Positive trends for B.C.’s tourism sector
International visitor arrival numbers show positive signs of growth in June for the tourism sector in British Columbia.
The latest numbers from Statistics Canada from June, indicate a 5.3% increase over the same month in 2016, resulting in 35,000 more visitors arriving in B.C. The total year-to-date international overnight custom entries to B.C. are up 4.1%.
Other notable increases for June (over June 2016) include: Germany – up 31%; Australia – up 26%; Mexico – up 12.3%; China – up 9.3%; France – up 8.8%; Europe – up 6.9%; US – up 4.8%; Asia Pacific – up 5.3%; Japan – up 5.2%.
Direct flights can have a significant impact on international visitor arrivals. Both Germany and Australia saw increases in air capacity to British Columbia of 37.8% and 20.4%, respectively. Each new daily international flight to B.C. creates between 150 and 200 new jobs at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). An additional 300 to 400 jobs are created indirectly in the province at businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, travel agents and tour operators, a Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture press release outlined.
In addition, the province’s lead marketing organization, Destination BC (DBC), has been instrumental in promoting strong tourism sector growth. DBC is the industry-led Crown Corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders around the province to coordinate tourism marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels, and to support regions, communities and Aboriginal people in developing or expanding tourism experiences, businesses and jobs.
“British Columbia boasts an amazing array of tourist experiences and it’s no surprise that people from around the world are spending their time in our beautiful province. We know that, in some parts of the province, the wildfires have taken a toll on the summer tourism season. However, as we start rebuilding this vital industry, it’s reassuring to know that June offered positive results. Warm hospitality is sewn into the fabric of our land and global citizens are drawn to this unique part of the world,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“As we kicked off the summer travel season, B.C. experienced good growth from high-value, long-haul international markets. Increased air capacity in our major international airports is resulting in more opportunities to share B.C.’s remarkable experiences with the world. Marketing tourism internationally supports B.C.’s balance of trade, providing over $4 billion in export revenue,” noted Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination British Columbia.
The tourism industry is helping fuel the provincial economy, which is expected to lead the country in economic growth in 2017 and 2018.
In 2015, the tourism sector paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries within B.C.
Tourism supports nearly 19,000 businesses and 127,700 employees in B.C.
British Columbia saw over 5.5 million international visitors in 2016 – an increase of 12.3%.