The Provincial Government will provide $10 million in grant funding split between 59 different community-destination marketing organizations (DMO) impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Province said that funding for DMOs is generated through the municipal and regional district tax, which is charged on visitors to hotels and other accommodations. It added that without relief funding, DMOs would be unable to operate and support economic recovery efforts in the tourism sector.
“The tourism industry is a major economic engine and job creator for people in B.C., but the impacts of COVID 19 have left the industry struggling,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “We are supporting the tourism industry today to make sure we can welcome visitors to explore Super, Natural British Columbia when it is safe to do so.”
Across B.C., the DMOs represent both large metropolitan centres, and communities with a few hundred residents. The Provincial Government said that the support grant will help create jobs and spur economic growth.
“As we look onwards to reopening and restarting the visitor economy, community DMOs are well placed to create effective marketing and development campaigns that will drive visitors to their communities across our beautiful province,” said Nancy Small, chair, BC Destination Marketing Organization Association. “This welcomed funding announcement will give many of us that ability to remain operating and plan for the future. It is excellent news.”
According to the B.C. Government, the grants will help the DMOs across the province retain crucial staff and offset expenses between May and October.