Bruce OkabeDear Team Richmond,

As we’re wrapping up our 2017 Visitor Volume Study, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the importance of this study. Why did we start to do it? What does it entail? What do we get out of it? Most importantly, how can stakeholders like yourselves take advantage of the results?

We know it’s essential to effectively benchmark and track local tourism performance. This report doesn’t just enhance Richmond’s capacity to grow as a tourism destination in an increasingly competitive market, but it also reports back on the true economic benefits and impact of tourism. If we don’t inspect what we expect, we won’t know if we’re heading in the right direction.

Currently, Tourism Richmond participates in a Destination Marketing Organization Accommodation Survey. This survey allows various commercial accommodation properties, Tourism Richmond, and Destination British Columbia to share aggregated detailed accommodation data. Knowing how many room nights are sold in the hotel industry is very important, but it doesn’t give us a full picture. Simply put, this survey may not accurately capture visitors from international origins as they visit BC, and it also doesn’t capture expenditures – something that deeply impacts our bottom line.

This is why Tourism Richmond initiated the Visitor Volume Study to estimate both of these measures. In 2013, we did our first Visitor Volume Study and it was well-received by industry partners and stakeholders. It was due to the positive response that the board asked us to continue this study every two years.

In 2015, Tourism Richmond conducted a full-year Visitor Volume Study which included leisure travelers, meetings & event group as well as tour groups. This gave us the benchmark we needed, and in 2017, we initiated another full-year study to compare against our 2015 numbers.

I won’t delve too deeply into the 2017 Visitor Volume Study findings, as we’ll be sharing the full results soon, but I wanted to share a couple of major highlights with you:

  • 2017 Total Visitor Volume is 7.98 million, up 8% from 2015
  • 2017 Overnight visitor volume is 3.32 million, up 20% from 2015
  • 2017 Total expenditures is 1.783 billion, up 23% from 2015

We’ve also seen substantial growth in the off peak and shoulder seasons, which is great news. This healthy growth rate translates to good business to you, our stakeholders. To help you  take full advantage of this growing visitation, we have launched new stakeholder products and services, so you can directly benefit from our work.

Be sure to stay tuned to this newsletter, and please forward it to your colleagues! We’ll be sharing more insights from our 2017 Visitor Volume Study throughout 2018.


Bruce Okabe
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer