The BC Jobs Plan, Canada Starts Here, identified tourism as one of the eight sectors critical for B.C.’s growth. Gaining the Edge, a Five-year Strategy for Tourism in BC 2012 to 2016, has set the target of achieving tourism sector revenue of $18 billion by 2016.
The Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) is an incentive based program that assists in the development of the tourism sector by providing resort orientated municipalities with support and funding to improve their local infrastructure and amenities to increase visitor overnight stays and experiences to support their local tourism economy. The RMI program further supports provincial tourism goals in leveraging leadership through partnerships and coordination and in creating world class experiences for visitors.
The RMI program is also a key component of a provincial strategy designed to promote resort development in British Columbia, and in turn stimulate tourism activity and associated economic development across the province. This strategy acknowledges the importance of successful resorts and vibrant resort communities in contributing to the broader tourism sector of the economy.
Between 2007 and 2011, $51.4 million was transferred to the resort municipalities and $46 million in RMI funding has been invested to support 155 projects such as new trails, visitor signage, beach improvements, shuttles, and events.
Despite challenging international events and economic challenges in recent years, the tourism sector grew faster in the last decade than the economy as a whole and is therefore a critical component of BC’s Jobs Plan.
The 14 municipalities that participate in the RMI program are: