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Introducing Concurrent Session...
Connecting BC and Canada to the World through Partnerships
Business events (meetings, conventions, exhibitions, incentive and sport) and tourism are globally interconnected industries that thrive through collaboration. Tens of thousands of suppliers and destinations compete for the attention of customers daily. Working with like-minded entities enables organizations to leverage resources, knowledge and opportunities that they would not be able to access on their own.

During this session, a panel of speakers will discuss how their organizations have helped BC, Canada and the City of Seattle succeed through partnerships. The speakers will use case studies to share key learnings that will be relevant to anyone interested in developing long-term collaboration. The MIND Partnership has connected Tourism Vancouver with local universities to generate meetings; the Pacific Asia Travel Association has facilitated BC organizations, including Capilano University, to align strategic interests in the Asia Pacific region; and, the Seattle Sports Commission uses its extensive network of partnerships and business leaders to create opportunities for the city and region.

And the Presenters...

Paul Vallee, Gaining Edge Consultancy (Facilitator)

Paul is Executive Consultant with GainingEdge, an international leader in meetings, conventions and business events consulting and management.  Paul has provided advice on assignments in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Panama, and Thailand, and has been an invited speaker in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.  Paul is also Managing Director of the BestCities Global Alliance, the world's leading partnership of convention bureaus. 

Prior to his current role, Paul spent more than 25 years in destination sales, marketing and services management primarily with Tourism Vancouver.   He has extensive experience managing complex organizations, strategic planning with diverse stakeholders, and destination master planning. 

Ralph Morton, Seattle Sports Commission

In May of 2004, Ralph Morton moved to Seattle where he continues to serve as the Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission (SSC).  The SSC's mission is to make Seattle a world-class sports community.  It is a local non-profit whose goal is to significantly increase economic impact and promote Seattle as a premier destination through sports and recreation. The primary focus is to attract and create major national or international events, promote existing assets and serve as an advocate for the sports industry in Washington State.  Projects have included NCAA and Pac-12 championships and tournaments, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball, the Boeing Classic and many other events.
Prior to coming to Seattle, Ralph served as Vice President of Events for the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNOSF) where he held leadership roles on numerous events such as Super Bowl XXXI & XXXVI, Men's and Women's NCAA Final Four, New Orleans Bowl, Louisiana Games, AAU Junior Olympics and SEC Basketball Tournaments. 

Michael Drake, Tourism Vancouver

Michael Drake, joined Tourism Vancouver four years ago, as the Director of Sales, Meetings and Conventions. Inthissenior leadership role, Michael oversees Tourism Vancouver's Meetings & Incentives International and Canadian sales team. His team includes Corporate, Association and Sports, along with their Ambassador program, called "The MIND Program". Michael also assumes the board level position with our global alliance, "BestCities", on behalf of Tourism Vancouver.

A Toronto transplant, Michael brings 20 years of hospitality sales experience to his role; including Director of Global Accounts at Hyatt Hotels and Associate Director Sales with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Toronto.

Chris Bottrill, Capilano University
Chris Bottrill is Director, International, at Capilano University, North Vancouver, Canada, and past Dean of three Faculties within the institution. He has taught in a wide array tourism, business, and adventure management fields in universities in Canada, New Zealand, USA and Austria, and he has completed over 50 tourism development projects around the globe.
Chris is also the elected Chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

His current and recent activities include directing the acclaimed Capilano University and Hanoi Open University Vietnam Community Tourism project aimed at protecting ethnic hill tribe culture through tourism, leading a Pacific Asia study on Indigenous Tourism and Human Rights, and designing and facilitating seven youth symposiums with over 20 universities in the Asia Pacific over the past four years, and leading organizational change in PATA to align membership contributions and optimize outcomes. Chris has presented on tourism related topics at conferences and forums in China, Canada, USA, Russia, Finland, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, and Cambodia.

He holds a PhD from the Faculty of Commerce and School of Management at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, an MA Honours in Geography from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Tourism Industry Conference Program

Four student teams will be competing at the provincial Winning Pitch competition at the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference (TIC) in Vancouver on Feb. 27, 2019, and only one team will emerge the champion.

The Winning Pitch , organized and presented by go2HR, BC's tourism human resource association, is a post-secondary student case competition. This year, student teams had to develop a new product or service that supports the development of accessible tourism opportunities in their respective regions.

The regional winners who will be competing in the provincial competition include:
  • BCIT - "Reel YVR"
  • College of the Rockies - Kimberley Alpine Outdoor Adventures"
  • Okanagan College - "AccessFest"
  • Vancouver Island University - "Reach Vancouver Island"
As part of the live audience, TIC delegates will vote for their favourite business pitch, which will contribute to the overall score and help pick the ultimate winner.

go2HR would like to thank the competition's provincial sponsors, Partners in Tourism Society and Destination British Columbia, for their support.


Thank you to our generous conference sponsors, 
without whom this event would not be possible.

Hosted By:

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  Conference Contact

Nora Cumming, Conference Manager
Chemistry Consulting Group