Vernon is one of 59 municipalities in British Columbia that is getting a provincial boost for its tourism sector.
On May 25, Tourism Minister Lisa Beare announced $10 million in grants to support community destination marketing organizations (DMO) and $145,300 of that is going to support the City of Vernon Tourism department.
The grant recognizes local DMOs play a supportive role in economic recovery but are facing significant financial challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The tourism industry is a major economic engine and job creator for people in B.C., but the impacts of COVID-19 have left the industry struggling,” the minister said May 25.
“As we look onwards to reopening and restarting the visitor economy, community DMOs are well placed to create effective marketing and development campaigns that will drive visitors to their communities across our beautiful province,” BC Destination Marketing Organization Association chairwoman Nancy Small said.
The grant will aid in retaining crucial staff positions and offset fixed expenses between May and October 2020.
City of Vernon staff anticipate a 75 per cent decline in Municipal and Regional District Tax revenue compared to what was originally anticipated in the 2020 Tourism budget, reads a report to council accepted for information during the June 8 meeting.
Administration is currently working on a Tourism Recovery Plan, which will be presented to the Tourism Commission at its June 17 meeting.
“The funds from the Province of B.C. will provide much needed support to assist in the recovery efforts,” the report to council reads.