Stanley Park is a big draw for tourists.

Stanley Park is a big draw for tourists.

B.C. sees 12 per cent international tourism increase in 2016

Tourism officials point to more direct daily flights.

More than five million international tourists came to B.C. in 2016, according to Stats Canada numbers released Wednesday.

About 5,144,000 people from other countries visited the province, an increase of 12.7 per cent over 2015.

The biggest jumps came from Taiwan with 41.6 per cent and Mexico with 31.2 per cent.

Destination British Columbia CEO Marsha Walden pointed to more direct daily flights to B.C., especially for the uptick in visitors from Mexico and Australia.

Flights from Australia went up 121 per cent in total available passenger seats last November compared to the same period the year before, while a new daily flight between Vancouver and Mexico City has helped boost travel since it began about a year ago.

The only decrease was from Austria, which dropped by 0.4 per cent.

Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Craig Richmond said a record 22.3 million passengers flew into the Vancouver International Airport in 2016.

The province said that getting rid of the international jet fuel tax in 2012 helped drive down the cost of international flights.

 

Increase in international visitors to B.C. for 2016 vs. 2015Create bar charts

@katslepian

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