March 30, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message

Borrowing a page from Walt's book, allow me to update you on a few items and activities since our last newsletter.
Earlier this month we were delighted to learn of the appointment of TIABC board member Bruce Okabe to the position of CEO at Tourism Richmond.  Bruce has a long track record of tourism leadership and will do a terrific job as head of one of the largest DMOs in the province.  Given his new responsibilities, Bruce has stepped aside as our Policy Development Committee Chair (but will remain on the board), a role now assumed by Tourism Victoria president & CEO, Paul Nursey.  As well, TIABC board member Andre Kuerbis, who also serves as chair of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, will take on the role as vice-chair of the Policy Development Committee.  To ensure you've captured all of the movement, there will be a test at the end of this message.
Thank you to the many individuals who responded to our survey on the recent BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria.  I am pleased to say that most sessions received high marks indicating that we were on the right path with programming and other components of the conference. Notwithstanding a few inappropriate personal comments that left me bewildered, there were numerous valuable suggestions that we'll look to adopt for next year's conference in Kelowna.  Be sure to mark your calendars for March 7-9.
The recent federal budget contained some good news for tourism including the new annual baseline budget of $95.5 million for Destination Canada. I'd like to commend our federal counterparts at TIAC for taking the lead on funding security for D.C. At the same time, we are working with TIAC to address concerns regarding the government's cancellation of the tour component of the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) that offered GST/HST rebates to non-resident tour operators on accommodation packages. We'll keep you posted on any progress.
We're already gearing up to celebrate National Tourism Week in our province with a similar concept to what TIABC introduced last year together with Hon. Shirley Bond.  Only this year, because of the election cycle, we will be working even more closely with Destination B.C. and DMOs throughout the province on an initiative that recognizes and acknowledges the value of tourism to each community and region. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.  For the record, the province is on board and ready to declare Tourism Week in British Columbia in late May.
Finally, TIABC CEO, Walt Judas, Destination BC CEO, Marsha Walden and Destination Canada CEO, David Goldstein were among approximately 70 invited guests from throughout Canada, the United States, Latin America and Asia who participated in YVR's two-day Asia-Latin America Gateway Summit in Vancouver earlier this week.  Special guests included federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen, B.C. Minister of International Trade and Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, Teresa Wat and MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade. The primary topics included visa/facilitation, air trade, air policy, travel and tourism.  Kudos to YVR for hosting the summit and thanks for including TIABC and our colleagues in the discussions.

Okay, now here's the test I promised earlier. Who is TIABC's new Policy Development Committee Chair? Who is the new vice-chair? Where did Bruce Okabe go? If you answered all three questions without looking back...thank you for paying attention. 

Jim Humphrey
Chair, TIABC

BC Tourism Industry Conference Survey Results

Over 120 conference attendees completed the BC Tourism Industry Conference survey. Below is a summary of the results:
  • 99% were satisfied or very satisfied with the conference facilities
  • 98.3% were satisfied or very satisfied with the conference food
  • 72.5% were satisfied or very satisfied with the conference app
  • 93.3% were satisfied or very satisfied with the conference website
Respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the following aspects of the TIABC Town Hall:
  • Topic relevance: 83.7% 
  • Quality of information provided: 81.4%
  • Presenter's knowledge: 87.5%
  • Engaging Delivery: 76.5%
  • Session Format: 78.8%
  • Overall satisfaction level with presentation: 81.0%
It was suggested by some to provide time for questions from the audience, in addition to providing a status report from TIABC and update from the sectors in attendance.
  • Welcome Reception: 99% were either satisfied or very satisfied
  • Destination BC presentation: 97.1% were either satisfied or very satisfied
  • BC Tourism Awards Gala Dinner: 98% were either satisfied or very satisfied
  • Destination Canada presentation: 96.4% were either satisfied or very satisfied
  • Six String Nation closing presentation: 92.4% were either satisfied or very satisfied
  • While two of the 17 concurrent sessions/workshops received a rating of less than 3 out of 5, the remainder averaged a score of 4.1 out of 5.
Recognizing that many people suggested more time for networking, we'll be looking at some adjustments to the agenda for next year's conference. We'll also aim to have  clearer learning outcomes for the breakout sessions.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. Your individual and collective feedback is paramount to helping us make the conference even better.

Big Boost for Tourism Marketing in 2017 Federal Budget

TIABC and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) applauded the recent budget pledge to provide significant support to help bolster marketing efforts for the Canadian tourism industry. 

"TIAC is pleased that tourism marketing continues to be a priority in this year's federal budget. Making permanent the incremental $37.5 million per year in temporary funding previously provided to Destination Canada, starting in 2018-19, provides certainty and will allow Destination Canada to continue its strong collaboration with industry partners to maximize the impacts of its marketing campaigns to draw in more tourists from abroad and increase economic activity for the sector." ~ Charlotte Bell, TIAC p resident and CEO. 

The 2017 budget announcements also included investments of $8.6 million over four years to support the development of Canada's unique and authentic Indigenous tourism industry as well as the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada's five-year Indigenous Tourism Strategy.

The Government has also pledged an additional $13.6 million over five years to broaden Statistics Canada's tourism data collection capability, and $2.7 million in continuing funding after this period. The budget also includes significant investments to continue to manage Parks Canada and to complete the Trans-Canada Trail.

Download TIAC's  of the budget and its impacts on our industry. 

TIABC Guide to the 2017 BC Election

British Columbians head to the polls May 9th

TIABC (with input from several sector partners) has produced a
Guide to the 2017 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 TIABC website

Register to vote at:

Numbers You Need to Know
Tourism Vancouver Starts 2017 With Strong Growth
Tourism Vancouver has recorded a solid start to the year with overnight visitors up 5% over last year.  Growth has been driven primarily by an increase in visitors from Asia and Mexico.


Tourism Kamloops Awarded Silver Medal Designation by Green Tourism Canada
Tourism Kamloops partnered with Green Tourism Canada recently to become a leader and mentor employing a sustainable approach to tourism operations. The process included a green audit and action plan for continuous improvement. Tourism Kamloops has achieved a Silver Medal Designation by Green Tourism Canada and the organization looks forward to implementing the report's recommendations to improve its results in the future. 

Borrowing a Page from Oil and Gas: Creative Staffing Solutions in Sun Peaks

Anticipating a busy 2016/2017 winter season, it became apparent in Sun Peaks that temporary staff housing structures, similar to those used in the oil and gas resource sector, were the best option as a stop-gap solution.

Read the article sourced below to learn how a resort community handled a common issue faced by many BC tourism communities. 

The establishment of a Sun Peaks Housing Authority is on the horizon, and alongside other bylaws and regulations such as permitting two bedroom suites and a break on mandatory tourism association fees for renting to staff, the resort feels the problem can be handled in the future.  

Vivek Sharma, General Manager of the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel recently presented at the BC Tourism Industry Conference on Creative Hiring Solutions. You can view this presentation here.

Sport Hosting Vancouver Named Sport Tourism Organization of the Year
Congratulations to Sport Hosting Vancouver for being named the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance's (CSTA)  Sport Tourism Organization of the Year at the the CSTA's annual Sport Events Congress in 
Ottawa last Tuesday.

Sport Hosting Vancouver is a partnership between Tourism Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Hotel Destination Association, BC Pavilion Corporation and UBC that was formalized in 2015 to attract, develop, and support world-class sporting events in Vancouver.

New Emergency Preparedness Funding for 
Local Governments

UBCM will be administering a new funding program to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents in responding to emergencies. The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund was announced as part of an $80 million  announcement from the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure.

The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund will be supported by a $32 million contribution and will include funding for:
  • Emergency operations centres and training
  • Emergency social services
  • Evacuation route planning
  • Flood risk assessment, flood plain mapping and flood mitigation plans
  • Structural mitigation
UBCM will be working with the Province in the coming weeks to design each funding stream and develop program materials.

As a reminder, Emergency Management B.C., TIABC, BCHA, Tourism Tofino, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and Destination B.C. collaborated on two guides that will help tourism operators prepare for potential crisis scenarios.  These valuable tools can be found on TIABC's website, go2hr's website, as well as through E.M.B.C., regional and community DMOs. 

This collaboration is a great step in disaster readiness and toward building a safe, secure and resilient province. 

China Market Insights Workshop

Visit Tourism Vancouver for more details on pricing and registration.

BC Air Access Program Supports 
Airport Improvements

The British Columbia Air Access Program (BCAAP) recently announced funding for several BC airport improvements including KelownaCranbrook  Osoyoos, Grand Forks and Vernon.

The ministry has committed $24 million over the past three years for the B.C. Air Access Program. This year's program is providing $10 million for airport infrastructure improvement projects throughout the province. The program also encourages funding partnerships with the federal government, local and regional governments and agencies, and the private sector.

BC Parks Foundation Established

The province has established the British Columbia Parks Foundation with a $10-million endowment in an effort to enhance provincial parks. Independent of government, the foundation strives to ensure the provincial parks system is valued and protected for generations to come. British Columbians and beyond are encouraged to contribute to help preserve the ecological, recreational and cultural values of B.C.'s world-class parks system.

The BC Parks Foundation will help generate private revenue, to be spent on promoting and enhancing the experience in BC Parks.

The 10 members of the BC Parks Foundation board are:
  • Karla Rockwell (board chair)
  • Robert Bateman
  • Ross Beaty
  • Ric Careless
  • Les Doiron
  • Dana Hayden
  • Daniel Johnston
  • Eric Peterson
  • Sophie Pierre
  • Jim Standen
The foundation is based on four key principles:
  1. Protecting parks
  2. Connecting people to parks
  3. Inspiring people to become stewards of B.C. parks
  4. Enhancing the ability to harness the full potential of parks

4 Tools to Help You Crush Your Sustainability Goals

  1. Create a Supplier Inventory to determine just what percentage of your suppliers are local with this awesome mapping exercise. 
  2. Conduct a Waste Audit, then talk about your results with your guests and staff.
  3. Measure Your Carbon Footprint using ecobase Carbon Software (BONUS: Green Tourism members currently gain free access).
  4. Green Tourism Canada can help businesses create sustainability goals and then stick with them. Get Certified with Green Tourism. If you're a member of TIABC, TIAC or TIAO, you get a $100 discount on your membership fee. 
The key with any green business tracking tool is to measure once to establish your baseline, then measure your progress on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. And don't forget to talk about your results! It does no good to compile reams of data and have them sit in a pile, taking up space. Even if the numbers aren't painting the rosiest of pictures (maybe your waste output was a bit higher than anticipated last year), your customers will find it refreshing that you are voluntarily providing that information and being transparent, allowing for an open and honest dialogue about your work towards your sustainable business goals.

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