International arrivals in Canada's British Colombia up 7.8% in first half of 2015

GMT 01:24 2015 Sunday ,02 August

Arab Today, arab today International arrivals in Canada's British Colombia up 7.8% in first half of 2015

International arrivals in Canada
Vancouver - XINHUA

The number of visitors to Canada's western province of British Colombia in the first half of 2015 increased by more than 100,000, or 7.8 percent, from last year, thanks to a hot dry summer and a weak Canadian dollar.

Many of the visitors landed at the Vancouver International Airport. Not since the 2010 Winter Olympics has the Greater Vancouver region become a place that receives so many tourists.

The rise in the number of tourist arrivals in 2015 has been bolstered by a hot, dry summer and by Vancouver's hosting of large international events, such as the FIFA Women's World Cup last month.

A weak Canadian dollar is also helping, making B.C. a more affordable vacation spot for foreign tourists from the United States and from other corners of the globe, Walt Judas, CEO of the B.C. Tourism Industry Association, told Xinhua on Friday.

"We'll see probably a 15 percent increase in Chinese visitors this year. (Visitors from) Mexico, South Korea, Australia, even Germany and Britain, are all up in numbers. Where we expected to be flat this year, we're seeing increasing numbers of visitors," Judas said.

He said Vancouver has gained a reputation as a world-class city for shopping, eating, and for its proximity to nature.

Hotels in Vancouver through the summer season are almost always fully booked, he added.

"Definitely hotels in the Metro Vancouver area are well booked. July will be a record month, second only to February of 2010 when we hosted the Winter Olympics, so the hotel segment is doing well. Many attractions are doing exceptionally well, exceeding numbers that they anticipated," Judas said.

Canada as a whole is also attracting many visitors. More than 1.5 million international travellers visited Canada in May, up 8 percent from the previous year. That's the largest amount of foreign visitors to Canada in May, since 2002.

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