Destination Greater Victoria CEO Paul Nursey acknowledges declining tourism numbers, but remains bullish about the long-term future of the market. (Black Press File).

Greater Victoria sees a drop in tourism numbers

New study shows local hotel occupancy rate dropped six per cent in June 2019

A new report shows tourism numbers down, while warning of future declines.

The report from Victoria-based Chemistry Consulting shows the local hotel occupancy rate dropped six per cent to 83.79 per cent in June 2019, compared to June 2018. The number of passengers travelling to Victoria by way of BC Ferries (638,811) and Victoria International Airport (171,848) also dropped by just under one per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively in June 2019, compared to June 2018. Statistics show a notable drop in the number of delegate days, dropping more than 36 per cent to 11,809. The number of cruise ship passengers (145,557) and crew (59,727) rose by 2.48 and 4.69 per cent.

ALSO READ: Victoria sees record tourism season

The report also notes that the Victoria’s tourism sector is showing “some signs of a slow-down” as the industry feels the impact of several factors, including “uncertainty in the Canadian and U.S. economies, a softening of bus tour business, as well as the fallout from the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max airplanes.”

Paul Nursey, chief executive officer of Destination Greater Victoria, acknowledged the numbers, but also qualified them.

“The June numbers are certainly behind the 2018 numbers in most categories,” he said. “However, it is important to note the Greater Victoria’s visitor economy experienced six years of growth prior to this year. Most key tourism indicators in 2019 are still head of 2017 numbers, which was considered a strong year.”

As for the reasons behind the slowdown, Nursey agrees with Chemistry Consulting. “Overall, the tourism economy is closely aligned with economic conditions, with consumer confidence being especially important,” he said.

As for the warning of worse days to come, Nursey said the tourism business is cyclical. “We have seen six consecutive years of growth, so we were expecting some modest pull-back in 2019 and this is what we are seeing,” he said. “We always need to be vigilant and work hard on behalf of our members. Our strategic plan is in place to smooth out potential peaks and valleys in tourism indicators. In recent years we have added more conference business and off-peak season business to ensure we have a resilient visitor economy.”

ALSO READ: Florida woman celebrated as eight millionth passenger to Victoria’s cruise ship terminal

Ultimately, Nursey said the long-term fundamentals favour Victoria.

“We remain positive on the long-term prospects of the Greater Victoria visitor economy,” he said. “We have some exciting conferences and sporting events in the coming years, and our member-businesses are world class. We expect Greater Victoria to be a highly-desirable place to visit in future years.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A 2.5-magnitude earthquake occurred beneath San Juan Island, Wash. – 25 kilometres from Sidney – late on Oct. 30. (Screenshot via United States Geological Survey)
Minor Washington earthquake felt in Sidney, Victoria

U.S. seismologists report 2.5-magnitude quake late Friday

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak called changes to the More Justice, More Peace mural “offensive” in a statement Oct. 30. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria police chief calls new changes to downtown mural ‘offensive’

‘ACAB’ replaced with a note accusing the City, VicPD of silencing BIPOC

Paul Nestman’s Exemplary Service Award, which will be presented to him on Oct. 27 by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin during a virtual ceremony. (Provided by Tammy Robinson)
‘Trust your team’: Victoria man receives Exemplary Service Award from Coast Guard

Paul Nestman, along with 36 others, receive awards during virtual ceremony

The ‘fall back’ time change Nov.1 means earlier sunrises – and sunsets – for British Columbians. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Clocks ‘fall back’ for B.C. residents on Nov. 1

Daylight Saving Time ends, B.C. still working on permanent switch to ‘spring ahead’ time

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read