Tourism Vancouver Sets New Records During 2010 Winter Games

Tourism Vancouver is the leader when it comes to attracting visitors to the city of Vancouver.

As I got a chance to surf their uber-cool website and blog, I discovered their organization provides informative, up-to-date information on all things that are going on in the city and are able to help tourists and locals plan events and activities.

Tourism Vancouver can help you in planning: where to stay, where to eat, where to go and what to do.

IMG_3365Photo: alykat

During the Games

While all eyes were on Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Tourism Vancouver launched a number of important initiatives to make sure that visitors maximized their time and knew where they were going.

Here are the stats for the month of Feb 2010:

  • Tourism Vancouver’s Visitor Services team assisted over 173,000 visitor parties throughout the month. This includes those serviced at the eight Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre satellite kiosks around the city, and through the organization’s Volunteer City Hosts who roamed heavily-trafficked tourist areas. The Burrard Street Visitor Centre saw a 350% increase in the number of visitor parties that were assisted compared to the same period in 2009, helping a total of over 10,000 parties.
  • Tourism Vancouver had 280 people volunteer to help visitors, including 158 people who worked as City Hosts during the 17-day Games period. The group contributed a combined total of 9,353 volunteer hours.
  • Over 90,000 of Tourism Vancouver’s Official Visitors’ Guides were distributed during the Olympic Winter Games, along with 163,000 printed maps.
  • Tickets Tonight, Tourism Vancouver’s community box office grossed more than $1.3 million in ticket sales, compared with gross sales of $470,000 in February 2009. Additionally, more than 10,000 Olympic tickets were picked up from Tickets Tonight’s box office in the Burrard Visitor Centre.
  • The organization’s website,, saw 307,000 visitors during the 17 days of the Games, generating 1.2 million page views. The site’s interactive map was viewed 40,000 times, while the printable map was downloaded 15,000 times. In addition, Tourism Vancouver’s “Inside Vancouver” blog ( saw an additional 58,000 visits as the site’s bloggers posted 80 new stories during the Games.
  • Tourism Vancouver’s Media Relations team made the most of their positions within both the Main Press Centre at the Vancouver Convention Centre and the BC International Media Centre at Robson Square, personally working with 900 media parties during the Games period. The team assisted visiting journalists with story ideas, interview coordination, access to images and footage, and local information.
  • myCITYsmart, the mobile application developed for Tourism Vancouver through a partnership with SatSports Ltd and smartphone manufacturer HTC, was downloaded more than 44,000 times. The app is the world’s first completely interactive tourist and sporting event mobile application.

The Ripple Effect

In addition to Tourism Vancouver’s own statistics, downtown Vancouver experienced a hotel occupancy rate that exceeded 90% during the 17 days of the Olympic Winter Games. In comparison, the overall rate for February 2009 was 65%.

Tourism Vancouver chair, Rick Baxter said:

“The initiatives put in place by Tourism Vancouver and the city’s tourism industry both served Vancouver well in the short term and also sets the stage for longer term tourism growth. Making sure that our Olympic visitors received the information and service they needed to enjoy their time in the city is an important step in turning them into repeat visitors.”

Geoffrey Howes, director of Operations for Toseki Entertainment, owner of Aqua Riva and The Salmon House restaurants, agreed with the sentiment:

“It’s great to see the successes specific to Tourism Vancouver – they were certainly reflected in the strong business that many downtown retail and restaurants saw during the Olympic Winter Games.”

Tourism Vancouver’s focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. The organization’s brand essence is about “exceeding expectations.”