Tourism numbers for the town of Smithers were up in 2017, an increase of 25 per cent compared to the previous year.
Smithers was able to bring in more than 4,400 people within BC, Canada and around the world.
There are a couple of trends that has been contributing to the increase.
“over the past number of years we’ve seen a number of factors affect visitor numbers.” Explained Mayor Taylor Bachrach. “The American dollar has a bit of an effect and I think overall the reputation of this area is getting out to a wider audience through social media and through the work of the tourism marketing organization.”
When asked if the BC wildfire played a part in the rise of visitors, Bachrach says he wasn’t certain that was a cause.
Anytime they see more people coming to the Bulkley Valley it’s a good sign for more economic development and the city has plans in place to keep that number growing.
“One of the changes we’ve made recently was that we increase out hotel tax from two per cent to three per cent, so, this is a tax that is charged on all hotel rooms and the revenue from that tax goes to funding tourism marketing.”
The town has seen success from collecting money from the tax, because they can expand advertisement into larger markets in the world.