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Tourism development in the Thompson Okanagan grows with StrongerBC investment

Tourism development in the Thompson Okanagan grows with StrongerBC investment

May 4, 2021 at 12:35 pm  BC, News, Politics

Fourteen new destination and tourism infrastructure developments are underway in the Thompson Okanagan tourism region with support from the Province.

“We know recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for businesses and people in the tourism sector are critically important. This fund creates new tourism infrastructure, which will help the sector recover, create local jobs and spur economic development,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Building on the calls to action from the sector, this fund invests in initiatives that link communities together and encourages visitors to spend time at several destinations within a region.”

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) in partnership with community destination management organizations, local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits and other partners have worked together to identify initiatives that will enhance the region’s tourism amenities and experiences.

Initiatives underway in Thompson Okanagan tourism region include installation of iconic public Secwépemc landmarks in the Shuswap Lakes region, enabling accessible adventure experiences, and expanding iconic Nordic skiing destinations with night lighting and enhanced trail networks.

Examples in other parts of the province include improvement of trail systems throughout a region for hiking, Nordic skiing or mountain biking, self-guided tour signage to highlight agri-tourism areas and series of Indigenous landmarks through a region. The Province has provided $2.3 million toward these projects.

“TOTA is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with the ministry, regional districts, municipalities and other organizations to allocate the funds to important destination development initiatives across our region,” said Mike Overend, director of destination development, TOTA. “The successful projects highlight a variety of initiatives that will increase visitation over time, build cultural and social awareness and open up new outdoor activities.”

As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the province’s six tourism regions have 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.


Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee –

“Attracting more visitors to the Thompson-Okanagan is a boost for our local operators, their families and our communities at large. We are already fortunate enough to live in a world-class tourist destination that plays a crucial role in our economy, and I’m happy to see these investments helping make sure our communities recover quickly by creating even more opportunities for people to explore our beautiful part of the world.”

Shelley Buchanan Gilmore, CEO and general manager, CRIS Adaptive Adventures –

“This funding is going to ensure we can continue to make the outdoors accessible, improve overall health and wellness for everyone and increase diversity and inclusion in our region.”

Learn More:

For a backgrounder listing approved projects and costs, visit:

For more information on StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

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