A hot, dry summer has kept the region’s tourism industry hopping, according to the latest data compiled by Chemistry Consulting.
Hotel occupancy, though down slightly, remains close to 90 per cent while ferry and airport traffic continue to outpace last year’s record tourism season.
“Despite a small decline in hotel occupancy in July from the record 2016 numbers, hotel room rates and [revenue per available room] are up,” said Chemistry principal Frank Bourree. “Hotels that have invested in renovations are seeing some strong return on their investments. B.C. Ferries and the Victoria airport are showing very strong performance.”
Average hotel occupancy rates in July were 87 per cent, down slightly from the 89 per cent in July of last year, while revenue per available room was $190, up from $187 last year.
Revenue per room was even more impressive in the high-end hotels such as the Fairmont Empress and Hotel Grand Pacific, where it reached $283 in July.
Year-to-date, hotels have seen occupancy slip 1.17 per cent to 73.5 per cent, while revenue per available room has increased by $4 to $120.
Through the first seven months of this year B.C. Ferries has seen a one per cent increase in passengers to 3.5 million, and vehicle traffic has increased 0.8 per cent to 1.1 million.
Victoria International Airport continues to set new records as it reported a 5.6 per cent increase to 1.09 million passengers through its gates by the end of July.
Cruise-ship numbers have been flat so far this year with 147 ships carrying 362,000 passengers. This time last year there had been 149 ships with 363,000 passengers.
Nanaimo is also reporting a solid year, with hotel occupancy in increasing 1.2 per cent to 69.9 per cent and revenue per available room increasing by $1.51 to