The world comes to BC

The world has been discovering B.C. in ever increasing numbers this year.

Over the first nine months of 2016, nearly half a million more international visitors have travelled to B.C.

That’s an increase of 11.9 per cent over the same period a year ago.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada also show a sharp increase in September compared with the same month in 2015.

International overnight visits to B.C. increased by 14.9 per cent in September. That works out to an additional 74,287 visits.

Some notable increases by region in September include South Korea (44.6 per cent), China (32.2 per cent), Mexico (28.2 per cent) and the United Kingdom (27.9 per cent).

Large increases in international visitors from China, Mexico and the United Kingdom are due in part to improved air access from those regions and Vancouver International Airport’s vision and business model.

Destination BC, the province’s marketing arm, has instituted a new international marketing strategy to attract new visitors to the province.

“Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries. Among global travellers, Canada is hot. And B.C. is sizzling,” said Marsha Walden, CEO Destination British Columbia.

“Right now, B.C. is showing an almost 15% increase year-over-year in overnight arrivals from our international markets. This surge of visitors at the end of summer is a great sign for the tourism seasons ahead and leading into 2017.”

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