Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
July 11, 2019
CEO's Message

Studies suggest that in today’s digital age, most people will only read an article for 15 seconds. In other words, our attention span is not much better than a gnat. If that’s true, then you may not get through this entire message. With that in mind, I’ve broken the issues down to 15-second (or less) chunks, replete with headings for you to easily read the sections of most interest in hopes that you eventually get to the end.

TIABC Submission on Proposed Change to TFW Regulations
TIABC is about to submit a formal response to the federal government concerning an impending modification to Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) regulations that would further deter employers from using the program to address critical labour shortages. TIABC and many of our sector partners oppose the proposed regulation change that would allow workers to freely move to another employer for any reason . This fundamental alteration effectively renders the TFW program moot. In other words, why would an employer expend considerable time and expense on recruiting a TFW only to lose the employee to another employer? Members can read our full submission in the Members-only section of our website early next week. For details on the proposed regulation change, see http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2019/2019-06-22/html/notice-avis-eng.html#nc2

TIABC Submission to Select Standing Committee on Finance for the 2020 Budget
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services at one of multiple sessions they hosted around the province to gather input in preparation for the next provincial budget. Each presenter is afforded five minutes to present and another five to answer questions. While TIABC’s presentation touched on formula funding, MRDT regulations, and destination development, I barely got started before running out of time. Consequently, we submitted a more thorough written brief, a copy of which is available in the Members-only section of our website. A powerpoint summary of my presentation is also available on the policy section of our website: www.tiabc.ca/tiabc-policies

Ride-hailing & Bill 55
TIABC’s Policy Committee (sub-committee) on Transportation met recently to review and consider the ramifications of Bill 55 (Passenger Transportation Amendment Act) with a view to providing input into regulations for all modes of commercial passenger transportation. However, now that government has introduced regulations specifically related to ride hailing, the committee will reconvene to assist TIABC in drafting a formal response to the new regulations. Upon initial review, we remain onside with the Province’s direction.

Tourism Emergency Response
TIABC and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture are co-chairs of the Tourism Emergency Response Committee that is charged with creating and implementing an emergency management plan that focuses on mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery for the tourism sector. The committee met recently to button down the response component of the framework, which has progressed the furthest given the experiences and lessons learned from last two years of extensive wildfires and flooding in the province. Details on response actions will be shared with broader industry stakeholders shortly. In the meantime, work on the other three components is progressing and expected to be completed by early fall.

Fishing Restrictions and Species at Risk (Southern Mountain Caribou)
If you read our newsletter regularly, you will know that we’ve been working on both Southern Mountain Caribou and tidal/non-tidal fishing issues, largely centred on potential or implemented restrictions/closures that affect several areas of the province. TIABC has submitted policies and/or positions to provincial and federal government officials and will continue to engage regularly with all stakeholders to work toward fair and equitable solutions. In case you haven't read our policies, please visit the policy section of our website: www.tiabc.ca/tiabc-policies. We also recently issued a joint news release with Tourism Vancouver Island on the tidal water limitations, a copy of which can be downloaded here . With further recent closures of non-tidal waters in the north without advance notice or science-based rationale, we’re working with fishing stakeholders with a goal to see the decisions reversed.

Minister's Tourism Engagement Council
TIABC was well represented at the Minister's Tourism Engagement Council meeting last week in Richmond. Aside from myself, several TIABC members, as well as board members Brenda Baptiste of Indigenous Tourism BC and Sandra Oldfield of Elysian Projects attended the day long session that included Minister Beare’s briefing on various Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture initiatives, as well as reports from her senior staff. Along with a Destination British Columbia presentation and subsequent in-depth discussion on accessible tourism, council members provided input on priorities for government to activate components of the new provincial tourism framework.

Forest and Range Practices Act Consultation & TIABC Submission
The Province has undertaken consultation processes for changes to the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA), as well as the management of private forests. TIABC, along with our Adventure Tourism partners, are set to submit responses to both surveys engage.gov.bc.ca/forestandrangepractices and feedback.engage.gov.bc.ca/919592 . The core of our messaging revolves around the need for FRPA to recognize, appreciate and consider other uses of forested land (aside from timber harvesting), and to adopt a broader vision that includes a more diverse and integrated economy. Tourism operators are both users and stewards of the forests, backcountry and crown lands and, aside from access, industry works diligently toward and desires a sustainable environment to continue successful business operations for the foreseeable future.

Kudos to you if you’ve gotten this far in one sitting considering you could have opted for any number of other activities over the course of the last two-minutes. Time management experts suggest that if something occurs to you that you determine can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately even if it’s a low priority item, otherwise you'll forget about it.

With that I invite you to take the next 120 seconds to drop me a line with comments, questions or recommendations on issues that matter to you…unless of course you have something better to do like answering an email, booking an appointment, sending a tweet, brushing your teeth, taking a quick nap, smoking a cigarette, walking 166 metres, meditating, or heaven only knows what else you can do in two minutes.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Walt Judas
Handmade & Homegrown With Tourism Abbotsford's New Brand

To some 200 VIP guests, Tourism Abbotsford unveiled its new destination brand last night at the Rail District Collective. The event highlighted the arts, local musicians, and farm-to plate foods, all significant offerings that shape the new brand identity. 

After months of research that included surveys, focus groups, and stakeholder workshops, the new brand captures the spirit of these conversations and highlights Abbotsford’s agricultural history, authenticity, passion, and diversity. Its essence speaks to “A cultivated city, which connects people to the land and to each other…a place to set and grow roots together.” 

Given the global trend of experiential tourism, visitors continue to crave meaningful experiences...ones that engage their senses and foster emotional and spiritual connections. Abbotsford is a strong experiential destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. 

TIABC was pleased to be a part of the event and to connect with all the Fraser Valley DMO members in attendance.

Download the Tourism Abbotsford press release here .
2018 Wildfire Recovery Funding Available

Up to $20,000 in funding is available through the Canadian Red Cross until Sept. 30, 2019 for small businesses and not-for-profits who incurred financial and business losses as a result of 2018 wildfires in the following BC  communities . Eligible business owners and not for-profit organizations with fewer than 50 employees are able to apply through the program. Please see the  program page  for eligibility information and application instructions.
Daylight Saving Time Survey

British Columbians are invited to share their views on how we should observe time in our province. Most areas of BC currently spring forward into Daylight Saving Time during summer months and fall back to Standard Time in the winter.

The following choices are being considered:
  1. BC continues the practice of changing our clocks bi-annually; or
  2. BC adopts year-round observance of Daylight Saving Time.

Legislators in California, Oregon and Washington have proposed bills to end the bi-annual time change and observe Daylight Saving Time year-round. Premier John Horgan has reached out to the governors of these states, as well as to the Premier of Yukon, to hear their opinions and help inform the discussion in here. The public engagement period will run from June 24 to July 19 at 4:00 p.m. During this time, interested individuals and organizations will be invited to share their opinions in the following ways:

Feedback collected through this engagement will be weighed alongside decisions adopted by neighbouring jurisdictions to help government determine the best course of action for BC. A final decision is expected to be announced this fall.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is inviting people to share their experiences with the Province’s highways and services. This is a good opportunity for the tourism industry to share views to make travel better throughout the province for both residents and visitors.

The ministry has launched its 2019 Customer Satisfaction Survey in an effort to gather feedback from people on transportation infrastructure and services. The annual survey is in its 16th year and is open for comments until September 3rd. The survey is available online and will be offered in-person at some locations, including select rest areas, inland ferry terminals and public places along BC highways.

Registration now open for the Northern BC Tourism Annual Summit & AGM

Numbers You Need to Know

Economic Impact of Tourism in Tofino
A recent economic impact and visitation study, commissioned by Tourism Tofino, provides the community with valuable data that will inform future tourism management strategies, and responsible and sustainable tourism development.

Industry on the Move
Northern BC Tourism is pleased to have recently welcomed Yvonne Fagan to their team as Administration & Financial Services Lead. Yvionne was born and raised in Prince George and enjoys spending time with her daughters and three grandchildren, as well as camping, golfing and gardening.
Kamloops Featured in The Amazing Race Canada Season Opener
Canada’s favourite summertime adventure, The Amazing Race Canada featured Kamloops in its season opener.  Averaging 2 million viewers per episode, The Amazing Race Canada is the nation’s highest rated TV show and the perfect opportunity for Canadians to get up close with destinations across the country.
BC Air Access Grants Assist Airports with Infrastructure Improvements
This year, grants were awarded to 16 regional airports for 21 different improvement projects. Benefits range from runway resurfacing and terminal building expansions, to increased medevac services, weather detection systems and fire protection upgrades.
Whistler Recruits Internationally for Chefs
Since September 2018, around 50 chefs have been recruited to Whistler restaurants to help fill a shortage of workers in the food industry.
New Richmond Shuttle Already a Success
Thanks to Landsea Tours’ drivers, Tourism Richmond is proud to report that over 500 guests have experienced the free Richmond Discovery Shuttle since its launch on June 15th. Most of the riders are tourists staying at local hotels or extending a day trip from Vancouver.
Kamloops Airport Records Highest Ever Q2
Q2 saw 185,226 passengers come through the gates at Fulton Field. That's up 8.1% when compared to Q2 in 2018 (when 170,311 people used YKA), making it the highest-ever second quarter, according to a news release.
Tourism Tofino Opens New Visitor Centre
Tourism Tofino recently announced the opening of its new Visitor Centre located on Pacific Rim Highway at Cox Bay in Tofino. The 1,400 square foot facility features a contemporary design and houses local heritage and art displays. Read the full media release here .
Penticton on Track for Busy Summer
Summer 2019 is predicted to be just as busy as years previous in Penticton, with accommodations already selling out and the city preparing to host multiple festival-level events.
Telus Insights Provides Data to Thompson Okanagan Tourism
Telus aggregates cellphone tower data and provides raw information to TOTA's research team. Such cellphone data pinpoints where people are, how long they stay and what area of BC or what province in Canada they are from based on what postal code the phone bill goes to. The data can also determine what country the cellphone owner is from.
Ice Throne Worth $1 Million to Tumbler Ridge
A recent consulting report showed that the Iron Throne Scavenger Hunt brought in between $871,000 and $1,054,000 to businesses in Tumbler Ridge. "Event tourism is one of the fastest-growing forms of tourism in Canada and internationally," states a report commissioned by the District. Photo credit: Kevin Sharman (Instagram)
Upcoming Industry Events
September 23-27, Vancouver

September 25, Cranbrook

October 2-4, Whistler

October 3 - 4, Prince George

October 8 - 10, Nanaimo

October 23 - 24, Nanaimo

November 1 - 3, Barkerville

November 12 - 14, Kelowna

November 19-20, Ottawa

January 19 - 22, 2020, Victoria

March 4 - 6, 2020, Victoria

April 28-30, 2020, Whistler

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