Province announces funding for resort communities

Osoyoos is on the list of 14 municipalities receiving funding from the provincial government this year.

Osoyoos has been listed as one of the municipalities eligible for $10.5 million in funding from the provincial government as part of the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI).

The RMI helps grow the tourism sector in eligible municipalities in B.C. The $10.5 million in funding goes towards 14 eligible communities and the government announced Monday that the RMI program will be extended for another year to the end of 2017.

The program helps municipalities to increase the number of visitors, and the length of their stay. As well, the funding helps broaden resort activities, grow employment and diversify the local tax base.

Municipalities eligible include Osoyoos, Golden, Fernie, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoe, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.

The tourism industry in B.C. created 132,200 jobs and generated $13.9 billion in revenue in 2013. The RMI program is part of the BC Jobs Plan as well as Gaining the Edge, B.C.’s tourism strategy to help resort-based municipalities address the unique challenges they face in seasonally-dependent economies.

The province also invests more than $90 million annually in the tourism sector throughout B.C. aside from the RMI program.

“The Resort Municipality Initiative is designed to help improve and strengthen the economies of resort communities around the province. We know that the tourism sector helps drive our diverse economy and is a significant job creator. We want to ensure that when visitors choose to enjoy one of these resort municipalities they have a memorable experience and that it motivates them to continue to make British Columbia their year round destination of choice,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and SKills Taraining and Minister Responsible for Labour.

Penticton Western News