The provincial government has unveiled a $150,000 marketing campaign to promote wine and food tourism, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare.
“Our government is launching a new $150,000 campaign to promote wine and food tourism to immediately address challenges faced by B.C. tourism in our wine regions. My new tourism engagement council will provide advice, so that together we can create a stronger tourism industry.”
Beare made the announcements Friday at the 2018 B.C. Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna. Hundreds of tourism businesses and associations from throughout B.C. gathered in the Okanagan this week to learn from experts and each other about key issues, challenges and best practices in the industry.
She also revealed the creation of a Tourism Engagement Council, which will act as a broad-based advisory group, representing a diverse range of industry experts from across the tourism sector.
The council will provide an industry voice for advice on tourism policy, and help shape the development and implementation of a new tourism strategy for B.C. to be announced this spring.
“Swift and meaningful action must be taken to support the thousands of British Columbians who rely on tourism for jobs that pay their bills and support their families,” said Beare, the MLA for the Lower Mainland riding of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
The province’s tourism marketing agency, Destination BC, is collaborating with regional partners and tourism operators to launch two wine and culinary tourism campaigns.
The first campaign, beginning this month, encourages British Columbians to make visiting wine country a part of their vacation plans this year. A second campaign rolls out in May, targeting international tourists with invitations to visit B.C.’s world-class wine and culinary destinations.
Beare added the province’s new tourism strategy will address issues such as promotion of Indigenous tourism, affordable housing for seasonal workers, expanding access to Internet service in rural communities and further develop domestic travel access options.
“Tourism is a way of life for British Columbians,” said Beare, reflecting on the opportunities the tourism industry can seize working with the provincial government to create jobs and grow our economy.
“It’s great to see the minister’s support for B.C. wineries through these campaigns,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the B.C. Wine Institute.
“As the province’s lead wine-industry trade organization, the B.C. Wine Institute has been working in close partnership with Destination BC to develop and deliver a B.C. wine and food tourism strategy, and this additional support will strengthen our efforts.”
As for the tourism engagement council, Beare said her ministry is looking for representatives from arts, sports and other areas that contribute to B.C.’s tourism vitality.
The ministry is encouraging British Columbians who are interested in participating on the council to put their names forward. Applications for membership are available online at www.gov.bc.ca/tourism.
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