Vancouver continues to rank as a top international destination based on its natural beauty, Indigenous culture, diversity, health and wellness, commitment to sustainability, gateway to the Pacific Rim, and integrated tourist infrastructure.
Lying in the midst of the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is amazingly beautiful for obvious reasons. Often termed as ‘the best city to live in, it’s one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
Vancouver is not a city that requires relentless sightseeing, but a handful of sights make worthwhile viewing by any standards.
Below are some statistics and trends of the city’s tourism landscape.
PRE & POST PANDEMIC TRENDS
- Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the top meeting destinations in North America.
- The Vancouver region is the perfect mix of urban life, small-town charm, historic architecture, world-class museums, and coastal galleries.
- Vancouver Island makes up the second-largest share of tourism establishments in BC at about 3000. Growth in this number is steadily increasing as more visitors discover the charm of the coastal lifestyle.
- In 2018, the city of Vancouver ranked first in Canada and second in North America as a meeting destination.
- Tourism makes a significant contribution to Vancouver’s economy. For every $100M in Tourism revenue, it is estimated that there is a further $69M in economic impact which supports local communities
- After thriving for decades, COVID-19 represents the greatest challenge to Vancouver’s tourism and hospitality industry in recent memory.
- Before the pandemic, this industry was growing faster than the provincial economy as a whole with $20.5 billion in revenues and 161,500 jobs.
- Metro Vancouver represents a significant source of revenue with tourism and hospitality, which includes the restaurant and food services sector, contributing over $14.4 billion to the economy and supporting more than 105,000 jobs.
- Cruise and conference traffic is particularly significant to Vancouver, representing an estimated $2.2 billion in direct and indirect economic impact.
- Cruise ships have a large impact on the local economy. In 2019, Vancouver welcomed 288 cruise ships, an increase from the average of approximately 230 ships per year.
- Each of the 280 cruise ships that dock at Canada Place each year stimulates $3.17 million in direct economic activity.
- Vancouver receives about 800,000 cruise passengers yearly who come through the Port of Vancouver.
- The meetings and conferences sector (M&C) drives more than $1.6 billion in direct and indirect visitor spending. It is considered a modest estimate, as it does not include M&C businesses that go directly to venues like the Vancouver Convention Centre or hotels.
- In 2019, the city hosted 26 citywide conventions and events, drawing over 155,000 visitors.
- Over the years, the city has hosted prestigious events like the annual TED Conference, FIFA Women’s World Cup, and SIGGRAPH, which have attracted tens of thousands of people while enhancing global awareness of Vancouver as a coveted destination for both business and leisure.
- Tourism Vancouver has set a goal of reaching $11 billion in revenue in 2026.
HABITS AND MOTIVES
- Some cultural activities, including visiting historic sites and museums/art galleries, also ranked as top trip activities among out-of-province and international visitors.
- Based on volume, half of all tourists travel to BC just to visit the Vancouver, coast, mountain area.
- Leisure is the major purpose of tourists’ visits to Vancouver 85%, 9% are a combination of business and leisure, and 6% said their trip was for business or work.
- About 56% of visitors planned their trip at least one month in advance, and 44% planned their trip less than one month in advance.
- The top sources of information were friends and relatives (53%), previous personal experience (33%), and Visitor Information Centres (26%).
- On average, most visitors are likely to stay overnight while a small proportion is in VIN for a day trip only.
- The most popular attractions are beaches and dining out and parks and trails.
- Most people travel in the Vancouver Island region during the peak summer months, July to September.
- British Columbia residents are more likely to travel to the region during the winter months than in other markets of origin.
- The average daily room rate downtown reached $254 in 2018 with a corresponding occupancy rate of 81%.
- Destination British Columbia is a provincially-funded, industry-led Crown corporation that facilitates a strong and competitive future for BC’s tourism industry through a combination of global marketing, destination development, industry learning, cooperative community-based programs, and visitor servicing.
- Destination BC receives approximately $52 million each year, out of a Provincial investment of $140 million to BC’s tourism ecosystem.
- The Vancouver region has more than 25,000 guest rooms, with about 13,000 alone downtown.
- The average cost for an overnight double room in Vancouver in Canada was 177 U.S. dollars in January 2022.
- By 2030, the room shortage and foregone visitor spending are estimated to account for over $214M in GDP and 3,300 full-time equivalents* jobs in downtown Vancouver.
- Because of its service nature, tourism is the most impacted sector in the Canadian economy. Canada’s major cities have been hit the hardest by the loss of tourism revenue.
- As Canadians search for travel dates further out, they show increasing interest in international travel.
- Recovery in the country’s tourism sector is forecasted to take years, but a significant increase in domestic travel can accelerate recovery. Domestic tourism is needed to stimulate the visitor economy.
- The Port of Vancouver is homeport to most major cruise lines including Celebrity Cruises, Compagnie Du Ponant, Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean International, and Silversea Cruises.
- These cruise lines offer a variety of itineraries ranging from 7 to 14-day and both one-way and roundtrip itineraries through BC’s spectacular Inside Passage.
- The Vancouver Aquarium is not just an aquarium: it is a unique non-profit marine science centre dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life.
- It is Canada’s largest aquarium, with many exhibits and galleries presenting different aquatic ecosystems.
- Vancouver is a city that is best explored on foot or by bike. It is rated one of the most walkable cities in the world.
- Vancouver has a relatively good cycling city, with more than 300km of designated routes crisscrossing the region.
Hello! I am Axel, tripplo.com’s travel tips expert, travel savings expert and founder. It’s me who publish and update most of the content and discounts on tripplo.com!