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Fourth record year for Vancouver Tourism

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Summary

International marketing, sporting events help boost travel to the Lower Mainland

Australia, Germany, Japan sending more travellers to Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you think Vancouver is getting more crowded during the summer, you might be right.

Millions of people visited Vancouver last year–10.3 million to be exact–highlighting a fourth consecutive record year for tourism.

We can likely thank marketing initiatives in other countries for the increase, according to Tourism’s Amber Sessions.

“One of the key things is that our partners at the airport and of course Tourism Vancouver and others have done a really good job in attracting more flights to YVR which means that we just have literally more spaces on flights for these people to come to Vancouver,” says Sessions.

Australia had the highest tourism growth in 2017 with an increase of more than 20 per cent in 2017 (238,823 visitors). Germany, Mexico, Japan, and South Korea were a few of the other countries with tourism growth. While the US is still Metro Vancouver’s largest international travel market, Sessions says that market didn’t do as well as Tourism was expecting.

“We feel that’s because a lot of Washingtonians who might’ve come up to BC in the summer might’ve changed their plans because of wildfires. Similarly, Californians–who have always been really big travelers to British Columbia–they had their own forest fire situation happened so they might not have wanted to leave home. So, that could’ve had a factor in actually lowering out visitor volume from the US a bit.”

She says it all balanced out thanks to the massive success in the international market. Cruise traffic was also boosted by two per cent.

Sporting events like World Rugby Sevens, Canada Sevens, Canada-Maori All Blacks rugby game, and the Canada-USA soccer game also helped draw more people to the Lower Mainland.

Sessions says a number of big sporting events should help keep those numbers up this year.

“We have a big basketball event coming in November–the NCAA Vancouver Showcase. We’ve got a huge figure skating event–the International Skating Unions Grand Prix in December,” she says, adding the IIHF World Juniors will also be here at the end of the year.

Another reason more people are choosing to create adventures in Vancouver? Sessions says it could be a number of awards, like being recognized as one of the 20 “Best Cities in the World” according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, one of the “Top 2017 Travel Destinations” by Forbes, and Travel Weekly readers voted Vancouver the “Best City in Canada”.