Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
January 9, 2020
CEO's Message

Welcome to 2020 and another new year of resolutions. I don’t typically make a list of resolutions although I did promise myself more time for reading books since I rediscovered this wonderful pastime over the holidays. In fact, I managed to read a grand total of 47 books…sometimes as many as seven per day.

Before you doubt my claim or jump to any conclusions about my incredible reading prowess, I’ll admit that each one of these literary masterpieces was a children’s book, read out-loud with inflection to my grandkids.

As you know, most children’s books are fantasies written to capture young kids’ imaginations and teach some kind of life lesson. And usually it’s easy to separate fantasy from reality and take these stories for what they are…innocent and simple enjoyment.

To balance make-believe and reality, I also read several grown up reports, articles and editorials on myriad serious subjects, some of which I couldn’t fully comprehend. In fact, unlike children’s stories, when reading editorials in particular, I often found it difficult to separate facts from the writer’s personal opinion. What’s more, for every so-called subject matter expert espousing a point of view on a specific issue, there were endless opposing perspectives I could have read and analyzed but ran out of time.

Why does all this matter? Because when it comes to important issues, it’s increasingly difficult to find credible data, decipher fact from fiction, temper the hype and fear-mongering, figure out who the experts are, and determine what to believe based on the millions of pages of information on any given topic available via the internet and other mediums.

So as TIABC’s Policy Committee tackles various files this year, we aim to do so by cutting through the misinformation, baloney and personal opinions to build our policy positions on credible research…both scientific and citizen driven (i.e. hard data, surveys, first-hand observations), as well as books, papers, articles, editorials and other sources including tourism operators and subject matter experts with extensive experience. It’s a tall order to be sure but we’ll do our best, especially as we confront complex issues such as climate change and sustainability, among others.

Speaking of sustainability, one book on my reading list is entitled, Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet by author Megan Epler Wood, director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at Harvard Extension School, who for years has studied and reported on the impact of tourism on destinations around the world (i.e. she's a subject matter expert with extensive experience).

Last year, Ms. Epler Wood was a keynote speaker at both the Yukon Tourism Industry Conference and the Alberta Tourism Industry Conference presenting on such timely topics as managing and monitoring the value of destinations. Not only is Ms. Epler Wood renowned for her research and knowledge of tourism practices around the world, she’s also highly touted as a presenter. I am excited to report that we’ve secured Ms. Epler Wood for a keynote presentation at the BC Tourism Industry Conference…hence the added motivation to read her latest book.

For now I am finished with children’s books until my next visit to see family in Saskatoon. At the same time I'm occasionally reminded of some of the great quotes I read like this one from the book, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss. It says, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Isn’t that the truth?

On behalf of TIABC’s board and staff, I wish you all the best for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. We look forward to connecting with you throughout 2020 and to seeing you at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria in March.

Walt Judas
BC Tourism Industry Conference
Early-bird Registration is Open
Join us March 4 to 6, 2020 in Victoria!
Early Bird fees will end on January 31st.
Only One Week Left to Nominate!
Recognize a special tourism industry individual or organization by nominating them in one of the seven award categories below. Help us recognize the best of the best in BC's tourism industry!

We are now accepting nominations for the BC Tourism Industry Awards in the following categories:
  • Employees First
  • Customer Service
  • Innovation
  • Remarkable Experiences
  • Destination Marketing Organization Professional Excellence
  • Indigenous Tourism
  • Accessible Tourism (new this year)

Deadline: January 13th
Please Consider Donating to the BCTIC
2020 Silent Auction  

This is your opportunity to help raise funds for the important advocacy work carried out by TIABC on behalf of the BC tourism industry by donating a gift, package or other item. 
Some suggestions for popular auction items include:

  • Sports memorabilia and tickets
  • Tickets to an event that are extremely hard to get
  • Technological gadgets
  • Certificates to restaurants and retail stores
  • Weekend getaways at lake houses, hotels, bed and breakfasts
  • Travel packages
  • Memberships to health clubs, museums
  • Artisan-made items such as jewelry, clothing, leather goods, art, and photography
  • Gift Baskets - spa or gourmet food

BC Wine Institute Call for Action
As you may be aware, Australia has challenged the federal excise exemption on 100% Canadian wine at the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that Canada discriminates against Australian wine sold in Canada by charging excise tax only on imported wines. 
The BC Wine Institute (BCWI) is supporting Wine Growers Canada (formerly the Canadian Vintners Association) in reaching out to all Canadian wineries to take part in an online campaign targeting the federal government to demonstrate how critical the excise exemption is to your business. 
What is the excise exemption?
In 2006, the federal government exempted all wines made with 100% Canadian agricultural content from paying excise duty. The current excise rate is 65.3 cents per litre which represents a saving of $5.88 a case. 
What’s at risk?
In early 2020, the WTO will release its binding ruling. A negative ruling will impact the economic future of every winery in Canada, by imposing a new tax on every bottle of wine sold in Canada. 
What is the solution?
On December 3, 2019, the Government of Australia stated before the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel that it remains open to agreeing with Canada on a solution ahead of the formal conclusion of the WTO process. A negotiated settlement is possible, and the Canadian federal government should immediately engage the Australian government by offering to remove the legislated annual indexation on excise duty in the 2020 federal Budget, in return for Australia dropping its excise exemption challenge at the WTO. 
How can I help? 
Follow this link  and quickly send a letter to your Member of Parliament and help them understand how they can help to protect the excise exemption and avoid the serious risks that will follow if the excise exemption is lost.
BC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Call for Nominations

Nominations are now open to join the BC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Board is seeking qualified candidates with expertise in the area of Information Technology, Risk Management and Strategy, and who can further the Chamber’s vision for technology and innovation with the  BCMindReader® platform . Candidates should align with the direction of the BC Chamber, and augment and accelerate the governance principles of the Board.

In 2020, the BC Chamber Board of Directors is seeking four (4) experienced and passionate visionaries to join the Board. There are three (3) vacancies without incumbents in the following areas:

  • Lower Mainland
  • Kootenays
  • North West

There is one (1) vacancy on Vancouver Island / Gulf Islands with an incumbent.

For more information and to apply,  click here
Free Sustainability Score Assessment and Call for Feedback

Interested in improving your sustainability performance? Sustainable Tourism Certified is seeking your input on their new Sustainable Tourism Certified criteria. 

As a thank you for your feedback, you're invited to complete a self-assessment alongside the feedback process. By doing so, Sustainable Tourism Certified will send you a complimentary Sustainability Score Report, a special gift not typically provided with their Sustainability Score. The report includes a free mini action plan to help you benchmark your sustainability performance. 

The online survey and self-assessment will take approximately 45-60 minutes and integrates space for you to provide valuable feedback on the questions and criteria being asked.

To take part in the Free Sustainability Score Assessment and Feedback Survey - click HERE .
The Survey and Assessment close January 31st.

Sustainable Tourism Certified is an initiative of GreenStep Solutions providing certifications, carbon software, training, and consulting services to the tourism industry to improve its sustainability performance, reduce its carbon footprint, and meet the growing traveller demand for responsible business. 
New Accessible Tourism Resources Now Available

The Province of BC and Destination BC recently launched a multi-phase plan to make BC tourism more accessible and inclusive. Included in this initiative are newly available resources intended to support tourism businesses. 

Destination BC’s corporate website now includes an  Accessible Tourism  hub within the Learning Centre featuring articles, case studies, and tools designed to raise awareness and provide insight into the employment and tourism potential that a world without barriers provides.

Tourism businesses listed on HelloBC.com can now add accessibility features to their profile. This will allow travellers to search for attractions or accommodations that are accessible and inclusive on HelloBC.com. Tourism businesses are encouraged to claim their accessible features by logging into the  Tourism Business Portal .

HelloBC.com listing questions may be sent to  IndustryDevelopment@destinationbc.ca .
2020 BCTIC Sponsorship Opportunities
The BC Tourism Industry Conference offers the opportunity to profile your organization or business to a significant audience of tourism industry professionals.  

Close to 600 owner/operators, destination marketers, educators, government representatives, industry sectors and stakeholders come together to learn, discuss issues, network and take advantage of partnership opportunities to build British Columbia's visitor economy.

If you are interested in learning more, please review the  Sponsorship Package  and contact Nora Cumming at: n.cumming@chemistryconsulting.ca or 250-940-6365
BC Hospitality Foundation Scholarships Available

The BC Hospitality Foundation has several scholarships available for individuals in the hospitality industry throughout BC. Deadlines and application criteria vary.

Scholarships include $1,000 industry scholarships for children of hospitality workers, sommelier scholarships to further wine education studies (applications close January 15th).

Culinary scholarships are awarded in partnership with the Chefs’ Table Society of BC (applications close March 31st)

Hospitality scholarships exist in partnership with select educational institutions (applications close February 28th).

The Greg King Scholarship is a result of the collaboration between the BC Hospitality Foundation and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. The King Family offers an exclusive $1,500 scholarship to students that are passionate about cooking! (applications close on February 28th).

The Chef Nik Lim Scholarship was created to honour the memory of Chef Nik Lim. 
This is one yearly scholarship in the amount of $2,000 (applications close on February 28th).

Read more on the BC Hospitality Foundation website:
V2V Vacations Ceases Operations
V2V Vacations has made the difficult decision to cease its service between Vancouver and Victoria with immediate effect.

Travellers who have purchased tickets will be fully refunded by calling the toll free number  855-554-4679  or emailing  hello@v2vvacations .

Northland Properties Corporation to Acquire Grouse Mountain Resort
Northland Properties Corporation has announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Grouse Mountain Resort from CM (Canada) Asset Management Co. Ltd.

Northland Properties Corporation is a Canadian company, 100% privately-owned by the Gaglardi Family with headquarters in Vancouver and employing over 10,000 talented individuals across the nation. Northland is the parent company of Sandman Hotel Group, Sutton Place Hotels, Moxie’s Grill & Bar, Denny’s Restaurants, Chop Steakhouses, Shark Club Sports Bar Grill, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, and the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.
Trails Society Concerned about Logging Operations Impacting Recreational Trails
The Trails Society of BC organized a mountain bike ride on the Columbia and Western Rail Trail for outdoor enthusiasts last fall so they could see the impact of road-building and logging allowed by the province

Outdoor enthusiasts say Interfor’s new road is a dangerous precedent since it is part of the 164-kilometre Columbia and Western Rail Trail between Castlegar and Midway that was given to the province by the Trans Canada Trail organization for non-motorized use in 2004.

Read the full article here: www.kelownadailycourier.ca
Fishing BC Making Things Happen
According to their recent industry update, 2019 was a great year for Fishing BC with more to come in 2020.

Top of the list was receiving the Innovation Award at the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference. As a small organization, it was very rewarding to have their hard work recognized by tourism industry peers.

A second highlight of 2019 was forming a new significant partnership with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) and their new marketing committee tasked with investing regionally collected MRDT funds. Fishing tourism is a key driver for the region and Fishing BC is thrilled to partner with CCCTA to promote joint stakeholders throughout the region.

The final highlight has to be the continued growth of the Fishing BC campaign through partnerships. The success of the campaign is directly linked to some 15 community partners who have chosen to invest funds in the campaign.

Fishing BC is also partnering with a number of other provinces from across Canada to promote the fishing sector to key US markets through Destination Canada's Vertical Program. The marketing campaign will commence this month in the key markets of California, Colorado and Texas. Fishing BC has also recently been added to Destination BC's new BC Story Network. They will be pumping out Fishing BC AMP Stories featuring trip ideas, travel tips, and their award winning video content starting early this year. They are excited to work with all their community partners on this initiative and hope to have multiple stories complete for each partner by the end of March.

Follow the campaign at  www.fishingbc.com , Instagram  @fishingbc , and facebook  @ explorefishingbc. F or more information contact  matt@fishingbc.com
Industry on the Move
Tourism Kimberly Welcomes New Executive Director
After an extensive search, Tourism Kimberley has hired John Hamilton as its new Executive Director. John has worked in the tourism industry for over 25 years and brings to Kimberley a proven track record in sales, marketing and business development.
Cathy James Retires from Discover Surrey
After more than 16 years as Executive Director of Discover Surrey, Cathy James retired last month. Cathy did a wonderful job at Discover Surrey and was always a strong supporter of TIABC. We wish Cathy the very best in her retirement.
Tourism by the Numbers
October International Arrivals

Year-to-date, overnight international arrivals to BC (as of October 2019) have exceeded 5.5 million—a jump of 2.8% over the same period in 2018!

Despite a slight overall dip in October visitor arrivals compared to 2018, there was still strong growth from a number of countries including India (34.4%), Japan (15.9%), Germany (13%), and the Netherlands (10.6%).

Learn more in Destination BC's October International Visitor Arrivals report:
BC Hotel Association Announces New Board of Directors
The BC Hotel Association (BCHA) recently introduced its new Board of Directors, Led by new Board Chair Bryan Pilbeam, the board's first order of business is to commence the search for a new leader to replace longtime president and CEO James Chase, who recently announced his retirement. The 2020 BCHA board comprises a team of industry leaders from diverse regions across the province and reaches a diversity milestone with four female members.
Skate Canada Boosts Kelowna Economy
Kelowna attracted thousands of international visitors and millions in new spending when it hosted 2019 Skate Canada International from October 25-27. A report commissioned by Tourism Kelowna and compiled by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA), found that the event generated total economic activity of $5.3 million in British Columbia, with $4.5 million of that directly in the Kelowna area resulting from $3.3 million in total combined spending by out-of-town participants and event organizers. 
Richmond Named in Eater's Top Places to Eat in 2020
Food authority website Eater recently released their top cities in the world worth traveling to eat in 2020 – and Richmond made the list. Known for their meticulously curated maps spotlighting each region’s essential restaurants and must-eat spots, they’ve narrowed it down to 19 different cities in the world for foodies to travel to in 2020, specifically for the culinary scene.
Sunshine Coast Tourism Produces Its First Ever Lure Guide
Sunshine Coast Tourism is creating its first-ever, fully branded, 32-page lure guide representing BC’s Sunshine Coast in its entirety, from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound. With support from local and provincial partners, they are launching this annual guide in March.
Dawson Creek Hosts World Junior A Challenge
Northern BC Tourism's content team was recently at the World Junior A Challenge working in partnership with Tourism Dawson Creek and Hockey Canada to produce content to promote sports tourism in the community. 
Swoop Airlines Adds Kamloops-Edmonton Route
Swoop to fly from Kamloops to Edmonton from late April through October.
Beginning at the end of April, Swoop, which launched in 2018, will offer two connections per week through May, three flights per week in June, four flights per week in July and August and three flights per week in September and October. The end of April through October service is a one-year commitment as Swoop determines viability based on passenger counts.
Unity Wall
In 2009, to honour the traditions and history of the South Salish Nations, the breakwater in Victoria was transformed into an enormous canvas upon which First Nations artists and the youth they mentored shared their stories with the world. The Unity Wall is among the largest murals in Canada and one of the first things visitors see when arriving at the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal. A new webpage was recently launched by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority enabling readers to learn about the meaning behind each image on the wall. 
Upcoming Industry Events
January 17-18, Victoria

January 19-22, Victoria

March 4-6, Victoria

April 6-7, Kelowna

April 28-30, Whistler

October 21-22, Kelowna

Send us your event listings and we can include it on our list!
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