International visitors are up 7.6 per cent to date in 2015 compared to 2014. This represents an additional 290,532 visitors coming to B.C. Visitor visits were also up in September this year compared to 2014 by 11.5 per cent. Increases in September happened in a number of key markets, including Japan up 25 per cent, South Korea up 11.5 per cent, Germany up 10.3 per cent, China up 7.8 per cent, Mexico up 3.0 per cent and Australia up 2.3 per cent. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region was also up 8 per cent and Europe is up 5.5 per cent.
“Tourism operators from across the province are having a good year, with revenues and occupancy rates up significantly,” said Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination B.C. “With the strong U.S. dollar, we are seeing fewer Canadians crossing the border, which is adding to excellent growth from international tourism markets. And, as a bonus, several of B.C.’s ski hills and resorts have opened early which should lead to a positive winter season and a superb finish to 2015.”
Growth from the United States, B.C.’s largest international market, was up 14.5 per cent, with an additional 40,175 visitors coming to B.C. this September compared to September 2014. Visitors from the United States year-to-date have also risen, with an increase of 9.2 per cent in 2015 so far compared to 2014.
The Province invests more than $90 million annually in the tourism sector across every region to grow and market the sector.