Tourism numbers hold steady after BC changes date for Family Day

Tourism numbers hold steady after BC changes date for Family Day
WatchFamily Day events at the B.C. legislature were cancelled Monday due to the throne speech protests last week. But it didn't put a damper on a sunny day that saw thousands in downtown Victoria.

Thousands of people were on the streets of downtown Victoria on a bright and beautiful family day Monday.

For locals, it’s a rare opportunity for a walk in the sun after weeks of wet weather. And for visitors, it’s a chance to see the city at its finest.

“It lives up to its reputation. It has a fine history, it’s very enjoyable and has a relaxing atmosphere” one American visitor told CHEK.

“We’re kinda looking forward to seeing what’s here, to see the landscape, I’m really curious.” said another tourist.

In February 2018, the B.C. provincial government announced that Family Day would be moved to the third Monday in February 2019, to align the holiday with the rest of those provinces who observe it on that same Monday.

But the move initially had tourism officials concerned.

“We were worried that we’re going to have one really busy weekend instead of two weekends in a row. Those fears haven’t really turned out for us here in Victoria it’s just been steady. So we think it really does come down to other factors like what there is to see and do and the weather. So as far as we’re concerned, it’s kind of been just steady as she goes.” said Tourism Victoria CEO Paul Nursey.

The change also allows for out of province guests to make a quick getaway.

“We live in Lethbridge, Alberta. I wanted to treat my wife and go some place we’ve never been. And we didn’t want to go too far. We wanted to be close and we wanted to stay in Canada.” said a tourist from Alberta.

And of course, local businesses welcome the extra traffic.

“More people will come when they can spend longer here. It does take a bit of time to get here with ferries and flights so it’s great to have that extra day,” said Prince of Whales Whale Watching Buisiness Development Manager Ian MacPhee.

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