Voice of the BC Tourism Industry


Tourism by the Numbers



Over twenty million travellers chose Canada in 2017, up 4% from 2016.

In the year of Canada’s 150th anniversary of its confederation, total tourism expenditures from domestic and international visitors reached $97.4 billion in 2017, up 6.3% over 2016. In 2017, the delivery of services to support tourism activities in Canada employed an average of 735,300 jobs throughout the year.

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


ECONOMIC IMPACT – British Columbia

In 2016, the tourism industry generated $17.0 billion in revenue – a 7.9% increase over 2015, and a 39.3% increase from 2006.

Tourism-related provincial tax revenue was more than $1.1 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.5% over 2015, and an increase of 32.1% since 2006.

In 2016, tourism exports generated revenue of $4.9 billion, an increase of 18.0% over 2015.

Tourism export revenue was similar to that of the mineral ($4.8B) and agriculture & fish ($3.8B) primary resource industries, but lower than that of energy ($7.6B) and forest ($14.0B) products.

GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 3.6% over 2015. The tourism industry contributed $7.9 billion of value added to the BC economy, as measured through GDP (in 2007 constant dollars). This represents 5.6% growth over 2015 and 30.6% growth since 2006.

In 2016, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry (mining:$4.1B, forestry & logging $2.0B, and agriculture & fish $1.5B), with the exception of the oil & gas extraction industry ($8.2B).

In 2016, 19,170 tourism-related businesses were in operation in BC, an increase of 1.2% over 2015.

In 2015, 133,100 people were employed in tourism-related businesses, a 3.6% increase over 2015 and an 16.0% increase since 2006.

In 2016, the tourism industry paid $4.7 billion in wages and salaries, up 3.2% from 2015, and up 29.9% since 2006.

Average compensation in the tourism industry, in 2016 was $35,000, down 0.4% from 2015, and up 12.0% since 2006.

Source: Value of Tourism 2016 Snapshot



British Columbia’s tourism industry had an exceptional year in 2017, with a total of 5,713,926 overnight international visitor arrivals to the province, including 3,691,074 visitors from the US, 1,277,878 from Asia Pacific, and 553,480 visitors from Europe. International visitor arrivals were up 3.3% over 2016.

BC saw increases from key markets, such as Mexico (up 12.9%); Australia (20.4%) and China (7.1%). 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.

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