The regional district is offering $2,500 grants to boost tourism in rural areas of the North Island.
The Rural Tourism Action Grant is a pilot project to disperse the $14,000 in hotel tax funds the Regional District of Mount Waddington collected in 2010.
Grants of $2,500 are available to non-profit organizations for 50 per cent of any project that promotes the region.
“Our idea with providing only 50 per cent is that maybe we can turn the $14,000 into $28,000 in projects,” said Neil Smith, manager of economic development for the district. “There are very few strings attached. Anything to do with destination marketing of tourism.”
One of those strings however is that the project must benefit the areas not served by a municipal government already collecting hotel taxes. That excludes Alert Bay, Port McNeill and Port Hardy. Almost.
“If a project came from one those communities and it benefitted rural areas, that would be okay,” said Smith.
As well, although the money would be granted to a non-profit group, a business could partner with a community group on a project.
The project applications, which are due by April 1, will be reviewed by the rural area directors for Electoral Areas A, B, C, D and the Village of Port Alice.
Information on the grant and the application are available from the regional district office in Port McNeill.