It was a banner year for tourism in Chilliwack, with events like the Tulip Festival. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress)

Celebrating the beauty of Chilliwack during Tourism Week

The beauty is everywhere and there’s so much to do on the recreation side.

It’s easy to pitch Chilliwack as a tourism destination.

The beauty is everywhere you look and there’s so much to do.

Chilliwack is celebrating Tourism Week with Acting Mayor Ken Popove greeting guests at the Chilliwack Visitor Centre on Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

“We’ve always known what a great place Chilliwack is, and now word is out,” said Popove. “People are discovering that we have a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities in and around Chilliwack and the beauty of our surroundings keep them coming back.”

It’s a meet-and-greet on May 31 that will recognize the achievements of tourism operators, destination marketing organizations, and kick off Tourism Week, May 29 to June 3.

The Chilliwack occupancy rate — a measure of how full the hotels are — went up nine per cent from three years ago. It jumped from 52.2 per cent to 61.2 per cent.

“That’s a great achievement, and indicates how important tourism is locally,” said Allison Colthorp, executive director of Tourism Chilliwack.

Chilliwack is home to 150 tourism businesses that offer authentic, remarkable experiences.

“Our community has enjoyed another banner year,” said Brian Minter, Tourism Chilliwack board chair. “Tourism is an important part of our economy and Tourism Chilliwack is pleased to provide professional marketing expertise to share our wonderful community with others.”

A solid 19,328 people came through the doors for help at the Chilliwack Visitor Centre last year.

The tourism industry is a powerful force here and across B.C. with about 19.7 million overnight visitors vacationing here each year, contributing $15.7 billion in revenue to the provincial economy.

Tourism touches every part of our province and has become one of B.C.’s leading business sectors.

“Luckily we’ve got it all in Chilliwack,” said Popove. “There are so many options with lakes, mountains, rivers, and golf.”

While the B.C. tourism industry experienced record-setting summer and winter seasons last year, the trend is continuing as businesses and destinations having enjoyed a busy first quarter and are anticipating more of the same this summer. Operators and communities around B.C. are sharing their Tourism Week celebrations with the hashtag #BCTourismMatters.