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Sunshine Coast Tourism says funding paves road to recovery for hard-hit sector

The Sunshine Coast’s tourism sector is getting a much-needed funding boost.

This comes as Sunshine Coast Tourism renews its participation in the Municipal and Regional Tax Program.

The program is a consumer tax on the purchase of all short-term accommodation, to generate revenues for the development of tourism marketing programs and projects. 

It’s collected in 55 municipalities across B.C. and is the primary funding source for most tourism marketing boards in BC, including Sunshine Coast Tourism.

Funding from the program ensures the organization can continue to work with local tourism-related businesses, to grow the coast as a sustainable, year-round tourism destination.

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“It’s been a very tough year for the tourism industry worldwide and it’s not over yet – but Sunshine Coast Tourism has a way forward on the road ahead,” said SCT executive director, Paul Kamon.

“Reliable funding for the next five years provides us with the vital means to assess and build back better, with a strategic, managed growth strategy. With a strong foundation that pre-dates the pandemic, we are well-positioned for the coming period of economic recovery.

Since the MRDT was introduced on the Sunshine Coast in 2016, SCT says it “has developed and delivered a wide range of initiatives to benefit tourism-related businesses and communities, including marketing campaigns, industry development strategies, visitor resources and branded communications strategies.”

SCT president Jack Barr said, “As an owner of two large accommodations in Powell River, I am pleased and confident that we can continue to compete in what is now an ever more challenging business environment. The renewed MRDT funding will not only help to drive market recovery on the Coast, but it will also ensure that we thrive and sustain our tourism economy well into the future.”

MRDT & The Sunshine Coast:

  • Created targeted marketing campaigns that raised the profile of the Sunshine Coast, which resulted in a 31% increase in annual room revenues for Sunshine Coast accommodation owners/operators between 2015 and 2019, and generated an annual increase of 12% in room revenues in the off-peak months (October-April) — creating spin-off benefits to other local businesses
  • Developed a 10-year Destination Development Strategy for the Sunshine Coast that is guiding the direction of tourism growth on the Coast and ensuring tourism benefits local residents, businesses and visitors alike 
  • Hosted/assisted media and social influencers annually from around the world that resulted in a record 1,000+ travel articles about the region generating over 500+ million impressions in high value publications and broadcast outlets.
  • Developed a Visitor Services Strategy that is shaping Visitor Services across the Sunshine Coast to help meet the changing needs of visitors and our community
  • Launched the Coast Love campaign initiative to encourage residents to support our local businesses during the global pandemic
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