The Province of B.C. has announced it will be investing $1 million towards bid preparation and sponsorships to attract large-scale events as part of a new three-year roadmap to revitalize tourism.
As part of this new roadmap — focused on rebuilding tourism in British Columbia as the province emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic — a $1 million investment will be made towards event-bid preparation with the hopes of attracting arts, culture, and sport events, and public conferences and exhibitions.
The Province believes that investing now in event programs will help to kick-start the events industry’s recovery and will position B.C. as a safe, world-class, event-hosting jurisdiction once again.
The investment into bids for events is part of a renewed Strategic Framework for Tourism that is aimed at supporting the province’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
“B.C. is a world-class destination, and we know the pandemic has hurt tourism,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “As the world opens up again, we’re working together to rebuild and revitalize this critical industry that adds so much to our planet, our people and our shared prosperity.”
Overall, the Province says the updated framework focuses on provincial priorities of putting people first; lasting and meaningful reconciliation; equity and anti-racism; a better future through fighting climate change; and a strong, sustainable economy.
In addition to the $1 million that the government will be putting towards event bids, another $8 million was recently allotted for the Business Events and Conferences Restart Fund, which is aimed at sparking a restart in business travel by attracting and hosting business events, conferences and exhibitions.
READ MORE: Horgan says B.C. still exploring options to host games during 2026 FIFA World Cup
“Every single person connected to the tourism industry has demonstrated incredible fortitude and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mark said. “I have been constantly impressed by the dedication and hard work of tourism operators and staff to pivot, realign their businesses and take care of each other. Now, together, we’re going to build back stronger by making our mark to ensure B.C. is first in line to benefit from pent-up demand for world-class tourism experiences.”
The Province says that a “flourishing” tourism industry is a key pillar of the StrongerBC Economic Plan as the province rebounds from COVID-19. The new roadmap, released on Friday, is aimed at restoring the tourism sectors to the 2019 levels by 2024.
Also part of the Province’s continuing tourism recovery initiatives, the government has committed $6 million this year through 2024 for Destination BC to market the province as a destination of choice to an international market.
An additional $2 million is being put towards post-secondary education and training to support B.C. students who enrol in tourism and hospitality certificate, diploma or degree programs, tourism-related apprenticeships, and trades training and development programs.
“We are very enthused about the Province’s further investment in tourism recovery,” said Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of BC. “These funds come at an opportune time as our industry looks to rebuild our workforce, products and service levels to once again welcome guests from all over the world in the months and years ahead.”
In total, Budget 2022 committed almost $25 million to destination development, international marketing, business events and conferences recovery, marquee events bids, and tourism training.
More information on B.C.’s updated tourism framework can be found here.