July 18, 2016  
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry 

Chair's Message
As a small business owner, I spend a good portion of the so-called 'off season' preparing for the busy summer months...which have now arrived.
Part of the preparation includes setting goals and performance targets that help my team and I stay focussed on our respective roles and responsibilities. Typically, we try to out perform the previous year's results...and if we manage to succeed...I'm a very happy boss.
Similarly, TIABC has goals for next year's BC Tourism Industry Conference ( Feb. 22-24) in Victoria.  While last year's event attracted some 450 delegates and helped TIABC fund some of its advocacy efforts in 2016, next year we aim to double our attendance, among other lofty targets. Doing so would again make me extremely pleased. But that's beside the point.
From my perspective, the conference is one of our industry's most important annual events. Not only is it an opportunity to connect, build relationships and conduct business, it is an opportune time to learn from each other and from experts on topics and issues that matter to British Columbia's visitor economy.
To that end, we're putting plans in place during the conference off season to make TIC 2017 another 'can't miss' event.  While we have been actively recruiting for committee volunteers to help with programming, sponsorship and auction items, we are looking for additional committee members and would welcome member participation.
If you would like to assist with TIC 2017 and be an integral part of its success, let us know.  And stay tuned for regular conference updates in the coming weeks and months.

Jim Humphrey

TIABC Welcomes
New Member

The Sociable Scientists assist tourism stakeholders with research, marketing, facilitation and training. 

Renewal invoices for most members were sent out in early July. Thank you to those who have responded so promptly with your renewal payments!

BC Member of Parliament Joins TIABC

TIABC welcomes its first Member of Parliament,  John Aldag, to its membership. John is a first-term Liberal MP for Cloverdale-Langley City.

John is a strong supporter of our industry and his  tourism background includes serving as the chair of both the Fort Langley Business Improvement association and Tourism Langley. He is also a former board member of the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Regional Destination Marketing Organization. 

If your MP or MLA is a tourism champion, please let them know about TIABC and the opportunity to support our efforts. 

To find your MP: www.lop.parl.gc.ca
To find your MLA: www.leg.bc.ca

Tourism Victoria Signs New Agreement with City of Victoria 
Sustainable tourism practices that provide strong economic benefits and support remarkable experiences for Greater Victoria will be the result of Tourism Victoria's renewed relationship with the City of Victoria.

On July 7, the City of Victoria formally recommended that Tourism Victoria be granted Eligible Entity status. Once approved by the Provincial Cabinet, eligible entity status will enable Tourism Victoria to improve its long-range planning and modernize its funding schedule.
Tourism Victoria Mayor, Lisa Helps (third from right) receives a commitment for $1 million from Tourism Victoria for the David Foster Harbour Pathway.

A formal application will be made to the Province of B.C. this week. Once the agreement receives final ratification from the Province, it will achieve four key outcomes:
  • Tourism Victoria will become an Eligible Entity under the terms of the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program. Tourism Victoria currently operates under rules that were "grandfathered" from a system that dates back to the late 1980s. As an eligible entity, Tourism Victoria's funding model will move to a five-year renewal cycle from the annual renewal previously required. This will align Tourism Victoria with every Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) created after 1997. A five-year cycle will allow for better planning and improve Tourism Victoria 's ability to build business.
  • Tourism Victoria will take on the leadership of sales and marketing for the Victoria Conference Centre. This will strengthen the Victoria Conference Optimization Network partnership, help reduce duplication of effort and costs, and improve the consistency of branding and the ability to implement innovative marketing.
  • Victoria's tourism sector, through Tourism Victoria, will contribute $1 million over an 11 -year period towards construction of the David Foster Harbour Pathway. This is an important element of moving forward on plans for the Belleville Street Terminal.
  • Victoria's accommodation industry has voluntarily agreed to raise the MRDT from two per cent to three per cent. This will allow Tourism Victoria to keep pace with other communities in British Columbia and enables the marketing of accommodations in the city to remain competitive.

The July 7 approval with the City of Victoria is the culmination of an agreement in principle reached in November 2015. The new framework will replace one that has been in place since 1988.

Endorsement of the City of Victoria and the Capital Regional District, granted on June 29, was required before the application could proceed for final approval from the provincial government.


Nominations Open for Tourism Vancouver Island Awards
Every year Tourism Vancouver Island has the pleasure of recognizing stakeholders who have significantly impacted the industry in various ways.

This year six different awards will be presented to those individuals and organizations who have demonstrated great efforts and achievements in the tourism industry over the past year.

Awards include:
Nominations will be accepted until Monday August 15, 2016

For more information: 

WorkSafe BC Reduces Rates for Most Tourism Sectors
2017 WorkSafeBC Base Rates will reduce  for most tourism and hospitality sectors. 

"This is wonderful news for our industry," says Arlene Keis, CEO of go2HR. "A decrease in base rate for a classification unit (CU) means that there has been an overall improvement in total claim costs within the CU. This in part is a result of ongoing education on effective injury prevention and management practices, as well as proactive implementation of best practices from our industry."
Here are the preliminary base rates for select tourism and hospitality classification units:
Type of Business
Classification Unit
2017 Preliminary Rate
Percent Change vs. 2016
Casino or Other Gaming Operations
Catering Services
Golf Course, Driving Range, Pitch & Putt, or Lawn Bowling Facility
Hair Styling Establishment or Esthetic Services
Outdoor Sport Tour
Overnight and Short-term Accommodation
Park, Campground, or Trail Maintenance
Private Park, Garden, or Zoo
Pub, Bar, Night Club, or Lounge
Restaurant or Other Dining Establishment
Ski Hill
It's not all good news for the industry as some businesses will see no change or an increase in their base rate. "We want the entire industry to reap the benefits of good workplace health & safety practices. We look forward to working with those businesses on improving their health & safety program so their base rates will improve over time as well," adds Keis.
Employers are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming WorkSafeBC Rate Consultation Sessions across BC to learn more about the preliminary base rates, injury trends and ways to reduce injuries, claim costs, and their insurance rate. Register at www.workingsafely.org/ratesrsvp

TOTA Introduces New Regional Aboriginal Tourism Specialist

TOTA, together with AtBC, is pleased to announce the addition of a Regional Aboriginal Tourism Specialist.

Greg Hopf will be responsible for developing a cultural tourism strategy in alignment with TOTA's Embracing Our Potential and AtBC's The Next Phase plans. Embracing a rich history filled with traditional stories and beliefs, the endeavour is to develop economic opportunities and progress Aboriginal tourism business within the region.
Greg is from the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, born in Yellowknife, and raised in Fort Simpson. After attending the University of Augustana in Camrose, AB, Greg has had extensive experience implementing both sport and cultural programs at a community level. He has worked for Dene Nation, managed an Aboriginal-owned tourism company, worked as a cultural/community liaison for Diavik Diamond Mines, and has spent the last ten years at Aboriginal Sports Circle, most recently as their Executive Director.

Aboriginal tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the BC tourism industry, with one in four visitors interested in adding an Aboriginal cultural experience to their trip. AtBC studies report the value of the provincial Aboriginal tourism industry grew from $20 million in 2006, to $42 million in 2012. With the development of a cultural action plan, they expect annual revenue to generate $68 million by 2017. By cultivating credible relationships with the 32 First Nations communities throughout the Interior, Greg looks to address consumer demand for Aboriginal tourism experiences, whilst maintaining respect and cultural authenticity that will exceed visitor expectations.

Sunshine Coast Tourism is Hiring

Sunshine Coast Tourism is looking for a dynamic, innovative and passionate Executive Director with excellent communication, marketing and leadership skills to lead their talented team and continue to engage and grow the vibrant tourism and hospitality communities on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

 Tourism Industry Golf Season Has Teed Off  

Tis the season for industry golf tournaments.  The BC Hospitality Foundation recently hosted their Vancouver tournament with another scheduled for Victoria in September. TOTA has now opened registration for the event, so register today.
BC Hospitality Foundation Executive Director Alan Sacks

September 1st                                                       
TOTA 25th Annual Golf Tournament                 

September 19th


Infrastructure Funding for Kamloops Airport
The province is providing $2.6 million in B.C. Air Access Program funding to support improvements at Kamloops Airport.

With the support of B.C. Air Access funds, the Kamloops Airport will rehabilitate a section of the airport apron - the area where aircraft park to load, unload and refuel. The apron can get congested, which has the potential to delay the movement of aircraft during peak periods. This project will ensure the safe and efficient manoeuvring of all air traffic, as well as vehicles and personnel servicing aircraft. In addition, a new dedicated vehicle access route to the apron will be built. The airport will provide the remaining funds needed to complete this $3.4-million improvement to the airport.

Through the B.C. Air Access Program, the ministry cost shares with public airports on projects such as lighting and navigational systems, terminal building expansion or upgrades, and runway improvements. These types of projects will allow airports to improve safety, accommodate larger aircraft and more frequent flights, and further support the continuing growth of local and provincial economies.

Last year, the Province announced $24 million over three years to invest into the B.C. Air Access Program. The program also encourages funding partnerships with the federal government, local and regional governments and agencies, and the private sector. Last year, the program provided just over $6 million towards improvements at 10 regional airports throughout the province.

Read more at: 

C LIA Revises Cruise Passenger Estimates for 2016
Cruise Lines International Association, Washington DC (CLIA) has increased its passenger expectations, now predicting 24.2 million travelers will set sail on ocean cruises around the world in 2016. The industry reported a total of 23.2 million passengers on ocean cruises globally in 2015, up from a projection of 23 million and a four percent increase over 2014.  Much of the industry's growth can be attributed to emerging regions of the world, including Asia and Australia. 

Cruise travel currently represents two percent of the total leisure travel market. However, says CLIA, it has the highest satisfaction rates among global travellers and is growing in popularity. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, in the decade between 2004 and 2014, global cruise vacations have grown faster in popularity than land-based vacations by a 20 percent margin. 

Tell us your story of how tourism is impacting your business, your community, your career. 
Check out the Power of Tourism Story section of the TIABC website:


All the Numbers You Need to Know

Visits to British Columbia are up!
Total international overnight travel to British Columbia is up by 18.2 per cent over year-to-date 2015 volumes.

Visitors to BC
YTD 2016
% Change
Total International**
Total U.S.
  U.S. Overnight
  U.S. Same day
Total Overseas
** Includes U.S. Overnight & Total Overseas.


International Visitor Arrivals Provincial Comparison  
Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) figures for April 2016 reported a 52% increase over the same month in 2015 - the largest MRDT receipt for April in Tourism Kamloops' history.  Year-to-date tax revenues to the end of April have also accounted for a 33% increase over the same period in 2015. According to Tourism Kamloops, revenue and visitation increases have resulted from the organization's shift in marketing to inspire visitation in off-peak tourism periods.
The Kamloops Visitor Centre has also been buzzing.  Total visitors assisted by the Kamloops Visitor Centre to the end of June are up 41% over 2015.  While these numbers are inclusive of off-site visitor engagement by the Visitor Centre team, this increase reflects a proactive shift to mobilize visitor services throughout the city and in partnership with other organizations such as the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association's Citizen on Patrol (CAP) Team.  Increased visitation from BC (up 18%), AB (up 21%) and other Canadian provinces (up 32%) have dominated the guest arrivals list.  Visitors from Europe are also reporting growth (up 25%).


Metro Vancouver visits are up!
The number of total overnight visitors to Metro Vancouver for year-to-date 2016 is up by 10.4 per cent over year-to-date 2015 volumes. Note: All figures calculated as year-to-date 2016 over year-to-date 2015. Only key markets to Metro Vancouver are listed.
Visitors to
Metro Vancouver
YTD 2016
YTD 2015
% Change
Total Visitors

Source: Tourism Vancouver's Visitor Volume Model, MNP (Data to April year-to-date 2016)

Five Cruise Ships Visit Ogden Point on a Single Day 
Five cruise ships visited Victoria on Saturday, June 18, the most on any day this season. Officials say the thousands of visitors flooding into the city prove the BC Capital is an incredibly popular destination. The first two ships, the Crystal Serenity and the Grand Princess , arrived at 7am and departed before the other three ships, Norwegian Pearl , Amsterdam and Ruby Princess , arrived between 6-7pm.

Five ships have arrived previously in one day, but that was several years ago. On four days this cruise season, four ships will visit Victoria. It is not unusual to see three cruise ships docked on one day. Officials say the ships are also staying for longer visits, which is good for the economy. 

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