Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare has said that  “Swift and meaningful action must be taken to support the thousands of British Columbians who rely on tourism for jobs that pay their bills and support their families,Our government is launching a new $150,000 campaign to promote wine and food tourism to immediately address challenges faced by B.C. tourism in our wine regions. My new tourism engagement council will provide advice, so that together we can create a stronger tourism industry.“

Beare made the announcements at the 2018 B.C. Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna. Hundreds of tourism businesses and associations from throughout B.C. are gathered in the Okanagan city to learn from experts and each other about key issues, challenges and best practices in the industry.

The Province’s tourism marketing agency, Destination BC, is collaborating with regional partners and tourism operators to launch two wine and culinary tourism campaigns. The first campaign, beginning this month, encourages British Columbians to make visiting wine country a part of their vacation plans this year. A second campaign rolls out in May, targeting international tourists with invitations to visit B.C.’s world-class wine and culinary destinations.

“It’s great to see the minister’s support for B.C. wineries through these campaigns,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the B.C. Wine Institute. “As the province’s lead wine-industry trade organization, the B.C. Wine Institute has been working in close partnership with Destination BC to develop and deliver a B.C. wine and food tourism strategy, and this additional support will strengthen our efforts.”

The new Minister’s Tourism Engagement Council will act as a broad-based advisory group, representing a diverse range of industry experts from across the tourism sector. It is looking for representatives from arts, sports and other areas that contribute to B.C.’s tourism vitality. The council will provide the ministry with expert advice on tourism policy, and help shape the development and implementation of a new tourism strategy, to be announced this spring.