Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
April 18, 2019
CEO's Message
There’s a line in an old Joni Mitchell song that says, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” As I watched the iconic Notre Dame cathedral burn earlier this week, it struck me that some Parisians came to that same realization.

For that matter, other than Catholics and historians, I’ll bet the vast majority of people who have visited Notre Dame over the years likely failed to fully appreciate its historical, cultural, spiritual, political, and even economic significance, until now. To be fair, it’s one of many monuments and attractions that compete for millions of tourists annually in the City of Lights including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, among others.

I’ve had the good fortune to visit Paris more than 30 times since my best friend moved there some 40 years ago. I’m ashamed to admit that after my first few visits, I stopped going to most of the attractions because I had been there, done that. But something changed for me in recent years.

Chalk it up to aging, maturity, lessons learned, experience, loss and other factors, my travels have taken on a decidedly different focus these days, inline with a growing worldwide trend known as travel with meaning.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, travel with meaning or purpose extends well beyond sightseeing, lying on a beach, or partying in Vegas. It’s about giving something back to a community and its residents, immersing oneself in the culture and language of a new country, learning the history of a place or monument, protecting the environment, connecting with locals, and much more.

So now, rather than a blitzkrieg through as many tourist hotspots as I can cram in to say I’ve “been there, done that”, I take my time to learn the local history and significance of a destination or attraction. I’ve grown to love museums, galleries, architecture, protected areas, and many other core attributes that make a destination unique or special. Thankfully I came to my senses in time to learn about, appreciate and truly experience the Notre Dame cathedral before this week’s tragic fire.

I’ve adopted the travel with meaning approach when visiting communities throughout BC for both personal and business reasons. Aside from pure interest and curiosity, I’m driven by the fact that I simply don’t know enough about our various regions, historical landmarks, or even the legendary stories that Indigenous elders have shared for generations. My goal is to be better informed about the province I call home.

As I reflect on how vulnerable historic structures like the Notre Dame cathedral are, I am reminded about how vital it is for BC’s tourism industry to protect and promote places and things of significance for the benefit of residents, visitors and future generations.

In fact, part of this commitment is what drives TIABC’s priorities. Whether it’s working with industry partners to ensure a healthy marine tourism sector and environment; fighting for the protection of land, waterways, animals, fish, historic neighbourhoods and buildings; helping to build Indigenous tourism; contributing toward sustainability initiatives; or helping communities prepare for and/or recover from crises, we recognize the importance of this work and accept some responsibility to fulfill these obligations.

The Notre Dame tragedy reminded me that in recent years we’ve lost some of BC’s historical buildings forever (e.g. Radium's House of a Thousand Faces; Campbell River's Salmon Point Restaurant; Mission's Silverhill Hall; Hedley's Hitching Post Restaurant; Sandon's Wilson Cabin...just to name a few). I'm sure you'll agree that we can’t afford to lose any more.

Mercifully the Notre Dame will be restored to its former glory and the Holy Week fire will add yet another layer to its 856 years as part of France’s tradition, faith and history.

Thankfully, (unlike Joni Mitchell) most of BC’s tourism stakeholders know and appreciate what we have and are among those working the hardest to preserve, sustain and protect our heritage and history to share with our guests from all over the world, and for people like me who are keen to travel through the province with purpose.

Perhaps it goes without saying but if we “ don’t know what we’ve got till it’s goneit’s probably too late.”

Walt Judas
Caribou Engagement Sessions Attracting Large Crowds

The Province of BC has extended public engagement sessions on two draft caribou recovery agreements until the end of May. At the same time they are accepting submissions and meeting with sector associations to learn how these agreements will affect tourism businesses and other stakeholders.

The consultation period has been extended to address misinformation on the Caribou agreements.  Download the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations press release here.

So far the engagement sessions have attracted large crowds in each community, the most recent example in Revelstoke where close to 700 people attended a four-hour meeting.

These engagement sessions provide an opportunity to ask questions and give feedback on the draft Section 11 Agreement (between the Governments of Canada and BC) and the draft Partnership Agreement (between the Governments of Canada, BC, West Moberly & Saulteau First Nations). The draft agreement proposes specific habitat protection and restoration measures to recover the central group herds of southern mountain caribou. A draft section 11 agreement between BC and Canada sets a framework for co-operation between the two governments to recover southern mountain caribou.

These sessions are open to the public and no RSVP is required. Members of the public are invited to attend community engagement sessions to provide their feedback on two draft agreements to conserve southern caribou populations. Staff from all parties will share information on the draft agreements and will be available to answer questions.  Feedback collected from these sessions will help inform final agreements.

A copy of government's presentation at the engagement sessions can be downloaded here .

TIABC's Policy Committee is working with a sub-committee of experts on a caribou policy that will be submitted to government within the next couple of weeks.

Upcoming community engagement sessions are scheduled as follows :
( please check the Provincial Government in case of any date changes: engage.gov.bc.ca/caribou/community-meetings)

McBride  – Tuesday, April 23, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Robson Valley Community Centre - 441 Columbia Street

Valemount – Wednesday, April 24, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Valemount Community Hall - 101 Gorse Street

Vanderhoof  – Thursday, April 25, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Nechako Valley Secondary School - 2608 Bute Avenue

Clearwater  – Monday, April 29, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Clearwater Secondary School - 440 Murtle Crescent

Cranbrook  – Tuesday, April 30, 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort - 209 Van Horne Street

For more information on all methods of providing feedback on this topic, please visit the   Provincial Caribou Recovery Engagement Portal .
Consultation Regarding Recovery Actions for
Southern Resident Killer Whales

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Transport Canada, invite your continued participation in consultation regarding the development of further protection and recovery measures for Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW).
In addition to the information webinar earlier today, they are launching a website, as well as holding three community meetings on April 23, 24 and 25. Both the website and the public meetings are intended to provide additional opportunities for the public, stakeholders and communities to provide input and feedback on potential SRKW recovery measures for 2019.

Victoria - April 23 - 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (doors open at 5:00 pm) 
Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, 1999 Country Club Way, Victoria 
Sooke - April 24 - 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (doors open at 5:00 pm) 
Prestige Oceanfront Resort, 6929 W Coast Road, Sooke 
Richmond - April 25 - 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (doors open at 5:00 pm) 
Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport, 7311 Westminster Highway, Richmond 

For more information on all methods of providing feedback on this topic, please download the Public Meetings Invite document here .
BC Chamber, on Behalf of the Thriving Orcas, Thriving Communities Coalition, Responds to New DFO Measures That
Will Significantly Impact Sport Fishing & Tourism in Southern BC

BC Chamber of Commerce CEO Val Litwin says closing fishing and relying on natural production in the wild is not going to achieve the desired recovery rates, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) needs to strike a balance between sustaining the sport fishery and fish populations.

In a notice sent earlier this week, DFO management measures for the 2019 fishing season will include keeping t he Fraser River closed to all salmon fishing until August 23, and there will be non-retention restrictions placed on chinook for the Southern Strait of Georgia until July 31, and July 14 for Northern Strait of Georgia, followed by one-per day retention allowances. Anglers will be able to retain two chinook per day in more northern regions. Overall, DFO plans to reduce the seasonal limit of 30 chinook per person per season to 10.

To read the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) April 16 press release, visit:

See the BC Chamber's full response here .
Provincial Government Budget Consultations Moved up to June
 Instead of September

The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services invites British Columbians to share their priorities and ideas for the next provincial budget during a public consultation that typically takes place every fall. The  Budget Transparency and Accountability Act  requires the Minister of Finance to release a budget consultation paper, which is referred to the Committee, by September 15, and for the Committee to report on the results of the consultation with recommendations by November 15. 
For the Budget 2020 consultation, the Committee, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, have adjusted the timeline: the Minister of Finance is expected to release the budget consultation paper the first week of June, and accordingly, the consultation will take place in June 2019. The Committee is expected to issue its report by the end of July 2019. This change will enable the Committee to deliver a final report to the Legislative Assembly earlier in the budget process, and will allow more time for the review and consideration of the Committee’s recommendations.
The Committee will review the new timeline, and provide opportunities for stakeholders to share their feedback, at the conclusion of the consultation. 
As in previous years, the Committee will be visiting communities across the province to hear from British Columbians in-person, as well as providing opportunities to make written, audio and video submissions and complete an online survey. Further details about the consultation, including the public hearing schedule, registration and participation options, will be released in May.
If you have any questions about the change to the timeline, the budget consultation generally, or the work of the Committee, please visit the Committee’s website,   www.leg.bc.ca/content-committees/Pages/Finance-Budget-Consultation.aspx or con tact the Parliamentary Committee’s Office at 250-356-2933 (or toll-free in BC 1-877-428-8337).

Congratulations to Ian Powell, managing director of the Inn at Laurel Point, who was awarded the BCHA's Hotelier of the Year at the recent BC Hospitality Summit.

Canadian RV and Camping Week
Have you booked your site for May 21 – 26, 2019?

Northern BC Tourism Helps Bring the Throne of Ice
to Tumbler Ridge

In HBO's highly publicized worldwide scavenger hunt,  For the Throne , six replicas of the Iron Throne from the popular TV series Game of Thrones were placed around the world. The thrones spanned six countries and three continents. As part of its role to support film production in the north, Northern BC Tourism (NBCTA) was proud to play a part in bringing the Throne of Ice to Tumbler Ridge.

When NBCTA was contacted by network representatives for frozen waterfall locations, the natural place to send them was the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark , an area with some of the most significant waterfall populous in North America.

According to the Tumbler Ridge Visitor Centre, almost 5,000 people sat on the throne over the five-day period and hundreds more stopped by to take photos. The visitor centre reported 850 visitors in five days, which is 100 more visitors than the entire first quarter of 2018. In addition, restaurants and overnight accommodations in the community were kept busy the entire weekend.  

Read the full story at:

TIABC is in the process of developing plans for this year's Tourism Week. Stay tuned to our e-newsletters and social media channels for more information.

In the meantime, if you're planning a special event or promotion in your community, please let us know so we can support your efforts.

You can reach us at info@tiabc.ca

Tourism Vernon Carving a Path
With a goal of joining communities around the valley to one another via paths, Tourism Vernon began a partnership with the BC Mountain Biking Association to launch a biking corridor from Penticton to Vernon called the   Sagebrush Singletrack trail .
Why the Cruise Industry Helps Keep BC in the Green
In 2018, nearly 900,000 cruise passengers visited Vancouver, a key hub within the North American cruise network. It is the only homeport for cruises that travel the Inside Passage, offering some of BC’s most speculator scenery including glaciers, mountains, wildlife, and hundreds of kilometres of scenic coastline. This year, more than one million cruise passengers are expected to arrive in Vancouver.
First Cruise Ship Heralds Start of Tourism Season
The 2019 Victoria cruise season got underway April 16 with the arrival of the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship. Victoria is anticipating a record cruise ship season as Canada’s busiest cruise-ship port, and expects a 264 ship arrivals and more than 700,000 cruise passengers to arrive in Victoria through Ogden Point between April and October.
Tourism Kelowna Celebrates National Volunteer Week
Tourism Kelowna's Visitor Experience volunteer team is comprised of 67 people, though this number is growing weekly. These volunteers contributed over 6,000 hours to the organization in 2018, providing service at the airport, Kelowna Visitor Centre, and with the Mobile Visitor Services team. National Volunteer Week ran from April 7 to 13, with this year's theme of The Volunteer Factor - Lifting Communities.
New Evening Tour of Vancouver
Westcoast Sightseeing's new  Evening Tour of Vancouver  will leave from Canada Place kiosk at 7:30 and drop-off guests in Gastown and Waterfront Station, as they prefer. Guests can spend the day sightseeing on their own schedule with the Hop-On, Hop-Off Class Pass, and discover a new side of Vancouver in the evening.
Vancouver Convention Centre Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, the Vancouver Convention Centre opened the doors to its West building marking the beginning of an unprecedented opportunity for British Columbia to shine on the world stage through the offering of an inspirational space in a breathtaking location. 5,561 events later, the Vancouver Convention Centre West is an icon for the city and an award-winning international industry leader.
Kelowna Earns Special Recognition by CSTA
Kelowna has been nationally recognized by the  Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance , in partnership with  Sportcal , as the top mid-size city (population 50,000–150,000) in Canada for sport hosting. The award recognizes the strong partnership between the City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna, as well as the effort of local, national and international organizations and clubs that collaborate with both organizations annually to help to attract, organize and execute sport events in Kelowna each year.
Industry on the Move
Patrick Gill has joined the Tourism Richmond team as Director of Marketing. Charged with continuing to market Richmond as part of the Metro Vancouver experience, Patrick looks forward to building on the organization’s successful pivot to a next-generation destination marketing organization and creating strategic and innovative partnerships to support Tourism Richmond stakeholders.

In a newly created role, Ceri Chong has been promoted to Director of Destination and Industry Development. Ceri has a wealth of experience in the travel and tourism industry having worked for tour operators, in the accommodations sector, and at Tourism Richmond where she previously held the role of Industry Development Manager.

Northern BC Tourism recently welcomed Rita Dubman to the team as Projects Coordinator. With a background in Earth Science, she brings a passion for Northern BC’s wilderness and diversity. During her time working in mineral exploration and competing in biathlon, Rita has had the opportunity to extensively explore Northern BC. For the past 18 months, she has lived in Mackenzie working in community development with the District of Mackenzie, coaching youth biathlon and enjoying the natural abundance and welcoming ways of the north.
Upcoming Industry Events
April 24 - 26, Whistler

April 25

May 21-26

May 23-25, 2019, Burnaby

May 26 - June 2

October 3 - 4, Prince George

October 8 - 10, Nanaimo

October 23 - 24, Nanaimo

November 1 - 3, Williams Lake

November 12 - 14, Kelowna

January 19 - 22, 2020, Victoria

March 4 - 6, 2020, Victoria

Send us your event listings and we can include it on our list!
Learn More About TIABC
TIABC Policies

TIABC Positions & Correspondence

TIABC Board of Directors

TIABC in the News

TIABC Member Directory