Tourism’s getting so big it warrants its own national week

The City of Revelstoke is joining dozens of communities, cities and regions around British Columbia to recognize National Tourism Week — May 29 to June 4.

Tourism 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.

Mayor Mark McKee will recognize the achievements of tourism operators, employees, destination marketing organizations and other stakeholders by personally welcoming guests at the Visitor Information Centre on Monday, May 30 from 1 until 2 pm.

Revelstoke has seen steady growth in the tourism sector over the past several years. A strong winter product includes alpine skiing, Nordic, cat skiing and heli-skiing, snowmobiling and boarding, while mountain biking, hiking and the new mountain coaster contribute to the summer experience. Annual hotel room revenues have increased here by almost 40% since 2009, and many new businesses offering services to visitors have opened during this time.

“Our community has enjoyed another banner year, we estimate tourism now contributes about 25% of the local economy,” McKee said in a statement announcing National Tourism Week. “Our community is home to many tourism businesses that offer authentic experiences. Tourism is an important piece of our economy that requires professional marketing expertise managed by our local destination marketing organization, Tourism Revelstoke.”

While BC experienced a record-setting 4.9 million visitors last year, the trend is continuing as businesses and destinations have already enjoyed a busy first quarter and are anticipating more record results this summer. Operators and communities around BC are sharing their Tourism Week celebrations on social media using the hashtag #BCTourismMatters.