Tourists Flock to BC
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.”