Study shows strong tourism growth in last decade

VICTORIA— A new study shows a 38% increase in tourism revenue over the last decade, proving the sector is a major economic driver for the province.
The study called “Value of Tourism in British Columbia: Trends from 2004 to 2014” is produced by BC Stats for Destination British Columbia. It highlights impressive long-range as well as recent growth within the tourism sector.
·         Tourism contributed $7.1 billion in GDP in 2014 to the provincial economy, 4.5% growth over 2013. Tourism GDP grew more rapidly than that of the whole B.C. economy.
·         127,500 people were employed in tourism, a 2.2% increase over 2013.
·         Tourism industry paid $4.3 billion in wages and salaries, up 4.5% over 2013.
·         Average salaries in the tourism sector were $33,616. This is a 10% increase since 2004.
The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including more direct flights to B.C. from key U.S. and international markets as well as Destination B.C.’s new international marketing strategy.

There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C., and over 17,000 (almost 93%) of those businesses are small businesses.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour – “Tourism is a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan, a major employer and one of the reasons why our Province’s diverse economy is expected to lead the country this year. These statistics highlight the incredible growth we’ve experienced. It’s no wonder British Columbia regularly shows up among the top must-do travel lists in publications like the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler.”
A SoundCloud clip of the minister’s quote can be accessed here:
Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination British Columbia —
“We are tremendously proud of our industry partners and the exceptional products they offer our visitors from around the world. With our awe-inspiring natural assets, solid infrastructure, remarkable experiences and world-class customer service, these results clearly demonstrate that tourism continues to be a strong and growing economic driver for our provincial economy. With global tourism forecast to double over the next 20 years, we believe B.C.’s tourism industry is well positioned for even greater economic success in the years to come.”
Paul Nursey, President, CEO Tourism Victoria –
“Tourism marketing has a quantifiable return on investment, something we’ve had independently measured at Tourism Victoria and seen a return on our marketing campaigns as high as 78:1 in 2015. However, alignment and efficient use of resources are key and it’s because organizations such as Destination BC and Tourism Victoria have complementing strategies that we’re able to increase effectiveness and better leverage our dollars. We are proud to see our collective efforts generating returns for the tourism industry, British Columbians as citizens and supporting the growth and diversification of the province’s economy”
Ty Speer, President, CEO Tourism Vancouver –
“Vancouver has seen record-breaking visitation over the last two years, and we have every reason to believe 2016 will continue on that path. Expanded air access and growing consumer confidence are key considerations, but more importantly are our industry’s collaborative and strategic marketing and sales initiatives in target markets worldwide. In addition, our local hotels, restaurants, attractions and activities partners work tirelessly to sell, promote and share their passion for our destination – none of our efforts would succeed without them.”
Ingrid Jarrett, GM, VP Business Development, Watermark Beach Resort  –
“The positive statistics show the outcome of strategic partnerships, common goals, strategic alliances with stakeholders and marketing organisations. The outcomes are encouraging and are gaining momentum. The leadership and partnership approach from Destination BC and the destination-marketing organisations, as well as the investment from industry stakeholders, has set the foundation for the future success of our industry.”
Quick Facts:
·         Tourism generated $14.6 billion in revenue in British Columbia in 2014, a 5.1% increase over 2013.
·         Through the BC Jobs Plan, British Columbia is growing its tourism sector by establishing an integrated marketing approach, in partnership with tourism marketing organizations.
·         Tourism provides a job for roughly one out of every 15 people employed in BC.
·         The Province invests more than $90 million annually in the tourism sector across every region to grow and market the sector.
Learn More:
For more information on preliminary findings from the Value of Tourism in British Columbia: Trends from 2004 to 2014:

For tourism information and to plan your

B.C. Provincial Tourism Strategy, Gaining the

BC Jobs Plan: