The Comox Valley
a tourism and resort destination.
Canadian Tourism Commission Outlook
Over the long-term, the BC industry appears to have excellent growth prospects. It remains the second
leading tourism destination in Canada, after Ontario, and leads the nation in certain categories, including
international tourist visits. The Canadian Tourism Commission has projected that six million Canadians
will be making an overnight trip in British Columbia by 2026 (versus four million in 2000). The rate of
growth will be higher than Canadian population growth, higher than growth in other provinces and higher
than the expected growth in Canadians travelling to all destinations.*
Tourism BC Visitor Projections
Tourism BC’s Service Plan* projects visitation from overnight custom entries from the US and overseas markets to grow 8.8% between 2005 and 2008, an annual rate of 2.9%. Even though total provincial custom entries declined from 5.13 million to 4.94 million during the 2002-2004 period (as a result of 9/11, SARS and wildfire effects), they actually climbed from 676,099 to 773,421, or 4.8%, on Vancouver Island.
* Tourism BC, Three Year Service Plan Highlights.
Potential Comox Valley Tourism Growth
Reviewing the above indicators we have assumed that the Comox Valley will be able to match, if not
exceed, provincial and national tourism growth over the next five years. Local indicators have outperformed provincial and regional indicators in recent years and considering the combined effects of
above-average population growth, critical infrastructure investments (e.g. Comox Airport) and the
growing presence of destination facilities (e.g. Mount Washington), future growth should, conservatively
assessed, match that of the province. Over the next five year period Comox Valley visitor
entries are estimated to grow at between 2.5% and 4% annually.
Estimated Comox Valley Visitor Market
According to Tourism BC’s Visitor 98 study, 32% of all visitors to BC spent part of their trip on Vancouver Island.* Ten percent of all non-residents and 19% of resident travelers visited Northern Vancouver Island in 1998.+ Applying these shares to Tourism BC’s estimate of 2004 visitation to the province indicates of North Island visitor market of roughly 1.1 million in 2005. Applying our annual growth estimates to 2005 visitor volumes leads us to the following North Island visitor market estimates for 2006 to 2010.
* Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd., August, 2004.
+ TBC, 1998.
|Estimated North Island Visitor Market, 2006 - 2010