International visitors up in B.C.

A plane lands at Vancouver International Airport. Increased air access to the airport is one of the reasons B.C. has seen a bump in international visitors, according to the province | Shutterstock

British Columbia has been a popular place for visitors this year, according to figures from Destination B.C.

The province’s tourism marketing arm noted that through the end of August, there was an 11.5% increase in international visitors in 2016 compared with the same time last year.

In total, there were 3.99 million overnight international visitors to the province through the first eight months of the year.

The province said the increase is due to improved air access to Vancouver International Airport, the low Canadian dollar and increased international marketing initiatives.

“In our largest international market, the U.S., we’re pleased to see a healthy 14.1% increase in overnight visitors coming through our airports,” said Marsha Walden, chief executive of Destination B.C. “It's a fiercely competitive global marketplace. Our strategy to grow B.C.’s market share of premium international travellers is paying off and our tourism industry operators continue to wow guests from all parts of the world.”

Times Colonist