January 11, 2022
Prince George, BC - Accessible washrooms, trail upgrades and new signage are just a few of the completed projects in Northern BC this year as part of the Province of BC’s Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative Fund (TRTDI).
In early 2021, Northern BC Tourism Association, in partnership with community destination management organizations, the Northwest and Northeast planning area Destination Development Advisory Committees, local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits, and other partners, worked together to identify initiatives that will enhance the region’s tourism amenities and experiences.
“I am very pleased to see the progress on these accessibility and Indigenous culture focused projects in the Northern region, especially during these very challenging times,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Throughout the pandemic we heard from tourism organizations that they needed investment to support regional projects. These projects demonstrate how tourism infrastructure not only support projects that showcase more of what the region has to offer, but also strengthen community connection and create jobs in the future.”
Projects completed or near completion in 2021 include:
“Inclusive by Design is grateful for the funding from Northern BC Tourism Association, which is supporting us in increasing access to Northern BC’s outdoor recreation spaces. We have completed two of the planned eight installations of accessible amenities, which are a combination of outhouses, picnic tables and benches,” said Janis Neufeld, CEO of Inclusive by Design. “The manufacturing and installations are employing individuals with a disability and barriers to employment. Building spaces without barriers improves access and participation for everyone, which in turn builds community as we encounter new friends and new ideas in these shared and welcoming spaces.”
“The Tumbler Ridge Mountain Bike Association (TRMBA) in partnership with Northern BC Tourism were able to accomplish a large and exciting project for Tumbler Ridge and the North in 2021; the Tumbler Ridge Pump Track!” said Jane Butters, TRMBA President. “This project was three years in the making and has had a tremendous impact on Tumbler Ridge in it's short existence. Tumbler Ridge has seen visitors at the track from every community within the North, and many communities from around BC and Alberta. These visitors support the accommodation, tourism, and food industries. The track is a new and exciting hot spot and is constantly busy. The Velosolutions Pump Track has created some very exciting anticipation of biking development in the North and TRMBA is excited, and thankful, to have had Northern BC Tourism as a partner for this project.”
TRTDI funded initiatives still underway in the region include implementing a comprehensive place-making signage strategy for the North, supporting multiple small First Nations communities to tell their stories through cultural and wayfinding signage and multiple accessibility and infrastructure upgrades to trails around the region through Rec Sites and Trails BC.
“Northern BC Tourism Association is committed to the sustainable development of the tourism sector in northern B.C. and it’s fantastic to be supporting these tangible infrastructure upgrades and installations happening across the region. Not only do they advance important actions and objectives from our 10-year Destination Development Strategies, but they also strengthen the visitor experience and enhance resident quality of life in the north,” said Clint Fraser, CEO, Northern BC Tourism Association.
As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the province’s six tourism regions received a total of $13.6 million to create employment opportunities, attract new businesses and increase economic diversification within communities.
The Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative is one of three infrastructure investment programs for tourism as part of StrongerBC, including the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure program, Destination Development and the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
April Moi, Destination Development Specialist
Northern BC Tourism Association
Jennifer Moore, Business Resiliency Specialist
Northern BC Tourism Association