VICTORIA – The BC government says the number of international visitors to the province is increasing, with France in the top spot on a list of seven countries and regions of origin.
It says tourism to BC from France jumped by 33 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year.
The government says there was a 15.5 per cent hike in tourists from Japan, which placed second, while Europe was at the bottom of the list, with 3.8 per cent more visitors.
Almost 360,000 more international visitors came to the province in 2015, with the total number approaching five million people.
Walt Judas heads the Tourism Industry Association of BC and says the sector brings in $14.5 billion a year.
“It employs close to 300,000 people — that is within tourism businesses around the province. There are 19,000 of those businesses that fuel our visitor economy.”
The province is crediting its marketing strategy, along with the province’s aboriginal tourism sector and more direct flights to BC for the jump in visitors from outside Canada.