A sample of the big tourism news in 2016
New BC Parks strategy supports more campsites, park rangers, increased access
The five-year BC Parks Future Strategy, "Protecting our Legacy Together," offers up good news for BC tourism with plans to hire more park rangers, create new campsites, to improve access for people with disabilities, and to launch a new BC Parks Foundation. Read more.
Federal government moves to lift Mexico visa requirements
The Government of Canada lifted the Mexican visa requirement as of December 1, 2016. Read more.
Ferry route between Port Hardy and Bella Coola supports economy
The Government of British Columbia and BC Ferries committed to a seasonal direct ferry service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola to support Aboriginal tourism and the mid-coast economy. Read more.
Major federal investments in Destination Canada
Destination Canada given an extra $50-million over two years in the budget tabled by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Read more.
Connecting America receives funding
The federal government committed to invest $10 million per year for three years in the Connecting America marketing program to increase the number of leisure travellers to Canada from key American regions. Read more.
Tourism Events Program supports events
The Province’s Tourism Events Program is designed to support world-class events that can enhance the volume of visitors to BC and increase global recognition for the province. Read more.
Eight communities adopt the 3% increase under the Municipal and Regional District Tax Program
Air Canada introduced a wealth of new routes to YVR, including Nagoya and Taipei, Frankfurt and London, Delhi, Chicago, Brisbane, and many more. Read more.
Other airlines also added routes to YVR, including to Nanjing, China, Hong Kong, Zhengzhou, Mexico City and more. WestJet also launches its inaugural London Gatwick- YVR Service. Read more.
Parks Canada makes big investment
Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion dollars over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. Read more.
New coastal ferries introduced
BC Ferries will be introducing new ferries while retiring the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby from its fleet. Read more.
Vail Resorts purchases Whistler Blackcomb
Revelstoke Mountain Coaster opens
A roller-coaster that takes people over a 279-metre drop down a mountain in the Selkirks open at Revelstoke Mountain Resort Read more.
The Empress gets refreshed
The hotel is currently undergoing a $40 million renovation which began in October 2015. Upgrades are set for all guest rooms, as well as an expansion of Fairmont Gold and a new Fairmont Gold Lounge and patio. Read more.
YVR’s launches new 20-year plan
YVR 2037 is a multi-year planning and consultation process that is an integral part of creating YVR’s new Master Plan. The Master Plan looks forward to the future and creates a 20-year plan (to 2037). Read more.
The Evergreen line extension was completed, which brought efficient rapid transit service between Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby and Vancouver. Read more.
Pitch perfect! Vancouver hosted world rugby action
New grant hits high note for music industry
A $15-million grant from the Province will boost the homegrown music industry with creation of a BC Music Fund to help support various activities. Read more.
$25 Million to invigorate rural communities in BC
The provincial government's Rural Dividend Program will provide $25 million a year over three years to help rural communities with a population of 25,000 or less. Read more.
Google Trekker takes off across British Columbia
On June 6, the Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA) and Destination BC launched the Google Trekker project in BC — the largest Trekker mapping project ever undertaken between a provincial tourism marketing organization and Google in Canada. Read more.
Tofino Wins 2016 Sunset Travel Award for "Best Beach Town in The West"
Tofino is the first Canadian recipient of this prestigious travel and lifestyle industry accolade. Read more.
BC ranked #1 on 20 Best Places to Visit in Canada
Vacay.ca has recently published its 20 Best Places to Visit in Canada in 2016 Guide and BC's Sea-to-Sky corridor is in the number one spot. The annual list has proven to be an accurate forecaster and influencer of Canadian travel for the past four years. Read more.
Federal government moves to lift Mexico visa requirements
The Government of Canada committed to lifting the Mexican visa requirement as of December 1st, 2016. Read more.
Canada inks new deal to promote tourism with China
A new agreement between the federal government and the People's Republic of China will increase cooperation to boost the two-way flow of tourists. China authorized Canada to open seven additional visa application centres to serve a growing number of local tourists who would like to visit Canada. Read more.
Vancouver Island rises to top with Condé Nast readers
Vancouver Island is on top of the list of World's Best Islands for the Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards 2016. The island is ranked sixth on the prestigious list. Read more.
Whistler wins again
Whistler-Blackcomb was named Best Ski Resort in North America for the third year in a row by SKI Magazine. The team created a short video to celebrate. Watch it here.
BC invests $10.5 million to support tourism in 14 resort communities
YVR wins Airport of the Year
The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) received the CAPA Centre for Aviation's prestigious Airport of the Year Award at the Aviation Awards. Read more.
Partnership between Destination Canada and Air Canada promises to boost tourism
Destination Canada and Air Canada entered into a major global partnership to market Canada to the world. Read more.
Celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of confederation with free admission to Parks Canada places in 2017
Canada-China year of tourism in 2018 was announced
Canada named the top place to visit in the world by Lonely Planet, the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler. Read more.