Whether it’s backyard barbeques, camping trips, family holidays or enjoying the many beautiful beaches and lakes across our province, summer is my favourite time of year. For us at YVR, summer is normally our busiest season, and this year it is shaping up to be our busiest, and best, yet.
On any given day, YVR is hopping with activity, but in the summer we find another gear. Last year we welcomed a record 17.9 million visitors and with an eight percent growth this summer alone, we’re on track to reach 19 million passengers!
Air carriers such as Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines have increased seasonal service, and we’ve already welcomed three new airline partners in 2014. This is good news for us and good news for all British Columbians. It’s also welcome news for our business partners, because more flights and people coming to B.C. means more jobs and more growth for our economy.
So what does the busiest summer look like? Every day in July and August, we expect to welcome about 60,000 passengers travelling through YVR. That’s the equivalent of filling Rogers Arena three times – to say nothing of all the luggage!
While many people might not share my enthusiasm, I love walking around a bustling terminal. You can feel the energy in the building, whether you’re watching a group of tourists board the Pacific Coach Skylynx bus to Whistler, waiting in line for an iced coffee or a 7-Eleven Slurpee, collecting your luggage at the Domestic Terminal carousels with hundreds of fellow travellers.
More passengers mean that our people and our facilities are working harder, too: Marquise cleaning teams keep our washrooms in pristine condition. (More on YVR’s washrooms here.) YVR crews perform preventive maintenance on the baggage system to keep those belts in good working order. And extra staff and volunteers hit the floor to dispense directions, manage queues and make the experience as pleasant as possible for our customers. They're all great.
Despite our best efforts, however, summer travel can also be stressful at times – particularly for families. For five years running, we’ve hosted YVR Take-Off Fridays in our terminals, a fun summer festival to help relieve travel stress. From face painting and balloon animals to live music, dancing and food specials, Take-Off Fridays offers an extra element of fun before a flight. It’s also an opportunity for YVR to connect with you – our community members and neighbours.
Safe travels, and have a great summer.