March 29, 2018
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

The Clipper fleet's first upgrade since 1994, the new vessel's larger size (the Clipper V is a whopping 38 feet longer than the previous Victoria Clippers!) makes cruising through the Salish Sea much smoother. The ship is also aided by a motion-dampening system and huge, bulbous bows that better pierce the waves and allow the ship to glide through rough seas.

Chairs's Message

Sometimes uttering a simple phrase says it all. For example, 'all hands on deck' is one that I've used forever, likely because of my long career in the navy.  In recent years I've said it to mobilize my entire staff to prepare our resort for the upcoming peak season. These days, however, it's a directive to all of the BC tourism industry to get behind TIABC's call to protect the integrity of the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) for its original intended purpose (tourism marketing, projects and programs) and from changes proposed by the BC government.
As part of its 2018 budget, government announced plans to expand the use of MRDT to include affordable housing initiatives.  While TIABC applauds government's goal to tackle housing challenges, redirecting marketing funds dedicated to building British Columbia's robust visitor economy is not the way to do it. In fact, TIABC's policy on MRDT includes some fundamental principles that speak to why retaining this program for its original use is so critical. For example:
The MRDT program has strong advantages because it offers a predictable, legislative framework for communities and industry to promote their community together.  It also provides British Columbia with a structural competitive advantage when compared to other jurisdictions in Canada.
At the same time, TIABC's policy notes that where the program can often run into trouble is the competition for resources between industry interests and local government interests that may from time-to-time want access to some or all of the revenue for tourism programs. These so-called tourism programs often amount to infrastructure/capital projects that may directly or indirectly benefit the tourism sector. Although important, infrastructure projects should be funded outside of MRDT.
As we've witnessed before, the 'give an inch, take a mile' scenario is a very real possibility because of competition for resources. It's the exact reason why the use of MRDT should not be expanded to include housing. We simply cannot risk 'opening the floodgates' to these revenues being used for any other purposes.
TIABC has expressed these deep concerns directly in meetings with government.  While several DMOs have also written to the province asking that MRDT be retained as is, now other industry partners are rallying around the cause. Like thousands of small tourism operators across the province, I've built my business on the strength of DMO marketing investments, via MRDT revenues, that are performance based and accountable. Changing the regulation threatens businesses like mine and thousands of others who are the backbone of our industry.

One other point worth noting is that hotels around the province entered into agreements with the province and respective local governments to collect MRDT from guests for tourism marketing purposes. Any deviation from that plan is unlikely to be supported by hotels in the majority of collecting communities, especially upon renewal.
Tourism did not become a $17 billion industry that employs tens of thousands of people because visitors stumbled upon British Columbia and our wonderful products, services and attributes. Rather, we grew and matured into a thriving, record-setting economic force because of the individual and collective marketing/product development initiatives that DMOs, businesses, government and various tourism sectors invested in.

Therefore, we need to retain MRDT in its entirety to carry on the momentum, create jobs, build Indigenous tourism, support rural communities, and to ensure that British Columbia's visitor economy continues to grow and prosper for the benefit of the entire province.
Because BC tourism matters to you, let government know that MRDT must be retained for tourism marketing...period. To borrow another phrase, 'Let's not rob Peter to pay Paul'.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

TIABC Appoints Two New Board Members

Tourism Prince George CEO Erica Hummel has joined TIABC's Board of Directors representing the DMO category, replacing Robyn Cyr of Shuswap Tourism  who recently stepped down from the board.
Erica has worked in the tourism and hospitality sector for over 15 years in B.C., Ontario and the UK. Aside from her work with a number of boards, she currently sits on the City of Princ e George Economic Development Advisory Committee. After completing a diploma in Events and Convention Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University, Erica later went on to complete her Master's Degree in Tourism Poli cy and Planning from the  University of Waterloo.

In her free time, Erica loves exploring new places, both close to home and further afield, with her partner and their son. She particularly enjoys any excuse to go hiking, canoeing or cross-country skiing in northern BC's scenic parks. 

Tony Munday of Munday Media and Design has rejoined TIABC's Board in the business category replacing John Holton who resigned last month.  Tony previously served on the Board from 2015- 2017 and was a key member of the Membership and Communications Committee.  

Tony's tourism experience includes four years as Executive Director of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association.  He also served on the board of the Oliver Tourism Association and is past-chair of the Festival of the Grape/Oliver Cask and Keg Committee.

Tony lives in Oliver with his wife, daughter and son.

TIABC Joins Call to Eliminate Employer Health Tax & Maintain Core Elements of the Labour Code

TIABC along with several business sectors such as Restaurants Canada, the Retail Council of Canada, the BC Hotel Association and others have signed a joint letter to Premier Horgan and Finance Minister James calling on government to withdraw the proposed employer payroll tax. 

The new tax will have a significant negative impact on British Columbia's employers and make our province a less attractive jurisdiction for investment. In addition, the new payroll tax places a significant burden on businesses, public institutions, local governments, health care providers, education boards, and non-profit societies.

The letter also references other cost pressures from governments including: 
  •   Since 2011, the minimum wage in BC has increased 42 percent. Further planned increases to the minimum wage will exceed the annual inflation rate and increase by another 34 percent to $15.20 by 2021; 
  •   Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payroll costs will increase by 20 percent starting in 2019 until 2023;   Property taxes, at both the provincial and municipal level, continue to rise; 
  •   New environmental regulations (e.g., regulation of single-use items) and eco-fees (e.g., expansion of products obligated under packaging and paper product category on 
    November 14, 2017) add significant operating costs; 
Medical services are a social program of benefit to all British Columbians and are not inherently related to employment. There are a host of other options at Government's disposal so we encourage the Government to continue to consult with stakeholders to find a fairer and more balanced approach that works for all British Columbians and that is affordable for small and medium-sized businesses. 

In the interests of tax fairness and protecting small and medium-sized businesses, we urge the Government to immediately announce the elimination of the new payroll tax. 

Similarly, 13 business associations, including TIABC  have submitted a joint submission to the BC Labour Relations Code Review Panel. The joint submission urges the Review Panel to maintain the general balance and fairness that underpins the current BC Labour Relations Code.


The letter states that overall, the BC Labour Relations Code is working - and working well.  BC has experienced a long period of labour relations stability with very few work stoppages.  At the same time, workplaces have evolved and continue to change rapidly as technology and new generations of workers demand flexibility, choice and innovative workplaces.  Any changes to the Code need to ensure that opportunities for BC's economy to attract investment, talent and jobs are not compromised in the process.


The submission calls for the vast majority of the Labour Relations Code's provisions to be sustained, including the current approach to union certification by secret ballot vote.


The current Labour Relations Code is the result of uniquely consultative processes in 1992/93 further supported and enhanced in 2002.  This argues for circumspection and restraint on the part of the Review Panel.

Help us Find British Columbia's
Top Tourism Entrepreneur

Previous winner, local entrepreneur and Rocky Mountaineer owner Peter Armstrong is spearheading a campaign to promote the Tourism and Hospitality category of EY Canada's Entrepreneur Of The Year program in the Pacific region with CEOs from the industry.
As one of the world's largest financial institutions and business consultancies, Ernst & Young LLP (EY Canada) has always recognized the value of nurturing entrepreneurs. To formally highlight and celebrate these innovative business founders, a quarter of a century ago the company launched the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Program in Canada.

Armstrong, owner of Rocky Mountaineer, is a previous winner of the Tourism and Hospitality category in the Pacific region. He has committed to sponsoring the category for five years to unearth BC's brightest entrepreneur.  "I am passionate about tourism and I am proud of the entrepreneurs in our industry. A winner from the Tourism and Hospitality category has never gone on to win the regional EY Entrepreneur Of The Year accolade and I'm determined to change that. Tourism contributes more to our economy that any other industry in Canada."

Armstrong has gathered an impressive group to drive engagement with this program. Industry leaders including Destination Canada President & CEO David Goldstein, YVR President and CEO Craig Richmond, TIABC CEO Walt Judas, Destination BC Vice President Grant Mackay and WHERE Magazine Publisher Peggie Terry form the initiative's steering committee.

"The EY EOY program is the biggest of its kind in the world. Every year we are inspired by the individuals and the stories that we encounter through the program," said Lui Petrollini, EY Partner Tax Assurance and Client Services and Director of the EY EOY program, Pacific Region, Canada.

"Our industry thrives on the ingenuity and passion of entrepreneurs. This award is yet one more example of why BC tourism matters," said Walt Judas.

To find out more and to nominate an entrepreneur go to

Nominate an entrepreneurial visionary by April 15.

Time-sensitive Opportunities for Input Into
Key Issues

TIABC is working with the Vancouver Economic Commission to address the many challenges facing industrial businesses in the city. To inform this work, we are looking for more information from businesses like yours.
We would greatly appreciate your participation in a 15-minute survey to help us better understand the challenges and opportunities your business is facing and any upcoming changes to your space needs.

The survey data will be used in aggregate to help inform business development programs, industrial affordability initiatives, sustainability programs, policy and planning advocacy, and partnerships with academic institutions and training programs. For more information on how this survey will be used, please visit
Please don't hesitate to reach out directly to Pietra Basilij at the Vancouver Economic Commission if you have any questions or concerns. e:   ph:  (778) 229-2877

Take the survey here: 


The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has launched  a new survey tin partnership with the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of British Columbia.  The survey, conducted independently by the research firm Mustel Group, will ask B.C. business owners about some of the measures announced in the provincial and federal budgets, and the impacts those new policies could have on their businesses.

The survey will cover measures such as the employer health payroll tax, increases to B.C.'s minimum wage, the speculation tax, federal small business tax reforms, the planned increases to Canadian Pension Plan contributions, and more.  Respondents will also have the opportunity to register anything else that might affect their business in either the provincial or federal budgets.
The survey will be open until end of day April 4th. A ll survey responses will be collected by the Mustel Group and will remain confidential and anonymous.

Take the survey here:

BC Golf Industry Scorecard

Now that golfing season has arrived or is nearly here, the Allied Golf Association BC's (AGA-BC) industry scorecard provides an excellent overview on the value of the sport to the province based on the game's traditional scoring methods of birdie, par and bogey over nine holes.

AGA-BC posted birdies for:
  • Economic impact - 2.08 billion industry, $465 million in taxes, 44,000 jobs
  • Support of tough new environmental standards and industry leader in 'greener' best management practices
  • Physical and mental fitness, social connections and 10,000 steps for 18 holes
AGA-BC scored par for:
  • 300+ golf courses in BC that are all locally owned and operated and help generate revenues for charities
  • Green space for recreation and wildlife refuge
  • #1 recreational sport activity in Canada with no barriers to entry
AGA-BC scored bogies for:
  • Not leveraging the largely untapped United States market; Canadian tourists spend $585 million on golf travel to BC
  • Access to consistent water sources, water management and conservation
  • Lack of female professional golfers
The Allied Golf Association of British Columbia is a provincial organization that contains representation from each of the Regional Golf Industry Associations that are dedicated to providing one cohesive voice for the golf industry of BC.


2017 Kamloops Tourism Economy Valued at $449 Million

A recent update to the Value of Tourism economic impact analysis continues to confirm that tourism is a key economic driver for Kamloops. 

In 2017, the study estimated 1.8 million visitors to the city.  Based on total visitation and factoring in average length of stay and average total spend per visitor per trip, the annual direct visitor expenditure in Kamloops is estimated at $270 million.  Applying the Statistics Canada input/output model, the total estimated tourism economic impact is $449 million.

DMO of the Year Tourism Chilliwack Gearing Up for Multiple Events

Tourism Chilliwack and partners, the City of Chilliwack and the Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe are working hard to prepare for the RBC Cup which takes place May 12-20 at Prospera Centre.

The 10th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer is taking place this year in Chilliwack.   For the first time, the ride will have an all-B.C. route with the overnight camp at Heritage Park. 

The 12th annual Tulips of the Valley Festival opens today in time for Easter weekend and two weeks earlier than usual.  For the first time, along with 20 acres of tulips and over seven million bulbs, two acres of vibrant hyacinths and three acres of double or "peony" daffodils will be on display.

Tourism Chilliwack has introduced its five year strategic plan and one year marketing plan to stakeholders. The organization is open to feedback and willing to answers questions surrounding its marketing plans and vision for the future of tourism in Chilliwack.

2018 Conference Presentations

Various workshop presentations and slides from plenary sessions are being uploaded to the conference website as they become available.  Visit

Vancouver's Tourism Showcase Trade Show

Come peruse an outstanding array of experiences and services available to visitors and clients in Metro Vancouver. Registering to exhibit will give you the exclusive opportunity to connect with and educate the very people who will be recommending your business to Vancouver's visitors. For more trade show details, please view the  SHOWCASE INFORMATION PACKAGE

Exhibitor space is limited, do not delay registration!

* Registration Cost: $275+GST per booth space 
* Exhibitors will receive a 10ft x 10ft space with a skirted 8ft table and two chairs (power, wi-fi etc. extra)
* Deadline for registration and payment is Friday, April 27th, 2018

Attendance as a GUEST at this event is FREE and open to everyone. No RSVP required!

Register Now - 2018 BC Hospitality Summit
Whistler - April 22-24

Included in your full-package conference pass:
Sunday welcome reception, Monday breakfast and lunch, Tuesday breakfast and lunch, BC Hospitality Industry Awards Gala Dinner, three keynote speakers, eight educational seminars, vendor marketplace,networking and more.
Don't miss these industry-leading keynote speakers:
  • David Sax: Analog Revenge
    Retailers and tech giants are fusing screens with analog processes to increase creativity, outsmart the competition, and boost their bottom line - and you can too. Sax will show you how digital's one-size-fits-all promise is being complemented and enhanced by tangible, analog processes.
  • Stephen Barth: Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
     Mastering emotional intelligence is the key to unlocking your potential as a leader, manager and communicator. Learn how to use emotional intelligence in your organization to develop engaged, productive and committed employees.
  • David Goldstein: Destination Canada Update 
    Canada welcomed a record-breaking 20.8 million tourists in 2017, the highest ever in Canadian history. Get clear insights into the global tourism interest in Canada, BC's integral role in the Canadian tourism market, and how businesses can support and tap into the growing number of visitors

All keynote speakers and educational sessions are included in your  BC Hospitality Summit Conference Pass

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