November 9, 2017
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

Chair's Message

For most of us, it is hard to admit mistakes.  Whether it's embarrassment or guilt, mistakes are something we'd often rather not have to own up to. Yet, as we know, mis-steps can be experiences to learn from that ultimately contribute to success.
So, in that context, and in the spirit of transparency, allow me to expose a mis-step that occurred at TIABC's annual general meeting last month that no one on the Governance Committee caught until after the meeting.

Without going into great detail on how and why, we inadvertently elected one too many directors in the business category. In other words, instead of electing two directors for two vacant positions, we mistakenly appointed three. As a result, we now had 14 members of the board, not 13 as prescribed by our bylaws.

The Governance Committee looked at various options including best practice examples from other associations.  The option endorsed by the board was to ask the director who finished third in the voting for the two business category vacancies to step aside.

Thankfully, Tony Munday graciously resigned to allow TIABC to comply with its bylaws.  Tony previously served on our board and was a valuable contributor to the Communications and Membership Committee, as well as the Program Committee for BC Tourism Industry Conference.  Fortunately, Tony will continue his good work with TIABC by serving on both committees again.

Embarrassing? No question.  A learning experience? Yes. An example of graciousness? Absolutely.  Will we make more mistakes? Without a doubt. However, with the AGM and the mis-step behind us, the new version of TIABC's board is off and running addressing the issues that matter to our industry. As usual, we look forward to hearing from you, even if only to offer forgiveness.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

B.C Family D ay

BC Family Day is a non-religious holiday on the 2nd weekend of each February that was introduced to British Columbia in 2013. The date was selected via online ballot of B.C. residents. Because BC tourism destinations are heavily booked at holiday rates on the 3rd weekend of February from primarily three markets (Washington State, Alberta, Ontario), BC Family Day the week prior generates significant incremental tourism revenues rather than displacing business.
An industry-wide consultation process led by TIABC, Tourism Whistler, the Canada West Ski Areas Association, and other tourism partners, looked at the outcome of holding BC's Family Day on a weekend already busy with visiting families from neighbouring provinces and states, and the findings overwhelmingly supported the decision to consider an alternate date (i.e. second Monday in Feb).
  • The BC Family Day weekend has become one of the top performing business periods of the year for many BC ski destinations, generating approximately $10 million in incremental visitor spending per winter.
  • Seasonal tourism operators generate revenues over a limited number of weeks and the BC Family Day weekend has extended the opportunity to generate annual revenue. Many tourism sectors are now generating strong visitation on back-to-back February weekends.
In view of Premier Horgan's recent announcement that government is considering changing the date of BC Family Day, TIABC is requesting your support to keep this annual holiday on the second Monday of each February.

Please visit our website to review TIABC's  BC Family Day Support Letter addressed to Premier Horgan: 

I f your organization supports our motion, please send TIABC an email ( ) with approval to add your name to the list of signatories.

In addition to TIABC's letter, individuals, businesses and associations are encouraged to write to government to express their opinion about the date. The Whistler Chamber of Commerce letter can be viewed here.

TIABC Welcomes BLBCA as New Member

The BLBCA is a member directed association of privately owned lodge operations, located throughout the major mountain ranges of British Columbia.

The Association supports member lodges in the areas of safety, marketing, operations and government regulations as it strives to position the backcountry of BC as one of the most rewarding adventure travel destinations in the world.

BLBCA becomes the 20th sector member of TIABC.

 Member Policy Survey

Watch for TIABC's Annual Membership Survey Next Week

TIABC's annual membership survey seeks to engage members and industry stakeholders in helping to identify the organization's 2018 policy and advocacy priorities to ensure a healthy and sustainable BC tourism industry. 

The survey will seek input on several topics including, but not limited to,:
  • Labour Shortages
  • Product / Destination Development
  • Transportation & Access
  • Natural Resources / Environment
  • Marketing (local to national)
  • Tax Reform 
Please be sure to respond to the brief survey as quickly as possible.  We look forward to your participation.

TIABC Seeks Sponsors for 
Adopt-a-Student Program 

The 2018  BC Tourism Industry Conference will be offering an Adopt-A-Student Program with the goals of:
  • Ensuring more BC tourism students attend the conference
  • Ensuring these scholars begin their professional networking as early as possible
  • Assisting in connecting BC tourism students with prospective employers
  • Ensuring that the tourism students of today are prepared to assume the leadership positions within our industry in the future
  • Building career-long attendees of the conference
TIABC is seeking businesses, associations or organizations who wish to sponsor a BC tourism student to attend the conference. Sponsorship will cover the cost of registration, but not accommodation or travel to/from the event. 

To learn more, visit our website at: or download the Adopt-a-Student backgrounder.

If you are interested in sponsoring a student, please let us know at


Congratulations to the Thompson Okanagan Region for Becoming the First Destination in the Americas to Earn International Biosphere Certification

The International Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) announced that the Thompson Okanagan Region is the first destination in the Americas to earn the prestigious Biosphere Destination Certification, recognizing the quality, environmental sustainability and social responsibility of the Thompson Okanagan as a tourism destination.

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and their members successfully met 137 benchmarks that contain sustainability measurements that track standards such as affordability, clean energy and water use; human rights and social justice; gender equality; cultural diversity and equality; labour standards; health and poverty standards; and sustainable communities.

The Biosphere Destination Certification is the only designation to incorporate the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the main guidelines of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Tourism Sees Boost in Prince Rupert

Tourism Prince Rupert and the Port of Prince Rupert report that over 20,000 people stopped at the Cow Bay Visitor Centre during the tourism season, up 35% from last year.  A number of factors played a role in the increase including the cruise sector.

26 ships caledl on the Northland Cruise Terminal, with just over 16,600 passengers. A new mobile street team worked with the cruise ambassadors that drove a lot of traffic to the Cow Bay and downtown areas, as well as the visitor centre.

GVHA Celebrates Close of a Successful 2017 Cruise Season

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority hosted a concert on the Breakwater Barge October 5th to celebrate the close of a successful 2017 cruise season at Ogden Point.  Over 200 people gathered as the last ship of the season, Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, set sail at sunset.  This year, 239 ships brought more than 550,000 visitors to Ogden Point between April and October, making it  Canada's busiest cruise ship port-of-call.
Photos by Samantha Rosindell, Western Stevedoring.

GVHA Welcomes New Bus Deal
Cruise passengers will be boarding a fleet of greener buses in Victoria in 2018. A new partnership between The Wilson's Group and CVS Tours will bring new, quieter buses with lower emissions to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority's (GVHA) Ogden Point cruise terminal. 

"This is a great step forward for our city," said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. "It's a creative solution that brings partners together to improve air quality, and I think helps reduce the impact on the local community."

Educational Events: 
Marijuana in the Workplace

Changes are happening in the occupational health and safety scene, especially with the pending legalization of recreational marijuana use. Now is the time for employers to revisit their rights and responsibilities, rules and expectations concerning substance use and potential abuse in the workplace.

go2HR is pleased to share two timely, relevant health and safety events taking place in the next two months:

Nov 17: go2HR's Kelowna Summit Answers Your Burning OHS Questions 
go2HR brings back their popular Tourism & Hospitality Occupational Health & Safety Summit to Kelowna this November. The OHS Files: Solving your Mysteries will cover relevant health & safety topics for tourism employers including:
  • Impact of legalized marijuana in the workplace
  • New health and safety committee requirements
  • Incident investigation reporting
  • Safety of new and young workers
This event is expected to fill up quickly - space is limited, so register quickly.
Date: November 17, 2017
Time: 7:30am - 3:30pm
Location: Coast Capri Hotel (Ballroom Salon B) - 1171 Harvey Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6E8
Cost: $95.00 (plus GST)
For details on event agenda, speakers, and to register , please visit:
The challenges that employers face concerning substance use and potential abuse in the workplace have become more complicated. These challenges are particularly complex in remote workplaces in the tourism and hospitality industry where employees are often alone or unsupervised. Managing off-duty conduct in situations where employees live in employer-provided accommodations throws even more confusion into the mix.
go2HR is hosting a webinar to address these issues and is bringing in two lawyers from Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP to speak on this topic. What are the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees? The pending legalization of recreational marijuana use means that now is the time for employers to revisit their rules and expectations concerning substance use and potential abuse in the workplace.
Date: December 1, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 11:00am
Cost: $45.00 (plus GST)

Numbers You Need to Know

Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016. This corresponds to a robust 7% increase, well above the growth of previous years. 

With upbeat prospects for the remaining months of the year, 2017 is set to be the eighth consecutive year of continued solid growth for international tourism.  

Moneris Reports Spending in Canada Up 5.05% in Q3 2017
A report from payment processing company Moneris stated that the third quarter of 2017 saw a huge increase in spending on foreign credit cards in Canada, compared to the sam e period in 2016. 

Canada's 150 th  birthday celebration may have contributed to the strong spending surge from international visitors in the third quarter, with an increase of 12.16% in spending on foreign cards over the same quarter in 2016. The biggest year-over-year increases in terms of dollars spent came from U.S. visitors up 10.86%, China up 19.85% and Mexico up 66.76%. German visitors accounted for the fourth highest increase, up 20.02% over the third quarter of 2016.

The Winning Pitch
g o2HR's Winning Pitch, a case competition where post-secondary students pitch business plans to promote a local tourism activity, is an opportunity for the next bright young stars of the industry to apply their strategic thinking to come up with a new tourism business or service idea based on a local, realistic scenario related to the support of the destination development in each host region.

The next generation of tourism leaders in BC at Thompson Okanagan Regional Competition 
Teams made up of students studying tourism, hospitality and business in one o f BC's post secondary institutions develop and pitch a proposal and high level business plan to an industry panel made up of senior industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and financiers/investors  at their regional competition in either the Thompson Okanagan, Vancouver Island,or Vancouver, Coast and Mountains regions.

The inaugural 2017 event received much positive feedback from many stakeholders at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria, as well as from the judges, students, and educational institutions that participated. We are pleased to bring back the Winning Pitch for the 2017/18 year. This year's competition will take place as follows:

Regional competitions:
  • Thompson OkanaganNov. 2, 2017 at the TOTA Summit
  • Vancouver, Coast and Mountains: Jan. 30, 2018 at the Vancouver Convention Centre
  • Vancouver Island: Feb. 3, 2018 at the VIU campus in Nanaimo

Winners of each regional competition will move on to compete in the provincial competition to be held at the  BC Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna on  March 7, 2018

Congratulations to team 42 EAU of Thompson Rivers University on their recent win at the Thompson Okanagan regional competition! Congratulations also to runners up Okanagan Cycle & Shuttle from Okanagan College and Team Technology Experience Creation of TRU.

Tourism Vancouver Island Announces New CEO

Tourism Vancouver Island is excited to announce the appointment of Anthony Everett as their new CEO, succeeding Dave Petryk who will retire  December 1st after 17 years of leading the regional tourism association.

Anthony has been involved in tourism in British Columbia for 30+ years starting his career at The Butchart Gardens in visitor services and then establishing the Gardens' Media Relations department. In 1999, he was recruited to Tourism Victoria to manage the Media Relations Department until 2003 when he joined the team at Tartan Public Relations as Account Director. In 2006, Anthony moved away from Vancouver Island to lead the Northern British Columbia Tourism Association until 2015. 

Well versed as a director with various organizational boards, Anthony has gained invaluable experience from his involvement with the Myeloma Canada Board of Directors (June 2016 - present), the Canada Games Council Board (fall 2016 - present), go2HR (2012 - 2016), and as a Co-chair of the 2015 Canada Winter Games Ambassador Program (2012 - 2015).

Congratulations Anthony!

ATAC Announces Name Change to the 
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada's Board of Directors and leadership team recently announced a name change to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

An Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) member survey from April 2017 indicated that 80 per cent of responses prefer the organization use, "Indigenous," instead of, "Aboriginal."

"The name change reflects what our members want, and also responds well to the visitor research conducted with Destination Canada this fall on our largest visitor market - the USA," says Keith Henry, President & CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

View the full press release at:

CCCTA Gold Rush Trail Survey  

Destination Development work has begun in the Gold Rush Trail, and in light of this summer's impacts, it is more important than ever to provide your input to inform the strategic direction for the Gold Rush Trail over the next 10 years.
The following survey is a follow-up to the first survey sent in March along with a number of workshops that were held throughout the spring in Lillooet, Williams Lake, Quesnel, Hope, Ashcroft and 100 Mile House.  This will help us create the best vision, guiding principles, goals and strategies for the long-term success of tourism along the Gold Rush Trail.
This confidential survey should only take 15-20 minutes of your time and will go a long way to ensuring an understanding of what is important to you and the long-term success of tourism along the Gold Rush Trail.  To help better understand the impacts of the wildfire season, a few additional questions have been added to the end of the survey. 
If you are stakeholder in the Gold Rush Trail region, follow this link to the Survey:  
Take the survey!   Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
Please note, this link can only be used once.  If you know of another partner who would like to participate in the survey but has not received an invitation please have them contact Ryan Staley, Research Analyst at Destination BC, by email: to receive an invitation.
Thank you very much for your valuable input and for your time in completing this.

ABLE BC Submission to 
Cannabis Regulation Engagement Campaign 

British Columbia's public and stakeholder engagement on the legalization and regulation of non-medical cannabis - one of the "most engaged" in BC's history - is now complete.  According to government, an unprecedented number of public shared their opinions to help shape the way non-medical cannabis will be regulated in BC:

After five weeks of being live, the BC Cannabis Regulation Engagement website saw 127,952 visits with 48,151 British Columbians filling out the feedback form and providing their views on topics such as minimum age, personal possession limits, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation, and distribution and retail models.

As well, 800 opinions were received from a representative cross-section of British Columbians through a random telephone survey. During this time, government also received over 130 written submissions from organizations including local governments, school districts, cannabis industry, advocacy groups and law enforcement.

Thank you to all members who completed the survey, along with their staff, customers, friends, and family members. The results of this online survey will have an impact on government policy. Government is expected to release a regulatory framework in the next 4-8 weeks.

ABLE BC submitted recommendations to BC's Cannabis Regulation Engagement Secretariat on the responsible retailing of recreational cannabis. Click here to download a copy of the submission.

The document will soon be made public on the government's website with other stakeholder submissions at

 Declining Numbers of BC Campsites

Patrick Gramiak, general manager of Wood Lake RV Park & Marina, Lake Country was recently elected for a second term as president of the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA). 

Gramiak told members gathered at the annual meeting: "I am committed to reversing the trend of private campgrounds being purchased for redevelopment. I strongly believe there is a good business case for renting sites to RVers as demand is greater than supply. My long term goal is to encourage campgrounds to exchange hands as going concerns not investment or redevelopment opportunities. To do this we need to solicit the help of not only the provincial government but mayors, councils and regional districts who need to recognize that 15% of the voting electorate camp or RV and so they have a requirement to encourage and maintain overnight camping in their jurisdictions."

Over the past couple of years, BCLCA has learned that some RV parks are planning not to be operating as overnight campgrounds and that collectively they total some 800 campsites. In our BCLCA membership we represent a little over 20,000 overnight campsites, so this represents 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 and make campgrounds revenue sustainable, BCLCA members discussed the following tactics at the 74th Annual General Meeting
held on October 12, 2017 in Richmond.
  • Working with the provincial government to seek solutions to stimulate new private sector RV park and campground development.
  • Looking for solutions to keep existing private campgrounds and RV parks as sustainable going concerns and not redevelopment opportunities.
  • Educating mayors, councils and planners that RV parks are needed and desirable.
Gramiak has already begun working on the concern by writing to, and alerting provincial ministers about the disappearance of overnight campsites and seeking their assistance in reversing the trend. Gramiak also sits on the Camping and RVing BC Coalition, an agency that is marketing the shoulder and winter camping seasons, as well as pushing campers to underutilized campgrounds in the peak summer months.

Feds, Province, ONA Commit to Working Jointly to Establish National Park Reserve

Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change (centre), with her provincial counterpart, George Heyman (right) and Stephen Fuhr, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country (left). 
Three levels of government - federal, provincial and First Nations - announced Friday they are beginning planning discussions immediately as a partnership to establish a national park reserve in the South Okanagan.

Catherine McKenna, Canada'sl Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said this is the first time the three levels of government have worked together to establish a park in the South Okanagan.

There was no timeline given other than a commitment to start discussions immediately and try to get most of the negotiations done within two years.
For further details: 

Jonview Canada Acquired by H.I.S

An agreement has been reached for the acquisition of Jonview Canada by H.I.S. Co. Ltd., a leading global travel services company operating 296 retail locations in Japan, 272 branches in 68 countries, 155 cities around the world, ias well as an amusement park and hotel chain. The transaction is expected to close on or around November 30th subject to the Competition Bureau approval.

Since its founding in 1981, Jonview Canada has focused on creating attractive Canadian experiences for international visitors. Beginning in 2001, Jonview Canada moved under the umbrella of Transat which helped the company progress by supporting a partnership development plan in Canada and worldwide. Today, the Jonview Canada team boasts a solid network and unparalleled expertise within the incoming tour operating industry in Canada.

With Canadian tourism showing renewed vigour, Jonview is convinced that the acquisition by H.I.S., whose mission is complementary to that of Jonview Canada, bodes well for the development of their business.

The Why and How of Building a Green Team
Is your tourism business or organization interested in sustainability? If you haven't already, the first thing you should do is engage your most important resource...your staff. Getting your team involved with or taking the lead role on your green initiatives can create multiple wins.

1. Attract Top Talent
2. Boost Employee Engagement and Morale
3. Realize ROI

Check out Green Tourism Canada's How to Establish a Green Team guide and download their green action plan. 

Read the full article for more details: 

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