Province supports tourism marketing organizations to be ready for recovery

FIFTY-NINE B.C. community destination marketing organizations (DMOs) severely impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions will be supported with a $10-million grant from the Province.

B.C.’s community DMOs are not-for-profit organizations that promote tourism to their regions. They rely on funds generated by the municipal and regional district tax (MRDT), which is charged to visitors by hotels and other types of accommodation. Without this relief funding, community 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.”

Community DMOs play an important role connecting visitors to B.C.’s communities, representing both large metropolitan centres and towns of a few hundred residents. Investments in the tourism sector’s recovery now will help create jobs and spur economic growth throughout the province.

“As we look onward 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.”

This funding will help MRDT-supported community DMOs retain crucial staff positions and offset fixed expenses from May to October 2020.

“Destination BC is eager to support our community partners on tourism’s road to recovery,” said Marsha Walden, President and CEO, Destination BC. “From marketing, to destination development and industry learning, we’re here to help restart the tourism industry as we slowly begin opening our doors again.”

Quick Facts:

* In 2018, tourism contributed over $20.5 billion in revenues to B.C.’s economy.

* B.C. tourism supports families in communities and rural areas throughout the province, and 59 community DMOs use the MRDT for tourism marketing projects and programs in British Columbia.