The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) recently released reports highlighting economic and job indicators for 2020, providing a look at our local economy and the impact of COVID-19 in our region.

The reports indicate that:

  • Kelowna continues to be the fastest-growing Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in BC and the fourth fastest-growing in Canada, with an estimated population growth of 1.9% in 2020.
  • The average unemployment rate in 2020 was 7.2%, compared to 4% in 2019; however, the unemployment rate decreased to 4.7% during the last quarter of 2020, from a high of 9.6% in May.
  • Job postings in the region were down 28.7% year over year, while job seekers increased 12.7% in 2020 compared to 2019.
  • Airport passengers for 2020 were down 63.7% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

In addition to the indicators from the COEDC, tourism industry indicators for the hotel sector also reflect the impact of COVID-19:

  • The average hotel occupancy for 2020 was 40.8%, which is 24.4 percentage points lower than 2019.
  • The Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) for 2020 were $153.70 (down 6.2% YOY) and $63.60 (down 41.3% YOY) respectively.

With total overnight visitor trips to the region up approximately 5% for 2020 as compared to 2019 and hotel indicators down, it appears as though visitors in 2020 chose alternative accommodation options like short-term rentals or staying with family and friends.  

Visit the COEDC website to access the full Economic and Job Indicators reports.

For more information on tourism industry research, visit our website.