The provincial government has increased and stabilized Resort Municipality Initiative funding.
“B.C.’s tourism industry creates opportunities for people to see shows and pursue recreation right in their own backyards, as well as providing good-paying jobs and economic development,” said Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, arts and culture, in a news release. “We listened to industry feedback and have made changes that will better support communities in developing larger and more impactful tourism plans.”
The Resort Municipality Initiative funds projects that help B.C.’s 14 resort municipalities, including Revelstoke, develop tourism infrastructure and amenities to attract visitors year-round.
Last year the city of Revelstoke handed out more than $290,000 in grants from the funds. The Tourism and Infrastructure Committee reviewed the applications and selected the recipients which included the Interior Forestry Museum, the Farwell Splash Park Society, the Revelstoke Cycling Association, the Revelstoke Museum and Archives and many others.
In the past, the RMI was not part of the ministry’s core budget, making it difficult for resort municipalities to plan long-term projects. Now part of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s core budget, funding will be increased to $13 million in 2019-20 from an average of $10.5 million annually in previous years.
Other changes to the program include a new funding formula that puts all RMI communities on equal footing and provides a minimum funding amount of $100,000 per year. Additionally, a new annual performance-based component recognizes increases in tourism activity in each community with increased funding.
These changes resulted from consultation with the tourism sector and feedback on how important RMI is in maintaining B.C.’s reputation as a tourism destination in all seasons and supporting tourism growth in resort communities around the province. The province’s new strategic tourism framework was developed to build a strong, sustainable and innovative tourism economy.
RMI recipient communities are encouraged to incorporate accessibility and sustainable tourism experiences and support local Indigenous tourism development, in alignment with the strategic framework.