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B.C. tops up tourism support to $105 million

Last Updated Dec 22, 2020 at 11:38 am PST


The province is dedicating another $55 million to B.C.'s tourism sector for a total of $105 million

$5 million is being allocated to a relief grant for Indigenous businesses that will launch next year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — More provincial help is on the way for tourism businesses and the people working in the industry to get through the next few months, says the minister in charge of the sector.

Another $55 million has been promised on top of the initial commitment in September for a total of $105 million to support the tourism industry that has been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.

RELATED: B.C.’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry could take years to recover from COVID-19: association

The COVID-19 vaccine offers a sense of hope, says Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, but it doesn’t mean the province is in the clear yet.

“This dedicated relief funding for the tourism sector will help people get through these next few months so we can welcome visitors back to our beautiful province once it’s safe to do so,” says Mark says.

Tightening travel restrictions and advisories to stay local for months have put a damper on cash flow for industry, especially during peak travel times, but the province also notes the additional challenges Indigenous businesses face. Because of this, $5 million is being allocated to Indigenous Tourism BC for a relief grant for Indigenous businesses that will launch in the new year.

RELATED: B.C.’s tourism sector calls for more provincial aid to get through pandemic

The committed relief funding will go through the province’s Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program.

The province had asked the tourism sector to identify what it wanted to get through the pandemic. Seven recommendations came back, including a request for more money to keep businesses from going under.

-with files from Martin MacMahon