August 17, 2017
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
Northern BC

Chair's Message
By my wife's calculations, I'm in the midst of my fourth mid-life crisis after buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle that sits in the garage most of the time.
Yet in spite of an unbelievably busy year at my resort, I've managed to carve out some time to hop on the hog and take in the sites and sounds of communities all along the coast of Vancouver Island. These rides not only allow me to soak in the beauty of the island, they give me a break from the daily grind of operating a small business, along with some thinking time to contemplate other priorities. But for the past few weeks, as I referenced in my last message, my thoughts have been focused on a crisis of a different kind that has generated national and international headlines. Stay with me for a moment.
During my rides, I've stopped to speak with many island tourism operators like me who are experiencing above average revenues without any signs of a slowdown until late fall.  No question that a demanding, thriving, exhausting, 24/7 tourism business a good problem to have (in spite of labour challenges), particularly since many operators rely on the peak summer months to make hay.
Similar to my own experience, operators have told me that Vancouver Island communities in particular have been the beneficiaries of travelers who changed their plans to visit other places in B.C. because of the wildfires and instead chose the island. On the one hand it's encouraging that the B.C. is open for business message is being heard. On the other hand, I am also mindful and extremely sensitive to the fact that another community's misfortune or crisis is definitely not the primary way we want to gain business.
At TIABC we continue to hear about so many businesses in various parts of the province impacted by the ongoing wildfire situation.  From destroyed buildings to lost customers, the fall-out has been enormous, especially in the Cariboo Chilcotin region. Although we won't fully understand or appreciate the magnitude of the impact until sometime later this year, we know that places like Barkerville (outside of the immediate fire zone) have experienced a 50% drop in business translating into a significant direct hit to the bottom line for the community and its merchants.
We're also learning about other wildfire ramifications. For example, many operators are grappling with insurance policy restrictions, compensation limitations, staff departures, the destruction of the natural habitat they rely on to provide a world-class visitor experience, and a multitude of other issues.
The stories are heartbreaking and the problems seemingly insurmountable.  But as I've said before, while we are vulnerable to Mother Nature's wrath from time-to-time, we're also a resilient sector that supports one another and finds a way to bounce back. Just ask the folks in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region who've had numerous challenges over the past decade.
So while Vancouver Island and other parts of the province are largely untouched by the wildfires (aside from air quality) or have even experienced an increase in business, we nonetheless deeply empathize with those colleagues who are affected and need to pull together as an entire industry and province to assist with recovery efforts in whatever way we can. At TIABC, we're committed to being an integral part of that process.
Mid-life crisis aside, as I look at the Harley parked in the garage I've promised myself that one-day real soon I'll take the opportunity to ride to at least one of the directly impacted communities and spend some of the money I earned this year in local businesses. After all, choosing to vacation within our own province is the very least we can do to help tourism operators and our industry pull through the 2017 wildfire crisis.
Jim Humphrey
Chair, TIABC

TIABC Call for BoD Nominations Closes August 29th

TIABC is seeking six candidates for its Board of Directors for the 2017-2019 (2-year) term:
  • DMO category = one (1) candidate
  • Sector Association category = two (2) candidates
  • Business Membership category = three (3) candidates
As per the bylaws, the Tourism Industry Association of BC requests that all nominations from members be received 45 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. All nominations for director positions therefore, must be received on or before August 29, 2017.

Elections will take place at the TIABC AGM on October 12th in Richmond, BC. T o view the Notice of AGM, including six proposed bylaw amendments, visit

The TIABC Board Nomination form can be downloaded   here .

TIABC Summit 2017 Registration Open

TIABC Summit 2017 takes place October 12th in Richmond at the  Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport Hotel

To register, visit:
Book your accommodation:

This one-day Summit is bringing together the following industry partners:
Summit Agenda

Wednesday October 11:
Aboriginal Tourism BC is hosting a  Stakeholder Forum (1:00-4:00pm) and co-hosting a Networking reception (4:00-6:00pm) with TIABC at the Musqueam Cultural Pavilion - 4000 Musqueam Avenue in Vancouver, BC. The Networking Reception is open to all Summit delegates.

Thursday October 12:
8:15 am - registration opens
9:00 am - TIABC and AtBC AGMs
10:00 am - Break
10:30 am - Town Hall featuring TIAC, Aboriginal Tourism Canada, Destination Canada
12 noon - Lunch and Keynote Speaker 
2pm - Break
2:15 to 3:15 pm - MPs on the Hotseat featuring  John Aldag (Liberal), Blake Richards (Conservative) and Gord Johns (NDP) 
3:15 to 4:15 pm - Destination Development update by Destination BC and Aboriginal Tourism BC
4:30 pm - Wrap-up

Following the Summit,  BC Lodging & Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) is hosting their AGM and Sector Presentation  at the Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport from  4:45 - 8:30 pm . All BCLCA members are welcome to pre-register and there is no cost to attend. Contact
Friday, October 13: BC DMO Association Fall Meeting fat the Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond. Timing/agenda/RSVP details to be forwarded to BCDMOA members.

More details can be found on TIABC's website:

 BC Wildfires Key Messaging and Industry Updates

TIABC has created a special page on our website to share information and key messaging on the BC wildfires situation: 

Stay Safe, Stay Informed

During times of stress and uncertainty, it is important to share information from official sources only. There are a variety of resources available to help you prepare for emergencies, gather up-to-date information and help visitors plan their travel.

Please feel free to share wildfire impacts on your business or region with TIABC at

Travel Penticton "We're Still Happening" Campaign is a resounding success

From mountain biking, to pizza making to rock climbing; Travel Penticton's Marketing Manager Austin Weaver has been getting out there to let visitors know that it's "Still Happening" in Penticton and social media engagement has soared as a result.

"We reviewed the figures for engagement on our Facebook posts for June & July and they are up more than 300% over the same time last year" said Executive Director, Thom Tischik.  "And this is all organic, rather than paid for content.  People are responding to the photos and videos that Austin has created and the message that "We're Still Happening" is getting out there.

The first social media post for the "We're Still Happening" Campaign went out on June 10th and 
Austin is continuing to visit local tourism hotspots, meeting with business owners and creating some amazing content to appeal to a broad spectrum of potential visitors.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the "We're Still Happening" campaign, by sharing pictures and videos of their own fun experiences and using the social media hashtags

#Penticton      #StillHappening       #VisitPenticton

Sample media coverage:
Reservations Down by 85% as Valley Tourism Hit Hard by Wildfires
Tourism businesses in the Bella Coola Valley have been hit hard by the wildfire situation that so far shows no sign of slowing down. Hot, dry weather has been the norm for many regions across the province, including Bella Coola, and smoky conditions have only added to the misery.

B.C. Tourism Businesses Feeling Affects of Wildfires, Reporting Cancellations
Tourism officials are starting to assess the impact of devastating wildfires in British Columbia and have received mixed feedback on the toll so far on the travel sector.

Smoke Hurts Some Businesses, but Hotel Occupancy Remains High
Tourism officials and business owners say B.C. is having a decent summer for tourism despite weeks of wildfires raging in the province's interior and thick smoke obscuring mountain views in Metro Vancouver.


BC Wildfires - Economic Impact Surveys

Regional destination marketing organizations are seeking information on the economic impact of the current wildfire situation on tourism businesses.

Your input provides the provincial government with a comprehensive overview of the effects on businesses in both directly affected and unaffected areas. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below:

  • If you work or operate a business in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, please click here
  • If you work or operate a business in the Thompson Okanagan region, please click here 
  • If you work or operate a business in the Northern BC region, please click here 
  • If you work or operate a business in the Kootenay Rockies region, please click here
  • If you work or operate a business in the Vancouver Island region, please click here
Please share the survey with your colleagues and encourage them to complete it as well in order to gain the most insight. Thank you for your participation.

Summer 2017 Staffing Survey

go2HR and Kootenay Rockies Tourism are currently conducting a seasonal staffing survey for the region.

The goal of this survey is to gain insights into the labour market needs and composition of the tourism and hospitality workforce within the region during the peak of the 2017 summer season. This important information will help identify trends, challenges and opportunities to better provide HR-related support for employers within the region.

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. If you complete the survey by Friday, September 1, 2017, you will be eligible to be entered into a draw to win 1 of 2 VISA gift cards (valued at $100 each).

Take the survey here


Central Vancouver Island Welcomes The World
The World, the largest private residential ship on the planet, returned to the Port of Nanaimo for a two-day stay. Since her launch in 2002,  The World has continuously circumnavigated the globe, spending extensive time in the most exotic and well-traveled ports, allowing residents to wake up in a new destination every few days. 

With six major calls from various cruise lines to Nanaimo in 2017, the mid-island will enjoy an economic impact of $2.87 million from direct and indirect spending according to a recently released economic analysis. 

The hotel occupancy percentage report for June has been released. Richmond hotels saw a 91.5% occupancy rate, up slightly over June 2016.  The year-to-date (January-June) rate was reported at 80.4%, which continues to be the highest in Canada.

Wine Sales Certificate Program

Do you enjoy learning about wine and sharing your interest with others? Be part of the exciting sales side of the wine industry with the popular Okanagan College Wine Sales Certificate program.

Next intake is September 2017.

Download more information here, or visit: 

Are You a Sustainable Business?
Many businesses claim to be "green" without verification, credibility or transparency. Want to quickly see how your tourism business is doing when it comes to sustainability?

Take the quiz here

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