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Posted: February 15, 2016

Strong tourism growth in last decade: study

A new study shows a 38% increase in tourism revenue over the last decade, proving the sector is a major economic driver for the province.

panoramahillThe study called ‘Value of Tourism in British Columbia: Trends from 2004 to 2014’ is produced by BC Stats for Destination British Columbia.

It highlights impressive long-range as well as recent growth within the tourism sector.

Tourism contributed $7.1 billion in GDP in 2014 to the provincial economy, for 4.5% growth over 2013. Tourism GDP grew more rapidly than that of the whole B.C. economy, while 127,500 people were employed in tourism, a 2.2% increase over 2013, a Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour press release outlined.

The tourism industry paid $4.3 billion in wages and salaries, up 4.5% over 2013. Average salaries in the tourism sector were $33,616. This is a 10% increase since 2004.

Shirley Bond,  Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour
Shirley Bond,
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including more direct flights to B.C. from key U.S. and international markets as well as Destination British Columbia’s new international marketing strategy.

There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C., and over 17,000 (almost 93%) of those businesses are small businesses.

“Tourism is a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan, a major employer and one of the reasons why our province’s diverse economy is expected to lead the country this year. These statistics highlight the incredible growth we’ve experienced. It’s no wonder British Columbia regularly shows up among the top must-do travel lists in publications like the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler,” stated Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

Kimberley“We are tremendously proud of our industry partners and the exceptional products they offer our visitors from around the world. With our awe inspiring natural assets, solid infrastructure, remarkable experiences and world-class customer service, these results clearly demonstrate that tourism continues to be a strong and growing economic driver for our provincial economy. With global tourism forecast to double over the next 20 years, we believe B.C.’s tourism industry is well positioned for even greater economic success in the years to come,” said Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination British Columbia.

Tourism generated $14.6 billion in revenue in British Columbia in 2014, a 5.1% increase over 2013.

Tourism provides a job for roughly one out of every 15 people employed in B.C.

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