Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

BC Tourism Industry Conference early-bird deadline is January 31st.

January 24, 2019
CEO's Message
One of my weekly highlights is Saturday mornings when I meet two of my cousins for breakfast to talk about the week that was and the week ahead, among other things. Two weeks ago I happened to mention that I was not looking forward to my first physical in over two years.

They shared a laugh at my expense after one of them mimicked a doctor putting on rubber gloves in preparation for the dreaded invasive probe. I was not amused. Then the conversation turned more serious with questions like…Why did you wait so long? Are you concerned about anything in particular? Have you noticed any changes to your health over the past couple of years?

Perhaps because I’m awaiting final results of my recent physical, I couldn’t help but draw the parallel to the presentations and conversations I heard at the Impact Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference this week in Victoria. Experts and industry leaders from across Canada (as well USA, Australia) gathered for an assessment on the health of the global visitor economy, particularly from a local environmental footprint perspective.

While a summary of the deliberations will be presented at the upcoming BC Tourism Industry Conference next month, some of the observations are worth sharing now in bullet point form to pique your interest:

·      It’s amazing what can be done when the local tourism industry and destination take responsibility for and control of their future with sustainability as a core principle;
·      More Canadian Indigenous operators are ready and willing to share their experiences and stories in the context of sustainability and stewardship of land and resources;
·      While Canada hasn’t experienced over-tourism like other destinations, we nonetheless need to take action now to avoid the negative backlash by residents against tourism so prevalent in many places around the world;
·      Among the keys to sustainable tourism practices are dispersion, dissemination and direct action;
·      Tourism in protected places can actually do more good than harm particularly when educating visitors on being good stewards and mindful of the cultural, spiritual, environmental, communal, and commercial value of the lands on which they tread;
·      As tourism professionals concerned about the impacts of climate change, we can no longer look at climate change through a tourism lens, but rather need to view tourism through a climate lens;
·      With the increasing reliance on China for worldwide tourism growth, industry is going to get bruised, especially with rampant development in many countries to accommodate millions of Chinese visitors (i.e. competition), not to mention the diplomatic issues that countries like Canada face that could translate into a declining Chinese market;
·      Destinations around the world are, or need to become, even more focussed on the management component of the traditional DMO structure (i.e. DM MO);
·     Hopefully sooner than later there will be no need to specifically reference sustainable tourism. Sustainability and tourism will be mutually inclusive;
·      Similarly, hopefully sooner than later, accessibility for people/travellers of all disabilities will be a given and not an afterthought;
·      Tourism is growing way faster than we anticipated and in some respects we’re not prepared;
·      Industry is good at responding to emergencies, but we need to get better at helping to prevent crises;
·      Traveling with a purpose will take hold in a more profound way;
·      While the notion of over-tourism has garnered international media and public attention, the term is used as a buzzword and is casting a decidedly negative impression of the tourism industry. We need to change our practices and narrative to incorporate responsible, respectable, and conscious tourism; and
·      The number of women in tourism leadership positions continues to grow.

To be sure, there is much more context and detail behind each of these statements, some of which will be provided at BC TIC 2019 or via the Impact strategy paper to be published sometime this summer.

Suffice it to say, if the points raised at Impact were blood test results from a physical, a doctor might diagnose a number of serious problems and prescribe medication or procedures as a remedy. On the other hand, she might pronounce you reasonably healthy provided you make some adjustments to get back on track and/or prevent long-term permanent damage. In either case, expert analysis and subsequent solutions are always helpful whether shared publicly or privately.

A destination assessment or personal physical of any kind is usually a wake-up call, especially as we mature (i.e. get older). I certainly received a dose of both this week.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, thankfully I’m healthy overall other than a recently developed perfume and cologne allergy that causes a gagging/swallowing reflex, as well as advanced hearing loss in my left ear…neither of which I can do anything about. My doctor said to look on the bright side…I now have a legitimate excuse for not buying my wife perfume or laughing at my cousin’s lame jokes.

Walt Judas
Expedia Group President & CEO
Mark Okerstrom to Open
BC Tourism Industry Conference

Mr. Okerstrom will speak about the extremely competitive environment in which Expedia operates. How do they stay ahead of the curve, anticipate demand, and generate results for investors, partners and consumers? Okerstrom will also participate in a Q&A. His presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27th at 1pm.

As president and CEO of Expedia Group, Inc., Okerstrom heads up a portfolio of over 200 of the world’s leading online travel sites and related travel services across 75 countries around the globe including Expedia, Hotels.com, Expedia Partner Solutions, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, CheapTickets, ebookers, CarRentals.com, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Wotif, Egencia, HomeAway and trivago. Okerstrom is a member of the Board of Directors of Expedia Group and also is a member of the Supervisory Board of Directors of trivago N.V.
Early-bird Conference Registration Underway
Qualify to win a trip for two from Vancouver to Victoria courtesy of Helijet Airways and Hotel Grand Pacific
Early-bird registration for the BC Tourism Industry Conference, which takes place from February 27th to March 1st in Vancouver, is underway until January 31st.

All early-bird registrants will be entered into a draw to win a trip for two from Vancouver to Victoria that includes return flights on Helijet and two nights stay at Hotel Grand Pacific.

Conference registration:

(39 Smithe Street, Vancouver) is the official host venue for the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference.

Conference Group Rate: $219/night for Single/Double Occupancy
The special guestroom rates will be available until January 27th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Accommodation booking: book.passkey.com
Support BC's Tourism Students
TIABC is seeking sponsors for the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference Adopt-a-Student program. A few hundred dollars can enable a full-time student in BC to experience the conference and meet potential future employers.

Thanks to Destination BC, Tourism Richmond, Elysian Projects and Rocky Mountaineer who have committed to sponsoring a student for this year's conference. In addition to TIABC's sponsorship, at least five tourism students are eligible for event sponsorship.

Visit our website for more information or contact us at info@tiabc.ca

Download the BC TIC App
Start Your Conference Networking Early!

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.

Download the app:
TIABC Welcomes New Members
Noise Digital aims to maximize the ever-expanding opportunities that data and technology provide. The team at Noise Digital believe that their clients’ data must inform creative, content distribution, and media buying strategies that will unlock new opportunities and brand experiences.
Cranbrook Tourism builds tourism in Cranbrook through marketing and capacity development by attracting more visitors to the region, growing the visitor economy and contributing to improved quality of life for residents.
P rince of Whales Whale & Marine Wildlife Adventures Partners With Telegraph Cove Resort 

This new partnership ensures the long-term stability of whale watching and eco-tourism at Telegraph Cove Resort. Prince of Whales Whale & Marine Wildlife Adventures has made a long-term commitment to the North Island including enhanced eco-tourism opportunities along with new funding to support orca conservation and scientific research.

Built in 1979 and refined over the past 40 years by the Graham Family, Telegraph Cove Resort has grown and positioned itself as the number one travel destination for visitors to the north end of Vancouver Island. Today the resort can accommodate up to 500 guests and has 130 moorage slips in its marina. Its unique position at the north entrance to Johnstone Strait allows amazing access to an assortment of small coastal islands, first nations communities, and is a jumping off point for many forms of eco-tourism. It is also home to the one of a kind Telegraph Cove Whale Interpretive Centre which houses reconstructed skeletons of a wide variety of whales and other marine mammals.

Prince of Whales will begin operations at TCR on May 1st, 2019 with one of the Ocean Magic vessels.

Helijet Supports Power To Be With New Partnership

Helijet International and Power To Be are pleased to announce a new partnership that expands upon Helijet’s existing support of the non-profit organization with new financial assistance and an in-kind sponsorship program.

Power To Be helps people living with a barrier or disability to access inclusive adventures in nature. Year-round programming includes hiking, kayaking, surfing and more for youth and adults. The aim is to give participants the opportunity to get outdoors, experience nature for themselves and help them discover who they are and what they’re capable of.

Complete the Tourism Outlook and Issues Survey

The survey seeks to identify the issues that are affecting tourism businesses across Canada including those related to labour. The survey also asks about recent performance of your business including your expectations for the coming years.

The findings of the survey will be used to advance the issues facing the industry to various stakeholders including governments. 

The survey will take 10-15 minutes of your time. If you need to stop before you are finished, you can return to the place where you left off by clicking on the link in your invitation email and logging back into the survey. All responses are confidential and anonymous and will only be reported in aggregate. 

Have You Taken the Survey?

Your Input Is Vital to the Success of This Study

Deadline Extended to January 31st

Destination British Columbia and the regional tourism associations invite you to participate in the 2017/18 Wildfires and Floods Impact Study being conducted by R.A, Malatest & Associates Ltd. The purpose of this survey is to learn the collective impact the wildfires and floods have had on tourism businesses in the past two years. All British Columbia tourism businesses are invited to share their experience, regardless of the level of impact (if at all) on their business.
The information you share will be used in aggregate to assess the viability of proceeding with a provincial-wide economic impact study to ensure provincial representation across different business types. As such, this survey will ask you to assess business impacts on employment, revenue, and occupancy, using percentages, for both 2017 and 2018. Therefore we strongly recommend that you have your business records to refer to when completing the survey.
Once all responses have been collected and analyzed, a summary of the results will be shared via Destination BC’s industry newsletter, and through each of the regional tourism partners and TIABC.
All responses are anonymous and will only be reported in aggregate. 
We anticipate that the survey will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete, based on your responses. Please complete and submit the survey as soon as possible, and no later than the end of the day on January 31st.

Click here to begin survey  www.DBCimpactstudy.malatest.net

If you have any questions or concerns with the administration of this survey, please feel free to contact R.A, Malatest & Associates Ltd. at  destinationbcstudy@malatest.com  or 1-855-412-1936.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate in this important research study.
Parks Canada Seeks Input on Proposed Fee Changes

Parks Canada manages an extensive world-class system of protected natural and cultural heritage areas where Canadians and people from around the globe can go to experience the best that Canada has to offer.

Parks Canada announced three updates to user fees, beginning in 2020. The first is a minor fee adjustment of 2.2% to Parks Canada fees based on the Consumer Price Index and in accordance with the Government of Canada  Service Fees Act .

Second, due to a significant increase in their visitor offer in recent years, and to align with Parks Canada’s national pricing model, admission fees at 24 national parks and historic sites will be adjusted beginning January 1, 2020.

Finally, in order to ensure that Parks Canada always provides exceptional visitor experiences, the agency has launched a public consultation on fees for optional value-added services and amenities like guided tours and programs, transit services, special event permits, golf, and access to hot springs. This feedback will help inform future pricing decisions to ensure a fair fee for services that offer a high-value benefit for visitors. Any changes resulting from this public engagement would not be implemented until 2021.
It is important to note that leases are not part of the changes announced.
Tourism industry players are also invited to take part in the consultation as Parks Canada intends to adjust pricing and definitions for travel trade to be better aligned with industry standards.
Canadians are encouraged to share their views  online  by February 15th.

Tourism Vancouver Workshops

Five Conversations That Matter with Christine McLeod
Tuesday, January 29th from 8:30am - 11:30am 
Sutton Place Hotel | 845 Burrard St. 

Tourism Vancouver is thrilled to once again partner with Christine McLeod to offer an educational session designed to help you put your best foot forward. Christine led the hugely popular session "The Leader Within" in 2018 and we are pleased to offer a continuation in the series with 'Five Conversations That Matter'. 

Workshop: Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity
Thursday, February 21st |8:00am - 11:30am 
Vancouver Convention Centre East

This session will focus on vulnerability of visitors during major events in the city and the value of preparedness for businesses serving visitors in Vancouver.

Speakers will present insights on destination-wide response in Vancouver as well as education on individual business response and building or refining plans.

Speaker: John Gonzalez, VP & GM of the George R. Brown Convention centre in Houston has managed the convention centre through two hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Harvey (2017) with differing response needs. 

The City of Vancouver Office of Emergency Management and the Canadian Red Cross will also present. 

Premium Members: Complimentary  
Standard Members: $45+GST 
Non-Members: $60+GST 

Registration open soon!

Learn more at: vancouver.dmplocal.com
TIABC Members Receive Discounted Pricing to Upcoming Art of Leadership for Women

This unique one-day conference features a remarkable collection of world leaders, business icons and bestselling authors including Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, International Bestselling Author and Founder of Malala Fund,

Early Bird Offer - Save $100
Register before February 1st using promo code TIABC33 and save $100 per pass.

Numbers You Need to Know
International Tourist Arrivals Reach 1.4 Billion
Two Years Ahead of Forecasts

UNWTO estimates that worldwide international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased 6% to 1.4 billion in 2018, clearly above the 3.7% growth registered in the global economy.

UNWTO’s long-term forecast published in 2010 predicted the 1.4 billion mark of international tourist arrivals for 2020. Yet stronger economic growth, more affordable air travel, technological changes, new businesses models, and greater visa facilitation around the word have accelerated growth in recent years.
Kelowna Becomes 10th Busiest Airport in Canada
Kelowna International Airport served 2.08 million passengers, a 31% increase over three years ago. It also became the 10th busiest airport in Canada. Each month had an increase in passengers, ranging between three and 19%. December was the busiest month with almost 211,000 passengers.
Ferry Connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola Expected to set Sail This Summer
BC Ferries has confirmed the Northern Sea Wolf will set sail its first in-service route in central coast waters on May 18th. The first scheduled sailing for Route 28 – direct service from Port Hardy to Bella Coola – is slated to begin on June 3rd.
Cooperative Marketing Program Proves Successful
A successful cooperative marketing program assisted businesses along the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake route to catch the attention of an increasing number of visitors. In 2018, The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route tourism campaign launched to provide an opportunity for almost 100 local businesses, organizations, and attractions along the route to collaboratively showcase their wares to visitors. 
Travel Penticton welcomes Karen Davy
Travel Penticton is pleased to announce that Karen Davy has joined the Travel Penticton team. Karen will assume the role of Member Services & Marketing Manager and is an amazing advocate for Penticton .
Significant Upgrades made to Wawadiťła, an Indigenous Cultural Treasure at the Royal BC Museum

Thanks to funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Royal BC Museum has recently installed a new cedar roof on Wawadiťła, known to many as the Mungo Martin House.
Wawadiťła was constructed by the world-renowned artist Mungo Martin, Kwakwaka'wakw Chief Nakap’ankam , in 1953. Located steps from the museum, near the corner of Belleville and Douglas streets, Wawadiťła is a cultural and architectural landmark, a favoured spot for visitor photos and, most importantly, an embodiment of the rights and privileges of Martin’s family. 
The traditional hereditary rights of Wawadiťła are now the property of Martin’s great-grandson ´Walas ´Namugwis, Chief David Knox of Fort Rupert . Wawadiťła is an Indigenous-run space that operates under the stewardship of the Royal BC Museum. It houses significant Indigenous house posts, carvings, painted curtains, a dance screen and a log drum.
The museum’s Indigenous and Repatriation Department has consulted with the Knox family at every stage during the roof replacement. The Knox family is also consulted whenever Indigenous communities request to use the house for ceremonial purposes. 
Canadian Heritage provided $157,670 for the project to replace the roof, which reflected the original design from 1953. The new roof consists of a metal roof sandwiched between two layers of wood, maintaining the cultural and aesthetic elements of the building.
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, Kelowna

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