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British Columbia expecting 100,000 new tourism jobs by 2020

Written by editor

VANCOUVER – B.C. tourism jobs are expected to explode in the coming years with about 100,000 new positions to be filled by 2020, according to a report released Monday.

VANCOUVER – B.C. tourism jobs are expected to explode in the coming years with about 100,000 new positions to be filled by 2020, according to a report released Monday.

A labour study from go2, the industry’s human resource association, predicts about 44,000 jobs will be created through tourism growth over the next eight years. Another 57,000 positions are coming open due to retirements.

“After several years of slow labour growth, the tourism industry is poised to expand,” go2 CEO Arlene Keis said in a statement.

The provincial government, meanwhile, aims to expand tourism industry revenue growth by 5% annually until it hits $18 billion by 2016. The study estimates the new tourism jobs will account for 10% of the province’s overall job growth.

“Our government is committed to providing British Columbians with the skills training opportunities needed to fill the anticipated one million job openings in our province by 2020,” Tourism Minister Pat Bell said in a statement.

“We are working closely with industry partners like go2 to make sure that we are focusing government investments where they will have the most impact – like training workers for careers in the tourism industry.”

The report predicts tourism will account for 300,000 jobs by 2020 — an increase of 17.3% since 2010. This represents an average annual growth of 1.6% — 0.2% higher than the overall provincial growth of 1.4%.

But the high demands for jobs means the province is ramping up recruitment strategies to draw in more workers. This includes career campaigns abroad and tapping under-represented talent pools such as youth, aboriginals, new immigrants, older workers and people with disabilities.

“The tourism industry often provides people with their important first job and sets them on their career path,” Keis said. “Tourism is also the largest employer of youth, with one-in-four British Columbians under the age of 24 working in the industry.”