Tourism Kamloops trotted out a first-half statistic on Tuesday showing a healthy up-tick in visitor activity.
In the first six months of the year, January to June, accommodation tax revenues increased by 12.5 per cent over the same period last year.
“This increase is great news for Kamloops,” said Lee Morris, CEO. “The continued growth in both accommodation tax revenues and visitor volumes to our city can be attributed to travellers from the leisure, corporate and special events markets.”
The good news is twofold. Rather than reporting monthly stats as in the past, the city’s tourism arm has started reporting six-month figures to provide a better measure to the provincial government, Morris said.
That means the best is yet to come, since the second-half stats will capture the impetus provided by major events such as the B.C. Seniors Games and Hot Nite in the City.
Those events were lacking last year, so Tourism Kamloops anticipated a downturn in tourism, Morris said.
“In 2012 we had a slightly softer year. We had always expected that.”
She expects the positive trend to continue.
A recent flurry of hotel/motel upgrades and new construction reflects a healthy business confidence in the local sector, Morris noted.
She cited an increase in the corporate market, increased family travel and Rocky Mountaineer rail tours, resurgent after the 2008 economic downturn, as key factors in the sector’s improvement.