The Cow Bay area of Prince Rupert, that is usually bustling with tourists at this time of year, is virtually devoid of visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Tourism Prince Rupert to benefit from grant funding

Redirect dollars for recovery and travel inside B.C.

Prince Rupert tourism efforts are going to benefit from a portion of $10 million in grants from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC), the provincial ministry announced to mark Tourism Week, which runs from May 24 to 31.

Despite the deep and sudden impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, B.C.’s leaders were quick to put the greater good of communities above anything else, Lisa Beare, minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said in a statement on May 25.

“To help the industry be ready for recovery, we’re providing $10 million in grants to 59 community destination marketing organizations to support their efforts to show British Columbians the amazing travel opportunities available right here at home,” Beare said.

With social distancing etiquette, travel restrictions and stay-at-home advisories, Prince Rupert’s tourism economy has been hard hit since COVID-19.

READ MORE: Volunteer closures devastating to bottom line

Tourism Prince Rupert Executive Director, Ceilidh Marlow said Tourism Prince Rupert, which also encompasses Port Edward, is a tourism destination marketing organization which is funded partially through the Municipal and Regional District Tax.

The MRDT is charged in designated accommodation areas, of up to three per cent, on the cost of taxable accommodation such as hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, houses, cottages, cabins and other short-term lodging in B.C.

“Funding for tourism comes from the providers, so it is not a burden on the community,” Marlow said, with recent times being very difficult for Prince Rupert due to no visitors arriving.

Marlow said even before COVID-19, there were plans for a very “robust” local and regional marketing campaign which would support the tourism dependent businesses in Prince Rupert.

According to the Destination BC website, 74 per cent of all visitors to B.C. in 2019 were Canadians. These domestic visitors contributed 49 per cent of all tourism revenues in the province. Most tourism businesses buy goods, hire locally and retain their profits locally.

Despite the visitor numbers appearing high, B.C. residents spent an estimated $6.7 billion on international travel in 2018, excluding day trips to the U.S.A. By comparison, international travellers spent $6.9 billion in B.C. for the same year.

“Redirecting what we spend abroad toward the tourism sector in B.C. can be a strong first step towards recovery that will create jobs, support local economies and allow the sector to get back to being one of our province’s biggest economic drivers,” Beare said.

READ MORE:Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

According to Beare, Destination BC is also working hard to help the tourism sector recover through its three-phased marketing recovery plan: Response, Recovery and Resilience. Its #explorebclocal campaign invites people to explore local experiences and visit businesses close to home.

“We’re already seeing a groundswell of support from British Columbians to support local businesses – from choosing to shop main street via storefront pickup, to ordering made-in-B.C. products online, to cooking more at home using local ingredients.”

“As minister responsible for tourism, I know that every corner of B.C. has incredible places to enjoy and explore – and that it’s the people who work in the tourism and hospitality industry who make travel experiences so special,” Beare said.

K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

UPDATED: First responders stand in honour of life of ambulance manager

A memorial procession to recognize BCEHS and Prince Rupert’s Mike Sorensen was attended by many

Heart of Our City: Ron Nyce

Teaching, dancing and encouraging culture create the heartbeat of this drummer

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

Most Read