WATCH: Love it or hate it, tourist season has arrived on Vancouver Island. The Greater Victoria area alone attracts almost four million tourists annually. Kori Sidaway has more on the impact of what’s expected to be another record-breaking year.
Greater Victoria seems to have something for every visitor: the ocean, spectacular scenery, and a vibrant downtown full of historic buildings.
“We’re here from Seattle for a two day trip for our anniversary. The scenery, and just the architecture and richness of this city, it’s still very quaint,” says visitor Toinette.
“I’m in Portland for one year and now my parents are here, so we decided to go on a little trip to Canada. They heard about it before and they really wanted to come, so we decided to come to Victoria, and it’s beautiful,” says Clara.
In fact, Greater Victoria attracts almost four million people per year and those numbers are increasing year over year.
From 2011 to 2016, the tourism’s economic output for the region has increased 20 per cent, generating $2.3 billion in 2016.
Jobs have followed a similar increase of roughly 20 per cent, with 3,000 jobs added from 2011 to 2016.
It’s something that’s good for people like Lachlan Macaulay
“I’m a student right now, I’m going to UVic. A lot of people are just looking for four months in the summer, that helps out a lot,” says Macaulay.
Business is so good Hop On Hop Off is adding a bus to their fleet a month early this year.
“This last month we’ve seen a lot more people than last year,” says Macaulay.
Most tourists are coming from within Canada. A third of the capital city’s visitors are our southern neighbours, and the rest are coming from Europe and Asia – something Tourism Victoria says they’d like to see change.
“B.C., Alberta, Washington and California are our largest source markets, but we’re really keen to introduce more international travellers to the mix so we have a diversified mix,” says Paul Nursey, CEO of Victoria Tourism.
An increased focus on year-round tourism and more international visitors is keeping Victoria’s tourism industry growing.