October 26, 2017
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
BC Lodging Campground Association's Joss Penny, Minister Lisa Beare, and TIABC's Patrick Gramiak all agree that #BCTourismMatters.

CEO's Message
Baseball legend Yogi Berra was credited with some of the funniest quotes ever including one of my favourites..."Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." I was reminded of his words again after visiting Venice, Berlin and Prague this past summer, three cities purported to be among a number of destinations suffering from so-called 'overtourism'.

According to Responsible Tourism Partnership, overtourism describes destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably. It is the opposite of 'responsible tourism' which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently.

As someone that has spent many years working to increase visitor numbers to British Columbia, it's hard to wrap my head around the idea of too many tourists. Yet places like Barcelona, Iceland, Venice and many others are grappling with the ramifications of simply being too popular.

In Prague, locals complain about increased traffic, zero vacancies for housing (i.e. short-term vacation rentals), dramatic price increases for real estate, environmental degradation, poor service, noise, and loss of destination character (sentiments I've heard expressed by some around BC). But I wonder whether the complaints about overtourism in Prague are valid, especially since it's the city's top industry, no one refuses visitors' money, and their peak season is only about six months long. Alas, o nly a local can truly answer that question.

Yogi Berra also said, "You can observe a lot just by watching." Notwithstanding his funny quip, Berra is right because I observed what may be described as a form of overtourism in the Czech capital with throngs of people at all hours of the day and night jamming the streets, restaurants, shops and attractions to the point where I could scarcely find a local among the crowds. At the same time, I was keenly aware that I was one of those countless visitors contributing to the problem.

While I sincerely enjoyed visiting Berlin, Venice and Prague, I'm not eager to go back anytime soon because of what I experienced. And since my late summer trip, I've explored this topic further and learned that some Canadian cities, national parks and heritage sites have already put measures in place to tackle what they see as an emerging issue.

In my travels to various conferences around the province this fall, I've been encouraged by the fact that many of my professional colleagues are discussing the concept of responsible tourism with the goal of maintaining a sustainable tourism industry for all of BC. That certainly bodes well for future generations because...in the words of  Yogi Berra..."The future ain't what it used to be."

Walt Judas, CEO

TIABC Welcomes Two New Members

Tourism Valemount promotes their community destination - a quaint mountain village tucked into the northern reaches of British Columbia's North Thompson Region along the famed Yellowhead Highway .

Tourism Valemount becomes the 44th DMO member of TIABC.

HeliCat Canada is the trade association of the Canadian helicopter and snowcat skiing industry. 

Their primary mandate is to promote the continual improvement of the industry through research, education, advocacy and overseeing a trade accreditation program. 

Helicat Canada becomes the 19th sector member of TIABC.

Thank You Summit Sponsors

Thank you to all the sponsors of TIABC's recent AGM & Summit. With your support, we were able to host close to 200 industry stakeholders including members of Aboriginal Tourism BC, BC Lodging & Campgrounds Association, and the BCDMOA who all held meetings in conjunction with the Summit.


Surveys Beginning to Show Economic Impact of #BCWildfires in the Interior
An estimated $23 million in lost business occurred in the 
first five weeks after the fires began

Amy Thacker, CEO of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA), says that there are no good numbers to share in the wake of this summer's wildfires in the B.C. Interior. "We've heard a range of revenue lost from down 15% to down 85%," she said.

Thacker cautioned that all the numbers are not yet in, and that the first batch of surveys they have analyzed only cover the first five weeks of the fire. "We're going back out this month with more surveys so we can look at the whole impact [of the fires] and share the total economic impact on businesses and tourism operations."

"During those first five weeks after the fires started in early July, there was an estimated economic impact of $23 million lost in the area. The average revenue loss per business in those first five weeks was $42,000; but the range is from one business losing $1,000 to several having losses of over $250,000 each. I think this will skew a little when the August numbers are in."

Thacker says that between the fires, road closures, evacuations, and media fears, people weren't travelling and spending money. "Misinformation picked up by mainstream media never helps small businesses or the tourism industry. They're very susceptible. People make decisions based on that misinformation, even if it's corrected."

Rick Mercer Visits BC

The popular host of CBC's Rick Mercer Report was in Oliver and Osoyoos at the beginning of the month for the Festival of the Grape. Rick's visit aired nationally with an expected audience of more than 1.1 million. 

Rail Trail Gets Cash Infusion
Minister Lisa Beare announces funding for rail trail

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail will be getting a $500,000 upgrade  that officials hope will attract more visitors to the area.

The money, awarded as part of the Province's rural dividend program, will be used to implement phase one of the Thompson Okanagan Regional Destination Trail Project, which will include consulting with local First Nations, heritage organizations and ecological experts, as well as bringing the Myra Canyon trail to the digital age.

Tourism Vancouver Island Launches Two Innovative Special Projects
Tourism Vancouver Island has launched the Tools for Tourism Investment Initiative and the Vancouver Island Coast Cooperative Research Program. The Tools for Tourism Investment Initiative aims to create new tools, workshops and online platforms to support tourism businesses, First Nations, and local governments in growing the economic benefits that flow from tourism to their communities and the region as a whole.  This project has received $30,000 in funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust . The Vancouver Island Coast Cooperative Research Program will help community destination marketing organizations to determine key tourism performance indicators including the awareness, desirability and Net Promoter Score of their destination in a repeatable, comparable and cost effective manner. As a result, CDMO decision makers will be able to better track and demonstrate the effectiveness of their marketing and development efforts as well as of their organization overall. 
Click here to learn more .

Tourism Langley - Mandate Extended Five Years
Requirements have been met, approval has been granted, and funding is in place to enable Tourism Langley to continue promoting the Township of Langley as a tourism destination for the next five years.

Host with Multiple Entire-Home Units Key Driver of Airbnb Growth: Study
Study examines short-term rental market in comparison to Canada's hotel sector with a spotlight on Vancouver and Victoria

The BC Hotel Association (BCHA), in partne rshi p with the Hotel Association of Canada has released a new study which demonstrates that commercial op erators are growing exponentially, far outpacing actual home sharing activity. Alarmingly, only 17% of Airbnb's total revenue in Canada is generated by true home sharing where the owner is present during the guest's stay. The other approximately 80% comes from homes renting entire units where the owner is not present. 

Furthermore, the study reveals that units are being rented in increasing frequency. In fact 1-in-3 Airbnb units in Canada were rented for more than 90 days per year and this segment generated over 70% of total Airbnb revenues during the 12-month period. These statistics highlight one simple fact: there is a far more commercial activity occurring than people might realize. 

Notable takeaways from the study include:
  • 86% of Victoria's Airbnb revenue is generated by entire-home rentals, with Vancouver's at 82%
  • Revenue generated by multi-unit, entire-home hosts increased by 94% to now total more than $32 million
  • 40% of Metro Vancouver's units were rented out for more than 90 days in the past 12 months, earning more than 80% of total revenues
  • Similarly, 37% of Victoria's units were rented out for more than 90 days in the past 12 months, earning more than 75% of total revenues
  • Metro Vancouver's hotel sector supports approximately 12,100 full-time equivalent jobs, as compared to 230 full-time equivalent Airbnb jobs

For more information or to access the full report, visit: www.fairrules.ca

Small Business Tax Changes

The Federal Government has announced further changes related to the tax treatment of small businesses.  
The full government release can be found  here, but generally, here is a breakdown:

  • Small business tax rate to fall from 10.5% to 10%, effective January 2018
  • Small business tax rate to fall to 9%, effective January 2019
  • Implement a gender-based analysis on the legislation moving forward
  • Ensuring tax changes do not impact the transfer of family business
  • Abandoning the plan to limit access to lifetime capital gains exemption
  • Will continue to pursue restrictions on income sprinkling, but simplify the proposal

Numbers You Need to Know

The latest international visitor arrival numbers show an increase for British Columbia's tourism sector.
The August numbers from Statistics Canada indicate a 2.3% increase over the same month in 2016, resulting in 18,499 more visitors arriving in B.C. Total year-to-date international overnight custom entries to B.C. are up 2.8%, resulting in 113,473 more visitors.

Destination BC has been instrumental in marketing the province globally to ensure travellers are making plans to visit B.C.   Notable increases for August (over August 2016) include:
  • Mexico ­up 18.3%
  • Germany ­ up 12.0%
  • Australia ­ up 9.8%
  • France ­ up 4.5%
  • United States  up 2.8%
  • China ­ up 2.6%
  • South Korea ­ up 2.0%
  • Japan ­ up 0.6%
  • Asia/Pacific ­ up 2.0%
Notable increases for year-to-date arrivals include:
  • Mexico ­ up 25.4%
  • Australia ­ up 23.0%
  • Germany ­ up 14.2%
  • China ­ up 6.9%
  • Japan ­ up 4.3%
  • United Kingdom ­ up 2.9%
  • India ­ up 1.8%
  • France ­ up 1.6%
  • United States ­ up 0.8%
  • South Korea ­ up 0.7%
  • Asia/Pacific ­ up 6.8%
  • Europe ­ up 3.5%

Creative Solution to Labour Issues and Housing Shortages on Bowen Island

As is the case with most BC tourism businesses, many of the Union Steamship Company Marina workers have struggled to find appropriate housing on Bowen Island, which is a 20 minute sailing from Horseshoe Bay.

This past July the marina had to close on a Thursday because of staffing problems.  At the height of the summer, Union Steamship had 70 workers and  they could have used more but they simply couldn't find them due to a lack of housing on the island.

Eventually the owner came up with her own solution and bought a nine metre boat to rent out to some of her workers with  plans to go further by getting an area of the marina rezoned to allow for three floating duplexes with two living quarters on each of them.

A joint provincial-local government committee that will consider policies related to cannabis legalization and regulation in British Columbia has been set up and has begun meeting.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced the creation of the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation (JCCR) at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September. The purpose of the committee is to provide a forum for communication and consultation so that the Province considers local government input during the development of the regulatory framework for legalized non-medical cannabis. 

"It goes without saying that local government will be on the frontline and instrumental in the delivery of new policies and laws associated with the legalization of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia," Farnworth said. "We welcome and value the Union of B.C. Municipalities' input as we build a framework for the province focused on protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping our roads safe."

Tourism Vancouver
Sport Hosting Insight Workshop

From local tournaments to international competitions, B.C. plays host to many sport events. These events showcase the natural beauty of our province, its people, hospitality and amenities, as well as provide tourism and economic benefits. They also give our athletes home field advantage and reduce training and competing costs. 

Join Tourism Vancouver and their Sport Hosting guest speaker, Taunya Geelhoed on  November 8th to learn more about Sport Hosting and how it can help have a more positive impact on your business. 

CITAP Hiring Operation and Administration Officer

Canadian Inbound Tourism Association - Asia Pacific (CITAP) is looking for an experienced Operation and Administration Officer. CITAP is a federally incorporated, volunteer-based, not-for-profit association and is committed to further developing Canada as the preferred destination for Asia Pacific travellers. 


View full job posting  here.

Exhibition Open  May 18 - December 31, 2018

E xperience a time when civilization grew along the Nile, pyramids dotted the skyline and people believed gods walked among us.

With more than 300 original artifacts, some an astounding 4,500 years old, this exhibition covers all aspects of ancient Egyptian life, from the emergence of ancient Egyptian civilization along the Nile to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.

Be among the first in North America to see this staggering exhibition's priceless ancient artifacts, such as the coffin of Nakht, an exceptional bust of Hatshepsut and an ornate gold and garnet necklace from the Ptolemaic period.

The Royal BC Museum is excited about this blockbuster exhibition and will be reaching out to create packaging with their valued partners. 

How to Engage Guests on Your Green Journey

Although implementing technology, infrastructure and policies to improve your environmental performance are all good things, engaging the primary influencers of how effective these initiatives can be is the key to maximizing returns for the both the environment and the bottom line.

Here are the top four recommendations our Green Tourism expert advisors make for engaging your guests on your green journey.

  1. Share Your Commitment
  2. Encourage Guest Green Actions
  3. Develop a Responsible Visitor Charter
  4. Promote Guest Financial Contributions
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