VICTORIA — The Province of B.C. is funding dozens of tourism infrastructure projects to help the industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic when travel restrictions are lessened.
The province announced it has funded 54 new tourism projects through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s (CERIP) destination development stream.
Approved projects include campground and recreational-vehicle site development, alpine and mountain bike trails, boat launch upgrades, construction and/or renovations of visitor amenities and Indigenous interpretive centres.
“Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic, while making sure we’re ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so,” said Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport, in a statement. “Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.’s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong.”
The destination development funding totals $20 million. An additional $34.5 million has been allocated for 95 tourism-related projects from other CERIP funding streams, totalling almost $55 million towards tourism resiliency and development throughout B.C.
The province analyzed project proposals for tourism benefits to communities, job creation, and apprenticeship and employment opportunities for minorities.
“We are thrilled to receive funding in order to establish a destination heritage trail along the scenic banks of the Harrison River, providing a unique ecological and cultural experience near to Vancouver,” said Sah-ahkw Chief Ralph Leon Jr., Sts’ailes Nation. “With ever-present views of the river, the trail links numerous ancestral Sts’ailes villages, crosses salmon-bearing channels and passes through centuries-old orchards. We envision the trail as a critical link between the past and the present, Elders and youth, traditional teachings and education, and importantly our community and others who wish to learn more about us, our rich history and homeland.”