As Ty Speer, Tourism Vancouver's new president and CEO, officially begins his duties today, mid-year data indicates 2014 and 2015 will be exceptionally strong years for the city's $3.6-billion* tourism industry.
Highlights of Metro Vancouver's most recent tourism data for this year include:
- 5.5 percent increase in overnight visitation over 2013
- 8.5 percent increase in hotel occupancy over 2013
- Notable increases in travellers from priority markets, particularly China (27.8 percent)
• Approximately 25 percent increase in convention attendees from outside Vancouver (projected to year-end)
Already this year, Tourism Vancouver has played a major role in hosting the globally renowned TED Conference and Rendez-vous Canada (the country's premier international tourism marketplace) as well as securing the largest conference in the city's history (Alcoholics Anonymous 2025, which is expected to attract 48,000 delegates). Vancouver was also honoured by internationally recognized publications, including Travel + Leisure (the magazine's 2014 World's Best Awards named Vancouver the top city in Canada) and Monocle Magazine (which ranked Vancouver the top city in North America). And 2014 and 2015 are slated as exceptionally strong convention years with major conferences taking place like SIGGRAPH (August 2014), World Congress of Dermatology (June 2015) and FIFA Women's World Cup (June 2015).
This year has also seen China overtake the U.K. as Vancouver's largest overseas travel market. With a current estimate of 209,499 Chinese travellers expected to visit Vancouver between January and December 2014 (up 15.1 percent from 2013), Tourism Vancouver recently launched a revised Chinese language version of its website that features key information on obtaining tourist visas along with travel tips and images. For the past two years, the organization has executed a marketing strategy in China featuring celebrated Chinese singer/songwriter Wanting Qu.
"Vancouver is growing its global presence every year, and 2014 has been one of the strongest yet," said Bob Lindsay, Tourism Vancouver's Board Chair. "Ty takes the helm at Tourism Vancouver during a pivotal year for the city's tourism industry. Now is the time to go after the world's most sought after conferences and events, and to renew our media and marketing strategies. We are a world city, and the next few years will prove it."
*According to Tourism Vancouver's 2012 Economic Impact Study, tourism in Metro Vancouver is a $3.6-billion industry with a total industry output of $6.1 billion. Tourism accounts for some 68,900 jobs in Vancouver.
Tourism Vancouver's focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. Its brand essence is about exceeding visitors' expectations.