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Hot summer, stronger U.S. economy credited for tourism boost in B.C.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — British Columbia was a popular tourist destination in 2015, with the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. describing the numbers as nothing short of staggering.

Association executive director Walt Judas says visits to some parts of the province were up as much as 15 per cent.

He says not every region was record-setting, but the major centres of Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Thompson-Okanagan had a very good year.

Judas says sunny, hot weather that began in May and continued through September helped boost tourism to the province.

He also credits a rebound in the United States economy for unleashing a pent-up demand for travel, while many B.C. residents enjoyed so-called "staycations," joining tourists from Alberta in exploring the province.

Tourism experts anticipate another good year in 2016, but Judas says it will be hard to repeat this year's strong performance. (CHNL)

The Canadian Press

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