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Northern B.C. seeing signs of recovery for tourism sector

Northern B.C. saw more overnight visitors in early February than in the comparable weeks in 2019
Northern B.C. tourism graph
This graph, prepared by Northern B.C. Tourism, shows the number of overnight visitors to northern B.C. by week. Statistics for 2022 are shown in red.

Northern B.C.’s tourism industry is showing signs of recovery, according to data released by Northern B.C. Tourism.

For the five weeks ending Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, the number of domestic overnight visitors to Northern B.C. was higher than in 2021. For the weeks ending Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, the north saw more visitors than in the comparable weeks in 2019.

For the week ending Feb. 13, Northern B.C. hotels saw a 50.5% occupancy rate.

Northern B.C.’s tourism sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to 2021 year in review report published by Northern B.C. Tourism last week.

In 2021, the region welcomed 732,300 domestic travelers – down from 775,900 in 2020 and 859,300 in 2019.

Most domestic travelers to Northern B.C. were British Columbians (59%) and Albertans (29%). Those percentages were comparable to the previous two years.

The total number of nights stayed in Northern B.C. by domestic travelers dropped from 7.51 million in 2019 to 6.95 million in 2021. While the region welcomed fewer travelers, the average length of stay increased from 8.74 days to 9.5 days.

Northern B.C. residents continued travelling and staying overnight in Northern B.C., with Prince George, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert, Terrace and Dawson Creek being among the top 10 origin cities for in-province travelers.

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