Destination BC legislation providing tourism certainty

Provincial legislation will firm up the creation of an industry-led, formula-funded Crown corporation to market B.C.'s tourism resources

Pat Corbett

Pat Corbett

Provincial legislation will firm up the creation of an industry-led, formula-funded Crown corporation to market British Columbia’s tourism resources.

It’s believed that establishing the corporation will provide greater transparency and funding certainty for industry stakeholders and taxpayers.

While Destination BC was established on Nov. 2, 2012 under the Business Corporations Act, the new legislation enables its new funding framework. For the first year of operations, the Crown corporation will receive the full funding the provincial government has used for tourism marketing.

Beginning March 31, 2014, however, the funding will be a portion of Provincial Sales Tax (PST) revenue attributable to the tourism sector. The specifics of the funding model will be set out in the regulations.

Pat Corbett, who is the owner of The Hills Health Ranch at 108 Mile, is also the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) board chair. He has been “indirectly – behind the scenes – involved” with Destination BC as it has evolved.

Corbett says he has been following the negotiations between the tourism industry and the provincial government.

“We, the industry, had the framework we were trying to achieve and the government had its framework. After about a year, a deal was made based on concessions from both sides.”

He adds there are some things the industry would like to see happen in the future.

“However, we consider what we got was an improvement over what we had.”

Noting Destination BC will take full responsibility for operations on April 1, Corbett says a lot of work is underway to get ready for the launch, including the selection of an interim chief executive officer.

“As far as the CCCTA is concerned, it will pretty well be business as usual. The only thing that will take place is there will be representation from the Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast region on the marketing committee.”

He notes this marketing committee will be made up of people from across the province, and the CCCTA will have a few people at that table.

Corbett says this group will have a lot of influence on the activities and focus of the new Destination BC.