Destination BC is supporting the valuable contribution of BC’s network of community-based Visitor Centres, by renewing its three-year commitment to base funding throughout the province. In addition, Destination BC is increasing the minimum level of base funding to $15,000, for those currently receiving $10,000 to $12,500 per year.
There are 129 community-owned Visitor Centres throughout British Columbia that are members of Destination BC’s Visitor Services Network Program. They each play a pivotal role in providing accurate and timely travel information to those looking to explore communities, locate accommodation, visit attractions, and participate in tourism activities in British Columbia. In a typical year, community Visitor Centres, collectively serve over 2.9 million visitors at their physical locations, over the phone, and via email and other digital channels.
In 2020, despite the impacts of COVID-19 on tourism and Visitor Centre operations, the professional visitor services teams in communities across BC still served almost one million visitors in person and via digital channels. In 2021, Visitor Centres are on track to exceed 2020 visitation numbers.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, community Visitor Centres were instrumental in communicating Provincial Health Orders and health and safety protocols, supporting local businesses, and boosting local economies. During recent wildfire activity, community Visitor Centres supported evacuees and travelers by sharing on-the-ground safety and travel information.
This three-year commitment will support long-term business planning, increase stability, encourage innovation, and provide for the increasing hard costs of providing visitor services in communities across BC. In 2021/22, $2.105 million has been allocated to this vital tourism support program through the Province of BC.
Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sports
“It is crucial for the health of BC’s tourism industry to ensure we are welcoming visitors back to all corners of our province and supporting them on their adventures. Providing excellent visitor services is one of the many ways we do this, and I am delighted with Destination BC’s ongoing support of the Visitor Services Network. This funding commitment gives communities the resources they need to develop and deliver world-class visitor services in person and digitally, too.”
Richard Porges, President & CEO, Destination BC
“Destination BC continues to support communities through our Visitor Services Network Program, to help make exploring British Columbia enjoyable and easy. The renewal of our three-year funding commitment, and increase in the minimum amount, will ensure that information is readily available when and where visitors need it, from local, knowledgeable tourism professionals in communities across the province. The yearly funding will support the creation of contemporary and innovative ways to connect with travellers online, and out and about in communities, providing the same level of exceptional service that people experience in BC’s Visitor Centres.”
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