British Columbia Tourism Statistics: A Look at the Numbers

British Columbia Tourism Statistics

British Columbia is a province located on the west coast of Canada. Known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse culture, British Columbia attracts millions of visitors every year. In this article, we will take a closer look at the tourism statistics for British Columbia, including the number of visitors, their spending habits, and the impact of tourism on the province’s economy.

Visitor Arrivals

According to Destination BC, the official tourism organization for British Columbia, the province welcomed a total of 6.1 million overnight visitors in 2019, which was a 2.4% increase from the previous year. Of these visitors, 82% were from other parts of Canada, while 10% were from the United States and 8% were from other countries. The top international markets for British Columbia were the United States, China, and Japan.

When looking at the numbers by region, it is clear that Vancouver is the most popular destination for visitors to British Columbia, followed by Vancouver Island, the Thompson Okanagan, and Whistler. In 2019, Vancouver welcomed 10.7 million visitors, while Vancouver Island saw 4.4 million visitors.

Visitor Spending

Tourism is a major contributor to the economy of British Columbia. According to Destination BC, visitors to the province spent a total of $19.4 billion in 2019, which was a 3.2% increase from the previous year. Of this amount, $7.1 billion was spent on accommodation, $3.3 billion on food and beverage, and $2.6 billion on transportation.

It is also worth noting that international visitors tend to spend more than domestic visitors. In 2019, international visitors spent an average of $1,401 per trip, while domestic visitors spent an average of $645 per trip.

Tourism Employment

Tourism is a major employer in British Columbia, supporting jobs in a wide range of industries, including accommodation, food and beverage, transportation, and recreation. According to Destination BC, the tourism industry in British Columbia employed 161,500 people in 2019, which was a 2.5% increase from the previous year.

British Columbia Tourism Statistics

The impact of COVID-19 on British Columbia Tourism

Like many other destinations around the world, British Columbia’s tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the province saw a significant decrease in visitor arrivals and spending. According to Destination BC, the number of overnight visitors to British Columbia in 2020 was 3.9 million, which was a 36% decrease from the previous year. Similarly, visitor spending in 2020 was $10.2 billion, which was a 47% decrease from the previous year.

However, there are signs of recovery in the tourism industry as the province moves towards reopening. In the summer of 2021, British Columbia saw an increase in visitor arrivals, particularly from other parts of Canada. According to Destination BC, domestic visitor arrivals in July 2021 were up 56% compared to the same month in 2020.

British Columbia is a popular destination for visitors from around the world, and the tourism industry plays a significant role in the province’s economy. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the industry, there are signs of recovery as the province moves towards reopening. As we move forward, it will be important to continue to monitor the tourism statistics for British Columbia and to support the industry as it recovers and adapts to new challenges.

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