VICTORIA -- A handful of Vancouver Island tourism projects are among dozens across the province to receive new funding from the B.C. tourism ministry.

The B.C. government announced $20 million in funding for more than 50 projects through its Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program on Thursday. Among them are eight projects on Vancouver Island that will split approximately $3.5 million.

"Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic, while making sure we're ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so," said Tourism Minister Melanie Mark in a statement.

"Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.'s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong."

The province says the projects were chosen for their demonstrated tourism benefits to communities, along with prioritizing jobs for apprentices, youth, new Canadians, women and First Nations people.

The Vancouver Island projects awarded funding are:

  • Ditidaht Broadband Connectivity Project $806,150
  • Hornby Island Arts Council and Environs $500,000
  • The Raptors Rescue Society Education Centre $387,350
  • Ancient Forest Alliance Society Avatar Grove Infrastructure Improvement Project $375,000
  • Alert Bay Campground Enhancement Project $183,055
  • Cowichan Wooden Boat Society Patio Portal Project $78,931
  • K’ómoks First Nation-Puntledge RV campground expansion $485,662
  • Songhees Indigenous Marine Trail $637,900