March 3, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message

Thank you Victoria for hosting what many described as the best BC Tourism Industry Conference yet. A hair shy of 500 delegates attended this year's event, including some 70 speakers from as far away as Toronto, Nova Scotia and Scotland.

While the highlights are too numerous to mention, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of important items.  First and foremost, Minister Shirley Bond's luncheon presentation contained some good news...the kind of news we had been working toward and hoping for at this year's conference.

Minister Bond announced a new, performance-based, formula funding model for Destination BC that essentially builds upon their current $50 million base budget, but more importantly, gives DBC the incentive and opportunity to increase their base budget by 2% annually.

Although the details, formal approval and performance measures have yet to be finalized, knowing that DBC will enjoy funding security is most welcome by our entire industry (see TIABC's news release for further information), especially with a view to long-term planning and growth objectives.

Minister Bond also talked about a new relationship with the Adventure Tourism sector citing the work  of 18 organizations, including TIABC, in bringing a new AT strategy to government, her commitment to assign a senior person to work with us, and her belief that we can grow the AT sector in British Columbia.

On day one at the Town Hall, I was able to share an update on TIABC's progress since the last conference. A copy of my notes can be found here and my PPT presentation here. Suffice it to say, we've come a long way in a short period of time thanks to the guidance of our board and hard work by our team.

Let me close by saying thank you to everyone who attended the conference.  Please ensure that we hear from you by filling out the survey which you should find in your inbox shortly.  A link is also enclosed within this newsletter.

In the meantime, if you're not yet a member of TIABC, please consider joining and supporting the advocacy work we do on behalf of BC's visitor economy.  As well, feel free to contact any board or staff member with ideas, information or inquiries.  We look forward to hearing from you and to seeing you at next year's conference in Kelowna.

Jim Humphrey

 #BCTIC Recap - Day 1

A few conference numbers:

34 sponsors supporting TIABC to host BC TIC
70 speakers bringing their expertise to Victoria, BC
497 attendees helping prove that #BC Tourism Matters
18 workshops offering tourism education to delegates
60 companies supporting the fund-raising silent auction
    TIABC Chair Jim Humphrey provides organizational overview at Town Hall
    Emcee Charmaine Crooks welcomes delegates to BCTIC 2017

    go2HR's Dennis Green introduces students competing in The Winning Pitch
    The Sponsor Showcase was a popular meeting place throughout the event 

    Delegates travel to opening reception courtesy of Wilson's Transport
    The Songhees Wellness Centre proved to be a spectacular opening reception venue

    AtBC celebrates its 20th anniversary by hosting  the opening reception 
    A warm welcome for our opening reception by the  Lekwungen Performers from Songhees Nation

    Photo credit:  Coast Mountain Photography

#BCTIC Recap - Day 2 
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps welcomes delegates to the capital city 

Federal Minister of Small Business & Tourism, Hon. Bardish Chagger welcomes delegates
 via video message
O pening keynote speaker Sunny Lenarduzzi brought energy and great advice to delegates
CEO Marsha Walden led an outstanding Destination BC presentation
Royal Roads University takes top spot in the  Winning Pitch competition
Hon. Shirley Bond presents at lunch and announces performance-based formula funding for Destination BC

And the Winner is....

Photo credit: Gabriel Teo

Congratulations to all the winners of a 2017 BC Tourism Award.  A gala celebration took place February 23rd to honour the recipients as part of the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Hon. Shirley Bond joined award sponsors and emcee Sophie Lui to congratulate British Columbia's 'best-of-the-best'. They included:
  • Yolanta Malkovska, 8th Generation Vineyard: Customer Service Award, sponsored by WorldHost®.
  • Landsea Tours & Adventures: Employees First Award, sponsored by go2HR.
  • "Share Vancouver Island" Campaign, a collaboration between Black Ball Ferry Line, Tourism Nanaimo, Tourism Tofino and Sooke Region Tourism Association: Innovation Award, sponsored by FCV.
  • Free Spirit Spheres Inc.: Remarkable Experience Award, sponsored by Destination Think!
  • Tourism Golden: BC Destination Marketing Organization Association Professional Excellence Award, sponsored by Destination Marketing Association International and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

 #BCTIC Recap - Day 3

Destination Canada's Jon Mamela kicked off day three with a compelling presentation

Concurrent sessions were well attended and beneficial
Three exhausted amigos after the film tourism session - Walt Judas, Jackson Davies and MNP's Ed Mansfield
Silent auction attracted a lot of interest and raised funds for TIABC

Jowi Taylor wowed the crowd at the closing with his awesome stories and journey -

Jim Byrnes played the Voyageur guitar - a perfect way to end the conference!

Walt Judas wrapped up the conference with a message of appreciation and a reminder that #BC Tourism Matters

Check out all the photos from the conference at:
Please credit  Coast Mountain Photography if publishing.

PM Justin Trudeau Sends Greetings to TIC 2017

BC Tourism Industry Conference Survey

TIABC wants your feedback. To ensure that the annual BC Tourism Industry Conference keeps improving, we're seeking input from delegates of this year's gathering before March 15th.

The survey can be found here or by visiting

Save the Date - March 7 to 9, 2018

At the conclusion of this year's BC Tourism Industry Conference, Walt Judas welcomed Nancy Cameron, CEO of Tourism Kelowna to the stage to announce the location of next year's event. 

We're taking BCTIC on the road again, this time to Kelowna from March 7-9, 2018. Mark your calendars.

Walt Judas and Nancy Cameron announce Kelowna as the venue for TIC 2018

Early-bird Registration Draw Winner

Congratulations to  Heather Riddick of Long Beach Lodge Resort in Tofino who won a pair of Helijet tickets in the draw for early-bird registrants.

Thanks to Helijet for their partnership and making this draw possible.   Congratulations Heather...and enjoy your flight!


Numbers You Need to Know

The year end numbers are in! 
British Columbia's tourism industry had an exceptional year in 2016 with a total of 5,532,065 overnight international visitor arrivals,  up 12.3% over 2015. This means an additional 605,918 visitors from international markets arrived in BC in 2016 over the previous year.  BC saw increases from key markets, such as Mexico (up 33.4%); Australia (21.1%); China (18.2%); United Kingdom (17.3%) & India (9.9%).

The strong growth in the tourism sector can be linked to a number of factors including the marketing efforts of  Destination British Columbia and industry partners, increased number of direct flights, and the easing of visa restrictions, among other things.

TIABC Welcomes Three New Members

Value of Tourism 2015

In 2015, the tourism industry generated $15.7 billion in revenue, a 5.3% increase over 2014 and a $37.3% increase from 2005. 

Tourism-related provincial tax revenue was nearly $1.1 billion in 2015, an increase of 8.9% over 2014 and an increase of 38.0% since 2005. 

In 2015, the tourism industry paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries, up 4.0% from 2014 and a 36.1% increase since 2005. 

Read more on the Destination BC website: 

Aboriginal Tourism B.C. (AtBC) is seeking a talented, energetic and self-motivated CEO. 
Do you have what it takes?

Located on Coast Salish Territory in West Vancouver, AtBC is a non-profit, stakeholder-based organization that is  committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Aboriginal tourism industry. Through training, information  resources, networking opportunities and co-operative marketing programs, AtBC is a one-stop resource for First Nations  entrepreneurs and communities in B.C. operating or looking to start a tourism business. AtBC works closely with tourism,  business, education and government organizations to help B.C.'s Aboriginal tourism businesses offer quality experiences and  actively promotes these experiences to visitors and local residents.

April 3rd and 4th in Victoria, BC
Join BC Hotel Association and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees at this two-day conference and marketplace for hoteliers and private liquor industry professionals
Save $50: Register by March 10th to access Early Bird Pricing. Click HERE to register
Cost: $199 for delegate conference package. Package includes all sessions and keynote speakers, Marketplace Reception and Industry Dinner (Monday Night), Breakfast (Tuesday), Lunch (Tuesday).

New Statistics Canada numbers show that Canada welcomed almost 20 million inbound visitors in 2016, a 14 year high. In 2015, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) set a five year industry goal to bring in 20 million visitors by 2020. Seeing this much progress within two years is an outstanding accomplishment for the industry.

            Read more on the TIAC website


Tourism Stays Strong in Vancouver
Strong growth for Vancouver continued through November with total overnight visitor volume up by 7.2%.  Gains from Mexico continued to be the strongest with growth in visitors exceeding 30% year-over-year.  

The 1st  annual Tourism Kamloops Hospitality Awards presented by the Kamloops Blazers were a huge success! Over 150 people were in attendance in the Parkside Lounge at Sandman Centre as winners were announced in four categories from a pool of 34 unique nominations.

Winners included:
  • Top Scorer in Tourism Services - Terri Axani, DiVine Tours
  • Attraction Services Leader - Brett McLeod, BC Wildlife Park
  • Most Valuable Player in Food & Beverage Services - Claudio Klarich, Citrus Restaurant / DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton
  • Accommodation Service Captain - Paige Mittelsteadt, The Plaza Hotel
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Province and Whistler Blackcomb Sign
Master Development Agreements

New 60-year agreements and master plans provide certainty for the Province and Whistler Blackcomb by allowing the resort to make the future capital investments required to maintain its position as a world-class mountain resort destination. This in turn ensures a strong tourism economy for the Province and provides continued benefits for the community of Whistler.  In addition, the Province, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations have entered into a memorandum of understanding on how to work together moving forward.

Key to the Province's approval was the involvement and support of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Líl̓wat Nations, on whose traditional territories Whistler Blackcomb operates. The Province and Whistler Blackcomb have worked toward the approvals in close partnership with the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations to ensure all parties and their respective communities will benefit from the next 60 years of operation. In that regard, the Province and Whistler Blackcomb have entered into agreements with the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations to ensure that the Nations participate in the success as partners.

The master plans are the conceptual phased development plans of how Whistler Blackcomb will be built-out over time. The 60-year Master Development Agreements are the land-use contracts between the Province and Whistler Blackcomb that detail how the resort will be expanded and operated.

BC's Minimum Wage Increases September 15, 2017
In accordance with a commitment made in May of 2016, the Province will increase the minimum wage by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour, effective Sept. 15 of this year, to better reflect overall economic growth and ensure all workers benefit from B.C.'s thriving job market.

The new rate includes a 20-cent increase based on the BC 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus an additional 30 cents. There will also be an identical increase of 50 cents per hour to the liquor server minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

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