January 19, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

CEO's Message

Because it's my first formal communiqué of 2017, I trust it's not too late to wish you a Happy New Year. Aside from the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump tomorrow, the next few weeks and months promise to be intriguing on a number of fronts, not the least of which is an impending election right here at home.
The stakes are high for British Columbia's visitor economy. As noted in previous newsletters, regions and communities around the province have enjoyed record-setting results over the past couple of years and operators are eager to carry on the momentum.
Consequently, there's never been a more important time for our industry to come together to celebrate our successes, to learn from experts and our colleagues, to address local and global issues that could hamper growth, to develop partnerships to achieve new marks, to explore new opportunities, and to build relationships that form the cornerstone of our collective accomplishments.
Admittedly, I'm making a pitch for you to attend the BC Tourism Industry Conference (BC TIC) in Victoria next month. More importantly, please register soon if you haven't done so already.
The truth is, we need as many delegates as we can accommodate, not only to show decision-makers that BC tourism matters, but also to ensure that TIABC is able to continue its advocacy work and address issues on behalf of 19,000 tourism operators and 274,000 full-time equivalent employees throughout the province.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the BC Tourism Industry Conference is one of only two ways that TIABC generates annual operating revenue...the other being membership dues. So, the more registered delegates at the conference (i.e. net revenue), the more resources we have to invest in our work throughout the rest of the year.
If BC tourism matters to you, and the need and value of advocacy is something you believe in, please support us by becoming a TIABC member and/or attending the conference (on a related note, we've reached a three-year high in membership).
Okay, I've made my pitch. With that, let me conclude by saying that I look forward to seeing you at BC TIC 2017.  Among other things, it will be fun to talk about President Trump's first month in office, and the blood sport known as BC politics.

Walt Judas, CEO

TIABC Welcomes Nine New Members


Register By January 30 For Best Conference and Hotel Rates, Plus a Chance to Win a Trip on Helijet

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with other tourism businesses, communities and government leaders - share ideas, ask questions, network, learn, explore and have fun.

Early-Bird registration extended to January 30, 2017


Nice Nanaimo November Numbers!
In the more than 20 years that Chemistry Consulting has been producing the Nanaimo Tourism Bulletin, November occupancy rates have never exceeded 60% -so the November 2015 occupancy rate of 65% represents a notable increase in visitor activity in what is generally one of the slower tourism months of the year. November also saw very strong growth at the Nanaimo Airport (+12%) and the Vancouver Island Conference Centre (+19%). Although Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay ferry counts are down somewhat, when these counts are added to the Tsawwassen to Duke Point numbers, the results show overall increases of 4.5% in the number of vehicles and 4.9% in the number of passengers.

Snowmobiling By the Numbers
As most parts of the country are blanketed with snow, snowmobile enthusiasts are busy hitting the trails. There are few places in the world that are blessed with our country's excellent conditions for snowmobiling. Which is why, in 2015, snowmobile activity contributed an estimated $8 billion of economic activity and approximately 41,000 full-time jobs in Canada. This popular winter activity helps to boost the local economies along the thousands of kilometres of trails in Canada, mostly in rural areas. Retail, restaurants, accommodations, trail maintenance, services and manufacturing all benefit from visiting snowmobilers.

BC Ferries Welcomes New Salish Class Vessels

Over the next year, BC Ferries will be retiring the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby from its fleet. These two vessels were built in 1964 and 1965 respectively, and will have served their communities for over 50 years by the time they're retired.

To replace these vessels, BC Ferries will be introducing the Salish Class Ferries.  The  Salish Orca  arrived in Canada in January 2017, after a 50-day 10,440 nautical mile journey, and will enter service on the Comox-Powell River route following several months of crew training. 

Work continues on the Salish Eagle  and the Salish Raven  with both vessels scheduled to arrive in Canada this spring and to enter service on the Southern Gulf Islands routes later in 2017.

Read more at:

Parks Canada Seeks Input
The Honourable Catherine McKenna - Minister responsible for Parks Canada - kayaking in Thousand Islands National Park.

The Government of Canada recently announced the launch of Let's Talk Parks, Canada! to invite Canadians to provide their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing Parks Canada.

As it is essential that Parks Canada is aware of the importance of providing quality visitor experiences, this is a great opportunity to provide them with insight on ways that they can continually improve their services. Visit  letstalkparkscanada.ca  for more information and to provide your input.

Avalanche Awareness - be safe and have fun

There is an increasing number of backcountry users who are unaware of the avalanche phenomenon and unaware of the accident-prevention products and services available to them. As such, these people are unprepared for avalanche terrain and unknowingly exposing themselves to avalanche risk, which has resulted in fatalities over the past few years.
Avalanches are a natural part of the winter mountain environment; they are also the deadliest natural hazard in Canada, killing more people annually than all other natural hazards combined. This brochure offers a simple "wake-up" message, with guidelines on how to identify potential hazard and pointing users to further information."
"Unaware" brochures from Avalanche Canada can be ordered by sending requests to eyoung@avalanche.ca
For more information and avalanche warnings please visit: www.avalanche.ca
For additional information about getting outdoors and being safe visit AdventureSmart BC:  www.adventuresmart.ca

Destination Canada Updates

Destination Canada's 16th Annual Public Meeting highlights the Power of Partnerships
On November 29, 2016 in Gatineau, Destination Canada held its 16th Annual Public Meeting in advance of the kickoff to the  Tourism Industry Association of Canada National Congress. 

Destination Canada's Board Chair, Olga Ilich, opened proceedings with an overview of the  2015 annual report . President and CEO David Goldstein then took the stage and gave a detailed presentation including updates on performance in Destination Canada's key international markets. David Goldstein's presentation can be viewed here

Destination Canada, alon gwith the Canadian chapter of the  Travel and Tourism Research Association,  are requesting proposals to investigate the evolution of Canada's tourism brands. Learn more here.


Did you know international visitors to Canada spent almost 12% more in quarter three 2016 than quarter three 2015? That's $819 million more than 2015 to Canadian tourism businesses. For these insights and more, take a look at the  National Tourism Indicators .

Further details are available through Statistics Canada, highlighting the following:
  • Tourism spending by Canadians increases at fastest pace in five years
  • Spending by international visitors rises
  • Tourism gross domestic product up
Destination Canada November 2016 Tourism Snapshot

Green Tourism Canada Survey  

Green Tourism has partnered with the Tourism Industry Associations of Canada, British Columbia and Ontario to bring sustainability education to tourism operators across the nation.  
Green Tourism wants to ensure that this information is valuable to you. This survey asks what topics would be of most interest so that we can create articles, webinars, workshops and other learning resources that will help you create a more sustainable business or organization. 

Please take a few moments to tell us what matters to you!

2017 - International Year of Sustainable Tourism  

Decreed by the United Nations, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism is intended to provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses to create lasting and positive change and economic growth in the communities they operate within. Sustainable Tourism is about conserving ecosystems for future exploration, providing jobs within the community, and it is certainly about preserving and sharing cultural values, diversity, and heritage.

" 2017 presents a unique opportunity to explore and highlight tourism's potential to help transform our world into a place of prosperity and wellbeing for all." - The United Nations

The UN has laid out a  roadmap for success and it starts simple:
  • Advocacy and awareness-raising: talk it up! Get the word out that sustainable tourism can have a huge impact on society and the environment and that as it turns out, it creates more functional and prosperous economies. Go figure!
  • Knowledge creation and dissemination: promote the tools necessary to monitor and measure your business's positive (and negative) impacts and get that information out there.
Some bigger ticket action items to think about in this new year...
  • Policymaking: get behind national tourism policies that encourage holistic approaches to tourism development and promote evidence-based policies that advance your business's contribution to sustainable development.
  • Capacity-building & education: consider supporting and possibly implementing educational strategies that promote the contribution of your tourism business to development.
Take the Green Tourism Canada  quiz and discover some of our favourite tools for measuring success and taking action.

(Too much?) Let's make 2017 the year we tackle our eco-to-do-lists, cut out the greenwashing, and make real and lasting change in our industry. After all, with all the benefits of sustainable tourism on development and business, what really is the downside?


Small Business BC  Updates
January Seminars, Webinars and Ask the Expert Series
Small Business BC has published their What's Happening This January seminars and webinars highlights article (http://sbbc.co/janedu2017) to showcase many new, free and returning courses that are available to entrepreneurs. As a reminder, they are offering 15% off all seminars, webinars, and package registrations until January 13, 2017 with promo code WINEDU17.
Canada-B.C. Job Grant
Small Business BC has two staff advisors for the  Canada-B.C. Job Grant program who can help small business owners access up to $15,000 for job skills training.
For small business owners, training employees can be one of the most challenging and expensive parts of expanding operations. The Canada-B.C. Job Grant is a program that assists BC employers to invest in employee training, with the total training cost split between the employer and the government. 

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