Published On: Friday, 08 June 2018

Tourism Victoria's Economic Impact

Tourism Victoria's Economic Impact

TOURISM - As part of Tourism Week in Canada (May 27 – June 2), Tourism Victoria released a new economic impact of tourism study for the Greater Victoria region. The tourism industry has a long and successful history in Greater Victoria. However, it was seven years since an economic analysis of the industry in the region had been completed.

The tourism industry contributes directly to the employment and economic growth of the region through activities and operations of firms providing products and services to tourists and is therefore a significant source of economic development for Greater Victoria, the province of British Columbia (BC) and beyond.

Here are a few highlights:

- The economic impact of tourism in Greater Victoria in 2016 was $2.3B. It was $1.9B in 2011.

- The Greater Victoria tourism industry has 22,300 employees. It was 19,000 in 2011.

- In 2016, according to Stats Can, the direct spend from overnight and same-day visitors were $1.3B.

- Tourism generated $376M in taxes for all levels of government in 2016.

The information corroborates recent underlying statistical trends in the Greater Victoria tourism industry. The tourism industry in Greater Victoria is coming off a stellar 2017 and continues to show strong numbers in 2018. The 2017 numbers show average hotel room rate, BC Ferries Route 1 (Tsawassen-Swartz Bay) vehicle and passenger traffic, cruise ship arrivals and Victoria Airport passengers all increasing from 2016. Mostly notably, Victoria Conference Centre delegate days were 26,761 for the end of March 2018, compared to 9,704 for the same period last year.

The year to date average daily hotel room rate (ADR) is $137.89 for the end of March 2018, compared to $124.12 for the same period in 2017. Year to date revenue per available room (RevPAR) is $87.33 for the end of March 2018, compared to $79.46 for the same period in 2017. Numbers for BC Ferries Route 1 traffic and Victoria Airport passengers are also up. These indicators generally have been on an upward trajectory for the past four-to-six years as well.

Moving forward, Tourism Victoria’s strategic focus will be to continue to grow the industry in the region – but in a sustainable manner. There will be a focus on highlighting careers in tourism as fun and rewarding, encouraging the next generation to pursue opportunities in an incredibly varied field. Another focus will be increasing visitation in the shoulder and off-seasons, including conferences. The increased conference delegate day numbers there has been some early success in executing this strategy.

The report can be found at the Tourism Victoria website at

Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Tourism Victoria.