November 10, 2016  
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
Sun Peaks outdoor skating rink prepares for winter.


Chair's Message
 
As a 30-year veteran of the Canadian military, I have traveled the world several times over and met thousands of people along the way. During my career, no matter which country I visited, their impression of Canada was generally positive. And although the Canadian military was often overshadowed by the size and strength of our US counterparts, we nonetheless enjoyed a stellar reputation for our skills, professionalism, strategic focus and other attributes that we could be proud of.
 
As I'm traveling through Europe today and visiting sacred Canadian military sites such as Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach, I've been gaining a new perspective on how many countries view Canada today. I am comforted to know that, for the most part, we're still admired and respected. At the same time, my eyes have been opened to what much of Europe is saying about our friends south of the border. Unfortunately, it's not terribly good.
 
The reality of the newly elected President of the United States has set in and people are puzzled and anxious. Is the entire world economy in jeopardy again? Will there be even more strife in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and elsewhere? I've heard the same questions time and again.
 
But my thoughts turn to home as I contemplate what the US election outcome means to Canada and to British Columbia in particular.  While I can't predict the future, I am almost certain that there will be ramifications, maybe even on our record-breaking BC visitor economy. At the same time, I also know that Canada will play an important role as an ally as the US transitions from its present government to a new regime.
 
As I continue my travels through Europe, I will proudly wear the Canadian flag on my lapel and promote our amazing province to potential visitors.   More importantly, I will honour our Canadian War Veterans this week by wearing a poppy and laying a wreath at a Juno Beach ceremony to commemorate Remembrance Day, one of the most important days of the year. I am both honoured and humbled to have been asked.

Best Regards,
Jim Humphrey
Chair

BC Tourism Industry Conference 
Session Selector
  
Vote for Your Favourite BCTIC 
Presentation Submissions before 8am on November 14th!

Every year, the BC Tourism Industry Conference (BCTIC) receives a good variety of proposals from industry experts and professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and best practices with TIC delegates. This year, for the first time, BCTIC is requesting your feedback on the presentation submissions that you feel would be the most interesting and engaging to include in the conference program. 

As a member of the tourism community, you now have the opportunity to review the presentation submissions and vote on your favourites in each of the five subject areas:
  • Advocacy Matters
  • Innovation Matters
  • Marketing Matters
  • People Matter
  • Tourism Development Matters
Presentations will be selected based on a combination of the voting results and the input of the BCTIC Program Committee.

TIABC recognizes the importance of providing the community with a voice in the development of the conference program and this input will be very important in creating the look and feel of the 2017 conference.

                                   Deadline for voting is 8am November 14th, 2016

For more information, please contact Nora Cumming at 250.382.3303 ext 204 or at  n.cumming@chemistryconsulting.ca

TIABC Welcomes Patti Smolen to the Team


TIABC is excited to welcome Patti Smolen to our team. Patti recently retired from her role as Director of Industry Relations for Tourism Vancouver, and brings her wealth of tourism experience and knowledge to our organization. 

Patti will be providing administrative support to the TIABC board and staff. She can be reached at psmolen@tiabc.ca


Please join us in welcoming Patti!


TIABC Welcomes New Member

Located minutes away from downtown Prince George, SouthPark RV & Campground offers 30 RV sites. 

TIABC Survey - we need your input!

Although 2016 has been another record-setting year for tourism in many parts of British Columbia, many operators and communities are dealing with issues such as labour shortages, transportation access, affordable housing and other challenges that have prevented growth.

As we move toward 2017 and the impending provincial election,  TIABC will introduce an election kit for members and stakeholders to use to ask local candidates their party's plans and positions on a variety of issues.

To that end, we  are keen to learn from you the priorities  that government and industry need to address to ensure British Columbia's visitor economy remains vibrant and sustainable.

Please take a few moments to complete our survey via the link below.  Thank you.



To access the survey, click here


#BCTourismMatters

Sun Peaks Ranks Top Three in UK 
for North American Resorts

Robert Crowder, Chairman of the Ski Club of Great Britain (left) presents Tourism Sun Peaks representative Dave Ashmore with award.
 
In October, The Ski Club of Great Britain, the UK's largest Snowsport membership club, recognized the top three North American ski resorts that received the highest consumer recommendation from UK skiers. The awards were determined upon the conclusion of the Ski Club's consumer research report 2016.

Based on the responses of over 17,000 skiers and snowboarders, Sun Peaks Resort was honoured alongside Breckenridge Resort in Colorado and Whistler-Blackcomb as the top three resorts consumers would be most likely to recommend.

Sun Peaks' UK profile is further elevated by the recent announcement of the Snowbombing Festival, as the resort was chosen as the sole North American destination for Europe's largest music festival on snow.

Coming off one of the most successful winter season in recent years, Canada's second largest ski area will be looking to build on this momentum for the 2016/17 winter season with new courses, activities and terrain...all of which will assist Sun Peaks in its goal to be one of the top ski resort destinations in North America. 

GVHA Unveils First Fully-Electric Double Decker Bus in North America

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has unveiled North America's first purpose built, fully electric double-decker bus.

As a pilot project to evaluate electric bus transportation for the cruise tourism industry, GVHA has worked with CVS Cruise Victoria Ltd. (CVS Tours) and GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (GreenPower), to launch the bus in Victoria, serving the Ogden Point terminal through the 2017 season.

"We're excited to unveil this fully electric double-decker bus and get it into service," said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. "We're committed to testing and evaluating new technologies and new ideas in ground transportation, and this will be an excellent pilot, helping us to plan into the future.

Both GVHA and CVS Tours entered into a lease agreement with GreenPower to pilot the fully electric EV550 double-decker bus for one year. The bus is currently going through road trials and will be evaluated throughout the next year.

"This new bus represents a commitment on the part of CVS and its partners to the environment, community and the future," said Dave Roberts, acting general manager of CVS Tours. "We are hopeful that this pilot deployment project proves to be a success and will help to lead the industry. This technology has never been implemented in Victoria before and we are very keen to put it through a test year."

The pilot program will evaluate the feasibility of electric bus transportation, with a focus on cost of operations, emissions reduction, noise reduction and charging station requirements.
The 45-foot-long bus is the first purpose-built, fully electric double decker bus in North America. It has 99 seats including 65 on the upper floor, plus standing room. There are USB charging ports at each seat. The bus is also fully accessible with low-floor design, kneeling capabilities, wheelchair lift and configuration with two spots for wheelchairs or mobility aids.

The 450kWh of batteries with a range of up to 400 kilometers on a single charge depending on the requirements and operating criteria.

BC Family Day Must Remain Where It Is
 
At the recent Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Victoria, resolution B-139 was referred to the Executive Committee for further review. The resolution refers to moving the BC Family Day holiday from the second Monday in February to the third Monday in order to align with other Canadian provinces like Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. 

Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine recently sent UBCM a letter, outlining the history behind the choice of the BC Family Day date and calling for the issue to be put to bed once and for all. HIghlights of the letter include:

When the new statutory holiday was first proposed in 2012, the tourism industry urged the Province to consider the second Monday in February. This would allow many BC ski resorts, who were already nearing full capacity on the third Monday to have two busy weekends. In order for more BC residents to be able to participate in vacation experiences at lower costs, most resorts in BC offer special rates for locals.

The Province conducted a poll in May of 2012 and of the 31,146 responses, 58% supported the second Monday in February; 30% supported the third Monday; and 11% had no preference. 

Since the first BC Family Day, visitation numbers have shown that the correct date was chosen. Family day visitations were up by over 70% compared to the years prior to 2012 and the Family Day itself experienced a 300% plus increase across the province, according to the Canada West Ski Areas Association. On Family Day 2013, Sun Peaks experienced its third-busiest day of the winter and the busiest February day ever!

The full letter to the UBCM Executive Committee can be viewed in the members-only section of the TIABC website. 

2016 International Aboriginal Tourism Conference
Building Effective Partnerships for Aboriginal Tourism


Join Aboriginal tourism operators from across Canada and around the world for three days of sharing best practices and networking in Membertou, Nova Scotia. 

Panel discussions, breakout sessions, keynote presentations and local cultural experiences make this an industry event not to be missed. 

December 12-14, 2016

Register today!

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Update
 
Starting November 10, an electronic verification process will take place for all passengers flying to Canada. This means that citizens who do not require a visa to come to Canada will need to obtain an  Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)  prior to boarding their flight to Canada, while Canadian citizens, including dual national Canadians, must make sure that they travel with a  valid Canadian passport.

I n light of these changes,  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada  (IRCC) is re-engaging with stakeholders and industry partners in order to spread the word to the affected public. IRCC, as well as Global Affairs Canada and Canadian missions abroad, are conducting a major information blitz to advise travellers of the importance of obtaining the appropriate travel documents before booking a flight to Canada.
 
provides an in-depth summary of the changes detailed above and may be circulated widely. 

As well, you will find a full suite of marketing products for your use available through the Government of Canada  webpage , which includes:
  • A printable eTA factsheet in 14 languages
  • A factsheet for Dual National Canadian Citizens
  • An eTA poster and hand out 
Should you have any questions or require further support, please feel free to contact IRCC at   CIC-ETA-AVE@cic.gc.ca

Canadian Camping and RV Council Advocating for Tax Rate Change - UPDATE

The Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) appeared as a witness to the House of Commons Standing Committee in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on October 18th to lobby on behalf of campgrounds across Canada against the recent tax rulings made by CRA. 

A link to the minutes of the presentation along with the committee's questions can be
found  here . A report on all of the consultations will be tabled in December 2016 by the Standing Committee on Finance. The suggestions made by Canadians, including CCRVC's submission, will be considered by the Minister of Finance as the 2017 federal budget is developed.

CCRVC now needs to put as much pressure on the federal government over the next 45 days as possible and is asking each campground to call their Member of Parliament constituency office immediately to voice their concerns. During the call, they ask that you request your MP to contact the Minister of Finance to enact change in the 2017 Budget  and Income Tax Act to ensure that campgrounds are eligible for the small business tax deduction. 

To locate the name and address of your Member of Parliament please click  here.




Blake Richards the PC Member of Parliament for Airdrie-Banff, and supporter of CCRVC, stood up during question period in the House of Commons recently and directed concerns to the Minister of National Revenue, Honourable Diane Lebouthillier. 


BCLCA Speaks Out On The Loss of Private Sector RV Parks and Campgrounds

Patrick Gramiak, general manager of Wood Lake RV Park & Marina, Lake Country was recently elected president of the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) replacing Jim Humphrey.
 
Gramiak told members gathered at the recent annual meeting in Kelowna, " Over the past couple of months BCLCA has learned that eight RV parks are planning not to be operating as overnight campgrounds next year, representing a loss of some 792 campsites. In our BCLCA membership we represent a little over 20,000 overnight campsites, so this constitutes a significant decline.  The problem we are facing is that customer demand for RV sites is increasing at a time that supply is decreasing."
 
To address the decline of overnight campsites, BCLCA members passed the following policy statements:
  • Work with the provincial government to seek solutions to stimulate new private sector RV park and campground development.
  • Look for solutions to keep existing private campgrounds and RV parks as sustainable going concerns and not redevelopment opportunities.
Gramiak has already begun working on these issues by writing to and alerting provincial ministers about the disappearance of overnight campsites and seeking their assistance in reversing the trend.

#BCTourismMatters

YVR Named Best Airport in the World
Vancouver's airport has been named the world's best airport by the CAPA Centre for Aviation.
CAPA g ives the award to the airport that is considered the biggest standout strategically, and the one that has advanced the progress of aviation internationally.
  
Passenger traffic increased by five per cent in 2015 with 20.3 million travelers moving through the airport while this year, YVR expects up to 23 million visits.

CAPA has recognized YVR for its "unique governance structure with a community-based, not-for-profit airport authority that reinvests all profits back into airport operations and development".

Read more at: 



Vernon experiences tremendous growth during summer 2016
As of August, Vernon is pacing 15.2% ahead of 2015 and on track to another record year. The impressive results include:
  • 75.2% increase in MRDT receipts for July 2016 compared with July 2015 which equates to $5.5M in hotel room revenue and an estimated total visitor spend of $22M
  • 21.5% increase in MRDT receipts for the month of August 
In addition, Vernon is preparing to host some exciting events this coming season:
  • Holiday Festival on Ice - Kurt Browning final tour and Vernon is the only location in BC for the show
  • Roger's Hometown Hockey will be in Vernon on January 21 & 22 - only 3 other stops in BC - Vancouver, Nanaimo and Cranbrook - www.hometownhockey.com/tour-stops
  • Vernon's Winter Carnival will celebrate Canada's 150th - February 3rd to the 17th 

Royal BC Museum Celebrates 130 Years!

Royal B.C. Museum CEO Jack Lohman outside the Royal BC Museum
When the Royal British Columbia Museum was born on Oct. 25, 1886, Canada was just emerging. Over the past 130 years, the museum has grown in many ways with the province and the nation. The generation that rebuilt the museum in the 1970s achieved a new model for museums across North America.

The Royal B.C. Museum and Archives has always been and is a great success. It has been voted Canada's top museum by TripAdvisor two years running. Over the years, as a vibrant, internationally respected civic institution, it has served local, provincial and national audiences simultaneously.

With its international outreach programs, the museum is now on the threshold of taking our B.C. stories out to the world.

Read more at: 

Research

Close to one billion international tourists in the first nine months of 2016
Destinations around the world welcomed 956 million international visitors between January and September 2016, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This is 34 million more than in the same period of 2015, amounting to a 4% increase.

"Tourism is one of the most resilient and fastest-growing economic sectors but it is also very sensitive to risks, both actual and perceived. As such, the sector must continue to work together with governments and stakeholders to minimize risks, respond effectively and build confidence among travelers," said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
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