Tourism officials in B.C. say the latest visitors numbers show the province is leading the way in Canada for drawing tourists.
The provincial government says the latest overnight custom entries from Statistics Canada show that the number of visitors are up by 238,000 people for the first eight months of this year. That is a 7.1 per cent increase compared to the same time last year.
In September the province also touted an increase in visitors to B.C. based on July numbers for this year compared to 2015.
"Visitors want to enjoy a world-class tourism experience and that's what B.C. offers," said Shirley Bond, minister of jobs, tourism and skills training, in a release.
"The growth we are seeing in key markets in Asia and the United States proves what a remarkable summer tourist season we've had."
Leading the way were visitors from Japan with an increase of 15.8 per cent over last August. Visitors from India are up 13.2 per cent and visitors from Australia are up 5.8 per cent.
There were also slightly more visitors from the United States to B.C. this past August than in 2015.
The province says it invests more than $90 million annually into the tourism sector.
"I am delighted to see the impact we are making, together, to bring visitors to our province," said Marsha Walden, who speaks for Destination British Columbia.
Walden says she expects more that 19 million trips in 2016 within or to B.C.
"That's an increase of more than three per cent over last year, and is setting the pace for Canada," she said in the release. "It truly is an exciting time for tourism in B.C."
There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C.
In 2013, the tourism industry generated $13.9 billion in revenue with a direct contribution to B.C.'s gross domestic product of $7.3 billion and accounted for four per cent of the province's total GDP.
As part of the government's release, it is promoting "staycations" as a way to keep tourism money circulating in the province.
Island Vacations Tourism Information Guide that has been designed to
assist all visitors vacationing on this beautiful island of ours. We
would like you to experience an enjoyable vacation..
For the camping enthusiasts there are over twenty provisional campgrounds available and literally dozens of privately owned RV parks on the island. Vancouver Island offers something for every one on vacation. There are many outdoor experiences you will be able to enjoy, fishing, golfing, horse back riding, parks you can trail walk and of course grizzly and black bear tours just to name a few activities..
Mt. Washington is only minutes away from the Comox Valley and offers world class skiing, snowboarding and Nordic sports. In the summer season Mount Washington is a hiking and mountain bike haven.
Get inspired by the province’s natural beauty and make plans for your next outdoor adventure.
Take advantage of the many recreation opportunities available across the diverse landscape of mountains, rivers, lakes and coastlines. You will experience excitement and adventure on either a fishing or hunting trip. Vancouver Islands rugged wilderness, fresh lakes and rivers offering excellent opportunities for gaming and fishing enthusiasts.
Vancouver Island offers a host of exceptional recreation opportunities. While some of the island’s most spectacular recreation features are located in parks, many more recreation resources are found in the rugged backcountry.
Alternatively, if you are planning a more relaxed type sailing holiday and intend to explore the shores, bays and hundreds of inlets
surrounding Vancouver island, then you can also look forward to sun tanning,
beach combing, waterfalls, beautiful anchorages, great scenery, swimming,
hiking, photography and the many species of wildlife.
There are over 18 marine parks in our area.
Desolation sound is extraordinarily beautiful sailing area with many safe anchorages and beautiful locations… mountain waterfall and forest lakes only minutes walk from snug anchorages. The waters are calm, sheltered and warm. Desolation Sound is a world famous sailing destination or longer trips to the many other marine parks like Princess Louisa, Toba Inlet, Bute Inlet or the Broughton Archipelago.