Tourism is hurting across the province, but the provincial government this week extended a helping hand.
That hand came in the form of an announcement that the Oceanside Tourism Association is eligible to receive $23,000 for projects that help grow tourism in the region.
The funding comes from the provincial government’s Community Tourism Opportunities (CTO) program, administered by regional destination marketing organizations. In Parksville it is administered by Tourism Vancouver Island.
The announcement is good news, said Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon.
“Once called ‘Canada’s Riviera’, Oceanside is a tourism hot spot in British Columbia,” Cantelon said. “This funding will help the Oceanside Tourism Association develop key marketing strategies to bring in more visitors to experience this unique and beautiful part of B.C.”
The province’s new tourism strategy builds on the Jobs Plan, providing a framework for government and industry to work together to attract more visitors and create jobs.
The strategy focuses on increasing the number of visitors by building on the global awareness generated by the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The CTO program is administered by the province’s six regional destination marketing organizations which receive the funding from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.
Successful applicants must have matching funds for their projects and they receive their funding after successful completion of their projects.
This is the fifth year the CTO program has been in operation, and it has grown in popularity each year.
Both marketing and development projects are eligible under the program, which reimburses communities following successful completion of their approved projects.
Some examples of initiatives supported include print and broadcast advertising, event promotion, interpretative maps, tourist-related signage, online activities, tourism brochures and research.