February 16, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

February 22-24, 2017, 
Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC

CEO's Message

While I hate to admit it, I'm not far off from enjoying (early) senior's discounts at some restaurants, retail outlets and other businesses throughout B.C. Yet, wherever my travels take me in the province, I inevitably run into professional colleagues long past the official age of retirement (i.e. even older than me with much more experience in our industry) that I'm always keen to learn from...particularly those that have a long history with TIABC dating back to the early COTA days.
At a meeting this week in Victoria with colleagues from the Mid-Coast Working Group, I spoke with an industry icon (who shall remain nameless) who informed me that 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of an historic accord between what was then known as First Nations Summit and the Council of Tourism Associations (COTA). The accord was developed as a statement of mutual support and cooperation to jointly realize the potential and future prosperity of First Nations and the tourism industry in B.C.
Among other things, the tenets of the accord include several important points:
  • Tourism potential in British Columbia should be developed in a manner that respects First Nations heritage and culture;
  • Settlements with First Nations should be negotiated in a manner that is timely and respects the interests of both First Nations and the tourism industry;
  • First Nations participation in the tourism industry should be increased in a manner that does not displace existing tourism operators;
  • Differences that may develop between First Nations and the tourism industry or individual tourism operators can be dealt with most effectively through dialogue that is direct and respectful and by avoiding confrontation and direct action such as roadblocks, blockades and other barriers that are harmful to the interests of the other; and
  • The natural resources of British Columbia should be managed in a sustainable manner such that they are passed on to future generations.
As I continue to connect with many of our industry's trailblazers, I'm discovering that agreements like this exist between several tourism and natural resource sectors, as well as associations, First Nations and governments of all levels.
You might be asking, "Do these agreements mean anything? Fact is, agreements like the accord between TIABC and First Nations Summit, even those that are non-legally binding, matter a great deal when issues arise between respective parties. A negotiated, signed MOU can often help to facilitate a peaceful and amicable solution to a messy situation without involving the courts or government.
As part of our strategy this year, TIABC will be looking to dust off or develop more accords with the natural resources sector and other stakeholders to ensure that the best interests of British Columbia's tourism industry are taken into consideration by those with the potential to impact us most.
Stay tuned...you'll likely witness the strength of these agreements unfold over the course of 2017 to address some emerging issues. In the meantime, let me acknowledge my fellow seniors for their foresight in developing the aforementioned accord some two decades ago.  It's still as relevant today as it was back then.
See you next week at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria.

Best Regards,
Walt Judas, CEO

TIABC Welcomes Five New Members


Last Chance to Register for the BC Tourism Industry Conference 

Don't miss this opportunity to connect with other tourism businesses, communities, government representatives and experts to share ideas, discuss issues and opportunities, network, learn, explore, celebrate and have fun. It's the tourism industry event of the year!

Slight Membership Fee Increase for 2017

Please be advised that TIABC's Board of Directors has approved a small 2% membership rate increase effective February 1, 2017. The rate adjustment reflects the average annual Canadian inflation rate and helps to mitigate increasing operating expenses.

Full Breadth of Changes to the TFWP Expected to be Announced in 2017 Federal Budget

So far, the federal government has provided limited response to last fall's Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) Committee report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Changes to date include
  • introducing stronger recruitment requirements, where appropriate, for low-wage employers
  • eliminating the four-year cumulative duration rule
  • extending the exemption on the cap for seasonal industries for 2017
  • committing to further developing pathways to permanence for foreign workers
It is expected that the upcoming federal budget will include more changes to the program. TIABC will provide more information once the budget is introduced. 

Subscribe to the Canada Summer Jobs Program 

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities while helping both students and their communities.
Canada Summer Jobs:
  • provides work experiences for students
  • supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
  • recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely
Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

Learn more at: 

Air Canada Unveils New Brand

TIABC CEO Walt Judas and Destination BC CEO Marsha Walden at the Air Canada re-brand launch
Air Canada's fleet of 300 mainline and regional aircraft are being repainted in a bold black and white design that highlights its iconic red maple leaf encircled logo or rondelle that returns to the tail of the flag carrier's fleet after an absence of 24 years.

Reflecting Canada's vastness and contrasting seasons, with references to its wildlife and First Nations heritage, the new fleet livery was designed by international design firm Winkreative, headed by Canadian entrepreneur Tyler Brûlé.

Following the February 9th launch, the first three aircraft sporting the updated brand entered service immediately. 

Read the press release and view videos at: www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/about/media/new-livery.html#/

The Risks of Selling Canada's Airports

CalgaryOttawa and Vancouver international airports unveiled a new website that highlights the risks of selling Canadian airports to private investors.  

As the federal government contemplates a potential sale of major Canadian airports, the website educates Canadians about the negative impact a sale of airports would have on travellers and local communities. Selling Canada's airports to private, for-profit investors would increase travel costs for passengers, remove local voices from airport boards, and undermine Canada's economic competitiveness.

Canadians are invited to learn more about the impacts that would be felt if Canadian airports are sold to private investors by visiting noairportselloff.ca.

Richmond Considers Short-term Rental Ban 

Richmond city councillors are moving towards a new regulatory regime to ban unlicensed, short-term vacation rentals and streamline bed and breakfast licensing.

Proposed bylaws would mean no condo or townhouse units would be able to legally list daily or weekly rentals with online sites such as Airbnb.ca, Booking.com or Expedia.ca. Furthermore, limitations will be placed on single-family home listings. 


Record Year for Victoria Tourism, With a Bright Outlook for 2017 
Average hotel occupancy was at 74% in 2016, up four percentage points from a year earlier. Revenue per available room jumped nearly $12 to $159 in 2016 compared with the year previous. Tourism Victoria CEO Paul  Nursey said his organization intends to aggressively go after conference business and seek more overnight stays in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. While there's room for growth in the shoulder seasons, the high season of July and August saw average occupancy above 90% 

Tourism Numbers up in Kamloops, Cache Creek and Ashcroft
Kamloops visitor centre recorded visitor increases of 32% (21,000 visitors) in 2016. Mild fall weather contributed to strong numbers after the end of the peak season, as did a favourable exchange rate and more direct flights to Vancouver. 

The Cache Creek visitor centre recorded 8,300 visitors in 2016, up from 6,400 last year. The Ashcroft visitor centre welcome 1,379 guests, almost double the 2014 figures (centre was closed in 2015).

Nelson Visitor Centre Numbers on the Rise
The   visitor   centre  in Nelson  saw   a   43%  increase   in  tourists   last   year   over   2015. 23,000 visitors have walked through the doors of the revitalized centre since 2015.

Source: Nelson Star

Tourism Kamloops Launches New 
Photo-Kamloops Partnership 

Tourism Kamloops has initiated an exciting new program called Photo-Kamloops, which makes the work of local photographers available to anyone looking for high quality photos of the city and region.  Tourism Kamloops has connected with a number of local photographers, selected a collection of breathtaking images and negotiated great rates on their work. The images are inventoried in Barberstock and available for purchase through Tourism Kamloops.

People looking to access the Photo-Kamloops database can submit a request to  www.tourismkamloops.com/images-and-photos-of-kamloops

Small Business BC 

Small Business BC is offering lots of education and events for small business owners: smallbusinessbc.ca/article/whats-happening-february-2017/

Small Business BC is also looking to learn about the changing needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners through our bi-annual survey.  It takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Those who complete it will be entered in a draw to win an Apple Watch:

And, don't forget, a pplications are being accepted for Canada-B.C. Job Grant training that starts on or before  March 31, 2017 .
Small Business BC has two staff advisors for the Canada-B.C. Job Grant program who can help small business owners access up to $15,000 for job skills training.

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