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

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Tom Shypitka, pictured with his campaign team. on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. Trevor Crawley photo
Shypitka wins second term; BC NDP cruise to majority

“Election Days,” rather than “Election Day,” may be the more accurate term… Continue reading

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read