November 24, 2016  
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

CEO's Message
I have driven thousands of kilometres this fall attending local, regional and sector-specific conferences and events around British Columbia. Having time in the car en route to the Cariboo, Okanagan, Kootenays or wherever gives me a chance to connect with members and stakeholders by phone, as well as to think about and strategize on the issues TIABC is tackling and the new ones I learn about during my travels. Similarly, I get excited about the opportunities that our industry can take advantage of in the coming years. In summary:

The TOTA AGM and conference at Predator Ridge in Vernon provided me with some additional insight into the labour challenges many operators faced this year, and how partners such as go2HR, TOTA and others are working together on innovative solutions. I also learned about the outstanding work that TOTA and its multiple partners are doing to continue to set records for visitor traffic to the Thompson Okanagan.

Walt Judas and Allison Colthorp, Tourism Chilliwack
Tourism Chilliwack's Christmas Appreciation Breakfast brought over 230 people to Chilliwack Heritage Park for an early morning event that, among other things, acknowledged the hotel community for its 10 point increase in occupancy this year compared to last. And with Tourism Chilliwack's plans for next year, the average occupancy rate appears poised to climb again.


More than 80 tourism operators, First Nations representatives, government and business leaders attended an evening dinner in Salmon Arm hosted by Shuswap Tourism.  I appreciated the opportunity to speak at the event, but I was much more interested in hearing how the Shuswap region is embracing tourism more than ever before, generating economic and other benefits for many communities.
Walt Judas and Amy Thacker, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association's annual conference and AGM in Clinton brought delegates from all over the region to hear from various speakers (including me), but more importantly, engage in meaningful dialogue on ways to elevate their visitor economy to the next level. One challenge that some delegates referenced was how some operators in parts of rural BC remain disconnected to the digital economy. Fortunately, CCCTA is already planning to engage these businesses through hands-on training in the coming year.

At the BC Lodging and Campground conference in Kelowna where I also addressed the delegates, I took note of the organization's new policy priorities, some of which are also on TIABC's radar including a 'seasonal worker program' and the 'rescinding of regulation 78(1)b'.
In Nelson, where I presented at the Kootenay Rockies AGM and conference, I heard about the housing crisis many smaller or resort communities are having year-round. Finding affordable and available accommodation for seasonal workers will be a struggle again this winter that TIABC, various sectors and communities are working very hard to mitigate.
Next week, I'm off to Gatineau, Quebec for the TIAC conference, and no, I am not driving.  However, 5+ hours on WestJet will give me plenty of time to contemplate the issues of national scope to address with politicians and my provincial counterparts.  Top of the list is a palatable solution to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (as mentioned previously), as well as a plan by government to review selling off Canada's major airports (such as YVR) to private investors, a move TIABC does not support.
In the meantime, I am grateful for the invitations and hospitality provided by members and professional colleagues as I travel to various communities, and look forward to more visits in the coming months with a view to working together to make British Columbia's visitor economy one of the province's leading and sustainable industries.
For the record, my in-car phone calls are always hands-free and I do not text while in the drivers' seat. Truth be told, I have enough trouble concentrating on anything else while being captivated by the beautiful scenery and wildlife that a view from the car offers.

Walt Judas, CEO

BC Tourism Industry Conference 
Early-Bird Registration Now Open!

For over 20 years, the BC Tourism Industry Conference has been providing a forum for tourism businesses and stakeholders from around British Columbia to come together to learn from experts and each other about the key issues, challenges and best practices in the industry. 

We welcome anyone interested in tourism to participate in this annual gathering.

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with other tourism businesses, communities and government leaders - share ideas, ask questions, network, learn, and explore!

Early-Bird registration ends January 15, 2017

The conference program is in progress thanks to the over 300 people who responded to our session selector voting process. As we approach a provincial election and face both successes and challenges in our industry, our conference themes will include:
  • Advocacy Matters
  • Innovation Matters
  • Marketing Matters
  • People Matter
  • Tourism Development Matters

BC Tourism Industry Awards Nominations 
Now Open!

Destination BC  and the Tourism Industry Association of BC are pleased to open the call for nominations for the 2017 BC Tourism Industry Awards.

These awards recognize excellence in the province's tourism industry. Recipients provide outstanding service, exemplify best business practices, innovative marketing and deliver tourism experiences that contribute to the success of BC's tourism industry - which currently generates close to $15 billion in revenue for the province's economy.

Five awards will be handed out at the Tourism Awards Gala, held during the BC Tourism Industry Conference . The submission deadline is January 9, 2017.

Employees First Award     
This award recognizes a British Columbia tourism industry employer who has upheld high standards of excellence in human resources and people management practices.

Customer Service Award     
This award recognizes frontline employees whose exceptional customer service contributed to outstanding travel experiences for visitors.

Innovation Award 
This award recognizes an individual, organization or consortium that has devised and implemented an outstanding marketing campaign or initiative that is directed at increasing the number of visitors to or within British Columbia.

Remarkable Experience Award 
This award recognizes a British Columbia tourism business or organization that has developed, delivered, promoted and sold a new or improved tourism product or experience that reflects the essence of British Columbia and contributes to a remarkable visitor experience. Festivals/events, adventure/outdoor, food and beverage, cultural/heritage, urban/rural and accommodation experiences may all be considered within this category.

Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) Professional Excellence Award 
Recognizes community DMOs for outstanding performance, accountability and commitment to the tourism industry in British Columbia.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards' CEO Sandra Oldfield named one of Canada's Most Powerful Women
Women's Executive Network celebrates country's Top 100 female role models
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards  is thrilled to announce that CEO Sandra Oldfield has been named as a Top 100 award winner in the Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters category of the   Women's Executive Network's 2016 Canada's Most Powerful Women.

The 2016 Top 100 Award Winners will be celebrated at an evening Awards Gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, on  Thursday November 24th where Sandra will become part of an exceptional community of now 939 remarkable female leaders. When Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards were launched in 2003, WXN wanted to highlight the incredible accomplishments of professional women across Canada. Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada's leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles.

"I'm honoured to be recognized as a trailblazer and have the opportunity, as a female CEO in the wine industry, to act as a role model for younger generations and my peers," says Sandra Oldfield. "At Tinhorn Creek we strive to be at the forefront of the industry; pushing boundaries and setting trends to promote Canadian wine."

Sandra's award recognizes her trailblazing in the wine industry, having been one of the few BC female winemakers when Tinhorn Creek Vineyards opened over 20 years ago and now one of the few female CEOs in the Canadian wine industry. Sandra spearheaded the establishment of BC's first wine-growing  sub appellation, the Golden Mile Bench, and has kept Tinhorn at the forefront of the industry by making them the first winery in Canada to move their entire production to screw top closures rather than corks in 2003 and starting the province's first wine club, shipping wine direct to consumers. In 2009 Sandra tackled sustainability when Tinhorn Creek became Canada's only carbon neutral winery and perhaps the achievement closest to Sandra's heart has been the implementation of the most rigorous Health and Safety program of any winery in BC and achieving Canada's Safest Employers Award, for outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of workers.

Sandra's advocacy work promoting Canadian wines to Canadians has garnered the attention of national press through her political acts highlighting problems with access to wine (such as when she proved it is easier in Canada to order and ship a 12-gauge shotgun online than a 12 bottle case of Canadian wine) and campaigning for clearer labelling of grape origins for wines as 'cellared in Canada' contain Canadian grapes. Since 2011 Sandra has combined her love for wine, the wine industry and social media to being a weekly online discussion on twitter called #BCWineChat to bring together consumers, wineries, retailers and restaurants on specific topics of exploration weekly.

Sandra is also the Vice-Chair of TIABC and her dedication to the tourism industry has been vital to our success. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate and honour Sandra's achievements. 


Two TIABC Member Organizations Have Staff Named One of Canada's Most Powerful Women

TIABC is pleased to congratulate two of our member organizations who had staff recognized as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women: Karen Hardie, Rocky Mountaineer and Prof. Ann Dale, Royal Roads University. 

Rocky Mountaineer, the world's largest privately owned luxury tourist train, is pleased to announce that  Karen Hardie , Vice President of Global Sales, has been named a 2016 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner by the Women's Executive Network.
As an integral member of Rocky Mountaineer's executive team, Hardie has held several senior positions within the company and is currently responsible for the strategic direction and worldwide sales of Rocky Mountaineer vacations. Her international leadership experience and innovative nature have played a critical role in incr
easing Rocky Mountaineer's annual revenue, profitability, and overall market share.

" On behalf of Rocky Mountaineer, I congratulate Karen on her achievement. She is an incredibly deserving recipient for this award," said Steve Sammut, President of Rocky Mountaineer. " We feel extremely fortunate to have Karen on our team, with her passion for leadership and people development, as well as her international business experience in hospitality and tourism."

Royal Roads University is pleased to announce  Prof. Ann Dale has been named a Women's Executive Network (WXN) 2016 Canada's Most Powerful Women:  Top 100 Award Winner.
The awards celebrate the accomplishments of Canada's top female executives as well as their organizations and networks. Dale, who will receive the Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters Award, will be honoured at a gala celebration at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Nov. 24.
Dale has received national and international recognition for her research of sustainable community development, serving as the Royal Roads' Canada Research Chair in this field for 10 years. She is an environmental activist and innovator who leads MC3, a climate change adaptation and mitigation research program studying best practices and innovations throughout British Columbia.

"A s Royal Roads University's first Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development, Prof. Dale advanced the climate change mitigation agenda, and did so in ways that brought multiple voices and disciplines to the table," says Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon. " We are proud to see her vision and influence recognized by this award."

Thompson Rivers University Seeks Dean
Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism
The Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism is a unique unit that is composed of three departments: Adventure Studies, Culinary Arts and Tourism Management. With nearly 200 full-time and sessional faculty, the Faculty has a strong commitment to student learning and offers both credit and non-academic credit courses, as well as programs that range from certificates and diplomas through to undergraduate degrees. The development of Masters degrees in both Adventure study and Experience Studies is currently underway. With the goal of providing outstanding, relevant education the Faculty is committed to developing strong future leaders who have the breadth and depth of knowledge to create innovation and success within the public and private sectors.
As the Faculty's chief academic and administrative officer, the Dean is responsible to the Provost and Vice-President Academic for providing dynamic and visionary leadership in the articulation and implementation of the Faculty's evolving strategic plan for professional and career development, education, research and outreach in alignment with Thompson Rivers University's mission, vision, and strategic priorities. As an outstanding scholar or leader in a related field, the Dean will continue to raise the Faculty's profile locally, nationally and internationally, while expanding on key priorities.
To apply or learn more, please contact either Danielle Conn or Cameron Geldart at 604.926.0005 or forward your application package in confidence to:

Is Green Tourism Just a Fad?

The travel industry is currently experiencing a "New Tourism", according to the  World Tourism Organization . These new tourists have a high level of environmental and cultural awareness and are seeking experiences that align with their values.  A 2013 Travel Guard survey to travel agents showed that 75% believe "green travel is here to stay" and is at the highest it's been in the past 10 years. More and more, travellers want a holiday that they can feel good about from a social and environmental perspective, while also checking off their budget and fun boxes.

In a recent Green Tourism report, they have done the work for you: conducting research, collecting surveys and talking to travellers to find out what they really wanted from tourism operators in Canada. 
  • Do travellers really care about a tourism operator's environmental performance?
  • Does having a certification really matter?
  • Are travellers willing to pay more for a greener experience?
  • Is "being green" just a fad? 

Don't miss out on getting the inside scoop in this free report, which not only walks you through the research results, but also offers ideas to help you navigate the wants and desires of your guests to boost business, shift consumer perspective and save you money.

As a reminder, c urrent TIABC members are entitled to receive a $100 discount on annual Green Tourism fees in addition to the following:  
  • Access to the online Green Tourism Members Community and Forum, set to be launched this winter (value of $99+/year).
  • Access to the online Green Tourism self-check assessment tool set to be launched in the new year (does not result in certification).
As one of the first sustainable tourism certification programs in the world, Green Tourism has always been a leader in making it easy for businesses and travellers to make a difference. Green Tourism has remained one of the most sought after eco-labels because each member receives a one-on-one assessment and expert advice from a trained sustainability assessor who reviews everything from energy efficiency to food sources.

Visit the  Members-Only section  of TIABC's website  to view more information on the program and retrieve the code for the $100 discount on annual program fees. 

Chairperson, Destination Canada
Appointment Opportunity

The Government of Canada is currently seeking applications from diverse and talented Canadians from across the country who are interested in:
Chairperson (part-time position)  Destination Canada (Canadian Tourism Commission)

As noted in the official announcement for this role, o ur country is stronger and our government more effective when decision-makers reflect Canada's diversity. Moving forward, the Government of Canada will use an appointment process that is transparent and merit-based, strives for gender parity, and ensures that Indigenous Canadians and minority groups are properly represented in positions of leadership. The Government of Canada will continue to search for Canadians who reflect the values that we all embrace: inclusion, honesty, fiscal prudence, and generosity of spirit. Together, we will build a government as diverse as Canada.

Destination Canada is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. It is responsible for marketing Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination where travelers can enjoy extraordinary experiences. Working in collaboration with the Canadian tourism industry and the provinces and the territories, Destination Canada serves as a consistent voice for Canada in the international tourism marketplace. As tourism is a key driver of Canada's economy, Destination Canada has an important role to play in growing tourism export revenue for Canada, supporting the creation of jobs and increasing Canada's global competitiveness within the travel and tourism sector.

Destination Canada is governed by a Board of Directors that is reflective of best practices in modern corporate governance. The Chairperson leads a Board of up to 12 members who oversee the management of Destination Canada, provide strategic guidance, and effective oversight. Under the direction of the Chairperson, the Board ensures that appropriate systems of governance, leadership and stewardship are in place to enable Destination Canada's management to lead the organization effectively.

Further details about the organization and its activities can be found on the Destination Canada's website.

Candidates must apply online by December 1, 2016 via the Governor in Council website. A cover letter should be addressed to the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Senior Personnel), Privy Council Office, and should be sent only through the on-line application.
Per Diem: $310 - $375
Annual Retainer: $8,000 - $9,400


Promote Your Canada 150 Events
Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017. If there is something great going on you'll know about it. Passport 2017 launches in January on mobile and web. Submit your events now!

Tourism Chilliwack Releases New Video 
We are Tourism Chilliwack and this is our Chilliwack

The community of Chilliwack is made awesome by the people who call it home. Check out the new video below.

This is Our Chilliwack
This is Our Chilliwack

Tourism Indicators
Provincial Occupancy and Average Daily Room Rate showed increases in September of 3.4 points and 8.0% respectively over September 2015. BC Ferries has transported nearly 17-million passengers year-to-date (January-September 2016), an increase of 4.5% over the same period in 2015. For other tourism indicators, visit the Destination BC website.

Custom Entries 
September saw an impressive increase in international overnight entries to BC, up 14.9% overall. Some key international markets contributed to this great month: US overnight entries up 11.0%; Europe up 20.5%; Asia/Pacific up 21.4%; China up 32.2%; Australia up 21.1%; Brazil up 34.6%; Mexico up 28.2%.The International Visitor Arrivals report summarizes custom-entries data to British Columbia and Canada from selected markets of origin. See the full report on international visitor arrivals on the Destination BC website.

Over 2 million International Arrivals to Canada - January to September
Overnight arrivals from Destination Canada's 11 key markets continue to increase!
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