Fernie to receive grant money to promote tourism

A grant for more than $400,000 has been dedicated tourism infrastructure projects around the city.

The City of Fernie will receive nearly $400,000, dedicated to projects that support tourism infrastructure. The $383,316 in funding is funneled from the provincial government’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI), which is designed to help grown tourism in specific B.C. communities. Other eligible communities include Revelstoke, Rossland, Tofino and Whistler, among others.

Fernie has been a participant in the RMI program since 2009, and has used the money to help enhance visitor experience and have received a total of $2,837,523. Recent projects have included improvements to trail signage, the creation of a visitor shuttle and promotion of cultural events.

Local MLA Bill Bennett believes that the RMI program has been a great benefit to Fernie. “”The RMI program has been a great shot in the arm for Fernie by helping to expand and strengthen its tourism infrastructure. This type of funding over the past several years has helped Fernie become an all season destination that attracts visitors from around the world,” he said in a press release.

Overall, B.C.’s tourism industry has created over 132,000 jobs since 2013, generating roughly $13.9 billion in revenues and accounting for about four per cent of the province’s gross domestic product (GDP). The tourism sector has been identified by the BC Jobs Plan and the provincial government wants to build on the strengths of the industry to diversify the economy.