Squamish celebrates Tourism Week

Squamish is joining dozens of communities, cities and regions around British Columbia to recognize National Tourism Week – May 29 to June 4, which highlights B.C.’s visitor economy as one of the province’s top performing business sectors. In recognition of the week, Mayor Patricia Heintzman will spend May 30 visiting local tourism destinations to highlight the importance of the tourism industry to Squamish’s own growing economy. 

“Our community has enjoyed five consecutive years of tourism growth as evidenced by increased room nights, increased traffic at the Visitor Centre, and a 64% growth in contributions since 2010 to the provincial tax mechanism that directly funds local tourism marketing, programs and projects,” says Mayor Heintzman. “Tourism has become an important piece of our economy and Squamish now welcomes visitors from around the world. Tourism Squamish works hard to promote our community as a desirable visitor destination, and actively drives traffic to our tourism partners.”

In 2015, the Squamish Visitor Centre welcomed 59,200 visitors to Squamish, which was a 30% increase over the prior year. In partnership with local operators, Tourism Squamish grew the Municipal Regional District Tax, which raises revenue for local tourism marketing, programs and projects, by 21%, and increased the hotel occupancy rate by 9% for an annual occupancy average of 64% in 2015. Efforts were focused on increasing visitation midweek and throughout the winter season.

On Monday, May 30, Mayor Heintzman will recognize the achievements of local tourism operators, employees and the destination marketing organization by personally welcoming guests to the Visitor Centre at the Squamish Adventure Centre between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Following her shift as a visitor services team member, the Mayor will be at the top station of the Sea to Sky Gondola from noon to 1:30 p.m., greeting visitors as they disembark. Her final stop will be at the Executive Suites Hotel & Resort at 2 p.m. to thank the hotel employees for their hard work supporting the local tourism industry.

B.C.'s visitor economy has been one of the province's top performing business sectors over the past two years, expanding faster than the economy at large and outpacing traditional sectors such as agriculture and fishing.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour says that "British Columbia is experiencing incredible growth in tourism. We saw a 7.9% increase in international tourists as 4.9 million international visitors came to our province in 2015. With a strong U.S. dollar, many British Columbians are also opting to experience B.C.'s world-class tourism through a staycation exploring B.C. It is indeed a time to celebrate Tourism Week in Canada and such an important industry that’s helping BC be an economic leader in Canada.”

May 24, 2016

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