Mountains and Okanagan Lake Photo: Destination BC/Andrew Strain
New Destination BC Marketing Campaign Invites British Columbians to Rediscover and Explore BC Safely

In alignment with Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, Destination BC is launching a new chapter of its successful Explore BC campaigns: an extensive $8 million domestic marketing campaign encouraging BC residents to plan and book their trips for travel throughout the province this summer and into the fall.

The campaign is designed to promote safe travel practices, re-ignite BC’s tourism industry, promote BC tourism businesses and destinations, and rekindle British Columbians’ curiosity and passion for the place they live. With comprehensive tactics including TV, print, digital, paid search, social and editorial partnerships, Explore BC rallies BC residents to safely travel our province – to rediscover their wild backyard, and the incredible experiences offered by BC’s tourism industry. When appropriate, the campaign will later extend into Alberta and the rest of Canada.

By visiting exploreBC.com, British Columbians can find trip planning ideas and resources to help them rediscover their province this summer. Destination BC is sharing British Columbia’s vast range of destinations and activities within six new experience collections to guide the rediscovery:

  • West Coast Culture
  • Mountain Peaks & Towns
  • Northern Wild
  • Vineyards, Valleys & Lakes
  • Rivers, Ranches & Ranges
  • Vancouver & Sea to Sky 

In addition to trip planning, inspiration and booking assistance, Destination BC will utilize its channels to help BC residents understand what’s open and what they need to know before they go, including responsible traveller behaviour.

While some popular spots may be busy, there is plenty of room for everyone. BC is not sold out nor at capacity – it is unlike any other place on Earth, with plenty of options to rediscover its natural beauty this summer and fall. At 944,735 square kilometres, British Columbia is bigger than France and Germany combined, or almost four times the size of Great Britain, boasting plenty of places and spaces to explore BC, safely.

The Explore BC campaign is the latest activity in the evolution of Destination BC’s marketing and industry response throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to align with the Province’s Restart Plan and provincial health directives. In Phase 1, residents were encouraged by Destination BC to #exploreBClater – to stay home and do their part in flattening the curve of COVID-19 in BC. In mid-May, with the start of Phase 2, efforts evolved with #exploreBClocal – hyper-local marketing to encourage people to be a tourist in their hometown, to reignite interest in our museums, galleries and cultural sites, to remind residents of how parks, beaches and outdoor spaces can strengthen their mental and physical wellbeing, and to support the small tourism businesses that are the foundation of BC’s tourism industry. Now, we can carefully expand our travels throughout the province and #exploreBC like never before.

About Destination BC:

Destination BC is a provincially funded, industry-led Crown corporation that supports a strong and competitive future for BC’s tourism industry through a combination of global marketing, destination development, industry learning, cooperative community-based programs, and visitor servicing. Destination BC receives approximately $52 million each year, out of a Provincial investment of about $140 million in BC’s tourism ecosystem as a whole. These investments help to improve the visitor experience, support businesses and communities, and strengthen BC’s worldwide reputation as a destination of choice. For more information about Destination BC’s programs and services, please visit:  http://www.DestinationBC.ca/

Tourism – By the Numbers

  •  British Columbia’s tourism industry generated revenue of $20.5 billion in 2018*, an increase of 4.9% over 2017, and a 53.3% increase from 2008.
  • In 2018, British Columbia’s tourism industry employed 161,500 people, a 4.3% increase from 2017. This means that tourism provided a job for roughly 1 out of every 16 people employed in the province.
  • There were 19,329 tourism-related businesses in BC, in 2018, employing over 161,500 people and paying $6 billion in wages and salaries.
  • The tourism industry generated $6.9 billion in export revenue in 2018, growing 8.2% from 2017.
  • GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 2.7% over 2017. The tourism industry contributed $8.3 billion of value added or GDP (in 2012 constant dollars) to the BC economy. This represented 3.0% growth over 2017 and 42.1% growth since 2008.
  • In 2019, the majority of BC’s visitation was domestic: 74% of all visitors to BC were Canadians. These domestic visitors contributed 49% of tourism revenues in our province.
  • British Columbians can support BC’s visitor economy by spending some of the $6.7 billion they annually spend abroad by exploring their own province.
  • The visitor economy is increasingly recognised as one of the first and hardest-hit economic sectors during this crisis, and likely the last to recover. BC tourism businesses are suffering unprecedented losses.
  • When people stop travelling, the benefits of tourism stop, too. Most tourism businesses buy goods locally, hire locally, and retain their profits locally. The economic impact is and will continue to be significant.
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