VANCOUVER – To kick off National Tourism Week, Destination BC is announcing over $6 million in funding through its Cooperative Marketing Partnerships Program to support destination and activity-specific tourism marketing initiatives across British Columbia.
In place since 2015, the program helps partners drive consumer demand and increase tourism revenues in communities throughout the province by investing in seasons and areas where capacity exists, leveraging a variety of funding sources to maximize impact, and creating deep collaboration within the industry – a made-in-BC approach that has continued to be a competitive advantage on the global stage.
This year’s program was expanded through additional Provincial one-time funding and will support 70 initiatives for key tourism activity sectors and community consortiums: groups of communities, Indigenous communities, regions and regional districts, business associations, and other community partners who come together to collectively market their unique selling proposition that links them together. Consortiums help visitors better understand the diverse areas of the province, the unique experiences available within them, and the numerous ways to travel among them, while increasing visitation and room night revenue in shoulder seasons.
Some examples of this year’s funding recipients include:
Camping & RV in BC: Led by the Camping & RVing British Columbia Coalition and working with an extensive network of partners, Camping & RV in BC promotes a wide range of year-round experiences across the province, and encourages responsible travel through initiatives like the Camper’s Code. Their website features trip itineraries, blogs for avid campers, useful camping tips, as well as the camping map of British Columbia, making it easy to search, find, and book at over 1,700 campgrounds.
Paddle BC: Launched in 2022, Paddle BC is one of the newest sectors in the Co-op Program, promoting the comprehensive, all-season paddling experiences available across BC. Founded by Destination Castlegar in partnership with the BC Fishing Association, private rafting outfitters and other communities around the province, they are quickly growing their partnerships into new communities this year.
Re:BC (REjuvenate, REgenerate, and REvitalize Travel in BC): A new initiative this year, Re:BC was established to develop an interactive marketing campaign designed to create emotional interest in regenerative tourism activities across the province. The multi-regional community consortium is spearheaded by See Revelstoke, in partnership with the City of Langford, Tourism Squamish, and the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association. Modelled on Tourism Revelstoke’s successful Thanksgiving Back campaign, Re:BC will expand its regenerative tourism initiatives to other parts of the province.
Traveling Out in the Thompson Okanagan (TOTO): Another new initiative this year, TOTO is focused on 2SLGBTQIA+ tourism in the Thompson Okanagan. Led by Tourism Kelowna in partnership with Tourism Kamloops, Tourism Vernon, Travel Penticton, and Destination Osoyoos, the communities will collaborate to increase awareness of the area as a safe and welcoming destination where everyone can be themselves, offering exceptional experiences that that align with the demands of this market, while growing visitation in the months where there is capacity.
West Coast Food: A long-term partner of the program, West Coast Food is a true demonstration of the industry’s collaboration in action, working with a large partnership of communities and sectors across Metro Vancouver, including TransLink. These teams work together to expand what Vancouver means to visitors through the promotion and branding of the Metro Vancouver region as a culinary hub, resulting in campaigns like the ongoing “Dine the Line” initiative, which encourages visitors to go on culinary adventures using transit.
Route 16: Northern BC communities are calling on motorcycle enthusiasts to tour the Highway 16 corridor from Mt. Robson to Prince Rupert. Enjoy and immerse yourself in all that the Route 16 communities have to offer. The Route 16 campaign includes content that will inspire any, and all, motorcyclists to hit the road. Through compelling photography and videos, route itineraries (including side routes), and more, Route 16 highlights the rich culture found in northern and Indigenous communities. The initiative has been so successful that new tourism experiences have been developed to capitalize on the momentum of this route.
#ExplorePortAlberni: A partnership with Alberni Valley Tourism Association, City of Port Alberni, Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, and Huu-ay-aht First Nation, #ExplorePortAlberni is a collaborative and community-oriented campaign focused on increasing consumer recognition and demand for the Alberni Valley as an overnight leisure and getaway destination. As an emerging destination with a historic dependence on traditional resource sectors, the Alberni Valley is ready to welcome incremental visitors to the region and to grow the benefits of tourism in a sustainable way. The group is honoured to live, work, and play on the traditional territory of the Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations.
Gold Rush Trail: A well-established, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association-led partnership, this expansive initiative spans partners, communities, and businesses from New Westminster to Barkerville Historic Town & Park, sharing the story of a mighty river and the lands surrounding it. It aims to educate visitors on the rich history of civilizations in the area, and the diverse cultures, languages, and traditions that came before us. This is not just a look at the past, but a look at the living cultures along this historic corridor.
Arrow Slocan: Recognizing that in a region with a lower population density, tourism can play a core role in supporting local business to increase their viability, Arrow Slocan Tourism was established to encourage visitors to venture off-the-beaten-path and stay longer in their small communities. By providing trip itineraries that showcase what the region has to offer in all seasons, the destination marketing organization (DMO) is supporting business diversification and increased services for both visitors and residents.
Links and Resources:
Hon. Lana Popham, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
“B.C. is recognized internationally for its unique, world-class tourism offerings. This funding will support growth within our province’s tourism sector by enabling marketing collaborations aimed at showcasing multiple destinations that draw more visitors and boost revenues, while also benefiting our tourists with incredible made-in-BC-experiences.”
Alison McKay, Vice President, Destination Management, Destination BC
“BC’s unique partnership model continues to be our ‘secret sauce’ for competing for the global traveller. By working together to develop and promote remarkable experiences in every corner of the province, in every season where capacity exists, the Cooperative Marketing Partnerships Program enables British Columbia to continue to be a leading provider of transformative tourism experiences that benefit residents and visitors alike.”
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