Tourism in our community

Examining the effect of Wells Gray and North Thompson provincial parks on attracting visitors to the area

Graph shows how much money is spent locally each month by people using day use areas in Wells Gray and North Thompson provincial parks but who do not stay overnight.

Graph shows how much money is spent locally each month by people using day use areas in Wells Gray and North Thompson provincial parks but who do not stay overnight.

When it comes to iconic Canadian tourism attractions, Clearwater and the surrounding area are the epicentre of the best wilderness and geographical experiences available at any price.

From the majestic waterfalls and the mighty Clearwater River to the Kostal cone volcano and the most sublime alpine meadows anywhere in North America, it is easy to see the attraction for visitors and explorers alike.

As part of Tourism Wells Gray’s continuous efforts to market our region internationally and regionally in an effective and sustainable way, we are working closely with BC Parks to identify the economic impact that Wells Gray and North Thompson provincial parks have on the local economy.

Although these parks are the most visible part of tourism within the community it is sometimes difficult to understand the full impact they have on businesses and residents who are not directly linked to the tourism industry.

Tourism Wells Gray’s economic impact study covered two primary areas of revenue generated by the parks.They are:

a)  Accommodation based revenue generated by people staying in the parks for more than one night in tents, trailers or RVs; and

b) Day use visitors that do not stay overnight, including coach tours.

These findings include spending on items such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, groceries, alcohol, gas, fishing, camping fees, canoe rental, firewood and associated activities during their stay.

Estimated total revenue generated within the community by day visitors who gave Wells Gray and North Thompson Provincial parks as their primary reason to visit was $2,797,976 in 2011.

Looking at overnightstays within BC Parks, the average stay was 2.1 nights and average party size was 2.4 people (some data collected in 2012 has been applied retroactively to 2011 visitor numbers where 2011 statistics are not available).

Estimated total revenue generated within the community by visitors that stayed a minimum of one night within the provincial parks during 2011 was $410,160. The average party size in the survey was 2.4 people and they generated the equivalent of 5,782 room nights in 2011.

 

– Brad Bradbury is tourism-marketing manager with Tourism Wells Gray