Economy

Key Economic Indicators

Vancouver proudly hosted the world for 27 days for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the region is now feeling the benefits of that world-wide exposure. A massive $600 million was injected into the Vancouver economy, with $60 million in new business deals signed as a result of the Games. Canada is now the number one country brand in the world as a result of the international media attention while Vancouver ranks number one in the Americas and number one in Canada in terms of the best business tax climate of 41 cities measured around the world. (Source: KPMG) It’s no wonder that more than 40 of Canada’s corporate headquarters are located in Metro Vancouver, with 28 located downtown.

Resource Sector and Transportation

While forestry is the province’s number one industry, B.C. minerals are also being shipped to the Asia Pacific region, helping to fuel the engine creating their emerging middle class. This is augmented by B.C.’s transportation infrastructure. Port Metro Vancouver is the closest port in North America to Asia with one of the world’s best deep-water harbours and is accessible by three railroads. It is the fourth largest tonnage port in North America. Sharing space in the harbour is the water airport with 50,000 aircraft movements annually between seaplanes and helijets. The port control tower, located on the top floor of the office building that houses The Vancouver Sun and Province, is the highest in the world.

Real Estate

The bench mark price for single detached house price in Metro Vancouver is now $887,000, up 11 per cent from prior year resulting in Metro Vancouverites having the highest net worth of any city in Canada. Given our geographical challenges of mountains to the north, ocean to the west, and the US border to the south, we have expanded vertically with a higher than average number of people living in condo’s in on the downtown peninsula. New schools are being built in the downtown core to accommodate the growing number of families living in high rises.

Film and Television

A fan of vampires? Then you might recognize some of our lush scenery in the Twilight film series. The mild west coast climate allows for filming year round, such as in 2010 when 246 motion picture projects were shot here generating in excess of one billion dollars in production spending and employing over 30,000 people. Vancouver is the third largest production centre in North America, earning us the nickname “Hollywood North”. Major movies and television shot in B.C. recently: Contagion, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2, Smallville, Alcatraz, Once Upon A Time, The Grey, Supernatural, Sanctuary, The Fringe – to name just a few.

Tourism

As the world saw in February 2010, Vancouver is spectacular. The international media were extremely complimentary, “You may have heard that Vancouver is a great city, but it’s better than that. On a good weather day … it is stunningly beautiful, and it is an excellent eating, drinking and shopping city” The Boston Globe. With accolades like that, it’s easy to see why tourism is the second largest industry for the region. Nearly 9 million people come here each year for the scenery, the food, the beaches, the ocean, the mountains and the activities. For the more adventurous, and depending on the season, there are all kinds of water sports, eco tours, snow sports, boating and fishing, world class golfing and attractions. Nature is always close at hand and accessible.

The Cruise industry is very strong in Vancouver with 199 sailings scheduled for the 2012 season. Every sailing contributes $2 million to the regional economy. And with Canada’s approved destination status with China, we expect an influx of tourists from Mainland China in 2012. British Columbia will be a big tourism destination for Chinese travelers, partly because of direct air access to Vancouver, through the top airport in North America.

Retail

Metro Vancouver has improving consumer retail sales, having posted a 3.9 per cent increase in retail sales from September 2010 to September 2011. Consumer confidence and retail sales are forecasted to increase again in 2012 due to increased employment. Many chains are expanding into the region such as Lowe’s, Crate & Barrel and others are adding locations such as Pottery Barn, Michael’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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