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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

‘This grant is a welcome relief’, says Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverly DeSantis on news of $10 million grant to tourism industry

Dozens of BC community destination marketing organizations (DMOs) severely impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions), including Tourism Kamloops, will be supported with a $10-million grant from the Province.

BC’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 BC, 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 BC’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.

70 Mile House in the Cariboo region of BC

Speaking earlier today Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis, stated, “In Kamloops, we’ve realized nearly 90% in revenue loss to date. This grant is a welcome relief and Tourism Kamloops applauds Minister Lisa Beare and the provincial government in recognizing the important role that community destination organizations play connecting visitors to BC communities.”

This funding will help MRDT-supported community DMOs retain crucial staff positions and offset fixed expenses from May to October 2020 – a fact echoed by Tourism Kamloops Board Chair Steve Earl:

This funding injection helps Tourism Kamloops to retain our marketing team in preparation to welcome visitors back to our city as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Earl continued, “Inspirational marketing campaigns will speak to the hearts and minds of our potential guests, positioning Kamloops as a safe, welcoming, and desired vacation destination. We are keen, yet cautious, as we look towards re-opening and re-starting our visitor economy.”

There are over 19,000 tourism businesses operating in British Columbia, employing over 160 thousand people – and tourism will continue to be a vital part of the BC economy as we move out of the COVID-19 shutdown of the provincial economy.

Powell River, BC

Said Marsha Walden, president and CEO, Destination BC. “We’re here to help restart the tourism industry as we slowly begin opening our doors again.”


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