Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
Limited spots open for China Readiness workshop offered November 1st in Vancouver as part of TIABC AGM. Register today.
October 23, 2018
CEO's Message
Occasionally people say to me…”You would make a good politician.” Once I stop laughing, my response usually consists of “Seriously?” “What have you been smoking?” Of course I no longer need to ask the last question in jest.

Truth is, sometimes people make the comment as a compliment, but other times it’s intended as an insult. In the latter scenario, I'm assuming it's because some politicians have been known to make promises they can’t keep or talk out of both sides of their mouths…among other less desirable traits. My wife says I exhibit similar behaviour from time-to-time, so I know what I'm talking about.

Whatever your perception of politicians, good or bad, you can’t argue with the fact that they have one of the most difficult jobs known to human (people 😊)
kind. Always under public scrutiny, constantly criticized for decisions, supported by only a percentage of the electorate, on the clock 24/7, expected to tow the party line in spite of personal convictions, constantly learning about and managing huge files, living out of a suitcase, sitting through endless meetings, and hearing from countless frustrated constituents with issues to resolve, it is often a thankless and exhausting profession. I ask myself, why would anyone want a job like that?

The short answer is most politicians believe they can help change society for the better. What's more, they possess a deep longing to help their community move toward a more prosperous and stronger future. It’s a noble goal at best, and some would argue, a naïve one at worst. Regardless of your perspective, one has to admire people in office who essentially give up their private lives to 'serve the people'. And thank goodness for those that fulfill these critical roles.

Now that the recent municipal elections are over, there are hundreds of new councillors and dozens of new mayors learning the ropes of local politics and eager to contribute. For many, the next few months will be intense, hard and tiring.

While recognizing that it will take time for new councils to get up to speed, it behoves us as an industry to begin reaching out to our local mayors and councillors to build relationships that will undoubtedly benefit our visitor economy now and in the future. Although many of the broader tourism issues need to be addressed by decision-makers at the provincial and federal levels, local officials also play a key role of influence both at home and within more senior levels of government.

In fairly short order, we need to know how our local politicians view the tourism industry. Do they see it as an economic pillar with growth potential, investment opportunities, and as a primary employer of youth? Are they willing to create a regulatory framework that both protects entrepreneurs and operators while allowing the industry to flourish? Will they look out for the visitor economy when considering infrastructure projects? Clearly there are many more questions we need to ask newly elected mayors and councillors.

Suffice it to say, the time to connect (or reconnect) with your City Hall is now. Start by sending a congratulatory note to your mayor and council, subscribe to their Twitter feeds, invite them for coffee…you get the idea. And while you're at it, remember to thank those on their way out for their faithful service over the last few years (or longer).

Given how I’m wired (i.e. DNA), I can better help my community, and in this case industry, from the other side. So if you ever hear me announce that I’m running for office, you can safely assume that I’m smoking something.

Before I wrap up, allow me to take the opportunity to thank Jim Humphrey for his dedication and hard work as chair of TIABC’s Board of Directors over the last three years. Jim’s passion for tourism and unwavering belief in TIABC’s mandate as an advocate for BC’s visitor economy is unmatched.

What many people don’t know is that aside from operating his own business and chairing our organization, Jim also committed extensive volunteer time as chair of Tourism Cowichan, BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association, Vancouver Island Minor Hockey Association, among others…simultaneously no less. I honestly don’t know how he did it.

Jim is the consummate volunteer, and like many politicians, believes in giving back to his community, and lucky for us, to the tourism industry at large.

On behalf of the board and your professional colleagues throughout BC, thanks Jim. We look forward to your continued role with TIABC as past-chair.

Walt Judas
+ China Readiness Workshop
Thursday, November 1
In conjunction with the AGM, TIABC is pleased to offer a free China Readiness workshop. This informative session will provide plenty of great insights into the Chinese market. The session includes additional one-on-one time built-in to connect with a China Readiness trainer.

AGM & Workshop Details

When: Thursday November 1
Where: Van Dusen Botanical Garden - 5151 Oak Street, Vancouver
8:30 am - Registration desk opens
9:00 - 10:30am - China Readiness workshop #1
10:30am - Break
11:00am - 12:00pm - TIABC AGM
12 noon - Lunch
12:30 - 2:00pm - China Readiness workshop #2

To more information and to link to registration page, please visit:
Join TIABC Today and Be Entered to Win!

TIABC's vision is “For tourism to be recognized as one BC’s leading and sustainable industries". As the primary advocate for British Columbia’s visitor economy, TIABC’s mission is about “Uniting operators, sectors, DMOs, government and residents to support and be passionate about making BC a great place for tourism".

We can't do this without a solid base of members. Whether your business, association or DMO is large or small, join us today and make the voice for the tourism industry even stronger.

 All * new members who join TIABC between now and December 31st, 2018 will be entered to win one (1) free registration to the 2019 BC Tourism Industry Conference .
Join today and be entered to win!

***New members are those who have not been a member of TIABC for at least the past three years

Why Join? Hear what some of our members have to say:

Learn about our types of membership and the cost:

View of list of members to see who in the industry are TIABC supporters:

And mark your calendars for TIABC's AGM (November 1 in Vancouver) and our 
BC Tourism Industry Conference February 27 - March 1, 2019 in Vancouver.
Wrapping up 2018 Fundraising Efforts

So far this year the BC Hospitality Foundation has awarded 34 scholarships ($34,000) and provided grants to 26 beneficiaries ($84,100). In the first two weeks of October alone, however, they have received 6 new applications.

Please help help our own by supporting BCHF's year-end fundraisers.
Community Infrastructure Funding Programs

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH) recently launched two major community infrastructure funding programs: the Community, Culture and Recreation program and the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure fund.

These programs have great potential to support many Destination Development initiatives that have been identified in area plans throughout the province. Although funding is geared towards projects that are community/resident focused, applications will be strengthened by demonstrating multiple uses for projects, and this includes how visitors will benefit from a proposed project.

The Community, Culture and Recreation program will provide access to funding for projects that upgrade and build sports facilities, trails, local community centres and spaces for arts and culture. It will also support health and educational facilities that uphold the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Deadline for applications is January 23, 2019.

The Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure fund will provide funding to small, rural and remote communities with populations under 25,000. The fund will support a wide range of infrastructure priorities, including broadband connectivity, efficient and reliable energy, Indigenous health and educational facilities, local public transit and reliable road, air or marine infrastructure, as well as improved resilience to natural disasters and environmental quality. Deadline for application January 23, 2019.
Nisga'a Lisims Government and Northern BC Tourism Sign Agreement

A Statement of Collaboration agreement with the Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) and Northern British Columbia Tourism Association (NBCTA) was signed recently.

The signing is the first of its kind in British Columbia and took place at the Northern BC Tourism Summit in Prince George on October 11. The joint agreement outlines initiatives that will support the development of Indigenous tourism experiences in the Nass Valley, as well as the four Nisga’a Villages –Gingolx, Laxgalts’ap, Gitwinksihlkw and Gitlaxt’aamkis – and also recognizes and aligns with the Nisga’a Nation’s shared interest and values.

Photo credit: Gary Fiegehen
Okanagan Indian Band and City of Vernon Sign Historic Relationship Accord

The two communities began a process in 2017 intended to facilitate stronger relationships through joint economic development and land use planning initiatives on traditional Syilx/Okanagan territory.

Okanagan Indian Band and the City of Vernon are one of nine partnerships that were selected in Canada to participate in the Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI). The program provides the respective Councils with additional capacity to reach common goals and realize a joint vision. The resources provided by the CEDI program assist in facilitating priorities set out in bi-annual workshops in order to achieve joint community economic development success.

At the bi-annual workshops, elected officials and senior staff representing both communities have learned about each other’s history, culture, governance structures and economic development priorities. These discussions have strengthened relationships as neighbours and provided a foundation for future partnerships through respectful communication.

During this process, both the Band and the COV Council have identified tourism as one of the key priorities for further collaboration.

Numbers You Need to Know
Kelowna Rebounding From a Challenging Summer for Visitation

Hotel occupancy numbers, compiled by CBRE, shows a 79.5% occupancy rate in August. That represents a 6.1% drop in hotel occupancy from August 2017. Overall, 2018 hotel occupancy numbers are ahead of 2017 as a result of strong winter and spring months, including some with highest-ever occupancy levels. However, June and August 2018 showed decreases.  
Top 8 Unforgettable Aerial Adventures
Sky Helicopters's Okanagan Helicopter Winery Experience package with Rosewood Hotel Georgia has been listed as one of the Top 8 Unforgettable Aerial Adventures in the world by Forbes Magazine.
Industry Award Winners Celebrated at Tourism Vancouver Island Conference
Each year Tourism Vancouver Island recognizes stakeholders who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in the tourism industry over the past year. The annual Tourism Vancouver Island Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony showcased the best of Vancouver Island tourism representatives and businesses. The awards were presented at the Port Hardy Civic Centre on September 26th to a sold out venue. Read about all the winners at: www.tourismvi.ca/newsletter
© 2018 HA Photography
TripAdvisor's Best Travel Experiences
A recent report from travel website TripAdvisor  ranked the top 10 travelling experiences in the world based on an algorithm from the site’s reviews - and Vancouver to Victoria and The Butchart Gardens was on the list.
Industry on the Move
Tourism New Westminster Welcomes New Executive Director
Judy Frankel replaces Tej Kainth as Executive Director. Judy comes to the organization with many years of experience in tourism. Most recently, she was the Director of Public Relations and Communications for the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau and Madison Area Sports Commission in Madison, Wisconsin. Congratulations Judy!
Upcoming Industry Events
October 24 - 25

November 1

November 2

November 2-4
Williams Lake

November 7

November 14 - 15

November 19-20

November 27 - 28
Gatineau, Quebec

January 20-23, 2019

February 27 - March 1, 2019
JW Marriott Parq Hotel, Vancouver

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