Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
April 26, 2018
Chair's Message
As TIABC’s board discussed and debated a number of topics at our recent meeting, I was struck by how passionate my colleagues are about the tourism industry and how committed each individual is to ensuring British Columbia’s visitor economy continues to flourish. As an aside, same goes for nearly everyone I meet in this major business sector.

There was healthy dialogue on our top priority at present and excellent suggestions on how we can resolve our differences with government over the proposed expanded use of MRDT to include housing initiatives. Suffice it to say, our campaign to stop any MRDT regulation change continues with literally hundreds of DMOs and businesses in the process of writing government with the central message to retain MRDT for its original intended purpose – tourism marketing, projects and programs.

At the same time, our board recognized there are other priorities that deserve immediate attention. For example, as we move into the peak season months, what impact will the pipeline protests, flooding, speculation tax, boycotts and wildfires have on our industry this summer? Frankly, none of us know for certain but we’re determined to put mitigation strategies and plans in place alongside industry partners given the likelihood of one or more of these occurrences.

Having recently been through wildfires, flooding and boycotts, tourism leaders throughout the province have learned a great deal and are more prepared to handle crisis scenarios, as well as better able to equip tourism operators and communities for various circumstances.

We’re one-third of the way through 2018 and already up to our eyeballs on a number of pressing files. Rest-assured, TIABC’s board and staff are up to the task of dealing with each situation...no matter how large or small…to the best of our abilities and resources. And it goes without saying that we rely on our key stakeholders and members to share the load and provide us with guidance and expertise.

On a related note…I’m grateful that TIABC’s board members have stepped up during a time of personal crisis when it feels like the medical profession is getting more of my attention than my own business or board responsibilities.

I take comfort in knowing that no matter what unfolds in the days, weeks and months ahead, BC’s tourism industry will get through thanks to the winning combination of passion, commitment, skill and attitude that so many of you possess.

Jim Humphrey, Chair
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Wins Tomorrow Award
At the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) meeting in Argentina late last week, TOTA was named the 2018 Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winner in the category of Destinations for their work on destination management practices and sustainable tourism initiatives.

Congratulations to the entire team!

BC Chamber of Commerce Launches MindReader TM
You may not know, but TIABC is a proud member of the BC Chamber of Commerce – and we’d like to draw your attention to an amazing new platform they’ve just launched called MindReader  TM . This new technology has the potential to give tourism in BC an even stronger voice.
MindReader  TM  is a cloud-based platform that can gather near real-time insight directly from the business community across the province. This impressive tool will help amplify our voice when it comes to weighing in on important topics from MRDT to Family Day. Ultimately, the purpose of MindReader  TM  is to drive deeper insights to government so they can make the most informed decisions.
So here’s where you come in… we want our members to use their voices to represent our industry and drive positive change in BC’s business community. Click here to p articipate in a MindReader survey and share your views on doing business in BC.
You can sign up for MindReader  TM   here   within two minutes. It’s totally free – and you’ll see quickly how powerful it is. Click here to see a Youtube video explaining MindReader.
Wine Industry Disappointed with Supreme Court Ruling
The British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) and its members expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on Her Majesty the Queen v. Gerard Comeau. The case challenged restrictions on interprovincial trade, an issue the BCWI and the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) have been working on for over a decade.

Read BCWI's statement:

New Changes to Visa Process to Impact International Visitors
The Government of Canada has posted proposed regulation changes in the Canada Gazette that will require some visitors to provide biometric information (e.g. finger prints, iris scans) in addition to their visa applications beginning later this year. These changes will not impact visitors from the U.S., visitors eligible to travel on the eTA program, anyone who already has a valid visa, or anyone who does not already require a visa. The regulations will come into effect in July 2018, but will not be rolled out in countries such as India or China until December 2018.

Google DMO Partnership Rolls Out on Vancouver Island
Through the Google Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Partnership Program, Tourism Vancouver Island will be providing verification and optimization services as a Trusted Verifier and Provider, alongside 360° photography, all at no cost to tourism stakeholders.

Okanagan Wine Initiative
Seven leading BC wineries have formed a partnership, The Okanagan Wine Initiative.
The association groups together these seven Okanagan wineries to share resources and collaborate on varying projects internationally, across Canada, and in their home market, British Columbia. 

Wildfire & Climate Change Conference
Nelson will host the Wildfire & Climate Change Conference - organized by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) and the Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo)

Learn more about local, national and international actions being taken to address the growing challenges
associated with wildfire and climate change.

Cannabis Legalization Guide Released
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in partnership with UBCM, legal experts, and other local governments and local government organizations across Canada, has developed a  Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization .

The Guide offers tools to help local governments meet challenges associated with the legalization of cannabis, including case studies, policy options and sample bylaw language.The Guide covers key issues consistent across jurisdictions, as well as regional variations, identified by FCM’s advisory group of experts from across Canada. This document aims to support work on key areas of local government involvement, including land use management, business regulation, public consumption, workplace safety and enforcement.

Air Canada Promo Code
Please don’t forget to take advantage of the Promo code offered by Air Canada at BC TIC 2018, valid on Tango and Flex fares, blackout dates apply. Limited availability.

Promo code TIABC18
Going Green
Westcoast Sightseeing
New this year, WESTCOAST Sightseeing introduces Coal Harbour e-Tours, an environmentally-friendly cruise through Vancouver’s Inner Harbour.

Creating zero air or water pollution, the 45-minute tour is on one of their ultra quiet, ten-passenger electric boats. This new offering is part of the company's commitment to a 100% electric fleet by 2023.

Craigdarroch Castle
A heritage home next to Craigdarroch Castle has been refurbished into a castle visitors’ centre, offices, a gift shop and state-of-the-art storage space for artifacts. And a green roof!

Christine Lintott Architects designed the new Craigdarroch Visitor Centre to blend in with the surrounding landscape when looking down upon from the Castle viewpoints. The green roof looked great in a recent Instagram photo.

Completion comes as business at the castle is on the upswing — up about 6% in 2017 after attracting 160,000 visitors in 2016.

Numbers You Need to Know
Statistics Canada numbers* for January 2018 international arrivals have been released and show a slow, but positive start to the year.
  • Visitation from the United States is down slightly. While this is typical at the start of the year in this market, it will be important to watch in the coming weeks.
  • Overseas visitation is up slightly at 3.3%, with Mexico, India, and France growing the most. Of the overseas markets, only Japan and the U.K. see a loss in numbers over last January.
  *Please note that TIAC uses the publicly available data from Statistics Canada for tracking purposes. These numbers include both overnight and day trips by international visitors.
Industry on the Move
TIABC wishes to congratulate Tej Kainth of Tourism New Westminster who has taken a new position with Tourism Mississauga in Ontario. Best wishes on your new adventure Tej!
Tourism Richmond
Kaylee Jerez joins Tourism Richmond as manager, Brand and Marketing.
Welcome Kaylee!
Tourism Kelowna
For over eight years, Shauna Merritt has led many marketing, content and social media initiatives for Tourism Kelowna. Shauna is moving on to other projects and wrapped up her duties yesterday.
Prince George Breakfast Speakers Series
On May 24, TIABC's CEO Walt Judas will be presenting at a Prince George Chamber Speakers Series Breakfast to discuss Why Tourism Matters..
YVR Recognized for Waste Management Program
YVR’s waste management program was recently selected as the winner of the 2018 ACI-NA Environmental Achievement Awards in the Environmental Management Award category.
New Indigenous Tourism Product
The Huu-ay-aht First Nation began offering tours of the ancient capital Kiixin — pronounced kee-hin — last year in an effort to share their cultural heritage with the world and revitalize the quiet coastal town of Bamfield.
Royal BC Museum Egypt Exhibit Opens May 18
The Royal BC Museum’s feature exhibition,  Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs  opens on May 18 and i s on display until December 31, 2018. With more than 300 original artifacts, some up to 4,500 years old, this exhibition will transport visitors back to a time when civilization first sprang along the Nile, pyramids dotted the skyline and people believed gods walked among them. Follow the exhibition and share your reactions on social media with #RBCMEgypt.
Bold New Vision for Nanaimo’s Saysutshun – Newcastle Island

The Snuneymuxw First Nation’s economic development
corporation – Petroglyph Development Group – has created a bold new vision for Saysutshun –
Newcastle Island that will see improved access, new amenities and an immersive Indigenous
tourism experience.
Hoteliers Bet on a Bright Future for Prince George

The strategy to go after business customers has been a central part of Tourism PG's strategy since 2015 when the city hosted the Canada Winter Games. Since then, the organization has made attracting conferences and hosting sporting events one of its key strategies.
World-Class Mountain Biking Coming to Nakusp

The Nakusp and Area Bike Society (NABS) has successfully raised more than $500,000 to continue work on the trail system being built about eight kilometres north of the village.
Kamloops Airport - Busiest First Quarter on Record

YKA recorded its busiest first quarter on record, welcoming 92,471 travellers through January, February and March. It reflected a 5.8% increase over the same period in 2017.
Penticton  Wine Centre Study Funded

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to fund a feasibility study for a BC Wine Excellence Centre, a facility Penticton is a top contender to host.
Upcoming Industry Events
May 12, 2018
Halifax, NS

May 22-27, 2018

May 27 - June 2, 2018

June 26 - 28, 2019

September 25 - 27, 2018
Port Hardy

October 11 - 12, 2018

October 15 - 16, 2018

October 24 - 25, 2018

November 1, 2018

November 14 - 15, 2018

November 27 - 28, 2018
Gatineau, QC


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