’s Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program: www.destinationbc.ca/Programs/Regions-Communities-and-Sectors/Destination-BC-Co-op-Marketing-Partnership-Program.aspx
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/economy/tourism/
B.C. Provincial Tourism Strategy, Gaining the Edge: www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/tourismstrategy/documents/GainingTheEdge_2015_2018.pdf
My Kootenays website: http://mykootenays.ca/#intro
For a photo of Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett and Paul Samycia of the Elk River Guiding Company, visit: https://flic.kr/p/TBCF2n