New strategic plan for BC tourism

BC's tourism associations met last week to discuss the government's strategy for continued, sustainable growth in the industry.

A new strategic framework, launched at the annual Tourism Industry Conference, will guide year-round tourism growth that benefits people and communities, while protecting British Columbia's natural environment.

Glenn Mandziuk, the CEO of the Thompson Okanagan tourism region, says "it looks at everything from workforce development to developing a more inclusive and accessible tourism industry. It's great groundwork and we have a leadership blueprint for the future."

Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, says "with diverse vacation opportunities like wildlife viewing, storm watching and world-class festivals, every corner of BC offers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We want to make sure the tourism industry's benefits are shared with people and communities throughout the province, throughout the year."

Mandziuk says they also talked about the concerns flooding and wildfires have caused, and how marketing outside spring and summer is important. "So that visitors can be assured it's safe to do so -  that it's a beautiful place to come at different times of the year - and it's forcing our industry to look at the opportunities in other months of the year, and be open to support those visitors when they come," he says. 

The BC tourism industry generated $18.4 billion in revenue in 2017 - up 8.4% over 2016.

International visits also reached a record high of nearly 6.1 million in 2017.