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Jun 21, 2021

Minister Kahlon Responds to TIABC Letter of Appreciation

Advocacy

Dear Walt Judas and Vivek Sharma:


Thank you for your recent letters regarding British Columbia’s (BC) Restart Plan. I am pleased
to hear your positive feedback on our approach to reopening the economy and moving towards a
new normal. The Restart Plan was developed with careful consideration for public health, for
the economic and social well-being of the Province, and in consultation with industry groups.
Our hope is that this will provide both local residents and international visitors with the
confidence to resume exploring our great province and its many offerings.


We recognize that the impacts on the tourism industry throughout the pandemic have been
considerable. In December 2020 we received the final report from the Tourism Task Force, and
its recommendations led to the $100 M tourism-specific stream under the Small- and
Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program. To date, the program has awarded grants to
thousands of BC businesses, of which 41 percent were tourism-related businesses. Throughout
the pandemic the Province has introduced further programs to support the sector, including:


• $53 M invested in community-based tourism infrastructure and destination development
to help recovery, create jobs, and spur economic development.
• the BC Major Anchor Attractions Program, which provides up to $50 M for rural and
urban anchor attractions and tour bus operators.
• $5 M through Indigenous Tourism BC for 140 Indigenous tourism businesses.
• BSAFE, a made-in-BC COVID-19 safety training program to ensure consumer
confidence for visitors, workers, and communities.


Budget 2021 includes an additional $50 M to support the tourism sector to continue to be a
destination of choice and an additional $20 M for further investments in community tourism
infrastructure. We will be working closely with tourism industry leaders on how to best allocate
these funds to help chart a path forward for the sector.

Thank you again for writing, and for your ongoing advocacy and professional approach to
supporting your sector.


Sincerely,


Ravi Kahlon
Minister

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