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

151 crashes in Rossland in 2019: ICBC data

Columbia Avenue, Red Mountain Road were roads with most crashes during the year

All Mercer Celgar workers in Castlegar return to work

At least 215 of the workers were laid off during a temporary mill shutdown in July

No clear option to help more Rosslanders access recreation facilities in Trail: Report

Rossland residents have had to pay double the cost to use the facilities in recent years

New waste disposal contract comes into effect in Rossland on August 1

The price for a small and large bag sticker will double under new contract

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read