Whistler Chamber Breakfast
The Whistler Chamber of Commerce invited economist, Bryan Yu from Central 1 Credit Union, to its October breakfast last week. Bryan, who specializes in macro and regional analysis, spoke to recent developments in the global and national economy and what it means for exchange rates, the provincial labour market and the tourism industry. http://www.central1.com/
In his presentation, Bryan referenced to the importance of Whistler as an economic engine for the province of BC and how Whistler’s business community can leverage opportunities emerging from the ongoing shifts in the global economy.
Approved Destination Status with China now in effect
In June 2010, approved destination status with Canada took effect, enabling Chinese visitors to travel to Canada through organized, pre-sold group tours. Thanks to the approved destination status, tourism businesses, destination marketing organizations and tour operators can actively market British Columbian, Canadian tourism products and experiences within China. Previously, Chinese travellers could get exit visas to Canada only if travelling for study, visiting friends and relatives, business or independent tourism activities.
It is also very important to understand that the middle class in China is growing very fast in numbers and in China that means millions of potential tourists for Canada. (Whistler)
We don’t often speak of South Korea as a powerhouse for tourism, but through Bryan’s report this very active country is definitely spending money in our land; and as such also plays a vital role in where our marketing dollars could also garner higher impact.
Germany as a country has regained strength and is emerging as a country to watch for on the economic radar screen. Already you will find throughout BC a lot of older German investment.
Build it and they will come?
Does Whistler have the infrastructure to appeal to this destination tourist – China, Germany or South Korea? It might be wise to assess our added value and cater to the tourists service requirements – which means we need to find out culturally what that is.
Canadian Dollar and Unemployment
The Canadian dollar hitting parity and staying strong through 2011 will affect our American visitor – along with the on-going struggle the US is up against: Economy (Foreclosures) the weakening of their dollar, Unemployment is close to 10% in the US. The verdict is they’ll be staying closer to home.
Unemployment in BC is at 7.5% – up from 4.5% in 2008
Whistler Real Estate
Whistler is unique on the real estate screen, it carries its own trends and over the next two years will be considerably slower… until the US turns the corner and starts to head in a healthier direction. Today Whistler is predominately regionally driven both in Real Estate sales and tourism. We could create something in the way of value for our local visitor to say thank you for their patronage.
According to the Gov’t of BC our job is to build relationships, through inviting immigration, nurturing our existing visitor upon each trip and delivering service that exceeds the expectations of our tourist. If we can continue this modest goal we will attract more tourism and grow as a country of value for the tourists dollar. We need to make sure we have in place activities beyond the Peak to Peak to keep any potential visitors here in town for a few days…not just a day trip!