Latest visitor numbers show B.C. isn’t just popular with international visitors in the summer, fall is increasingly becoming a key time for them to enjoy Super, Natural British Columbia®.
The latest Statistics Canada overnight custom entries show a strong fall tourism season in B.C. International visitors are up by 7.6% this year so far (January to October 2015), compared to 2014 – representing an additional 308,052 visitors coming to British Columbia. Also, overall visitors in October are up 6.8% over October last year.
These 2015 statistics build on the success of 2014 when the province had the highest growth overall in total overnight visitors as well as the highest growth rate in international visitation of any province in Canada.
Increases in October 2015 over October 2014 were seen in a number of key markets:
- Japan up 27.9%
- South Korea up 22%
- Germany up 22%
- Mexico 15.3%
- India up 10.3%
- United States up 7.7%
- European market up 7.4%
The solid growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including a revitalized brand for the province’s international marketing campaign and more direct flights to British Columbia. As well, British Columbian’s staycations continue to be a source of tourism strength. Staycations are a good way to keep vacation dollars circulating in the economy with British Columbians supporting local businesses and jobs in the tourism sector when they visit regional events and venues.
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. There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C., and over 17,000 (almost 93%) are small businesses. 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. Tourism accounted for 4% of the Province’s total GDP.