Business events and workforce support initiatives, such as hiring and retaining employees, in the tourism sector will receive more than $9.3 million over the next two years as part of B.C.’s Tourism Recovery Initiatives Action Plan.
The Tourism Recovery Initiatives Action Plan is B.C.’s comprehensive plan to support the survival, recovery and growth of the sector. This action plan is part of government’s quick response to the Tourism Task Force’s recommendations that demonstrates continued commitment to the recovery and resilience of tourism in B.C.
The new Business Events and Conferences Restart Fund will provide up to $5 million this fiscal year and up to $3 million next year to help restart business travel. Funding will be provided to city destination management organizations that were significantly involved in attracting and hosting business events, conferences, and exhibitions before the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible organizations will be invited to submit proposals to access this funding.
More than $1.3 million will fund dedicated human resources specialists in five tourism regions for two years. In partnership with the tourism industry’s human resources association, go2HR, these individuals will provide expert advice to tourism operators in each region, including workforce strategy, recruitment, onboarding, compensation, training, health and safety, and interpreting employment legislation.
“British Columbia’s meetings, conferences, and events sector sustains a significant network of businesses across the province and is critical to the complete rebuild of our provincial economy,” said Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO, British Columbia Hotel Association. “The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, under Minister Mark’s remarkable leadership, has been an extraordinary consultative partner, demonstrating a heartfelt commitment to support our industry’s strategic recovery. This meaningful strategic investment will be vital in restoring B.C.’s international reputation as a leading destination for meetings, conferences, and events.”
Government’s collaborative work to support the tourism sector continues and more support for marquee events, and tourism education and skills training will be announced soon.