Visits to B.C. by U.S. tourists are down by more than a third over the past several years, according to a report from a Vancouver research group.

Nearly 2.5 million American tourists came to B.C. in 2011, but that’s 36-per-cent lower than the number that came 14 years earlier, according to the report from Urban Futures, a Vancouver research company.

The report blames the strong Canadian dollar and the hard-hit economy in the U.S., where unemployment has doubled since 1998.

The report also points to high gas prices as a disincentive to visitors who otherwise might have chosen to drive to B.C.

In 1998, a gallon of gas cost the same as a litre of gas in Canada, but since then, the cost in the U.S. has taken off.

“They’ve gone up about four-fold in the states and so that has significant implications for spending patterns and by extension travel patterns,” said Urban Futures director Ryan Berlin.

Some major tourist attractions are still managing to do well, despite the decline.

“We've been very fortunate and especially in the last year, we opened a new attraction called Cliff Walk, which has been very, very popular with our guests, received a lot of publicity and so in actual fact our numbers are improving,” said Sue Kafka, vice-president of sales and marketing, for the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge has also partnered with tourism boards to aggressively market B.C. destinations to Americans. But B.C.’s not the only destination doing that.

“There's a lot more choice for [Americans] as well. One of the things we're facing with the U.S. is there's a lot of countries -- including Americans --marketing to Americans,” said Paul Vallee, of Tourism Vancouver.

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  • There are hundreds of adventures to be found in British Columbia. Here are 20 of the Huffington Post's favourites.

  • Inside Passage

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  • Barkerville

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  • Bear Mountain

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  • Heli-hike the Bugaboos

    Take a breathtaking heli-hike among the beauty of the Bugaboos.

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge

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  • Cariboo

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  • Richmond Market

    Have a delicious adventure at Richmond's night market, voted one of the top 4 in the world by the BBC.

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  • Gulf Islands National Park

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  • Stanley Park Seawall

    The seawall refers to the 22km (13.7 miles) walking, jogging, cycling and inline skating path that lines Vancouver's waterfront from the convention centre on Burrard Inlet (Coal Harbour), around Stanley Park and False Creek, past Granville Island and ending at Kitsilano Beach Park. Jog, bike, or just walk the scenic Stanley Park seawall.

  • Spirit Bear

    The spirit bear, also known as the kermode bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), is a race of black bear that has a white coat. The Spirit Bear (also known as the Kermode Bear) was added to the list of B.C.'s official symbols in April 2006. The greatest concentration of Spirit Bears can be found on the Central Coast and North Coast of British Columbia. The Spirit Bear is not albino, but rather it is a black bear that has white fur due to a rare genetic trait.

  • Telegraph Cove

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  • Victoria Inner Harbour

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  • Whistler Biking

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  • Whistler Olympic Plaza

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  • Yoho National Park

    Hold history in your hand with the shale fossils at Yoho National Park.

  • Bowron Lakes

    This beautiful Provincial Park provides one of the world's best canoeing opportunities with 116 kilometers of lakes and rivers. You will see bald eagles, osprey, moose, mink, beaver, bears and a wide variety of bird life from your canoe.

  • Hell's Gate

    Take the most thrilling tour of your life at Hell's Gate, a narrow pass along the mighty Fraser River. You can also do an airtram ride over the rushing waters, or walk the suspension bridge above them.

  • Destination: British Columbia

    British Columbia is a land of amazing diversity - there's an almost endless variety of places to see and things to do. Take in BC's breathtaking scenery, exciting cities and resorts including Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. Experience our activities, from skiing, golf and fishing to whale watching, wine tasting and dining. For more info, visit: www.hellobc.com