The Parksville and Qualicum Beach tourism industries will soon receive a funding boost from the province.
Qualicum Beach will get $700,000 to improve its waterfront with parking, vendors amenities, covered seating, washrooms and overnight recreational vehicle parking spaces.
“The tourism industry drives our local economy and COVID-19 has put a lot of pressure on people and businesses,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.
“This funding will create jobs, build more welcoming spaces for visitors for when we’re able to travel and solidify Qualicum Beach and Parksville as the world-class destinations locals know them to be.”
Parksville will receive $315,000 to enhance the Lions Ventureland Playground in the Parksville Community Park.
The new equipment and surfaced area in the playground will provide an expanded and enhanced play area with additional capacity, according to the city. The new equipment and improved area will be designed for children ages eight to 12.
“COVID-19 restrictions are making it tougher for children to get the exercise they need. It is important to balance physical distancing and the health and wellbeing of children and this tourism dependent funding will allow the city to improve the playground and the ability for children to be active outside,” said Mayor Ed Mayne.
The funding is part of a $9.2 million investment in 14 communities by the provincial government. Powell River, Squamish, Nelson, Ladysmith, Gibsons, Port Hardy, Sechelt, North Cowichan, Grand Forks, Prince Rupert, Smithers, 100 Mile House and Lillooet will also receive funding.
The province said it identified 46 new tourism-development projects, including updated trails for e-bikes, signage, solar electric-vehicle charging stations, sea kayak touring and picnic facilities and water park construction.
“This direct investment in tourism-dependent communities was a call to action from the tourism sector and an integral part of our recovery plan,” said Melanie Mark, minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport.
“These projects will provide good-paying jobs now, create valuable assets for communities and attract more visitors in the future.”