August 31, 2017
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
Golden's new Visitor Information Services & Amenity Hub

CEO's Message
With the sun setting earlier and the occasional evening chill, it's evident that
summer 2017 is winding down.  Many parents are preparing their kids for back to school. Other folks a re starting to plan for busy fall calendars full of AGMs, conferences and events. However, for some of us in BC, wildfires remain our primary concern with new evacuation alerts and/or orders in place. I suspect that this year's fall rains will be met with much more gratefulness across BC than they have been in the past. 
This summer has been one for the record books, but not necessarily in a good way across the province.  While some operators are seeing terrific visitation numbers, others are facing devastation. Both record-breaking temperatures and the number of hectares burned are figures that we would rather not have to face in our industry. But as always, the difficult times show the resiliency of business owners, the dedication of our first responders and the kindness and generosity of neighbours. Summer is almost over, but the challenges faced by our industry are not. 

Recently, the Province announced that it is providing the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) with financial support of up to $200,000 to help with tourism-related impacts from the BC wildfires. CCCTA Chair and TIABC board member Andre Kuerbis met with Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Lisa Beare, along with business owners and tourism operators in the Cariboo region to discuss the impacts and work toward recovery efforts. Suffice it to say, restoration environmentally, financially, emotionally and physically will be a massive undertaking that will require months or perhaps even years of effort, support and cooperation. 

Minister Beare (fourth from left) meets with CCCTA stakeholders to discuss financial support for tourism-related impacts from BC wildfires. 

As I continue my travels overseas, my thoughts and prayers are with those industry friends and colleagues at home who are experiencing a summer they'd rather but won't soon forget. 

Walt Judas

TIABC Welcomes New Members

Heather Mountain Lodge

Heather Mountain Lodge & Cabins is your authentically Canadian mountain escape. Privately tucked away in Canada's B.C. Rockies playground, the rustic lodge hideaway is just off the beaten path, found between the towns of Revelstoke and Golden. Their backcountry hidden gem is the perfect base for those seeking to hike, explore, dine, rest, or mark life's special occasions within an unspoilt alpine wilderness.

Mill Bay Marine Group 
Passion, Integrity, Commitment are the principles Mill Bay Marine Group uses to connect people with the marine environment and our vast and spectacular BC coastline. 

MBMG builds, manages and invests in projects that have a net benefit to the surrounding communities. Their goal is to improve community access to the water while respecting the natural environment.

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 and 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 
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:

Register Early to Win!

Register for our TIABC Summit before September 27th and be entered to win a $200 gift certificate  for the McArthurGlen Vancouver designer outlet! 

Voted the Best Outlet Centre at the MAPIC Awards, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport is located just 3 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from Downtown. With Armani, Coach, Michael Kors and many more for up to 70% less all year round, plus tempting caf├ęs and restaurants, McArthurGlen is the city's premier fashion destination for label lovers. 

TIABC member McArthurGlen Vancouver is also offering all TIABC Summit attendees a Fashion Passport for an additional 10% discount on a range of designer brands. Free parking, free Wifi, free lockers for carry-on bags, and free travel on Canada Line between YVR Airport and Designer Outlet are available. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday10am - 9pmSunday10am - 7pm. Just minutes from our event venue at the Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport.

Present your TIACBC Summit 2017 name badge at Guest Services to receive your Fashion Passport.

 BC Wildfires Key Messaging and Industry Updates

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


Together with the various agencies and organizations around the Province, Small Business BC has compiled a resource list specifically for small business owners affected by the BC Wildfires.
The resource can be found at and addresses FAQs including:
  • What organizations are offering financial assistance to businesses directly affected by fires?
  • What organizations are offering advice/counselling for businesses directly affected by fires?
  • Will my insurance cover any damage caused by the fires?, etc

Sample media coverage:
Just how big is B.C.'s biggest wildfire?
Exactly how big is B.C.'s biggest wildfire? We know it's about 467,000 hectares, but it can be difficult to imagine the area of something.

Wildfire near Squamish is human-caused
The wildfire burning 13 kilometres east of Squamish was caused by a person, according to BC Wildfire Service. The fire is 3.5 hectares in size and has been burning near the Mamquam Forest Service Road since Sunday evening.  The fire is considered "out of control," meaning the blaze is not responding - or only responding on a limited basis - to fire suppression.   Air tankers, helicopters, 16 firefighters and heavy machinery are working to put out the fire.


Numbers You Need to Know

B.C. sees tourism bump despite threat of wildfires
The overall number of international visitors to B.C. increased by 5.3% compared to June 2016. That amounts to 35,000 more tourists in B.C. this June, compared to the same month last year.

German tourists led the pack with 31% more visitors from that country compared to June 2016. Next in line was Australia, with a 26% increase in visitors.

Airlines increased the number of direct flights to B.C. from both countries by a significant amount - air capacity from Germany and Australia increased by 38 and 20% respectively. Each new direct flight creates up to 200 new jobs at YVR Airport and 400 jobs at B.C. hotels, restaurants, and tour operators.

Employer Survey

The Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) is the largest immigrant-serving agency in Western Canada, with a 45 year track record of helping newcomers settle and
 integrate in BC. 

In response to requests from  a number of employers , ISSofBC is designing a province-wide intercultural competency training program. They have created a 3 minute survey to  get a sense of what diversity-related topics are top-of-mind for BC businesses - and, in particular,  for organizations anticipating  hiring more immigrants in the coming years. 

Your responses will help ISSofBC customize their training offerings so they are better able to meet your organization's particular needs.  

Please note that y our responses will only be used for data collection purposes, and will not be published or shared with any other party whatsoever.


Provincial investment gives Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival a boost

The Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival kicks off its 25th year  this week , thanks in part to $60,900 in funding from the provincial government through the Tourism Events Program.

Tourism Golden launches a new approach to visitor services in Golden
In addition to offering an exceptional in-person service, the Visitor Information Services and Amenity Hub (VISAH) allows visitors to access information via digital and social media channels.

Open seven days a week during the summer season, the new VISAH offers face-to-face services with tourism information counsellors, traditional racking with print information, as well as touch screen digital kiosks and high-speed Internet Wi-Fi. Picnic tables, a fenced dog run, and a food and beverage kiosk add to the visitor experience. 

In addition to the VISAH Centre, touch screen kiosks will also be available at Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce, and at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Multiple Wi-Fi hotspot portals in the downtown core will enable use of personal devices to access information on-the-go. Social media channels will also provide another way to ask questions, receive information and share experiences.

"Tourism Golden's innovative approach supports Destination BC's vision for a forward-thinking visitor services platform for visitor centre operations across the province," says Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. "This allows for a more flexible, location-based, consumer-centric model for both travellers and local businesses, which ultimately continues to bring amazing visitor services to Golden."

2017 Camping Appreciation Weekend

Mark the weekend of September 8th and 9th on your calendar, as campgrounds coast-to-coast participate in the 2017 Fall Camping Appreciation Weekend.

Camping is an affordable family activity that promotes a sense of community, creates life-long memories and encourages Canadians and International visitors to discover Canada's rich landscape and engage with nature.

The Camping Appreciation Weekend is a national initiative coordinated by the   Canadian Camping and RV Council to say thank you for your patronage over the summer. So we encourage people to come out and celebrate the camping and RVing lifestyle!

Campers can access a special weekend stay offer of two-nights camping for either $50, $60 or $70 at participating campgrounds (Sep 8-9/Fri-Sat). As well as the weekend offer, many campgrounds are offering promotional stays of "Five Nights for the price of Four" around the weekend (check the listing offers).

To ensure you can get the campground of your choice, reservations must be made in advance directly with the individual participating campgrounds listed.

Please note campsite availability is limited and on a first come first served basis.

Aborginal Tourism Appoints new CEO

Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC) is proud to announce Tracy Eyssens as its Chief Executive Officer.  Ms. Eyssens has been a long standing partner of AtBC's for the last 17 years. She brings 20 years of experience working at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.  Throughout the 20 years, Ms Eyssens worked in a number of positions at the organization where she ultimately landed in Economic Development. She was successful in accessing $5M to support AtBC's Blue Print Strategy and an additional $1.8M to support AtBC's Next Phase Strategy. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba with heritage from the Pinaymootang (Fairford) First Nation, and moved to Vancouver in 1995, which she now calls home.

Brenda Baptiste, Board Chair for AtBC says: "AtBC has been diligent in searching for a CEO with both the integrity and expertise to move our organization into the future. We believe that Tracy Eyssens will elevate AtBC's leadership in the tourism sector over the next 5 years and beyond. She has been a member of our team throughout the last 20 years as an advocate and committed partner. Her vision and energy will lead our team as we "Pull Together" to continue to build a thriving Aboriginal tourism industry and sustainable economies for Aboriginal people throughout BC."

"The opportunity to inspire the world to experience Aboriginal culture while continuing to activate Authentic Aboriginal experiences is a true passion of mine," says Ms Eyssens.  "I look forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of all Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism sector to support the development of a vibrant Aboriginal tourism economy."

Tracy officially began her journey with Aboriginal Tourism BC on August 1, 2017.

Tourism Tofino Appoints New Executive Director

Destination Marketing and Management Organization  Tourism Tofino announced the appointment of Nancy Cameron as Executive Director effective October 2. Cameron joins Tourism Tofino after more than two decades serving the tourism industry in Ontario and British Columbia, most recently as President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna.

"We are very excited to welcome Nancy to our team of tourism marketing and destination management experts," said Tourism Tofino's Board Chair, J.J. Belanger. "She brings a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge to Tourism Tofino and will be a valued asset as we continue to evolve our award-winning model for attracting visitors and serving stakeholders."

Special Offer: The Art of Leadership in Vancouver

The Art of Leadership is coming back to Vancouver on October 26th; join 1800+ leaders from across British Columbia for this exceptional day of learning. 

This year's speaker lineup features Vice President Joe Biden (47th President of the United States), Amanda Lang (Anchor, Bloomberg TV Canada and Bestselling Author), Welby Altidor (Executive Creative Director Formerly with Cirque du Soleil and Author) and more. For further details, you can visit: The Art of Leadership

Register using promo code TIABC20 and save $50 off per pass. This conference will sell out so register early!

Register Now: Click Here

For further details on seating arrangements and other group assistance please contact Vivek Mehmi at 416.479.9701 ext. 320 or by email:

4 Ways to Weave Canada's Cultural Heritage into Your Story

This is the second in a series of articles that is responding directly to what the tourism industry in Canada has identified as their top priorities when it comes to being green. If you'd like to share with us what's important to you,  please complete the survey we have created in partnership with the Tourism Industry Associations of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia.

Based on  Destination Canada's Content Playbook, 35% of the global tourism market is considered Cultural Explorers and Authentic Experiencers. Some of the top things that these travellers are more likely than other visitors to be interested in include activities that help them connect with natural and cultural heritage. Beyond marketing, the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage is also essential to maintaining our quality of life and the innate value of our tourism destinations.

Here are the top four recommendations our Green Tourism expert advisors make for helping tourism businesses both promote and support the cultural heritage of your place. Read on to learn how your tourism operation can get involved. Our next article will focus on natural heritage:

1. Connect Your Guests to Local Cultural Experiences and Attractions
2. Participate in or Promote Cultural Events and Festivals
3. Integrate Local and First Nations Arts and Design Elements
4. Join Cultural Heritage Organizations

Read the full article for more details and next steps:
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