Five new destination and tourism infrastructure developments are underway in the Vancouver Island tourism region with support from the Province.
“We know recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses and people in the tourism sector are critically important. This fund creates new tourism infrastructure, which will help the sector recover, create local jobs and spur economic development,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Building on the calls to action from the sector, this fund invests in initiatives that link communities together and encourages visitors to spend time at several destinations within a region.”
Tourism Vancouver Island in partnership with community destination management organizations, local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits and other partners have worked together to identify initiatives that will enhance the region’s tourism amenities and experiences.
Initiatives underway in the Vancouver Island tourism region include revitalizing downtown cores to entice visitors and encourage them to stay longer, cleaning up shores with marine waste collectors, building a world-class mountain biking destination and creating awareness of territorial recognition for Indigenous communities.
Examples in other parts of the province include improvement of trail systems throughout a region for hiking, Nordic skiing or mountain biking, self-guided tour signage to highlight agri-tourism areas and a series of Indigenous landmarks throughout a region. The Province has provided $2.3 million toward these projects.
“This funding will allow us to significantly advance our destination development plan while supporting the long-term recovery of the Vancouver Island region in a responsible, sustainable way,” said Anthony Everett, president and CEO, Tourism Vancouver Island. “These projects will not only aid both urban and rural communities, but connect these areas with mutually beneficial legacies that also support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.”
As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the province’s six tourism regions have received a total of $13.6 million to create employment opportunities, attract new businesses and increase economic diversification within communities.
The Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative is one of three infrastructure investment programs for tourism as part of StrongerBC, including the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure program, Destination Development and the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“These projects, such as the revitalization of downtown cores, will have huge benefits for the tourism industry, locals and visitors to Vancouver Island. Beyond creating jobs and supporting a strong pandemic recovery, these investments will make it easier to travel around the Island to see all of its beauty.”
Line Robert, CEO, Island Coastal Economic Trust –
“We are very excited about this new “THRIVE” community vitality program partnership with Tourism Vancouver Island. Consumer behaviours have changed, and this small capital funding will enable local governments, tourism, other businesses, and arts and culture groups to proactively reimagine and drive new vitality into their downtown core and commercial areas.”
For a backgrounder listing approved projects and costs, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/TRTD_Master_List_Initiatives_May2021.pdf
For more information on StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/