January 4, 2018
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message

Happy New Year! Now that the holidays are over (although many in our industry worked over Christmas to welcome guests from all over the world), it's back to the tasks at hand for TIABC's Board and staff.
Late last year we surveyed our members and stakeholders to learn their views and opinions on issues that mattered most and to affirm TIABC's priorities for the next 12 months.
By way of context, our response rate was 50% higher than the 2016 survey and statistically significant. What's more, almost all of our sector partners responded on behalf of their membership, as did the majority of our DMO members from across the province. We also welcomed input from a good mix of member and non-member businesses.  Suffice it to say, we were very encouraged by industry engagement in the survey while at the same time recognizing that the rankings of issues are clearly skewed depending on who participated by membership category and region.
A quick analysis of the results by our Policy Committee and Board shows that while the results were not surprising, many of the top issues are aligned with current government priorities.  To that end, by working together, I believe we can resolve many of these challenges to benefit British Columbia's tourism industry and the economy overall.
Here is a top-line summary for your interest and perusal.
On a scale of 1-5 (5=most important), the top advocacy issues by category of most importance to respondents were:
  • Transportation and access                                    = 4.30
  • Labour                                                                   = 4.22
  • Marketing                                                               = 4.16
  • Product/destination development                          = 4.15
  • Natural resources/environment                             = 4.09
  • Tax reform                                                             = 3.50
On a scale of 1-5 (5 = most important), the top specific issues were:
  • Formula funding for DBC                                      = 4.13
  • Short-term vacation rentals                                   = 4.03
  • Temporary foreign worker program reform            = 3.95
  • Minimum wage                                                      = 3.88
  • Climate change                                                     = 3.83
  • Crisis planning and response                               = 3.80
  • Land tenure and usage                                         = 3.78
  • NAFTA                                                                   = 3.43
  • Airport privatization                                                = 3.38
  • Family Day                                                            = 3.32
  • Pipeline expansion                                                = 3.24
  • CRA campground assessments                            = 3.24
  • Marijuana legalization                                           = 3.32
  • Cruise expansion                                                   = 3.09
  • Carbon pricing                                                       = 3.07
In comparison to our 2016 survey, there were virtually no significant statistical differences except for the issue of short-term vacation rentals (48% to 40.3% YoY), while all other issues remained within 5% year-over-year.
For complete results, please see the detailed report in the Members-only section of our website.
On behalf of the TIABC team, thank you for assisting us in defining our marching orders for 2018, as well as for your support of our efforts and membership in TIABC. If you aren't yet a member, we look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

Early-bird Registration Open 
With a Chance to Win a Fabulous Big White Prize!


March 7-9, 2018 in Kelowna



Register now and book your room at the Delta Hotel Grand Ok anagan Resort to secure your spot. 


Valemount, B.C., looks to Whistler for Lessons as Ski Resort Speculation Prompts Affordability Fears
Photo credit: Valemount Glacier Destinations Ltd.
With out-of-town investors cashing in on cheap vacation homes, the village of Valemount is looking for ways to remain affordable to year-round residents.  The  pending construction of the Valemount Glacier Destination Resort , slated to open in 2020, has attracted new money to the village located roughly 120 kilometres west of Jasper. 
The proposed site for the Valemount Glacier Destination Resort is in the Cariboo Mountains.  It's also prompted fears over affordability as the small community prepares to become B.C.'s newest resort town.

Rules That Limit Boat Noise Off B.C. Coast Are Helping Endangered Killer Whales
Photo credit: Elaine Thompson, Associated Press
American regulations that limit vessel noise and traffic around endangered killer whales off the West Coast are working, a new study says.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said in its review of regulations adopted in 2011 that the changes are benefiting southern resident orcas without having negative effects on the local whale watching and tourism industries.

The southern residents that ply the waters off British Columbia and Washington State are listed as endangered species in the United States and a species at risk in Canada.

The last census in July showed there were just 77 whales in the three pods that make up the population known to use the Salish Sea that includes the straits of Georgia, Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.

B.C. Balances Booming Tourism Industry With Overcrowding
Photo credit: Outdoor Vancouver
Tourism in British Columbia is booming to the point where the focus is shifting from attracting more visitors to learning how to manage over-tourism.  Marsha Walden, president and CEO of Destination B.C. says it's a balancing act to encourage tourists to come while mitigating their impact on both the environment and residents.

"Occasionally, you will see some of the Whistler trails that are bogged down by over-enthusiastic locals, as well as tourists," she said. "When a big cruise ship comes into downtown Victoria, you feel the crush of people in the downtown core."   Walden described these crush periods as sporadic and seasonal. Some attractions have exploded in popularity.  Joffre Lakes, for example, saw more than 159,000 visitors this year - up from 10,000 in 2013.

"To a certain extent, we can't control that enthusiasm," Walden said. "But what we [don't do] is continue to promote those particular locations that are feeling the crush of people."

Celebrity Eclipse Will Operate Round-trip Cruises to Alaska From Vancouver for the Very First Time 
Photo credit_ Celebrity Cruises/Postmedia
Celebrity Cruises has announced, that for the first time, the Celebrity Eclipse will operate round-trip cruises to Alaska from Vancouver.  It will replace the smaller Celebrity Infinity which has made her summer home in the waters of Alaska and British Columbia almost every year since she was launched back in 2001.
The Celebrity Eclipse will be joined in Vancouver by the Celebrity Millennium, scheduled to emerge from a dramatic refit in May of 2019 and offering open jaw voyages between Vancouver and Alaska.

Numbers You Need to Know

CLIA RELEASES - 2018 State of Cruise Industry Outlook & Travel Trends 
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), recently released the 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook. The report offers an in-depth look at the cruise industry's overall global economic impact, as well as the trends impacting cruise travel in 2018 and beyond. 

Current data shows cruise travel is steadily on the rise with a projected 27.2 million passengers expected to set sail in 2018. In 2017, an estimated 25.8 million passengers cruised compared to a confirmed 24.7 million passengers in 2016, an increase of 20.5% over five years from 2011-2016. 

For the full 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook findings, visit: 

Campground Tax Assessment Update

The BC Lodging and Campground Association (BCLCA) has been working with the Canadian Camping and RVing Council (CCRVC) to ensure that small campgrounds be considered to be active businesses and therefore eligible for the small business tax deduction.

BCLCA President Patrick Gramiak and Blake Richards, MP Banff-Airdrie
In a somewhat surprising but encouraging move, the recommendation proposed by  the BCLCA and the CCRVC has been brought forward once again by the Standing Committee on Finance to the Minister of Finance. It is hoped that Finance Minister Morneau acts on the recommendation in the 2018 budget. 

In the meantime, the CCRVC is continuing to boost its Facebook page  across Canada. Questions have also been raised in Parliament by MP Blake Richards and Senator Frances Larkin in the past few weeks to the Minister of National Revenue and the Minister of Tourism and Small Business respectively.

BC Communities Prepare to Host Sport Events

2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts
The Canadian women's curling championship will be held at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton January 27-Feb. 4. 
For the first time, the event will feature a 16-team field.



The BC Winter Games take place February 22-25 in Kamloops. 



HSBC Canada Sevens 

T his is the sixth stop on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.  The Men's Canada Sevens tournament will take place March 10 and 11,  at BC Place in Vancouver. The Women's Canada Sevens tournament will take place May 12 and 13 at Westhills Stadium in Langford.

2018: Time to Build a More Inclusive Canada
By Jim Barr
When people from around the world think of Canada, they often picture British Columbia with its ocean, mountains and endless list of adventures and cultural experiences.
Photo credit: Jim Barr
But their thoughts likely don't wander to what our relationship is with Indigenous cultures. This topic has become a big focus for me, especially since The Tragically Hip's Gord Downie died in October.
It was fitting that I heard of Downie's passing while in Golden, attending the Kootenay Rockies Tourism AGM.
Tragically Hip fans know Downie sang about the Golden Rim Motor Inn. The band got snowed in at the hotel (now a Day's Inn) during a cross-country tour and where Downie wrote the song "The Luxury."
Downie also sang and spoke a lot about improving Indigenous relations within Canada. Like many others, when he died I felt a strong need to carry his torch and build bridges to reconciliation.
I started talking with colleagues about where and how to learn more to become part of the conversation. One of the first insights I gained was that reconciliation is not a First Nation's issue; it is our issue as Canadians.  It is our duty as citizens of Canada to ensure this country is inclusive and respectful to all of those who live on our land and theirs.
The Centre for Trust and Reconciliation was founded at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, with a mission to help build bridges. In addition to its own educational resources, the centre has created 94 calls to action, which you will find here . For those of us who work in the tourism industry, call to action #92 talks about building respectful relationships and conducting consultation within economic development projects.
In the course of my research on reconciliation, I've discovered some helpful links that I'd like to share in the hope it will make it easier to sign up for one of these courses.  I challenge you in 2018 to take one of these courses, become more apart of the conversation and look to your organization on how we can become a more inclusive Canada.
These suggestions come courtesy of Cindy Hutchison, RMI Festival & Event Services Assistant with the District of Tofino.
Hutchison says, "Through Coursera, I've been taking this   Indigenous Canada course ." The online course allows you to learn on your own timeline and you earn a certificate at the end.
Hutchison's colleague, who worked in the past with Island Health, the Cultural Safety Training, suggested this course:  www.sanyas.ca
For anyone looking to understand more about First Nations from an economic development stand point, indigenomics course  recommended by Ryan Watmough, Economic Development for the Columbia Valley.
Photo credit: Jim Barr
UBC also offers an online course called Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education .
Vancouver Island University shared a link to Reconciliation Community Action Toolkits .
If you have an event you'd like to host and make some ReconciliACTION happen, take a look at the Downie Wenjack Foundation grants available.
Thanks for reading this and for your interest in working with others across this country keen on building a more inclusive Canada.  For more resources or inquiries on where you could take your inclusive interests, please contact me:  jim@seekers-media.com

When Was the Last Time You Wrote Someone Using a Pen and Paper?  It's Letter Writing Week at the Royal BC Museum

The New Year is a great time to make a resolution to slow down and what better way to do that than to put away your Smartphone, sit down and write a letter at our letter writing booth. The Royal BC Museum provides the paper, pens, envelopes and even the stamps.

Know of Any Tourism Students Seeking Sponsorship to #BCTIC?






TIABC is seeking full-time tourism students studying in BC who wish to be considered for sponsorship to attend the BC Tourism Industry Conference. 


We currently have three sponsorships available thanks to two industry partners: Pacific Gateway Hotel (Richmond), Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre along with TIABC. We are hoping for more sponsorships and will update our progress in future newsletters. 


To learn more, visit our website at: www.tiabc.ca/bc-tourism-industry-conference

If you are interested, please let us know at info@tiabc.ca.

Sustainability in Travel and Tourism Study at University of Toronto  
Kelsey Koebel, Graduate student in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto, is seeking participations to complete a 10 minute survey* regarding the state of sustainability within the Canadian travel and tourism industry.
Knowing what businesses like yours think will make a big difference 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 January 19th

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