Voices of Travel

BUOYED BY BUSINESS

Buoyed by the previous record-breaking winter, Whistler business levels remained consistent in winter 2012-2013, ending on a positive note. In fact, the winter of 2012-2013 proved to be the second busiest on record, with room nights down only slightly from the record-breaking winter 2011-2012 season and still 10% above the 10-year average. Winter 2011-2012 holds the record as Whistler’s busiest on record, in terms of room nights booked. But the most recent winter’s results were only slightly behind, down by 1% and that is positive news for the resort. Tourism Whistler’s vice-president of marketing strategy, Louise Walker said: “Given the extraordinary results of the 2011-2012 season, the fact that we were able to maintain our business at those levels is really a strong result.” And she continued: “Recovering global economies, travel demand, favourable weather conditions, excellent snow, a robust year-round events calendar and strong marketing campaigns have helped to stimulate bookings from all of our key markets.” Whistler continued to see growth in visitation from destination markets, with room nights further increasing from the very strong growth seen in winter 2011-2012. In fact, winter 2012-2013 had the second highest total of destination room nights of the last 10 years. In addition to the positive room night results, Whistler hotel rates are also gaining ground. Walker said: “Our rates are shifting in the right direction. We are seeing some recovery. Although rates have not returned to pre-recession levels, there is some growth. At the same time, the resort remains competitive, offering our guests excellent value for money.” In terms of room nights booked, summer 2012 was also Whistler’s busiest summer on record with room nights up by four per cent over the previous summer. And indications are that summer 2013 will be strong, pacing ahead of last summer with particular strength in June, July and August. Business levels are being driven by both independent traveller (IT) and conference bookings. This summer, Whistler will host a number of significant events including the North Face Whistler Half-Marathon, the Whistler Wellness Fair, Tough Mudder, and the BC Bike Race in June, Canada Day festivities, Artwalk, the Whistler Longboard Festival, the Believe Freedom Festival and the Whistler Children’s Festival in July, Wanderlust, Crankworx and the inaugural Subaru IRONMAN Canada event in August. In addition, the free Whistler Presents Outdoor Concert Series — featuring acts such as Matt Dusk, 54-40, the English Beat and more — kicks off in June, continuing through September. Go to http://www.whistler.com for more.

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