August 18, 2016  
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message
As summer marches on, we continue to hear stories of record-breaking visitor numbers from operators across the province. M y own campground in the beautiful Cowichan Valley has set new marks for visitors who stay in one of our cabins or camp in an RV.

That said, as the chair of both TIABC and the BC Lodging and Campground Association I know that there  remains a need to address some existing challenges. For example, TIABC recently sent a letter to federal Tourism Minister, Honourable Bardish Chagger, to express our concerns regarding the current financial threat to many campground owners like me in British Columbia and across the country.

Canada Revenue Agency's decision to rescind the small business tax deduction for campgrounds, in favour of a much larger corporate rate, places campgrounds in the same category as apartment buildings, mobile home parks and other full-time residential complexes. Given the seasonal nature of the camping business, not to mention significant other differences, the category allocation and corresponding tax increase make no sense and will ultimately force many smaller campgrounds to close permanently or be sold to developers. Let's hope common sense prevails to allow campgrounds to both thrive and survive.

In the meantime, as summer starts to wind down, TIABC will once again turn its attention to many fall projects - presenting at UBCM, developing policy and preparing for the BC Tourism Industry Conference.
Here's hoping the sun keeps shining on the remainder of our BC summer - but don't forget to share our wildfire safety notice with your businesses.

Jim Humphrey

The Future of Immigration in Canada

This week, Walt Judas joined representatives from several other BC organizations, including go2HR and BC Hotel Association, in a roundtable discussion on the future of immigration in Canada,  hosted by Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
TIABC CEO Walt Judas and Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Through consultation with groups across the country, government is seeking input to help  plan for the future of immigration including the number of newcomers Canada welcomes each year.

The following is a list of the questions posed to session attendees:
  1. How many newcomers should we welcome to Canada in 2017 and beyond?
  2. How can we best support newcomers to ensure they become successful members of our communities?
  3. Do we have the balance right among the immigration programs or streams? If not, what priorities should form the foundation of Canada's immigration planning?
  4. How can immigration play a role in supporting economic growth and innovation in Canada? 
  5. Should there be more programs for businesses to permanently hire foreign workers if they can't find Canadians to fill the job?
  6. What is the right balance between attracting global talent for high-growth sectors, on the one hand, and ensuring affordable labour for businesses that have historically seen lower growth, on the other?
  7. How can immigration fill in the gaps in our demographics and economy?
  8. What Canadian values and traditions are important to share with newcomers to help them integrate into Canadian society?
  9. Currently, immigration levels are planned yearly.  Do you agree with the thinking that planning should be multi-year?
  10. What modernization techniques should Canada invest in for processing of applications?
  11. What should Canada do to ensure its immigration system is modern and efficient?
    Is there any rationale for providing options to those willing to pay higher fees for an expedited process? 
  12. If so, how can we best do that?
  13. How can Canada attract the best global talent and international students? 
  14. In what ways can Canada be a model to the world on refugees, migration and immigration?
  15. Is it important for Canada to continue to show leadership in global migration? 
Walt was able to tell the Minister that a 'seasonal temporary workers program' would help address some of the labour challenges in British Columbia.  Moreover, temporary workers should be given more opportunity for permanent residency.

go2HR prepared an excellent overview on proposed solutions to present to Minister McCallum.  See the Members-only section of our website for a copy.

BC Welcomes Syrian Refugees 

TIABC recently received the following letter from the Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of  Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training  and Minister Responsible for Labour:

"Since November 2015, British Columbia  (BC)  has welcomed over 2,300 refugees as part of the federal government's historic achievement of resettling over 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.    As a province, we are immensely proud of the collective effort British Columbian organizations and individuals have made to support these newcomers. 

When refugees are resettled to Canada, they arrive to BC as permanent residents, able to legally work and access a range of employment services in our province.    They may have travelled with few belongings, but they bring important knowledge, skills, and experience to their new communities.

Recognizing that good jobs help create better futures for these newcomers and their families, BC is promoting new and strengthened initiatives to  connect employers with resettled refugees and to ensure that they receive the training and supports they need to successfully rebuild their lives.  These initiatives are just a few of the widespread provincial resources designed to support  employers in building more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Visit the WorkBC website for more details at  

Specific supports for employers looking to hire immigrants and refugees are outlined below.    We kindly  request your assistance in circulating this information to employers   through your professional and community networks .

1.       The Canada-BC Job Grant (CJG)

The CJG assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training current and future employees up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee per fiscal year.  The employer contributes at least one-third to the cost of training.  More details are available at .

Up to $1M in provincial funding has been made available through a Refugee Fund, designed to provide an opportunity for employers to meet their labour market needs while helping refugees gain skills and employment in BC.  The Refugee Fund supports two types of training:  job readiness (including skill assessment, English language training, and workplace orientation) and job-specific skills training.

Additional funding is available for employers delivering skills training to new Canadians who have arrived within the past five years, including refugees landed in Canada.

The new Unemployed Stream provides up to $2M in additional support for employers who wish to hire currently unemployed individuals, including refugees, by providing up to 100 percent of the cost of training to a maximum of $15,000 per person per fiscal year for skills training. 

Up to $5M is also available for job training within the following priority sectors: Agrifoods, construction, forestry, manufacturing, mining and energy, natural gas, small business, technology and green economy, tourism, transportation.

2.       The Refugee Readiness Hub

A new resources page for BC's Refugee Readiness Hub is now available online, and is continually updated with employment-related materials:

The page includes materials such as WorkSafeBC information in both Arabic and English that can easily be printed and shared with employees.

We strongly encourage you to share any of your resources and/or employment success stories with the Hub at

3.       WorkBC Employment Services Centres

There are 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres across BC that provide a range of services.  The centres are positioned to help employers with their recruiting needs and to help resettled refugees make connections with employers and find jobs.  Many of these centres also have Arabic-speaking capacity and can better serve clients with lower English language levels.

We encourage you to connect with your local centre to find out how they can customize their services to align with your business.   Contact Information for your local Centre is available at .


The WelcomeBC website provides employers with beneficial resources to share with employees who are new to BC.  This information includes resources for daily living, newcomers' guides, training and more.  Through these supports, employers can help retain and develop talent.  Please find further information at  

BC recognizes that we all have a role to play in assisting newcomers to access appropriate training and employment.  We would like to thank you in advance for helping us disseminate this letter to employers and partners in your communities."

Tourism Richmond Launches New Website 
Tourism Richmond recently launched their new and improved website, ! The new website is responsive and was developed with a 'mobile first' design, since the use of mobile devices to research a destination and make travel decisions is growing at an astronomical pace. The responsive website will provide a better user experience for people no matter how the content is consumed, whether it's via mobile, tablet, or desktop.

2016 Tourism & Hospitality 
Occupational  Health & Safety Summit (Kelowna)

go2HR is pleased to host a Regional  Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Summit for the tourism and hospitality industry in BC.  Join go2HR in Kelowna as they bring this annual event to the Thompson Okanagan region.

"The healthy workplace: A state of mind" - Mental health in the workplace

Date:  September 29, 2016
Time:  8:30am - 3:00pm
Location:  Holiday Inn Express Kelowna Conference Centre, 2429 Highway  97 North, Kelowna

For more information, visit 


Recreational Boating
B.C.'s recreational boating business is picking up speed - t he industry generated $1.7 billion in direct and indirect annual revenue in the province, according to 2012 data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association - but Boating B.C. president Don Prittie believes that figure is now higher. 

"We've had a strengthening in the last two years," said Prittie. "Everyone I talked to in the industry is busy and busier."  Prittie said the boom could be attributed to a strong B.C. economy and the weak loonie, which is drawing boaters and tourists from the U.S. and around the world to Canada.

Nationally, recreational boaters generated $8.9 billion in revenue in 2012, with B.C. second in the provincial breakdown to Ontario, which brought in $3.5 billion. 

National figures released by the NMMA in January indicate sales of boats and engines rose to $2.1 billion in Canada in 2015 - a 3.8-per-cent increase over the previous year, despite a 5.4-per-cent decline in unit sales. 


New Summer Product Offering at Ski Resorts  
Revelstoke's coaster is part of a new wave of summer activities rolling across ski resorts in B.C.'s Kootenay Rockies tourism region, as companies look to boost what was once the quiet off-season at their hills.

Aerial parks, ziplines, concerts on the mountains, trail runs, via ferrata, kids festivals, weddings, and lift-accessed camping allowing almost anyone the opportunity to camp in a high-alpine meadow, are just some of the new offerings. 


Tourism numbers expected to peak in August
B.C.'s tourism numbers are up, and the trend is holding true in Valemount. This is good news for business in the area such as the Swiss Bakery, whose co-owner Silvia Jungo stated that  "Our business relies on tourism, just like every business in Valemount".


Another record year is projected for Vancouver. The numbers of tourists from the United States and China both increased by 16 per cent and 13 per cent respectively compared to last year. T he city is seeing growth in markets not typically seen before  like Mexico - w ith  YVR flights to and from Mexico Vancouver has seen nearly twice as many people coming in from Mexico as last year.  Read more at

Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) figures for May 2016 reported a 15%     increase over the same month in 2015 - the largest MRDT receipt for May in     Tourism Kamloops' history.  Year to date tax revenues to the end of May have also accounted for a 27% increase over the same period in 2015.  

WIN A $500,000 PATA Marketing Campaign

Through an exclusive partnership with TripAdvisor, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced a call-for-entries for new and emerging destinations to take part in the PATA CEO Challenge 2016. The deadline for the submission of entries is September 23, 2016.
PATA has prepared a  video highlight  for one of the PATA CEO Challenge 2015 winners - the province of Albay, Philippines for the category of Regions/States/Provinces - with an interview of Albay Governor Joey Salceda exploring their collaboration with TripAdvisor.
The PATA CEO Challenge is an awards programme that celebrates the diversity of cultures, customs, and natural landscapes from around the world. The two winning entries will be offered the opportunity to work with TripAdvisor to develop and execute a digital marketing campaign - each valued at US$500,000 - to boost awareness of their destination. They will also benefit from TripAdvisor's wealth of knowledge, experience and proven global digital penetration. The company will also support the winners by helping small and local hospitality businesses get listed on TripAdvisor.
In addition, the winners will be honoured at the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London, United Kingdom on November 7 as part of the Association's programme for World Travel Mart 2016. The two winners will also receive other benefits including extensive international brand exposure through a variety of well-established PATA communications channels.
The PATA CEO Challenge 2016 is open to all regions, states and provinces including all second-tier and third-tier cities in two categories: 1) State, Region, Province and Country; and 2) Second-tier/Third-tier Cities.
First-tier (capital) cities are not qualified to participate. This year the rules have been amended to include those smaller nations that currently attract less than 100,000 international visitor arrivals in a calendar year. Both PATA member and non-member organizations and destinations are eligible for entry.
For more information about the PATA CEO Challenge 2016, please download the  brochure , view the  video , visit   or email .
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