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Local events celebrate Tourism Week

The Tourism Prince George team: (L to R) Annie Doran, Sarah Kirk, Leanne Schinkel, Colin Carson, Shirly Prokopchuk, Erica Hummel, Sherry McKay

Tourism Prince George is joining communities, cities, and regions across Canada to recognize national Tourism Week from May 26 to June 2.

Tourism Week in Canada is organized nationally by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). It is a grassroots initiative that brings attention to the economic opportunity available to Canada through travel and tourism and the public policy challenges preventing the sector from capitalizing on those opportunities.

Tourism Prince George is hosting two events during the week.

Tourism Week Chamber Business After 5

May 30 from 4:30–7 p.m. at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites

Registration is available at www.pgchamber.bc.ca/events (full link: http://pgchamberdev.chambermaster.com/events/details/business-after-5-tourism-prince-george-1896).

This event will provide a chance for business and tourism stakeholders to network, see how Tourism Prince George promotes tourism outside of Prince George, and to learn more about Tourism Prince George’s new five-year strategic plan.

Tourism Prince George’s Open House

May 31 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Visitor Information Centre on First Avenue.

Locals are invited to this free event for a close-up look at all that Tourism Prince George does.

Shirley Bond, MLA Prince George – Valemount with Tourism Prince George CEO Erica Hummel

“We’re celebrating another banner year for Tourism and we’re inviting everyone to spread the word about the power of tourism in Prince George and our surrounding area. Tourism Prince George has seen 40 per cent growth in Tourism in the last 8 years (2010-2018) which is an average growth of five per cent per year,” said Erica Hummel, CEO of Tourism Prince George.

“Our area offers incredible beauty and an abundance of recreational, cultural, and leisure activities and we are encouraging everyone to take photos of their activities and post them on social media using the hashtags #takeonpg, #BCTourismMatters and #TourismWeek  to help spread the word on what people can do, see and experience in Prince George.”

B.C.’s tourism industry experienced record setting numbers last year, and the trend is continuing as businesses and destinations across BC have already enjoyed a busy first quarter and are anticipating more record results this summer.

“British Columbia has an amazing variety of experiences and natural beauty for visitors to enjoy. It’s no wonder more than six million international visitors chose B.C. for their vacations last year,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Our thriving tourism industry is giving back to communities large and small, helping build local economies and providing good paying jobs for people in the places they call home.”

Tourism Prince George CEO Erica Hummel with Mike Morris, MLA Prince George – Mackenzie

Walt Juda, TIABC CEO said, “The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) is excited to be celebrating National Tourism Week with our member partners across this province. While TIABC continues to advocate for the interests of BC’s $17 billion industry, we also take the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous success and importance of the visitor economy to our province, because #BCTourismMatters.”

“Tourism is a powerhouse in the BC economy. It generates the second highest GDP ($7.9B) of any natural resource industry in BC, just slightly behind oil & gas. Tourism growth is far outpacing the global economy and is creating 1 in 5 of all new jobs in the world. And, here at home, tourism businesses enhance the great lifestyle we live as British Columbians—giving us amazing resorts, festivals, wineries, museums, campgrounds, restaurants, and flights across the world,” added Marsha Walden, Destination BC CEO

Tourism – By the Numbers

• In 2017, there were approximately 21.6 million overnight visitors in British Columbia who spent $12.3 billion.

• Over half of the visitors (53.0%) were BC residents. Visitors from other parts of Canada accounted for 21.1% of all visits and international visitors accounted for the remaining 25.9% of visitor volume.

• While BC residents made up the largest share of visitor volume, international visitors made up 44.9% of visitor expenditures. BC residents accounted for 28.9% of visitor expenditures and other Canadian residents accounted for the remaining 26.2%.

• In 2017, British Columbia’s tourism industry employed 137,800 people, a 3.6% increase from 2016. This means that tourism provides a job for roughly 1 out of every 16 people employed in the province.

• The tourism industry generated $5.4 billion in export revenue in 2017, growing 7.1% from 2016.

• GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 4.0% over 2016. The tourism industry contributed $9.0 billion of value added or GDP (in 2012 constant dollars) to the BC economy. This represents 6.7% growth over 2016 and 32.5% growth since 2007.

• British Columbia’s tourism industry generated revenue of $18.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.4% over 2016, and a 41.3% increase from 2007.

• In 2017, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry. (Mining: $4.9B, oil & gas: $3.7B, forestry & logging: $1.8B, and agriculture & fishing: $1.5B.)

Key Points

• Tourism is a growing industry, over the last few years there has been an increase in visitors, in the number of businesses and number of people employed in tourism.

• 2018 was record-breaking year for tourism in BC; we welcomed over 6 million international visitor arrivals – up 6.4% over 2017. Looking ahead, 2019 is poised to be a record-year for the BC tourism industry as well.

• Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries globally and brings incredible benefits not only for visitors, but also social, cultural and economic benefits for BC residents.

• Tourism is a key economic driver and one of BC’s competitive strengths in the world economy.

• Tourism strengthens international perceptions of British Columbia, which has positive impacts on trade and investment, international education, and immigration.

• Tourism improves the quality of life for all British Columbians—think about the things we enjoy that would not be as viable without the tourism engine: o museums and galleries,

o festivals and sports events,

o air/highway and coastal transportation,

o dining and wine touring,

o parks and recreational facilities,

o and many other benefits that make life so good here in BC.

• Tourism opportunities exist in every corner of our province. It’s good for cities and it’s also good for rural communities.

• BC has over 19,000 tourism businesses across the province, both rural and urban, of every size and make-up. These businesses, many of them small, support BC’s economy and provide a wide range of interesting jobs.

• Tourism supports well-paying jobs in management, technical and professional services—jobs like international sales people, highly-trained outdoor guides, helicopter pilots, wellness experts, sommeliers, hotel managers, fishing guides, bus drivers, ski instructors, event organizers, and more.