February 2, 2017
Voice of the BC Tourism Industry

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

Chair's Message

As we've highlighted multiple times in recent years, British Columbia has had plenty to celebrate when it comes to our visitor economy. Revenue, visitation and other key tourism measures were up yet again for most of the province last year compared to 2015.
When reporters ask TIABC for a '10-second' sound bite on why tourism continues to grow, we typically credit the collective marketing investments of our provincial, regional and community DMOs, our superior tourism products and services in every region of the province, government support, favourable social and travel media reviews, low loonie, new direct air service, the breadth of experiences available, and of course our super, natural environment, among other things.
However, there is an even bigger factor (than the aforementioned reasons) for our success that is often overlooked, under-estimated or may be difficult to articulate in a short sound bite; it's simply the skill, professionalism and passion of the tens of thousands of people who work directly for one or more of the 19,000+ tourism businesses around British Columbia. Without a strong, dedicated and committed tourism workforce, all our other attributes would not, in of themselves, allow us to outpace our competition.
That's why I'm so looking forward to celebrating our top performers at the upcoming BC Tourism Industry Awards, as part of the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria later this month.  While three of the five awards focus on organizations or initiatives, it's really the people within those businesses that have earned top marks on behalf of their employers.
Having the opportunity to recognize the excellence, innovation and customer-service practices being employed throughout our province makes me most proud to be part of British Columbia's visitor economy.
Speaking of awards...take note of the article on The Winning Pitch below.  If you're attending the conference, don't miss the Wednesday afternoon session that will leave you confident and impressed by the calibre and skills of our future tourism industry leaders who we will also acknowledge at noon on Thursday.
I look forward to raising a glass to our nominees and winners at the awards night and The Winning Pitch session in a few weeks. See you at the conference.

Jim Humphrey, Chair

TIABC Welcomes Eight New Members


The BC Tourism Industry Conference is Almost Here

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.

Meet Our Future Industry Leaders

BC's tourism industry is booming, and to support the growing number of visitors, we need new, innovative ideas and leaders to increase the competitiveness of our province as a visitor destination.

At this year's BC Tourism Industry Conference, we're excited to host The Winning Pitch competition where aspiring tourism professionals will demonstrate their strategic thinking and presentation skills to industry based on realistic business scenarios.  Teams consist of up to four students currently registered in Tourism or Hospitality programs at Post-Secondary institutions across BC.

Regional competitions have been taking place around the province. On Friday February 4th, the last regional competition will occur in Nanaimo for the Vancouver Island region. All regional winners will move on to compete against each other at the 2017 BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria. The live audience will help determine the ultimate winner. Join us for The Winning Pitch on Wednesday February 22nd from 3:30pm to 4:30pm!

BCIT is headed to the finals!
Okanagan College is headed to the finals!

A Note from Canada's Tourism Minister
Ministers Joly and Chagger launching the Millenial Travel Program in Montreal at Rendez-Vous Canada 2016

TIABC regularly receives updates from Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism to share with our members and stakeholders.

"The New Year is an exciting time for the Canadian tourism industry. The nation is benefitting from the   largest growth in quarterly tourism spending in our country in almost 20 years

2016 saw the signing of the  Nunavut Declaration - uniting federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for tourism to take actions to support the Canadian tourism industry.

2016 was a year of expansion as Destination Canada returned to the U.S. market with renewed funding of $30 million for the  Connecting America  campaign to encourage more visitors from our neighbours to visit our beautiful nation. Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, launched the  Millennial Travel Program , aimed at inspiring millennials to explore and share Canada during our country's 150th  birthday.

Minister Chagger (front row, third from left) and her fellow Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Tourism at the 2016 Canadian Council of Tourism Minister's Meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

New Safety Certification Program Available for Small Tourism & Hospitality Employers in BC

BC tourism and hospitality employers with fewer than 20 employees can now participate in the Certificate of Recognition Program (COR) that is specifically designed for them. 

The COR Program is an occupational health and safety audit, certification and incentive program, rewarding employers that go beyond the legal requirements by taking the "best practice" approach to health and safety in the workplace. go2HR - BC's tourism human resource association - is the certifying partner that is responsible for coordinating the program and supporting participating employers in the BC tourism and hospitality industry. Participation in the COR program is voluntary and offers many benefits for employers. 

Interested employers can learn more about SECOR and how to participate at www.go2hr.ca/SECOR

go2HR has two designated Industry Health and Safety Specialists available to assist tourism and hospitality employers with their occupational and safety needs. Mark Gilbert for the Northern BC, Vancouver Coast and Mountains - West and Vancouver Island regions and Stephanie Mallalieu is responsible for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Kootenay Rockies, Thompson Okanagan and Vancouver Coast and Mountains - East regions. Contact information for Mark and Stephanie can be found on the go2HR website: www.go2hr.ca/news/go2hrs-industry-health-safety-specialists-designated-tourism-regions-bc

Cruise Industry Continues to Grow

Canadian port cities are expecting to get an economic boost from an influx of cruise visitors attracted by a low loonie and the country's 150th birthday celebrations. 

While in Canadian ports, cruise ship passengers spent almost $262M or nearly $150 per person in 2012, according to the latest study. Average spending was highest in British Columbia ports which accounted for 54% of the more than two million passenger visits and 77% of spending. A new study is expected this spring. 

In Vancouver, Canada's largest port anticipates a strong cruise season after seeing volumes grow 3% in 2016 to 830,000 passengers, mainly on Alaskan cruise itineraries. Prince Rupert foresees a doubling of the smaller cruise ships that will come ashore at the port on the cruising route near the Alaskan border. Prince Rupert's population increases by 13% when a cruise shop sails into port, creating a huge impact on the local economy. 

Victoria is ready for the arrival of what will be the largest cruise ship to ever visit Ogden Point as its Canadian port of call. The Norwegian Bliss is set to debut in the Pacific Northwest for the 2018 season. The ship, which stretches 324.6 metres in length will accommodate up to 4,000 guests from its home port in Seattle to Alaska. 

Numbers You Need to Know

A strong autumn for B.C.'s tourism sector
In the first 11 months of 2016, more than 5.1 million international visitors arrived in British Columbia, a 12.2% increase (546,632) over the same time frame in 2015.

View more information on November's visitation numbers from all of Canada's key markets, on the Destination Canada website

Coalition of BC Businesses Recently Met with 
Minister Bond to Discuss the BC Jobs Plan & Related Files


Victoria Airport Could Expand in Fall After Record 2016
After a record number of passengers flowed through Victoria International Airport last year, YYJ is looking at speeding up expansion plans. In 2016, the airport saw 1.85 million passengers, an increase of 8.5 percent over 2015.

The growth trend is expected to continue with domestic traffic driving volume...particularly from Vancouver to Victoria. T he airport continues to try and attract new carriers to service more destinations and last year saw Delta start serving a Seattle-Victoria route.


2016 - A Record Year for Kelowna Airport
It was a record year for Kelowna International Airport.  YLW served 1,732,113 passengers in 2016, an increase of 8.7% or 140,000 passengers from its 2015 numbers.  Nearly every month in 2016 saw tremendous growth and December ended up being YLW's busiest month ever with 166,537 passengers walking through the airport's doors.


Kamloops Named First Bee City in BC
Kamloops City Council unanimously approved a motion to designate Kamloops a  Bee City.  It will be the first city in B.C. to make the designation and the third Canadian city after Toronto and Chestermere, Alberta., which commits businesses and community organizations to doing as much as they can to create healthy ecosystems for bees.

The motion was brought forward by Lisa Strachan of Tourism Kamloops and supported by Glenn Grant, the Executive Eirector of the B.C. Wildlife Park and co-chair of Communities in Bloom.

In other good news, Tourism Kamloops saw an 11% increase in 2016  hotel accommodation revenue compared to 2015.

In This Issue
Quick Links