Eligible lodging providers and tourism businesses that are tenure and BC park permit holders now have access to grants to help alleviate fixed cost pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The BC tourism industry continues to be hit hard by the pandemic. From day one, our government has worked side-by-side with industry leaders on recovery initiatives so the industry can come back stronger than ever,” said Melanie Mark, Secretary of State for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This grant was a call from the Tourism Task Force to support these businesses in their bottom line and ensure they can thrive.”

Up to $15 million will be provided through the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund through three streams: one for large BC-owned lodging providers that employ more than 150 people; the second for large indigenously owned shelters employing more than 100 staff and located on a reserve; and the third for ownership and BC park permit holders operating as tourism businesses.

“For years, lodging businesses across BC have suffered devastating losses while struggling to meet the demands of rising fixed costs,” said Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO of the British Columbia Hotel Association. “I would like to recognize Secretary Mark’s leadership, hard work and dedication in supporting BC’s lodging sector and bringing about the Tourism Lodging and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund. We are grateful that this funding will help alleviate the plight of large lodging facilities and better position our industry for recovery.”

The tourism lodging and commercial recreation grants will help offset fixed costs for eligible large lodging operators with property taxes, water fees for Indigenous-owned lodging, or support for tourism businesses operating on crown lands and in BC parks with ownership and park permit fees incurred in 2021 .

“Indigenous Tourism BC continues to focus our work on supporting Indigenous tourism businesses to remain operational during these challenging times,” said Brenda Baptiste, Chair of Indigenous Tourism BC. “We value and value the collaboration and partnerships we have with industry and the Department of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.”

“On behalf of adventure tourism providers who hold leasehold or park use permit holders, the relief provided by the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund will benefit providers working in British Columbia’s remote upstate areas,” said Katherine MacRae, Executive Director, Commercial Bear Viewing Association and Co-Chair of the Adventure Tourism Coalition. “Tenures and permits are part of our operating costs, and relief from these costs is appreciated as we seek another adventure tourism recovery in beautiful, natural British Columbia in 2022.”

The provision of financial support for fixed costs was identified in the final report of the Task Force Tourism as a recommendation for those businesses most affected by public health measures restricting travel and group gatherings. This support is intended to help ensure the viability of these businesses during the winter and spring seasons of 2022.

This grant is another measure provided by the province to the tourism sector and builds on other support from the 2020-21 budget, including:

  • the Small and Medium Business Recovery Program, which has supported nearly 8,200 tourism businesses with fewer than 149 employees who have received more than $214 million in grants;
  • $36.8 million made available to more than 80 major anchor attractions and tour bus operators through the BC Major Anchor Attractions Program;
  • the Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund, which has committed nearly $30 million to support local events, supporting 680 fairs, festivals and events in 134 communities across BC;
  • $53 million in community-based tourism infrastructure and destination development invested to help BC tourism recover, create jobs and spur economic development; and
  • $8 million in aid funds provided by Indigenous Tourism BC to support Indigenous tourism businesses, one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry.

Fast Facts:

  • Eligible Large Accommodation Providers can receive up to 25% of property taxes up to a maximum of $500,000 in Stream One;
  • In stream two, eligible large Indigenous-owned lodging providers in reserve may receive 100% of BC Hydro fees up to a maximum of $200,000. Major accommodation providers include hotels, motels, resorts and lodges, including Strata hotels.
  • Eligible recreational commercial businesses may receive 100% of eligible occupancy or park use permits under Power Three, up to a maximum of $200,000.
  • Tourism businesses with Land Act ownership or Park Act permits include businesses such as wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, mountaineering, horseback riding, 4×4 touring, whitewater rafting and heli-skiing; small vacation spots such as guest farms or ecotourism lodges; Campgrounds and outdoor recreation parks that offer activities such as water slides and zip lines.

Learn more:

Applications are possible from January 14 to February 14, 2022. Admission criteria and application information can be found online: www.gov.bc.ca/accommodation-commercial-recreation-fund

full version: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022TACS0001-000055