Laura Long, the Coordinator at the Quesnel Visitor Centre, went over some of the numbers at last night’s North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee meeting…
“2019 outperformed 2018 with a plus 21 percent difference in both parties and individual visitors that came to Quesnel. As expected 2019 outperformed 2017 as well with a plus 28 percent increase in parties and a plus 40 percent increase in overall visitors.”
Long says 2017 was a wildfire season and was by far the lowest performing year in the past five years.
In terms of the actual numbers, there were 12,209 visitors this past year compared to 10,107 in 2018 and just 8,747 in 2017.
Long says last year’s numbers were still down slightly however, when compared to the years prior to the forest fire seasons…
“Although 2019 statistics are lower than previous non-forest fire years, so 2014 to 2016, we are seeing a low negative variance when comparing this year, which ranges from a negative 10 in comparison to 2015, to as low as negative 3 and negative 4 percent difference when comparing 2019 to 2014 and 16.”
Long says there was a 106 percent increase in the number of visitors from Alberta last year when compared to 2018.
There was an 88 percent increase in the numbers of visitors from the U.S. and Mexico, visitors from Washington jumped by 38 percent, and there was a 25 percent hike in the number of people coming from Asia or Australia when compared to 2018.
Long says one other trend from last year was a large increase in the number of same day visits to Quesnel, up 15 percent over the previous year, and by even more than that in the years prior to the wildfires.
Places of interest in Quesnel continue to be the museum and the casino.
The information requested for the surrounding community focused on Bowron Lake and Barkerville.