Tourism is surging in the lower mainland, and while many would expect that Vancouver would have the highest accommodation occupancy rate, it turns out Richmond is on top.
“Sea Island City” has been ranked number one across Canada for the highest hotel occupancy percentage at 78.5 per cent according to the 2015 Economic Impact Study.
Tourism boomed in the city during 2015 with a large amount of international travelers from foreign countries taking advantage of the low Canadian loonie.
Many travelers also find hotels in the city more convenient as Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is technically located in Richmond, and rates are slightly cheaper than what you’d find in downtown Vancouver.
The easy access to Vancouver for both drivers and transit users is a bonus.
The weak loonie has also led to local residents and Canadians outside of the province opting for “staycations” instead of traveling abroad. According to the report, over half of overnight visitors to Richmond were from Canada in 2015, making up for 70% of tourists’ spending.
Overall, 7.9 million people visited Richmond last year, and spent a combined total of $1.54 billion in the community.
While shopping, food, and local attractions including Steveston Village remain to serve as a big draw, new attractions including the McArthurGlen Vancouver Designer Outlet and the Richmond Olympic Experience continue to attract tourists year round.
With YVR continuing to expand and add more flights, the number of tourists in the city is expected to increase throughout 2016.
Image via Ann Hung / 604 Now Flickr Pool
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