Breaking down B.C. Tourism by the numbers

May 26th, 2019

B.C.’s tourism industry experienced record setting numbers last year, and the trend is continuing as businesses and destinations across B.C. have already enjoyed a busy first quarter and are anticipating more record results this summer.

B.C. Tourism By The Numbers

  • Events at BC Place in 2018 generated more than $130 Million in total economic benefit in the province of British Columbia, with more than $25 million of that being contributed by visitors traveling to events from outside the province.
  • In 2017, there were approximately 21.6 million overnight visitors in British Columbia who spent $12.3 billion.
  • Over half of the visitors (53.0%) were BC residents. Visitors from other parts of Canada accounted for 21.1% of all visits and international visitors accounted for the remaining 25.9% of visitor volume.
  • While BC residents made up the largest share of visitor volume, international visitors made up 44.9% of visitor expenditures. BC residents accounted for 28.9% of visitor expenditures and other Canadian residents accounted for the remaining 26.2%.
  • In 2017, British Columbia’s tourism industry employed 137,800 people, a 3.6% increase from 2016. This means that tourism provides a job for roughly 1 out of every 16 people employed in the province.
  • The tourism industry generated $5.4 billion in export revenue in 2017, growing 7.1% from 2016.
  • GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 4.0% over 2016. The tourism industry contributed $9.0 billion of value added or GDP (in 2012 constant dollars) to the BC economy. This represents 6.7% growth over 2016 and 32.5% growth since 2007.
  • British Columbia’s tourism industry generated revenue of $18.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.4% over 2016, and a 41.3% increase from 2007.
  • In 2017, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry. (Mining: $4.9B, oil & gas: $3.7B, forestry & logging: $1.8B, and agriculture & fishing: $1.5B.)

For more provincial statistics on tourism industry performance, visit