Tourism passed 3M mark

It isn’t just royalty leaving the British Isles for the scenic beauty of British Columbia.

Brits in ever increasing numbers made that trek this year.

According to statistics released Monday, overnight visitors from the United Kingdom jumped by 35.8 per cent in July over the same month last year.

But, it wasn’t just visitors from the UK enjoying what B.C. has to offer. More than 880,000 international visitors checked out the province in July, an increase of 11.8 per cent. For the year, January to July, 3.2 million international visitors have visited the province, a 12.5 per cent jump.

The numbers broke down this way:

  • Australia – up 30.4%
  • Mexico – up 20%
  • China – up 11.4%
  • Europe – up 21.1%
  • United States – up 10.1%
  • South Korea – up 22.4%

Several factors are cited for the increase, including, increased air access and capacity to Vancouver, a low Canadian dollar and Destination BC’s new international marketing strategy.

“With successful marketing activities and increased air capacity, especially for Australia and Mexico, we are seeing greater visitation from all our key markets,” said Grant Mackay, with Destination British Columbia.

“Tourism operators have reported a strong summer and we’re hearing they have positive fall and winter bookings, too. As the Royal couple’s visit approaches, and hundreds of international journalists turn their attention to our province, B.C. will continue to shine on the world stage.”

Nearly 19,000 businesses and about 127,000 employees are directly supported by tourism.

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