North

Lower gas prices, strong marketing, helping Yukon tourism

The Tourism Industry Association says tourism operators across the Yukon are reporting an increase in business in 2016.

Tourism Industry Association says winter tourism numbers continue to grow

A view of Queen Street in Dawson City. (Chris Windeyer/CBC)

The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) of the Yukon says so far it's been a good year — tourism operators across the Yukon are reporting an increase in business through the 2016 season.

Blake Rogers, executive director of TIA Yukon, credits the low Canadian dollar, lower gas prices, and marketing for the strong showing. He also notes winter tourism has been picking up. 

Blake says numbers have typically dropped off in the winter months, but that is changing.

Blake Rogers is the executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon. (TIA Yukon)

"Looking at it right now, it is amazing. The number of hotel rooms that are being rented out during the winter for northern lights tourism, dog mushing," said Rogers. "You name it — there is just a lot of winter activities people can do here, and it's really something that is starting to catch on, I think."

Blake says the Royal visit in September also boosted numbers for the fall season. He said almost all hotel rooms were sold out during Prince William and Kate's visit to Whitehorse.

There are no final numbers yet for the fall season, but the Yukon Tourism Visitation Report for August says total border crossings were up by two per cent over last year.

And the number of visitors traveling by air was also up by eight per cent, compared to August 2015. The numbers are compiled by the Yukon Government's tourism department. 

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