Kelowna’s billion dollar business

New study finds the economic impact of tourism on the local economy is now $1.25 billion a year.

Tourism Kelowna wants to build a new visitor centre on the downtown lakeshore to help inform tourists about what this area has to offer.

New economic impact figures from Tourism Kelowna show tourism is now billion-dollar-plus contributor to the Central Okanagan economy.

And, it says, the industry that continues to grow at a steady rate.

With more than 1.9 million visitors to Kelowna annually, the tourism industry contributes more than $1.25 billion in total economic output. The sector also generates $142 million in tax revenues.

Data from the Economic Impact of Tourism in Kelowna and the Greater Kelowna Area, B.C. was released Friday by Tourism Kelowna.

“Tourism is one of the Central Okanagan’s leading industries providing jobs for residents, spending that strengthens our economy and taxation that funds programs and contributes to our quality of life,” said Nancy Cameron, Tourism Kelowna’s president and CEO.

“Tourism Kelowna’s mandate is to increase overnight visitation to benefit our local economy. We have seen visits to our destination continue to grow and this new economic impact data illustrates the importance of tourism to our communities.”

The report says total visitor spending in 2016 totalled $337 million, a 20.8 per cent increase over 2011. Of note is the significant growth in attraction and entertainment spending, which grew to $70 million from $15 million in five years.

The report also found that tourism is the third-largest employer by industry behind heath care and construction, accounting for 11,890 jobs, up 5.4 per cent over 2011.

The total gross domestic product (GDP) from tourism is now $620 million, up 49 per cent since 2011, and the total economic output is $1.25 billion, an increase of 48.8 per cent since 2011.

Total tax revenues amount to $142 million, an increase of 47.9 per cent what it was six years ago. Of that, $80 million is in federal tax revenues, $49 million in provincial tax revenues and $13 million in municipal tax revenues.

“Tourism Kelowna will continue to work hard and take advantage of opportunities to attract visitors, optimize its impact, and further grow the tourism industry,” said Cameron.

“Strategic marketing programs, strong industry partnerships, targeted sales programs, and a new visitor servicing strategy all contribute to this growth and success for the tourism industry and our communities.”

The information was compiled last fall and results are based on data from the Kelowna Census Metropolitan Area, Central Okanagan Regional District and the Big White Ski Resort.

Similar reports were compiled in 2006 and 2011 to compare data.

The full report, compiled by InterVISTAS Consulting Inc, is available on Tourism Kelowna’s website at https://www.tourismkelowna.com/about-us/tourism-research/.

Just Posted

Front office changes continue for West Kelowna Warriors

The Warriors have hired West Kelowna native Chris Laurie as their new president

Organic waste program in Kelowna remains in the dump

Okanagan resident says it’s time for Kelowna to implement a residential food waste program

Rogers announces $16.5M investment to improve cell service in Kelowna

The investment includes the construction of new towers and major upgrades to existing cell sites

Blackmun Bay project in West Kelowna rejected by city councillors

Four nine-storey buildings with 700 residential and hotel units were originally planned for site along Campbell Road

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

VIDEO: Disney Plus gives Canadians a streaming platform that nearly matches U.S. version

The Walt Disney Company’s new subscription platform unveiled a comprehensive offering of nearly 500 films

Sex assault charge stayed against Port Moody mayor

Rob Vagramov appeared in provincial court in Port Coquitlam

73% of B.C. residents agree with a temporary ban on vaping products: poll

54% say they would not date someone who vapes, Research Co. poll suggests

B.C.’s 13-cent gasoline gap still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Former Vancouver Canucks player suing financial advisors for negligence

Jason Garrison claimed his advisors failed to take his circumstances into account

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

B.C. teacher said he would use student to ‘whack’ two others on Grade 8 field trip

Campbell River teacher-on-call suspended three weeks after November 2018 incident

Two new fire trucks roll into service in North Okanagan

Ceremony Saturday will celebrate the bright red additions

Morning start: Could llamas be an alternative to guard dogs?

Your morning start: Fun fact, weather, and video of the day

Most Read