December 8, 2016  
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message

The people have spoken.  No, I'm not talking about the recent U.S. election, but rather the feedback we received on our two recent surveys regarding the 2017 BC Tourism Industry Conference (BCTIC) and TIABC policy priorities.
For the conference, delegates were keen on workshops that covered everything from Mobile Marketing and Innovative Recruiting, to Digital Disruption and OTA Partnerships. We've also scheduled workshops on Film Tourism, Events to Drive Visitation, Adventure Travel, and Beer/Wine Tourism, among many others.
Early-bird registration opened last week and we've already received registrations from around the province including Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies regions.  Be sure to register early and secure your hotel room/rate because BCTIC 2017 promises to be one of the most popular to date.
As for policy priorities, members affirmed our focus on Transportation/Access, Formula Funding, Short-term Rentals, and Labour Challenges.  Furthermore, our Policy Committee is working on additional policies identified as important including Airport Privatization, Ride-sharing, Climate Change, CRA Campground Assessments and Pipelines...all of which affect most regions of the province.
For your information, on the labour file TIABC has partnered with go2HR, BC Chamber of Commerce, Canada's West Ski Areas Association and the BC Hotel Association to present a formal response to the federal government on the 21 recommendations identified in the HUMA report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.  Our collective goal is to encourage government to adopt those recommendations we believe are most relevant in helping BC's tourism industry deal with its shortage of workers.
Like you, TIABC's board and staff are juggling a number of files and responsibilities that will keep us busy and focussed well into 2017.  However, we'll also take the time to pause (even if only briefly) this holiday season to give thanks for what we have as an industry in British Columbia to share with people from all over the world.
With that, I wish you a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

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 to share ideas, ask questions, network, learn, and explore.

The conference program is shaping up thanks to several exceptional submissions and some 300+ respondents to our session selector voting process. From now until the conference, we'll be introducing sessions and speakers that will address one or more of the following themes:
  • 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, engage in innovative marketing and deliver tourism experiences that contribute to the success of BC's visitor economy - which currently generates some $15+ billion in revenue for British Columbia.

Five awards will be presented 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 Organization (DMO) Professional Excellence Award
This award recognizes a community DMO for outstanding performance, accountability and commitment to the tourism industry in British Columbia.

#BCTIC App Now Available

The #BCTIC 2017 app is live on the Apple App and Google Play stores. Let's have some fun and build excitement for the conference in February.

TIABC Welcomes Two New Members

TIABC is pleased to welcome two new business members: Eagle Wing Tours and Harbour Air Seaplanes.

With over 31 years in business and more than 50 aircraft, the Harbour Air Group, consisting of Harbour Air Seaplanes, Whistler Air and Saltspring Air, have become the largest all-seaplane company in the world. 

Since 2007, TripAdvisor  has voted Eagle Wing Tours #1 for Whale Watching in Victoria. 

Eagle Wing's mission is to work with purpose and passion on behalf of all wildlife in the Salish Sea, encouraging guests to become more involved in the education and conservation of a sustainable, healthy, and more balanced marine eco-system.

TIABC Congratulates Canadian Tourism Award Winners and Nominees

Walt Judas (center) celebrates with TIABC member Eagle Wing Tours owners, Don Stewart (L) and Brett Soberg, winners of the The Transat AT Inc. Sustainable Tourism Award
TIABC recently attended the TIAC Congress in Gatineau where the Canadian Tourism Awards were presented on the final night.

Several TIABC members were nominated including YVR for Best Business of the Year,  Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association's Half Corked Marathon for Event of the Year, and Eagle Wing Tours and the  Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre for the Sustainable Tourism Award.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

Turning the Corner: Annual Report Targets Sustained Tourism Growth in Canada


The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and HLT Advisory (HLT) released the 2016 Annual Report on Canadian Tourism.

Focusing on the potential opportunity to target American travellers, this fifth annual collaboration reviews the parameters powering global industry growth in contrast to the perennial factors constraining Canadian performance.

Insights from the Report include:
  • The correlation of marketing funding and positive results when targeting foreign markets
  • Canada's declining competitiveness in global visitor rankings
  • What factors underlie 2016 performance and the highest number of foreign visitors during a summer season
  • Factors constraining travel, notably costs, including non-recoverable taxes on travel and tourism
"As 2016 comes to a close, tourism boasts the highest overseas results ever for the summer season and strong returns on targeted US market campaigns. The industry welcomes these successes with caution as increased volume does not compensate for lagging market share and policies undermining Canada's global competitiveness ," stated TIAC president and CEO Charlotte Bell.


YVR continues record growth
YVR Between January and October 2016, 18.8 million passengers traveled through YVR, a 9.5% increase compared to the same period last year. The airport is expecting a record year with a total of 22 million passengers by year's end. Much of the  traffic increase comes from Air Canada's eight new routes announced in 2016. F ive new destinations for 2017 are Gatwick, Frankfurt, Taipei, Nagoya and Dallas.
224 Cruise Ships landed at Victoria's Ogden Point in 2016
Approximately 550,000 passengers and 212,000 crew from 224 ship calls landed at Ogden Point during the 2016 cruise ship season, according to figures released by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. The 2016 season kicked off April 3 and wrapped up Oct. 17. 

GVHA expects the number of ship calls to increase in 2017 to more than 240, which CEO Ian Robertson said is a reflection of the growing popularity of Victoria as a destination and of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska routes for cruise passengers. The harbour authority estimates annual economic impact of cruise ships for Victoria is more than $100 million; each cruise ship call brings in an average of $400,000 in direct spending to the region. 

Read more at:

US and China are Top Source Markets for Canadian Tourism Industry
International Visa cardholders spent $3.9USD billion in Canada from May to September 2016, according to the 2016 Summer Travel Snapshot released by Visa Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). The report highlights the 9.2% increase over what visitors spent in 2015 and further solidified US and China as the top source markets for the Canadian tourism industry.
The 2016 Summer Travel Snapshot uses data collected by international Visa card holders to reveal other interesting findings including:
  • A breakdown of U.S. visitor spending by state reveals California, New York and Washington leading for the second year in a row.
  • The top 10 Canadian cities visited by travellers from the top five inbound countries - USA, China, France, the UK, and Germany.
  • Insights into the categories of spending from international visitors including the revelation that international visitors spend almost 10 times more on full-service restaurants than fast food restaurants.
Tourism is a $90.3 billion industry that employs Canadians in every region of the country. Summer 2016 has been a banner year for tourism with visitation increasing to 8.5 million, levels not seen since 2002. TIAC believes these successes must be viewed as a reason to capitalize on the higher level of international visitors and their spending patterns to keep these trends on the rise.  

Send a Super, Natural British Columbia
Holiday Card Today

Terrific idea by Destination BC to invite our industry to share their  Super, Natural British Columbia┬«  holiday cards. Simply click on the link below to get started.

Destination BC holiday cards:

Tourism Langley Executive Director

Deborah Kulchiski has recently announced her departure from Tourism Langley and TIABC wishes her well in her next endeavour. 

Deborah was hired as the inaugural Executive Director for Tourism Langley, tasked to open the doors of a new Destination Management Organization. She brought her passion for the industry and her extensive experience to the role and has spent the last 9 nine years leading the successful organization. In  2012, Tourism Langley received the DMO Professional Excellence Award at the BC Tourism Industry Awards!

Deborah is a valued member of the TIABC board team chairing our Membership & Communications Committee. Her dedication to this important volunteer role has been vital to our success.

Becoming a Green Team Champion

Moving your company towards sustainability needs to come from both the top down as well as the bottom up. Once an executive decision is made to support sustainability, there needs to be ongoing support to establish and implement a green action plan and strategy. Creating that plan and keeping it on track are jobs for the green team.

A green team is a committee made up of people from your company. These employees collectively have insights into all aspects of your organization and can bring ideas from their departments or roles to improve the company's sustainability performance. 

Benefits of having a Green Team

Attract top talent
Having a green team will help you attract and engage top talent by aligning with the values of potential employees. According to a  Conference Board of Canada survey, 71% of Canadians want to work for an employer that has commitments to improve their company's sustainability performance.

Boost employee engagement and morale
Usually the people who volunteer have a strong connection to social and environmental sustainability and a strong desire to do what's right and make change for the better within the organization. Engagement can spike if employees are feeling positive about the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility (according to  GreenBiz). 

Realize ROI
Green teams can actually help save your company money. They often work to find and implement ways to improve efficiencies, which can lead to a great return on investment. For example, if a green team decides that setting a target to reduce paper printed by 50% will help meet their waste reduction goals, then that is 50% less paper your company needs to pu rchase, and less that you need to spend on hauling recycling away. 

If you are ready to start off the New Year on the right foot by getting a green team up-and-running, download Green Tourism's guide:  How to Establish A Green Team in Your Business Getting started on this now will ensure that you have your priorities in the right place for 2017, the UN's International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development .

Is your company already doing some great things and do you have a certification behind them? Find out how to Effectively Market your Company's Green Business Credentials .

Reprinted from Green Tourism Canada blog: 

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 Green Tourism Canada program fees. 

BC Parks Future Strategy to Feature Stronger Conservation and More Campsites

British Columbia will build on its world-renowned provincial parks system by hiring more park rangers to enhance conservation, improving services for persons with disabilities and launching a new BC Parks Foundation so community groups, businesses and individuals can come together and have a voice in BC Parks priorities.

In addition, the Province will add more than 1,900 new campsites to help meet growing demand. More than 800 of the sites will be in provincial parks and over 1,000 will be in recreation sites, delivering a range of camping experiences in areas of highest demand. The commitments are contained in a new BC Parks Future Strategy, Protecting our Legacy Together.

The BC Parks Future Strategy can be viewed at:

Free National Park Admission in 2017

Parks Canada is inviting Canadians and visitors from around the world to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary at national treasures from coast to coast to coast.  To mark this special year, Parks Canada is offering free admission to all locations through its Parks Canada Discovery Pass.

Order your pass today. And don't forget to tell your visiting guests.

Stops of Interest - Submit Your Ideas!
Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis joins Minister Stone and Councillors Marg Spina and Deiter Dudy at the unveiling of the refurbished stop of interest sign at the Scenic Lookout in Kamloops.

The Province has announced that it will be adding 75 Stops of Interest signs throughout BC - in addition to replacing the existing 164. They are looking for input to identify topics and locations for new signs to celebrate BC's history and provincial heritage.
You can help to identify people, places or events of provincial significance that you would like to see commemorated. Submit your nominations today by v isiting the Province of British Columbia's engagement web site at: Submissions close January 31, 2017.

Seminars, Webinars and Ask the Expert Sessions
December is a time when many business owners want to improve sales and plan ways to grow in the new year. With this in mind, Small Business BC has published What's Happening This December ( to showcase all the new, free and returning courses that are available to entrepreneurs.
Small Business BC is offering 15% off all education until January 31, 2017 with promo code WINEDU17. They also have two staff advisors for the Canada-B.C. Job Grant program who can help small business owners seeking grants for training.  

New Licensing Requirements for Groundwater Users

The BC government brought in new licensing requirements for non-domestic groundwater users in February 2016.

BC's new Water Sustainability Act (WSA) and the first phase of regulations were brought into force on February 29, 2016. New regulations include licensing requirements for non-domestic groundwater users.

The Licensing Groundwater Users brochure addresses questions related to  applying for a license,  ensuring you have the appropriate permits and  estimating your water fees and rental rates.

For more information visit:

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