British Columbia

Tourism Vancouver says Trump Tower will provide much-needed hotel rooms

Trump Tower in downtown Vancouver was the target of protests and politicians' ire on Tuesday, but Tourism Vancouver is looking at its benefits.

Also says tower will provide many jobs for hospitality industry

The Trump International Hotel & Tower is on West Georgia in downtown Vancouver, across the street from the tallest building in the city — the Shangri-La hotel. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The opening of Trump Tower in downtown Vancouver Tuesday was met by protests in the street and criticism from local politicians, but Tourism Vancouver is focusing on the building's benefits.

Vice-president of marketing Steven Pearce says the tower is a much needed addition to Vancouver's hotel industry.

"We sorely need excellent hotel rooms. We've got very high occupancy in the summertime and that pushes up rates and there's lots of room for additional rooms in this city," he told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"We're seeing almost 40 per cent of our business coming over the June, July, August period and we're driving occupancies of 91, 94 per cent."

Another thing to keep in mind, he says, are the jobs a five-star hotel of that size will likely create.

"Because it is a luxury property it is going to have a very high ratio of staff to customers because they expect that level of service," he said.

That said, Pearce doesn't think the hotel's identity will have a pronounced impact on tourism numbers. He says visitors are more likely to come to Vancouver "for all the wonderful things to see and do here" and not for a particular hotel.

He also suspects that with all the "emotion" around the Trump name, both tower owners who have licensed the branding and businesses that are tenants of the building will watch closely to see if the branding is an asset or a liability.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast

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