The father of a young British tourist, who went missing last week while staying in Vancouver, is appealing for the public's help in the search for his son.

Martin Billings flew to Vancouver this weekend, to help police look for his 22-year-old son, Tom, who was reported missing last week when he failed to follow through with his planned travel itinerary in and around Vancouver. 

Martin Billings

Tom's father Martin broke down at a police press conference, as he appealed to the public to help find his son. (CBC)

North Shore Search and Rescue crews began search efforts last Wednesday, following up on a tip sent to Vancouver police that Tom had previously discussed going hiking on the North Shore.

Avid traveller Tom had been on an eight-week tour of North America but was last seen two weeks ago on East Broadway. Speaking on Monday, Martin said he's hoping someone has seen him since.

"We think Tom could be out there somewhere...Hopefully he's out there somewhere in a warm space," said Martin.

Martin said Tom didn't like spending money, and liked to hike, so it was a natural choice for him to take the bus to the North Shore and walk to a trail head.

It is also possible Tom may have been seen in North Vancouver at a coffee shop, although the sighting is not confirmed.

Meticulous planner

Martin, a lawyer in Oxford, also said Tom had been hitchhiking and finding accommodation on Couchsurfing.com during his trip.

His father wasn't a fan of that kind of travel, but Tom was used to it, he said, having already travelled this way in Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Martin added that Tom is strong, of sound mind, a meticulous planner and had been in good spirits when they last communicated by email two days before his disappearance.

It is also believed Tom bought a laptop in Seattle before his disappearance, but that laptop and his backpack were left behind at the place he was staying on East Broadway.

Martin returns to the UK Monday night to be with Tom's mother and two sisters, who are all distraught over Tom's disappearance.

Meanwhile North Shore Rescue crews are poised to do a helicopter sweep of the mountains when the weather clears.