Whether we are a permanent resident, a seasonal resident, or a temporary local (i.e. a tourist), those who live and visit Columbia Valley are united by one thing: we love the Columbia Valley in our soul. We make this Valley our home…part-time, or full-time. We share a passion for this place.
BC defines a tourist as being those travelling a minimum distance of 80km one way from their usual place of residence, and includes the following services provided to tourists: Retail trade, Transportation, Information and cultural services, Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, Administrative services, Arts, entertainment and recreation, Accommodation and food services, Personal and other services, Public sector services
Tourism is the largest industry sector and employer in the Columbia Valley (2018, latest data available): Accommodation and Food Services is the largest single industry sector (workforce of 990, 18% of all jobs). There are an estimated 1900 accommodation units in the Valley. Service-related occupations (driven by tourism) comprise four of the Top 5 workforce occupations – and 26% of total employment. People come here from all over the world: Radium tourist information centre recorded 68,000 visits in 2019: 30% – Alberta, 15% BC, 5% Washington State, 13% – Europe, 8% – Asia.
Tourism is the 2nd largest export industry in the Columbia Valley. Accommodation and food services generated $93,000,000 in exports in 2019 (20% of all Columbia Valley exports), second only to manufacturing ($137,000,000) in export activity. “Export” is a leading indicator of economic drivers in a community/region, because it’s the value of what non-residents buy from Columbia Valley residents. Arts, entertainment and recreation, and retail – in the top 10 exporting sectors – are also heavily tourism-influenced.
Radium tourist information centre recorded 68,000 visits in 2019: 30% – Alberta, 15% BC, 5% Washington State, 13% – Europe, 8% – Asia. Src: Radium Hot Springs Visitor Info Centre
Recreational property owners (80% Calgary region and southern Alberta) are THE MOST SIGNIFICANT prospect for new resident and investment attraction in Columbia Valley, with 50% ownership of property in the Valley, doubling of summer population to 23,000 with recreational property and tourism visits, and surveyed 25-70% population growth and 50-100% workforce growth that can come from recreational property owners who intend to spend more or full time, and or work more, from Columbia Valley in the next few years. Some factors we know will help this transition: commercial services, lake access, in-community recreation amenity, and health professional services.