Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
June 13, 2019
CEO's Message
I get a kick out of the phrase, “vote early and often” . At face value it sounds funny and implies something mischievous that tends to make people chuckle. Yet, at the same time there is a certain validity to the saying.
Some believe it originated from a notorious gangster who ordered mafia soldiers to stuff ballot boxes to ensure so called 'officials on the take' were elected.

Of course, I’m not suggesting anyone try anything illegal when I say vote early and often , specifically in reference to the latter part of the phrase. Rather, I mean it as unsolicited advice in the context of a perpetual cycle of municipal, provincial and federal elections that are staggered over successive years (with the odd break in between).

As you know, British Columbians elected a new provincial government two years ago. Late last year, we voted civic politicians into office, and early this fall we’re headed to the polls again to elect Members of Parliament. So voting often is yet another opportunity for us to legally and democratically influence the outcome of an election.

Later this month, I’ll be in Ottawa meeting with my provincial counterparts to discuss tourism issues that desperately need federal attention. An important part of our agenda is to firm up questions we'll pose to candidates of all parties in the lead up to the election. In fact, our national counterparts at TIAC have already drafted and submitted some of these queries to current MPs. For example:

·        Considering that Canada’s competitors have far larger marketing budgets, what is your party’s plan to ensure Destination Canada is well positioned to compete in international markets? Does your party support investments in sustainable, stable and long-term marketing funding for Destination Canada?

·        What is your party’s position on expanding Canada’s export markets? As Canada’s largest service export, generating more than $21 billion in revenues last year alone, how does tourism fit into your plans for export expansion?

·        With respect to temporary immigration for the purposes of business, leisure, and study, and considering that Canada ranks 120th out of 141 countries for visa openness, does your party believe that there needs to be more or less scrutiny over the visa application process? How can Canada improve on its performance vis-à-vis visa access?
·        As immigration targets continue to be largely dependent on high-skilled immigrants, how can Canada better address labour shortages in industries with significant labour needs for positions that do not qualify? Does your party support the goal that immigration targets match labour needs?

·        How will your party support measures that facilitate the freedom to move people across the border and through airports via investments in technology, human resources, infrastructure or other means? Does your party support CATSA reform and expansion to new regional airports to improve screening wait times?

·        Considering that Canada ranks 97th out of 141 countries for cost competitiveness, and given that tourism is the only export that is not currently zero-rated or exempt from tax, do you believe that temporary international visitors to Canada should continue to pay taxes on products and services purchased during their visit? What, if any, incentives would your party consider to improve on Canada’s cost competitiveness?

As I've mentioned previously, TIABC will prepare an election toolkit for members to use prior to or once the writ is dropped. We’ll augment the aforementioned list with questions that include, but are not limited to, BC specific issues such as fishing, species at risk, the sharing economy, infrastructure investment, taxation, and more. In the meantime, we’ll continue to push hard on these files with current MPs on all sides of the house.

Getting together with my counterparts this month is our only face-to-face meeting prior to the election so we're preparing now instead of waiting until summer concludes. Plus, it's unofficially election season anyway.

In just over four months you'll have another opportunity to cast a vote, and like virtually all elections, this one is crucial for our industry. 

In the words of the immortal Al Capone… vote early and often . And this time I'm not joking.

Walt Judas
Fishing BC Guides Industry on Messaging to Visitors

In view of the impact on the recreational fishery of recent DFO regulations, Fishing BC has issued a backgrounder to help affected businesses and communities navigate messaging to visitors. The backgrounder provides excellent information on the regulations, but also highlights opportunities for guests to experience fishing on the coast.

Download background here or visit TIABC website: www.tiabc.ca/tiabc-policies
TIABC Welcomes New Member 

With over 50 hotels, resorts, inns, and suites from British Columbia to Newfoundland & Labrador, the USA, the UK, and many more properties under development, Sandman is Canada’s fastest-growing, privately-owned hospitality company.
Deadline Approaching for
MindReader Business Survey 

We‘ve heard that costs are going up for BC businesses. What about yours?
TIABC is partnering with the BC Chamber on a survey about ‘pain points’ for BC Businesses—and with one of BC’s biggest media outlets,  The Vancouver Sun.  Results will be used in a special feature in the Vancouver Sun—and you’ll have the option of including your email for a potential media interview.
TIABC is encouraging members and stakeholders to participate to ensure tourism is represented.
Take this quick survey (5 questions). (Don’t worry—it’s short!) Link: 
MOU Signed Between
Thompson Okanagan Tourism
& Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism 

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 28th during Tourism Week in Victoria, the shared traditional territory of the Lekwungen Nation, people of the Esquimalt and Songhees. The MOU recommits a coordinated and collaborative approach in promoting growth and development of tourism on the Gold Rush Trail. 

Download the full release: here
Province Announces Emergency Communications Funding for CCCTA & Regions

Following two unprecedented wildfire seasons in BC, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) is receiving a one-time, $100,000 grant to support regional emergency preparedness.

The CCCTA will use this funding to create a common set of communications tools, emergency management training for regional teams and co-ordinators, and expand their tourism database to enable real-time information sharing in the event of an emergency. Together, these activities will help mitigate the effects of natural disasters on BC’s tourism reputation through better preparedness, co-ordination and communications.

In addition, real-time information sharing during emergencies is one of the tools being developed to keep visitors to BC safer this summer. The Province is also providing a total of $200,000 in one-time grants to support regional destination marketing organizations’ emergency preparedness, including $25,000 to each of the other four tourism regions (Tourism Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan Tourism, Northern BC Tourism and Kootenay Rockies Tourism).

The government announced the grants as part of BC Tourism Week, (May 26-June 2) which highlights the industry’s vital importance to BC’s economy by creating jobs, strengthening communities and promoting year-round tourism in all four corners of the province.

Public Service Announcement

With nearly half of all wildfires in BC caused by human carelessness, TIABC has developed a PSA for tourism industry stakeholders to use to remind residents and visitors of the importance of fire safety.

Be sure to post the PSA on your social media channels or print it and post it in prominent places at your business.
Let’s protect our industry because #BCTourismMatters

Download the Public Service Announcement:  Wildfire PSA
(or visit our website at: www.tiabc.ca/psas)

During times of stress and uncertainty, it is important to share information from official sources only. There are a variety of resources available to help you prepare for emergencies, gather up-to-date information and help visitors plan their travel. See our website for more details:

In May 2017, a committee was initiated by the BC Wildfire Service to facilitate greater direction and integration of the seven FireSmart ® disciplines across the province of British Columbia based on the FireSmart Canada model. The BCFSC members consist of the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC), Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC (FCABC), Emergency Management BC (EMBC), Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) and First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of BC (FNESS).

The BCFSC will collaboratively maintain and improve the delivery of the BC FireSmart program by ensuring alignment with the seven FireSmart disciplines to better support wildfire preparedness, prevention and mitigation in BC. In meeting their purpose they will commit to aligning with FireSmart Canada, developing an annual work plan and budget and providing stakeholders and interested parties with one governing agency for FireSmart in BC.
Learn more at firesmartbc.ca
Islanders Urged to Save Water

With weather conditions expected to remain warm and dry in the coming week, dropping water levels have prompted the Province to announce a Level 3 drought rating for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Level 3 drought conditions call for voluntary water-use reductions for all surface water and groundwater users, including residents, industry, farmers and municipalities.

While some streams on Vancouver Island, especially those backed by storage reservoirs, have adequate flows, several important salmon streams are approaching critical environmental flow thresholds for ecosystems and fish, including juvenile trout and salmon. Environmental conditions are being closely monitored in case there is a need to implement specific actions to protect salmon and other fish within streams.
New Signs for the Gold Rush Trail

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and the Gold Rush Trail Management Committee are excited to hit the road and present the historic Gold Rush Trail signs to communities, museums and founding partners.

“As an aficionado of the Gold Rush Trail for 50 years, the old Gold Rush Trail signs were a significant marker along the journey and the fact that these sign will be preserved in local museums and heritage sites is a brilliant idea,” shares Brent Rutherford, Gold Rush Trail Management Committee Member. “It is a transition from the old to new”.

The original Gold Rush Trail highway signs were established by the provincial government in mid-1980s to promote the Gold Rush Trail. In 2015, the Gold Rush Trail Management Committee, in collaboration with communities and partners along the corridor, completed a brand refresh and became the first aligned brand with Destination British Columbia’s, Super, Natural British Columbia ® brand.
Destination Canada Launches New Tagline

Destination Canada has evolved their Keep Exploring brand with a new tagline, Canada: For Glowing Hearts. The tagline, which was inspired by the national anthem, and a distinctive heart-shaped logo, rooted in the country’s bold red and white iconography, are elements of an evolved brand architecture designed to create a strong emotional connection with travellers.

 Canada is more than a place on the map.
It’s a beacon to the world.
An invitation not just to explore, but to connect.
It’s a calling to discover the marvels of what’s here.
And the potential that’s within each one of us.
Canada is a destination for those with open minds and intrepid spirits.
For the brave.
For the bold.
For the curious.
This is Canada. For Glowing Hearts.

Canadian Tourism Awards Nomination Deadline Extended to June 24

The Canadian Tourism Awards are presented annually by TIAC to recognize success, leadership and innovation in Canada's tourism industry, and to reward those people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer travellers superior tourism experiences in Canada.

The Canadian Tourism Awards have become the standard of excellence for businesses and organizations in the travel industry, showcasing the nation's best tourism products, services and experiences.
BC's Minimum Wage Up As Of June 1st

BC’s general hourly minimum wage has increased to $13.85 from $12.65, and the minimum wage rates for liquor servers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders have also increased, effective June 1st..
Ruckle Park Active Farm RFP

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy invites proposals from interested individuals, firms or corporations for the delivery of Farm Operator services at Ruckle Park, the Active Farm, in BC Parks (Salt Spring Island). This RFP represents a unique business opportunity to operate the Active Farm; BC Parks will consider new products, experiences, business models and enterprises that allow long-term viability of a profitable operation.

ABLE BC Member Survey

Deloitte is conducting a survey of LDB Wholesale Operations customers to understand current concerns and future expectations specific to the distribution of Non-Stocked Product.
ABLE BC is asking that all of its members responsible for liquor orders or liquor inventory replenishment complete the survey. Your feedback is essential to the success of the LDB review.
Please complete the  survey here by June 23, 2019.
Numbers You Need to Know

YVR Continues to Set Records
In 2018, YVR welcomed 25.9M passengers to British Columbia — a 60% increase since 2013. YVR is Canada’s second busiest airport, handling 338,073 takeoffs and landings in 2018. 

Over the next 20 years, YVR will complete 75 major projects to meet growing passenger demand and improve the airport experience for everyone.

Download YVR's Fact Sheet here
Vancouver Visitor TV Reaches Milestone
Vancouver Visitor TV is very excited about reaching a milestone in their seven years of serving the tourism industry. With the recent addition of the Sutton Place Hotel into their network of 27 Greater Vancouver hotels, VVTV is now sharing tourism experiences and information with guests in 8,073 rooms and showcasing why tourism matters in BC.
Bella Coola Valley Celebrates Arrival of Northern Sea Wolf
The Northern Sea Wolf received a warm reception from the local community as BC Ferries hosted a jam-packed open house to welcome the ship into service. Nuxalk Hereditary Chief Noel Pootlass was joined by several other Staltamc (hereditary chiefs) to conduct a welcome on behalf of the Nuxalk Nation, saying it was “awesome day” to see the ferry in Nuxalk territory once again.
Mike Wiegele Receives Doctor of Laws Degree from TRU
Mike Wiegele was recently honoured by Thompson Rivers University (TRU), with the prestigious Doctor of Laws degree at the 2019 TRU Convocation Ceremonies. Mike feels incredibly grateful for this special tribute to his life’s work – which focuses on developing tourism and research for backcountry risk management.
Public Invited to Share Ideas on Royal BC Museum Modernization
The Province is engaging with Indigenous peoples and citizens throughout BC to hear their views about what they expect a modernized museum experience to be. Government is also seeking feedback about how the museum could most effectively tell stories of BC’s communities and how the museum can collaborate most productively with communities around the province. The opportunity for the public to provide feedback ends on June 27th.
For more information, or to submit ideas online, visit:  engage.gov.bc.ca/museummodernization
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Turns 80
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was officially opened in May 1939 by King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth, who stayed in hotel's Royal Suites. Over the last eight decades, the building has undergone several updates, with the latest wrapping up this year. That multi-year, $75-million project included the restoration of the hotel's 14th floor heritage suites, including the rooms occupied by the king and queen.
New Tourism Richmond Shuttle
The Richmond Discovery Shuttle officially launches on June 15th providing tourists with a new, free transportation mode to easily visit some of the city’s hottest spots. Presented in partnership by Tourism Richmond, the City of Richmond and the Richmond Hotel Association, and operated by Landsea Tours, the Richmond Discovery Shuttle will run on weekends from June 15th to September 2nd with five stops including the Richmond Olympic Oval, Steveston Village and other stops in Central Richmond.
Industry on the Move
Carla Young recently joined Tourism Kelowna , taking on the Travel Media & Communication role. Carla will coordinate the earned media program working with travel media and journalists to ensure the organization's efforts are strategically connected to their overall destination marketing and communication strategy. Carla is an experienced tourism marketing and communication specialist and has worked with local, regional and provincial destination marketing organizations managing marketing projects and campaigns, securing high-profile editorial coverage, and creating content campaigns with travel and lifestyle influencer.
Indigenous Tourism Canada recently announced that, as of May 31st, Charlie Sark has left the ITAC team to cook up new opportunities for the growing Indigenous culinary movement. Charlie’s vision, passion and innovation in Indigenous food and its role in driving culinary tourism brought so much to the ITAC table. Just in the last month, ITAC has received coverage on CTV (YourMorning), ETalk, and the Marilyn Dennis Show. Charlie also attended Toronto’s Terroir Symposium on behalf of ITAC.

Although ITAC is sad that Charlie won’t be working in the same capacity within their team, they are happy to announce he is creating a new Indigenous food tourism business development organization - a natural fit for his skills. Charlie will continue to support the growth of Indigenous tourism across Canada while shining the spotlight on the many innovative Indigenous chefs culinary artists, and food producers who are gaining international attention.
Tourism Vancouver's 116th AGM
Thursday, June 20th
3:30 - 6:30 PM
Vancouver Convention Centre, East - Meeting Rooms 123
Keynote Speaker: Greg Oates
Future Tourism Trends
Greg has been active in the travel industry for two decades, most recently as Skift’s Executive Editor of Brand Strategy, where he developed marketing and research materials for destination organizations ranging from VisitBritain to Visit Phoenix.
Upcoming Industry Events
June 20, Vancouver

July 9, Kelowna

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

January 19 - 22, 2020, Victoria

March 4 - 6, 2020, Victoria

April 28-30, 2020

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