Value of Tourism

Tourism has great value to the Provincial economy. It is one of the largest employers and one of the largest small business generators.

The value of tourism to jobs, business and the economy includes:

  • Tourism employs about 127,700 — up 16.0% from 2005 to 2015.
  • Over 18,000 tourism businesses operate in British Columbia.
  • In 2015, the tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenue, a 37.3% increase over 2005.
  • The tourism industry contributed nearly $1.1 billion in provincial taxes in 2015, an increase of 38.0% from 2005.
  • Tourism generated a direct contribution to B.C.’s gross domestic product of $7.4 billion in 2015 (2007 constant dollars), an increase of 5.6% over 2014 and 17.5% since 2007.

Tourism also has value for communities across British Columbia:

  • Most tourism businesses are locally-owned small and medium enterprises that directly contribute to the local community economy.
  • Nearly half the tourism businesses (42%) are located outside the Vancouver-Lower Mainland region. Vancouver Island (16%) and Thompson-Okanagan (13%) have the largest number of businesses outside the Lower Mainland.
  • While the largest share of jobs (64%) are in the Vancouver-Lower Mainland region, the fastest growth over the last decade has been in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast (up 50%) and Vancouver, Coast & Mountains (up 19%).