British Columbia’s tourism sector continues to grow as visitors keep pouring in from around the world.
The provincial government says in 2016, more than 5.5 million tourists came to the Canadian west coast, a 12.3% increase from 2015.
According to Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training Shirley Bond, the significant growth for the industry is driving more job creation in BC.
“Generating $15.7 billion in revenue and supporting nearly 19,000 tourism-related businesses, the sector is delivering world-class tourism experiences that visitors are looking for. B.C. is at the top of the must-see destinations worldwide.”
Last year, visitor increases came from a number of known countries:
– Mexico = 33.4%
– Australia = 21.1%
– China = 18.2%
– United Kingdom = 17.3%
– South Korea = 14.5%
– United States = 10.9%
– India = 9.9%
The province is also outlining a new funding model with an annual base of $50 million to allow more ongoing increases for tourism agencies.
Destination BC CEO Marsha Walden says this will help serve local businesses and regional marketing partners.
“The proof is clear; investing in tourism is investing in the province’s growth, and we are pleased to see government committed to this vital economic driver. We are at the critical moment where BC’s incredible variety of remarkable experiences are capturing the world’s imagination.”
Some of the contributing factors to more tourist numbers include an increased air transportation and the low Canadian dollar.
(Files from Kyle Balzer with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)