Victoria’s tourism industry shows no signs of slowing down after another strong month in May.
Data compiled by Chemistry Consulting showed improvement last month compared to the year previous, and most of its indicator categories are up year to date.
“May saw strong year over year growth in airport, ferry and cruise ship passenger traffic. Additionally, conference delegate days were up by 48 per cent, which likely contributed to the increase in May’s year-over-year occupancy rate,” said Chemistry principal Frank Bourree, noting the occupancy rate is at its highest point since 2007.
Victoria International Airport showed an 8.03 per cent increase in May passenger numbers versus a year ago, and through the first five months of the year there has been a 4.7 per cent increase in passengers through its gates.
For B.C. Ferries, vehicle traffic was up 4.8 per cent and passenger traffic was up 3.2 per cent in May compared with May 2015. Year to date, B.C. Ferries has seen a 5.3 per cent increase in vehicle traffic and a 4.4 per cent increase in passengers.
Black Ball Ferry’s Coho car ferry also saw a bump up in May, with an 11 per cent increase in traffic between its ports in Victoria and Port Angeles, Washington, versus May 2015.
Black Ball vice- president Ryan Malane said its ferry has had a strong start to the year after it was out of service in January and February. He estimates they are up between seven and eight per cent.
The increase in transportation numbers has contributed to higher hotel occupancy. May saw a 3.97 per cent increase in overall occupancy compared with last year and a $15.62 bump in revenue per available room to $123.54. Year-to-date occupancy is up 3.7 per cent and revenue per available room is $85.09, an increase of $7.44 over the same five months last year.
Cruise ship traffic, while the same in May with 36 ship visits, did see a bump in the number of passengers arriving — a 4.8 per cent increase to 77,500.
Source: Times Colonist