Fraser Valley/Victoria – The tourism sector is having an excellent year and it’s not surprising that many British Columbians are choosing to staycation and enjoy the spectacular tourism experiences in their own backyards.
Staycations can give British Columbians a chance to enjoy the province’s world-class travel experiences first-hand. The low Canadian dollar adds incentive for British Columbians to get out and explore their community, region and province. Staycations are also a good way to keep your vacation dollars circulating in B.C.’s economy. By visiting regional events and venues, you’re not only supporting local businesses, you’re also helping sustain important jobs in the tourism sector.
Tourism is a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan and an important economic driver in the province. B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and growing. In 2014, 4.65 million international travellers came to B.C., a 5.3% increase and nearly a quarter million more visitors than we welcomed in 2013. As well, the tourism sector employed 132,000 British Columbians, almost 1 in every 15 jobs in B.C. in 2013. The sector has more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses and paid out $4.5 billion in wages and salaries to tourism workers in 2013 – an increase of 3.8 % over the year before.
If a Fraser Valley staycation is on your radar, here are some fun activities you can enjoy:
- Enjoy walking through the beautiful grounds at Westminster Abbey Benedictine Monastery in Abbotsford.
- Spend an afternoon at the Cultus Lake Adventure Park
- Cultural Tours are available at Sto:lo Nation in Chilliwack. One hour cultural tours are available Thursday to Saturday starting at 1 p.m. at the Sto:lo gift shop.
- Mission City Farmers Market, every Saturday morning at the Mission Community Library.
- Wakeboard Championships, Aug. 20-23, Abbotsford.
- Hiking, walking and horseback riding at Golden Ears Provincial Park, Maple Ridge.
- Fort Langley National Historic Site.
Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope –
“While it might be August, there’s still time to enjoy attractions throughout the Fraser Valley before autumn arrives. From spending an afternoon at Cultus Lake beach, pampering yourself at Harrison Hot Springs, rafting on the Chilliwack River or to chartering a sturgeon fishing expedition, there are plenty of options for family fun in our backyard.”
- The Province invests about $90 million annually in the tourism sector.
- British Columbia posted a 5.3% increase in international overnight visitors for 2014, surpassing the 3.2% increase in arrivals to Canada as a whole.
- International tourist visits to B.C. climbed again in May 2015, marking a fifth gain in six months.
- These gains support the more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C.
- 2013, the tourism industry generated $13.9 billion in revenue, an increase of 3.6% from 2012 and a 44% increase since 2003.