Recent History – 2001
Oct. 25, 2001
DAWSON CREEK — A strong oil and gas industry combined with a healthy tourism sector made for plenty of growth in the accommodation sector in northeast B.C. according to numbers from B.C. Stats.
Revenues from rooms in the northeast climbed 22 per cent in 2000, more than any other region in B.C.
Revenue growth also outperformed the rest of the province in the first quarter of 2001, up by a seasonally-adjusted 6.8 per cent from fourth quarter 2000 levels.
April was also a strong month for the region, with revenues rising 18.2 per cent to reach a new record of more than $3.5 million.
As a result, although the northeast made up just two per cent of B.C.’s accommodation market in 2000, making it the third smallest in the province, that share increased to 2.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2001.
The oil and gas industry played a major role.
“Room revenues in the northeast are highly dependent on the oil and gas industry and the overall economic outlook of the region,” said B.C. Stats in a weekly Infoline Report. “Special camps set up to accommodate workers, many of whom are employed in this industry, made up 17 per cent of the room revenue in the region in 2000. In January of this year, over 40 per cent of room revenues in the northeast were contributed by work camps.”
Much of the growth in room revenues was attributed to similar growth in the economy, as employment in the region rose for five of the first six months of 2001.
“When employment increases the number of workers requiring temporary accommodation grows and people in the region tend to spend more money on tourist activities,” B.C. Stats said.
Despite the growth, room revenues, unadjusted for seasonal variations, have show high fluctuations.
Historically, room revenues have peaked around March of each year, only to then plunge to their lowest point in April or May. For example, April 2000 saw room revenues drop 53.7 per cent unadjusted from March 2000 levels.
Nearly half of the region’s room revenues are earned in Fort St. John at 36.7 per cent and Dawson Creek at 16.9 per cent.
As of August this year, revenues climbed 48.5 per cent, unadjusted over the same period last year, while Dawson Creek’s year-to-date revenues were unchanged.
“The driving force behind this increase was the service camps in the region,” B.C. Stats said.
There were 78 accommodation properties in the northeast in 2000, down from 82 in 1999, although the number has remained fairly constant since 1995.
Almost half, 46.2 per cent were motels, but 51 per cent of room revenue went to the hotels while motels earned 29 per cent. The remaining 21 per cent went to other properties, including service camps.