For Immediate Release
May 25, 2020 – Tourism Kamloops has received funds from the Province as part of a $10 million grant supporting 59 destination organizations across BC. These funds address the severe impacts that COVID-19 travel restrictions have caused.
BC’s community destination organizations are not-for-profit and rely on funds generated by the municipal and regional district tax (MRDT). Without this relief funding, destination organizations would be unable to operate and support economic recovery efforts in the tourism sector.
“In Kamloops, we’ve realized nearly 90% in revenue loss to date”, notes Beverley DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO. “This grant is a welcome relief and Tourism Kamloops applauds Minister Lisa Beare and the provincial government in recognizing the important role that community destination organizations play connecting visitors to BC communities.”
2019 was a precedent-setting year for tourism in Kamloops with visitation increases of 2.3% over 2018 and a strong first quarter in 2020. However, by the last week of March, the Kamloops tourism sector came to an immediate halt as a result of imposed travel restrictions. With impending lockdown and traditional peak season months seriously in question, most Kamloops tourism operators face uncertain futures. This grant is intended to help destination organizations with marketing recovery strategies, retain crucial staff positions and offset fixed expenses from May to October 2020.
“This funding injection helps Tourism Kamloops to retain our marketing team in preparation to welcome visitors back to our city as soon as it is safe to do so,” adds Steve Earl, Tourism Kamloops Board Chair. “Inspirational marketing campaigns will speak to the hearts and minds of our potential guests, positioning Kamloops as a safe, welcoming, and desired vacation destination. We are keen, yet cautious, as we look towards re-opening and re-starting our visitor economy.”
In 2019, Kamloops welcomed 2 million visitors and contributed nearly $500M in economic impact
In 2018, tourism contributed over $20.5 billion in revenues to B.C.'s economy
B.C. tourism supports families in communities and rural areas throughout the province, and 59 community DMOs use the MRDT for tourism marketing and destination development projects and programs in British Columbia
Beverley DeSantis, CEO
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