Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
June 27, 2019
Chair's Message

While much of the country is looking forward to a relaxing three-day weekend, I assume many of you, just like myself, are gearing up for one of the busiest weekends of the year. The buzz around Canada Day always seems to signal the best of summer, no matter the weather.
Last week, Canadians from coast to coast to coast honoured National Indigenous Peoples Day. To me, this was a very important opportunity to reflect on the history of Indigenous peoples, and more specifically, their significant impact on tourism in British Columbia.
Indigenous tourism has fundamentally changed our industry. The unique offerings by Indigenous operators provide an unmatched opportunity for visitors to take part in traditional experiences, allowing guests to learn first-hand about the rich history of our Province’s Indigenous peoples.
As noted by Indigenous Tourism BC, this sector has grown from a small number of lodges and cultural centres into one that supports over 400 related businesses across the province, including accommodations, resorts, cuisine, arts and culture, outdoor adventures, and wildlife viewing. Their latest research found that one in three international visitors come to Canada looking for an authentic Indigenous experience...and that this number will only keep growing, presenting notable growth opportunities for operators with export ready products. 
I encourage those of you who have yet to take part in an Indigenous tourism experience to do so as soon as you’re able. Our partners at both Indigenous Tourism BC and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada are excellent sources for information on a variety of experiences...perhaps as soon as this long weekend.
Wishing you a happy Canada Day! As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Alroy Chan
TIABC to Respond to Proposed Amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as Government Seeks Comments

A Notice of Intent has been published in the  Canada Gazette, Part 1  (vol. 153, no. 25) inviting comments on a proposal to amend the  Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations  to introduce authorities for occupation-specific work permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The objective of an occupation-specific work permit would be to grant greater ease of job change to temporary foreign workers for any reason and without having to apply for another work permit. By providing greater labour mobility, the occupation-specific work permit could also promote competitive wages and working conditions for Canadians, permanent residents and temporary foreign workers, as well as potentially reduce the risk of worker abuse or exploitation.

Your comments on this proposal will be valuable information for the departments of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as government continues to consider this initiative over the coming months.  TIABC will join stakeholders such as the BC Hotel Association, BC Chamber of Commerce and others in responding to this issue.

The notice includes information about the proposed work permit, questions to guide your feedback and instructions on where to submit your written comments. You can access the Notice online at 
Comments are welcome at: 
Rising Business Costs Affecting Business in BC
A recent BC Chamber MindReader survey heard from almost 700 businesses around BC, including several tourism operators, and captured how rising costs are impacting growth and driving increased costs to consumers.

B.C. businesses say cost increases are forcing them to increase prices, cut staff and hold off on expansion, even as economic growth in the province outstrips the national average.

Read the full story here:
It’s an opt-in BC business intelligence community—that is over 1300 members strong and projected to grow to 3000 by the end of 2019. The members are CEOs and leaders, entrepreneurs, captains of industry, business owners large and small, and corporate British Columbians. Members provide insight into the BC economic landscape and voice concerns and opportunities for BC businesses. Data gathered through MindReader is contextualized and shared with government. It informs advocacy efforts and the policy process. TIABC is an active participant in various MindReader surveys as part of our partnership with the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Learn more about BC MindReader and how to get involved to have your voice heard:
Grow West Strategy
Explores Ambitious Ideas

 Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy  was released recently. Shaped in part through public engagement with western Canadians, this strategy is an invitation to work together to tackle challenges and explore creative ideas for growth in western Canada over the next 10 years.
Grow West  is a call to action calling on partners in all sectors, organizations and levels of government. Rather than being a strategy-in-a-box or a generic blueprint for federal action, Grow West is an invitation to form new partnerships focused on western opportunities. This strategy will help Western Diversification and the other federal departments playing leadership roles work with partners to advance their shared objective of developing and diversifying the economy in western Canada.
The strategy explores ambitious ideas for growth through four inter-related pillars:
  • Diversification: building a broader economy by growing emerging sectors and transforming resource sectors;
  • Trade: seizing global opportunities by improving export access and growing markets;
  • Skills: fostering talent for the new economy by strengthening education and upskilling; and,
  • Communities: connecting to innovation and growth by building resilience and liveability, and enhancing digital access.
Tourism Week Images

TIABC now has a link to all the #TourismWeek images we found during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 celebrations. If you don't see your images, please let us know. We'd like to produce a video compilation of Tourism Week 2019 and don't want to miss you or your community.
Share Your Views on Workers Compensation

The Province has announced a review of the workers compensation system including policies, practices and the  Workers Compensation Act , with the objective of making them more “worker centred”. The review will be carried out by a retired lawyer, Janet Patterson. As a part of this review, Ms. Patterson will be soliciting feedback from all stakeholders including injured workers, employers, healthcare workers etc.and others through public consultations and private feedback. This is an excellent opportunity for employers to share their concerns about the workers compensation system and improvements they would like to see going forward. 
You can share your feedback until July 19th.
Visit the government website to submit your comments, or for further details on the review including terms of reference and the engagement process:  
We encourage all employers to participate! Please feel free to reach out to the Health & Safety team at go2HR at  safety@go2hr.ca  if you would like to further discuss any of this.
Gearing Up For Summer with SuperHost

Now that the busy summer season has arrived, what are you doing to ensure your front-line employees have the proper training to meet – and exceed – customer expectations?
It was a year ago when go2HR re-launched the SuperHost suite of customer service training. To-date, close to 5,000 certificates have been issued and more than 510 classroom sessions were held. Are you and your staff aware of the value SuperHost training brings to your workplace?

The SuperHost Foundations of Service Quality course introduces the principles of providing a quality service experience in a workplace, and provides an understanding of the importance of exceptional customer service. It touches on workplace communication, problem solving, customer and employer expectations, and more.
Launched in February, Service For All makes a great add-on to any in-house training programs or as a follow-up from Foundations of Service Quality. Participants learn about expectations and practices around specific customer groups, including but not limited to different generations, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ/2S people, Indigenous peoples, and visitors from different ethnic backgrounds.
The easiest way to get certified with SuperHost is via online training. It’s flexible, participants can study at their own pace, and it’s accessible from anywhere with internet access. Classroom training is also available for Foundations of Service Quality, and is recommended for groups of 10 or more.
If you are looking for industry-specific training for front-line staff, look no further than SuperHost. There are different ways to take SuperHost training. Contact Andrea Hinck at ahinck@go2hr.ca or 604 633 9787 ext. 225 today to learn more!
Nominate a Volunteer in Your Community

Canada’s Volunteer Awards (CVA) recognizes the significant contributions of individual volunteers, non-profit organizations and businesses across the country in helping communities.

Nominations close July 31st.
Call For Presenters

The Mountain Bike Tourism Symposium is seeking dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable presenters for the 2019 Symposium. If you have a topic that you would like to present or suggest for a panel discussion, please contact them with a brief description.  The topic categories that they are most interested in for 2019 are:

  • Sustainable approaches to mountain bike recreation and tourism
  • Trail management and funding models
  • Working collaboratively/strategic partnerships
  • Inclusivity / encouraging diversity/youth engagement 
  • Climate change impacts/Wildfire management/Wildlife management 
  • New opportunities/trends/case studies
Please email  martin@mbta.ca
Numbers You Need to Know
Airbnb Remits $14M in PST to the Province
BC is on track to collect millions more from Airbnb in provincial sales tax than was originally estimated. Airbnb says it has remitted $14 million in PST and $4 million in MRDT in the first six months of collecting the taxes, which kicked in on October 1st, 2018. That means the tax money is rolling in at almost twice the expected rate because when Airbnb signed the tax agreement last year, the company pegged the remittance to be $16 million for the entire first year.
Air Canada Named Best Airline in North America
Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America for the third consecutive year and recognized for the world's Best Business Class Lounge Dining, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class in North America and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America at the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony held recently at the International Paris Air Show.
Accent Inns Recognized at Employee Engagement Awards
BC-based Accent Inns Inc. received a prestigious honour at the 2019 North American Employee Engagement Awards in New York on Thursday. Accent Inns Inc., which operates hotels of the same name along with Hotel Zed, received the highly commended distinction, which is the runner-up honour, for the Employee Culture & Purpose Award.
GVHA Celebrates World Oceans Day
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) celebrated the 7th annual World Oceans Day and it was a total success. Over 1,000 people attended this year and were exposed to many different activities. Eagle Wings Tours has been co-hosting the event with the GVHA for many years. The fundraising efforts coordinated by World Oceans Day have now raised enough money to purchase a  Seabin . The unit acts as a floating garbage bin skimming the surface of the water by pumping water into the device.
Tourism Booming in Campbell River
Tourism operators in Campbell River say they’re booking up fast this summer and as a result hotels rooms are a hot commodity. “We’re seeing occupancy rates over 82% consistently over the year, which is about 11% over the provincial average and we saw a six% increase over 2017, so we’re definitely feeling a bit of a squeeze,” said Destination Campbell River Executive Director Kirsten Soder.
The Island Means Business
Hotel occupancy, at 62.5%, is the highest it’s been since 2001, and room rates are testing new peaks. The major national airlines, Air Canada and WestJet have increased flights and seat capacity to both Comox Valley Airport and Victoria International Airport, which is doubling the seating capacity of its ground-floor departure lounge with an expected completion date in spring 2020.
Data Shows Nine Years of Tourism Golden Growth
Tourism Golden has seen its ninth consecutive year of substantial growth in the community, partly because of partnerships with stakeholders, as well as a great team working together on a variety of aspects to promote Golden to visitors.
Public Restroom Information a Benefit to Kelowna Visitors
In March of this year, Tourism Kelowna and the Downtown Kelowna Association met to discuss options for sharing information about public restroom availability in the downtown area, as many businesses have been required to post signs stating "No Public Washrooms Available" or "Washrooms are for Customer Use Only."As a result of this conversation, new window cling decals have been created displaying a web link and QR code which can be used to find the closest public restroom.
Mountain Bike Park Expansion at Sun Peaks
A major expansion is underway at the Sun Peaks mountain bike park. The resort is investing $350,000 in new additions and improvements to trails this summer. The revamp is part of efforts to make Sun Peaks, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a destination for mountain bikers of all skill levels. PC: Reuben Krabbe/Sun Peaks Resort
Reconciliation and Indigenous Tourism
A recent Vancouver Sun article discussed how Indigenous tourism companies are contributing toward reconciliation, one guest at a time.
Penticton Students Become Tourism Influencers
The Travel Penticton Youth Influencers partnered with KVR Middle School to create the program to develop a network of tourism influencers within the local youth market while providing participating students with learning and personal development opportunities. The goal is to work with the students and encourage them to become ‘digital influencers’ and promote their activities and experiences across a range social media platforms.
Tourism Cranbrook Plans for the Future
The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce recently held a luncheon at St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, bringing together experts to discuss the future of tourism in Cranbrook and around the region.DestinationBC, Kootenay Rockies Tourism, Indigenous Tourism BC and Cranbrook Tourism participated in the discussion.
Upcoming Industry Events
July 9, Kelowna

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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