Investment in North Island tourism projects will boost the local economy

“Tourists from around the world visit North Vancouver Island to explore our coastal communities”

New Democrat MLA Michele Babchuk says the provincial government’s support for North Island tourism projects will bring more visitors to the community and strengthen the local economy.

“Tourists from all over the world visit North Vancouver Island to explore our coastal communities, beautiful beaches and all of our amazing wildlife,” says Babchuk. “This funding stream not only helps accommodate our visitors, but also provides critical infrastructure for our community members.”

On North Vancouver Island, the following projects are receiving funding:

Sointula Resource Center Society: revitalizing the free bike program and expanding it to include e-bike rentals and wayfinding signs – $62,445;

Village of Port Alice: Municipal Marina Improvements and Repairs – $609,250;

Kwakiutl First Nation: Cluxewe Resort and Campground upgrades water supply to provide drinking water to resort guests – $999,375; and

Echo Bay Development Ltd: revitalization of docks and water treatment system at Ḵ’wax̱wa̱lawadi Echo Bay marina and lodge – $403,000.

Across the province, 31 projects are benefiting from a one-time destination development grant that aims to make communities competitive tourism destinations and strengthen local economies.

Since 2022, the province has invested $60 million in the fund to help continue to restore tourism levels to pre-2020 numbers through 2024.

In its first year, the fund supported 90 projects in British Columbia communities.

These projects were selected for funding because they demonstrate the benefits of tourism to communities, including sustainability, accessibility and economic benefit. These projects are forward-looking and will support communities for years to come, supporting the province’s CleanBC plan and climate preparedness adaptation strategy.

“British Columbia is a world-class destination and tourism is one of the province’s biggest economic drivers,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “The last three years have been incredibly challenging for people in the tourism industry, especially after years of economic uncertainty and extreme weather events such as the recent bushfires. Investing in tourism infrastructure supports the tourism sector, the people who work in it, and helps create vibrant communities for all British Columbians and visitors.”

The Destination Development Fund supports tourism businesses by developing and rejuvenating tourism infrastructure. The 31 new recipients will receive nearly $15 million in 2023-24 in one-time grants.

From 2021, more than $60 million is provided through the Destination Development Fund to restore tourism revenues to 2019 levels and strengthen the year-round visitor economy for British Columbians and those who work in the tourism sector.

Projects were selected for their contribution to communities, benefits to the tourism economy and support for sustainability and accessibility.

The province is also supporting the sector with $3 million through the British Columbia Tourism Climate Resilience Initiative. This will support education, assessments, expert training, action planning and adaptation to help tourism businesses and communities measure, track and improve sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in their operations.

Led by Destination BC, the initiative will develop climate preparedness and adaptation strategies and action plans to mitigate climate risks, and provide a foundation for a long-term sustainability and climate adaptation approach for people in BC’s tourism sector.

“The new BC Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative provides a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the resilience of our tourism sector by preserving natural spaces and making it well-equipped to face and adapt to climate change,” said Richard Porges, President and Chief executive director, Destination BC. “Overall, the tourism industry has a strong commitment to sustainability and helping communities and visitors prepare for climate-related impacts. This new initiative will pave the way for climate preparedness and adaptation, positioning the tourism industry to proactively mitigate changing climate risks.”

The British Columbia Tourism Climate Resilience Initiative also supports the conservation of British Columbia’s natural spaces, responsible travel and the advancement of Indigenous reconciliation.

Fast facts

The province has invested $60 million in the 2021 Destination Development Fund.

In the first year of the Destination Development Fund, the province supported 90 projects across the province.

The British Columbia Tourism Climate Resilience Initiative supports the province’s CleanBC Plan and Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.

The BC Tourism Climate Resilience Initiative also builds on the BC Tourism Sustainability Network, a free tourism sustainability program led by the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat that has helped more than 160 tourism businesses incorporate sustainability in its operations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *