Destination BC budget stripped bare as tourism takes a hit

VICTORIA (March 5, 2020) – BC Liberal Tourism Co-Critics Michelle Stilwell and Doug Clovechok are raising concerns about the NDP’s ability to follow through on their commitment to promote our province abroad after cutting over $1.3 million in essential funding from the tourism budget.

“Tourism is a major economic driver that brings in more than a billion dollars in annual tax revenue to B.C., but now the NDP has slashed the very budget used to promote our province and stimulate the industry,” said Parksville-Qualicum MLA Stilwell. “The NDP keep suggesting the tourism industry will somehow pick up the slack for communities hurt by the province’s failing resource sector, but it’s hard to see how Destination BC is supposed to do that with less money in their budget. These cuts make it clear that tourism is not a priority for this NDP government.”

The Tourism Industry Association of BC has also raised concerns about the impact that the Minister of Tourism’s short-sightedness will have on the industry. Yet in spite of heavy cuts to their operating budget, NDP Minister Lisa Beare admitted this week that she is also providing raises to Destination BC employees. This comes on top of significant budget cuts to essential tourism-related areas like BC Parks and the Conservation Officer Services.

“The NDP seems determined to reduce provincial tourism revenue as they casually cut funding to every inch of nature in B.C., all while increasing taxation for British Columbians,” said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok. “Now, on top of the budget cuts, they are actually pondering money-making schemes like slapping taxes on hiking boots or a yearly fee to walk the trails of British Columbia. This is taking tax hikes to a whole new level.”

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