With tourism numbers down across British Columbia, including Greater Victoria, the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) reports accommodation revenues in Victoria dropped 86 per cent in June after dropping 90 per cent in both April and May. (Don Descoteau/Black Press)

Accommodation revenues in Victoria down 86 per cent in June

Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) cites figures in call for additional support

According to new figures from the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), accommodation revenues in Victoria dropped 86 per cent in June after dropping 90 per cent in both April and May.

These figures appear in background information the association provided to reporters, when it asked the provincial government for $680 million in support.

Vivek Sharma, TIABC’s chair, said tourism has been a “strong and consistent economic engine for the province and significant source of employment in every B.C. community” for decades in calling for additional support.

“The only way we can prevent generations of lost economic activity, jobs, and tax revenues is by acting decisively now with innovative and creative solutions that recognize the importance of this sector, which is the face and brand of British Columbia to the world and one of the strongest drivers of BC’s economy,” said Sharma.

RELATED: Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

RELATED: B.C. sets limits on number of guests, visitors in vacation rentals, houseboats

According to the association, the 19,300 businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry generated more than $8.3 billion in provincial GDP and $4.5 billion in direct tax revenues from $20.4 billion in direct visitor spending, creating employment in tourism-related businesses for more than 300,000 workers.

According to the association, the long-term economic outlook for the sector is the “bleakest” for any industry. Best-case projections would still see a $14.8 billion (69 per cent) decline in tourism revenue from $20.4 billion in 2018 to $6.7 billion in 2020. “This severe loss in revenue, which could be significantly greater, will have reverberating impacts on jobs, government revenues through taxes, and the ability to re-invest in the sector for a more resilient, sustainable future,” it reads.

Without support, the tourism sector could see upwards of 100,000 jobs lost in 2020 and thousands of businesses permanently shuttered, warned Sharma.

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