07/22/2014 04:01 EDT | Updated 09/21/2014 05:59 EDT

China now Vancouver tourism's largest overseas market

The number of visitors from China to Vancouver has outstripped those from the U.K. for the first time, according to Tourism Vancouver.

China is now the biggest overseas market for the city — with domestic tourism and visitors from the U.S. coming in first and second overall.

An estimated 209,499 travellers from China are expected to visit Vancouver during 2014, an increase of 15.1 per cent over last year.

The rise has prompted the city's tourism organization to look for ways to promote and capitalize on the growing Asian interest. A revised version of their Chinese-language website has just been launched, and the organization continues to work with Vancouver-raised Chinese singer/songwriter Wanting Qu as part of their marketing plan in China.

Generally, tourism in the city is up, Tourism Vancouver notes, with overnight visits up 5.5 per cent over last year, and hotel occupancy for the same period up 8.5 per cent.

According the organization, 68.900 jobs in the city are generated by tourism, with the industry in Metro Vancouver as a whole worth $3.6 billion to the local economy.