Over 50 new tourism projects across B.C., including on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, are getting a financial leg-up from the province.

They’re getting funding through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s destination development stream.

The province says it creates jobs and develops infrastructure that will attract visitors to B.C. when travel resumes. 

Approved projects include campground and recreational-vehicle site development, alpine and mountain bike trails, boat launch upgrades, construction and/or renovations of visitor amenities and Indigenous interpretive centres. 

Tourism Vancouver Island president and CEO Anthony Everett says the funding, and support, is very much welcome.

“Tourism Vancouver Island worked with industry and government to identify projects that could benefit from this support so are pleased to see tourism operators and Indigenous nations on Vancouver Island receive this funding,” Everett said.

“We thank the Province of BC for its continued investment in the recovery of the tourism industry. Any support our industry receives right now is positive as we work towards restarting and rebuilding the visitor economy, which is vital to Islanders.”

Among the projects being supported in the region are:

Comox Valley

  • K’omoks Economic Development Corporation – K’ómoks First Nation – Puntledge RV campground expansion: Phase 1, for 18 RV sites with full hookups including water, sewer, electrical servicing.  Project cost: $485,662.
  • Hornby Island Arts Council – Hornby Island Arts Council and Environs, for the construction of a 418 square-metres (4500 sq ft) new community arts centre and environs. Project cost: $500,000.

Alert Bay

  • Alert Bay Campground Enhancement Project – for eight new RV campsites, construction of a shower/washroom facility and the installation of 20 updated signs. Project cost: $183,055.

Cowichan Valley

  • Cowichan Wooden Boat Society – Patio Portal Project including shade structure, tables, and beautification. Wheelchair ramp to increase accessibility. Project cost: $78,931.

Powell River

  • Powell River Educational Services Society – Powell Forest Canoe Route Revitalization Project for infrastructure and trail upgrades, interpretive and wayfinding signage. Project cost: $306,778.

“Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic, while making sure we’re ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. 

“Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.’s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong.”

Successful projects were chosen for their demonstrated tourism benefits to communities and British Columbians, along with new jobs, many of which will provide employment for apprentices, youth, new Canadians, women and First Nations. Eligible applicants included local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations.