Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
May 2, 2019
Chair's Message
Albertans elected the United Conservative Party’s Jason Kenney as their new Premier two weeks ago. As you know, one of his main campaign promises was to enact what has been dubbed the turn-off-the-taps l egislation that would allow the Alberta government to restrict oil and gas shipments to BC if there continues to be strong opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

While Premier Kenney did fulfill his promise of enacting this law on his first day in office, he's stated that his preference is to settle the pipeline dispute without having to resort to restricted shipments. In other words, he's fully stocked his toolbox, but won’t use the strongest tool just yet.  
What does all of this mean for BC's tourism sector? Well, the full impact of the Alberta election remains to be seen until we know the answer to the question, "Will Premier Horgan and Premier Kenney be able to reconcile their differences before things get ugly and spill over into industries like ours?" For the sake of both provinces (& our respective tourism sectors), I sure hope so. 
We know that friction and the threat of potential boycotts between Alberta and British Columbia is not uncharted territory. Remember #BoycottBC 2018 that targeted the wine industry? Or even earlier this year when an editorial encouraged Albertans to skip visits to holier-than-thou BC because of the threat of a class-action lawsuit against oil and gas companies over climate change impacts?

While BC's visitor economy has withstood inter-provincial spats before, I am keeping my fingers crossed that cooler heads prevail, and that the two premiers will be able to steer us away from situations that pit us against each other, especially as peak season approaches for the bulk of our industry.

One final note...my heart goes out to residents of Ottawa, Montreal, the Maritimes, and the southern US who are dealing with devastating storms and mass floods. These natural disasters bring back painful memories for people in many parts of our province who can relate to the terrible damage caused by high water. Still one year hence, many residents and tourism businesses are trying desperately to recover.

Might be an idea for those of us who know what it's like to experience these types of crises to reach out to a friend, family member, professional colleague, business, first-responder, or even stranger in an affected region to express your heartfelt concern for their well-being or to offer insight into recovery efforts. After all, nobody does that better than people who work in BC's tourism industry.
Alroy Chan
Chair, TIABC 
Policy Spotlight

The recreational fishery is big business. A 2016 report prepared by the Province of BC noted that the recreational fishery (tidal and non-tidal) contributed $1.1 billion to BC’s economy, and employed some 9,000 workers. Wages and salaries earned by sport fishing employees totalled $236.5 million.

As a staple for the tourism industry, particularly in rural BC and on Vancouver Island, sport fishing
attracts visitors from all parts of the globe. Thousands of people are directly or indirectly employed by
the sport fishing sector that has built its international reputation on outstanding experiences,
exceptional service, healthy fish stocks/management, and a pristine, natural environment.

In an effort to rebuild low stocks in certain regions of the province, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has closed several in-land fisheries to sport fishing over the past couple of years, affecting local residents, rural economies and the recreational fishing tourism operators alike. There are concerns that similar decisions will be made with little notice again this year.

TIABC's Policy Committee has developed a policy that seeks to clarify TIABC’s position on the management of the non-tidal recreational fishery in BC. This full policy can be viewed in the Members-only section of the TIABC website: www.TIABC.ca
Will Chinook Closures Affect Your Business?
Take the BC Chamber's MindReader Survey to Help the Marine Tourism Sector Gauge the Impact

On April 16th, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced new management measures aimed at protecting Chinook salmon stock on BC’s coast.
How has your business been impacted by the closure? Take this quick 6 question survey to let us know.
Mountain Caribou Recovery Engagement

The Government of British Columbia has extended the deadline for the caribou recovery engagement process for the draft Bilateral Conservation Agreement under Section 11 of the federal  Species at Risk Act  (“Section 11 Agreement”) and draft Inter-Governmental Partnership Agreement for the Conservation of the Central Group of the Southern Mountain Caribou (“Partnership Agreement”).  
Feedback will now be accepted until May 31st

Please visit  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/caribou/section11agreement/  for detailed information about the draft agreements, as well as maps, information bulletins and Frequently Asked Questions.

TIABC's Policy Committee has prepared a new policy on mountain caribou that will be released later this month.

You can provide feedback via the  online feedback form .
Green Tourism Canada Becomes Sustainable Tourism 2030

On the final day of Earth Month, Sustainable Tourism 2030 was launched by GreenStep Solutions to help the global tourism industry meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Sustainable Tourism 2030 (previously Green Tourism Canada) brings together a range of programs and partners that offer guidance and support for the tourism industry, helping tourism businesses and organizations tell a credible sustainability story to meet the growing consumer demand for responsible travel, while making measurable changes to reduce the negative impacts of travel and grow the positive ones.

Angela Nagy, CEO of GreenStep Solutions, stated, “Sustainable Tourism 2030 is the culmination of more than 10 years of work building and improving programs for the tourism industry. We are now bringing it all under one umbrella to make it easy for tourism businesses and organizations to access the support they need to advance the sustainability of the tourism industry in Canada and around the world. Let’s not let Earth Month end today – let’s make it a part of how we do business every day.”

The highlight of Sustainable Tourism 2030 is the free, online Sustainability Score, an opportunity for tourism businesses and organizations to work through a set of questions that have been developed to align with international standards, including the Global Sustainable Tourism Council criteria, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14001. Participants can submit their responses for review at no cost to learn how they are doing before deciding to pursue full Sustainable Tourism certification.

Sustainable Tourism 2030 also features an eco funding program, training programs, carbon software and more, all designed to help tourism entities find the best path forward on their sustainability journey. These programs are delivered by award winning sustainability services firm and Certified B Corporation, GreenStep Solutions.

To learn more about Sustainable Tourism 2030 or to access the free Sustainability Score, visit  www.sustainabletourism2030.com
Tourism Becomes Canada's 7th Economic Strategy Table

Overall, the 2019 federal budget is positive for tourism and puts forward a number of initiatives that should assist in meeting our goals – specifically showcasing Canada; addressing access barriers; and finding industry labour solutions. Moving into election season, TIAC hopes to see these commitments continue to be brought forward by all political parties. Tourism's presence in this budget should also signal to all political parties that policies that support the tourism sector are of vital importance to the economy, and should be included in all party platforms.

Recognizing Tourism as an Economic Engine: tourism becomes Canada’s seventh "Economic Strategy Table" as a result of Budget 2019. This is a very positive development for the tourism industry, as it prioritizes and recognizes the sector’s potential to lead economic growth for the country alongside other leading industry sectors. For more information on Canada’s Economic Strategy Table, please go to:   www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/098.nsf/eng/home

Here is a snapshot of budget measures that relate to our industry:
  • Recognizing Tourism as an Economic Engine
  • Industry Development
  • Helping travellers visit Canada
  • Labour and Skills Development
  • Marketing
  • Border and Airport Security
  • Other measures
Please see the TIAC website for more details on each of the above categories.
Escalating Federal Excise Tax on Alcohol Must be Halted

For the third year in a row, the price of all alcohol in Canada has increased due to an automatic increase to the federal excise tax on alcohol - an “escalator tax” that will keep going up on April 1st every year. While consumers might not notice it immediately since the tax is imposed at the production level, it won’t take long for manufacturers, agents, liquor retailers, and publicans to see their costs rise across the board.

Canada in general and BC in particular already impose some of the highest taxes on alcohol in the world. According to Beer Canada, Canadians already pay about five times the beer tax that Americans pay and, on average, nearly half of the price of beer in Canada is federal and provincial government tax.

In the case of spirits, Spirits Canada has calculated that up to 80% of what consumers pay is taxes and government markup. Although the federal government claims the new excise tax increases are designed to rise with changes in the consumer price index, in practice the tax increases have been outpacing inflation. For example, federal excise duty revenues on spirits alone rose a staggering 17.8% last year.

ABLE BC strongly objects to this automatically increasing “escalator” tax.  This tax was adopted without any stakeholder consultation or industry analysis of its impact on consumers, workers, producers, or farmers. Worse, this increasing tax was imposed at the exact same time as the United States cut their taxes on alcohol - creating a further competitive disadvantage for Canadian producers.

ABLE BC has already joined liquor industry associations from across Canada to protest this escalator tax. Please consider adding your name to the online petitions such as  axethebeertax.ca .
New World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage Promises to Combat Overtourism

UNWTO predicts international tourism arrivals will surge to 1.8 billion by the end of 2030. The downward pressure this surge in tourism growth will have on some of the world’s more fragile communities is something we must all work to counter. Managing this global impact to ensure that the richness of our ancestry will flourish for many generations to come is the priority.

The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) was formed to establish clear goals, objectives and strategies for the protection of cultural heritage through responsible and sustainable tourism practices. Working in collaboration with public, private and specialist academic sector organizations, WTACH determines best practice ethical principles and standards in line with the most robust global research available. 

A community of like-minded organisations and individuals, WTACH seeks to ensure that the unique attributes, history and cultural values of the world’s communities are celebrated and preserved for generations to come.

Canadian RV and Camping Week
Have you booked your site for May 21 – 26, 2019?

Add the New Tourism Week Banner (above) to Your Website

Within the next few days,, TIABC will be sending letters to our DMO and sector association partners outlining opportunities for involvement in Tourism Week later this month. In the meantime, if you're planning a special event or promotion in your community, please let us know so we can support your efforts.

If you wish to use the new Tourism Week banner (above) in social media or on your website, please contact us straight away so we can email you the file.

We are also having some #BCTourismMatters lapel pins produced and will be happy to share those with stakeholders who wish to provide them to your local city council, stakeholders, etc.

You can reach us at info@tiabc.ca
Kelowna Airport Receives Federal Funding
The federal government recently announced $840,000 in funding for both Kelowna International Airport and the Saskatoon Airport Authority to promote tourism and trade through developing and sustaining trans-border air routes. The initiatives will target airlines, while also marketing Kelowna and Saskatoon as tourist destinations in major U.S. cities.
Tourism Langley Unveils New Website and Brand Direction
At Tourism Langley's recent AGM, they unveiled their new website and brand direction, which includes a focus on wine and history. As a destination, Langley has been experiencing an upward trend in accommodation occupancy and the organization confirmed that $34,000 was awarded to event hosts in 2018.
Victoria Welcomes First Cruise Ship of the Season
On Tuesday, April 16th, Victoria welcomed the Celebrity Eclipse as the first ship of the 2019 cruise season. Tourism Greater Victoria Board Chair Dave Cowen and Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson were welcomed on to the bridge for a plaque exchange with the ship's captain. 
Kelowna to host World Mixed Doubles and Senior Curling Championships 2020
The World Curling Federation recently confirmed that the World Mixed Doubles and Senior Curling Championships 2020 will be held in the Kelowna Curling Club from April 18-25. Much like the 2019 event, soon to begin in the Sørmarka Arena, in Stavanger, Norway, the 12-sheet Kelowna Curling Club will simultaneously host the mixed doubles and senior events.
New Vessel and Terminal Upgrades for Kootenay Lake Ferry
Infrastructure Canada recently announced a project that involves procuring a new larger electric-ready vessel that will have almost twice the capacity of the MV Balfour and be able to accommodate between 50 and 60 vehicles. The new vessel will be used in tandem with the larger MV Osprey 2000 to decrease wait times. Upgrades will also be made to the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals, including new washrooms, sheltered waiting areas, public parking spaces and better terminal access for drivers along both Highway 31 and Highway 3A.
Northern Sea Wolf Open for Business
BC Ferries has confirmed sea trials have been successful with the Northern Sea Wolf. All bookings that have been wait-listed are now being accepted on the Route 28 ‘direct service’ starting June 3rd between Bella Coola and Port Hardy. Open house events and brief ceremonies are being coordinated in both communities with the opportunity for the public to tour the ship.
Industry on the Move
Caribou Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association Welcomes Two New Staff Members

The newest member of the destination development team, Jolene Lammers , hails from the great white north. Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, there was lots of time spent outdoors. At the age of 13, her family moved to Vancouver and weekends were spent on the boat fishing, kayaking and touring around the Gulf Islands. Three years ago she moved from the coast to the Cariboo and has enjoyed geocaching and exploring the area with her family. Jolene’s hobbies include drawing and painting. She is excited to bring her diverse skills and passion to the CCCTA to help bring tourism to BC. In her new role as Destination Development Coordinator, Jolene will be working to assist our partners and region to complete the destination development consultation, along with planning and implementing priorities.

CCCTA also welcomes the first member of the new Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association. Sydney Redpath just graduated with a double major in Finance and Marketing from the University of Northern BC, and has forever considered BC to be one of the most beautiful places to work and call home. When she isn't pursuing her passions for marketing and entrepreneurship, Sydney can be found hiking, on the lake, or trying to find the perfect cup of coffee. As Confidential Executive Secretary, Sydney provides administrative support to the new Marketing Committee and CEO to ensure marketing priorities get the attention they deserve.

Upcoming Industry Events
May 9

May 21-26

May 23-25, Burnaby

May 26 - June 2

October 3 - 4, Prince George

October 8 - 10, Nanaimo

October 23 - 24, Nanaimo

November 1 - 3, Barkerville

November 12 - 14, Kelowna

January 19 - 22, 2020, Victoria

March 4 - 6, 2020, Victoria

April 28-30, 2020

Send us your event listings and we can include it on our list!
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