Tourism season ends with a bang
Sep 10, 2013 / 2:04 pm
The final numbers aren't in, but at first blush, tourism in Kelowna was very good through the summer of 2013.
Tourism Kelowna communications director, Catherine Frechette, says the summer months of June, July and August can be described as steady.
"Month by month what we're hearing is June was pretty much on par with June, 2012," says Frechette.
"The start of July was impacted by the flooding in Calgary, but as the month progressed it picked up and overall the month was a busy month for tourism operators. August was an exceptionally busy month for Kelowna operators."
Frechette says it's too early to know how this summer stacks up compared with 2012 - but says August was a very busy month for a lot of properties in the city.
"Hotels were very full - sometimes looking at sold out or near sold out situations," says Frechette.
"When you talk to people around town they would probably echo that, as far as what they were seeing with people walking around downtown and just the general activity level."
While Tourism Kelowna continues to market across the country through different initiatives and programs, the majority of vacationers still originate from around the Pacific Northwest.
She says the impact is also starting to be felt from newly created non-stop flights into Kelowna, specifically from Toronto.
"Once the flights were introduced to Toronto we saw increases in terms of Toronto markets coming to Kelowna - golfers and so on."
Frechette says it's too early to know the impact of United Airlines' newly introduced non-stop flights in and out of Los Angeles.
And while tourism has not yet reached pre-recession heights, Frechette says the year-over-year trends are positive.
"Over the last few years we've seen increases heading in the right direction, as far as climbing back to those pre-recession numbers," says Frechette.
"By all accounts, from our initial discussions with accommodators, this summer was a strong summer for many. We are feeling we're heading in the right direction."
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