Wine pours $140M into local economy
Sep 25, 2013 / 7:43 am
For 33 years the Okanagan has been celebrating the best it has to offer, and this year is no exception.
The fall wine festival takes place October 4-14 and with 150 events through the Okanagan and Similkameen Valley, it may come as no surprise that wine festivals and tourism actually contribute $140 million in economic impact annually to the local area.
Recently voted the top interior festival by BC Living Magazine and best BC wine festival by the Georgia Straight, the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival has been ranked among the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association for over a decade.
A research report released by the the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, the British Columbia Wine Institute, and the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College found wine festivals generate $87 million in direct annual economic impact and $52 million in indirect economic impact.
Blair Baldwin, a professor at the Okanagan School of Business at Okanagan College says there are over 1,000 full-time jobs in wine tourism and tourism related employment on an annual basis and more than 460 indirect jobs.
"This study really validates the importance of wine tourism to our local economy and how the wine festivals and its 100 plus member wineries have been successful in engaging consumers in unique and authentically British Columbian wine experiences year round and directly yielding increases in the sale of wine, food and accommodation."
The Okanagan Wine Tourism Industry Economic Impact Report stats the net annual government revenue from wine tourism is $4 million and the value added or GDP impact attributed to Okanagan wine tourism is $69+million.
However, according to Premier Christy Clark, the wine industry is contributing more than tourism revenue and jobs, it's also a source of pride for our province.
“Festivals like this are a great way to highlight some of the Okanagan’s and the world’s best wines, and I encourage everyone to check it out.”
The 33rd Fall Okanagan Wine Festival will kick off with the Annual BC Wine Awards Reception on October 3 and wrap up at the Valley First Grand Finale Consumer Tastings on October 11 and 12.
Event and ticket information is available at www.thewinefestivals.com
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