Despite floods and fires - hotel occupancy rates in 2017 kept pace with 2016

Last spring’s floods in the Okanagan, and the summer’s record wildfires, had an impact on Kelowna’s tourism industry – but overall - 2017 kept pace with 2016.

Sean Coward, president of the Kelowna Hotel/Motel Association, says visitors did come, but chose to shorten their stay because of the weather.

He says last year, hotel occupancy was down 0.3% from 2016, which was a record year at 64.1%. Since 2012, Kelowna’s hotel occupancy levels have risen from 51.8% to 63.7% as an annual average.

The final four months of 2017 helped the industry rebound from the slower spring and summer with October showing the biggest gain at 2.7%.

In 2016, over 1.9 million visitors came to the Kelowna area and spent $337 million dollars.

Overall, our local tourism industry contributes over $1.25 billion in total economic output and provides nearly 12,000 jobs and generates $142 million in tax revenues.

Tourism Kelowna’s goal is to welcome 3 million visitors annually by 2021.