March 16, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

CEO's Message

With Spring Break underway, it seems like an appropriate time for some spring cleaning...or housekeeping if you prefer.  Allow me to fill you in on some recent activities (in no particular order):
Many people I've spoken with over the last few weeks are still talking about how good the BC Tourism Industry Conference was. In early survey results, we're seeing high marks for speakers, content and other elements that affirm the desire and necessity of the conference.  Interestingly, I've connected with folks who couldn't attend this year that were sorry they missed it (based on what they heard) and plan to register for Kelowna next March.  If you joined us in Victoria and haven't yet filled out the follow-up survey, please do so this week before we close it off. One final note about the conference...checkout our new video that debuted at lunch on the final day. It provides a slightly different take on why #BCTourismMatters.
We are less than two months away from the provincial election, and although the writ hasn't yet been dropped, campaigning is well underway. As I referenced a few weeks ago, TIABC (with input from several sector partners) has produced a 2017 Guide to the BC Election that provides tourism stakeholders with suggestions on how to engage candidates of all political stripes in discussions about issues and opportunities related to B.C.'s visitor economy.  We believe you'll find this to be a valuable tool to help frame the relevant issues, as well as to learn more about party platforms/actions the next government will take relative to tourism. Review or download a copy of the guide from our website.
At the invitation of Tourism HR Canada (THRC), I attended a two-day meeting in Ottawa last week (along with 50 professional colleagues from across the country) to discuss labour shortages and other tourism HR challenges. The session provided important insight into government policy and priorities, industry needs and trends, initiatives by various organizations, and a desired path forward toward resolving some of the challenges.  I commend Tourism HR Canada for their leadership and for the work they do on this critical file.  A copy of the discussion topics and key stats can be found here.  Feel free to contact THRC if you require further information or clarification.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to co-host a working lunch for members of the BC Liberal Caucus in Victoria to examine the concerns around the unregulated short-term vacation rental (STR) market that is affecting multiple communities around B.C. Along with BCHA's James Chase and TIABC board member David McKenzie (who is also BCHA chair), we discussed the key issues (e.g. lack of affordable & available housing for workers) and talked about possible solutions. Caucus was keenly interested in the STR issue. We look forward to continued dialogue in the coming months.
Recently in Nanaimo, TIABC board member Paul Nursey (CEO, Tourism Victoria), Chemistry Consulting's Frank Bouree and I presented to Mayor Bill McKay, a couple of municipal councillors and close to 30 members of Nanaimo's tourism and hospitality community regarding preferred approaches to destination marketing given that the city is absent an official DMO. While taking our remarks and suggestions into consideration, the city recently announced a new business relationship for sales and marketing of the conference centre, as well as destination marketing.
As you can see, lots on the go in our Q1 spring cleaning efforts. As always, we look forward to hearing from you. 

Walt Judas

Photos of Delegates Playing Canada's
 Most Famous Guitar Now Available

If you had your photo taken with Voyageur, the Six String Nation guitar at our conference in Victoria, images have now been distributed by Jowi Taylor directly to your inbox. If you did not receive an email with your photos or other notifications from Jowi, check your spam folders and make sure you've enabled your email client to view attachments. 

Be sure to like the Six String Nation Facebook page  which is sometimes used as an alternative communication channel. 

Don't Be Scared. Be Prepared.

Emergency Planning for B.C.'s Tourism Industry
At last month's B.C. Tourism Industry Conference, Emergency Management B.C. and TIABC released two  new resources to help tourism businesses across the province plan for an effective response and quicker recovery in the event of a major emergency. This preparation work is critical considering the millions of people traveling for business and pleasure in British Columbia each year.

When natural disasters strike, tourism operators play a vital role in providing information, direction, and guidance for visitors unfamiliar with B.C. and its potential hazards. Prepare for emergencies and ensure the safety of staff and guests with these resources specifically designed for tourism operators.

Both the guide and emergency plan were developed with support from Destination British Columbia, Tourism Tofino, the B.C. Hotel Association, and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association. This collaboration is a great step in disaster readiness and toward building a safe, secure and resilient province.

Follow this step-by-step guide to prepare your operation and staff for emergencies by following several key steps: know the risks, make a plan, have key contacts on hand, stock up on materials and supplies, communicate with and train employees on emergency responses, conduct practice and drills, and more.

PreparedBC: Emergency Plan for Tourism Operators
Tourism operators can use this document to start planning and preparing for emergencies that may impact staff and guests. It includes templates and tools that build off the guide to support fast and effective emergency response.


Numbers You Need to Know

Tourism Vancouver's Record-breaking 2016
In 2016, visitation to Vancouver exceeded 10 million people, the third record-breaking year in a row. 
In partnership with many of its members, Tourism Vancouver is engaged in strategic sales and marketing initiatives in 11 key countries worldwide, all of which are intended to attract leisure and business travellers to the city.

Tourism Kelowna Economic Impact Report Impressive
Data from a report on the  Economic Impact of Tourism in Kelowna and the Greater Kelowna area shows t ourism is a $1+ billion contributor to the Central Okanagan economy, and an industry that continues to grow at a steady rate. With over 1.9 million visitors to Kelowna annually, the tourism industry contributes over $1.25 billion in total economic output.

The tourism industry also generates $80 million in federal tax revenues, $49 million in provincial tax revenues, and $13 million in municipal tax revenues (total = $142 million).  Total GDP and economic output from tourism is up 49% since 2011.


A recent Canadian wine and grape industry research study revealed the economic impacts of the B.C. wine industry:
  • B.C. wine accounts for 31% of Canada's $9-billion wine and grape industry
  • B.C.'s wine industry continues to be a major economic driver contributing $2.8 billion to the economy in 2015
  • B.C. is the second largest wine industry in the country behind only Ontario in terms of acreage, tonnage and wine grape sales
  • Most B.C. wineries and grape growers are small, family-owned agri-businesses. These small businesses are creating 12,000 full-time B.C. jobs.
  • In 2015, there were about 929 grape growers operating in British Columbia with a combined acreage of 10,260 grape-bearing acres.Those grapes were spread out across 275 wineries that sold nearly 4.8 million, nine-litre equivalent cases of wine
  • The average bottle of wine produced in B.C. generates $33.84 of business revenue, $5.42 of tax revenue and $8.91 of wages
  • B.C. wine tourism generated $600 million in revenue in 2015, as about one million tourists visited British Columbia wineries.

Remarkable Numbers for YLW
New annual arrival statistics show that in 2016, B.C. saw a 12.3% increase in international visitors.

Several factors are being credited for the increase in tourism from outside the country, a low Canadian dollar, international marketing of B.C. to the world and increased air access.

At YLW, Air Canada's new direct flight between Brisbane and Vancouver is helping attract more Australians to the Okanagan Valley.  "We're meeting those flights with larger A319 aircraft from Vancouver to Kelowna.  On some of those flights, 40% of passengers are destined for the Okanagan," Airport Director Sam Samaddar said.

Both WestJet and Air Canada are increasing the size and frequency of flights from Toronto as well, which is another airline hub.

Crown Land Transfer to Enhance Ucluelet's Trail Network
The B.C. government has approved a crown land transfer to the District of Ucluelet that will enable the creation of a historic museum, enhancements to the area's trail network, viewing areas and visitor amenities, and the preservation of important historical structures.

The grant for Ucluelet's Amphitrite Lands is made possible through the province's Sponsored Crown Grant Program and transfers 18.3 hectares of land in the District of Ucluelet. The crown land, valued at close to $3 million, includes the Amphitrite Lighthouse, heritage buildings and portions of the Wild Pacific Trail.

The transfer is central to Ucluelet's plans to attract more visitors to the resort municipality. This will include enhancing the world-class Wild Pacific Trail and developing a waterfront trail connection from the lighthouse to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Securing the Amphitrite Lands also supports Ucluelet's efforts to preserve the Amphitrite Lighthouse - a signature heritage structure over 100 years old.

Tourism Richmond Announces New CEO

Bruce Okabe has been named CEO of Tourism Richmond. Bruce is the former CEO of Travel Alberta and most recently served as Chief Strategy Officer at Check-in Canada, as well as on the board of TIABC where he chaired the Policy Development Committee.  He will now lead BC's fourth largest DMO and Canada's top hotel occupancy destination. Congratulations Bruce!


Ucluelet Tackling Short-Term Rentals

The  District of Ucluelet has entered into an agreement with Host Compliance LLC to begin the process of regulating the short-term rental (STR) market in Ucluelet.

Over the next few weeks, District staff will begin using Host Compliance to monitor STR advertisement channels, that will identify the locations of non-compliant operators. The intent is  to commence the enforcement process and help bring them into compliance with the District's regulations to ensure a level playing field among lodging providers.

The District encourages those operating STRs to contact them to ensure they are operating legally. In due process, all short-term accommodations will be subject to inspection and enforcement to ensure they are conforming to active regulatory bylaws.

Although Council prefers an ambassadorial approach to the issue, shortly after that approach is exhausted, compliance notices will be issued and enforcement including fines and legal action will begin to escalate.

The Canadian Tourism Awards (CTA)  recognize the nation's best tourism products, services and experiences. Being a CTA finalist is a  great way to boost recognition and legitimacy for your tourism business. Consider submitting an application today.

Check out the criteria for this year's  categories and find other important information at:

More Air Access Growth for B.C.

Air Canada has announced the introduction of daily summer service between Vancouver and Boston starting June 23rd through until September 4th. This new route complements other daily non-stop flights to American destinations including the recently launched Vancouver- Dallas route. 

Hong Kong Airline executives and guests attend a pre-launch event 

Vancouver will be first North American destination for the young but rapidly expanding Hong Kong Airlines. The airline recognizes the huge demand citing such factors as Vancouver's large Chinese- Canadian community, the number of Hong Kong residents who have moved to Vancouver, and the number of Canadians in Hong Kong.


Closer to home, Pacific Coastal Airlines has added a 9:00 p.m. Vancouver to Comox and Campbell River flight. Harbour Air also added flights linking Vancouver and Comox. 

Quick Links