Minister encourages British Columbians to #ExploreBC this Thanksgiving weekend

As part of the $1.1-million provincial investment to assist tourism in wildfire-affected areas, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture is encouraging British Columbians to lend their support by visiting these areas over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

“Thanksgiving is a prime opportunity for British Columbians to head out with friends and family to #exploreBC,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “British Columbia boasts an amazing array of tourist experiences. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to #exploreBC – and especially the areas hit by this summer’s terrible wildfires. Supporting our local economies has never been more important. Many of the hotels, restaurants and attractions in regions impacted by the fires will appreciate your support.”

“B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and looking ahead to continued success in a high-growth global industry,” said Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. “Though tourism businesses faced incredible challenges from Mother Nature this past summer, we know that fall is an ideal time to travel around British Columbia. Many places that are busy in summer are more relaxed in fall. There is so much to see and do. Our marketing is encouraging all British Columbians to get out and explore their beautiful province.”

The Province has provided $1.1 million to support tourism in areas affected by the wildfires. Specifically, the ministry provided a total of $600,000 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, the Thompson Okanagan, and Kootenay Rockies Tourism associations to help mitigate tourism-related losses caused by the fires and to support the tourism recovery needs. Destination BC has also reallocated $500,000 in marketing to support areas affected, for a total of $1.1 million.

Quick Facts:

In 2015, the tourism sector:

  • Employed 127,000 British Columbians;
  • Paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries;
  • Supported nearly 19,000 tourism-related businesses in B.C.; and
  • Contributed $7.4 billion toward the Province’s GDP.

Learn More:

Destination BC has compiled this list of activities and destinations to visit right now.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

The wilderness and diverse wildlife of the Great Bear Rainforest: http://ow.ly/TMYY30fCxFJ

Captivating gold-rush heritage at Barkerville Historic Site: http://ow.ly/11Wl30fCxZu

Kootenay Rockies

The soothing beauty of hot springs: http://ow.ly/E5CS30fCxHh

Mountain biking in Revelstoke: http://ow.ly/Ud2930fCxV2

Northern British Columbia:

The protected land and marine ecosystems of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site: http://ow.ly/B9mY30fCxJg

The Alaska Highway, now celebrating 75 years: http://ow.ly/1W8u30fCy04

Thompson Okanagan

The wonder of Wells Gray Provincial Park: http://ow.ly/Bwad30fCxLW

Wine culture, including the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival in Penticton: http://ow.ly/4WEM30fCxN6
and the Summerland Light up the vines: http://ow.ly/8y8330fCxPy

Vancouver, Coast and Mountains:

The 177 kilometres of trail on the Sunshine Coast Trail from Powell River to Saltery Bay: http://ow.ly/FfEn30fCxQA

The agricultural abundance of the Fraser Valley: http://ow.ly/zIvS30fCxRQ

Vancouver Island:

First Nations culture of Northern Vancouver Island, including the U’Mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay: http://ow.ly/jSRH30fCy2m
and the new Kwa’lilas hotel in Port Hardy: http://ow.ly/le2M30fCy3a

Outdoor adventure in Strathcona Provincial Park: http://ow.ly/uxFs30fCxTe

Wildfire Information

Destination BC is partnering with regional destination marketing organizations to counteract losses to tourism due to the unprecedented scale, duration and devastation caused by the wildfires in the highest impacted areas of the Caribou-Chilcotin Coast, Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies. British Columbians, as well as people in Alberta and Washington, are being encouraged to #exploreBC by travelling this fall to support a festival, event or a local tourism operator in the province.

For current travel deals, please visit: hellobc.com/traveldeals