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October 27, 2017 8:37 pm

Tourists Flock to BC

Monday, October 24, 2016 @ 4:39 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Another strong year for the tourism sector in B.C.

According to the provincial government, year-to-date figures show an 11.5% increase in international visitors over the same time last year (January to August).

That totals close to four million overnight visitors the first eight months of the year. In August alone, the province says there was a 7.5% increase in the number of international tourists compared to the same month in 2015.

Broken down, the numbers show an increase in visits from the following countries:

  • U.K. – up 32.1%
  • Australia – up 28.8%
  • Mexico – up 22%
  • Japan – up 19.8%
  • Europe – up 17.6%
  • South Korea – up 10.4%
  • China – up 10.2%
  • United States – up 3.9%

Year-to-date, Tourism Prince George says there have been 10,153 visits to Prince George. That includes 1,195 visits from Europe (454 Germans), 1,135 visits from the United States and Mexico and 785 visits from British Columbians.

Spokesperson Annie Doran says those numbers are down from last year because they only opened their visitor centre during peak hours.

But she notes the numbers don’t take into account their Ambassador Program which allowed them to set up their pop-up visitor centre around town.

“We had over 1,400 interactions with visitors through the mobile visitor centre this summer,” she says.

“We also saw large crowds come to town for some of the larger sporting events (like the Canadian Native Fastball Championship which brought in 1,500 athletes and $4 million in economic activity).

So, what drew people to Prince George?

“Prince George has become a signature stop along the journey towards the Alaska Highway, a major urban stopover along the northern circle routes,” says Doran.

“Overall it was a great year for tourism because of the low Canadian dollar attracting many US and European travellers to explore our urban wilderness.”



The numbers for people visiting Prince George from BC seems awful low. Should also be some big numbers to Prince George from other areas of Canada.

    I assume those numbers are visitors to the tourist information centers, not actual visits to the area, there is no way to accurately count actual visits to the area.

      I suspect your right.

Unless my math skills need work isn’t that like less than .005% of the visitors to BC came to or through PG? Hardly constitutes a great year…

    10,153 out of 4,000,000 visitors works out to roughly 0.25%, but yeah, still a small component of provincial tourism numbers. Not sure that’s all that unexpected though. The overwhelming majority of tourism activity would be in the southern reaches of the Province.

    Of course, that isn’t the issue. What should be considered is the year to year change for the PG numbers and the trend line. That’s how to evaluate whether it was a good year or not. The article says the numbers are down, but it also seems like the data isn’t exactly precise. So probably tough to provide an exact indicator of whether it has been a good year, a bad one, or an average one.

“Prince George has become a signature stop along the journey towards the Alaska Highway, a major urban stopover along the northern circle routes,” says Doran.

Yeah, sorry to burst your P.R. bubble there Ms. Doran, but P.G. is right on the way to Alaska, one of three road routes that Americans can take to get to Mile “0” and arguably the most popular route.

Americans have always gone through P.G. on their way to what should be called the Al-Can highway.

If we are a “signature stop” it is only because we happen to be in the way while the Americanos are on their way elsewhere.

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