A shortage of hotel rooms in Vancouver could cost the province almost $31 billion in gross economic output.
These predictions appear in a new report from Destination Vancouver, which finds that the demand for hotel rooms in the city will exceed supply in 2026. By 2030, demand for hotel rooms will outstrip across Metro Vancouver.
This regional shortage will reach deep into the rest of the province.
“Many visitors combine their trip to Vancouver with travel in other parts of the province, thereby generating economic impacts throughout B.C.,” it reads.
In short, fewer visitors to Vancouver because of lacking hotel rooms means fewer visitors elsewhere, with consequences for the job market and government tax revenues. The report predicts almost 170,000 fewer full-time jobs and $7.5 billion less in tax revenue for all levels of government.
The report appeared as B.C. prepares to host several major sporting events including the FIFA Men’s World Cup 2026.
Tourism Minister Lana Popham acknowledged the problem Wednesday (MArch 8) and predicted that it would be a major topic of discussion at an upcoming at industry conference in Kelowna next month.
“It’s a conversation we have to have around strategy with the federal government, First Nations, the City of Vancouver,” Popham said. “Everyone is well aware of it and we are going to be looking for solutions.”
She also added that a quick fix does not appear on the horizon, adding that the problem is being managed for now.
“We have these amazing events coming to British Columbia and we definitely need to be able to solve that problem before some of the bigger ones like FIFA.”
The report predicts that the demand for hotel rooms will reach pre-pandemic levels by 2025, then exceed supply up to 2050.
“If the number of available rooms in Metro Vancouver remains unchanged over this period, it will mean an increasing number of visitors will be unable to find hotel accommodation, especially in the summer months when demand is highest,” it reads.
“In the summer months, demand is forecast to exceed supply in Metro Vancouver by 2028, and by 2040 demand is projected to exceed the current supply for every month of the year.”
Destination Vancouver is a destination marketing and management organization that represents about 800 tourism operators and related industries in Metro Vancouver.