Tourism Industry Association of BC
The Voice of the Tourism Industry

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Chair's Message
Industry News
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March 24, 2016
Chair's Message 
Our new website is now live! After months of development with our partners at Hothouse Marketing, we're excited to share the final result and look forward to your comments and suggestions.
So what's new?  I'm tempted to say everything but that's not entirely accurate.  However, our new site is now fully responsive meaning you can find what you're looking for on any device. It's a welcome move since so many of our members access TIABC information on a mobile or tablet device. 
We've also given more profile to our members and sponsors and made it easier for visitors to connect with our key stakeholders. The Membership Directory features each member's logo and link to their website. 
The site contains a  Members-Only  section accessible by password.
(TIABC members will be receiving an email today or tomorrow with a specific login password). Here you will find the full version of TIABC's 
2016-2018 Strategic Plan  and 2016 Policy Positions  paper. You can also view correspondence sent by TIABC to various government representatives about issues that are important to our members. 
The BC Tourism Matters section contains inspirational stories, research and other information that profiles BC's visitor economy and provides material for members, government and other stakeholders to use in presentations and communication with key constituents. We will be constantly populating this section with new content so be sure to regularly visit BC Tourism Matters in the coming weeks and months.
Finally, we've created an opportunity for members  to provide exclusive offers to other members. If you have a member offer, please submit a formatted ad to TIABC for placement on our home page. The ad size specs are 170 pixels wide x 135 pixels high, and can be either a JPG or PNG file.
So what hasn't changed? Well, TIABC is committed to keeping members up to date on our activities, events and media coverage. To that end, we've retained the sections on media, calendar of events, about TIABC and the benefits of membership to ensure all site visitors are informed.
We encourage you to continue submitting your corporate news and industry events for our calendar. And don't forget to share high-quality photos from your destination, your business or your sector so we can keep the site fresh and engaging.
As always, we look forward to your comments. Happy browsing.
Jim Humphrey
Chair, Board of Directors

TIABC Call for Board Nominations

The Tourism Industry Association of BC is inviting members to nominate candidates for Board of Director positions for the term beginning in May 2016. It is important to note that only active members can nominate and/or vote. 

All nominations from members must be received 45 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. Therefore, any nominations for director positions must be received on or before April 8, 2016.

To download the nomination form, click  here or visit the TIABC website at:

TIABC 2016 AGM & Summit 

Mark your calendars for TIABC's AGM & Summit, May 24-26 at Sun Peaks. Although the agenda is still being finalized, the preliminary schedule includes:

May 24th - Evening Reception hosted by Tourism Sun Peaks
May 25th - TIABC AGM and Town Hall (co-hosted with TIAC); presentations by federal and provincial tourism ministers (to be confirmed), sector roundtables, dinner hosted by Sun Peaks Grand Hotel
May 26th - Breakfast, concurrent sessions, closing lunch, post-event activities (optional)

For sponsorship opportunities and other event details, click here.

Registration and other details to come shortly.

A special thank you to our three event partners. 

Premier Sponsors

Official Sponsor

Industry News
The annual statistics for 2015 show British Columbia saw a remarkable 7.9% increase in international visitors over the previous year. Hon. Shirley Bond comments on 2015 tourism year in the vide below:
Hon. Shirley Bond comments on 2015 tourism year

TIABC received an update from federal tourism minister Hon. Bardish Chagger regarding the federal budget announcement on Tuesday March 22nd.

D ear colleagues,
Yesterday, the Government tabled  Budget 2016, a budget squarely focused on revitalizing the Canadian economy - and it was an exciting day for the tourism industry! I would like to share with you a few of the highlights, and offer you the opportunity to share your feedback.
Marketing Canada as a Premier Tourism Destination: Destination Canada will receive an additional $50 million to market Canada's fantastic tourism destinations and experiences in the United States and key international locations - increasing visitors from our largest target markets and supporting and creating jobs here at home. 
Celebrating Canada's Cultural and Natural Attractions: Our government will modernize and preserve some of Canada's world-class cultural infrastructure for future generations and tourists to enjoy. Budget 2016 is investing $1.9 billion in our nation's important cultural institutions, including $105.9 million for our national museums and $35 million to promote Canadian artists and culture throughout the world. We are also investing $333.3 million in our world-class national parks and $20 million in National Historic Sites.
Improving tourism infrastructure: We're excited to improve infrastructure to connect more people to Canada's tourist destinations. From investments of $51.9 million for ferry services in Atlantic Canada, to $34 million for VIA Rail improvements, we are going to make it easier for more people to visit Canada.
I'm thrilled that Budget 2016 will allow us to attract more visitors to our great nation and support the many middle-class Canadians who work hard in the tourism industry to make Canada a world-class destination.
Feel free to share your thoughts with my team and I, including with my Chief of Staff, Rachel Bendayan (, and my Director of Policy and Stakeholder Relations, John Matheson (
I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing you soon!

Bardish Chagger, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Small Business and Tourism

New Consumer Websites

Both Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Kelowna recently launched new consumer websites:    and

Both sites include updates that make them more mobile-friendly. Kelowna's new site includes LiveChat, allowing users to connect with Visitor Centre for trip planning assistance. Vancouver's new site includes tools such as a virtual Visitor Centre, itinerary builders, interactive maps and more!


BC Parks Seek Public Input on Park Use Permits

BC Parks has posted a draft Public Notification and Engagement Policy for park use permits on their website at The draft policy focuses on modernizing advertisement of permit applications and how and when the public will be informed of permit applications and decisions.
Amendments to the  Park Act were passed under Bill 25, the  Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2012, which allowed for use of web communication tools in how the public is informed about proposed permits, and giving the minister the ability to require that the public be provided with an opportunity to review details and provide comment on a proposed permit. These amendments have not been brought into force, as BC Parks is first seeking public input into the draft Public Notification and Engagement Permit Policy.
The draft policy will be posted on the BC Parks' website for 90 days with feedback requested by June 22nd, 2016. To encourage public review and feedback BC Parks has also posted a simple response form. BC Parks will consider all input received when drafting the final policy.
Record breaking year for YQQ

The Comox Valley Airport had a record breaking year in 2015, hitting an all time high of 351,530 passengers. That is an incredible 40 per cent increase in travellers since the Airport Commission opened the doors to the new terminal building in 2004.

Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow says the impressive annual results are directly linked to Air Canada's new service to Vancouver from Comox, as well as increased flights and scheduling improvements to Calgary with WestJet and WestJet Encore.

First Tourism Numbers of 2016

The first tourism numbers of 2016 are in and they look good.  The overall January 2016 numbers show a 10.3% increase in visitors toCanada over January 2015!  A large part of this increase came from visitors from China, one of Destination Canada's target markets. After several months of slowed growth, we are seeing the strongest January visitation from China ever, and the largest percentage growth since 2012; Visitation is up +27% over last January, with total visitors numbering 30,823. Mexico started the year strong, with +21.8% more visitors over January 2015. Further success is seen in the mature European market, where France and Germany had very strong growth at +5.6% and +7% respectively.
The 2016 numbers are very encouraging when compared to 2015, which  was one the best years for international visitation to Canada in nearly a decade where Canada outpaced the global growth rate by over 2%. The bright light in 2015 was an 8.3% increase in overnight visitation from the US, and that performance is prior to the launch of Connecting America, the new US leisure marketing program led by Destination Canada. We look forward to seeing more success in the rest of 2016!
Calendar of Events
April 11, 2016

April 21, 2016

April 24-27, 2016

May 9-10, 2016

TIABC AGM & Summit - Sun Peaks, BC
May 24-26, 2016

May 24-29, 2016

May 29-June 4, 2016

June 1-6, 2016

September 26-30, 2016

October 4-6, 2016

Visit TIABC's Event Calendar for more events. Tell us about your event and we will add it to the list.