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Vancouver sets new tourism record with more than 10 million visitors in 2016

FILE PHOTO: A Canadian flag waves in the wind as the sun sets on Vancouver's skyline. Robert Giroux/Getty Images

When it comes to a record-setting year for tourism in Vancouver, it’s a three-peat.

The city of glass had more than 10 million visitors in 2016, which is a new best for Metro Vancouver’s tourism industry. It’s the third record-breaking year in a row.

The data, which was released by Tourism Vancouver on Friday, showed the strong tourism year was due to several factors which included strong marketing initiatives around the world; the inaugural World Rugby Sevens match at BC Stadium; a ‘favourable’ Canadian exchange rate that attracted international travellers and the lifting of Canadian visa requirements for Mexico in late 2016.

Overall the study showed Vancouver’s tourism numbers exceeded other Canadian cities like Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. In particular, Vancouver was loved by Americans with almost 2.3 million visiting in 2016, an increase of 9.8 per cent. Other growing markets include Mexico, Australia, China, the United Kingdom and South Korea. China remains Vancouver’s largest overseas visitor market with more than 280,000 visiting last year.

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Unsurprisingly, July, August and September were the year’s strongest months for accommodations in Vancouver.

Based on the numbers, Tourism Vancouver estimated that the tourism industry contributed about $4.4 billion to the Metro Vancouver economy annually and provides more than 70,000 full-time jobs.

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