The results are in, and 2017 was another record year for Vancouver’s tourism industry.
Tourism Vancouver year-end data shows 2017 overnight visitation to Metro Vancouver was 10,345,867 million people, an increase of 3% over 2016. This represents a new best for the city’s tourism industry and the fourth consecutive record-breaking year.
Officials say that many factors played a role in 2017’s strong tourism performance. Key among them are Tourism Vancouver’s sales and marketing initiatives in 11 countries worldwide; and strategic marketing partnerships with Destination Canada, Destination British Columbia, the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association, Vancouver Airport Authority, the Vancouver Convention Centre and others.
2017 Vancouver Tourism Highlights:
- Star markets. Australia had the highest tourism growth in 2017. Australian visitation to Metro Vancouver increased 20.4% in 2017 to 238,823 visitors. Other well performing markets included Germany (+15.4%), Mexico (+12.9%), Japan (+5.2%) and South Korea (+2.9%). The United States remains Metro Vancouver’s largest international travel market bringing 2,405,287 overnight visitors in 2017 (+1.6%). Vancouver’s second largest international market is China which registered 300,172 visitors in 2017 (+7.1 %).
- Record breaking year for citywide wins. Tourism Vancouver and convention industry partners won 33 future citywide meetings in 2017, booking as far into the future as 2027. Future convention groups include the 2019 Women Deliver Global Conference, 2019 Ecocity World Summit, and the 2020 Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting.
- Cruise. The Port of Vancouver welcomed 842,928 cruise passengers on 236 vessel visits in 2017, reflecting a 2% increase in passenger volumes over 2016. Each cruise ship brings an average of $3 million to the local economy.
- Sport Hosting. Major sports events in 2017 drew visitors to Vancouver from around the world. These included the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver stop – the HSBC Canada Sevens; International Rugby: Canada v Maori All Blacks; International Women’s Soccer: Canada v USA; and the Cycling Canada 2017 Masters Road Cycling Championships.
- New Flights. Vancouver International Airport welcomed 16 new flights in 2017 with airline partners Capital Airlines (China), Air Canada, Hong Kong Airlines, Interjet (Mexico) and Flair Airlines (Canada). YVR saw 24.2 million passengers transit in 2017.
2018 will see Vancouver host major sporting events including the NCAA Vancouver Showcase (men’s and women’s basketball, Nov. 18-20 and Nov. 22-34); ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (Dec. 5-9); and the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships (Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2019).
Vancouver is also expecting to benefit from the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism.
It is estimated that the tourism industry in Vancouver contributes approximately $4.8 billion to the Metro Vancouver economy annually and provides more than 70,000 full-time jobs.