With an aim to raise B.C. tourism revenues, Destination BC is providing $4 million to support 57 tourism projects across the province this year.
Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said in a press release: “British Columbia has so many unique and beautiful areas for visitors to experience. We want to make sure visitors know all that they can see and do in our province, along with supporting tourism businesses who showcase all that British Columbia holds.”
In 2017 alone, the tourism industry in B.C. employed 137,800 people with $4.9 billion in wages. According to the release, over a 10-year period the tourism industry has contributed $9 billion to the province’s economy, which is more than any other primary resource industry including mining, oil and gas.
Destination BC will be providing funds through its Co-operative Marketing Partnerships Program to increase collaboration and alignment of marketing activities across the province.
With the budget being set at $4 million for the 2019 – 2020 marketing program, there is nearly $5 million that the tourism industry itself gives back to the program for community and sector co-op marketing initiatives.
“The program enables communities and sector organizations, who share common interests and marketing goals, to align with provincial tourism priorities, maximize funding and marketing impact and raise BC tourism revenues,” stated the media release.
This funding will be distributed to communities and sector groups across all regions of the province and include support for marketing tourism destinations. Key activities such as golf, mountain biking, wine touring, backcountry lodges, camping and RV, and fishing and ocean boating are being supported through this program.
The funding provided toward these activities in the Cariboo region is as follows:
– Explore Cariboo — $11,500
– Gold Rush Trail — $64,000
– Cariboo Regional Project — $175,000
– Ski North BC — $20,871
– Interlakes Cooperative Touring Campaign — $20,400
Other provincial groups and projects receiving funding include:
– Camping and RVing BC Coalition — $80,000
– BC Wine Institute — $250,000
– BC Ocean Boating Tourism Association — $30,000
– Fishing (Sport Fishing Institute, BC Fishing Resorts, Outfitters Association, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC) — $250,000
– Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia — $65,000
– Backcountry Lodges of BC — $25,000
– Gardens British Columbia — $20,000
– BC Association of Farmers’ Markets — $50,000
The release states that marketing programs will focus on attracting visitors from local markets such as B.C., Alta., and Washington State and will include advertising, the development of video and photography assets, social media programs, market research and consumer show attendance.
As an example, the BC Ale Trail is a marketing campaign that brings together 29 communities to showcase British Columbia as a global destination for craft beer enthusiasts and beer tourists.
“In 2018-19, co-op funding supported the BC Ale Trail in marketing about 200 craft breweries across B.C. including two new ale trails and four updated ale trails. Through this funding they were able to create two new videos and add more than 600 new photos to their database to support destination marketing organizations and their breweries with marketing efforts,” as per the news release.
Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC said tourism destinations are in an increasingly ferocious global competition.
“B.C. is elevating its marketing impact through collaboration,” Walden said. “This funding harnesses the collective power of tourism champions in towns, cities, and regions, connecting local networks and sectors with a common purpose. Together, we are positioning British Columbia as a must-see destination, and our industry as a leading source of growth in B.C.’s economy.”