I have always been so grateful to live in a province as diverse and beautiful as British Columbia. Williams Lake is a perfect example, as the rural charm has always been a big draw for our tourists, who choose to visit us time and time again.
We are the lake city of B.C., and a part of B.C.’s cowboy country – the Cariboo. It would be wonderful if we could share the many activities our area provides: our ranching culture, our rich gold rush history, our trail-clad hillsides, our whitewater rafting, our shops and local restaurants, and our annual stampede each July. We have a wide range of activities that everyone would certainly enjoy.
As with the rest of our province, tourism is a fundamental part of our economy. We, as a tourist town, have a deep understanding and appreciation for this.
Those who are not familiar with our spectacular province and what it provides will soon have a better opportunity to discover it. The government made an announcement just this past Monday that helps cement British Columbia as a world-class destination spot in the decades to come.
Destination BC is a new, industry-led Crown corporation that will work together with tourism stakeholders across B.C. to market our beautiful and exciting province. We will finally have a chance to share with others, worldwide, what we enjoy every single day.
Destination BC was designed by tourism operators, who understand how a tourism marketing organization should be structured, in order to help them grow their industry and create jobs. It will take full responsibility for operations on April 1, 2013.
For the first year of operations, it will receive the full funding that the government has used for tourism marketing.
Following that, funding will be set based on a percentage of annual sales tax activity, and enshrined in legislation.
I am excited about the future of our great province and seeing the many new faces Destination BC will bring to Williams Lake.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.