The Province of British Columbia launched the Resort Municipality Initiative to help develop greener, healthier, more sustainable resort municipalities that attract more visitors to British Columbia’s resort communities, and entice them to stay longer.
The program recognizes resort-oriented communities’ unique needs in providing high quality visitor services, infrastructure and amenities. Through the program, an estimated $10 million is being transferred to eligible British Columbia communities each year, generated from a portion of the provincial hotel tax, to invest in projects that advance their local tourism economies. Along with the collaborative efforts of communities and businesses, this program is helping British Columbia reach its goal of doubling B.C. tourism by 2015.
There are 14 Resort Municipalities in the province: Whistler, Tofino, Ucluelet, Harrison Hot Springs, Osoyoos, Valemount, Sun Peaks, Rossland, Kimberley, Fernie, Invermere, Radium Hot Springs, Golden, and Revelstoke. Simply put, they have this status because they have:
- a very high ratio of tourism accommodation units relative to population
- functional destination marketing organizations funded by the Additional Hotel Room Tax, and
- Resort Development Strategies with community input and approved by the Province.
Golden signed its first Resort Development Strategy with the Province in 2007 to deliver upon several targeted projects. The 2011 Annual Report provides both an annual and five-year summary of the accomplishments.
In 2019, the Town of Golden signed a new strategy with the Province with a new set of targets.
The projects outlined in the first and subsequent strategies are idealized by a local advisory committee composed of administrators of tourism invested organizations in the community. Receiving approximately $500,000 per year for implementation of the projects, RMI is funded entirely by the Province, and not subject to taxation of local residents.
RMI has been a great success in Golden, continuing to build a legacy of tourism amenities that logically complement the tourism economy while also adding to the identity of the community and the quality of life of residents.