Dear Team Richmond,
2021 brings new beginnings and opportunities for our industry, as vaccines are being widely circulated around the world and people are itching to travel again. However, we are still under travel restrictions in British Columbia. So, while we might not be able to travel right now, we must stay local and continue to support our local businesses.
Here are some updates on what we have been up to.
B.C. Government Commits $105 Million To Support Tourism Sector
As you may already know, last fall, the B.C. Government created a Provincial Tourism Task Force, consisting of myself and eleven other business leaders, to help reignite B.C.’s tourism sector and enhance its long-term competitiveness. We were tasked to deliver a final report to the provincial government on recommendations for the recovery of the tourism sector. The B.C. government initially set aside $50 million in the Economic Recovery Plan to implement our recommendations.
The task force members spent several weeks meeting (virtually) with tourism operators, Indigenous peoples, community leaders, labour representatives, sector association leaders, and tourism industry experts to get their feedback on how to position tourism for recovery. We combined all the feedback and delivered the final report to the Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport weeks before the December 31, 2020 deadline.
You can click here for a copy of the final report. Late last year, the B.C. Government has responded to our report by committing $100 million in a dedicated relief funding stream. An additional $5 million has also been allocated to Indigenous Tourism BC to provide relief grant funding for Indigenous businesses. This more than doubles the initial $50 million that was set aside to support the economic recovery of our sector.
The $100-million relief funds will be delivered through the existing Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program. You can find more information about this grant by clicking here. Apply today!
Discovery Passport - Support Local Businesses
Last summer, we launched the Pacific. Authentic. Discovery Passport as to incentivize local residents and visitors to experience the best Richmond has to offer. We saw some great numbers: there were over 800 passport downloads, over 165 total redemptions, and 30 stakeholders participated by uploading special offers, discounts or offering check-ins.
We are going to continue the momentum from last year and offer the Discovery Passport once again. The passport will be open to all Tourism Richmond stakeholders free of cost—we will take care of the marketing and prize fulfillment. The goal is to drive more business to your doorsteps, and to encourage people to support local businesses. You can find more information by clicking here.
Dine Out Vancouver Festival Is Back
The highly anticipated Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back with over 330 participating restaurants—a record-breaking number! This year, 24 restaurants in Richmond are participating in this annual dining festival, which will run from February 5 to March 7, 2021. This is a great opportunity to support local restaurants, and sample new cuisines. Diners will have the option to either dine-in, or order takeout and enjoy their three-course meals at home. Here's a list of all the Richmond restaurants in this year's Dine Out Vancouver Festival.
As always, I welcome feedback, comments and questions. Feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer