Vancouver Island affected by global-travel slowdown: report

Greater Victoria’s tourism industry continued its slower year in September, according to data by Chemistry Consulting.

The firm’s monthly tourism indicator newsletter showed area hotels reported a two per cent drop in occupancy so far this year, though the revenue per available room remained close to last year’s level at $152.18. Last year it was $152.20 through the first nine months of the year.

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Tourism insiders suggest there has been a global slowdown in travel, fewer Chinese travellers hitting the airways and less travel from B.C. and Alberta to the Island in 2019.

The result has been a flat year on the major transportation routes with B.C. Ferries reporting a 0.76 per cent increase in vehicles and a 0.84 per cent fewer passenger numbers.

Victoria International Airport has seen a 5.8 per cent drop in passengers through its gates so far this year, owing mainly to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max fleet and the loss of United Airlines, which stopped its United Express service between Victoria and San Francisco in January.

The airport will be dealing with the loss of Delta Airlines for the rest of this year as it suspended its service from Victoria to Seattle in September.

The cruise ship season wrapped up last month with 248 ships having brought 687,523 passengers and more than 285,000 crew to the city. In 2018, there were 258 ships that brought 698,297 passengers and 289,000 crew.

Meanwhile, Destination British Columbia data for the first eight months of the year showed 90,099 Indian citizens entered B.C. during the first eight months of the year — up 33.8% from the same period a year ago. The likely explanation for the spike from India is that Air Canada has been upping its number of non-stop daily flights between Vancouver and Delhi.

— With a file from Glacier Media

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