More support is on the way for B.C.’s (Canada) embattled tourism industry as the province pledged CA$9.3 million to help finance the tourism events industry and encourage hiring new employees in the tourism sector.
As per a report, the funding will be distributed over the next two years as part of the province’s Tourism Initiatives Action Plan.
In a press statement, province officials stated that their efforts would focus on improving the business conferences and events sector. A maximum of CA$5 million is expected to help boost the industry through the Business Events and Conferences Restart Fund this fiscal year, with an additional CA$3 million next year to help restart business travel.
The funding is urgently needed since the business events industry has reported 85% to 100% revenue losses since the start of the pandemic.
The funding will go to city management groups that are heavily involved in organizing and hosting conferences, business events, and exhibitions before COVID-19.
Eligible organizations will be invited to submit proposals to access this funding.
However, to revive events and conferences, the industry will require workers to make it happen. The province states that CA$1.3 million will provide dedicated human resources specialists across five tourism regions for two years.
“In partnership with the tourism industry’s human resources association, go2HR, these individuals will provide expert advice to tourism operators in each region, including workforce strategy, recruitment, onboarding, compensation, training, health and safety, and interpreting employment legislation,” the province said.
The company will start recruiting in Vancouver Island and the Thompson Okanagan, Northern BC, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, and Kootenay Rockies tourism regions.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the B.C. government has invested more than CA$570 million to support the tourism industry, including the Small and Medium Size Business Grant and Circuit Breaker grant, providing funding to nearly 8,200 tourism and hospitality businesses.
The province announced that it would provide additional support to marquee events. Tourism education and skills training will be announced soon.