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After a challenging time, there is some good news for businesses in BC’s tourism industry.
The British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) will receive $1-million in funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada to fund the British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network.
Evolving from an initiative by Tourism Vancouver Island, the network is a long-term resiliency program providing BC tourism businesses with meaningful, one-on-one support to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, adapt and work towards eventual recovery.
According to the COVID-19 Tourism Impact Roll-up Report* commissioned by the BCRTS across their five regions (in partnership with the British Columbia Hotel Association and British Columbia Destination Marketing Organizations Association), 21% of tourism businesses report they will become insolvent, with an additional 37% stating they are unsure if they will recover. Tourism jobs have been severely impacted with 78,300 employees laid-off or not hired for seasonal work.
In response to this crisis, the BCRTS will lead the British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network and already has 1,100 BC tourism businesses collectively enrolled in their respective regional tourism resiliency programs. As a result of the funding announced by Western Economic Diversification Canada, the overarching program will now be able to support more small- and medium-sized BC tourism businesses in their recovery efforts.
“Working together across the province to maximize collective expertise and resources, the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat will lead the British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network leveraging the local knowledge and long-standing relationships we’ve held in our five regions for nearly 60 years,” says BCRTS Chair, Glenn Mandziuk.
“Tourism Vancouver Island is proud to see our tourism resiliency program evolve to help tourism businesses province-wide. This program was designed by the tourism industry for the tourism industry, utilizing our sector’s specialized understanding of our own needs and nuances to support the survival of B.C.’s visitor economy,” adds Anthony Everett, President & CEO, Tourism Vancouver Island.
The British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network is a partnership between the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat (B.C.’s five not-for-profit Regional Destination Management Organizations (RDMOs) including: Tourism Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association and Northern British Columbia Tourism Association); Island Coastal Economic Trust; Indigenous Tourism BC; Destination BC (specific to the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains tourism region); and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The BCRTS gratefully acknowledges funding from the Province of B.C. through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
To register for the program, BC tourism businesses can visit the British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network website at TourismResiliency.ca.
During National Tourism Week, $500,000 in funding was also announced for the Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia, and $6-million allotted via Destination Canada for the province.
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