Tourism bright spots

Those of you who like to keep an eye on what is happening in the Capital Region’s tourism and hospitality will want to not the two following news items.

Tourism sector update

This article in the Times-Colonist does a good job of summarizing all of the challenges that face the tourism industry in Victoria. The general consensus is that tourism operators are not experiencing a huge drop off in business yet but proposed projects are being placed on hold.

The state of the tourism industry

Those of you who work in the tourism sector might have been concerned by this article that ran in today’s Times-Colonist. The article reports that the tourism industry facing its worst outlook since September 11, 2001.  These kind of reports can cause some to question their career choice.

The key issue to keep in mind about news that impacts on the labour market is that today’s reality does not necessarily predict tomorrow’s condition. The over all trend in tourism if you track it over a series of decades is very positive. This industry has expanded greatly in our lifetimes. Global economic conditions and other factors can definitely impact this industry – there is no arguing that but the key skill is to be able to distinguish between an event and a trend. We are in the middle of an event. Over time the tourism sector will rebound and continue to expand.

“Crisis” in the tourism sector

The tourism industry has been steadily growing in BC.  Employment projections for this sector have been optimistic thanks in part to momentum built up from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Storm clouds are now on the horizon however and some experts are concerned about the future of this industry.

Tourism growth has been fueled in recent years by a low dollar, a strong US economy and “reasonable” (in retrospect) gas prices. These conditions no longer exist and the potential influx of Chinese tourists has not yet materialized.

Most sectors experience slumps which can cause concern for job seekers those already working in the field. The good news is that the Olympic games will partially shield BC from a downturn in tourism activity and this sector has steadily grown over the last few decades. Next year, other global and economic factors may result in these storm clouds to dissipate.