It has been a tremendous year growing tourism together. Guided by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s strategic framework, Welcoming Visitors, Benefiting Locals, Working Together: A Strategic Framework for Tourism in British Columbia, tourism in BC has continued on its upward trajectory, with increasing revenues, employment, wages, and visitors.
As another busy year draws to a close, and before we embark on the next one, I’d like to thank all of our industry partners for creating a tourism success story in British Columbia. Through powerful partnerships, our collective efforts have made tourism one of the fastest growing industries in the province, outpacing GDP growth in our economy as a whole by almost double. And, despite some headwinds from geo-political and economic uncertainty, future prospects for our visitor economy remain strong.
To ensure we continue to see strong returns on our collective investments, and to be able to compete on a global scale over the long term, we now have an ambitious Destination Development program, created through extensive industry consultation and working with all levels of government, communities, destination marketing organizations, businesses, and Indigenous partners.
Together with you, we are continually enhancing our ability to compete on today’s digital marketing battlefield, harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence to better understand and predict traveller behaviours and provide more compelling and relevant marketing appeals.
For instance, we recently launched the world’s first connected storytelling network for tourism partners across BC to inspire visitors by promoting their product and services across multiple platforms. In turn, making it easier for visitors to find activities and adventures, and effectively plan their trips.
Together, BC’s tourism industry celebrated five million uses of #exploreBC on Instagram this year—the first destination in Canada to reach this milestone. What a tremendous demonstration of advocacy for our province!
Enriching the visitor experience is also at the heart of our Learning Centre. It is valuable resource for industry, supporting digital readiness, accessible and sustainable service delivery, as well as outstanding guest experiences. True to the nature of our ever-evolving industry, the Learning Centre is continually updated with the tools and resources to help tourism businesses succeed.
Our 20-year partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) has gone from strength to strength as we help to build on and promote BC’s culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. The refreshed ITBC website, launched in May, leverages DBC’s technology stack and helps make on-the-go planning easier for visitors.
This year, Destination BC also started an exciting new journey to make BC more accessible for all. In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, we are taking those all-important first steps towards improving the visitor experience. We’ve added a repository of resources to the Learning Centre to help tourism businesses improve their accessible product and service offerings, and accessible travel information and itineraries to our trip-planning website, HelloBC.com. With almost one in five British Columbians indicating they have a disability, we need to do more to make our travel experiences more accessible and tourism employment more inclusive.
We hope you take some time this holiday season to look back on your successes and on the many contributions our industry makes to the quality of life we enjoy as residents of British Columbia.
We wish you peace, prosperity, and happiness in 2020.
Subscribe to our newsletter