Thanks to a packed programming slate and exceptional weather, it looks like this summer will be Whistler’s busiest on record in terms of room nights, confirmed Tourism Whistler (TW) earlier this week.
“From Tourism Whistler’s perspective, we are seeing recovering travel demand out of both our regional and destination markets. As well, marketing efforts to encourage early summer bookings (similar to our winter Book Early and Save campaigns) are showing results. The robust calendar of festivals and events and great weather certainly play a role also,” said TW’s manager of corporate communications Patricia Westerholm in an email.
In the month of June, room nights were up 15 per cent compared to last year’s numbers, Westerholm confirmed, making it the busiest June on record. Tourism Whistler began tracking room night data in the resort in the early ‘80s. Bookings from the regional market in June “were up significantly over 2012,” said Westerholm, although bookings from the destination market were flat compared to last year.
Other key performance indicators from June used by the lodging industry, like revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily room rate (ADR) and paid occupancy figures, were above the 10-year average.
July also saw record numbers, as room nights were up seven per cent compared to 2012. Westerholm said that bookings from both the regional and destination markets were up over the previous year’s numbers.
Paid room night and RevPAR numbers were up over 2012 and “notably higher” than the 10-year average, Westerholm noted, while ADR was up from last July, and fell slightly below the 10-year average.
Results for August are not yet available, but Tourism Whistler indicated that booking numbers for the month were on pace to beat out last year’s levels.
“Due to strong performance to date and positive pace of bookings, it is likely that summer 2013 will be Whistler’s strongest on record, in terms of room nights booked,” said Westerholm.
The resort hosted a number of big-ticket events this summer that drew strong visitation numbers, most notably Ironman, the first time the triathlon has ever been held in the resort. Estimates indicate that around 10,000 visitors came to the resort for the Aug. 25 race.
The municipality also hosted a series of free concerts in Whistler Olympic Plaza this summer that drew strong attendance. The RMOW indicated that each of the concerts attracted an average of 3,000 spectators, with the highest turnout being for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performance in July.
“The programming was done very well. Whistler Olympic Plaza was alive all the time, and some of the new pieces of equipment, like additional big chairs, picnic tables and umbrellas really made Whistler Olympic Plaza a very appealing place,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “Between how the Village looked and how it was programmed it was just a very good job all around.”
Tourism Whistler expects confirmed room night figures for August later this month.