Victoria tourism expected to grow in 2015

Tourism Victoria is working to attract even more tourists to the city in 2015

Tourism in Victoria rose in 2014 and is expected to continue to grow into 2015, said Tourism Victoria CEO Paul Nursey at Chemistry Consulting’s economic development breakfast on Wednesday.

“I think we are in for a period of sustained growth in the tourism sector for the foreseeable future,” said Nursey. “We have seen staggering growth and recovery in the last year.”

In February 2014, average hotel occupancy rate in Greater Victoria was 53.35 per cent. In February of this year, average occupancy rate was 61.86 per cent. Room rates have also gone up from $103.61 in February 2014 to $109.28 in February 2015. Average revenue per available room increased from $55.28 to $67.60.

“2014 was a good year, [with] very solid business growth [and] record summer occupancy.”

Nursey called the hotel industry the “lungs of the ecosystem,” because tourism starts with people staying in hotels.

“We’re about to go into record occupancy levels . . . and we expect that this will continue through the year, all things being equal.”

Tourism Victoria’s new campaign for the upcoming season aims to attract visitors from the Pacific Northwest area.

“We want to make sure that we are levereging that fantastic style.”

The spring campaign is titled ‘Beyond Words.’

“The idea is that people are speechless . . . they are so excited that they develop their own language around visiting Greater Victoria,” said Nursey.