Revenues at Revelstoke hotels are up by 33 per cent since 2008, finds the 2012 Resort Municipality Initiative Annual Report (RMI). The number includes new hotels that have been completed since 2008.
(Editor’s note: In the report, the baseline year for the RMI varies between 2007–2009 depending on what is being measured.)
The report charts Revelstoke’s tourism progress since it became a provincially-designated ‘resort municipality’ in 2007. It is compiled by City of Revelstoke economic development director Alan Mason along with the assistance Revelstoke Tourism Infrastructure Advisory Committee.
It highlighted very strong numbers in 2012; funds received through the resort municipality initiative increased by 17 per cent. The figure correlates strongly to increased accommodation revenue.
Mason reports tourism infrastructure created through the resort municipality initiative is paying off in bigger tourist numbers: “We believe the increasing tourism numbers are due to excellent marketing on behalf of the local [direct marketing organization] and other community partners, and the development of enhanced tourism infrastructure in the community which has made Revelstoke more attractive as a tourism destination,” Mason reported. “For example, we are seeing strong growth in the number of visitors coming to Revelstoke to mountain bike on the new trails that have been developed around the community and to enjoy two new lodge facilities developed on the snowmobile trails.”
The report noted modest tourism in B.C. (1.2 per cent visitation increase, but still lower than 2010.) It forecasts very modest increases for the province that is still hampered by the effects of the 2008 recession.
The report notes progress on tourism infrastructure projects supported through RMI funding, such as snowmobile cabins, bike trails, ski resort shuttle busses, the new Visitor Information Centre, dirt biking facilities, museums upgrades, public art projects, the proposed improvement to the Trans-Canada Highway eastern access, and several more.
According to stats measured at the visitor info centre, the length of visitor stays has increased from 1.8 days in the baseline year of 2007 to 2.24 in 2012.
Revelstoke outperformed provincial averages in annual accommodation room revenue increase s by 17 per cent, increasing from $17.3 million annually in 2007 to $21 million in 2012.
However, visitor numbers were a concerning trend. Visitor centre numbers were down from 14.9 visitors per hour in 2007 to 10.8 in 2012; the centre has moved to a different location, though, and a new permanent visitor centre is under construction.
The out-of-town vacation property boom has yet to materialize. The report finds only a one-per-cent increase since 2008 from 19 per cent to 20 per cent. By comparison, Sun Peaks has an 86 per cent outside ownership, with Whistler and Radium Hot Springs tied for second at 76 per cent.
Housing was more affordable in 2012; the price of an average home was 9.13 times the annual median income in 2009. That was a 10 per cent decrease from 2011, but a overall 40 per cent increase from the base year of 2007.
In his report, economic development director Alan Mason said visitor growth was “very strong” and better than anticipated. Revelstoke has continued to see strong growth in tourism visitation and hotel room revenues since the initiation of the Resort Municipality Initiative in 2007,” he stated in the report. “Based on some early returns for the current year, we are projecting additional growth in room revenues during 2013. What is encouraging is that, although much of the growth is being seen in the winter months, we are also experiencing growth in other months of the year which is good for the local tourism sector and the local economy.”
Want to read the whole report for yourself? Aside from the numbers mentioned above, it contains a trove of other numbers, stats and data valuable for anyone in the tourist sector and many other social and economic sectors.
Here it is in its entirety: