The view from the top off Dilworth Mountain in Kelowna, B.C. (Tourism Kelowna)

Hotel visitor numbers up; length of stay down: Tourism Kelowna

‘More people may be staying with friends and family or in other accommodations, like short-term rentals or campgrounds’

The number of tourists visiting local hotels has gone up for the month of July, but they’re sticking around for a shorter period of time according to Tourism Kelowna.

In July, there were a total of 296,230 overnight visitor trips to Kelowna and compared to June’s 226,280.

Hotel occupancy in the city, however, remains lower than what it used to be in summer 2019, which was around 80 per cent.

According to Tourism Kelowna, spring hotel occupancy levels were the lowest on record as the pandemic peaked, dropping to an average of 20.9 per cent and going as low as 11.7 per cent. In 2019, hotel occupancy for the same time was around 67 per cent.

As the province moved to Phase 3 of its reopening plan and travel within B.C. started up again in time for summer, visitors returned to Kelowna, bringing the tourism numbers for the area above the provincial average, but still lower than normal.

But despite the encouraging increase in numbers, Tourism Kelowna said visitors’ length of stay is now shorter than normal.

“More people are coming to Kelowna, but they are spending less time here,” Tourism Kelowna said.

“Lower than normal hotel occupancy paired with higher than normal visitation indicates more people may be staying with friends and family or in other accommodations, like short-term rentals or campgrounds.”

For the fall, Tourism Kelowna indicated Labour Day weekend bookings are strong, but it predicted that will fall sharply after that weekend and continue at that level until the end of the year.

“This is concerning as, after a challenging first half of 2020, businesses will need to generate revenue in the second half of 2020 to continue operations.”

Tourism Kelowna said it will continue to market activities within the province until inter-provincial travel starts up again.

“Our marketing message will encourage longer stays where visitors can slow down and take in more of what Kelowna and the Central Okanagan has to offer.”

READ: More than 200 Central Okanagan residents have tested positive for COVID-19


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

Kelowna RCMP investigating alleged group attack on teenager

A 14-year-old boy claims he was attacked by a group of teens Friday night

14th anniversary of Kelowna man’s sudden disappearance

Aaron Derbyshire was out with friends on Sept. 30, 2006, and hasn’t been seen since

Be a safe pedestrian: Kelowna RCMP

Mornings are darker and evenings come quicker, so wear bright clothing if you’re taking a walk

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read