- Kelowna is the birthplace of the B.C. wine industry, and with over 40 wineries within Kelowna and surrounding communities, the wine industry is an important contributor to our local economy, jobs and our quality of life.
- The move by the Alberta government to boycott B.C. wines will directly impact local wineries. It is extremely unfortunate that these businesses, many of them small owner-operators, are now directly impacted by an issue they did not create or can solve.
- Understandably, local wine producers and the B.C. Wine Institute are disappointed and concerned about any effects this issue may have on sales and visitation.
- Winery visits and tours are a key reason why 1.9 million visitors, many of them from Alberta, come to Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley annually. Local wineries, their employees, suppliers and vendors have worked hard for generations to provide fine Canadian wine to national and international visitors.
- As a committed industry partner, Tourism Kelowna will work with the British Columbia Wine Institute to continue promoting our local wine producers and their world-class products to the rest of Canada.
- Since the origins of this dispute are rooted in a multi-province project, and the actions are impacting inter-provincial trade, we join other stakeholders in urging the federal government to take action to resolve these issues.
BACKGROUND / FACTS:
- Alberta Premier Notley announced a ban on B.C. wine in Alberta on February 6, 2018. The wine ban is connected to a dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
- Approximately 30 per cent of all wine sold in Alberta is British Columbia wine. In 2017, 17.2 million bottles (1.4 million cases) of B.C. wine with an estimated value of $70-million per year was imported into Alberta. Alberta is the second largest buyer of B.C. wine (second only to British Columbia itself).
- Tourism Kelowna’s 2016 Visitor Intercept Survey found that 18 per cent of respondents indicated wine touring was their top reason to visit. Approximately 41 per cent of respondents indicated they planned to visit a winery during their visit. The report also noted that 26 per cent of visitors to Kelowna and area are from Alberta.
- The federal government has control over cross-boundary pipeline projects.
About Tourism Kelowna:
Working on behalf of over 375 local businesses, Tourism Kelowna is the lead destination marketing organization for the Central Okanagan generating overnight visitor demand that economically benefits Kelowna and its neighbouring communities.
In 2016, over 1.9 million visitors came to Kelowna and area and spent $337 million dollars. Overall, our local tourism industry contributes over $1.25 billion in total economic output and provides nearly 12,000 jobs and generates $142 million in tax revenues.
For more information:
(250) 861-1515 ext. 203