A new strategic framework, launched at the annual Tourism Industry Conference, will guide year-round tourism growth that benefits people and communities, while protecting British Columbia’s natural environment.
The industry has proven itself as an economic force in B.C., with nearly 6.1 million international visitors from around the globe choosing destinations throughout the province last year – a new record and an increase of 6.4% over 2017.
This framework, entitled Welcoming Visitors, Benefiting Locals, Working Together: A Strategic Framework for Tourism in British Columbia, outlines government’s vision for continued, sustainable growth in B.C. tourism.
“People from all over the world are discovering all that our beautiful province has to offer and are taking those memories back home with them, “ said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “With diverse vacation opportunities like wildlife viewing, storm watching and world-class festivals, every corner of B.C. offers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We want to see this momentum continue to build, and that’s why we launched this new strategic framework. We’re making sure the tourism industry’s benefits are shared with people and communities throughout the province, throughout the year.”
In conjunction with the Tourism Industry Association of BC’s conference, Destination BC released the 2017 Value of Tourism Snapshot. The snapshot shows that in 2017, B.C.’s tourism industry generated $18.4 billion in revenue — up 8.4% over 2016, and 41.3% since 2007.
The tourism industry contributed $9 billion to the B.C. economy, as measured through gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. This is an increase of 6.7% over 2016, compared to the GDP of B.C.’s economy as a whole, which grew by 4.0% in 2017.
These statistics show that B.C.’s tourism industry added the largest value to the provincial economy between 2007 and 2017, relative to primary resource industries, such as oil and gas, mining, forestry and logging, and fishing.
B.C.’s tourism economy will continue to be supported through marketing and destination development. Budget 2019 included an increase of $1 million to Destination BC for the next three years. This increase will allow Destination BC to continue to promote B.C. to international and Canadian visitors in order to develop and grow that industry.
Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination British Columbia –
“Over a 10-year period, tourism contributed the largest added value to the B.C. economy, relative to other primary resource industries. As an industry, this is something we can all be immensely proud of. And 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. As B.C.’s tourism marketing organization, we look forward to working closely with Minister Beare, ministry staff and British Columbia’s vibrant tourism industry to implement the new strategic framework.”
Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia –
“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. We commend the Province for its extensive consultation with tourism leaders to develop a framework that allows the industry to reach its full potential as one of B.C.'s leading business sectors.”
- GDP is the total monetary value of all finished goods and services produced within a geographic area during a specific time period, usually a year.
For more information on the economic value of tourism in British Columbia, visit:https://www.destinationbc.ca/content/uploads/2019/04/2019-Value-of-Tourism.pdf
For tourism information and planning: www.hellobc.com/
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A backgrounder follows.