More than 80 top attractions and tour operators in British Columbia will receive direct support to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today is an exciting day for our major flagship attractions which, due to the restrictions that have been in place throughout the pandemic, have made sacrifices to protect us all,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, of Arts, Culture and Sports. âThe sector has asked the government to provide grants, not loans, and we have worked with leaders in the tourism sector to ensure that these essential businesses and nonprofits can continue to employ residents and attract visitors to attractions across British Columbia.
British Columbia’s top attractions play an important role in the BC economy by attracting visitors to communities and supporting local small businesses across the province. Tourist bus companies are a key link in bringing travelers to many regional destinations, attractions and experiences.
The major attractions program, first announced in May 2021, was one of the tourism task force’s seven calls to action. Grants of up to $ 1 million will be awarded to businesses and nonprofits, including:
* 23 anchoring urban attractions;
* 34 anchor rural attractions; and
* 26 coach operators.
Recipients include Butchart Gardens, International Dragon Boat Festival, Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Sea to Sky Gondola, Science World, Richmond Night Market, HR MacMillan Space Center, Big White Ski Resort, Britannia Mine Museum, Hells Gate Airtram and Wilson’s Transportation .
Organizations can use the grants to pay rent and utilities, payroll and costs related to restarting or speeding up operations and other business expenses that will help them recover from the impacts of the pandemic. For example, the Richmond Night Market will use its $ 1 million grant to help it maintain its role as a major attraction in the city of Richmond.
âWe are so grateful that the government has listened and supported,â said Raymond Cheung, owner and event organizer, Richmond Night Market. “This grant comes at exactly the right time. We just reopened today, and this funding will help us reopen safely and ensure that we can continue to provide a great summer experience for years to come.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the BC government has worked with industry to provide relief and support. In addition to the major anchor attraction program, the province has provided the following:
* A component specific to tourism of 100 million dollars within the framework of the program of subsidies for the revival of small and medium-sized enterprises.
* $ 5 million has been allocated in dedicated relief funds provided by Indigenous Tourism BC for Indigenous tourism businesses.
* $ 53 million has been invested in community tourism infrastructure and destination development to help tourism in British Columbia recover, create jobs and stimulate economic development.
* The province has partnered with go2HR to design a COVID-19 safety certificate course for the tourism and hospitality workforce.
* Budget 2021 includes an additional $ 50 million to support tourism recovery and $ 20 million for community tourism infrastructure.