Tourism By The Numbers

The tourism industry is recognized as one of the 4 economic pillars in British Columbia.

Tourism in British Columbia is a multi-billion dollar industry that generates significant economic impact through direct visitor spending on goods and services; wages and benefits paid to employees; business investment; job creation; taxes paid to various levels of government and other avenues.

Tourism also plays a significant role in the national economy, generating an estimated $104.9 billion in tourism expenditures (2019), supporting approximately 1 in 10 jobs in communities across Canada and contributes an estimated $43.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product.

2019 was the best year for tourism both provincially and nationally.

2022 Tourism Week

“Tourism Week” is an annual, national and provincial invitation for all tourism partners to come together to champion and promote our destinations, tourism businesses, and employees. This year TIABC has partnered with Destination BC (DBC) to develop a comprehensive toolkit to provide you with valuable resources and assist you in developing new initiatives and ideas to implement.

We are excited to share with you the 2022 Tourism Week Industry Toolkit.

The Tourism Week 2022 Industry Toolkit provides information and resources for BC’s tourism industry and partners to participate as they can, and when they can.
We encourage everyone to take part!


Destination BC, the provincial marketing organization produces regularly updated resources that include various performance indicators for Canada, BC and British Columbia’s six tourism regions; Snapshot of BC, International Visitor Arrivals, Tourism Indicators and The Value of Tourism

Updated monthly, the Tourism Indicator’s publication includes key tourism statistics such as international visitor arrivals data, provincial room revenue, commercial restaurant receipts, provincial and regional occupancy rates and average daily room rates, regional airports, ferries, and convention centres.

The Tourism Indicators data tables  are updated monthly.





2022 Tourism Industry Toolkit

View the Toolkit Here

The 2022 Tourism Week Industry Toolkit contains comprehensive resources including:
• BC Government Resources
• Key Messaging
• Tourism Week Fact Sheet
• Suggested Social Media Posts
• Infographics
• Value of Tourism Videos
• “We Are Tourism” Graphics
• Ideas to Celebrate Tourism Week
• Sustainable Tourism Pledge 2030
• TIAC Resources
• Tourism Week in BC

ECONOMIC IMPACT - British Columbia

In 2019, the tourism industry generated $22.3 billion in revenue – an 5.6% increase over 2018, and a 67.8% increase from 2009.

In 2019, tourism exports generated revenue of $7.2 billion, an increase of 4.3% over 2018.

GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 2.5% over 2018. The tourism industry contributed 3.4% or $8.7 billion of value added to the BC economy, as measured through GDP (in 2012 constant dollars). This represents 3.4% growth over 2018, and 41.8% growth since 2009.

In 2019, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry.

In 2018, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry (forestry & logging $1.8B, agriculture & fishing $3.2B, oil & gas $4.9B, and mining:$5.2B).

In 2019, 19,748 tourism-related businesses were in operation in BC, an increase of 2.2% over 2018.

In 2019, 149,900 people were employed in tourism-related businesses, a 1.8% increase over 2018.

In 2019, the tourism industry paid $6.1 billion in wages and salaries, up 5.8% from 2018, and up 65.0% since 2010.

2010-2020 Value of Tourism 10 Year Trend Data


British Columbia’s tourism industry had an exceptional year in 2019, with a total of 6,213,752 overnight international visitor arrivals to the province, including 3,980,733 visitors from the US, 1,348,676 from Asia Pacific, and 607,807 visitors from Europe. International visitor arrivals were up 2.6% over 2018.

The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors, including the marketing efforts of Destination BC and our industry partners, increased number of direct flights, and the easing of visa restrictions.

Tourism Research Resources

The past year was a record one for Canadian tourism, and with Canada’s New Tourism Vision ,the Government of Canada has a clear plan to build on this success, continue growing the tourism sector and create jobs for many years to come.

Canada’s Tourism Vision, providing Canadian tourism businesses and operators with up-to-date information on Canadian tourism. This action supports three of the vision’s commitments:

  • Increasing the number of international tourists to Canada by 30 percent by 2021.
  • Doubling the number of Chinese visitors by the same year.
  • Positioning Canada to compete for a top 10 destination ranking by 2025

And as tourism is Canada’s largest service export, worth 2% of our GDP, it clearly matters to Canadians. That is why one year ago, in May 2017, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, launched Canada’s New Tourism Vision. And in that year, the Government of Canada has made progress on the goals set out in the vision, thanks to ongoing collaboration throughout the federal government, as well as with Destination Canada, the provinces and territories, and the tourism sector.

Read more here.

More Resources

Destination BC Tourism Research

Sign up to receive an email alert when new publications are released:

Destination BC – Value of Tourism

Destination BC’s Value of Tourism in British Columbia report summarizes information on the economic value the tourism industry contributes to the province. This publication summarizes 10 years of tourism revenue, gross domestic product, and business and employment data. Visitor volume and market origin data are also summarized. The latest Value of Tourism in British Columbia (2013) documents can be viewed here:
Value of Tourism in British Columbia – A Snapshot of 2014

For more information on Destination BC’s industry performance research, please visit:

Research Guide For Tourism Operators

A Destination BC Tourism Business Essentials guide, Research Guide for Tourism Operators: The Essential Guide on How To Conduct Tourism Research, explains why tourism research is important for tourism businesses and operators. The guide provides direction on how to conduct tourism research, what type of information can be collected, how to process, analyze and evaluate research results, and where additional guidance can be found.

Destination BC Tourism Research – by Activity

Destination BC produces reports on various tourism activities. The reports can be found at:

go2HR – Labour Demand

go2HR estimates that BC will have a need almost 100,000 new job openings over the next decade. This demand exceeds many of the other industries in our province.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, September 2016.

Value Of Tourism Model

Having defensible estimates of tourism’s contribution to a community is central to developing an informed tourism planning approach, strengthening the support of community stakeholders and local government, and encouraging an appreciation of tourism’s economic development potential.

By using the Value of Tourism model, the Research, Planning and Evaluation Branch of Destination British Columbia can assist your community in developing conservative and a credible estimate of visitor volume and direct tourism expenditures within a community.

The Value of Tourism model provides a structured, consistent approach to estimate the volume and value of tourism within a community. The core data collection component of the model is an accommodation survey to gather the most recent annual performance data from commercial accommodation operators (including campgrounds). This information is then applied to local, regional, provincial and national tourism indicators to provide an estimate of the total number of visitors (overnight, day and visiting friends and relatives) and their expenditures in the community.

Making Tourism Work for Communities and Families

Tourism Benefits

Many of the natural and cultural amenities that attract people to the region as residents or investors are amenities that were developed to provide positive visitor experiences and many would not have been developed without the economic contribution from tourism. Tourism pays for public facilities, programs and services not otherwise affordable.

Tourism revenues fund everything from clubs and sports facilities, to local police stations, waste services, water services, public toilets and local parks, street maintenance, medical facilities, and land and water rescue systems. Museums, cultural institutions, heritage sites and parks and campgrounds are all examples of good things made possible by a healthy, growing tourism industry.

Our region’s unique and diverse social, cultural and environmental resources are major tourism attractions. Tourism fosters appreciation and stewardship of local natural, cultural and historic resources by residents, community leaders, businesses and governments. Taking care of our unique cultural assets and amenities is key to growing visitor revenues that support an even greater quality of life for communities.

Conservation springs from industry-wide support for management, research and education initiatives that benefit everyone. In order to protect our resources that support tourism, and to capitalize on the growing global market for sustainable consumer goods and services, our tourism industry and its suppliers are engaging in responsible tourism management.

Unlike many other industries, tourism has the ability to connect different parts of a community, relying on the cooperation of local government, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and private citizens alike. Working together to offer a positive experience to visitors usually includes steps to beautify a community and often leads to increased community pride.

Tourism helps beautify and make communities more liveable and welcoming by revitalizing downtowns and funding amenities, programs and services enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. Appreciation by visitors stimulates local awareness, celebration and revival of culture and traditions.

Confident communities are resilient communities with a “can-do” attitude that unlocks tourism’s potential. Tourism offers rural communities, which might not otherwise survive, the opportunity to plan and carry out sustainable economic strategies. Rural communities with thriving tourism typically experience population growth that supports better amenities, transportation and improved quality of life for all residents.

And All This Too…

– Tourism educates both residents and visitors creating cultural diversity.
– Many amenities that we take for granted everyday exist in part due to tourism: restaurants, cafes, hiking trails, parks, shopping, festivals, events, spas, museums, aquariums, golf courses, transportation options and aquatic centres.
– Tourism boosts community pride.
– Tourism preserves our culture and heritage.
– Tourism in our community contributes positively to our quality of life.
– Tourism represents an investment, not a cost to taxpayers. Tax dollars generated from tourism contribute to healthcare, medical research, education, social services, infrastructure, marinas, airports, ferry terminals and social security.
– Tourism raises incomes and standard of living.
– Tourism grows and diversifies economies.
– Tourism builds attractive, livable communities that foster our culture, heritage and environment.

– Tourism positively contributes to the social well being enjoyed by island residents.
– Tourism allows for the development of outdoor recreation facilities from parks to golf courses creating opportunities for residents to improve their health, fitness and lifestyle.
– Tourism allows residents to meet visitors, developing new connections.
– Tourism contributes to positive changes in values and customs.
– Tourism promotes cultural exchange.
– Tourism preserves local cultural identity.
– Tourism increases demand for historical and cultural exhibits.
– Tourism protects ecology and natural environments.
– Tourism preserves historic buildings and monuments.
– Tourism encourages productive use of lands.
– Tourism activity develops and enhances public spaces.


Tourism Vancouver Island – Value of Tourism

How To Get Involved In The Tourism Industry

As a Government, Resident, Economic Development Agency, Tourism Business

BC’s economy is changing. Communities have experienced decline in natural resource based industries resulting in fewer jobs and struggling local business. This change has forced more residents to leave their communities in search of greater financial security. Tourism can strengthen vulnerable local economies, making them less reliant on single traditional base industries. Tourism also impacts commercial and residential development by acting as a “shop window” for the region’s lifestyle and attracting visitors to return as residents, increasing demand for housing and other services. Tourism builds a more diverse economic base and reduces reliance on traditional industries. That’s especially good for rural communities.

Investing in Tourism-Related Projects

Investing in tourism-related projects is a key provincial strategy and priority. Put your community on the map and energize the local economy by supporting tourism for all it’s worth. Together, many groups, agencies and organizations are working to build and sustain an industry that fosters fresh ideas and innovative investment designed to make our region even better equipped to attract more visitors and stimulate economic activity.

Actions You Can Take…

– Incorporate tourism into your Official Community Plan
– Develop a dedicated Tourism Plan for your community
– Support tourism investment in your community
– Develop policy that encourages and supports tourism growth
– Include tourism when doing community input and visioning sessions
– Work with your local Destination Marketing Organization on collaborative messaging
– Have a dedicated staff member, committee or team that focuses specifically on tourism development, marketing and projects
– Collaborate with the resource extraction industry on land use

– Promote tourism careers opportunities with workforce and resident attraction
– Promote tourism career opportunities and tourism amenities in resident relocation packages
– Use Festivals and Events to attract visitors and improve quality of life for residents
– Invest in infrastructure that supports tourism
– Support your Destination Marketing Organization through funding
– Support the development of locally distinctive products – a ‘made local’ brand. This brand can be applied to a range of goods and services, giving the products higher value and giving the tourist more information and satisfaction.
– Create sales venues or market places and spaces that are welcoming to locals and visitors. Areas with shade, sale of drinks and locally branded products.


As a Government, Resident, Economic Development Agency, Tourism Business

Tourism is everyone’s business and everyone needs to play their part by applying knowledge, expertise and resources to achieve the best outcomes for a flourishing industry and visitor economy. Whoever you are, whatever you do, tourism brings value to your way of life. If you appreciate tourism’s many perks and pluses, there are many ways to promote and support the industry to ensure its continued vitality and success. Tourism, let’s grow it together!

Be A Tourism Ambassador!

Tourism Ambassadors are passionate, motivated individuals who fulfill many roles, from government officials and front-line staff to spirited volunteers at local festivals. They believe in the potential of tourism and have made the commitment to take the necessary actions required to make tourism a dynamic, integral part of their communities. Their energy makes good things happen. Be a Tourism Ambassador and make a difference in the life of your community!

  • Volunteer at your local community events
    Attend special events in your community
    Get to know your local tourism operators
    Assists tourists with directions and resources
    Show your visiting friends and family around
    Tell people about Vancouver Island wherever you are
    Get active on social media sharing regional news and events

BC’s economy is changing from relying on single resources to taking advantage of emerging opportunities like tourism. Tourism is a big engine for growth. Tourism attracts and holds onto younger residents that love the island lifestyle.
Work with the creative assets tourism develops. Extend the messaging that makes us all amazing when you look to workforce, resident and investment attraction. Imagine how powerful the economy could be if we all worked under a common brand.

Economic Development Agency

Tourism and economic development go hand in hand. Tourism depends upon and grows the same essential ingredients that make our communities desirable. Things like quality of life and extended infrastructure. Tourism talks the same talk with economic development efforts to attract investment, stimulate jobs, draw new residents and showcase our region to others. Tourism links directly to sectors and industries such as agriculture, construction and transportation.

Actions you can take to power economic alignment and growth through tourism:

– Incorporate tourism messaging in your communications
– Incorporate tourism into your economic development plan
– Support tourism investment in your community
– Work with your local Destination Marketing Organization on collaborative messaging
– Have a dedicated staff member, committee or team that focuses specifically on tourism
– Support policy that supports tourism
– Collaborate with the resource extraction industry on land use

– Promote tourism careers opportunities with workforce and resident attraction
– Promote tourism careers opportunities and tourism amenities in resident relocation packages
– Use Festivals and Events to attract visitors and improve quality of life for residents
– Provide information on tourism investment opportunities in your community
– Facilitate meetings with tourism product developers

Tourism Business

Our tourism industry is a vast and interwoven network of tourism businesses, industry organizations and government agencies – all working to grow and sustain a dynamic industry by fostering fresh, innovative ideas and encouraging investment to make our region even better equipped to attract more visitors, stimulate economic activity, and continue building.

Working With Your Local and Regional DMO

If you’re in the business of tourism, local and regional destination marketing organizations are your main point of contact with the tourism industry. British Columbia has five Regional Destination Management Organizations (RDMOs) in the province representing Destination British Columbia. Their mission is to increase tourism’s economic benefits to the region and position the region as a preferred international travel destination.

As a tourism business in BC, you have the opportunity to add your voice to other members of TIABC who are advocating for the interests of our very important industry. If you are member, stay actively involved with our events, our surveys and our email and social media communications. If you are not yet a member, considering joining today!

Communities engaged in the direction of tourism development are more likely to become active partners and take a particular stake in the development of the destination. Effective way to work with local communities to achieve mutual benefits include everything from hiring local people and buying locally produced goods and services to sponsoring local events and working with local partners to support projects that increase community well-being.

Joining forces gives tourism customers more choice, and the destinations involved enjoy increased market exposure and penetration while engaging in a sustainable industry that takes into account the views and aspirations of host communities. Local support for tourism development and promotion is essential to enriching the visitor experience.

Tourism Advocacy

– Vote for leadership in support of tourism
– Get involved with your local tourism committee
– Send letters to local newspapers on the value of tourism
– Join your local Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)
– Ask your MLA and MP what they’re doing to support tourism
– Educate others about the positive economic and social impact of tourism

– Subscribe to local destination marketing organization newsletters
– Follow your local DMO or TVI on twitter and like them on Facebook
– Sponsor events put on by your local destination management organization


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