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Local communities to receive resort municipality funding

 

The government of British Columbia is investing over $10 million in 14 resort-oriented municipalities throughout British Columbia this year to support and promote local tourism economies.

“Our government recognizes how important a role resort municipalities play in the economic prosperity of our province. This initiative provides local governments with the financial certainty to facilitate a great visitor experience and ensure visitors will return,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell.

Since 2007, the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) has invested $61.7 million to support the unique challenges and opportunities faced by smaller resort-oriented municipalities. Communities will use this funding to enhance services and infrastructure crucial to growing the tourism sector that drives their local economies, including trail and boardwalk improvements, venue development and tourist information services. Without this funding, resort communities would not have the means to provide key community assets to advance their primary industry - tourism.

“Families, and the communities they live in, are at the heart of the economic and social health of our province. Working with local governments, this initiative provides the tools and support needed to strengthen communities and help make them vibrant, sustainable and economically resilient,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett.

The 14 municipalities that participate 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.

Invermere will receive $186,410, with Radium Hot Springs receiving $115,532. Kimberley will get $87,876. All of the funding will go towards supporting tourism infrastructure and programming.

Tourism is one of the key economic sectors identified in Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan. The Province’s new Tourism Strategy builds on the Jobs Plan, providing a framework for government and industry to work together to attract more visitors and create jobs for British Columbians. The strategy focuses on increasing the number of visitors by building on the global awareness generated by the 2010 Winter Games and international marketing campaigns.

Since 2007, over $61.7 million dollars has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies.

Budget 2012-13 continued commitment to funding for resort municipalities and maintains the same level as the previous year.

In 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed over $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues.

Total tourism wages and salaries were $4.4 billion in 2010, an increase of 37 per cent since 2000.

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