Under its new application-based Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program, Destination BC is enabling partnerships between local tourism groups that share common marketing goals, to leverage funding to maximise marketing impact and raise BC tourism revenues. Groups include community consortiums and sectors such as golf, wine, mountain biking and fishing. Destination BC’s budget for the 2016/17 intake is $3.3 million — an increase of $1.0 million over previous budgets for community and sector co-op marketing programs. Programs will focus on alignment with BC’s tourism brand, and activities such as website and map creation, event promotion, media outreach and social media programs, to draw travellers to communities around the province.
To enable visitor servicing innovation, the new application-based Visitor Services 2016 Innovation Fund provides support to members of British Columbia’s Visitor Services Network Program. Representing projects in all regions of the province, the budget for the 2016/17 intake is $300,000, an increase of $100,000 over the previous year’s pilot program budget. The Innovation Fund projects will focus on local efforts to expand the delivery of visitor services including mobile kiosks, roaming visitor counsellors, electronic touch screen kiosks, enhanced social media visitor services efforts, and more.
For each new program, Destination BC gathered input from community consultation sessions throughout BC in 2014 and 2015. Each program’s design and guidelines reflect the valuable feedback from this consultation process.
The tourism industry is helping fuel the provincial economy, which is expected to lead the country in economic growth in 2016 and 2017. The industry is showing excellent growth and has huge opportunity ahead. In 2014, the tourism generated $14.6 billion in revenue, a 5.1% increase over 2013. 2015 was a banner year, with international overnight custom entries to BC rising by 7.9% over 2014.
- See backgrounders A and B for list of community participants for each funding stream.
- To learn more about the program and application guidelines, please see the Visitor Services 2016 Innovation Fund and Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program pages on Destination BC’s website.
Marsha Walden, Vice President, Destination and Industry Development, Destination BC:
“Destination BC’s corporate strategy is designed to encourage collaboration and innovation at the community and regional levels. With the development of these new programs, based on consultation with industry stakeholders across the province, we are able to expand the reach of BC’s dynamic tourism brand and support the delivery of remarkable experiences for travellers, which will ultimately encourage repeat visitation.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour:
“The Province supports Destination BC’s new Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program, to promote community-level tourism projects throughout British Columbia. By bringing together local and regional partners, Destination BC can align funding and coordinate efforts to encourage visitors to spend time in regions right across the province.”