British Columbia, Canada is known around the world as an outstanding visitor destination. Our spectacular natural environment and welcoming, cosmopolitan cities provide memorable experiences and quality tourism products, as well as investment opportunities in tourism products and services.
British Columbia is a premiere outdoor destination, with tremendous potential to increase commercial recreation and adventure tourism.
Investors in British Columbia’s tourism sector benefit from an impressive set of competitive advantages:
Watch this short video on British Columbia’s Tourism advantages.
- Diverse landscapes and experiences – British Columbia offers visitors unmatched natural scenery and memorable experiences in our natural environment and diverse cities.
- Mild climate and year-round industry - British Columbia’s temperate climate allows for the industry to promote unique activities and experiences throughout the year.
- Accessibility to visitors – Located on North America’s west coast, we are easily accessible to visitors from around the world, especially the rapidly growing number of travellers from Asia. The strengthening world economy is also encouraging North American and European visitors to continue exploring Canada and British Columbia.
- Outstanding infrastructure – In recent years, provincial, federal and local governments have invested heavily in our roads, bridges, airports, border crossings and ports. This is in addition to significant private investment in accommodation and other tourism facilities.
- World-class tourism products – British Columbia offers outstanding visitor experiences that range from skiing, touring, golf and hiking to city visits and hosting conventions. Niche products, such as wine touring, heli-skiing, wildlife-viewing and heritage locations appeal to higher-spending tourists.
- Distinct Aboriginal tourism opportunities – Aboriginal cultural tourism is expanding in British Columbia, offering rich and unique experiences to visitors from around the world.
- Strong government support for tourism – We recognize and value the role of tourism in our economy and have introduced initiatives to support growth of the industry. These include Destination BC, an industry-led Crown corporation designed to market British Columbia to the world.
Tourism Sector Snapshot
Tourism is one of British Columbia’s leading economic sectors and is significant in every region of our province.
- The tourism industry makes a significant contribution to the B.C. economy compared with other primary resource industries, including forestry, agriculture & fisheries, and mining and oil and gas extraction. Tourism generated a direct contribution to British Columbia’s gross domestic product (GDP) of $7.4 billion in 2015.
- In 2015, tourism employed 127,700 British Columbians.
- There were 18,938 tourism-related business establishments operating in the province during 2015.
- Accommodation and food services generated over one-third (35.5%) of total tourism revenue in 2015. Transportation services accounted for nearly a third (32.0%) and retail services accounted for more than a quarter (26.3%) of total tourism revenue in 2015.
- British Columbia has placed a strong emphasis on quality service to visitors. Our WorldHost training program sets the standard for customer service excellence and is an internationally recognized leader in training for the tourism industry.
- As discretionary incomes continue to rebound and demand for travel increases in developing countries, tourism is expected to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.
Tourism Sector Infrastructure
We are investing heavily in tourism infrastructure. Vancouver International Airport will invest $5.6 billion on expanded terminals, new taxiways and improved roads and bridges to attract new carriers, improve the travel experience and more effectively move cargo. Several other B.C. airports, including Prince George, Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Abbotsford, and Cranbrook, have completed infrastructure investments to grow their international traffic.
Major investments in Vancouver Convention Centre and other transportation facilities across the province have also significantly enhanced visitor experiences in British Columbia.
Tourism Sector Supports
Destination BC provides leadership in destination development and innovation and promotes training and development related to tourism.
British Columbia provides a range of attractive business incentives