Funding model announced for community visitor centres

A three-year base funding model has been introduced for community visitor centres.

A three-year base funding model has been introduced for community visitor centres in Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and the Okanagan Connector.

The model, announced by Destination BC, is for the 108 community visitor centres it helps support.

The model was created following consultation with the community visitor services centre network.

Under the new strategy, a minimum base funding of $10,000 will be provided for the next three years for small and rural centres.

An innovation fund will be available in 2016 to assist communities with projects to adapt to changing needs and visitor expectations.

“This new, stable base funding over the next three years will help ensure better long-term planning for centres located in our community,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.

“The innovation fund will be available to help our communities adapt to changing visitor needs through innovative projects.”

In 2013, the province’s tourism sector generated $13.9 billion in revenue and accounted for four per cent of the province’s total gross domestic product.

In 2015, the number of international visitors to British Columbia rose by 234,079, an increase of 5.3 per cent.

Across the province, 132,200 people or one in every 15 jobs in B.C. are in tourism. There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in the province.