Despite Mitt Romney's protestations, the American economy has bounced back over the last few years and Prince George is among the areas reaping the benefits.
"We had a good summer around here. At our downtown visitor's centre, we're up about 2,000 visitors over last year," said Tourism Prince George CEO Aiden Kelly. He added that there was a noticeable uptake in the American recreational vehicle traffic passing through town.
"We did see a little bit of a rebound from the U.S. market, because obviously the economy's been tough down there the last few years and that's coming around a little bit," Kelly said.
According to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, the province experienced a 7.2 per cent increase in American visitors in August over the same month the previous year.
"The U.S. market finally has shown daylight for us and it's been a long time since we've had that with the high Canadian dollar," said minister Pat Bell. "And with the change in rules in terms of border crossings, it's been very, very tough to get U.S. tourists up in Canada."
The Americans weren't the only ones flocking to the province, as there was also a substantial increase in summertime Chinese tourists.
According to Statistics Canada, visits from China were up 18.7 per cent compared to August 2011 and China represented 3.7 per cent of total international overnight entries and nearly 13 per cent of all overseas entries to B.C.
"I think we'll surpass 200,000 tourists from China this year," said Bell. "I think the day that we see a million Chinese tourists may not be as far off as people believe. And that would be enormous for our economy."
As the weather shifts to winter, the province and regional tourism agencies are shifting their focus to winter activities.
The bump in international visits through the summer bodes well for the fall and winter months, said Bell, who was part of a recent Tourism BC delegation to the Toronto Ski, Snowboard and Travel Show.
"In talking to the various resorts, I'm hearing - anecdotally - increases anywhere between five and 25 per cent for early season booking," Bell said.
Over the winter months, the traffic through Prince George changes from the long-haul visitors en route to Alaska or Prince Rupert to people coming to town for meetings and events or to shop, said Kelly.
"So the ones that are coming here for their weekend getaways, for shopping or hockey games or concerts. Or leading up to Christmas, getting all the gifts organized," he said.
In January, the agency will launch a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the diversity of activity options in the city.
"In Prince George, we don't have a signature attraction," Kelly said. "We're not Kelowna with Okanagan Lake or Niagara Falls."
Rather, the focus will be on engaging locals and visitors to turn into ambassadors for the city.
"What makes Prince George work is the sheer diversity and the sheer number of things," Kelly said. "So when you start putting those all together, it's a really big range of stuff."