According to newly collected data, there are more than 13,000 people living in Revelstoke, double the statistics reported in the 2016 census.
The data, collected by TELUS Insights, also shows a monthly visitor count of over 200,000 in May of 2018, including 20,000 international visitors.
“The number of people residing in the city area reached a peak of 14,570 by the end of December,” said Ingrid Bron, economic development officer for the city in a news release. “This has huge implications for the city, such as the provision of emergency services and policing, not to mention the impact on city infrastructure.”
Telus Insights uses de-identified and aggregated data to help public and private organizations and government have access to real-world facts. According to the news release, the project uses leading privacy standards to ensure no personal information is used as part of the study.
The project was initiated by the city in partnership with the Revelstoke Accommodation Association and Revelstoke Mountain Resort in 2018, with the objective of obtaining wireless network data that would provide reliable, updated information month over month on the resident and visitor populations of a prescribed Revelstoke Study Area.
This information is intended to support destination marketing for the tourism industry, and provide relevant data for the purposes of city planning. The data will also help in understanding the impact of the increased volume of both visitor traffic and resident population on the city’s infrastructure and services, the news release said.
The preliminary data also outlines how long visitors stayed in the area.
When grouped by the length of stay in days, figures range from over 7,500 visitors who stayed between one and three days, falling to just over 2,000 visitors to the city area who stayed from four to seven days.
Trips by visitors to the city area peaked in August with over 15,000 trips of 1-3 days and over 4,000 staying between four and seven days.
The number of visitors are broken down further by length of stay, including trips of less than an hour which would indicate people passing through on the highways.
Trips of 8-24 hours on the other hand could be an indication of the number of those visitors making day trips to the city Area.
“Knowing how long visitors tend to stay in town– and how many just drive through – will enable us to work with our tourism partners to develop events and programming that encourage longer stays,” said Meghan Tabor, executive director of See Revelstoke, in the news release.
This information will also be of use to Parks and Recreation, as staff work to develop new tourism infrastructure and maintain existing assets. And as the city works with tourism stakeholders to develop a new Resort Development Strategy, the data provided by TELUS Insights will help to inform the best use of Resort Municipality Initiative funding with a view to both increasing tourism activity and enhancing our recreational amenities.
The next step is to work with project partners to validate the data, using different sources of information such as visitor statistics or hotel occupancy rates that will help to tell the whole story. Using the data to its maximum potential is key – to benefit visitors, identify barriers to economic growth, and ensure that residents have access to the services they need, the release said.