Tourism Minister Lisa Beare (Hansard TV)

LETTER: Minister says province supporting tourism sector

As B.C.’s minister of tourism, arts and culture, I’d like to respond to a recent column about the provincial government’s approach to supporting the tourism sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our government knows the tourism and hospitality sectors are a key part of B.C.’s economy. This important sector provides good jobs for people and creates vibrant communities that offer exciting experiences for visitors throughout our province. As an industry that relies heavily on people visiting from around the world, the current travel restrictions and border closures have had a significant effect on tourism businesses.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been working very closely with the tourism sector, associations and businesses to hear directly from them on their needs and ideas for recovery. Businesses asked our government for help navigating all the supports available, assistance with ICBC, BC Hydro and tax payments, rent relief and flexibility for liquor licensing to help the hospitality sector supplement their revenue – and we delivered.

Another key part of our work is strongly advocating for the industry to the federal government. Our efforts have resulted in initial funding for tourism businesses, the federal wage subsidy program, emergency response benefit, interest-free loans and funding to encourage British Columbians to travel locally this year.

Our government is also investing in tourism at the community level so we are ready to welcome visitors back following the pandemic. We’ve provided almost $9 million through the rural community development grant program for 98 tourism-related project such as campgrounds, cultural centres and improved signage. We’re also investing $9 million in local active transportation infrastructure initiatives, many of which benefit locals and visitors alike, and partnering with the federal government on $42 million in enhancements to arts and culture centres, recreation and sport centres, boat launch facilities, First Nation longhouses and art centres, and trail systems.

We are very fortunate that B.C. is in a position for people to respectfully travel around our beautiful province. We must continue to follow the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry to keep our curve as flat as possible so we can support tourism in a safe way.

There is no question that the tourism sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and there is more work ahead of us. We will continue to support the industry so it can come back strong in the future.

Lisa Beare

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture

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

Just Posted

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Laid-off hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read