File photo

File photo

Outdoor recreation generates close to $1 billion annually in Fraser Valley: report

Camping, hiking and sportfishing generate the most spending, report finds

Nearly $1 billion is spent every year on outdoor recreation activities in the Fraser Valley, according to a new report.

An economic analysis commissioned by the Fraser Valley Regional District shows that camping, hiking and trail running, and sportfishing generate the most spending in the region’s thriving outdoor tourism sector.

In total, about $950 million is spent annually on outdoor recreation in the region, according to the report, which was written by a trio of consulting companies and financed by local tourism boards.

Locals spend about two-thirds of that money, but people visiting from outside the Fraser Valley spend nearly $300 million each year on outdoor recreation.

The report says the revenue generated by the sector highlights its important and suggests that the region is increasingly seen as an important outdoor destination.

“Compared with world-recognized outdoor recreation regions such as Vancouver’s North Shore, the Sea to Sky corridor, and the Canadian Rockies, the FVRD has not traditionally been considered a major outdoor recreation destination. The results of this analysis suggest, however, that this may be changing.

“The diversity of activities, relative lack of crowding, and world-class recreation assets all suggest there is a strong opportunity to sustainably manage outdoor recreation in the region.”

Camping is the top revenue activity. Each year, about $230 million is spent on overnighting in the great outdoors. Locals spend about $146 million, while visitors spend around $84 million.

No other activities come close to that level of economic activity. Sport fishing ($163 million) and hiking/trail running ($137 million) are the only activities with more than $100 million in annual spending.

Notably, about three-quarters of the sport-fishing spending is by locals, while hiking/trail running generates a more even split, with residents spending around $74 million and visitors dropping $64 million locally on the activity.

Among 14 activities with more than $10 million in total annual revenue, only one saw visitors spend more than residents: The broad category of “nature interpretations/ecotours/wildlife viewing” saw visitors spend about $10 million compared to the $6 million generated by residents.

The report noted that three of the four activities that generated the most revenue could be considered “soft” activities” that are accessible to large numbers of people.

“Compared with other destinations, the FVRD possesses significantly more opportunities than challenges, with only a few activity sectors having sporadic issues with lacking infrastructure (parking, staging, wayfinding/signage, facilities) and user crowding,” the report concludes. “However, unlike other recreation destinations that have faced carrying capacity issues due to internal challenges (crowding/congestion, competing demands for resources), the FVRD will likely face more issues in its external environment that are beyond its control: climate change, resource scarcity, and now possibly future health pandemic issues.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kent Harrison Search and Rescue brought a man to safety, and awaiting paramedics, after a 20-foot fall down an embankment on Jan. 23, 2020, on Harrison West Forest Service Road. (Kent Harrison Search and Rescue photo)
Rescue crew lifts man up 20-foot embankment near Harrison Lake

Kent Harrison Search and Rescue says this is the fifth call already this year

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Jan. 24

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read