By Marsha Walden
President and CEO
BC’s tourism industry is a powerful force: approximately 21.6 million overnight visitors vacation in our province each year, contributing $18.4 billion in revenue annually to the economy. In fact, tourism touches every part of the province and has become an economic powerhouse.
From May 26 to June 2, businesses, associations, and tourism organizations across British Columbia will celebrate Tourism Week. This week is an important time to recognize not only the economic benefits this industry brings to BC, but also the cultural and social contributions tourism delivers.
In 2017, tourism contributed $9 billion to BC’s GDP—that’s more than any other primary resource industry! (mining: $4.9B, oil & gas: $3.7B, forestry & logging $1.8B, and agriculture & fishing $1.5B). The industry’s contribution to GDP grew 6.7% over 2016, and 32.5% since 2007.
In 2017, the BC tourism industry generated $18.4 billion in revenue, an 8.4% increase over 2016, and a 41.3% increase from 2007. Looking ahead, 2019 is poised to be a record-year for the BC tourism industry as well.
BC is home to over 19,200 tourism businesses across the province. These businesses support BC’s economy and provide a wide range of interesting jobs, ranging from first jobs to highly-skilled technical, managerial and professional roles, including: highly-trained outdoor guides, helicopter pilots, wellness experts, sommeliers, fishing guides, ski instructors, and many more. In 2017, 137,800 people were employed in BC tourism-related businesses, which means that tourism provides a job for roughly 1 out of every 16 people employed in the province.
Over 400 Indigenous tourism businesses operate across our province, and each play a positive role in preserving, sharing, and celebrating the culture and history of BC communities.
Tourism enriches our lives and harnesses the spirit of communities across our province, creating local networks and strengthening international perceptions of our people and systems.
The evidence is clear—tourism makes life better for all British Columbians. It’s an industry that flows through our province, in rural and urban areas of every size and make-up, bringing with it socio-cultural, environmental, and economic benefits that drive local communities and the people within them. The power of tourism cannot be overstated. We encourage everyone to celebrate the importance and impact of BC’s tourism industry during Tourism Week, and all year-round, because our industry is everyone’s business.
Click here to find more information about Tourism Week in BC, including infographics, resources and case studies about people who have made careers working in BC’s tourism industry.
Click here to download Destination BC’s ‘The Power of Tourism’ report
About Destination BC:
Destination BC is provincially-funded, industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to coordinate marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels. For more information about Destination BC’s programs and services, please visit: https://www.DestinationBC.ca/
For additional information, please contact:
Destination BC Media Relations
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