B.C. government announces over $10 million for resort municipalities

 | December 18, 2012

In a presentation made in Sun Peaks, B.C. today, the government of British Columbia is committing to investing over $10 million in 14 resort-oriented municipalities throughout British Columbia this year to support and promote local tourism economies. Sun Peaks is one of the recipients of this funding.

“The (Resort Municipality Initiative, RMI) program is clearly one of the most innovative tourism programs ever,” says Mayor Al Raine of Sun Peaks. “The ability of resort municipalities to receive a portion of the accommodation taxes generated in their communities and reinvest these tax dollars into tourism infrastructure and events has significantly helped increase tourism activities in the Province. Overnight visits to Sun Peaks increased 25 per cent this past summer, something that we could not have accomplished without this program.”

Since 2007, the RMI has invested $61.7 million to support the unique challenges and opportunities faced by smaller resort-oriented municipalities. Communities will use this funding to enhance services and infrastructure crucial to growing the tourism sector that drives their local economies, including trail and boardwalk improvements, venue development and tourist information services. Without this funding, resort communities would not have the means to provide key community assets to advance their primary industry—tourism.

“Our government recognizes how important a role resort municipalities play in the economic prosperity of our province,” says Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and skills training. “This initiative provides local governments with the financial certainty to facilitate a great visitor experience and ensure visitors will return.”

The 14 municipalities that participate in the RMI program are Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.