April 13, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Image: @VanHeartYVR - Instagram

CEO's Message
As I read the newspaper headline, " And they're off!", it conjured up an image of  thoroughbred's bolting from the  starting gate  at the  racetrack , with candidates for office having  warmed up  for months but are now in full  sprint  headed for the May 9th  finish line  to determine who wins the right to represent their respective ridings, and more importantly, who returns to the  paddock  to form the next provincial government.
Keeping with the obvious horse racing analogy (in italics), in many ways the Liberals are the  front-runners having won the previous four elections.  A  handicapper would likely select the current government as the odds-on favourite to  win, the NDP to  place and the Greens to  show to complete the  trifecta. Most independents or other parties are considered  long shots.
But  whoa...hold the  reins.  A lot can happen during any  race based on the  conditions. Many ridings are  neck and neck. We occasionally see one or two contenders off the pace or ultimately  scratch by the  clubhouse turn. What's more, a  sloppy track, a challenger that  spits the bit or one that experiences a  trip always happens in a duel like an election.
In the blood sport known as B.C. politics, countless polls will point to a  dead heat with the likelihood of a  photo finish to settle a  wager. Yet we know for certain that candidates from the three main parties will finish  in the money and the rest will remain  maidens.
Truthfully, I know nothing about the sport of horse racing (I found the terminology via Google) but enough to recognize that jockeys, trainers and their horses prepare daily for each  furlong, middle distance, miler,  marathon or derby that they compete in.  The current  stable of MLAs vying for re-election, and their challengers have been doing the same for weeks, months and perhaps even years for this opportunity.
Like professional bettors that spend hours at the track watching thoroughbreds train, reviewing race results and talking to jockeys, every eligible voter should take the time to be educated on the issues, get to know the candidates in their own riding, understand respective p arty platforms, consider volunteering as part of a campaign team, and above all cast a vote on or before May 9th. After all, the stakes are high.
Don't forget to check out TIABC's  Daily Racing Form ( Guide to the 2017 Provincial Election) to help you decide which  filly or  colt will  mount the saddle for the next four years.

Now, before you send me a note about my lame  horse racing (manure ) analogy, I mean no disrespect to any politician or candidate. The same goes for those who are horse racing fans or part of the profession. However, I trust you will have recognized that the next few weeks up to the election will be akin to an afternoon at the racetrack - engaging, thrilling, surprising, disappointing, entertaining, and unpredictable. Don't forget that parade to the post  is May 9th.
One final word: On behalf of TIABC, I'd like thank all MLAs (especially those retiring) for their faithful service to our province during their respective term/s and for their commitment to growing British Columbia's visitor economy.  To those running again, good luck as you  dash toward the  wire.  You're at the  quarter pole galloping toward the  stretch turn and ultimately the  backstretch. We look forward to seeing you in the Winner's Circle.
Walt Judas

TIABC Guide to the 2017 BC Election

British Columbians Vote on May 9th

TIABC (with input from several sector partners) has produced a
Guide to the 2017 BC Election that provides tourism stakeholders with suggestions on how to engage candidates of all political stripes in discussions about issues and opportunities related to B.C.'s visitor economy. 

We believe you'll find this to be a valuable tool to help frame the relevant issues, as well as to learn more about party platforms/actions the next government will take relative to tourism.

Review or download a copy of the guide from our TIABC website

TIABC is also in the process of creating a list of candidates for each riding. We will continue to update the document as we receive more information. Be sure to connect with your candidates and ask questions. The 2017 BC Election Candidate List can be found on our website.

Read about the various party platforms:

Register to vote at:  elections.bc.ca/register-to-vote

Seasonal Ferry Service Confirmed
for 2018 on B.C.'s Central Coast
Transportation Minister Todd Stone has confirmed that the new BC Ferry Route 28 is definitely committed to run from Bella Coola to Port Hardy next year, and that the sailing season will extend to the beginning of October to allow Great Bear Rain Forest lodges and resorts to capitalize on the early-fall bear viewing season. 

Minister Stone also committed to seek input from the Mid-Coast Working Group in the final scheduling, on-board meal menu service, interior decor, display of First Nations art, and other amenities for the new vessel to help make Route 28 an outstanding tourism experience.

In September 2016, the Province announced plans to reinstate and expand ferry service on B.C.'s mid-coast following the development of a strategy by members of the Mid-Coast Working Group that outlined the need and opportunity to expand First Nations tourism in the region, with ferry transportation as the catalyst for success. 

Most recently, BC Ferries purchased a 75 metre vessel from Greece that will be retro-fitted to
accommodate a minimum of 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and crew for the Port-Hardy - Bella Coola (return) run.

Changes to FCTIP Program Not Acceptable

Many concerned tour operators have reached out to either TIABC or the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) urging action on the recent federal budget announcement repealing the tax rebate on the accommodation portion of inbound travel packages (better known as the FCTIP program). TIAC has been working diligently over the past two weeks post-budget to better understand the intentions and impact of this repeal.
Attached is a copy of a  letter sent to the federal Standing Committee for Finance and other key officials asking for this repeal to be halted or amended. TIAC encourages you to send a similar letter on behalf of your business to the government officials we have copied, as well as your local MP noting how this change will impact your business/organization. The more voices that are added to this call, the more impactful our message will be.
If you have any questions or require more information, please contact Meagan Zettler, manager, Public Affairs at  mzettler@tiac.travel.

Numbers You Need to Know
Almost 876,000 travellers explored Canada in January 2017, the highest number of overnight visitors for January in Canadian history. Overseas markets also grew by a fantastic 19% over January 2016.  

2016 - National Tourism Indicators
Tourism's share of Canada's GDP in 2016: 2.05% (0.06+ over 2015)
Tourism demand in Canada: $91.6B CAD (+4.2% over 2015)
Tourism export in Canada: $20.0B CAD (+10.8% over 2015)
Domestic tourism expenditures: $71.6B (+2.5% over 2015)
Tourism employment: 721,600 jobs (+1.8% over 2015)

Chinese tourists spent 12% more in travelling abroad in 2016
2016 results on expenditure from major outbound markets reflect increasing demand for international tourism across the world, as reported in the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. With a 12% increase in spending, China continued to lead international outbound tourism, followed by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France as top five spenders.


Mountain Biking Brings Big Bucks to Squamish
Visitor spending contributed almost $10 million to Squamish's economy in 2016, according to the Mountain Biking Economic Impact Study.  The study outlines results of approximately 450 surveys that were done with mountain bikers on local trails last summer.

Approximately 25,000 riders made some 200,000 rides in Squamish in 2016. Virtually half the rides were made by 22,820 out-of-towners.  44% of visiting riders stayed overnight compared with 21% who spent the night 10 years ago (when the last study was done).  

According to the study, the industry creates about 70 local jobs in tourism. Currently 48 Squamish businesses employing 148 employees are related to mountain biking, a huge jump from the four businesses related to the industry in 2006. 

Prince Rupert Cruise Ship Visitors Increase for 2017

The Port of Prince Rupert recently released its 2017 cruise schedule , celebrating a more than 100% increase in the number of ships and passengers visiting the coastal community this summer. A total of 25 vessels carrying approximately 17,000 passengers will dock at Prince Rupert's Northland Cruise Terminal this year, representing the city's biggest cruise season since 2001. The coming season also marks the second consecutive year that the number of cruise ship passengers visiting Prince Rupert has doubled, up from 7,264 in 2016 and 3,626 in 2015. 

Passenger Growth Continues at YQQ in 2016
For yet another year, the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) set a record for passenger growth. An increase of 5.1% was logged for 2016 as 368,733 people travelled through YQQ.

Airport traffic has experienced increases in passenger traffic year-over-year and is up 19% over the last 5 years. August was the busiest month of 2016 with 42,000 passengers during the peak summer season. The largest increase was reported in March with a 21% increase over the same month in 2015.

Destination BC Refreshes Corporate Strategy
The document can be downloaded from the Destination BC website:  www.destinationbc.ca 

New Fishing Tourism Marketing Initiative  
The Fishing BC marketing initiative has launched fishingbc.com, a new microsite aimed at providing anglers with inspirational fishing stories and trip ideas for destinations around BC.

Along with the website, the following social media channels will be sued to actively promote fishing tourism opportunities across the province:
Instagram @fishingbc
Twitter @fishingbc

For more information, please contact:
Matt Jennings
Marketing Manager, Fishing BC

Tourism Businesses Shine at Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards  

A total of 83 companies were named finalists in the 17th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards with the winners recognized on January 26th at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. 

Congratulations to the following tourism stakeholders that won in their category:
And well done to all finalists including the following tourism businesses: Dolphins Resort, West Coast Expeditions, Ramada Duncan, Coast Bastion Hotel, West Coast Edge ATV, Lefty's Fresh Foods, Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, Crystal Cove Resort, Ocean Outfitters, Shelter Restaurant, Tofino Brewing Company, Orca Spirit Adventures, and Pizzeria Prima Strada,

Post Your Seasonal Openings 
on  go2HR's  Job Board  

Hiring Season is Here! 

If you are looking to fill positions for the summer, post your openings on  go2HR's job board, BC's #1 free job board exclusively for tourism and hospitality employers.

With nearly 40,000 visits per month, go2HR's job board reaches an extensive pool of qualified candidates looking for frontline, supervisory, management, or executive positions. It is promoted to local students and job seekers at job and career fairs, presentations at schools and colleges, and through go2HR's monthly career e-newsletter and social media feeds. Whether you're looking to hire seasonal, permanent, part-time/full-time workers,  post your job(s) for free and find the right employees now.

RM's Innovative Recruitment Tactic on Track

Take your Career on the Journey of a Lifetime
Take your Career on the Journey of a Lifetime

Titled Take your Career on the Journey of a Lifetime, the video features Rocky Mountaineer's employees who share what they love most about their work/ the company and why job seekers should apply to join the Rocky Mountaineer team.

Share your team's recruitment ideas with us for future newsletters.

Cap U to Host Business & Tourism Educators 
Articulation Meeting & Conference

The team at North Vancouver's Capilano University are excited to host attendees this year at their 'inspired campus in the woods'. The theme focuses on  the challenges and opportunities that students (and faculty) face as they earn their education and build successful careers.
The conference wraps around a Statement of Commitment  [ PDF] that the Tourism Educators group signed in 2008 vis-a-vis embedding climate change content into the curriculum.
Walt Judas will be attending and presenting on the sharing economy.


BCHA Marks Significant Milestone 
The BC Hotel Association (BCHA) was established on April 9th, 1917. While the details of their very early years are not as concrete, the impact that the organization and their members have had across the province is clear. Formed following the first convention of the Hotel Innkeeper's Association of the Dominion of Canada in Winnipeg in September 1913, the BCHA shaped the foundation of the province's hospitality industry. As more people filtered into and through BC, regional hotel keepers saw a need for a unified approach to the challenges they faced in this new economic climate. While there may have been few formal properties in the beginning, those in operation offered all the amenities and pleasures of the time. 

The BCHA has been a long-standing voice for the hospitality industry and ultimately the communities served by its members. Whether it's advocating for taxation that brings in much-needed revenue for community infrastructure projects, drawing attention to a growing affordable housing shortage, or during World War II in Vancouver, insisting on the importance of access to a cold beer, the BCHA has worked tirelessly to represent the best interests of its members.

BCHA is inviting their  members, new and old, to send along their stories and photos that celebrate the best of BC's hotel history. www.bcha100.com

A United Voice for BC's P rivate Liquor Industry
BC's Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC) is excited to announce a new agreement with the BC Private Liquor Store Association (BCPLSA).

Earlier this month, ABLE BC and the BCPLSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure that  all of BC's private liquor retailers are represented to industry and government by a single organization.  Under this agreement, the BCPLSA will officially cease operations and encourage its members to join ABLE BC.

ABLE BC has been British Columbia's leading  liquor industry advocate since 2004 and  represents the interests of private liquor stores, bars, pubs, and hotels. The organization works to  protect and expand business opportunities for BC's private liquor industry. The BCPLSA was created in 2015 to focus exclusively on liquor retail issues.  Both parties believe this agreement is  a necessary and positive step forward for our industry.  It will allow ABLE BC to best represent their members' interests by articulating one vision for the private liquor industry.
Although membership will be growing, advocacy for BC's small and large private liquor retailers shall remain a core function of ABLE BC. A full list of ABLE BC's current policy priorities is available on the ABLE BC website

As the executed MOU requires several technical changes to ABLE BC's bylaws, the Alliance will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting followed by a celebratory Industry Reception on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in Vancouver. 

For further details, contact Jeff Guignard, ABLE BC Executive Director at  jeff@ablebc.ca

Tourism Vancouver Cruise Workshop

For further details, please visit Tourism Vancouver.

Small Business BC Update
If you're looking at  growing global, new ways to  market your business, protecting your  intellectual property, improving your  operations wanting to  expand your team, or looking to  buy another business, Small Business BC has  got you covered.

VCC Recruiting for Executive Cohort

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