(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 6:30 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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm City Hall is closing between noon and 2 p.m. effective April 12, 2021. (File photo)
Pandemic precautions change hours at Salmon Arm city hall

Public will still be able to access services online during two hours when facility closed

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Scotch Creek residents on the Saratoga water system will be without water for most of April 14 as the Columbia Shuswap Regional works on water system upgrades. (File photo)
Water system shutdown planned for Scotch Creek

Residents on Saratoga system encouraged to store water in case shutdown is longer than expected

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Council gives final readings for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

Most Read