People flocked to Kamloops, Okanagan during spring break | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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People flocked to Kamloops, Okanagan during spring break

Harvey Avenue through Kelowna was virtually deserted a year ago but filled up this year. New statistics show that there were almost as many people visiting the Thompson/Okanagan during spring break this year as in a normal year.
April 12, 2021 - 1:10 PM

There was a dramatic increase in the number of people travelling around B.C. during spring break this year compared to 2020 when the break fell during the first two weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown.

It was the Thompson-Okanagan region that saw the biggest increase with a jump of 79 per cent more visitors this year than in 2020. The province as a whole saw a 56 per cent increase, according to data released by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

“Throughout the entire pandemic, the Thompson-Okanagan has still had more visitations,” Kelly Galaski, the association’s managing director for Symphony Tourism Services, told iNFOnews.ca. “We have a lot of people who have extended stays, working from home, people who have second homes in this area.”

The association tracks visitors based on the postal code where their cell phones have been registered for the previous six months. That means the data also includes the sizeable number of people who have moved into the region from other parts of the country, Galaski said.

An association graph shows the region did better than last year for two weeks in mid-January then dropped close to 50 per cent below last year in early March.

This graph shows the number of visitors to the Thompson/Okanagan region this year versus 2020. The Thompson/Okanagan is the black line while the B.C. average is in red. The 0 per cent line depicts 2020 numbers.
This graph shows the number of visitors to the Thompson/Okanagan region this year versus 2020. The Thompson/Okanagan is the black line while the B.C. average is in red. The 0 per cent line depicts 2020 numbers.
Image Credit: Submitted/Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

Visits climbed dramatically, compared to last year, during spring break, March 13 to 28. It was up 90.1 per cent by March 28.

“A lot of people were going to see family and stuff like that, even though it’s not advised to do that,” Galaski said, noting that the increase was still not back to the level of travel expected in a normal year but, at 90.1 per cent, it got pretty close to normal.

The Thompson-Okanagan saw the biggest increase of any of the province’s six tourism regions. It was followed by the Kootenay/Rockies and Vancouver Island regions, each of which were above the B.C. average.

Only the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region saw a drop in the number of visitors this year from last.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021
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