Rainy summer can't keep tourists away from Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Rainy summer can't keep tourists away from Kelowna

Gyro Beach in Kelowna
August 02, 2016 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA – The unusually wet summer and low Canadian dollar haven't had much impact on the number of tourists visiting Kelowna this year.

Chris Shauf of Tourism Kelowna says the lead-up to the busy tourist season was exceptionally warm and busy this year, and may be part of the reason tourism has expanded 2.8 per cent over last year, despite some obvious challenges.

“It was a really terrific spring and a fantastic summer for tourism,” he says. “Certainly some people’s plans on some days were impacted by the weather but activity was still up. There were a lot of people in the area.”

Year to date numbers are still pending data from hotels and industries, but a media release from the Ministry of Tourism says traffic at Kelowna International Airport is up 5.9 per cent. Aross the province the tourism industry experienced record growth with hotel occupancy up four per cent in Vancouver, and 2.8 per cent in Kelowna.

During the first five months of 2016 the number of overnight international visitors to B.C. grew 14 per cent over the same period last year.

Nancy Cameron, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna, says spring visitation increased substantially and despite the clouds, summer is thriving.

“Wine touring, farm to table meals, golf, great hiking and biking, and sunny beaches with a variety of water-based activities are all within minutes of our energetic downtown that's right on the lake,” she says. “With a great mix of well-established and loved attractions and new experiences to try, travelers love to come to Kelowna and area to enjoy a flavourful and fun vacation."

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