Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey acknowledges declining tourism numbers, but remains bullish about the long-term future of the market. (Black Press File).

Greater Victoria sees a drop in tourism numbers

New study shows local hotel occupancy rate dropped six per cent in June 2019

A new report shows tourism numbers down, while warning of future declines.

The report from Victoria-based Chemistry Consulting shows the local hotel occupancy rate dropped six per cent to 83.79 per cent in June 2019, compared to June 2018. The number of passengers travelling to Victoria by way of BC Ferries (638,811) and Victoria International Airport (171,848) also dropped by just under one per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively in June 2019, compared to June 2018. Statistics show a notable drop in the number of delegate days, dropping more than 36 per cent to 11,809. The number of cruise ship passengers (145,557) and crew (59,727) rose by 2.48 and 4.69 per cent.

ALSO READ: Victoria sees record tourism season

The report also notes that the Victoria’s tourism sector is showing “some signs of a slow-down” as the industry feels the impact of several factors, including “uncertainty in the Canadian and U.S. economies, a softening of bus tour business, as well as the fallout from the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max airplanes.”

Paul Nursey, chief executive officer of Destination Greater Victoria, acknowledged the numbers, but also qualified them.

“The June numbers are certainly behind the 2018 numbers in most categories,” he said. “However, it is important to note the Greater Victoria’s visitor economy experienced six years of growth prior to this year. Most key tourism indicators in 2019 are still head of 2017 numbers, which was considered a strong year.”

As for the reasons behind the slowdown, Nursey agrees with Chemistry Consulting. “Overall, the tourism economy is closely aligned with economic conditions, with consumer confidence being especially important,” he said.

As for the warning of worse days to come, Nursey said the tourism business is cyclical. “We have seen six consecutive years of growth, so we were expecting some modest pull-back in 2019 and this is what we are seeing,” he said. “We always need to be vigilant and work hard on behalf of our members. Our strategic plan is in place to smooth out potential peaks and valleys in tourism indicators. In recent years we have added more conference business and off-peak season business to ensure we have a resilient visitor economy.”

ALSO READ: Florida woman celebrated as eight millionth passenger to Victoria’s cruise ship terminal

Ultimately, Nursey said the long-term fundamentals favour Victoria.

“We remain positive on the long-term prospects of the Greater Victoria visitor economy,” he said. “We have some exciting conferences and sporting events in the coming years, and our member-businesses are world class. We expect Greater Victoria to be a highly-desirable place to visit in future years.”

Just Posted

$1,500 bursary created in memory of late Ducan musician returns for second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

More than a million square feet of rental units proposed for downtown Victoria development

The Harris Green development is proposed to take over two large lots on Yates Street

Victoria career fair highlights opportunities in film industry

Reel Careers in Film and Media fair set for Dec. 7 at Camosun’s Interurban campus

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: The longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island has been cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Threats to the Fraser River at ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Most Read