BC Industry Leaders Celebrate Tourism Week 2023
Tourism Week in British Columbia is now underway, and it is lending visibility and support to an industry that is riding a planet-wide wave of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year is the first travel season without pandemic-related border restrictions and we are so excited to spotlight British Columbia once again as the world-class destination it is,” say key leaders of the tourism industry in BC. “People are travelling again, and when they have a choice of where to go, they are choosing our province.”
Combining forces to help drive BC’s Tourism Week are Lana Popham, the minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of BC; Brenda Baptiste, board chair of Indigenous Tourism BC; Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO of the British Columbia Hotel Association; and Richard Porges, president and CEO of Destination British Columbia.
They noted that the cruise ship season is underway and that BC is poised to welcome a record number of ships and passengers, with approximately 700 cruises and 2.23 million estimated visitors. “This is fantastic news for the people and communities in the province who rely on a thriving cruise-ship industry,” says TIABC.
Air travel is also increasing, with more than 19 million domestic and international passengers passing through Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in 2022 — two million more people than expected, said the group.
This also brings benefits to B.C.’s accommodations sector, the communities in which they are located and the entire tourism ecosystem regardless of location or size. In 2022, B.C.’s hotels recorded occupancy rates of 66.5%, which was the highest among all provinces and territories, they said.
The group noted that not every business has fully recovered. “We will continue to work together to rebuild so we are even better than before, including hiring and retaining skilled employees who are needed for businesses to operate at full capacity, and to deliver a world-class experience to our visitors. One of our highest priorities is the continued recovery and resilience of our vibrant industry, which contributed $22.3 billion to the province’s economy before the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Tourism Week in BC has assembled a variety of information assets and presented them as a tool kit. Within the tool kit are BC government resources, a Tourism Week fact sheet, suggested social media posts, infographics and graphic tiles, value of tourism videos, ideas to celebrate Tourism Week, the Sustainable Tourism Pledge 2030, TIAC resources and go2HR resources. The toolkit can be downloaded from the TIABC website, at tiabc.ca
Soaking up the sun on Kitsilano Beach, looking across English Bay to Stanley Park.