We all know just how beautiful our province is, but according to new statistics released today the rest of the world is starting to recognize B.C.’s beauty too.
Statistics released by the province for 2015 show that British Columbia experienced a massive 7.9% spike in international visitors compared to the previous year. In total 4.9 million people visited the region, that’s almost 360,000 more than in 2014.
The biggest increase in international visitors came from France (33%); with the number of visitors from Japan (15.5%), the U.S. (9.6%), South Korea (9.5%), Mexico (9.5%), and India (8.4%) also showing significant increases.
The growing number of international visitors is good news for the economy. B.C.’s tourism industry generated $14.6 billion in revenue in 2014, adding $7.1 billion to the gross domestic product. It’s also important for jobs. Tourism supports around 19,200 businesses and employs more than 127,500 in the region – that’s roughly one in every 15 British Columbians.
“The world is visiting B.C. These 2015 year-end numbers prove that our province is the top of the list for many international travelers,” Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, said in a press release. “Whether it’s skiing in Northern B.C. and the Rockies, shopping in Vancouver or enjoying the restaurants in the Okanagan or Victoria, visitors are taking in a wide range of experiences. Last year was a remarkable one for tourism and 2016 is shaping up to be another great year.”