Government cash to help Interior communities bounce back from tough tourism season | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Government cash to help Interior communities bounce back from tough tourism season

A smoky golf course in Kamloops, August 2, 2017.
September 14, 2017 - 2:34 PM

The government is pouring some cash into communities with struggling tourism sectors due to this summer's wildfires and the associated smoke.

The Province announced $200,000 today, Sept. 14, for the Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association to help with tourism-related impacts from the B.C. wildfires. The Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association was also give $200,000, according to a government release.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Destination B.C. and the regional tourism associations will work together to ensure the funding is used to support the tourism recovery needs in the affected regions, according to the Province.

“The Province is assessing the needs of those affected by the wildfires in order to support them in the best way possible in the days and weeks ahead,” provincial officials say.

Glenn Mandziuk, president and CEO of the Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association says the funding is great news.

"Tourism is the number one economic generator in the Thompson Okanagan region and this year has realized significant business loss due to the wildfires, road and park closures, as well as issues with smoke and air quality,” Mandziuk says in the release. “We are very pleased that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has recognized the impact on our industry and provided this vital and timely financial support.

"With the funds provided, we will be working closely to engage our industry to implement recovery strategies that will attract visitors back to the region through the balance of the season and into the New Year," he says.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare says the announcement is just one step the government is taking to assist in recovery and rebuilding efforts.

"I have seen first-hand the impact of the wildfires on British Columbia, and that includes the tourism sector. Today's investment will support tourism operators and business owners to mitigate tourism-related losses caused by the wildfires and assist regional marketing and recovery efforts,” Beare says in the release.

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