Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
Where did summer go? I've heard that question multiple times in recent days more as a reference to inconsistent weather (although we've experienced summer-like weather off and on since March), than the fact that we are a mere three weeks away from transitioning into fall.
For British Columbia's visitor economy, fall usually signals a return to a somewhat regular routine and a commitment to focus on what needs to be done in the last third of the year. It's also the time where planning for next year becomes a top priority.
In that context, I've been reviewing TIABC's rolling three-year strategic plan that board and staff created last fall to see where we succeeded, where we fell short, what we could do better, and what we need to start doing. It's a humbling exercise but one that is necessary in order to progress as an organization for the benefit of the entire BC tourism industry. In brief and in no particular order, here's a summary of our progress on a selection of actions so far in 2016 (note - some results subjective):
- Realized a small profit from the AGM/Summit to help fund advocacy initiatives;
- Have not yet identified alternate revenue sources to supplement membership and conference income;
- Increased membership by 28% since April 2015. Given our DMO category is represented by the majority of BC communities and our sector category is strong, TIABC's focus is on increasing additional rural and stand-alone business memberships;
- Attracted new board member from Southern Interior but need more representation from the Kootenays and Northern BC;
- Increased awareness of the importance of BC's visitor economy through various initiatives: #BCTourismMatters and Tourism Week 2016. Next year's plans include growth of these programs and a focus on the upcoming provincial election;
- Influenced several policy changes or decisions (e.g. agri-tourism). We need to close the books on a few more files (e.g. labour shortages, formula funding);
- Launched new website and revamped e-newsletter to enhance communication with members and industry;
- While our social media audience is still relatively small, we have seen the following increases on each of our primary channels over the past year: Twitter (24% increase), Instagram (185% increase), Facebook (50% increase) and LinkedIn (80%);
- Established TIABC with media and government as the voice of tourism on many issues throughout the province but could be further known outside of the Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Okanagan regions;
- Engaged in or led files on multiple issues including labour, land use, ferries, taxation, sharing economy, formula funding. Visit our website for more details on our advocacy files: www.tiabc.ca/advocacy-policy-development/recent-current-advocacy-issues;
- Alerted members to key tourism issues through TIABC's e-newsletter and our social media channels;
- Produced a Wildfire Prevention PSA and shared with industry - www.tiabc.ca/advocacy-policy-development/bctourismmatters/wildfire-psa-2016
- Staged two highly successful conferences; plans for partnering on 'tourism breakfast or luncheon' series throughout the province to help bolster the BC Tourism Matters initiative are planned for years two and three;
- Regularly communicated with members through various channels (e.g. personal meetings, phone calls, email, social media). Will schedule a member survey this fall with a focus on industry conference topics, key priorities, etc.
- Formed a more strategic relationship with Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and became the first provincial association to partner with TIAC on a joint membership program. See our website for information on the Plus TIAC initiative: www.tiabc.ca/join-tiabc/tiac-plus
- Continued our engagement with the Provincial & Territorial Tourism Industry Associations (PTTIA) including a national gathering in Ottawa for Tourism Week 2016. TIABC has been working on building relationships with federal politicians including Small Business & Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger, and Tourism Opposition Critic Blake Richards, in order to strengthen BC's voice in Ottawa.
To be fair, we're eight months into our three-year plan and intend to accomplish even more in years two or three. However, I'm pleased with the progress we've made to date and am grateful for the work and support of TIABC's board to keep us focussed on the priorities.
As we enter the fall season and planning for next year, we'll be reaching out to you as members and stakeholders for further input and consultation as we work toward resolving some of the challenges within BC's visitor economy, and to take advantage of the opportunities to build our tourism industry. I look forward to connecting with you.
TIABC Welcomes Two New Members
TIABC is pleased to welcome two new business members, Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa and Victoria Harbour Ferry!
Resting on the shores of Tyaughton Lake, Tyax is surrounded by the towering peaks of the Southern Chilcotin Mountains in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.
The resort features
29 guest rooms, l
akeview dining room & patio,
full service lounge and den,
spa with three treatment rooms, infrared sauna, dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room, outdoor hot tub and yoga studio, and a g
The team at Tyax would be happy to host fellow TIABC members for any team building meetings in their facilities!
For more than 25 years, Victoria Harbour Ferry has been zipping happy people around the city's Inner Harbour and neighbouring waterways. Founded in 1990 with just two ferryboats, today the company carries more than 350,000 people annually linking tourists and residents with local neighbourhoods, restaurants and attractions. The company operates a fleet of 18 small passenger ferries, including three all-electric, zero-emission vessels. The company also brings the world's only Pickle Pub Crawl and Water Ballet to the city's harbour. Victoria Harbour Ferry is consistently rated as one of Victoria's top tourism attractions.
For more information, visit
BC Tourism Industry Conference
TIABC is looking for members and stakeholders who would like to p
artner with us on the next BC Tourism Industry Conference (TIC 2017).
Partners of TIC 2017 are an important and visible part of the event. As a partner, you will be provided with a range of benefits to showcase your business or association in multiple ways.
Check out our
2017 BCTIC Partnership Package
for details on how you can get involved!
Visit our website (www.tiabc.ca/bc-tourism-industry-conference) or download the information package here.
Message from Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Bardish Chagger
TIABC received the following email from Minister Bardish Chagger:
As August comes to an end and with back to school around the corner, I would like to reach out to each and every one of you to offer my congratulations. As leaders in the tourism industry, you have all done an incredible job making this one of the best seasons in recent memory.
We'll get the final numbers in the fall, but by all accounts this has been a phenomenal season for visitors - be they from across an ocean, from another province, or just down the highway.
At the beginning of August, I had the pleasure of touring part of Northern Ontario with a visit to Parry Sound - Muskoka, North Bay, Sudbury, and Timmins. I was so impressed with the world-class ecotourism, culinary, and outdoor experiences being offered to visitors to this beautiful part of Canada. My personal highlights included seeing some wildlife, and visiting Sudbury's Big Nickel! This trip is part of my commitment to continue to work together with you to build on this momentum in Canada's tourism industry.
As some of you may have heard, the Prime Minister has asked me to serve as the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. As I take on this new responsibility, please be assured that I will remain a tireless advocate for the tourism industry and am keen to continue working with all of you.
As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please send them along to either:
Bardish Chagger, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Member of Parliament for Waterloo
Canadian Camping and RV Council Advocating for Tax Rate Change
The Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) is working with campgrounds across Canada advocating the CRA and the Canadian Federal Government to enact change in policy to have campgrounds classified as an active small business and thus eligible for the small business tax deduction.
Since this time, CCRVC has attended numerous meetings with ongoing communication with the the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Revenue and Ministry of Tourism policy advisors for the benefit of its Provincial Member Associations and their campgrounds.
While their efforts continue, an
update from CRA seems to be a small step forward and an indication of success in the lobbying efforts. By separating campgrounds from other industries such as storage facilities, the CCRVC is optimistic that possible future updates by CRA will provide further distinctions distancing campgrounds from other like businesses .
CCRVC's focus is to get the Ministry of Finance to enact a change in the 2017 Federal Budget campground's from its' current classification as a "Specified Investment Business" in the Income Tax Act to an "active" business thus qualifying for the small business tax deduction.
With assistance from a Government Relations firm, Canadian Camping and RV Council submitted a 2017 Pre-Budget Consultation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in advance of the 2017 Federal Budget asking for a change in the campground industry's current tax classification by the required deadline earlier this month.
Download a copy of the
for your review.
The CCRVC is asking all campgrounds to send a letter to their local Member of Parliament to voice their concerns regarding CRA's change in interpretation of the Income Tax Act. They have provided a an
that can be
mailed (postage free) to the House of Commons address of your MP.
To locate the name and address of your Member of Parliament please click
Be Bear Aware
Recent news stories from around BC have been a reminder of the importance of helping both our visitors and our resident understand the importance of being Bear Aware.
Every year hundreds, and in some years over a thousand, bears are destroyed as a result of conflicts between people and bears. In rare instances, people are also injured or even killed as a result of these conflicts. Most of these problems begin when people allow bears to access non-natural food sources such as garbage.
Bear Smart Community program has been designed by the Ministry of Environment in partnership with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. It is a voluntary, preventative conservation measure that encourages communities, businesses and individuals to work together.
The goal is to address the root causes of human-bear conflicts, thereby reducing the risks to human safety and private property, as well as the number of bears that have to be destroyed each year.
This program is based on a series of criteria that communities must achieve in order to be recognized as being "Bear Smart". The responsibility to manage human-bear conflicts rests with everyone; Bear Smart will require participation from the provincial government, municipal governments, and local citizens to be successful.
Bear Smart Community program:
Additional resources to share with your stakeholders are listed below:
BC Government Unveils Climate Leadership Actions
With 21 new actions that cross industries, transportation network and communities, the Climate Leadership Plan is moving BC closer to the 2050 carbon reduction goal while growing a clean economy. The plan will be updated over the course of the following year as work on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change progresses.
The Climate Leadership Plan reflects recommendations made by the Climate Leadership Team as well as feedback received through two public engagements with stakeholders and citizens, and engagement with sector-specific groups.
Destination Development Program
Destination British Columbia has recently launched its new Destination Development Program. Using a phased approach, Destination BC, together with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and the tourism regions is working with provincial government ministries and agencies, First Nations, communities, businesses, destination management organizations and sectors to create sets of destination development strategies for different areas in the province over the next few years.
Through a guided strategic planning process, stakeholders will work together to consider tourism development priorities, address impediments to growth and identify opportunities so that BC is on track to enhance the quality of the visitor experience resulting in long-term growth of our tourism experiences and revenues.
The first round of Destination Development planning is underway in six areas: Sunshine Coast, West Kootenays, Northeast BC, South Central Island, Chilcotin Coast and the Greater Victoria area. A second round of Destination Development planning areas will begin their work in early 2017.
If you'd to learn more about, please contact your
or email Destination BC at:
Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger
Named House Leader
TIABC congratulates Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Hon. Bardish Chagger on her recent appointment as House Leader.
This appointment marks the first time in Canada that a female has held the position of Leader of the Government in the House of Commons - one of the most senior positions in Cabinet. Minister Chagger is now responsible for the government's legislative agenda and is part of the Prime Minister's inner circle of advisors while retaining her duties as Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
TIABC looks forward to maintaining our working relationship with Minister Chagger to ensure we're able to help solve some of the barriers to industry growth.
Nanaimo's tourism season
Some operators in Nanaimo are having a season twice as busy as last year; one even having the best summer in 21 years.
Earlier this year, Tourism Nanaimo launched two marketing campaigns, Share Vancouver Island and Nanaimo Top Ten, both which aim to capitalize on a lower Canadian dollar and attract more visitors to the Harbour City.
In addition, the Crystal Serenity made its inaugural call to Nanaimo on August 5th, bringing 1,070 passengers to the port. The immediate impact was estimated at over $100,000 to region.
Read more at
and in the August CLIA
America's Masters Games in Vancouver an Event of Competition and Tourism
The August 26-September 4 event will host 5,000 athletes, from more than 50 countries, participating in 24 sports. The $3.5-million event is about competition and camaraderie - but for Vancouver, such events are an opportunity to bolster the city's tourism industry.
The Americas Masters Games are part of the strategy behind Sport Hosting Vancouver, a new group that was assembled to draw more sporting events to the city. Sport Hosting Vancouver is a partnership between the city, a hotels' association, B.C. Pavilion Corp., Tourism Vancouver and the University of British Columbia - investing about $3-million over two years, with $1-million coming from the city. The goal is to parlay success hosting such events as the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games and part of the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015 into more events and additional economic activity.
Report Shows Improved Air Quality in James Bay
The Times Colonist reports that air quality in James Bay has improved following the release of a
by the BC Ministry of Environment. The report suggests sulphur content regulation for fuels used by cruise ships and use of technologies to reduce emissions have been effective in reducing SO2 levels at Ogden Point in Victoria.
The report noted that despite an increased number of cruise ship visits over the last two years (last year there were 227 and there were 206 in 2014) th
at in general "more than 99 per cent of hours on record at both stations" fell within Island Health's risk category of "good."
Canada's international visitation is up. Canada has welcomed 7.9 million international visitors in the first half of 2016, a 9.8% year-on-year rise.
American visitation is up. US arrivals by air increased by 16.1% over the first six months of 2016.
All overseas markets are up too!
to see infographics from the Destination Canada June Tourism Snapshot.
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
Calendar of Events
September 1, 2016
September 19, 2016
September 26-30, 2016
September 29, 2016
October 3-4, 2016
October 4-6, 2016
October 4-5, 2016
BC Liquor Conference
November 29-30, 2016
February 22-24, 2017
BCHA / ABLE BC
April 3 & 4, 2017
for more events. Tell us about your event and we will add it to the list.