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Games credited for tourism spike

If the goal was bringing more visitors to Vancouver, then the 2010 Olympics achieved significant results — at least in the short term — the city’s tourism board reported Tuesday.

If the goal was bringing more visitors to Vancouver, then the 2010 Olympics achieved significant results — at least in the short term — the city’s tourism board reported Tuesday.

Credited to the draw of the Games, Vancouver saw more than 6.6 million tourists between the months of January and September 2010, representing a 3 per cent increase from 2009.

Despite the international appeal, however, the vast majority of the city’s visitors were other Canadians, numbering just more than 4 million. Americans ranked second, at 1.5 million, though their rate did not represent a significant increase from the pervious year.

Visitors from outside North America spiked by approximately 14 per cent, with a substantial increase in visitors from traditional winter Olympic strongholds such as Austria, whose tourist numbers jumped 39 per cent from 2009, and Switzerland (up 18 per cent).

Even with the Olympics, summer remained Vancouver’s most popular season, with August and July numbers frequently more than doubling the number of tourists who visited during January and February.

 
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