May 11, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

CEO's Message

Holy @#@#&*$^!*&^*&^&*$*# cow!!!   

Even though we anticipated that it would be a close race, did anyone see that coming? It's the day after the day after and British Columbians are still coming to grips with what transpired in Tuesday's wild election. Given the minority government scenario for the time being, we're essentially on hold as to how the province looks going forward. Regardless, life in B.C. moves on.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I penned most of this message before the outcome of the election was known because TIABC's core responsibilities vis-a-vis advocacy on behalf of British Columbia's visitor economy remain unchanged no matter who occupies the majority of seats in the legislature or holds the balance of power.
In some respects, the most interesting part of the election cycle is still ahead as we await news on who joins cabinet, what changes to cabinet will be made (especially after four cabinet ministers lost their seats), what ministries will influence tourism-related decisions, etc.  Regardless, we look forward to again working with Minister Bond or whoever tackles the complex tourism portfolio. One final word on the election...congratulations to all newly elected and returning MLAs.
In case you hadn't heard, Tourism Week takes place from May 28 - June 3.  In the coming days, we'll be sending a note to DMOs, as well as politicians and communities all over the province inviting them to participate in an activity of their choice that draws attention to the importance of tourism in their respective communities and for British Columbia in general.  Last year, Minister Bond launched Tourism Week at our Summit in Sun Peaks.  Many communities staged their own event and we're counting on similar participation again this year to let residents and politicians at all levels know that #BCTourismMatters.
Speaking of Tourism Week, I will be visiting Ottawa later this month for Tourism Day on the Hill and to meet with MPs from all parties to discuss issues of national significance including airport privatization, pre-clearance, campground assessments, the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program, and other matters. I will keep our members posted on progress from these meetings.
Two more things worth mentioning: TIABC's board has selected October 12th as the date for our AGM and one-day Summit in Richmond. TIABC's annual general meeting will be held simultaneously with Aboriginal Tourism BC and BC Lodging and Campground Association's respective AGMs.  Afterward, all AGM attendees and Summit delegates will attend a tourism Town Hall hosted by TIABC along with TIAC, Aboriginal Tourism Canada and Destination Canada.  The remainder of the day will include presentations by federal and provincial elected officials, as well as a workshop and/or keynote presentation. More details to come over the next few months.
In the lead-up to the AGM, we'll be actively looking for candidates who wish to serve on our board, particularly operators from the Kootenay Rockies and Northern B.C. regions that are willing to role up their sleeves and contribute to TIABC advocacy efforts in whatever capacity. If you, or someone you know, are interested and committed to helping B.C.'s visitor economy move forward, please send me or Jim Humphrey a message via email, text, Facebook messenger or by phone.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Walt Judas 

Walt recently visited with Deanna Wampler at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Complete the Survey and Enter the Contest for Two Chances to Win

Survey: Employers, what are your HR practices?

Employers are invited to participate in a short survey for go2HR to gain a better understanding of the labour challenges faced by BC's tourism and hospitality industry, and to help identify opportunities to better provide HR-related support for tourism employers in BC.

This survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and participants will have a chance to enter to win a $250 Visa gift card. 

Take the survey now at 

go2HR is also conducting a survey with tourism employees to learn more about their experience in the industry. We would appreciate your help if you can pass on the following survey link to your employees.

Contest: 150 Reasons to Love Working in #BCTourism

To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, go2HR is putting together 150 reasons why we love working in the B.C. tourism industry. Current B.C. employees in the tourism and hospitality employees are invited to submit why they love working in the industry for a chance to win one of two $150 Visa gift cards.

Contest closes on June 11, 2017 at 11:59 pm (PT).

go2HR Welcomes Arun Subramanian to Lead Tourism Industry HR Initatives
go2HR, B.C.'s tourism industry human resource association, is pleased to announce the appointment of Arun Subramanian to the position of Director, Industry HR Development.  Arun will lead the development of industry recruitment and retention strategies and tactics in alignment with the B.C. Tourism Labour Market Strategy.

Tourism Week 2017 

May 28 - June 3

Once again, Tourism Week in Canada aligns

tourism organizations, businesses and other partners from across the country around a common vision: a tourism sector recognized for its many contributions.

In British Columbia, the tourism industry is getting ready to celebrate because  #BCTourismMatters

Save the date and getting to share!

TIAC Update
Progress Report on Changes to the FCTIP Program
Following the  March 22nd federal budget announcement proposing changes to the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) which gives tax rebates to non-resident travellers for certain activities, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has engaged a variety of public officials in discussions concerning the proposed change.

Since the last update, TIAC  has continued discussions with government about the proposed changes and has taken some additional steps to address the issue. The last update provided clarification from the government on the scope of the proposed changes - namely, that the rebate would be repealed for the tour packages component of the FCTIP program while maintaining the conventions component. While this clarification was a step in the right direction, it did not address the impact on tour packages or Canada's overall competitiveness. TIAC took further action asking government to reconsider the proposed repeal until all parties can consult and find ways to make it more efficient, or at the very least, minimize the impact of the proposed change targeting tour packages during the transition period.

On April 4th, TIAC's President and CEO Charlotte Bell and a TIAC board representative met with an official in the Finance Minister's office to discuss our concerns and the negative impact of the proposed change.  TIAC's comments were well received with a promise to take them forward but no guarantee on the outcome. Charlotte also had several discussions with officials in the department of Finance and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) concerning the matter.  On April 7th, TIAC sent a formal letter to the Federal Finance Committee and a number of other government officials including the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Small Business and Tourism urging an immediate review of the impacts of this budget repeal. TIAC invited their members in the destination marketing, attraction and tour operator categories to send their own version of our letter to add pressure on the government. 

TIAC has taken further action by sending a written request for interpretation to the CRA to obtain clarification on the government's proposed transitional measure. This interpretation seeks to clarify which contracts will continue to be honoured under FCTIP after Budget Day. After being in touch with a senior CRA official, we have been told that an interpretation will take a few weeks to complete.

TIABC and TIAC fully appreciate the uncertainty caused by this proposed change.  TIAC has continued to vigorously advocate for reversal of this proposal or at a minimum, the establishment of a clear and reasonable transitional measure that will allow businesses to use the rebate for all contracts entered into prior to Budget Day regardless of travel and payment dates.

TIABC and TIAC will continue to keep members apprised of changes and clarifications on this measure.

Complete the NAFTA Modernization Survey

The potential renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has brought to the forefront the topic of North American trade relationships and prompted a reexamination of the North American manufacturing platform and integrated supply chains that support the economies of all three countries.

As Congress and the new U.S. administration move forward in reviewing NAFTA, each country is reexamining the North American trade relationship as it has existed under NAFTA for the past 23 years. There is great uncertainty in regards to what a modernized NAFTA might look like.

The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) has created this survey to gather feedback from across North America. This survey will collect data from industries and organizations. The goal is to develop a set of overarching principles for a renegotiated NAFTA agreement. The questions in this survey are focused on Canada and the U.S., but a nyone in North America is encouraged to participate.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Responses to the survey will be aggregated and non-attributable to you.The results of the survey will be presented at the PNWER Annual Summit in Portland, Oregon, July 23-27. 

Please submit the survey before June 15.

Please feel free to distribute this survey widely with your partners and within your networks.

The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) is a statutory public/private non-profit created in 1991 by the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. PNWER has implemented a NAFTA Modernization Taskforce with representatives from each of PNWER's member jurisdictions to more closely explore trade, commerce, and the U.S.-Canada cross-border relationship. The Taskforce is working to develop a list of overarching principles and recommendations that can be provided to the U.S. administration and Congress, and Canadian counterparts.

For more information, visit 

Invitation to participate in Workshops on Forest Carbon Mitigation in B.C. 

Participants are sought for a study supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) that aims to generate recommendations for regionally differentiated climate change mitigation options for BC's Forest Sector. PICS is carrying out an engagement process with stakeholders in a range of sectors and First Nations across the province to evaluate different forest management alternatives that aim to mitigate climate change in BC's forests and forest sector.

In the context of this engagement process day-long workshops will be held in four different regions of the province (Lower Mainland, Southern Interior, Northern Interior, Coast). During these workshops participants will be asked to share their relative preference for, and perceived acceptability, credibility and effectiveness of, different forest management alternatives for BC's forests and forest sector. Approximately 15 to 25 people from different sectors and First Nations with interest in, and knowledge of, BC's forest sector will participate in each workshop.

Location: Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Date and time: May 24, 2017, 9:30 to 16:00

Location: Downtown Vancouver, Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue 
Date and time: June 8, 2017, 9:30 to 16:00

Location: Prince GeorgeUniversity of Northern British Columbia
Date and time: June 19, 2017, 9:30 to 16:00

Location: Kamloops, Thompson River University
Date and time: June 21, 2017, 9:30 to 16:00

If you or people from your organization are interested in participating in the workshop, please confirm your attendance by contacting Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent at peterson.guil@gmail.comPlease specify which of the workshops you would prefer to participate in. The project will happily defray your out-of-town costs of transportation and will provide breakfast, refreshments and lunch.

If you have any questions, concerns or require more information about the study, you may contact Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent at 778-828-7968 or peterson.guil@gmail.comand Dr. George Hoberg at 604-822-3728 or

Numbers You Need to Know
Cruise Industry Generating Huge Economic Impact Numbers
During 2016, cruise ships calling at BC ports generated a total of 1,403,672 passenger visits. Cruise passenger visits in BC ports increased 19% over the 1,177,839 passenger visits recorded in 2012 (the last time a comparable economic impact study was conducted). Passenger visits in BC are forecast to grow by another 2.4% in 2017.

Direct spending by the cruise industry in BC - including spending by the cruise lines, their passengers and crew members - totalled almost $1 billion ($982 million), an increase of 24% over 2012.


Citywide Conventions Positively Impact Vancouver Hotels
TVAn A new Tourism Vancouver report shows citywide conventions have a significant impact on occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) for both large (over 300 rooms) and small (less than 300 rooms) hotels in Vancouver, particularly during non-peak season months. Based on an analysis of 2016 data, average hotel occupancy increased by 12.5% for large hotels and 8.4% for small hotels during citywide conventions compared to other periods. A verage ADR increased by over 7% for both large and small hotels, while  RevPAR was up by over 22% for large hotels and 17% for small hotels during citywide days. 

Read more here

Whistler Blackcomb Named One of Canada's Greenest Employers for the 9th Consecutive Year 
Every Earth Day for the last nine years, Whistler Blackcomb has been recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers. The distinction is awarded by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers to Whistler Blackcomb for embedding sustainability and energy conservation into their corporate culture.
"Our goal is to become the first large-scale tourism operator in the world to achieve a zero operating footprint," said Dave Brownlie, chief operating officer at Whistler Blackcomb. 

Whistler Blackcomb was awarded based on a number of criteria, including developing unique environmental initiatives or programs. One such program is the EnviroFund that provides annual grants to registered non-profit organizations working to improve the natural environment in the Sea-to-Sky corridor. The fund has provided over $378,000 to local charities through generous voluntary staff donations, which are in turn matched by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

During the 2016/17 season, Whistler Blackcomb's Big Picture campaign raised awareness around some of the issues facing the mountain resort industry including climate change, and highlighted charities that addressed those issues. As part of the campaign, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation pledged to match any donation made to a local environmental charity up to $50,000, and send it to the EnviroFund. More information about The Big Picture campaign is available at

For more information, please visit

V2V Vacations Sets Sail

Ian Robertson, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (left) and Paul Nursey, Tourism Victoria (right) congratulate Hume K. Campbell of V2V Vacations (centre)
Last weekend marked the maiden voyage of  V2V's Empress ferry service between Victoria and Vancouver.

The high-speed luxury passenger ferry service, owned by Riverside Marine Group of Australia, has been in the works for the past year and was  officially christened late last month in Victoria.

The new boat can accomomdate more than 250 passengers and will travel between Vancouver Island and the mainland twice a day, leaving Vancouver at 8 a.m. and returning from Victoria at 1 p.m. Each voyage takes roughly three and a half hours.



Bikes & Beer Contest

Enter by  May 22nd  for your chance to win a mountain biking road trip deep into the interior of British Columbia.  This year's itinerary features many of BC's spectacular mountain ranges as we travel from the West Coast into the interior and all the way to the Rocky Mountains.  

This all-inclusive, fully guided adventure is truly a trip-of-a-lifetime and will include some long-time favourites, as well as some new up and comers as it rolls into Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Golden, and Valemount.  

Enter the contest for your chance to come along on this amazing trip.

As summer approaches, the museum has extended its hours:

May 19  - October 7, 2017

Sunday - Thursday - 10:00 am -  5:00 pm
Friday - Saturday - 10:00 am -  10:00 pm

See the highly anticipated Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada exhibition, but don't forget that there is always more to view at the Royal BC Museum including a refreshed entry to their Natural History gallery.

Free Webinar for TIABC Members
Green Tourism provides free webinars for TIABC members. 

Join Green Tourism on Thursday, May 18th at 11:00 a.m. PST for   What Travellers Want But Aren't Telling You: Unlocking the Secret Desires of Your Guests

CITAP Announces New Board

CITAP is a federally incorporated, volunteer-based not-for-profit organization connecting Canadian Inbound Tourism to Asia Pacific since 1997. CITAP recently hosted their Conference and AGM in Ottawa. Their new 2017/2018 Board of Directors include: 

  • Albert Tseng, NTS International Group
  • Alice Lin, CAL Travel & Tours
  • Bill Bessho, Maple Fun Tours
  • Chiemi Nishinari, JTB International (Canada)
  • Christel Kuiper, Jonview Canada 
  • David Lin, GS Travel Vancouver
  • Joanne Kim, Let's Canada Tours 
  • Sherry Sun, Canada CYTS Travel Services 
  • Victor Pun, Winners Vacation
  • Yuji Shumizu, J-PAC Travel 
  • Anastasia Belashov, Niagara Falls Tourism
  • Lukas Prochazka, Banff Lake Louise Tourism
  • Shawna Lang, Tourism Whistler
CUS Accommodation
  • John Webster, Sutton Hotel Group/Sandman Hotel Group
  • Puspa Affandi, YWCA Hotel Vancouver
CUS Attraction
  • Merv Gunter, Frontiers North Adventures
  • Shawna Little, Vancouver Aquarium 
CUS Other
  • Cheryl Lee, Muskoka Language International
  • Julie Wang, Brewster Travel Canada/Pursuit Collection

BC Hospitality Foundation Golf Tournaments

The British Columbia Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) provides 'last resort' financial support for individuals within the hospitality community coping with a financial crisis arising from a medical condition or injury.

Last year the BC Hospitality Foundation's  Vancouver and Victoria tournaments raised more than $150,000 through both tournaments. These funds helped us to support 32 hospitality workers and provide 26 scholarships in 2016 alone!

The 2017 tournament dates are set. Click the links below to register today.

Census Data is Available

Thanks to the outstanding engagement of Canadians, the 2016 Census is yielding high quality information for communities across Canada.

Census data tools
These online tools enable you to access data snapshots and generate portraits of your community:

Census Profile
Profiles present information for various population characteristics at different levels of geography.

This tool is an interactive map application that facilitates the discovery of basic demographic data at various levels of geography.

Focus on Geography Series
This series provides a simple way to find census data on your municipality. It provides data highlights on your selected geographic area through text, tables and figures. A map image of the geographic area is also included.

Other 2016 Census of Population results will be published on the following dates:
  • August 2, 2017 - Families, households, marital status and language
  • September 13, 2017 - Income
  • October 25, 2017 - Immigration, ethnocultural diversity, housing and Aboriginal peoples
  • November 29, 2017 - Education, labour, journey to work, language of work, mobility and migration

Small Business BC - May Events

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