The Royal BC Museum is many things to many people: a world-class research institution; a favourite destination for global travellers; a hub of community, learning and knowledge.
We are also a significant contributor to the economic sustainability of Southern Vancouver Island and of the province as a whole.
Every year, an independent economist measures the economic impacts of the Royal BC Museum’s operations.
The museum and archives generate two major outflows of economic activity: through the daily operations of such a large and complex constellation of buildings and collections, and through the spending of visitors who are attracted to Victoria, primarily to visit the Royal BC Museum, and spend money on services associated with their visit here.
In the 2016-17 fiscal year, it was determined that the economic impact from museum expenditures and spending by visitors generated $47.4 million in GDP for the province of BC. That’s the equivalent of supporting 841 jobs.
Closer to home, it was determined that the economic impact from museum expenditures and spending by visitors generated $25.9 million in GDP for Southern Vancouver Island. That’s the equivalent of 543 local area jobs that would disappear if we were suddenly to close.
Extrapolating from the results of in-house surveys we conduct twice a year, we estimated that of all the out-of-town visitors to the Royal BC Museum in 2016-17, 43,710 people decided to travel to Victoria mainly because of a desire to see our feature exhibition. Our economic analysis indicates they spent approximately $50.3 million on various services to Southern Vancouver Island during their visits—everything from ice cream cones to hotel rooms.
Add to this the $21.8 million spent on salary and operating costs in 2016-17, and you get a sense of the outsized impact the Royal BC Museum has—not just on science, education and community building, but on the local economy, too.