Cultus Lake Waterpark and adjacent Adventure Park have reopened on a limited basis, while some tourism businesses are more dependent on out-of-province visitors. (Cultus Lake Waterpark)

Cultus Lake Waterpark and adjacent Adventure Park have reopened on a limited basis, while some tourism businesses are more dependent on out-of-province visitors. (Cultus Lake Waterpark)

B.C. tourism industry seeks nearly half of COVID-19 recovery fund

Finance Minister has $1.5 billion to share in September

Tourist-related businesses have taken the worst effects of B.C.’s COVID-19 control measures, and they are asking for $680 million of Finance Minister Carole James’ $1.5 billion recovery fund to help them survive.

In a submission to the B.C. government released July 21, the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. notes that tourism is “the only industry almost entirely based on the discretionary movement of people,” with most of the sector shut down by federal and provincial government orders.

“The only way we can prevent generations of lost economic activity, jobs and tax revenues is by acting decisively now, with innovative and creative solutions that recognize the importance of this sector, which is the face and brand of British Columbia to the world and one of the strongest drivers of the B.C. economy,” said Vivek Sharma, chair of the TIABC.

James has indicated that the $1.5 billion recovery fund, part of the $5 billion borrowed to deal with the pandemic this spring, will be allocated in September. An online survey looking for public input wrapped up July 21, and business sector meetings will carry on for the rest of the summer.

RELATED: ‘We’re on the edge’ with 102 new COVID-19 cases

RELATED: Cruise ship cancellations have significant impact

TIABC is proposing a $475 million “working capital recovery grant” as the main strategy, to help tourism businesses return to profitability within 18 months. It would include low- or no-interest loans with extended repayment periods to bridge businesses as out-of-province tourism resumes on an uncertain timetable.

An additional $190 million is requested for adaptation costs, to help deliver tourism experiences with virus protection. Another $15 million is requested for B.C.-focused supply chains for accommodation, attractions, transportation, food services and retail.

TIABC reports the tourism sector had revenue of $20.4 billion in 2018, with 19,300 businesses and direct employment of 160,000 people.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

The BC CDC data for Jan. 3-9. (BC CDC Photo)
Golden adds 7 cases in first week of 2021; BC CDC

The numbers are down from 14 the week before

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read