Tourism Week 2020 looks very different to past years as this is a less than celebratory time for the tourism industry. While cruising at an altitude of peak performance at the end of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, our vibrant industry came to an abrupt halt. COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions have many tourism operators uncertain of what the future holds; however, now is the time to shift focus to elevate our conversations about the importance of our tourism industry.
Our provincial partners – Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), Destination BC, go2HR, Indigenous Tourism BC and BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) – have outlined four themes to focus on this week:
- How Tourism Is Helping Communities
- Virtual Travel Experiences
- Training Opportunities for BC’s Tourism Industry
- Sharing the value of BC’s tourism industry to BC residents (encouraging travel at home)
How you can participate:
- Use #BCTourismMatters - Elevate tourism businesses and their inspiring stories over social channels
- Go Virtual - Showcase our remarkable tourism experiences online
- Learn & Develop – Participate in webinars and online training hosted by industry experts at Tourism Kamloops, Destination BC, Google, go2HR and more
- Advocate & Educate – BC’s visitor economy is valuable and contributes to our collective social, cultural, environmental, and economic well being. Encourage peers, residents, elected officials to share the benefits of tourism and to choose to explore BC this year.
Tourism by the Numbers:
In 2019, Kamloops welcomed 2 million visitors (a 2.3% increase from 2018), realized $303 in direct visitor spending, and contributed nearly $500M in economic impact.
British Columbia’s tourism industry generated revenue of $20.5 billion in 2018*, an increase of 4.9% over 2017, and a 53.3% increase from 2008.
In 2018, British Columbia’s tourism industry employed 161,500 people, a 4.3% increase from 2017. This means that tourism provided a job for roughly 1 out of every 16 people employed in the province.
In 2018, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry. (Tourism: $8.3B, mining: $5.2B, oil & gas: $4.9B, forestry & logging: $1.8B, and agriculture & fishing: $3.2B.)
In 2018, BC residents spent $6.7 billion on international travel, compared to $6.9 billion spent by international travellers in BC, in the same year. While we know we can’t make up for the loss of our international visitors, during this difficult time, British Columbians can support BC’s visitor economy by spending their travel dollars at home, exploring their own province.
In 2019, the majority of BC’s visitation was domestic: 74% of all visitors to BC were Canadians. These domestic visitors contributed 49% of tourism revenues in our province.