Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

BC Tourism Industry Conference - it's not too late to register!

February 21, 2019
CEO's Message
Earlier today I delivered one of my most important presentations since joining TIABC nearly four years ago. I was invited by the Province’s Emerging Economy Task Force (EETF) to discuss the future of tourism in British Columbia.

By way of background, EETF was set up last summer to examine the current state of BC’s economy with a view to providing analysis and advice on emerging trends, including transformative technologies and innovations that will change the nature of business and society over the next five, 10 or 25 years.

To focus my 20-minute presentation, I was asked to address four questions:
1.     How will current and emerging trends drive change in the tourism industry over the next 5-25 years?
2.     What is the tourism industry doing now to adapt?
3.     How will the tourism industry adjust to future labour force needs?
4.     What does the tourism industry need to be successful over the next 10-25 years?

Talk about broad but difficult questions to answer. As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future."

Thankfully many industry leaders I consulted with provided insights into what BC’s visitor economy might look like into 2040 and beyond. Without delving into too much detail, allow me to share a small sampling of the many points I raised (in no particular order) to address the aforementioned questions.

·      The tourism economy has morphed from predominantly providing services (e.g. transportation dining, accommodation), to delivering experiences;
·      Travel experiences have usurped material goods as a priority for today’s growing middle-class and next generation;
·      While the tourism industry was traditionally geared toward the baby boomer market, the present and future is aimed at millennials;
·      It’s clearly a buyer’s market for today’s travellers;
·      While over-tourism is a growing concern for many popular destinations, remote or rural destinations could also experience problems in future as more visitors seek off-the-beaten path or backcountry experiences;
·      With an aging population and fewer younger people entering the workforce, tourism operators could be faced with reducing, eliminating or automating services, and competing for staff daily within a growing mobile/gig workforce; and
·      It’s expected that technology will change more in the next two years than in the last century. While hard to fathom, consider the next evolution of artificial intelligence, personal (voice-activated) assistants, ubiquitous WiFi, automated transportation, smart cities and airports, drone technology, blockchain, and more to appreciate where tourism is headed.

I’m sure you’ll agree that tourism is one business sector that continues to adapt and embrace new technologies as a means to survival, sustainability, profitability and service. In fact, tourism and technology are virtually synonymous. Many in our industry feel that the sky’s the limit when it comes to what’s possible through technology…and I’m not talking about space tourism.

Renowned astronomer Simon Newcomb once said, “Flights by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” If you stop and think about, his observation seemed reasonable more than 100 years ago. Even today, watching a 787 fly overhead seems illogical. But so does the probability of personal electric flying machines within the next decade that residents and visitors will use to move within or between destinations.

Of course there are multiple conditions and factors that influence trends and plans. At the same time, our industry must embrace the possibilities and opportunities now to prepare for BC’s emerging economy within the next five years and beyond.

As Yogi Berra wisely observed, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

My thanks to the Emerging Economy Task Force for recognizing BC ‘s tourism industry as an important and viable sector that will help shape the future of our province’s economy.

I look forward to seeing you among the 500 delegates at next week’s BC Tourism Industry Conference in Vancouver. It promises to be another informative, engaging, fun and beneficial event.

Walt Judas

BC Provincial Budget Update

The BC Provincial Budget was presented February 19.

While a new formula funding model for Destination British Columbia (DBC) was not included in the budget, government did provide its lead tourism marketing agency with a boost of $1 million annually on top of its $51.5 million base budget to continue efforts to attract domestic and international visitors to BC. This additional funding commitment to DBC will help ensure BC’s visitor economy continues on a positive trajectory for the foreseeable future.

TIABC acknowledges the Province’s commitment to continue its $39 million, three-year investment in the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) to fund infrastructure projects that support tourism in communities throughout British Columbia.

As part of its 2019 budget, the Province committed $9 million over three years to execute on commitments to enable ride-sharing and modernize the taxi industry, the latter of which TIABC has also supported alongside its member - the BC Taxi Association.

To view the latest TIABC press release, please visit our website:

Thank You to Our Industry Partners and Conference Gold and Diamond Level Sponsors

Air Canada is the preferred airline of the BC Tourism Industry Conference
Pre-Conference Workshop Opportunity

Wednesday, February 27th
9:00 - 11:30 am
JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
Defining the Future of Tourism Skills
Join Tourism HR Canada for an engaging, interactive session to discuss critical labour issues. Existing labour shortages are expected to worsen over the coming years and could be exacerbated if skills mismatches and employment gaps are not addressed. This session is a component of a much larger project that will see the development of a comprehensive FUTURE SKILLS FRAMEWORK that looks to redress the skills and labour mismatches and provide interactive resources that will assist job seekers, employers, educators and governments to better understand the skills and competencies employers are looking for and to assist job seekers in identifying the skills they have and how they relate to specific employment opportunities.
If you are interested in joining the session on February 27, 2019 from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, please email Chris McDonald at  cmcdonald@tourismhr.ca
Conference Session Spotlight

BC's B usiness Experts Review the Year Ahead

If you're uncertain about your business prospects and the economy right now, you're not alone. Despite leading growth in Canada and near historic unemployment, there are signs that BC's economy is softening. Throw in a federal election (and Alberta election), strained relations with China and other factors, it's easy to wonder about what comes next.

Join BC's business experts for a discussion on what lies ahead for the province, and how these and other issues will impact BC's visitor economy. This session will include research results from the BC Chamber's Collective Perspective annual economic pulse-check, the BC Business Council's economic outlook, and of course deep insight from the Mustel Group.  
Jock Finlayson
Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the Business Council of British Columbia
Evi Mustel
Owner and President of Mustel Group, a Vancouver-based market and opinion research company.
Val Litwin
President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce
BCTIC Host Venue Featured in Article on Retaining Employees with Disabilities

Parq Vancouver has had considerable success in hiring and retaining people with disabilities—22% of the property is staffed through their inclusive hiring program. “It’s working, it really is working,” said HR Director Jasmine Marchant. “It’s not as hard as people might think. Your organization first needs to make a commitment to hiring people with different abilities, set a goal, and build relationships in your local community. It’s a great way to recruit a new group of employees into the workplace.”

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You can have the the entire conference at your finger tips when you download the app. Keep track of the conference agenda, connect with other attendees, receive updates, post comments, read speaker bios and more.

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Tourism Jobs in the TV Spotlight – Take Advantage of this Promotion!
Tourism Jobs Front and Centre on Global TV! go2HR – BC’s tourism human resource association – has secured ads on Global TV to promote jobs in BC’s tourism industry. The ads, on Global BC and BC 1, will run until March 3rd and and earn an estimated 620,000 impressions across BC.

In addition, go2HR will be running digital ads on social media to amplify this campaign. Both mediums will point viewers to visit the go2HR Job Board. How do you take advantage of this amount of exposure? Place your job postings on go2HR’s free, tourism-only job board. This would be the perfect opportunity to increase awareness for your company and recruit for your summer or permanent positions.

Posting jobs on the go2HR Job Board is easy. Create a user account and company profile (if you don’t have one already), and simply follow this step-by-step video. go2HR also put together some tips on creating effective job postings. Jobs are published automatically on the job board so you can do this anytime you want.

If you are screaming for staff, let go2HR help spread the word. We’re very excited about this opportunity, so post your jobs today.

To learn more about this campaign or if you need help with the job board, contact go2HR at jobs@go2hr.ca.
How has Recreational Cannabis Legalization Changed your Workplace?

Join go2HR for a webinar: Coming Down from the High – How has Recreational Cannabis Legalization Changed your Workplace?
Apply the discount code “tiabc” to register for free.

Cannabis has been legalized for nearly four months. What kind of changes have you observed at your

Join go2HR at the next webinar with a discussion on the evolving legal landscape, how and when to accommodate staff, restrictions on testing and more. A legal expert will answer your questions
pertaining to how to implement an effective f it for duty policy and how to detect impairment.

Feb. 27th from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Details and registration: http://bit.ly/2X4IRry
If you have any questions, please email go2HR at safety@go2hr.ca
LGBT+ Inclusion Training Session

CGLCC, Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Tourism HR Canada (THRC), will be conducting an  LGBT+ Inclusion Training  session for the tourism industry in Kelowna on March 13th.
The global LGBT+ travel market is valued at more than US$200B annually. Canadian destinations are well positioned to grow their share of this market.  But in order to be successful, destinations and operators must ensure that LGBT+ customers feel welcome and accepted, and are served in a way that exceeds their expectations.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canada’s tourism industry in becoming LGBT+ market-ready and in promoting Canada’s destinations and tourism products to the LGBT+ travel market internationally. 
To support those efforts in developing market-ready product, CGLCC’s  LGBT+ Inclusion Training for the Tourism Industry  helps tourism-based businesses learn about LGBT+ inclusion and how to effectively understand, value, and serve LGBT+ customers  and employees . It includes both an online module and a four-hour in-person workshop.
CGLCC is offering the training to our industry stakeholders at a special price of $59.95 per participant (regular $234.95). 
For more information, please email tourism@cglcc.ca , or visit www.cglcc.ca/tourism
Tourism Hill Days

Another successful Tourism Hill Days concluded in Ottawa. On February 4 & 5, TIAC led a coalition of members, PTTIA representatives, and key stakeholders for a series of meetings, issues briefings and activities to keep tourism top of mind for government and MPs - a carefully timed effort that met Parliament Hill just a few weeks ahead of the upcoming federal budget.

United under the message #TourismMatters, Hill Day participants held over 20 meetings, advocating for Canada’s $97.4 billion tourism sector, with specific asks in four priority areas, as addressed in TIAC's pre-budget submission: marketing funding, access, labour, and cost competitiveness.

Highlights from Hill Days include:
  • The Parliamentary Tourism Caucus (PTC) on Feb. 4. TIAC President and CEO Charlotte Bell, together with Meetings Means Business Canada and industry representatives called on government to address tourism pressing issues. Around 20 MPs, including the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development were in attendance;
  • TIAC’s Hill Day reception guest of honour was The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie who spoke of the importance of tourism as a major economic driver for Canada;
  • Additionally, the reception hosted 70 Parliamentarians and tourism representatives including The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, with snaps shared across Canada thanks to an interactive social media corner that sparked plenty of fun and interactions amongst attendees;
  • Hill Days generated major buzz on social media, with nearly 20,000 Twitter impressions over two days. TIAC’s message echoed across Canada under the hashtag #TourismMatters.
Wilderness Tourism Association Update

The Wilderness Tourism Association of BC held its 20 th Annual General meeting at Royal Roads University on January 18 and 19 th , 2019. The meeting was attended by 24 members and guests. The agenda included a day and a half meeting covering the business meeting and four workshops that focused on issues significant to wilderness tourism operators. Topics included: Indigenous Community Relationship Building, Using Corporate Social Responsibility to Future Proof your Business, Building Resilience in Wilderness Tourism Industry, Deep Dive into Adventure Travel, Trends in Adventure Travel.

The 2017-18 Fiscal year saw and increase in WTA membership and board activity on files important to the membership. Advocacy actions focused on changes to open net fish farming policy and tenuring, forest practices regulations and policies, Parks Park use permit administration and tenure allocation practices.
The long awaited launch of the new WTA website occurred late in the calendar year along with the start of two surveys: Membership Focus and Coastal Marine Tourism Operators. The information gathered in these surveys will be used for representing tourism interests in the Federal marine planning protected areas process currently underway as well as informing provincial policy and land use decision making.

A new board and executive was elected on January 18.

Numbers You Need to Know
Forbes Names Top Ski Resorts
Forbes has named their top 10 ski resorts In North America for 2019 and two BC resorts made the cut: Whistler Blackcomb at 7, and Whitewater at 9. 
Destination BC’S New Digital Asset Management System Launched January 31st
Find images, b-roll, and videos, as well as BC travel stories, maps, and more. The content is available to the tourism industry and travel media for use in the promotion of travel in British Columbia.
Heritage Week February 18 to 24
Every year Heritage BC marks Heritage Week with a poster that is sent throughout the province to libraries, schools, municipal offices and politicians. We encourage everyone in the heritage sector to participate in Heritage Week by organizing an event that showcases local heritage and involves the public. In BC, Heritage Week is the third full week in February.
ITAC Outlines 2019 Priorities
After already exceeding all economic growth targets for 2021, The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has launched its 2019-2024 list of priorities to continue their exceptional growth through 2019.
2021 Census of Population Dissemination Consultation
Statistics Canada is conducting a public consultation on the 2021 Census of Population. The online consultation questionnaire is designed to give data users an opportunity to provide feedback on dissemination strategies used for the 2016 Census of Population product and service line. Please submit your completed questionnaire by March 31st.
Upcoming Industry Events
February 27 - March 1
JW Marriott Parq Hotel, Vancouver

March 28-30, Kelowna

April 8-9, Kelowna

April 24-26, Whistler

October 23-24, Nanaimo

November 12-14, Kelowna

January 19-22, 2020, Victoria

Send us your event listings and we can include it on our list!
Learn More About TIABC