British Columbia’s recently announced tourism strategy is poised to increase visitor numbers and promote job creation in the wake of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
“The more people that experience our province, the more likely they are to return to live, invest and create jobs here,” notes Premier Christy Clark.
Key priorities over the next five years include attracting tourists from countries with large or emerging middle classes such as India and China while maintaining the traditional markets of Ontario, California, Washington, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Japan.
Gaining the Edge: a Five Year Strategy for Tourism in British Columbia targets a five per cent annual revenue growth in the tourism sector which is expected to be $18 billion annually by 2016.
Initiatives include expanded marketing of products that motivate people to visit B.C. including skiing and snowboarding, outdoor and eco-tourism, city experiences, Aboriginal tourism and the meetings and conventions segment.
The new five year strategy also includes working with the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. to create a new multi-faceted tourism marketing partnership between provincial, regional and community marketing organizations, as well as removing barriers to industry growth by working with the federal government to address issues related to air access and border crossings.
“The new provincial tourism strategy emphasizes the value of strengthening our collective focus and clearly demonstrates the partnership between B.C.’s tourism industry and government,” says Lana Denoni, chair of the board of directors for the Tourism Industry Association of B.C.
The Premier also revealed the 2011/2012 ski season marketing campaign with the tagline Get Above it All in British Columbia, developed in collaboration with members of Canada’s West Ski Areas Association from B.C.’s 13 export-ready ski resorts.
The $1.1 million campaign runs from November to March and will focus on attracting tourists from the Greater Toronto Area, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.
In 2010 the tourism industry employed 127,000 British Columbians and generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for the province, including $500 million from the ski industry alone.