Tourism Kelowna was among the 500-plus delegates (representing over 200 organizations) that attended the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference held February 27 - March 1, 2019, in Vancouver. Three days of keynote presentations and workshops covered topics including responsible & sustainable tourism, the provincial economy, accessible tourism, indigenous experiences, digital marketing, and employee engagement. There were also industry updates provided by The Honourable, Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Destination British Columbia, and Destination Canada.
Through these industry updates, conference delegates heard that the tourism industry contributed $9 billion to our provincial gross domestic product in 2017 and saw 6.1 million visitors (an increase of 6.4 per cent). Additionally, the industry employs more than 137,000 people in more than 19,000 tourism-related businesses.
Minister Beare also launched a new strategic framework for tourism in B.C., which outlines the government's vision for continued, sustainable growth and focuses on three pillars:
- Supporting People & Communities
- Sustainably Growing the Visitor Economy
- Respecting Nature & the Environment
“People from all over the world are discovering all that our beautiful province has to offer and are taking those memories back home with them, “ said Minister Beare. “With diverse vacation opportunities like wildlife viewing, storm watching and world-class festivals, every corner of B.C. offers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We want to see this momentum continue to build, and that’s why we launched this new strategic framework. We’re making sure the tourism industry’s benefits are shared with people and communities throughout the province, throughout the year.”
For the full press release about the strategic framework announcement, click here.
You can find information on Tourism Kelowna's economic impact report from 2016 on our website; our 2018 report will come out later this spring.
The BC Tourism Industry Conference is led by the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia; the 2020 conference will be held in Victoria next spring. For more information on the conference, click here.