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Why some businesses in B.C.'s tourism industry might be adding new fees

The Sea to Sky Gondola has joined forces with BC Parks Foundation to establish a Sea to Sky Legacy Fund
The Sea to Sky Gondola and BC Parks Foundation are spearheading a new Legacy Fund that will give local tourism operators a new way to support and protect outdoor recreation in the corridor.

Would you be willing to pay a fraction more for your next vacation if you knew that money would go directly to the parks, recreational sites and trails you'd be visiting in the area?

That's the general concept behind the new Sea to Sky Legacy Fund, a joint effort between the Sea to Sky Gondola and BC Parks Foundation that officially launches on Thursday, April 13. 

"It is time for tourists and tourism businesses to contribute even more directly to protecting and caring for BC’s sacred public spaces,” said Sea to Sky Gondola general manager, Kirby Brown, in a release. “The Sea to Sky Legacy Fund provides a simple and effective mechanism for nature-based businesses to make a direct and meaningful difference to the places we all use and love.”

How it works: local businesses can add a minimal fee to each ticket, item or product, and then direct the resulting cash to the Fund. It's a unique practice Squamish's Sea to Sky Gondola has already been testing out in recent years. Feedback from customers has so far been positive, Brown noted in the release. “People are happy to give back so that they can continue to enjoy all that the Sea to Sky region has to offer,” he said. 

The Fund's ultimate goal is to increase responsible and safe enjoyment of the Sea to Sky's great outdoors. 

For now, the Gondola's general manager is inviting other companies from across the corridor to join the original group. The more members participate, the bigger an impact that Fund can make. 

The partnering organizations are scheduled to celebrate the fund's launch with a event atop the Sea to Sky Gondola on Thursday afternoon, April 13, featuring a performance by young dancers from Squamish Nation.