Tourism on Vancouver Island is far more than an impressive set of facts and figures. Yes, it’s true the sector generates a whopping $2.2 billion annually for the Island’s economy, making tourism either first or second on the list of economic drivers in every community in the region. Statistics also show that tourism accounts for more than 60,000 Island jobs and that its revenues have increased nearly 50 percent since the turn of the century.
Beyond this, however, tourism is deeply embedded in the very fabric of life on this genuinely super, natural slice of West Coast paradise. For one thing, it’s a source of no small amount of pride to residents that their Island home is repeatedly named one of the top travel destinations in the world by Canadian and international travel journalists, editors and the readers of such A-list publications as Condé Nast Traveler, Islands and Travel + Leisure. All this glowing media coverage, in fact, is worth approximately $4 million annually in advertising equivalency.
On a bricks and mortar level, the Island’s radiantly healthy tourism sector is responsible for many of the amenities and experiences that local families and residents enjoy in their respective communities.
Tourism has a direct impact on the development of restaurants, resorts, B&Bs, galleries, mountain bike facilities, elements parks and golf courses. It fuels revenues in the retail and transportation sectors, and contributes to audience numbers for concerts, theatre productions and a wide range of festivals. And there’s no question that along with their pocketbooks, off-island visitors and staycationing residents bring enthusiasm and excitement to Island communities while also helping locals appreciate their own backyards with fresh wonder.
For further insights and information, please read Making Tourism Work for Communities and Families, a Tourism Vancouver Island report about how the organization mentors communities and supercharges BC’s Tourism Partners Program in driving economic growth regionally.
Another essential document is The Value of Tourism in British Columbia, a report on a decade-long study of tourism trends conducted by Destination British Columbia.