BC tourism numbers up but local down

That’s CKNW business analyst Robert Levy talking about the reasons why new numbers from the province confirm, more than 2.3 million people took an overnight trip to BC in the first half of this year.

In addition to the low dollar, he argues the banner year for cross-province tourism growth, up more than 12% from 2015, has also been driven by increased air access and is a key reason why BC’s economy is humming.

Again we note the BC economy is expected to lead the country in economic growth this year and next, and tourism is seen as one of the keys, with the Province now annually investing more than $98 million into the sector.

This year’s six month visitation numbers show Mexico jumped nearly 40%,  while tourism from China grew by 22%, and the US by 12%.

In addition, more than 600,000 international visitors came to BC in June alone, an increase of 8.6% over the total for June of last year.

In this case, China was the runaway leader, among the list of vacationer’s country of origin, with an increase of 48.8%, and Mexico was next at 40.2%.

Four other countries recorded double digit hikes, all near 20%, and they were Japan, South Korea, India and Australia.

The increasing number of international visitors has now become a well-entrenched trend in B-C with the four point nine million coming last year, representing an increase of eight percent over 2014.

However, the Fort St. John Information Centre numbers for this year do not follow that trend, and are actually down slightly for each of the first seven months.

The 2016 January through July total was 6047, as compared to 68111 in 2015, when the 12 month total was 11,985.