Province providing more than $2 million for tourism projects in Thompson-Okanagan

Big boost for tourism

Tourism in the Thompson-Okanagan is getting a financial shot in the arm.

With support from the province, 14 new destination and tourism infrastructure developments are underway in the region.

“We know recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses and people in the tourism sector are critically important. This fund creates new tourism infrastructure, which will help the sector recover, create local jobs and spur economic development,” Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport says in a press release. “Building on the calls to action from the sector, this fund invests in initiatives that link communities together and encourages visitors to spend time at several destinations within a region.”

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, in partnership with community destination management organizations, local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits and other partners, has worked together to identify initiatives that will enhance regional tourism amenities and experiences.

Initiatives include the installation of public Secwépemc landmarks in the Shuswap Lakes region, enabling accessible adventure experiences, and expanding Nordic skiing destinations with night lighting and enhanced trail networks.

Other projects include improvement of trail systems throughout a region for hiking, Nordic skiing or mountain biking, self-guided tour signage to highlight agri-tourism areas, and a series of Indigenous landmarks.

“Attracting more visitors to the Thompson-Okanagan is a boost for our local operators, their families and our communities at large. We are already fortunate enough to live in a world-class tourist destination that plays a crucial role in our economy, and I’m happy to see these investments helping make sure our communities recover quickly by creating even more opportunities for people to explore our beautiful part of the world,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

The province has provided $2.3 million toward the projects.

“TOTA is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with the ministry, regional districts, municipalities and other organizations to allocate the funds to important destination development initiatives across our region,” said Mike Overend, director of destination development with TOTA. “The successful projects highlight a variety of initiatives that will increase visitation over time, build cultural and social awareness and open up new outdoor activities.”

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