In 2008, Village of Ashcroft received a $28,382 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $119,887 project. This has been a funding partnership of Village of Ashcroft, Northern Development, Community Futures Development Corporation - Sun Country, Highland Valley Copper, Local Fundraising, Province of British Columbia, and Western Economic Diversification
2012- The Village of Ashcroft has kickstarted a set of new initiatives in order to promote local opportunities in the tourism sector. ‘Kickstart Tourism in Ashcroft’ has been focused on demonstrating the potential value of tourism to the community by increasing tourism-based visits in the summer. The initiative is also focused on establishing a cohesive long-term commitment and plan for tourism industry development among businesses and non-profit groups within the community.
The components of the tourism-marketing plan include a community heritage promotion, downtown revitalization and improvements, accessibility priorities, marketing, promotion and evaluation. The plan was originally developed by a large group of volunteer residents. The plan has since been approved by the District of Ashcroft’s council, who provided financial and administrative support to this project.
Kickstart Tourism is designed to make Ashcroft a more tourist friendly community. The program involved hiring a project coordinator, design and installation of an historic style of signage in the downtown core, installation of accessibility equipment at the Ashcroft Museum and Archives and location of benches throughout the downtown area.
"Responding to the need to establish a long-term commitment to the tourism industry, our project focused on giving the downtown core of Ashcroft a facelift. The project not only provided structural improvements, but it also provided community members and business owners training educational seminars. Another successful outcome of this project was the hiring of student ambassadors."Janna Kinvig, Accounting Clerk, Community Futures - Sun Country
"As part of our project, three students were hired to assist in and plan community events, survey visitors and act as walking tourist information booths. Since this was initiated, the program has continued with funding from Canada Summer Jobs program. Northern Development was integral to the success of the project by contributing 30% of the needed funding. The project not only provided tangible results but encouraged Ashcroft's current commitment towards tourism for the future."Janna Kinvig, Accounting Clerk, Community Futures - Sun Country
The Village of Ashcroft has report that the community has experienced many benefits from this program. In 2009, there was an increase of over 20% for visitors staying at the Legacy Park campground in Ashcroft. The many indirect benefits of having increased tourists and visitors in the community includes shopping locally for groceries and day to day supplies, eating at local restaurants and supporting many of the small busineses, all of which is stimulating job creation throughout the community.
Three summer students were hired in the summer of 2008 and were give the title of 'Ambassadors'. These students were highly visible in the downtown area and were available to provide directions, answer questions and collect data from tourists, all of which contributes to a better understanding of tourist needs for future marketing efforts.
The Kickstart Tourism program has rejuvenated the Ashcroft business community, and after a number of years without an active Chamber of Commerce, the business community has united and the community's Chamber of Commerce is now back in operation.