Introduction


The Employment Tracker reports on monthly changes in employment in the BC Tourism and Hospitality industry. The Tracker draws primarily from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a monthly household survey conducted by Statistics Canada. The LFS is the most timely source of data on the labour market across Canada.

go2HR receives LFS tables generated by Qatalyst Research Group via Statistics Canada's Real Time Remote Access (RTRA) Program that follows the Tourism Satellite Account’s definition of tourism. This data enables go2HR to track changes in employment and major trends in the Tourism and Hospitality industry in BC and monitor the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the Tourism and Hospitality industry.

Contents

Readers should be aware that the LFS is a sample survey and estimates are subject to both sampling and non-sampling errors.

Statistics Canada develops national labour market projections based on a monthly LFS survey of 56,000 households, covering 100,000 individuals from across Canada. Data is available on a sector (aligned with specific NAICS codes) and regional basis (e.g. by development region within BC). While this sample size provides for statistically reliable projections at the national, provincial and industry levels, the results become less statistically reliable once data is presented at the sector and regional level within BC.

As an illustration, BC accounts for about 12% of Canadian households and the Tourism and Hospitality sector typically employs about 12% of British Columbians. Applying these percentages, we would expect that about 1.4% of the individuals covered in the survey may be associated with the Tourism and Hospitality industry in BC (i.e. Of the 100,000 individuals captured in the household survey, about 1,400 would be associated with the Tourism and Hospitality industry in BC; this would provide a statistically reliable estimate of employment in the industry, equal to ± 2.6% at a confidence level of 95%). As the projections are broken down by sector within the industry and by development region within BC, the results are based on fewer and fewer surveys (and therefore become less statistically reliable). The results are also subject to rounding errors (e.g. results are reported in increments of 2,500).

As such, readers should be cautious when interpreting results presented at the sector and regional levels, particularly for smaller sectors and regions where the results can vary significantly on a month to month basis.

For additional information related to the LFS Study, please refer to the LFS User Guide. For further information about statistical reliability, please refer to Table 7.1 (Coefficients of Variation) in the LFS User Guide. Generally speaking, the larger the count presented in a graph or table, the greater the statistical reliability. When the count (e.g. the number of people employed in the Food and Beverage sector) is greater than or equal to 39,600, the coefficient of variation (CV) is less than or equal to 10%; when the count in the range of 39,600 and 13,900, the CV is from 10% to 20%; and when the counts are below 10,000, the CV is typically 20% or above.

Count Coefficient of Variation
Over 322,5001%
113,001 to 322,5002.5%
61,201 to 113,0005%
39,601 to 61,2007.5%
18,601 to 39,60010%
13,901 to 18,00016.5%
9,901 to 13,90020%
6,401 to 9,90025%
6,400 or less33%

For more information, please refer to Table 7.1 - Coefficient of variation (CV) for estimates of monthly totals, Canada and provinces, from the LFS User Guide.


The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is an industry classification system developed by the statistical agencies of Canada, Mexico and the United States. Created against the background of the North American Free Trade Agreement, it is designed to provide common definitions of the industrial structure of the three countries and a common statistical framework to facilitate the analysis of the three economies. NAICS is based on supply-side or production-oriented principles, to ensure that industrial data, classified to NAICS, are suitable for the analysis of production-related issues such as industrial performance[1].

This employment tracker follows the Tourism Satellite Account’s definition of Tourism and Hospitality sector, which is defined by the following NAICS codes:

  • Accommodation:
    • 7211 Traveller accommodation
    • 7212 Recreational vehicle (RV) parks and recreational camps
  • Food and Beverage Services:
    • 7224 Drinking places (alcoholic beverages)
    • 7225 Full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places
  • Recreation and Entertainment:
    • 5121 Motion picture and video exhibition
    • 7111 Performing arts companies
    • 7112 Spectator sports
    • 7115 Independent artists, writers and performers
    • 7121 Heritage institutions
    • 7131 Amusement parks and arcades
    • 7132 Gambling industries
    • 7139 Other amusement and recreation industries
  • Transportation and Travel Services:
    • 4811 Scheduled air transport
    • 4812 Non-scheduled air transport
    • 4821 Rail transportation
    • 4831 Deep sea, coastal and great lakes water transportation
    • 4832 Inland water transportation
    • 4851 Urban transit systems
    • 4853 Taxi and limousine service
    • 4854 School and employee bus transportation
    • 4855 Charter bus industry
    • 4859 Other transit and ground passenger transportation
    • 4871 Scenic and sightseeing transportation – land
    • 4872 Scenic and sightseeing transportation – water
    • 4879 Scenic and sightseeing transportation – other
    • 5321 Automotive equipment rental and leasing
    • 5615 Travel arrangement and reservation services

Further details can be found here. Detailed definitions of the NAICS code can be found here.


LFS collects data from the eight economic development regions within British Columbia: North Coast, Nechako, Northeast, Cariboo, Vancouver Island/Coast, Mainland/Southwest, Thompson Okanagan, and the Kootenays. The following map shows the eight economic development regions in British Columbia.

Source: https://pwp.vpl.ca/siic/job-search-resources/regions-of-british-columbia/

While there are eight development regions in BC, this employment tracker reports data for six regions:

  • Cariboo
  • Lower Mainland
  • Northern BC (North Coast, Northeast, Nechako)
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • Kootenay
  • Vancouver Island

Three of the Northern regions (Northeast, North Coast, and Nechako) are sparsely sampled by the LFS, so the data for these regions are combined and defined to be Northern BC.

Comparison of Development Regions to Tourism Regions in BC

The map below compares the eight economic development regions (black uppercase text and transparent) to the six tourism regions (white text and coloured) in BC. The six tourism regions within British Columbia include Northern BC, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coast & Mountains, Thompson Okanagan, and Kootenay Rockies. The tourism regions align with the six regional destination marketing organizations in British Columbia. As indicated below, while there is some commonality between the two sets of regional definitions, no region aligns directly with their counterpart in the opposite set.

Source: GO2HR. https://www.go2hr.ca/essential-tips-info/working-in-bc-tourism-regions;
WorkBC. https://www.workbc.ca/labour-market-industry/regional-profiles.aspx


Chart 1: Employment By Sector, 2016-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • In July 2021, employment in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector remained nearly the same compared to June 2021. However, from May 2021 to June 2021 employment increased by 12% to 312,000 from 278,000, likely due to the easing of restrictions and the subsequent rise in vaccination rates across the province. Tourism and Hospitality employment in BC remains significantly lower than pre-COVID levels, with 50,000 fewer jobs compared to July 2019.

Chart 1 tracks monthly employment in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector since 2016. Users can select data for each sector at the right-hand side of the chart. Display options include line chart or bar chart. Users may also compare employment data across sectors for a single selected year. This option is available by clicking the Invert Options button at the bottom right of the chart window.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing the data used to create the graph.

Please note: Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Sector

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Chart 2: Employment By Region, 2016-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • In July 2021, employment in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector decreased by 1% compared to June 2021 following an 12% jump from May to June. While the Lower Mainland, and the Cariboo experienced a decrease in Tourism and Hospitality employment in July 2021, the LFS data suggests that Vancouver Island & Coast had an increase of 4,000 jobs.
  • Tourism and Hospitality employment in the Lower Mainland, Northern BC, Cariboo, Thompson Okanagan, and Vancouver Island & Coast regions remained below pre-COVID levels in July 2019, but higher or nearly the same as employment levels in July 2020. The data also suggests that Tourism and Hospitality employment in the Kootenay region has recovered to the pre-COVID levels with a slight increase of 750 jobs (11,000 jobs in July 2021 as compared to 10,250 in July 2019.)

Chart 2 displays Tourism and Hospitality employment information for each of the economic development regions in BC Users can select data for each region at the right-hand side of the chart. Display options include line chart or bar chart. Users may also compare employment data across regions for a single selected year. This option is available by clicking the Invert Options button at the bottom right of the chart window.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the regional level, typically higher than the variability at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Region

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Regions

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Chart 3: Employment By Region and Sector, 2016-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • • Employment in most Tourism and Hospitality sectors including Food and Beverage, Recreation and Entertainment, and Transportation and Travel services declined slightly in July 2021. Employment in the Accommodation sector increased by 5,000 jobs.

Chart 3 displays the same employment information but for each of the Tourism and Hospitality sectors and economic development regions in BC since 2016. For each region and year, users can select data for multiple sectors at the right-hand side of the chart. Users may also compare employment data across regions for any selected sector and year. This option is available by clicking the Invert Options button at the bottom right of the chart window.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the regional level, typically higher than the variability at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here. Due to the small sample in the region and sector data reported by the LFS, Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay are combined only for reporting purposes and are combined only on this chart.


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Chart 4: Leading Occupations By Sector, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • Leading occupations (those that reported a greater employment weight) in the Tourism and Hospitality industry in BC include 513 - Creative and performing artists; 522 - Photographers, graphic arts technicians and technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts; 525 - Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations; 631 - Service Supervisors; 632 - Chefs and cooks; 651 - Occupations in food and beverage service; 652 - Occupations in travel and accommodation; 661 – Cashiers; 671 - Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations; 673 – Cleaners; 731 & 732 - Machinery and transportation equipment mechanics; and 751 - Motor vehicle and transit drivers.
  • Most of these leading occupations have experienced lower employment levels compared to the pre-COVID employment levels in July 2019. Care must be used in interpreting the data given that Coefficient of Variation for each of the reported occupations is from 20% to well over 35%.
  • Although employment levels among all four Tourism and Hospitality industry sectors have been impacted by COVID-19, leading occupations in Food and Beverage Services have recovered back to normal levels – thanks to the increasing vaccination rates and easing of restrictions, however, occupations in Travel Services continue to remain about 50% below Pre-COVID levels.
  • Various occupations exist in multiple sectors. For example, chefs and cooks (632) exists in both Accommodation and Food and Beverage sectors, while the Food and Beverage sector accounted for a higher percentage of the overall chefs and cooks employed in the industry.

Chart 4 shows employment levels broken down by leading occupations (in 3-digits NOCs) for each Tourism and Hospitality sector in BC Users can select data for each sector at the right-hand side of the chart. Users may also compare employment data across multiple sectors for any selected occupation. This chart also provides an option to show year over year changes in employment levels of a sector’s leading occupations. This provides a comparison of pre and post pandemic employment levels in selected occupations and sectors. This option is available by selecting Across Years under Display.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Detailed information of the Canadian NOC codes can be found here.

Please note: Some occupations may result in a large sampling error, to accompany this issue to some degree, the chart also provides an option to display 3-months moving averages. However, users should still note the high variability in monthly occupational data at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Display

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Data Source

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Chart 5: Employment By Selected Characteristics, July 2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • Of those employed in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality industry, 56% are male and 44% are female. The Transportation and Travel Services sector, however, has a higher concentration of males. About 70% of workers are between 15 to 44 years of age. Most workers in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality industry have at least a High School Diploma, 24% have a degree or diploma below bachelor’s, and 27% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Chart 5 presents a series of employment distributions in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality Sector by selected characteristics such as gender, age group, and education levels. Data is presented for the latest available month: April 2021. User may switch between charts by selecting an option under Characteristics at the top right of the chart window.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Characteristic

Display

Characteristic

Sectors

Characteristic

Chart 6: Employment By Job Status, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • While overall employment in the Tourism and Hospitality industry was steady between June and July of 2021, following an 12% increase from May to June, the percentage or workers employed full-time increased from 62% to 67%.
  • In July 2021, the Accommodation, Recreation and Entertainment, and Transportation and Travel sectors had approximately 75% to 80% full-time workers, as compared to 57% full-time workers in the Food and Beverage sector.

Chart 6 tracks monthly full time and part time employment in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector since 2019. This chart has three display options, which can be toggled at the lower right-hand side of the chart. The first option displays the total employment as well as the percentage of full time and part time workers; while this option is selected, a single a single year and sector can be displayed at a time. The second option shows all sectors at once, and allows the user to select as single year and status at a time. The third option shows all years at once, and allows the user to select a single status and sector at a time.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Year

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Status

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Sector

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Chart 7: Labour Force by Sector, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • The Tourism and Hospitality labor force includes all the people working in the Tourism and Hospitality sector as well as unemployed individuals seeking work whose last job was in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. The total number of people in the Tourism and Hospitality labor force shows how many individuals are available to work in the sector. Reductions in the labor force can be due to workers moving to different industries for work, declines in available employment opportunities, or because unemployed workers decide not to continue looking for work in the sector.
  • The Tourism and Hospitality labour force remained steady at around 321,000 employees between June and July of 2021 after increasing for two consecutive months from 294,000 in April 2021. In terms of sectors, Food and Beverage, Recreation and Entertainment, and Transportation and Travel Services sectors saw a slight decrease in labour force, while Accommodation sector experienced an increased.
  • The overall industry labour force remained below its pre-COVID level (321,000 in July 2021 vs 370,000 in July 2019). It is also below July 2020 levels, indicating that a portion of the labour force has permanently exited the workforce.

Chart 7 tracks the labour force in each of the Tourism and Hospitality sectors in BC This chart has three display options, which can be toggled in the lower right-hand corner of the chart. The first option displays the total monthly labour force for a selected sector for the last three years since 2019. The second option shows the total monthly labour force broken down into employed and unemployed workers for a selected year and sector. The third option displays the total monthly labour force for any number of sectors in a given year.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Sector

Options

Year

Sector

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Year

Sector

Options

Chart 8: Labour Force by Region, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • The Tourism and Hospitality labor force includes people working in the Tourism and Hospitality sector as well as unemployed individuals seeking work whose last job was in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. The total number of people in the Tourism and Hospitality labour force shows how many individuals are available to work in the sector. Reductions in the labor force can be due to workers moving to different industries for work, declines in available employment opportunities, or because unemployed workers decide not to continue looking for work in the sector.
  • The Tourism and Hospitality labour force remained steady at around 321,000 employees between June and July of 2021 after increasing for two consecutive months from 294,000 in April 2021. While most of the economic development regions in BC have experienced an increasing or stable regional labour force, the Lower Mainland and Cariboo regions saw a slight decrease.
  • The overall industry labour force remained below its pre-COVID level (321,000 in July 2021 vs 370,000 in July 2019). It is also below July 2020 levels, indicating that a portion of the labour force has permanently exited the workforce.

Chart 8 tracks the labour force in each of the economic development regions in BC This chart has three display options, which can be toggled in the lower right-hand corner of the chart. The first option displays the total monthly labour force for a selected region for the last three years since 2019. The second option shows the total monthly labour force broken down into employed and unemployed workers for a selected year and region. The third option displays the total monthly labour force for any number of regions in a given year.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly industry sector data at the regional level, typically higher than the variability at the provincial level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here. Regional data on unemployment with counts below 10,000 must be used with high caution.


Region

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Chart 9: Unemployment Rate, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • Unemployment rate in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in BC increased slightly from 3.6% in June 2021 to 3.9% in July 2021 after experiencing a significant drop from 8.1% in May 2021 to 3.6% in June 2021. While the unemployment rate remained 0.9% higher than its Pre-COVID level (3.9% in July 2021 vs 3.0% in July 2019), it is much lower in comparison to the same month in 2020.
  • In July 2021, the unemployment rate ranged between 0.5% to 8.6% across the four Tourism and Hospitality sectors. The Recreation and Entertainment sector has a relatively higher unemployment rate.
  • The unemployment rate in July 2021 ranged from 0.6% to 11% across the six economic development regions in BC. The Cariboo region had the highest unemployment rate at 11.1%.

Chart 9 tracks the unemployment rate of the Tourism and Hospitality sector in BC This chart has four display options, which can be toggled in the lower right-hand corner of the chart. The first two options allow users to group data by sector and the last two options allow users to group data by region. The first and third option, labeled "filter by", will display the monthly unemployment rate for a selected sector or region over the past three years since 2019. The second and fourth options, labeled "show all", will display the unemployment rate for any number of sectors or regions for one selected year.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Readers should note that Canadians are considered unemployed if they are actively seeking work. The number of individuals employed in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector has decreased by 70,000 from February 2020 to date, but the number of “unemployed” individuals increased by only 4,000, which shows that unemployed individuals have decided that actively seeking work is either not beneficial, or they are waiting for businesses to re-open before continuing to look for work. The abruptness of the job losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the attached restrictions has created a unique labor market and therefore the unemployment rate can only tell part of the story. When restrictions are lifted, businesses are able to re-open, and emergency benefits are drawn back, the unemployment rate will become a more accurate indicator of the relative strength of the labour market.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly demographic data at the provincial level and regional level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


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Chart 10: Actual Hours Worked Per Week, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • Aggregate weekly hours worked in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector increased from 8.74 million hours per week in June 2021 to 8.95 million hours per week in July 2021. The increase is much more significant in the Accommodation, and Food and Beverage sectors. In terms of regions, the Thompson Okanagan and Vancouver Island & Coast accounted for most of the increase.
  • While the overall actual hours worked per week remained much lower than pre-COVID levels (8.95 million hours in July 2021 vs 10.78 million hours in July 2019), they are approximately 1.06 million hours higher than during July 2020.

Chart 10 tracks the hours worked in one week in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in B.C each month. This chart has four display options, which can be toggled in the lower right-hand corner of the chart. The first two options allow users to group data by sector and the last two options allow users to group data by region. The first and third option, labeled "filter by", will display the monthly hours worked for one selected sector or region over the past three years since 2019. The second and fourth options, labeled "show all", will display the hours worked for any number of sectors or regions for one selected year.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly demographic data at the provincial level and regional level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


Sector

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Chart 11: Average Hourly Earnings, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • Average hourly earnings in BC’s Tourism and Hospitality sector have been steady with some fluctuation between $22 to $25 over the past two years. Average hourly earnings by sector ranged from $18 to $36 in July; the Transportation and Recreation and Entertainment sectors had the highest average hourly earnings while Food and Beverage sector reported the lowest.
  • There is not much difference in the average hourly wage across regions in BC. The Lower Mainland has slightly higher average hourly earnings.

Chart 11 tracks the average hourly wage in the Tourism and Hospitality sector in B.C each month. This chart has four display options, which can be toggled in the lower right-hand corner of the chart. The first two options allow users to group data by sector and the last two options allow users to group data by region. The first and third option, labeled "filter by", will display the hourly wage for one selected sector or region over the past three years since 2019. The second and fourth options, labeled "show all", will display the hourly wage for any number of sectors or regions for one selected year.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.

Please note: There is high variability in monthly demographic data at the provincial level and regional level. Coefficient of Variation for BC estimates can be found here.


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Chart 12: Sales Revenue of Food Services and Drinking Places, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • While employment in the Food and Beverage sector increased slightly from April to May 2021, sales of food services and drinking places increased by 15%.
  • Sales revenues of food services and drinking places remained lower than pre-COVID levels ($892.7 million in May 2021 vs $1138.7 million in May 2019), however, they are much higher than in May of 2020 ($593.2 million).

Chart 12 displays the monthly sales of food services and drink places in thousands of dollars each month for the last three years since 2019.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing the data used to create the graph.


Source: Statistics Canada. Table 21-10-0019-01  Monthly survey of food services and drinking places (x 1,000)

Chart 13: Hotel Occupancy Rate, 2019-2021


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Key Takeaways:
  • With employment in the Accommodation sector decreasing by 27% from April to May of 2021, hotel occupancy rates in BC also decreased by 2.6%.
  • Provincial hotel occupancy rates remained approximately 40 percentage points lower than pre-COVID levels (31.9% in May 2021 vs 72.6% in May 2019).

Chart 13 displays the hotel occupancy rate each month for the last three years since 2019.

Clicking the View Table button beneath the graph will expand a table displaying the same information as the graph. There is also a Download button, which will download a csv file containing all of the data used to create the graph.


Source: Tourism Industry Dashboard, Destination BC. URL: https://www.destinationbc.ca/tourism-industry-dashboard/

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1. ^https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/subjects/standard/naics/2017/v3/introduction


The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of its author(s) and not the official policy or position of the Government of British Columbia.