VICTORIA, B.C. – In a city blessed with a Goldilocks climate, stunning streetscapes and serendipitous geography, residents of Greater Victoria can be forgiven for thinking tourism is something that “just happens.”
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. Tourism Week, which runs from May 29 to June 4, offers a chance for the public to learn more about opportunities provided by this vital economic sector.
“We’re proud to proclaim Tourism Week in Victoria,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “Tourism is on fire right now; we’re seeing even better performance year to date since a record-breaking 2015. We’re proud of our partners at Tourism Victoria for all the work they do in helping to make Victoria a great place to visit and a great place to live.”
After enjoying a record year in 2015, the tourism sector is set for an even stronger showing in 2016. Tourism is valued at almost $2 billion in Greater Victoria and directly employs more than 22,000 workers.
“British Columbia is experiencing incredible growth in tourism,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “We saw a 7.9 per cent increase in international tourists as 4.9 million international visitors came to our province in 2015. With a strong U.S. dollar, many British Columbians are also opting to experience B.C.’s world-class tourism through a staycation and exploring B.C. It is indeed a time to celebrate Tourism Week in Canada and such an important industry that’s helping B.C. be an economic leader in Canada.”
To showcase the value of tourism week, Tourism Victoria is hosting an Open House for the public from 8:30 to 10 a.m., June 1, at the Victoria Visitor Centre in the Inner Harbour. A new blog profiling people whose jobs have an unexpected connection to tourism has also been posted at TourismVictoria.com/blog. People such as a local shopkeeper, the manager of the shipyard, a print-shop salesperson and a public-relations professional share their stories about the role unexpected role tourism plays in their jobs.
“Tourism continues to represent a tremendous opportunity for Greater Victoria, providing jobs and driving infrastructure improvements such as the Belleville Terminal,” said Paul Nursey, President and CEO of Tourism Victoria. “We are fortunate to be right in the middle of one of the world’s most fascinating regions, and have a great opportunity to benefit from being part of a Pacific region that includes other great cities such as Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco.”