Kamloops tourism numbers jump in August, but influenced by wildfire evacuees

By Greg Fry
November 10, 2017 - 3:51pm

KAMLOOPS — The number of visitors to Kamloops was up 14 per cent year over year in August.

The numbers are relative to the accomodation tax that is collected locally and increased because of all the evacuees fleeing wildfires says Monica Dickinson, director of industry relations and communications with Tourism Kamloops.

"The results of these numbers actually come from us being a support centre for the wildfire situation," she says. "So, while these are still people staying in our hotels they're not typical tourists that are reflected in this growth."

Aside from wildfire evacuees, Dickinson says other visitors were from B.C., Alberta and from international destinations.

"The Rocky Mountaineer had a strong year. A lot of their client base comes from international markets and they book quite a ways in advance."

Despite all the wildfires, she says preliminary indicators suggest September and October visits are looking "really strong."

"I think what we can look back on is the gorgeous fall weather. I think that was a bit of a return to typical tourism traffic in the area."

Despite the 14 per cent boost, Dickinson says trips to Kamloops' Visitor Centre are down in comparison to last year,  also because of the wildfires.

"So, our typical year in a visitor centre environment is about 16,000 visitors, we suspect those visits will be soft for this year."

 

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