Voice of the BC Tourism Industry


Tourism by the Numbers


Twenty million travellers chose Canada in 2016, up 11% from 2015.

Canada’s tourism sector benefitted from a robust year-over-year increase of 4.2% in tourism spending in 2016 as total tourism expenditures from domestic and international visitors reached $91.6 billion. In 2016, domestic and export tourism demand in Canada required 721,600 jobs to meet the demand for service delivery.

Source: www.destinationcanada.com/en/intelligence#tourismincanada

ECONOMIC IMPACT – British Columbia

In 2015, the tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenue – a 5.3% increase over 2014, and a 37.3% increase from 2005.

Tourism-related provincial tax revenue was $1.1 billion in 2015, an increase of 8.9% over 2014, and an increase of 38.0% since 2005.

In 2015, tourism exports generated revenue of $4.1 billion, an increase of 7.4% over 2014.

Tourism export revenue was similar to that of agriculture and fish ($3.8B) andmineral ($4.4B) primary resource industries, but lower than that of energy ($5.8B) and forest ($12.8B) products.

GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 3.1% over 2014. The tourism industry contributed $7.4 billion of value added to the BC economy, as measured through GDP (in 2007 constant dollars). This represents 5.6% growth over 2014 and 17.5% growth since 2007.

In 2015, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry including oil & gas extraction ($7.2B), mining ($3.8B), forestry & logging ($1.9B), and agriculture & fish ($1.5B).

In 2015, 18,938 tourism-related businesses were in operation in BC, an increase of 1.4% over 2014.

In 2015, 127,700 people were employed in tourism-related businesses, a 1.2% increase over 2014 and an 16.0% increase since 2005.

In 2015, the tourism industry paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries, up 4.0% from 2014, and a 36.1% increase since 2005.

Average compensation in the tourism industry, in 2015 was $35,000, up 2.8% from 2014, and 17.4% since 2005.

Source: Value of Tourism 2015 Snapshot – Destination BC



British Columbia’s tourism industry had an exceptional year in 2016, with a total of 5,532,065 overnight international visitor arrivals to the province, including 3,620,975 visitors from the US, 1,200,481 from Asia Pacific, and 535,238 visitors from Europe. International visitor arrivals were up 12.3% over 2015. This means an additional 605,918 visitors from international markets arrived in BC in 2016 over the previous year.

BC saw increases from key markets, such as Mexico (up 33.4%); Australia (21.1%); China (18.2%); United Kingdom (17.3%) & India (9.9%). The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including the marketing efforts of Destination BC and our industry partners, increased number of direct flights, and the easing of visa restrictions.

The beginning of 2017 showed an increase of 9.9% in overnight entries to Canada and 9.2% to BC for January 2017. BC had an impressive increase of 33.4% in entries from Asia/Pacific countries.

For more details, visit Destination BC for Industry Performance statistics: www.destinationbc.ca/Research/Industry-Performance