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

The Abbotsford Community Foundation has a total of $160,000 available to award in 2021 through its Agricultural Enhancement Grants Program. (Submitted photo)
Applications now being accepted by Abbotsford Community Foundation for agricultural grants

Total of $160K available for projects that support agricultural innovation

Construction has begun on the new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford. (Screengrab from video by CHP Architects)
Construction begins on new Eagle Mountain elementary school in Abbotsford

School, including childcare spaces, is set to open in September 2022

Bill Hireen joined Remembrance Day celebrations in Abbotsford in 2019. The veteran and long-time civic supporter passed away on Dec. 31, 2020. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Long-time Abbotsford city council supporter dies of COVID-19

Bill Hireen was a frequent visitor to council and police board meetings

Uber Eats has announced that it is now delivering food orders in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Submitted photo by Justin Walker)
Uber Eats announces expansion into Abbotsford

Food-delivery company is staring with 60 local restaurants

Nakota Hinksman had been reported missing in Abbotsford, but has since been located.
UPDATE: Missing teen with autism has been located in Abbotsford

Nakota Hinksman, 18, had been missing since 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

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

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Most Read