(Northern Vancouver Island Tourism/Steven Fines)

(Northern Vancouver Island Tourism/Steven Fines)

B.C. tourism industry welcomes relief funding, but some businesses still need reprieve

Until travel restrictions lift, the tourism industry will still face continued struggle, industry says

  • Dec. 24, 2020 7:30 p.m.

By Charlie Carey

Tourism industry leaders are welcoming new funding from the B.C. government set to help ailing businesses, but says that more support is needed until non-essential travel restrictions are lifted.

On Tuesday (Dec. 22), the province announced $105 million in funding for the hard-hit tourism sector. The funding is one of the key recommendations made by the provincial tourism task force, which is made up of industry leaders and was created to help B.C.’s tourism sector recover from the economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: B.C. diverts more COVID-19 small business relief to tourism

Tourism Minister Melanie Mark said Tuesday that the funds will “provide critical support to tourism operators through the winter months, particularly as travel restrictions remain in place.”

Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia board chair Vivek Sharma said the latest measures are only a start.

“On behalf of our industry, TIABC will continue to work with government to ensure they understand the needs of all operators and the workforce going forward, as well as address the gaps for businesses that have yet to qualify for any assistance,” Sharma said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hotels, transport providers and attractions have been just some of the businesses affected by lower visitor rates and pandemic response policies. Many of these businesses have had to lay off staff as a result.

“It is well recognized that one of the fastest ways to get more employees back to work is to ensure the health of larger tourism businesses, most of whom also directly and indirectly support many other sectors of the economy,” the association said.

Health officials have restricted non-essential travel within the province until at least Jan. 8. Meanwhile, the U.S.-Canada border has been closed to non-essential travel for much of this year, with no sign of being lifted in the near future.

In partnership with Tourism BC, the government also announced the inclusion of an Indigenous relief funding grant. This $5-million grant will look to sustain Indigenous tourism operators through the winter.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Tourism

Just Posted

Fernie Aquatic Centre is scheduled to reopen in mid to late September. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Aquatic Centre to get new starting blocks

The new blocks will allow the centre to host more competitive swim meets

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Brock Tomlinson, Kiera Hansen on top, Jackson Radkie and Jarren Beck are some of the Elk Valley Dolphins' divisional championship qualifiers: pictured here excited to race. (Contributed by Angie Abdou)
Eight Dolphins qualify for divisional championships

Contributed by Angie Abdou Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club June 19th brings… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read