Four words that most tourism related businesses want to hear – the best summer ever. That’s the case for one of Vancouver’s oldest visitor attractions, the 126-year-old Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of many local businesses in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains region that had a strong summer tourism season. Hotel occupancy rates and average daily room rates are up, total international visitors to the region increased by 8% (7.9%), while U.S. visitors are up 10% (9.6%) (January to September 2015).
While summer tourism numbers are something to celebrate, local businesses are encouraging British Columbians to staycation and take in winter activities in all of B.C.’s regions. The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s seasonal Canyon Lights event is just underway. It’s a reminder to British Columbians to enjoy what the region provides year-round.
Staycations are a good way to keep your vacation dollars circulating in B.C.’s economy. By visiting regional events and venues, you’re not only supporting local businesses, you're also helping sustain important jobs in the tourism sector.
B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and growing and a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan. As an economic driver in the province, it employs 132,000 British Columbians, almost one in every 15 jobs in B.C. in 2013.
In 2014, 4.65 million international travellers came to B.C. That is a 5.8% increase and a quarter million more visitors than we welcomed in 2013. As well, so far in 2015 year-to-date custom entries are up 7.6% over the same period last year.
It’s safe to say that after more than a century in the business, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park knows how the tourism industry works. Even so, they say the summer season was remarkable and they encourage British Columbians to keep them in mind for a winter visit.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“It really has been a remarkable year for overall tourism growth in British Columbia and especially for attractions like Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I urge British Columbians to keep that momentum going by enjoying a staycation this fall and winter. Get out and see some of the world-class tourism activities that attract visitors from around the world.”
Stacy Chala, Capilano Group, communications manager —
“Business was up 20% over last year, we had 17% more U.S. visitors than last summer. We are really pleased because this means more reinvestment into our park is now possible.
“Our Canyon Lights event runs from November 27 to January 3. It is a beautiful and unique holiday event. Meantime, there is so much that can be done in a day in Vancouver! Guests can cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, ski on Grouse Mountain, go sailing, go golfing. The options are endless.”
Ralph Sultan, MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano –
“Right in our own backyard, on the North Shore, British Columbians can access some of North America’s most beautiful, vibrant, and interesting tourist attractions. For example, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of B.C.’s biggest tourist attractions, each year welcoming over 800,000 visitors, local and from around the world. Visitors have unforgettable experiences: the swaying suspension bridge, the scary cliff walk, and the inspiring tree tops clamber. Now is the perfect time for local families to experience the new features offered by Capilano Suspension Bridge and all of the other attractions offered on the North Shore.”
Marsha Walden, CEO Destination British Columbia –
“An estimated 19.1 million overnight visitors will travel around B.C. in 2015, with 57% of these trips being made by British Columbians. As they continue to explore their own beautiful province, and share those experiences with friends and family through their social networks, we can build on the amazing success we’re having in tourism.”
- British Columbians are encouraged to tweet their favourite winter staycation activity using the hashtags: #StaycationBC #ExploreBC or #SnowBetterPlace.
- The Province invests more than $90 million annually in the tourism sector in every region in the province.
- Staycations help boost domestic tourism revenues and local economies and support over 19,000 businesses and 132,000 jobs in the tourism sector in B.C.
- The BC Jobs Plan builds on the strengths of our key sectors and our educated and skilled workforce, keeping our province diverse, strong and growing.
Destination BC: www.DestinationBC.ca
For trip planning ideas in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountain region and around BC, visit: www.HelloBC.com
The Capilano Suspension Bridge park: https://www.capbridge.com/
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/