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

Predator Ridge Resort has announced plans to add a new outdoor skating rink this winter. The facility is expected to open Dec. 7, 2020. (Contributed)
Outdoor skating rink coming to Vernon’s Predator Ridge

The facility is touted as the first private refrigerated skating rink in the Okanagan

West Kelowna Warriors goaltender Roman Basran stood tall in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Vernon Vipers Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
Vernon Vipers fall to West Kelowna Warriors in shootout

Kelowna Rockets goalie Roman Basran helped the warriors to a 4-3 SO win Friday night.

Navi Mann casts his vote at Mission Hill Elementary School’s mock election Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Construction will close 25th Street Oct. 28-Nov. 3 in the 4100-4200 block. (Google map)
Construction closes Vernon street

Work underway on 25th Street Oct. 28-Nov. 3

Andrew Allen performed for two intimate crowds of 50 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 17. (Camillia Courts Photography)
Live events continue on Vernon stage

First Andrew Allen plays two sold-out shows, next up have a laugh with comedian Mike Delamont

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Central Okanagan school anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Most Read