Tourism Kamloops completed a first ever Value of Tourism analysis and the results are clear: tourism is a key economic driver for the City.
Using Destination BC’s Value of Tourism Model, the research evaluated commercial accommodation sector data to produce estimates of overall tourism visitation and expenditures within the city. The research gathered data from accommodations for 2015 and provides a snapshot for activity in that year.
The study estimated that Kamloops welcomed a total of 1.64 million visitors in 2015. Based on total visitation and factoring in average length of stay and average total spend per visitor per trip, the annual direct visitor expenditure in Kamloops is estimated at $227 million. Applying the Statistics Canada input/output model, the total estimated tourism economic impact is $377 million.
“There has long been a sense that the local tourism visitor economy contributes significantly to the economic landscape of Kamloops, and we can now confirm, with confidence, that tourism is a major industry that positively contributes to our local economy,” reports Beverley DeSantis, Tourism Kamloops CEO. “This study proves that tourism’s reach is broad and impacts businesses such as hotels and motels, restaurants, tour operators and transportation providers. We now also understand that tourism also delivers economic prosperity to resource sectors, agriculture and numerous other service organizations.”
Two main factors are credited with driving substantial tourism growth in Kamloops. The development of the City’s Tournament Capital Program in 2001 and subsequent branding of Kamloops as the Tournament Capital of Canada in 2002 contributed to Kamloops’ prestigious recognition provincially, nationally and internationally as an exceptional sport hosting destination. Additionally, the creation of Tourism Kamloops as the city’ Destination Marketing Organization in 2005 allowed for targeted and strategic tourism marketing and promotion to drive visitation from key markets.
Tourism in BC generates revenues that place the industry amongst the top five with respect to export revenues with industries such as forestry, energy, mineral and agriculture. In 2015, the provincial tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenue, saw a 12.3% increase in international visitation, 127,700 employed in tourism-related businesses, and contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry.
In the past ten years, tourism has been one of the strongest growth industries in British Columbia, with GDP increasing by 13% from 2007 to 2013 according to BC Statistics. In the same period, BC’s forestry sector GDP declined by over 10%.
As of 2015, BC’s tourism GDP was $7.4 billion – a 7.5% growth since 2007 and tourism in the province contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry including oil and gas extraction ($7.2 billion), mining, ($3.8 billion), forestry and logging ($1.9 billion) and agriculture and fish ($1.5 billion).
Kamloops as a destination continues to keep pace with provincial indicators and forecasts continued growth in 2017. Kamloops accommodation revenues increased 9.8% in 2016 over 2015 totalling $56 million. In the past 5 years, this represents a 27% increase or $12 million lift in overall accommodation revenues. Occupied rooms nights increased 6% and occupancy rates also increased 3.4% over 2015 supporting overall increased visitation to the city.
“Tourism Kamloops is committed to positioning our destination as an accessible, affordable and inspiring vacation option to key target audiences,” adds DeSantis. “We will continue to work with our industry partners to strengthen our experience offerings, identify tourism development and enhancement opportunities and advocate on behalf of industry to ensure tourism remains a robust economic engine for Kamloops.”