Published On: Friday, 02 March 2018
Kelowna’s 2017 Hotel Occupancy Numbers Show Strength
KELOWNA - Overnight visitation to Kelowna remained strong throughout 2017. While the spring and summer months presented weather-related challenges, including wildfires, for the tourism industry, Kelowna and area continued to see growth and development with visitors coming for a vacation or to attend a meeting, conference, or event.
“This is a rebound success story. Weather-related challenges aside, 2017 proved to be another year of growth for Kelowna and area. Our tourism businesses work hard to offer exceptional experiences throughout the year. These experiences are a major draw for Kelowna and the reason that hotel occupancy levels remained steady in 2017,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna.
Hotel occupancy over the summer months remained strong, though did not match results from 2016. The final months of 2017 saw year-over-year growth in hotel occupancy numbers, including September (+0.3 per cent), October (+2.7 per cent), November (+2.6 per cent) and December (+2.2 per cent).
The 2017 year-over-year hotel occupancy remained virtually on par with 2016, posting just a -0.3 per cent decrease over 2016’s benchmark, which remains Kelowna’s highest at 64.1 per cent. Since 2012, Kelowna’s hotel occupancy levels have risen from 51.8 per cent to 63.7 per cent as an annual average.
“We know that the weather had an impact on local accommodators. We still saw visitors come, but some may have chosen to shorten their stay,” said Sean Coward, President of the Kelowna Hotel Motel Association. ”Kelowna had a very strong year in 2016. To see that our 2017 hotel occupancy numbers kept pace with that growth is a sign of a strong and desirable destination. We’re optimistic that growth will continue in 2018.”
Tourism Kelowna works to drive overnight visitation to Kelowna and surrounding communities throughout the year. In 2016, over 1.9 million visitors came to Kelowna and area and spent $337 million dollars.
Overall, the local tourism industry contributes over $1.25 billion in total economic output and provides nearly 12,000 jobs and generates $142 million in tax revenues. Tourism Kelowna’s goal is to welcome 3 million visitors annually by 2021.