Hotel Grand Pacific
Photo by Hotel Grand Pacific

The local tourism industry flexed its muscles in June, as 25 out of 40 Victoria hotels saw occupancy rates of over 90 per cent, compared to 11 during the same period last year.

According to Chemistry Consulting’s monthly tourism bulletin, the average occupancy in June was 89.76 per cent, a seven per cent jump from a year ago.

The average daily room rate in June was $223.26, an increase of $26.35 from the same period last year.

In fact, tourism numbers in June were up nearly across the board compared to 2017: BC Ferries vehicle traffic increased by 3.28%, Victoria International Airport numbers increased by 8.55%, and despite there being one less cruise ship this June, passenger numbers increased by 5.01%.

Speaking to hotel occupancy numbers, Tourism Victoria president and CEO Paul Nursey, pointed to a nearly 65% increase in Victoria Conference Centre visitors from last year to now.

Nursey says the numbers reflect a push from Tourism Victoria to bring more conferences to Victoria. “We’ve been more aggressive in attracting conferences the last few years,” he says. “We’re now bidding on conferences taking place in 2021 … into 2024.”

June’s numbers come after “five solid years of growth” in Victoria’s tourism industry, Nursey says, and are promising to see considering the month’s tricky history.

“There’s not much rhyme or reason to it,” Nursey says about June’s numbers year to year. “Some years it’s great, some years it’s not.”

Moving forward, Nursey says Tourism Victoria will continue to actively court more conferences to Victoria. They’ll also be developing a new sports tourism strategy for the city—an area in which Nursey says they’ve been more reactive than proactive in the past.

It’s all part of the work in making Victoria appealing to those who want to travel and explore. As Nursey says, “tourism doesn’t just happen.”