The $600,000 price tag for last year’s royal visit by Prince William, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their children is “on the verge” of paying off, says Destination BC.
The royal couple visited British Columbia between September 24 and October 1, spending time in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Bella Bella and Haida Gwaii.
In total, BC’s share of the royal tour expenses, which it shared with the federal government, came to $613,363.93. The federal share is not yet known.
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And according to a release issued by Destination BC, that was money well spent, bringing a huge amount of international attention to the province.
“Interest and bookings are up as a result of the visit,” said Maya Lange, VP of global marketing for the Crown corporation, which coordinates BC tourism marketing.
“There was also an increase of over 50% in searches for Vancouver in particular, as the couple arrived in the city.”
UK media coverage valued at $2 million
According to the release, media coverage of the royal visit resulted in more than 115.5 million impressions, with social media reaching an extra 21 million people.
In the UK and Ireland, says Destination BC, more than 100 editorial pieces were published about BC, reaching an estimated 92 million people.
If Destination BC had taken out that equivalent in advertising, it would have cost them $2 million in the UK alone, the corporation estimates.
1,793% more visits to Great Bear Rainforest site
Meanwhile, Hotels.com has told Destination BC there was a 60% rise in hotel searches to Canada from the UK during the royal visit.
And traffic to HelloBC.com, Destination BC’s travel website, was up 23% during the Royal visit, according to the release.
Individually, the Great Bear Rainforest page received a massive spike in traffic, seeing a 1,793% increase in site visits, as the royal couple toured the area.
531,431 more actual tourists came to BC
It wasn’t all searches and media though. Destination BC believes the royal tour also brought real tourism to the province.
From January through October, nearly 4.9 million international visitors came to BC, a 12.2% increase from the same period the year before.
That’s an extra 531,431 more visitors spending money in restaurants, on transit, and in hotels across the province.
Now, that may due to the royal tour, or it might just be coincidental correlation. But what do you think about the royal tour – was it worth it? Tell us what you think in the poll below.