The Wells Gray Park Visitor Centre, located in BC’s largest wilderness park in the Interior of the province, is the touchpoint for all the Park has to offer, and a vital link between visitors and businesses in nearby communities. By 2021, however, pandemic restrictions and natural events had devastated the area’s tourism economy. With support from ETSI-BC, the Visitor Information Centre created a new five-year plan to rebuild and sustain tourism in the area.
Here are some regional success stories to inspire your next economic development project.
Two new offerings at Selkirk College are building workforce talent in the Columbia Basin-Boundary region. The first program helps students in tech programs to develop critical thinking skills and explore entrepreneurship. The second project allows students to learn by doing as they use their technical skills to help local outdoor recreation gear manufacturers.
Less than two years since the Applied Research Office opened at College of the Rockies, its value has been well demonstrated as students use their research skills to solve real-world problems in businesses and industry. With funding from ETSI-BC, the Office has expanded to help students develop their entrepreneurial skills by exploring their big ideas and turning concepts into successful ventures of their own.
As tourism businesses around the world start recovering from the impact of COVID-19, Sun Peaks, one of the top ski resorts in North America is focusing on diversifying its revenue base. Its new strategic plan to expand its share of the meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition market on the mountain could be a game-changer – increasing off-season bookings and creating year-round jobs.
Developing students’ entrepreneurial skills by exposing them to the real-world of business is a forward-thinking trend in post-secondary education. The Tourism Innovation Lab at Thompson Rivers University is innovating by following the example of tech incubators to support the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs to create jobs, fill tourism gaps and attract new visitors to Kamloops and area.
Tourism Golden has embarked on a bold new five-year strategic plan to promote post-pandemic recovery and ensure tourism in the area thrives well into the future. With a grant $12,500 from ETSI-BC, the organization brought in consulting expertise with a new lens on tourism development in the region. For adventure tourism enthusiasts from around the world, once again, Golden rules!
In just two years, The Vernon Innovation and Entrepreneur Workspace (The VIEW) has quickly become a focal point for innovation, helping entrepreneurs and businesses throughout the North Okanagan connect, collaborate, and commercialize their ideas. ETSI-BC supported The VIEW in navigating the challenges of COVID-19, enabling it to become fully operational and an economic driver in the region.
EnactusOC, the nationally recognized entrepreneurial development program at Okanagan College, is scaling up its activities with a $25,000 grant from ETSI-BC. Through their involvement with Enactus, students gain real-world business experience to complement their classroom training, while also making a real difference in their community: helping address climate change, food insecurity, empowering Indigenous youth and raising the profile of emerging societal issues.
Early-stage technology firms have specific needs, especially those located in rural areas. With financial support from ETSI-BC and other funders, the Nelson Innovation Centre, a business incubator located in the heart of the Kootenays, is helping the local tech sector grow and thrive through access to vital programs and services.
When the going gets tough and supplies can`t be delivered, why not build a local manufacturing facility? That is exactly what Kootenay outdoor gear makers are looking at through a feasibility study funded by ETSI-BC. Find out how these bold Kootenay entrepreneurs are working to turn a supply chain challenge into an economic opportunity.