It appears an increase in hotel rooms in Kamloops aligns with rising occupancy rates.
Tourism Kamloops director of communications Monica Dickinson said hotel occupancy rates — which factor in most of the city’s hotel rooms — in July rose two per cent over the same month last year. Overall year-to-date through July, occupancy is also outpacing last year, up five per cent from 2018.
“There’s this growth trajectory that’s happening,” Dickinson told KTW.
About 100 more hotel rooms are expected to come online in 2021, with the construction of a new Four Points by Sheraton hotel next to the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre in Aberdeen. Hotelier Ron Mundi is expanding his property, located at 1250 Rogers Way, to accommodate conference attendees. The centre’s current 200-room inventory cannot accommodate larger events, he has told KTW.
It comes at a time when more hotels are rising, in addition to investment in renovation of older spaces. A boutique hotel called The Hue, consisting of 36 rooms, will rise in Aberdeen in 2020, while the former Hotel 540 downtown recently got a $9-million facelift, transformed into the Delta Kamloops.
The Kamloops Accommodation Association said the city’s current inventory includes about 2,800 rooms, noting supply and demand are growing at about the same pace.
Dickinson called Mundi’s planned new hotel an “exciting announcement.” Occupancy growth, she said, is due to efforts by Tourism Kamloops, community investment in new offerings such as entertainment and all that Kamloops has to offer: hiking, affordability, good weather.
“We had a good summer,” Dickinson said.
Asked about the impacts of the previous two wildfire seasons on tourism in the city, Dickinson said Kamloops depends on visitors who pass through by car on their way to Vancouver. Without evacuation notices and smoke and weather advisories popping up, Dickinson said those people were more likely to hop in their car.
“This year, without smoke, without wildfires in the area, people were travelling a lot more confidently and freely,” Dickinson said.
When reached by KTW on Friday, Sept. 13, Tourism Kamloops brass were in Vancouver meeting with their provincial counterparts.
Dickinson noted a fall campaign is underway, with a promotion to begin later this month promoting hiking and mountain biking to B.C. and Alberta residents. Dickinson said it is part of the organization’s continued push to promote the city’s shoulder season — with winter, spring and fall continuing to see fewer tourism dollars in the region than summer.