Tourism up in Prince George in 2011
Hotels in Prince George showed a 14.2 per cent increase in visitors in 2011 over the previous year.
The biggest groups of people who come to the city are visitors from around the region. Second are visitors from Germany and the U.S. Sport tourism, from parents bringing kids in for hockey meets to the World Baseball Challenge, is also important to the city.
“These numbers speak well for the overall economy of Prince George. There is still significant room for further growth, but to see such a large increase in one year is very encouraging for our community,” said Mary Jane Hannah, chair of the board of directors of Tourism Prince George.
A number of factors contributed to the rise in hotel revenues. Some highlights include increased business travel in the region, major sport tourism events such as the World Baseball Challenge, and a rise in leisure travel numbers to the community.
“This growth shows that we are moving in the right direction from a tourism marketing standpoint. It’s one way to really show return on investment for our new organization and it’s essential that we keep this momentum moving forward. We are definitely happy, but not yet satisfied,” says Aidan Kelly, chief executive officer.
Kelly said the organization needs to stay on top of marketing, continue diversifying, and watch the changing trends and methodology.
He added that Tourism Prince George will be doing more studies regarding tourism in the city.
“We are looking at doing a full value of tourism study, put some dollar figures on the overall value of tourism,” he said.
This might give a better idea of how much money tourists are spending and where. For example, $33.2 million was spent by tourists on hotel rooms last year.
“All those people need to spend money on everything, from cabs to rental cars to restaurants,” Kelly said.