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Overview of the Tourism Industry

Introduction

Tourism is one of British Columbia’s fastest growing industries. There are over 19,000 tourism related businesses employing approximately 302,700 workers in BC. It is projected that 106,000 new job openings will be available in tourism by 2028.

B.C. 10 year job openings forecast 2018 to 2028

Chart from Go2HR

Source: Getting to Know BC’s Tourism Industry, Go2HR

Accommodation and Foodservice Jobs

Expected Growth in Employment 2018-2028

forecasted employment tourism 2018, 2023, 2028

Source: WorkBC Industry Profiles

Transportation Jobs

Expected Growth in Employment 2019-2028

forecasted employment in transportation jobs; 2018, 2023, 2028

Source: WorkBC Industry Profiles

The current number of workers won’t meet the future job demand. A recent survey found that almost half of all tourism employers had at least one difficult to fill vacancy.

Certain occupations continue to be difficult to fill in most regions of the province, including:

  • kitchen staff
  • cleaners
  • many front-line service positions

These shortages are felt particularly during peak seasons (summer and winter), as well as in resorts and rural communities. Management and leadership skills are also in demand.


New immigrants to BC are projected to fill more than 30 per cent of all job openings in the province by 2020.


Newcomers to Canada are seen as a key source of talent as tourism organizations seek to meet their hiring needs.

The industry has responded by creating a number of programs to attract new workers.

One such initiative is the ITA’s Immigrants in Trades Training program. Programs offered through this initiative provide you with hands-on experience, financial assistance, safety training, English courses, and career counselling.

The Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Program assists you with finding jobs that match your experience and background. The program offers specialized assistance by helping you prepare for and obtain employment in every sector of the B.C. economy including tourism.

For more information on the Tourism sector see:

Occupations in the Tourism Sector

There are over 400 occupations in BC’s Tourism & Hospitality sector. Over the next decade, you will find thousands of new openings in a wide variety of jobs in the following sectors:

employment by sector: food & beverage, recreation & entertainment, transportation & travel, accommodation

Chart from Provincial Snapshot, BC’s Tourism Industry Snapshot, Go2HR

You will be in particularly high demand if you work in the food services sector.

Occupations in High Demand in BC:

Occupation Number of
Job Openings
(2020)
Food counter attendants and kitchen helpers 11,810
Food and beverage servers  9,190
Cooks  6,810
Restaurant and food service managers  4,870
Light duty cleaners  4,010
Bus drivers & subway and other transit operators  3,280
Cashiers  3,230
Programs leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness  2,520
Chefs  2,470
Hotel front desk clerks  2,410
Accommodation service managers  1,760
Travel Counsellors  1,670

Source: BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy

For a larger list of tourism-related employment by industry and occupation see:

For detailed information on any of the occupations in the tourism sector, including job description, educational requirements for working in BC, salary, and more see:

Hiring Forecast by Region

Employment by Economic Region

BC is divided into six tourism regions:

The majority of tourism jobs are located in the Vancouver and Mainland/Southwest region. However, you can find many job opportunities throughout all regions of BC.

For more information see:

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the tourism industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: