Tourism development in the Chilcotin grows with StrongerBC investment
Six new destination and tourism infrastructure developments are underway in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region with support from the Province.
“We know recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses and people in the tourism sector are critically important. This fund creates new tourism infrastructure, which will help the sector recover, create local jobs and spur economic development,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Building on the calls to action from the sector, this fund invests in initiatives that link communities together and encourages visitors to spend time at several destinations within a region.”
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association in partnership with community destination management organizations, local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits and other partners have worked together to identify initiatives that will enhance the region’s tourism amenities and experiences.
Initiatives underway in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region include developing a network of camping areas along the Great Bear Rainforest Marine Trail in partnership with local First Nations, enhancing stops of interest along the Gold Rush trail with amenities like washrooms and Wi-Fi, and supporting the expansion of winter outdoor experiences in places like Bull Mountain and Bridge Lake.
Examples in other parts of the province include improvement of trail systems throughout a region for hiking, Nordic skiing or mountain biking, self-guided tour signage to highlight agri-tourism areas and a series of Indigenous landmarks throughout a region. The Province has provided $2.3 million toward these projects.
“On behalf of our board, industry and communities I thank the minister and Province for this investment in collaborative tourism recovery,” said Amy Thacker, CEO, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism. “The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast initiatives reflect the strength of our rural partnerships and commitment to sustainability that will support local recovery.”
As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the province’s six tourism regions have received a total of $13.6 million to create employment opportunities, attract new businesses and increase economic diversification within communities.
The Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative is one of three infrastructure investment programs for tourism as part of StrongerBC, including the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure program, Destination Development and the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness –
“The tourism industry has been one of the most impacted sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and its recovery is so important for people and businesses. The new funding will help open much-needed campsites and recreation areas in the Great Bear Rainforest and provide for eco-tourism and Indigenous cultural experiences. Wi-Fi and phone kiosks along Highway 20 will not only provide for enriched visitor experiences, but are important safety features that make travelling the highway safer.”
Tim Milne, director, Great Bear Project –
“The Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative is absolutely key to recovery from hardships and isolation the pandemic has brought to the British Columbia coast. The Central Coast has long been in need of an initiative like the Great Bear Marine Trail. We look forward to working with First Nations partners in developing a new sustainable eco-tourism model and creating meaningful employment opportunities.”
For a backgrounder listing approved projects and costs, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/TRTD_Master_List_Initiatives_May2021.pdf
For more information on StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/