A Star Wars clone trooper greets parade goers at the 2018 Penticton Peachfest. An economic impact report found that out of town visitors made up the majority of festival attendees. (File photo)

Visitors spend $4.5M during Penticton Peach Festival

Two-thirds of attendees were from out of town, spending $325 per person during the annual festival

The 2018 Penticton Peach Festival had a sizable economic impact, thanks to out-of-town attendees.

According to a report presented to city council Tuesday by Paradigm Consulting group, the combined spending of out-of-town attendees with expenditures made by organizers of the Peach Festival totalled $2.7 million, supporting $3.6 million in economic activity in Penticton.

“The survey illustrates the incredible impact that Peach Festival has on Penticton,” said festival president Don Kendall. “It is gratifying for the sponsors and volunteers to know that so many people, both local residents and tourists, enjoy Peach Festival.”

READ ALSO: Snowbirds and SkyHawks returning to 2019 Peach Festival

Roughly two-thirds of the attendees at last year’s festival were visitors. The report found there were 20,100 people who attended for an average of 2.4 days of the festival, and 14,000 were from outside of the city.

The report relied on data from surveys collected during the festival, which found on average, out of town visitors spent $325 per person in the city during the festival. That meant approximately $4.5 million was spent by out-of-town attendees.

READ ALSO: Crash Test Dummies kick off 2019 Penticton Peach Festival

“The results are even more impressive when you consider that the survey included only people at, or near, Okanagan Lake Park. The thousands of people who take part in Peach Festival events at other venues throughout the city were not included,” said Kendall. “The numerous events at other sites include the Peters Bros. Grand Parade in downtown Penticton, which had 1,015 participants and attracted more than 20,000 spectators.”

Of those who responded on the survey that they were from out of town, 81 per cent said they had come to Penticton before attending the 2018 Peach Festival. Approximately 36 per cent of out of town attendees stayed in hotels during their trip while 30 per cent stayed with friends and family, and 14 per cent relied on short term rentals such as Airbnb or camping.

READ ALSO: Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts to perform at 2019 Peach Festival

When considering the total expenditures of the festival and the spending by these visitors, the report summarizes 23 Penticton jobs and $990,000 in wages and salaries were supported thanks to the event. It states the total net economic activity generated by the festival was $2.5 million for Canada as a whole, $2.2 million for B.C. and $1.6 million for the City of Penticton.

READ ALSO: Teen bands wanted for contest to perform at Penticton’s Peachfest

Not only did 94 per cent of out of town attendees who respond say they found their Peach Festival experience great or good, four in five said they were very likely to recommend the festival.”

Statistics to conduct the study were gathered from 462 respondents to the survey, which asked a variety of questions and their opinions of the event.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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