Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI)
The Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) is a Provincial program that provides ongoing incentive-based funding to assist small resort-oriented municipalities in maintaining and growing a robust regional tourism economy. Since these municipalities typically have a small tax base due to their size, the demands of their tourism activity often strain the resources available to provide infrastructure and programming. RMI funding allows these communities to dedicate resources to improving tourism-based infrastructure and amenities which would otherwise be unachievable with their small tax bases.
Funding for the program is confirmed on an annual basis, based on accommodation business generated in the previous calendar year, and subject to approval by the Province.
RMI Program Funding Allocation
Tofino’s RMI funding allocations are guided by Tofino’s Resort Development Strategy (RDS). Developed with key partners from the tourism sector, the RDS identifies the long-term vision for tourism development in Tofino and details how Tofino intends to achieve this vision and the objectives of the RMI Program. Click here to download a copy of the RDS.
Tofino Projects Funded through RMI
Since becoming a Resort Municipality in 2008, RMI funding has allowed Tofino to invest in the following programs and services:
Downtown Vitalization: The RMI program has partially funded the revitalization Fourth Street and the blocks of Campbell Street, between Fourth and Second Streets. The upgrades included civil infrastructure as well as pedestrian, parking and landscape improvements. In 2015, RMI funds will support a portion of the Main Street 2.0 revitalization project
Mountain Bike Park and Trails: Between 2012 and 2014, The District of Tofino creation a mountain bike skills park and a 1.3-kilometer-multi-use bike trail connected to the Tonquin Trail network. The project was completed in partnership with a local group of bike enthusiasts who raised $25,000 towards the construction of the bike park.
Improved Water and Beach Access: RMI funding has allowed the District of Tofino to invest in infrastructure improvements to local beaches, including washrooms, hot showers, and surf change houses at North and South Chesterman Beach.
Special Events and Festival Support: A significant component of the local tourism economy, particularly during the shoulder- and off-seasons, is attributed to the various local special events and festivals. RMI support for existing and new festivals has allowed this sector to capitalize on a strong foundation, built by the local volunteer base, and augment an already vibrant festival scene.
Tofino Events Strategy: RMI funding supported the development of Tofino’s Events Strategy. Completed early in 2015, the strategy is practical and achievable road map for the next five years, with a year-by-year capacity-building approach to increase event producer skill sets; promote knowledge sharing and partnerships; strategically focus event marketing; and increase community event support. Download a copy of the Events Strategy here.
Tourism Master Plan: In 2014, the District of Tofino collaborated with our partners and the community to develop a tourism master plan for long-term success in tourism and beyond. Funded through the RMI program, the plan outlines directions for four key areas for action, visitor economy and experience; community wellbeing; natural environment; and capacity to deliver. Download a copy of the Tourism Master Plan here.
Seasonal Shuttle Service: Since 2007, the District of Tofino has offered a shuttle July through September featuring a circuitous route with stops at all major resorts and campgrounds, beach amenities, and the village core. In 2014, RMI funding allowed the District to offer the shuttle for free (in previous years, riders were charged a $2 fare). The shuttle runs from 11 am to 8:30 pm and can transport surf boards and bicycles as well as passengers.
Ambassador Program: The Ambassador Program delivers essential regional information and training intended to build capacity within our local service industry while also encouraging civic responsibility, volunteerism and community engagement. Partially funded through the RMI program, the Ambassador Program is offered free of charge.
Arts and Culture Initiatives: In 2014, the District of Tofino developed a public art policy which supports an artful public realm through creative placemaking and provides opportunities for the development of public art works funded by the District, received by donation, and/or through community public art projects. RMI funding will be used for the planning, design, fabrication and installation of a minimum of one Public Art project every two years. RMI funding has also supported heritage initiatives such as the Heritage Walking Tour pamphlet.