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Sixth consecutive record year: Vancouver welcomed 10.7 million visitors in 2018

Tourism Vancouver has held its Annual General Meeting at which highlights from the past year were shared.  Tourism Vancouver year-end data showed that 2018 was another banner year with 10.7 million overnight visitors to Metro Vancouver. This represents a new best for Metro Vancouver’s tourism industry and the sixth consecutive record-breaking year.

The collective efforts of tourism operators and industry partners including Destination Canada, Destination British Columbia, the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association, Vancouver Airport Authority and the Vancouver Convention Centre, were instrumental in making 2018 another outstanding year for the Vancouver tourism sector.

 

2018 Vancouver Tourism Highlights:

•    Star markets: There was growth in our two largest markets, US and China. China’s visitation to Vancouver increased 6.4% in 2018 to 323,629. The United States grew by 6% in 2018, bringing in 2,505,937 overnight visitors to Metro Vancouver. Mexico had the highest tourism growth in 2018 with double digit growth (11.5%), equaling 168,572 overnight visitors.

•    Host with the most – a record year for hosting city-wide conventions and events: Tourism Vancouver and convention industry partners hosted an astounding 36 citywide convention and events, drawing over 105,000 visitors to our city.

•    Cruise is growing: The Port of Vancouver welcomed 889,162 cruise passengers on 241 ships in 2018, reflecting a 5.5% increase over 2017. Each cruise ship call brings an average of $3 million to the local economy.

•    Sport Hosting: Major sports events in 2018 drew visitors to Vancouver from around the world. These included the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Vancouver stop – the HSBC Canada Sevens; NCAA Vancouver Basketball Showcase, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships.

•    Awards and Accolades: In 2018, Vancouver was recognized for the second time as one of the 20 “Best Cities in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. The Watkins Research Group, considered the most comprehensive and authoritative ranking in the industry, named Vancouver as one of the North America’s top meetings destinations.

• Flying high: Vancouver International Airport welcomed its 25 millionth passenger in 2018, two years ahead of forecast.

 

What’s Ahead?

Tourism Vancouver forecasts that 2019 will be another year of growth. Earlier this month, Vancouver played host to Women Deliver, an important international conference on gender equality. The 2019 NHL Draft is also in Vancouver this year, with estimated economic spinoffs for the region of $7million.

Air capacity to Vancouver from California and Australia is expected to grow and cruise ship arrivals are projected to increase by 21% to 1 million passengers. YVR was also voted Best Airport in North America by the Skytrax World Airport Awards. 2019 will see Vancouver host major sporting events including the return of the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series this past March and the NCAA Vancouver Showcase (men’s and women’s basketball) later this fall.

 

To view Tourism Vancouver’s full marketing research, click here.

For Vancouver’s Tourism Industry Fast Facts, click here.