December 7, 2017
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
Walt Judas (third from right) was in Gatineau last week meeting with his counterparts from  other provincial tourism industry associations

Chair's Message

Every year at this time my kids ask me what I want for Christmas. And for as long as I can remember, I've given them the same answer...socks. Even though they roll their eyes and yell DAD!!! as a curse word, they know that at my age I really don't need anything except socks...the one clothing item no man can have enough of.
Don't get me wrong, I still have a long Christmas wish list but it doesn't involve receiving more 'stuff' from either my family or Santa Claus. Instead, the list includes items far more useful for my small business that I'd be thrilled to receive from various levels of government. I suspect some of these presents would be welcome under your tree as well.  

So, here are my 2017 Christmas wishes:
  • Permanent solutions to the labour shortage that has plagued my resort and thousands of tourism businesses around the province;
  • The tourism industry to be recognized as a top three business sector and given the same consideration for investment as other sectors;
  • Province-wide regulations on short-term vacation rentals and ride sharing that will make it fair and equitable for all accommodation and vehicle-for-hire players;
  • Land base decisions that favour adventure tourism operators instead of always the natural resource extraction sectors;
  • Formula funding for Destination B.C. to be resolved once and for all;
  • Elimination of various tax proposals that hurt small tourism businesses such as campgrounds;
  • YVR to remain as a local community directed, not-for-profit airport authority;
  • Family Day to remain on the third Monday of February;
  • Next year to be free of wildfires and flooding; and
  • A prosperous 2018 for our members and the entire tourism industry
I know what you're thinking: Has Jim been nice enough this year to deserve these gifts? And what about the adage that it's better to give than receive? Fair points.  All I can say is that the benefactors who can fulfill my wishes will receive much more in return in the form of a thriving, sustainable, vibrant, growing, contributing, and supportive visitor economy that leads all of British Columbia's business sectors.
Because this is my last note until January, let me take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings and Happy New Year.  Thank you for your support of TIABC.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

Last Chance to Complete TIABC Member Survey

T I A BC's annual survey allows us to gauge the interests and priorities of you as members and stakeholders as we develop and  revise our strategic plan and related activities each year. 

The survey should take only 5 minutes to complete and is entirely anonymous. Thanks for your participation.

Vote for BCTIC Concurrent Session Topics

TIABC recognizes the importance of providing delegates with a voice in the development of the conference program. So, please ensure your voice is heard on which of the proposed sessions would be the most valuable and engaging. 

Final decisions on the program will be based on a combination of the voting results (40% weight) and the input of the BCTIC Program    Committee (60% weight).

For more information, please contact Nora Cumming at: 
250.382.3303 ext 204 or at

Voting opens on Friday, December 8th

For more details, visit:


Independent Experts Appointed to Review 2017 Wildfire and Flooding Events
The B.C. government has launched an independent review of this year's unprecedented wildfire and spring flooding seasons.

The review team will examine all aspects of the Province's response to the floods and
wildfires of 2017 and will also engage with British Columbians. The team will deliver a report with recommendations before April 30, 2018 that can be used to inform the spring freshet and wildfire season. 

Business Owners Suffering Wildfire Losses Now Eligible for Additional Funding
Small business owners who suffered financial and business losses following British Columbia's worst wildfire season can now apply for additional financial assistance.

The Province is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross to provide additional funds, along with other forms of assistance to support First Nations communities and not-for-profit organizations.

Butchart Gardens Named 2017 'World Tulip Garden
Gardens British Columbia recently announced that the title of World Tulip Garden of the Year  (2017) was been awarded to one of their members,  The Butchart Gardens, in recognition of their beautiful tulip display in celebration of  Canada's 150th birthday.

Bella Coola Heli Sport Takes Top Honours at 2017 World Ski Awards
Bella Coola Heli Sports was named the World's Best Heli-Ski Operator at the 2017 World Ski Awards in Kitzb├╝hel, Austria. The award was presented as part of the 5th World Ski Awards recognizing, rewarding and celebrating excellence in ski tourism organizations across the globe.

Northern BC Tourism & Arc'Teryx Launch Winter Campaign - Hut Magic
On November 7th, Northern B.C. Tourism Association (NBCTA) attended a media event at   Arc'Teryx Vancouver, the megabrand's newest location on Burrard Street. The event celebrated the launch of the Arc'Teryx winter campaign featuring ski touring, cabin life and backcountry terrain in Smithers. This is the latest content reveal in the flurry of northern B.C. promotion following a joint content crusade by Arc'Teryx and NBCTA last February. NBCTA also hosted Jevon Zyp ( Skeena Cat Skiing) and Jake Frei ( Skeena Heliskiing) at the media event where they were given the opportunity to educate on the unique backcountry experiences northwest B.C. has to offer. 
The official winter campaign launched on November 15 at all of the Arc'Teryx stores across North America and internationally. The star of the campaign is a virtual reality experience that allows customers to discover the magic of life in a remote backcountry hut, Burnie Glacier Chalet (Bear Mountaineering Adventures) in Smithers.

High-Speed Rail Proposed to Connect Vancouver, Seattle and Portland 
During a recent visit to B.C., the Governor of Washington proposed the idea of a high-speed rail connecting Vancouver, Seattle and Portland.  The announcement was made during a visit to the B.C. legislature when Washington Governor Jay Inslee said that the route could be very successful.  For further details, visit:

Kamloops Airport Lands Nonstop to Toronto and Beyond

Air Canada Rouge recently released its Spring 2018 schedule which includes new nonstop service to Toronto from Kamloops Airport. This new service connects Kamloops to three of Air Canada's Canadian hubs: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

$30M investment in upgrades planned for Sun Peaks Resort
Sun Peaks Resort is planning to spend $30 million on upgrading and improving chairlifts, as well as increasing the number of beds and adding more food and beverage options to the resort.

Port of Vancouver Eyes Cruise Ship Terminal in Richmond
With cruise lines now building bigger ships, which Canada Place simply won't be able to accommodate, the Port of Vancouver has begun preliminary studies on a potential cruise ship facility either at Richmond or perhaps Roberts Bank.

This summer, a top official with Cruise Lines International Association told the media that Vancouver is behind other cities, such as Seattle, that are investing heavily in their port infrastructure. The port shut down the Ballantyne Pier to cruise ships in 2014, leaving Canada Place as the city's only remaining cruise terminal. Some ships, including Royal Caribbean's 3,250-passenger Explorer of the Seas, operate out of Seattle because they're too large to get under the Lions Gate Bridge. Vancouver's cruise passenger traffic grew to 827,000 passengers in 2016. The 2017 passenger count is projected to total 841,000. 

British Columbia Shines Bright at Recent 
Canadian Tourism Awards

The Canadian Tourism Awards are presented annually by TIAC to recognize success, leadership and innovation in Canada's tourism industry, and to reward those people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to showcase Canada's very best and offer travellers superior tourism experiences in Canada.

Fourteen organizations and individuals were honoured on November 29th by TIAC as recipients of the 2017 Canadian Tourism Awards. British Columbia came home with four awards.

The Air Canada Business of the Year Award

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre Event of the Year Award

The Diversey & Restaurants Canada Culinary Tourism Experience Award

The Tourism HR Tourism Employee of the Year Award
Debra Elless: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver - Vancouver

For further details, visit TIAC at:

Numbers You Need to Know

September Was a Strong Month for Tourism in British Columbia

The latest September numbers from Statistics Canada indicate 4.6% growth over the same month in 2016, with 26,478 more visitors arriving in B.C. The total year-to-date international overnight custom entries to B.C. are also up 3.1%, with 139,951 more visitors.

Approximately 10% of annual international overnight entries to British Columbia typically come in September. This September's growth is partly due to an increase in direct flights to the province, as well as B.C.'s global reputation as a world-class tourism destination.

Notable increases for September (over September 2016) include:
  • Australia - up 19.6%
  • Germany - up 18.6%
  • United States (including same-day visitors) - up 7.4%

Restaurant receipts reached $1.06 million in July, an increase of 7.0% compared to 2016. In August, total passenger volume to YVR increased by 8.2% compared to last year. For other tourism indicators, click  here .

Visa Travel Snapshot
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has partnered with Visa Canada on its fifth annual Travel Snapshot report, providing industry, partners and stakeholders insights into the spending patterns of Visa cardholders coming to Canada as international visitors as well as Canadians spending overseas. 

Click here  to download the report.

BC Ferries Releases Second Quarter Results
British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) saw the highest passenger traffic levels in the second quarter that the company has experienced in over 20 years. Vehicle traffic levels were the highest BC Ferries has ever experienced in both the second quarter and year-to-date. During this quarter, passenger and vehicle traffic increased 5.2%t compared to the same quarter in the previous year, resulting in higher revenue and contributing favourably to net earnings. 

BC Ferries' net earnings in the three months ended Sept. 30, 2017 were $98.4 million$3.2 million higher than in the three months ended Sept. 30, 2016. Year-to-date, net earnings were $115.7 million$6.5 million lower than in the same period in the prior year due to additional service and new vessels.  Due to the seasonality of ferry travel, net earnings in the first and second quarters are typically reduced by net losses in the last two quarters of the fiscal year when routine vessel maintenance is scheduled.

TIABC Welcomes New Member

Douglas College's Hospitality Management Diploma Program provides students with marketing and management principles associated with lodging and restaurant operations.

Douglas College is now the seventh educational institution to join TIABC.

Last Chance to Add Your Voice to Keeping B.C Family D ay on the Third Monday of February

B.C. Family Day is a non-religious holiday on the 2nd weekend of each February that was introduced to British Columbia in 2013. The date was selected via online ballot of B.C. residents. Because B.C. tourism destinations are heavily booked at holiday rates on the 3rd weekend of February from primarily three markets (Washington State, Alberta, Ontario), B.C. Family Day the week prior generates significant incremental tourism revenues rather than displacing business.
An industry-wide consultation process led by TIABC, Tourism Whistler, the Canada West Ski Areas Association, and other tourism partners looked at the outcome of holding B.C. Family Day on a weekend already busy with visiting families from neighbouring provinces and states and the findings overwhelmingly supported the decision to consider an alternate date (i.e. second Monday in Feb).

In view of government's intention to change  the date of B.C. Family Day, TIABC is requesting your support to keep this annual holiday on the second Monday of each February.

Please visit our website to review TIABC's  B.C. Family Day support letter addressed to Premier Horgan: 

I f your organization supports our motion, please send TIABC an email ( ) with approval to add your name to the list of signatories.

In addition to TIABC's letter, individuals, businesses and associations are encouraged to write to government to express their opinion about the date. 

While the government is still considering its options related to the retail of cannabis, they have indicated they are planning to adopt a retail model that includes both public and private stores. At this point, it is not confirmed whether the retail model would involve liquor and cannabis sales from the same retail outlets, however more details are expected in the new year.
For more information, please visit:  or email:

BC's Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC) Executive Director Jeff Guignard appeared before the Commission on November 23rd in Vancouver.  Download a copy of Jeff's remarks to the commission  here

Later this month, ABLE BC will also be submitting a detailed report to the Commission, outlining: 
a) the economic impact of minimum wage increases on your businesses
b) the importance of maintaining the liquor-server differential
c) the need to take politics out of minimum wage by establishing stable, predictable, and transparent wage rates for the future

You can help!  If you are in the Kootenay Rockies region, please consider signing up to present at the Commission's remaining regional meeting in Cranbrook: December 7 at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort from  1 pm to 3:30 pm.  Full details can be found at: 

You can also send your thoughts to the Commission by email at: If you need additional information or support, prior to contacting the Commission, please contact Jeff at:

Winter Camping in B.C. Growing in Popularity

British Columbia, particularly the  W est Coast and Southern Interior, are growing in popularity as a winter destination for RVers looking to get away from the cold and long winters in other parts of Canada. In fact, it has grown so mu ch over the last few years that some campgrounds report they will be close to capacity for the winter months.  Two such campgrounds include Nk'Mip Campground & RV Park in Osoyoos and Living Forest Oceanside Campground in Nanaimo .
To capitalize on this trend and to assist travellers looking to holiday in B.C. during the winter, either for a few days seeking access to winter activities or longer, the Camping and RVing BC Coalition is focusing its current marketing efforts towards camping in the non-traditional winter months of November 1 to March 31. An inventory of over 130 B.C. parks and private campgrounds that are open throughout the winter season are available to search on a new w inter camping page on the Camping & RV in B.C. website. The page includes a locator map, list of campgrounds with information on each one, as well as links to winter camping blogs and general information for traveling in B.C. at this time of year.

For more information, visit:

Clipper V Joins Service in 2018

Due to unexpected operational costs, Clipper will no longer be pursuing the planned Vancouver to Victoria route in 2018. Instead, the vessel Clipper V will be placed into service on their existing Seattle to Victoria route as a new fleet upgrade. 

The vessel is currently being transferred via heavy lift carrier from Germany and will arrive in the Pacific Northwest on  Dec. 16 . We will then move Clipper V into the shipyard to apply modifications ahead of a target service start date from Seattle in spring 2018.

Sustainability in Travel & Tourism Study 
University of Toronto

Kelsey Koebel, a graduate student in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program at the University of Toronto, is seeking B.C. participants to complete a 10 minute survey* r egarding the state of sustainability within the Canadian travel and tourism industry.

Knowing what businesses like yours think will make a big different in understanding how the industry defines sustainability.

Please click the following link for additional information and to access the online survey.  Many thanks in advance.

* Note: participant access closes December 15th

CITAP Launches New Website 

CITAP works to improve the business environment for Asia Pacific Inbound Tourism, through changes in the application of regulations and policy by government or government agencies. Their new responsive website was recently revealed to industry.

Recently the focus has been on four major areas:
  • Canada/China Approved Destination Status Tour Operators Accreditation Program 
  • HST: Zero-rating qualifying tour and travel services so they receive equal treatment as other Canadian Exports
  • Improved Access from Asia Pacific Inbound markets ("Open Skies"; rationalized visa issuance by Canadian authorities; trans-border policies)
  • Improved funding for marketing Canada in the Asia Pacific (CTC and other DMOs)
Check out the new website at: 

TIABC Continues to Seek Sponsors for 
Adopt-a-Student Program 

The 2018  BC Tourism Industry Conference will be offering an Adopt-A-Student Program with the goals of:
  • Ensuring more BC tourism students attend the conference
  • Ensuring these scholars begin their professional networking as early as possible
  • Assisting in connecting BC tourism students with prospective employers
  • Ensuring that the tourism students of today are prepared to assume the leadership positions within our industry in the future
  • Building career-long attendees of the conference
TIABC is seeking businesses, associations or organizations who wish to sponsor a BC tourism student to attend the conference. Sponsorship will cover the cost of registration, but not accommodation or travel to/from the event. 

To learn more, visit our website at: or download the Adopt-a-Student backgrounder.

If you are interested in sponsoring a student, please let us know at

How to Create a Sustainability Plan for Your Tourism Business 
Did you know that small to mid-sized businesses with a well-planned sustainability strategy can increase their profits by up to 51%? Based on years of research and hands-on work with a wide range of businesses, author and speaker Bob Willard has identified that if a typical company were to use best-practice sustainability approaches, it could improve its profits by at least 51% within three to five years while avoiding a potential 16% to 36% erosion of profits from doing nothing.

Th e key elements to creating a sustainability plan for your own business:
1. Form a Green Team
2. Gather your baseline data
3. Set some big, hairy, audacious goals
4. Brainstorm actions that you will get you to your goals
5. Build Your Plan

Read the full article for all the details:

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