Visitor numbers show that fall is a great time to visit British Columbia

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Victoria: October marked another strong month of growth for British Columbia’s tourism sector, with an increase in international visitors.

Statistics Canada reports a 6.1% increase in international overnight custom entries to the province over the same month last year, with 19,100 more visitors arriving in British Columbia. The total year-to-date international visitor arrivals are also up 3.2%, with B.C. welcoming 158,837 more visitors so far this year.

October typically represents about 5.7% of annual international overnight entries to the province. A spike in direct flights to the province, as well as B.C.’s global reputation as a beautiful destination, are contributing factors to the increase in visitors.

Notable increases for October (over October 2016) include:

* Brazil – up 69.5%

* South Korea – up 29.9%

* France – up 25.3%

* New Zealand – up 23.1%

* Southeast Asia – up 19.7%

* Germany – up 18.7%

* Switzerland – up 13.4%

* Australia – up 10.8%

* China – up 6%

* United States – up 7.4%

* Japan – up 2.4%

Notable increases for year-to-date visits include:

* Australia – up 21.7%

* Mexico – up 19.2%

* Brazil – up 15.6%

* Germany – up 15.1%

* Austria – up 8.7%

* China – up 6.2%

* Japan – up 4%

* France – up 3.2%

* Italy – up 3%

* New Zealand – up 2.8%

* United States – up 2.6%

* United Kingdom – up 1.3%

* Taiwan – up 1%

* Southeast Asia – up 0.8%

* South Korea – up 0.7%

Destination BC is an industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders around the province to co-ordinate tourism marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels. It also supports regions, communities and Indigenous people in developing or expanding tourism experiences, businesses and jobs.

Quick Facts:

In 2015, the tourism sector:

* Employed 127,700 British Columbians

* Paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries

* Supported nearly 19,000 tourism-related businesses in B.C.

* Contributed $7.4 billion toward the province’s gross domestic product