Tourism remains a positive to B.C.’s economy
The latest international visitor numbers show tourists were falling for B.C. in November 2015 with an 11.1% increase in visits over the same month in 2014
One of the stand out statistics shows that visitors from France increased by 27.1% (over November 2014). That spike is credited in part to a new direct flight between Vancouver and Paris that runs from March to November each year, reported the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training recently.
Also a solid 12.5% increase in U.S. visitors is having a positive impact on B.C.’s tourism industry. Other increases in key markets were also seen in:
* India up 20.8%;
* Japan up 18.2%;
* Mexico up 12.8%;
* South Korea up 9.2%;
* Europe up 4.1%;
* China up 1.8%;
* Asia/Pacific up 7.3%.
The year-to-date (January-November 2015) visitors are up 7.7% over the same timeframe the year before. This means an additional 329,673 visitors came to British Columbia so far in 2015.
The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including more direct flights to B.C. and Destination B.C.’s new international marketing strategy.
As a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan, tourism is a key economic driver in the province. B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and growing amidst fierce global competition for tourists. In 2013, the tourism industry generated $13.9 billion in revenue with a direct contribution to B.C.’s gross domestic product of $7.3 billion.
“The number of November visitors to British Columbia shows that we are a year-round tourism destination for international visitors. The positive trend we have seen all year has continued into fall 2015. By late 2015, there were over 300,000 more international visitors to our province than the previous year. Clearly the desire to visit British Columbia spans the season and has become a priority for many international visitors,” stated Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.
“These numbers confirm what we have been hearing from industry – it has been a great season for tourism in British Columbia. Looking ahead in 2016, we’re encouraging British Columbians to travel throughout the province and explore B.C.’s powerful nature,” added Maya Lange, Destination British Columbia, vice president, Global Marketing.
Lead image: Fernie Alpine Resort. e-KNOW file photo