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Squamish-Lilllooet RD to help Bridge River Valley marketing campaign

The SLRD has approved a $20k grant application to help a marketing campaign to lure tourists back to the Bridge River Valley
The town of Bralorne is in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District's Area A north of Whistler and Pemberton.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has applied for a $20,000 grant that would go towards a tourism advertising campaign designed to support the Bridge River Valley as it recovers from wildfires in 2023.

The SLRD board approved the grant application with the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) and its marketing initiative funding stream at the May 22 board meeting. 

According to a staff report, the marketing campaign, which would be designed and implemented by the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA), is needed to support operators and partners along the southern portion of the Chilcotin, which encompasses the Bridge River Valley.

“Businesses are still rebuilding and recovering from the tremendous financial burden of past years, especially considering the 2023 wildfires,” reads the report.

“The goal of this marketing strategy is to increase [the Bridge River Valley’s] brand as a tourism destination, leverage industry expertise in tourism marketing, build a marketing pipeline from awareness to consideration, and, most important, to conversion, attract travellers to our region, and revitalize our local economy after such a devastating year for many of our operators and partners.”

The campaign would also have $30,000 in funding from the CCCTA, and it would be carried out between June and November.

“Through this project’s marketing efforts, we expect to generate an increase of tourism revenue across the Bridge River Valley region, flowing through local communities, tourism operators, food and beverage businesses, Provincial Parks, and historic sites along the entire region, becoming an economic driver for communities and tourism operators and partners,” reads the report.

Speaking to the application, Area A director, Sal Demare, who represents the Bridge River Valley, said support for the area was much needed.

“We had one business in Bralorne fold already this year,” he said.

“Between COVID and the wildfire … [tourism has] really gone down."

The SLRD’s director of protective services, Mark Phillips, said there was coordination between the economic recovery "table" (a collection of stakeholders and partners) for the Bridge River Valley and operators and partners in the area to ensure the marketing campaign would work for them.

SLRD directors voted unanimously to approve the grant application, and to approve staff time to support the grant management for the project. 

The SLRD would not manage the grant funding if secured, which would go to the CCCTA to implement as part of the marketing campaign for the Bridge River Valley.

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