(File photo)

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

The federal government has announced $1.5 million to help the B.C. tourism sector recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Sunday (May 31) announcement, the feds set aside $500,000 to help Indigenous Tourism BC, as well as $1 million for the Tourism Association of Vancouver Island. The money is part of $3.45 million set aside for funding tourism recovery in Western Canada. Other projects highlighted in Sunday’s announcement include $1.45 million for Travel Alberta and $500,000 for Saskatchewan’s Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority.

In a statement, the CEO of the Island Coastal Economic Trust said she was “thrilled” with the funding.

“Tourism businesses are an essential component of our region’s economy and quality of life, particularly in small and remote communities,” said Line Roberts.

Sunday’s funding comes just a few days after the tourism ministry pledged $10 million in grants to 59 community destination marketing organizations, and Destination BC promised $400,000 to tourism sector associations, such as the BC Farmers Market and BC Craft Brewers Guild.

Health officials are currently asking British Columbians to stay local and explore their backyards, although there are signs that in-province travel could be a possibility by the end of June if new COVID-19 cases continue to stay low. Camping in BC Parks opens on June 1, with tens of thousands of British Columbians snagging a spot within days of the reservations system opening up.

READ MORE: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

READ MORE: B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

READ MORE: B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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