Magnificent Sun Peaks recently played host to TIABC's first-ever multi-day AGM and Summit. By all accounts, the sessions, networking and extracurricular activities were well received by the 120 delegates, presenters and special guests.
While copies of the presentations are still being received and uploaded to the members-only section of our website, allow us to provide you with a brief overview of the sessions highlighting some of the key points.
Senator Nancy Greene Raine, Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine, and local MP Cathy McLeod welcomed guests at the opening reception and talked about what it means to host events like this in their community.
|Mayor Al Raine, Walt Judas and Senator Nancy Green Raine
Day one of sessions began with a warm welcome by Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association CEO Glenn Mandziuk who showed two spectacular videos highlighting his region.
Destination BC President and CEO Marsha Walden and go2HR CEO Arlene Keis presented on meeting labour challenges in BC by sourcing under-represented talent pools such as seniors and people with disabilities.
Following TIABC's AGM and the election of new board members Robyn Cyr of Shuswap Tourism, and Alroy Chan of Rocky Mountaineer, Policy Committee members, along with TIAC Vice President Rob Taylor led a
Town Hall discussion on various issues.
Recognizing that advocacy is a marathon not a sprint, participants identified priorities such as transportation (access, cost), alignment (partnerships), customer service, ramifications of the sharing economy, employee housing needs, pending agri-tourism regulation changes, skills and labour, among other challenges as being the active files TIABC and its federal counterpart TIAC need to work on.
At lunch, Aboriginal Tourism Canada CEO Keith Henry looked at the enormous potential to develop Aboriginal tourism products and experiences in BC, and noted that what Canada offers is second to none anywhere in the world in spite of the fact that other countries are reaping greater benefits. Keith also referenced the work being done by a large consortium of First Nations, associations (including TIABC), DMOs and communities to develop a First Nations'-led tourism strategy and two-ferry solution for BC's central coast region.
Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour joined the Summit to not only meet with delegates, but listen in on the sector roundtable, launch Camping and Tourism Weeks in BC, as well as deliver the keynote address to at dinner. Minister Bond gave special recognition to operators, DMOs and sectors for contributing to record setting years for British Columbia's visitor economy.
The afternoon session featured 11 sector associations informing delegates of the issues and priorities for their respective members in advance of next year's provincial election. In brief...
Wilderness Tourism Association addressed the ongoing conflicts between other business sectors over land use and tenure;
B.C. Fishing Resorts and Outfitters referenced the impact and added uncertainties of a changing climate on fresh water lakes throughout the province;
Western Canada Mountain Biking Association also talked about competition for land use and access although their role is more about marketing than advocacy;
go2HR reminded delegates of its tourism labour market strategy for BC and encouraged employers to use its myriad resources to help fill positions;
BC Taxi Association, in its on-going concern with Uber's inevitable entrée to BC, highlighted the benefits of the taxi industry including trained and bonded drivers, safety standards, and community service contribution;
Aboriginal Tourism BC introduced their strategy to build and effectively market more authentic Aboriginal Tourism experiences to take advantage of visitor demand;
One of TIABC's newest members, Allied Golf Association of BC reviewed its scorecard of measures that focused on environmental stewardship, health & wellness, and the economic impact of golf in BC;
BC Hotel Association challenged delegates to pay attention to how the sharing economy is changing communities, not necessarily for the better. BCHA suggested that all communities become engaged in the issue;
BC Lodging & Campgrounds informed delegates that recent CRA actions could mean serious consequences for campground owners, including the elimination of a significant capital gains exemption on the sale of privately owned campgrounds;
Association of Beverage Licensees referenced their concern about the sale of wine in grocery stores, noting that it will not only impact private liquor store operators, but could also eventually squeeze BC wineries from the grocery store shelves once foreign wineries apply pressure to sell their wines in grocery stores;
Conversely, BC Wine Institute believes more shelf space is needed in grocery stores to allow smaller BC wineries to sell product that otherwise would not be stocked in LDB or private liquor stories.
Day two of the Summit began with Pace Group's Norman Stowe talking about government priorities leading up to the election in May 2017. He noted that for advocacy efforts to succeed, facts and data are paramount for government decision-making.
An entertaining and informative panel presentation on film tourism produced some excellent insight and recommendations on how communities can or should take advantage of productions to drive visitation in their regions.
The Summit concluded with an excellent session on Tofino's recovery from last year's whale
watching boat tragedy. Mayor Josie Osborne, Tourism Tofino Executive Director Kirsten Soder, and Destination BC's Wendy Magnes discussed how the response to the incident unfolded and the lessons learned throughout the entire ordeal.
||Mayor Osborne and Kirsten Soder
And last, but not least, the grand prize draw was presented to a very, very happy summit delegate who went home with a vacation for two aboard Rocky Mountaineer!
|Leah McGimpsey awards the Rocky Mountaineer grand prize!
On behalf of the board and staff of TIABC, thank you to the many sponsors, presenters and delegates who attended and made the Summit such a success.
Finally...a great big thanks to Sun Peaks Grand Hotel, Sun Peaks Resort Association and Tourism Sun Peaks for their incredible service and hospitality.
We look forward to bringing our entire industry together again at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria, February 22-24, 2017.
Thank you again to all the sponsors who helped us ensure a successful event!