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Indian visitors to BC up 21 pct in June

Province gets more than 2m visitors in first-half 2016

Victoria: The number of overnight visitors from India to B.C. increased by 20.9 per cent in June this year from the previous June as international tourists to the province surpassed the two-million mark for the first six months of 2016.

According to Statistics Canada, 2,307,624 visitors came to B.C. from January to June, a 12.4 per cent increase (254,935 additional visitors) over the same period last year.

During the same time frame, other highlights include visits from the United States, which were up 12.4 per cent, visits from Mexico up 38.6 per cent and visits from China up 22 per cent.

In addition, 656,676 international visitors came to B.C. in June alone – an 8.6 per cent increase compared to June 2015.

There were increases in visitors from a number of markets in June over the same month in 2015, including:

  • China, up 48.8 per cent
  • Mexico, up 40.2 per cent
  • Japan, up 22.6 per cent
  • South Korea, up 21.8 per cent
  • India, up 20.9 per cent
  • Australia, up 19.7 per cent
  • Europe, up 3.9 per cent
  • United States, up 4.4 per cent

A number of factors are contributing to the growth in visitor numbers, including increased air access and capacity to Vancouver, a low Canadian dollar and Destination BC’s new international marketing strategy.

The Canada Transportation Agency just announced a sixth mainland China based air carrier, Capital Airlines, will start servicing Vancouver International Airport in December.

Each new daily international flight to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) creates between 150 and 200 new jobs at the airport, plus more jobs in B.C.’s hotels, tourism attractions ¬†and businesses. The new flights are thanks in part to government’s elimination of a 2012 international jet-fuel tax to reduce costs for airlines and give travellers more choices.

Quick Facts:

  • The tourism industry is helping fuel the provincial economy, which is expected to lead the country in economic growth in 2016 and 2017.
  • Tourism supports nearly 19,000 businesses and 127,500 employees in British Columbia and is a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan.
  • The Province invests more than $98 million annually in the tourism sector across every region to grow and market the sector.
  • In 2015, 4.9 million international visitors came to B.C. – about an 8 per cent increase compared to 2014.

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