Osoyoos. (Wikimedia Commons)

Osoyoos among B.C. resort towns to get share of $2.5-million in tourism cash

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Resort municipalities across B.C. will be getting some extra money for infrastructure projects, after the provincial government announced an additional $2.5 million in funds for 2019-20.

The 2019 provincial budget promised to invest $39 million over three years for the resort municipality initiative (RMI), a fund that supports infrastructure projects to increase tourism in resort towns. (These towns include Fernie, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler.)

In the past, the RMI was not part of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture’s core budget, although spending averaged about $10.5 million a year. With the changes to the RMI funds, spending will be $13 million a year for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

RELATED: Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

“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,” Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, arts and culture, said in a press release.

“We listened to industry feedback and have made changes that will better support communities in developing larger and more impactful tourism plans.”

In addition to the increased funds, the government has also changed the funding formula in an attempt to put all fourteen municipalities on “equal footing,” with a minimum amount of $100,000 for each community.

The RMI will also now look at the performance of funded projects to increase tourism in the municipality, with the possibility of increased funding for well-performing communities. This will be determined using the hotel tax collected by each municipality, and will be on top of the base funding.

“Each community is based on the investments they’ve made with the RMI money. If that’s showing some return on investment, that’s why you get a performance based lift,” Harrison Hot Springs community services coordinator Rhonda Schell said. “Because they want you to be investing in projects that are actually drawing in tourists.”

Each community had to submit a resort development strategy outlining their desired projects to the province on March 15. Typically, according to Schell, the communities hear back about the results of their funding in mid-summer.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: There is a Hot Pink Lake in Australia

Your morning start for Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

‘Schools are healthy’: IH medical health officer

Children have a low risk of catching and spreading COVID-19

Penticton quadruple murder trial begins in Kelowna next month

John Brittain, 69, is facing three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

2020 overdose death toll rises to 73 in the Okanagan

Just under half of the deaths occurred in Kelowna

COVID-19 picture ‘much clearer,’ says Interior Health president

As fall routines set in, IH CEO Susan Brown reminds public to be vigilant in preventative practices

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

B.C.-born Trybe social media app’s award system connects with Nickelback singer

Rock stars, jet planes, scooter tricks and the creation of a new platform ready for launch

Kelowna RCMP investigate possible bomb threat at Orchard Plaza

‘Suspicious circumstance’ shuts down area, closing multiple businesses

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

Kelowna RCMP warn public as gift card scam season comes

“Gift cards are for gifts, not payments,” Kelowna RCMP said

Osoyoos model train attraction wins Tripadvisor award

Desert Model Railroad wins nod for Traveller’s Choice

Hedley man advertises bounty on rats

One rat tail will net five dollars

Most Read