Opinion Editorial: Tourism in BC Matters
Vancouver - From May 30 to June 4, Tourism organisations, businesses and associations around the province are celebrating Tourism Week—a time to recognize an industry that not only supports the socio-cultural fabric of our lives but also provides important economic benefits for all British Columbians.
Tourism is a key economic driver across our province. The value of our visitor economy benefits nearly every community. According to 2014 figures, Tourism employed over 127,500 British Columbians and generated $14.6 billion in revenue, a 5.1% increase over 2013.
Tourism is on the verge of even greater growth. The prospects for the global Tourism economy are excellent. World-wide, Tourism is forecast to grow by 5% a year, doubling over the next 20 years. It’s a booming worldwide industry and, while BC may have a small global share, we are well positioned to catch this wave and grab more than our fair share of that growth.
Tourism supports well-paying and interesting jobs. BC’s Tourism industry offers incredibly good job opportunities for people from every imaginable background. From that first job in high school—it’s a great source of jobs for youth as more than a third of employees are under 25—to well-paying jobs in management, technical and professional services such as international sales people, highly-trained outdoor guides, helicopter pilots, wellness experts, chefs, wine aficionados, and so many more. In BC, Tourism employment exceeds the transportation, high-tech, forestry, mining, and agriculture sectors.
Tourism improves our quality of life. There are multiple activities we enjoy as residents that would not be as viable without the Tourism engine—museums and galleries, festivals and sporting events, transportation, dining and wine tours, parks and recreational facilities, and many other benefits that make life so good here in BC.
Tourism brings us together. Tourism enriches life by fulfilling dreams, connecting peoples of the world and refreshing the human spirit. As we head into the summer season, I encourage all British Columbians to warmly welcome our global guests and to celebrate all that our province has to offer, together.
I invite you to explore BC this summer and experience our province’s natural beauty and hospitality for yourself, because Tourism in BC matters.
CEO, Destination BC
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