Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
March 7, 2019
Chair's Message
If you’ve ever organized a wedding, a child’s birthday party, a family vacation, a fundraiser, or even a conference, you know that an event of any size is a ton of work. Layer on the desire for guests to enjoy a memorable and exceptional experience, it becomes three tonnes of work. Such is the case for the annual BC Tourism Industry Conference that concluded last week in Vancouver.
After more than seven months of planning workshops, plenary sessions, the opening reception, the BC Tourism Industry Awards Gala, along with procuring speakers and sponsors, the effort paid off as the conference was given high marks by the majority of the 500+ delegates.
One of our conference objectives was to ensure that each day built on the previous one. Internally, we’ve asked ourselves, “Did we accomplish our mission?”. I’d like to think so but the bigger question from my perspective is…”What did we learn?” While I can’t speak for other delegates, I took several key takeaways to the bank, a brief summary of which I’ve outlined below:
·      From Expedia Group president and CEO, Mark Okerstrom, I learned that unconventional partnerships will be critical for companies to survive travel clutter;
·      The Winning Pitch competition taught me how gifted our post-secondary students are, and that our industry will be in good hands with these future leaders;
·      The Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film reminded me that our province is like no other place on earth;
·      Earth Check’s Stewart Moore, a world sustainability leader based in Brisbane, Australia, emphasized that it’s up to us as industry leaders to work with local governments to plan how we want tourism in our respective communities to look 25 years from now;
·      The BC business experts’ panel (Val Litwin – BC Chamber of Commerce; Evi Mustel – Mustel Group; Jock Finlayson – BC Business Council) reminded me to consider the implications of current events on the national and world stage on my own business;
·      The gala awards dinner was a time to beam with pride as tourism organizations and individuals were recognized for their laudable achievements over the past year. Congratulations to Canadian Mountain Holidays Summer Adventures, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Fishing BC, Accent Inns, Tourism Kelowna, Quaaout Lodge and Talking Rock Golf Course and Jan Dobbener of Quails Gate Winery. In particular, presenting a TIABC Lifetime Achievement Award to retiring go2HR CEO Arlene Keis was a huge highlight even though Arlene could only watch online as she recuperates from a horseback riding mishap;
·      Still with the awards gala…I was so impressed with hosts - Indigenous Tourism British Columbia, as well as participants - the Coast Salish Nations (Musqueum, Tsleil Waututh, Squamish), and the Osoyoos Indian Band, along with Nis’ga Nation who spoke, performed and made it an outstanding and memorable evening;
·      I was very pleased when Minister Beare took advantage of this industry gathering to introduce the Province’s new ‘Strategic Tourism Framework’, an undertaking by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture that was literally a year in the making. Following extensive industry consultation, the framework sets the stage for how Government will help grow and support BC’s visitor economy through three primary pillars, as well as through Destination British Columbia;
·      Destination BC absolutely nailed their presentation, giving all of us confidence that they are not only on top of a rapidly changing technology landscape and competitive global tourism economy, but are poised to respond with even more of the great initiatives and work they’ve been doing;
·      Similarly, Destination Canada’s work has been nothing short of extremely impressive, leading to record results two years running with even more ambitious goals to build on Canada’s tourism achievements;
The many workshops also provided several salient points:
·      Regardless of whether it’s sport, meetings, economic or social development, building partnerships with the public and private sector delivers incremental results over what any organization can do on their own;
·      We learned that there are plenty of opportunities for cannabis tourism but government is playing catch up with things like insurance, travel and ways you can experience it;
·      From a sustainability perspective, communities need to change their vocabulary to responsible, respectful and resourceful tourism; 
·      A barrier to a person with a disability is a barrier to making a profit;
·      Brand trust takes years to build by delivering on promises and only a moment to lose to failing on that promise;
·      Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne suggested that all BC mayors should attend the conference to learn about current industry issues and to connect with operators. She suggested an "adopt a mayor" sponsorship category, similar to the student program;

Finally, Calgary professor, intrepid traveler and adventurer Brian Keating wrapped up the conference with his fascinating stories from experiences around the globe…many of which included escapades in BC.  Brian exuded more energy in the first five minutes of his presentation than most of us can muster in a week.

By the way, TIABC is in the process of seeking permission from all presenters to make slides from various presentations available on the conference website within the next few days.

I recognize that my takeaways might look decidedly different than yours. In fact, for many delegates, the highlight of attending this conference is the time spent at the hotel bar each night where friends and colleagues from around the province finally get a chance to catch up on life outside of the office.
Alas, our industry knows how to both work hard and party hard. That said, judging by attendance at the early morning breakfast plenary sessions, most delegates kept the nightcaps in check.
You’ll see other conference remnants in the following pages including photos courtesy of Coast Mountain Photography. Please take a few moments to read the names of individuals, companies and organizations who spoke, sponsored and organized this year’s conference. It will at least give you some scope as to the level of involvement by so many. It's also a reminder that  #BC Tourism Matters!
So with the conference now in the rear view mirror I can finally concentrate on the family vacation I’m in charge of organizing at Christmas. Thankfully I have 10 months.

Alroy Chan
Chair, TIABC 
Minister Beare Launches New Strategic Framework for Tourism

A new strategic tourism framework, launched at the annual BC Tourism Industry Conference, will guide year-round tourism growth that benefits people and communities, while protecting British Columbia’s natural environment.

This framework, entitled Welcoming Visitors, Benefiting Locals, Working Together: A Strategic Framework for Tourism in British Columbia , outlines government’s vision for continued, sustainable growth in B.C. tourism.

In conjunction with the Tourism Industry Association of BC’s conference, Destination BC released the 2017 Value of Tourism Snapshot. The snapshot shows that in 2017, BC’s tourism industry generated $18.4 billion in revenue — up 8.4% over 2016, and 41.3% since 2007.

Photo credit: Events by  www.coastphoto.com
Indigenous Tourism BC & Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association Sign MOU

Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Vancouver, the shared traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueum, and Squamish Nations. The MOU establishes a coordinated and collaborative approach in promoting growth and increased awareness of Indigenous tourism in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.

The parties agree there is an opportunity to promote awareness and connectivity to tourism stakeholders, policy makers, leaders and organizations to understand the value of Indigenous cultural tourism and the value of non-Indigenous tourism. Subsequently, this will create new market demand for Indigenous and collaborative tourism experiences. This relationship will allow the organizations to leverage each other’s programs, expertise and resources to support Indigenous entrepreneurs; learn and share local history and cultures; and help to cultivate a sustainable visitor economy throughout the region.

Key to this new partnership will be the establishment of the role of Indigenous tourism specialist for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. This full-time role will be based out of Williams Lake, with the person who takes the job overseeing the execution of all the terms of the MOU.

Photo credit: Events by  www.coastphoto.com
Indigenous Tourism BC & Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada Sign Historic MOU

Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and t he Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and have signed a memorandum of understanding.

The memorandum of understanding sets the framework for furthering meaningful collaboration between ITAC and ITBC with a goal to support and foster the Indigenous tourism industry within BC. ITAC will work with ITBC to cultivate Indigenous tourism product development, joint training initiatives, and cooperative marketing opportunities in the province.

Photo credit: Events by  www.coastphoto.com
BCIT Captures the Winning Pitch

For the second year in a row, a student team from BCIT’s Tourism Marketing Management Diploma Program was crowned the winner of the provincial Winning Pitch competition at the BC Tourism Industry Conference.

The Winning Pitch , organized and presented by go2HR, is a post-secondary student case competition. This year, student teams were tasked with developing a new product or service that supports the accessible tourism opportunities in their respective regions.

T he BCIT team, made up of students Eleanor Canning, Zophia Espinosa, Caitlin Ledingham, and Marni Weinstein, took home first place and a prize of $1,000 with their proposal of “Reel YVR”, a Vancouver-based tour company that blends the then-and-now of the local film industry through immersive movie and TV location tours across the Lower Mainland.

Fourteen teams from 10 post-secondary schools presented their four-page concept paper to industry judging panels at regional competitions held in Osoyoos, Vancouver, Victoria, and via online submission for the Kootenay Rockies. The winner from each regional competition met at the provincial finals held at the BC Tourism Industry Conference.

The finalists presented their full business plans to close to 300 conference delegates. The results are as follows:
  • 2nd place: Okanagan College – “AccessFest”
  • 3rd place: Vancouver Island University – “Reach Vancouver Island”
  • 4th place: College of the Rockies – “Kimberley Alpine Outdoor Adventures”

Photo credit: Events by  www.coastphoto.com
College of the Rockies
Vancouver Island University
Okanagan College
Thank You to Our Industry Partners and Conference Sponsors

Special thank you to Coast Mountain Photography for capturing our event with their cameras.

To view all the photos from the conference, please visit:

Please credit:
Events by  
Michele Barnes, Simpleview
Hon. Lisa Beare , Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Chris Bottrill, Capilano University
Deirdre Campbell, Beattie Tartan
Candace Campo, Talaysay Tours
Alan Chabot, City of Revelstoke
Allison Colthorp, Tourism Chilliwack
Michael Drake, Tourism Vancouver
David Dunne, Gustavson School of Business
Chris Fair, Resonance Consultancy
Jock Finlayson, Business Council of BC
Teara Fraser, Raven Institute & Iskwew Air
David Goldstein, Destination Canada
Jeff Guignard, ABLE BC
Robyn Hanson, Destination BC
Josie Heisig, Destination BC
John Hewson, National Association of Cannabis Tourism
Dan Holowack, CrowdRiff
Brian Keating, Calgary Zoo & U of Calgary
Greg Klassen, Twenty31
Maya Lange, Destination BC
Allan Lingwood, The Original FARM
Val Litwin, BC Chamber of Commerce
Grant Mackay, Destination BC
Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA
Brad McCannell, Rick Hansen Foundation
Joel McKay, Northern Development Initiative Trust
Seppe Mommaerts, Destination BC
Stewart Moore, EarthCheck
Ralp h Morton , Seattle Sports Commission
Evi Mustel , Mustel Group
JP Obbagy , Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours
Mark Okerstrom, Expedia
Mayor Josie Osborne, District of Tofino
Susan Rybar, Vardo Creative, Inc.
Scott Shaw-MacLaren, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Tristan Slade , High Definition Tours
Hannah Smith, Tourism Vancouver Island
Katt Stearns, Katt Stearns Consulting
Paul Vallee, Gaining Edge
Tanya van Biesen, Catalyst in Canada
Josh Vanderheide, Fieldhouse Brewing Co.
Kristyna Vogel, Fairmont Waterfront
Marsha Walden, Destination BC
Nahal Yousefian, Mountain Equipment Co-op
The BC Tourism Industry Conference 2019
550 delegates
46 speakers
23 sessions
TIABC CEO Walt Judas welcomes delegates to the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference
Celebrating the best in tourism with Hon. Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Plenty of solid educational sessions enjoyed by conference delegates
Destination BC's presentation amazed, educated and inspired the audience - and we got to sing happy birthday to VP Grant Mackay!
Sponsors, such as Prince of Whales, connected with participants in our Adopt-A-Student program
During the opening reception, delegates were treated to the Great Bear Rainforest film at IMAX, hosted by Destination BC
To view all the photos from the conference, please visit:
Tourism Jobs in the TV Spotlight – Take Advantage of this Promotion
Extended to March 17th
Tourism Jobs Front and Centre on Global TV go2HR – BC’s tourism human resource association – has secured ads on Global TV to promote jobs in BC’s tourism industry. The ads, on Global BC and BC 1, have been extended to run until March 17th.

In addition, go2HR will be running digital ads on social media to amplify this campaign. Both mediums will point viewers to visit the go2HR Job Board. How do you take advantage of this amount of exposure? Place your job postings on go2HR’s free, tourism-only job board. This would be the perfect opportunity to increase awareness for your company and recruit for your summer or permanent positions.

Posting jobs on the go2HR Job Board is easy. Create a user account and company profile (if you don’t have one already), and simply follow this step-by-step video. go2HR also put together some tips on creating effective job postings. Jobs are published automatically on the job board so you can do this anytime you want.

If you are screaming for staff, let go2HR help spread the word. We’re very excited about this opportunity, so post your jobs today.

Have you seen the ads on TV yet?  Check them out here : www.youtube.com

To learn more about this campaign or if you need help with the job board, contact go2HR at jobs@go2hr.ca.
TIABC Members Receive Discounted Pricing to
Art of Leadership Event
With International Women's day this week, be inspired at the Art of Leadership for Women with  Malala Yousafzai  on April 4th in Vancouver. This unique one-day conference features a remarkable collection of world leaders, business icons and bestselling authors.
Numbers You Need to Know
Canada Sees Record Breaking Year in Tourism Sector, With Indigenous Tourism in the Lead

Indigenous Tourism shows significant growth as Canada exceeds 21.13 million visitors in 2018. According to Destination Canada, 2018 marked the first time the country saw more than 21 million visitors, making it the best year on record.

Aligned with this growth, Indigenous tourism in Canada rose 23.2% between 2014 and 2017, going from $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion, and outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall which saw a 14.5% increase, according to a recent study conducted by The Conference Board of Canada.

Big White To Host International Ski Championships in 2020
Big White Ski Resort will host hundreds of international skiers and snowboarders for the WASC in 2020. In its 61st year, the WASC is an international winter sports competition with numerous airline ski teams competing in a variety of ski events. Big White beat out bids from resorts throughout North America and Europe to bring the event back to Canada for the first time since 1977.
Air Canada to Launch Seasonal Flights to Auckland, New Zealand from Vancouver
Air Canada recently announced the addition of new, non-stop, seasonal flights between Vancouver and Auckland, New Zealand. Air Canada's flights to Auckland will operate four times weekly onboard the carrier's state-of-the-art flagship Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft beginning December 12th until the end of March 2020, subject to obtaining the necessary government approvals.
Malahat Skywalk Announced
A .Spire  by Nature , a new company led by two of the founding partners in the successful Sea to Sky Gondola, has announced plans to bring a world-class tourism experience to Southern Vancouver Island. The proposed  Malahat Skywalk  is a 650m elevated wooden pathway through an Arbutus forest leading to a gentle accessible spiral ramp climbing up to a 40m high sightseeing lookout where visitors will witness magnificent views of the Finlayson Arm and distant coastal mountains.
Upcoming Industry Events
March 28-30, Kelowna

April 8-9, Kelowna

April 24-26, Whistler

October 23-24, Nanaimo

November 12-14, Kelowna

January 19-22, 2020, Victoria

March 4-6, 2020, Victoria

Send us your event listings and we can include it on our list!
Learn More About TIABC