The COVID-19 crisis has challenged BC’s tourism industry in unimaginable ways since it struck in the spring of 2020. Prior to the pandemic, tourism was one of the fastest growing industries in the world – BC was no exception.
The visitor economy has been the hardest-hit sector during the crisis and it is expected to be the last to recover as BC’s tourism businesses continue to deal with unprecedented losses.
The following provides some insights into BC’s thriving tourism industry, pre-COVID.
Source: Destination BC
ECONOMIC IMPACT – British Columbia
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 (forestry & logging $1.8B, agriculture & fishing $3.2B, oil & gas $4.9B, and mining:$5.2B).
In 2019, the tourism industry paid $6.1 billion in wages and salaries, up 5.8% from 2018, and up 65.0% since 2010.
For the most up to date snapshot of BC Travel, International Visitor Arrivals and Tourism Indicators, Visit Destination BC.