The British Columbia government is getting rid of a Crown corporation in charge of promoting tourism in the province and will hand its duties over to a provincial ministry.

Tourism BC will be folded into the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts in a move the province says will reduce administrative costs and allow it to better co-ordinate marketing initiatives.

The goal is to use the money spent on promoting tourism in the most efficient way possible, Tourism Minister Kevin Krueger said, adding that doing so will make it easier to ensure the entire province benefits from the 2010 Olympic Games.

The change goes into effect on April 1, 2010, and Tourism BC's board of directors will be replaced by a minister's advisory council.

BC NDP tourism critic Spencer Herbert claimed the government's decision to do away with the Crown agency is "retribution" against the tourism industry for its opposition to the government's proposed harmonized sales tax..