Every five years, Tourism Kelowna commissions a comprehensive tourism economic impact study that provides a detailed analysis of the role tourism plays in the Kelowna Census Metropolitan Area (Central Okanagan). The study looks at tourism's many direct impacts, like jobs and taxes generated by tourism that return into the community. One of the values of this study is that it frames tourism within the context of the greater community and other industries. Here is a top-level synopsis of the study's findings, released this week:

     -  Blog - New Tourism Economic Impact Study Shows..1.5 million visitors annually – up 26.9%
     -  $279,000,000 in visitor spending – down 3.1%
     -  7,072 direct jobs – up 5.8%
     -  $176,000,000 in wages – up 39.7%
     -  $335,000,000 in GDP – up 50.2% 
      -  $653,000,000 in Economic Output – up 68.7% 
      -  $100,000,000 in Tax Revenues –  up 12.4%

The second statistic here (visitor spending) reflects the overall visitor spending in the area related to tourism - we recognize that it varies quite a bit by industry and business type. We know that the hardest hit in this area have been retail, attractions, and food & beverage, while the accommodation sector has fared very well. Overall, performance of the industry has been strong when viewed over this 5 year window despite the recession and on-going economic instability. Once consumer confidence rises and we find economic stability in our travel markets, we can expect to see this figure increase accordingly. For more detail, please contact me at (250) 861-1515 ext 202 or by email at nancy@tourismkelowna.com.