B.C. greeted nearly 6.1 million international visitors in 2018, which the ministry says is a new record and an increase of 6.4 per cent in just twelve months. (Photo Destination BC)

Tourism is economic force in British Columbia with 6.1 million visits: ministry

The industry generated $18.4 billion in revenue in 2017

British Columbia’s tourism industry is outpacing provincial economic growth, contributing $9 billion to the economy.

Destination BC, the Crown corporation that co-ordinates tourism marketing, released the latest figure from 2017, saying it’s a 6.7 per cent increase over the year before.

READ MORE: Revelstoke Mountain Resort featured on The Price is Right

The Tourism Ministry says in a news release that the industry generated $18.4 billion in revenue the same year, an 8.4 per cent leap in one year and over 41 per cent since 2007.

It says statistics show tourism added the largest value to the provincial economy between 2007 and 2017, relative to industries, such as oil and gas, mining, forestry, logging and fishing.

The figures were released at the Tourism Industry Association of BC conference in Vancouver at the same time as the ministry announced a new strategic framework that it says will guide year-round tourism growth while protecting the province’s natural environment.

Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of B.C., says the framework will allow the industry to reach its full potential as one of the province’s leading business sectors.

“The province’s new strategic framework for tourism provides a blueprint for both the growth and sustainability of B.C.’s visitor economy for the foreseeable future,” he says in the release.

B.C. greeted nearly 6.1 million international visitors in 2018, which the ministry says is a new record and an increase of 6.4 per cent in just twelve months.

Marsha Walden, the CEO of Destination BC, says the trend for the coming year appears just as promising.

“By all accounts, 2019 is going to be another strong year for tourism across the province, bringing jobs and opportunities to communities across British Columbia.”

Budget 2019 included a funding increase of $1 million for Destination BC over the next three years.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Former Kelowna hockey player dies after battle with ALS

Mitch Wilson was born in Kelowna and was 57 when he died

Toddler sustains serious injuries after falling from Rutland balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment on May 18

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Bus pull returns to Kelowna with record 17 teams

Teams of eight people will pull a BC Transit bus for their community on May 25

Search for missing kayaker turned over to West Kelowna RCMP

A 71-year-old man’s kayak floated ashore on Friday

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

Okanagan medical cannabis shop shutting doors

Herb’s Health Centre has been operating without a city business licence for nearly a year

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Okanagan city to give out fines for sitting on sidewalk

Residents of Penticton will soon be fined for sitting or laying on sidewalks

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read