Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
September 5, 2019
CEO's Message

Seeing the destruction Hurricane Dorian has inflicted on the Bahamas reminded me of a time many years ago when I took a short flight from Oahu for a quick visit to the island of Kauai. I was motivated not only by the desire to experience the diversity of this Polynesian paradise, but also curious to see the damage caused by Hurricane Iwa three years previous. Up until that time, Iwa was the worst storm to hit Hawaii on record.

Having never experienced a hurricane nor the aftermath of a severe storm, a part of me wanted proof that the devastation was as bad as the cryptic news reports suggested (social media didn't exist then). I couldn’t fathom why it would take so long for the island to recover. It made no sense to me that beaches were purportedly still covered in debris. Equally, it puzzled me that people whose homes were destroyed or who lost their jobs still didn’t have a permanent place to live nor were they back at work some 36 months after the disaster (looking back, I'm aware of how ignorant I was).

At the same time I had hoped that the reports about Kauai’s demise were mostly exaggerated (as media are prone to do) and that life on the Garden Isle was essentially back to normal. That way I could dispel the rumours and misinformation I was hearing from family, friends and news media. Alas, it was not to be.

I experienced a similar feeling when I awoke to the news of vandalism that abruptly halted service on the Sea to Sky Gondola at the height of the tourism season last month. While I didn’t necessarily doubt that something happened, I was skeptical of the extent of the damage first reported simply because it didn’t seem plausible that someone would cut the ride’s main cable under the cover of darkness and put the brakes on the entire operation.

Really? Who would do such a thing? What would motivate someone to risk life and limb to destroy such a popular attraction? Was the damage as extensive as reports suggest? Could engineers fix the problem in short order so the gondola could be up and running within days?

A thousand questions swirled around my mind as I tried to come to grips with what I was seeing on social media and television. However, in the age of instant news, multiple mediums and endless images, it didn’t take long to realize that something dramatic and catastrophic had occurred and a new reality had set in, not only in Squamish but for all of British Columbia.

Instead of more questions, my thoughts immediately turned to the Gondola staff…all of whom would not be performing their regular duties for the foreseeable future and for some (e.g. seasonal staff), perhaps never again. I thought about the impact on the community of Squamish and came to grips with the fact that thousands upon thousands of locals and tourists’ plans to visit had suddenly been derailed. I also felt for the many couples that had planned to get married in the Summit Lodge this year and next and were now scrambling to find alternate venues. Tour operators, movie crews, company parties, businesses along the Sea to Sky corridor…all reeling from a deliberate act of sabotage.

Virtually overnight, Sea to Sky went from setting attendance records and earning international accolades, to being forced to close for several months and conduct damage control instead of crowd control. Talk about a sick feeling.

Virtually everyone in our industry knows that tourism is susceptible to any form of crisis. One only has to reflect on what we've experienced in BC and witnessed in other parts of the world in recent years to realize how quickly a destination's fortunes can change. The Gondola incident is a sobering reminder that tourism operators, communities, government and all stakeholders must be prepared to manage a crisis, no matter how large or rare the occurrence. And even then, full recovery is not assured (as we know from the wildfires).

Fortunately, work continues on the four pillars of a provincial tourism emergency framework that encompasses preparedness, mitigation, recovery and response...the latter of which is most advanced to date. You will be hearing more about the Tourism Emergency Management Committee's efforts (co-chaired by TIABC and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture) in the coming months.

in the meantime, there are many questions still to be answered and a ton of work to do for the Gondola to re-open alongside its newest attraction (under construction) next spring. Sea to Sky management and staff, along with police and others are working diligently to find answers and solutions to what occurred, what’s next, and how to prevent this scenario from happening again.

Aside from Sea to Sky Gondola ownership and the management team led by Kirby Brown, it’s important to acknowledge Tourism Squamish, the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, Destination British Columbia, and many others who not only helped all those affected, but also did an incredible job of managing this crisis and protecting the reputation of an amazing attraction, the surrounding community and the province we call home. I would be remiss if I didn't also mention how the tourism industry at-large rallied around the Gondola family as only our sector knows how to do.

As my old boss used to say about a crisis, ‘It’s all in the recovery’. I, for one, can’t wait till the grand re-opening of the ' better than ever' Sea to Sky Gondola next spring.

One final thought: Like Kauai, the Bahamas will recover from Hurricane Dorian, but as I've learned over and over, it will be years before things return to normal. Our thoughts, prayers and well wishes go out to our Bahamian friends.

Walt Judas



Tuesday, November 12 - Kelowna

Note - AGM will be held in conjunction with the International Indigenous Tourism Conference
TIABC Call for Board Nominations
**Closes September 27th**

TIABC is seeking five candidates for its Board of Directors for the 2019 - 2021 (2-year) term:

  • DMO category - one (1) candidate
  • Sector Association category - two (2) candidates
  • Business Membership category - two (2) candidates

As per the bylaws, the Tourism Industry Association of BC requests that all nominations from members be received 45 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. All nominations for director positions therefore, must be received on or before September 27, 2019.

Elections will take place at the TIABC AGM on November 12th in Kelowna.

The TIABC Board Nomination form can be downloaded   here  
or visit our website: www.tiabc.ca/2019-agm
Disability Employment Month

September is Disability Employment Month in British Columbia. This is a time to celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce and to recognize the many inclusive employers throughout B.C.

Quick Facts:
  • More than 926,100 British Columbians aged 15 to 64 years, almost 25% of the population, identify as having a disability.
  • Almost 90% of consumers prefer companies that employ people with disabilities, according to a study cited in a 2012 Conference Board of Canada report.
  • The provincial government offers services and programs that support job seekers and employees with disabilities and employers who want to build an inclusive workplace, including:
  • WorkBC centres
  • WorkBC Assistive Technology Services
  • Community Transition Employment Plan
  • There are 102 WorkBC locations throughout the province that serve British Columbians, including people with disabilities. WorkBC also offers 24/7 access through Online Employment Services.

The Presidents Group, a group of B.C. business leaders, are encouraging and supporting employers across different sectors to hire more people with disabilities:  www.accessibleemployers.ca  
VIEA Announces Island Good Partnership with
Tourism Vancouver Island

Tourism Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance announce the launch of their partnership on the Island Good campaign. As Vancouver Island’s respective tourism and economic development leaders, this new partnership aims to bridge the gap between tourism and traditional export industries by promoting Vancouver Island goods to visitors, by amplifying the Island Good campaign to Island-based producers and artisans engaged in the tourism industry, and connecting visitors to local, in-season food and artisan goods direct from the places they are produced by inspiring agri-tourism trips in the region.

Created by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, Island Good is an innovative branding campaign that recognizes and promotes Vancouver Island products, so that consumers, retailers, investors, importers and travelers will be able to recognize Vancouver Island products in the marketplace.
TOTA Signs Deal with National Geographic Traveller Magazine

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) has secured a three-year agreement with National Geographic Traveller Magazine to produce and publish its Route 97 guide.
The partnership is the first of its kind in North America and will see TOTA’s Route 97 Road Trip and Map Guide Initiative evolve into National Geographic Traveller Discover Route 97. The magazine will be written and photographed entirely by National Geographic with the first edition set to hit stands in May 2020.
Destination BC Grow with Google Workshop Dates Announced

The Grow with Google Program is on a mission to help small businesses grow and succeed online.

This program includes three informative workshops designed for small business owners featuring many free Google tools and resources to help you succeed in the digital world. As a program partner, Destination BC is working with the Regional DMOs to bring these workshops to a community near you.

Join Destination BC at one of the following locations. Seating is limited, so register early. Questions? Email   IndustryDevelopment@DestinationBC.ca

ITAC Tourism Development Funding Support Program

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s Product Development Fund is a program which responds directly to the demonstrated need of support to guide and prepare Indigenous tourism businesses to reach a market-ready state and develop sustainable growth for economic success.

ITAC invites Indigenous tourism businesses to apply for up to $10,000 to support tourism product development to increase the market or export readiness of their business. This program is in support of ITAC’s 5-Year goal of having 200 export-ready businesses by 2024.

The deadline for the 2019 Development Funding Program applications closes Friday, September 27.
2019 Camping Appreciation Weekend

Mark the weekend of September 13–15 on your calendar as campgrounds coast-to-coast participate in the 2019 Fall Camping Appreciation Weekend.

Campers can access a special weekend stay offer of two-nights camping for either $50, $60, $70 or $80 at participating campgrounds (Sep 13-14/Fri-Sat). As well as the weekend offer, many campgrounds offer promotional stays of “Five nights for the price of four” around this weekend.

To ensure you can get the campground of your choice, reservations must be made in advance directly with the individual properties listed. Please note campsite availability is limited and on a first come first served basis.
It’s always a great day to #CampinBC
Catalyst Accord Update

Catalyst  recently announced that  signatories of the C atalyst Accord 2022 — companies pledging to increase the overall proportion of board seats and executive officer positions held by women to 30% or greater by 2022 — are collectively and significantly outperforming their peers in corporate Canada.  

The Catalyst Accord signatories, a group that has grown to 57 leading companies in Canada, now averages 32.8% women on boards—double the 16.4% representation of their TSX-listed peers—and 36% women executive officers, or more than double the 15.8% of TSX-listed companies.

At the 2018 TIAC Congress, TIABC, showed their support for the initiative by becoming a signatory. As well, Catalyst's CEO was a guest presenter at the BC Tourism Industry Conference earlier this year. Women are encouraged to consider nominations for the TIABC board.

Learn more:
CanExport Community Investments Program Seeking Applications from Communities

As of September 4th, the CanExport Community Investments program will be accepting applications from Canadian communities seeking financial support for their foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives for the year 2020.

Applications must be submitted before 13:00pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), on Wednesday, October 16th.

Learn more:
BCUC Seeks Input on BC Hydro’s Fleet Electrification Rates Application

BC Hydro recently filed a fleet electrification rate application with the B.C. Utilities Commission and the BCUC wants to hear from you.

If your business operates a fleet of vehicles and is considering electrifying them, you may wish to participate in order to learn more about the proposed rates and the potential opportunity for your organization.
For more information on how you can get involved and provide your feedback, visit their website: http://ow.ly/GO0k50upcK6

Download more information here

Tourism Richmond Seeks Business Development Manager

The ideal candidate for the Manager, Business Development will be a connector, armed with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, who will seek incremental business wins for stakeholders. The ideal candidate will be focused on impact, results, collaboration, and is creative and resourceful. The focus will be attracting the right meetings/conferences, as well as building alliances and partnerships that will have immediate impact.
Tourism By The Numbers
Year-to-date international visitor arrivals to BC up 2.6% from 2018
Due to declines in arrivals from China and overnight arrivals from the US, international arrivals dipped slightly, 1.2% in June 2019 compared to June 2018. Year-to-date arrivals to the province are up 2.6%, led by India (up 16.4%), Japan (up 9.2%), and Germany (up 8.3%). 

International Arrivals to Canada - June 2019
Statscan recently released June numbers for international arrivals to Canada: trips by U.S. travellers saw a slight decline of 0.3% from June 2018, but are up 2.8% YTD. Overseas visits were up 7.1% from June 2018, and year-to-date are up 6.9%
BC Represented on Global Sustainable Tourism Council Board
Glenn Mandziuk, President and CEO of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association has been elected to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Board of Directors.
Sailings Filling Up on Northern Sea Wolf
Most of the upcoming bookings on the Northern Sea Wolf are near capacity. It was a rough start waiting for this new ferry as it was over budget and delayed by a year. However, the wait appears to be over and the results have been good for tourism from Port Hardy all the way to Bella Coola and into the Chilcotin.
Tourism Kamloops Podcasts
Luv'n The Loops is about equipping locals with the tools to share Kamloops' boldly unscripted stories. On the weekly radio segment, they chat with folks that are moving the needle for the tourism economy in the city.
Fishing BC on Sportsman Channel Canada
Fishing BC is excited to be partnering with the NEW Sportsman Channel.In addition to having 15 second ad spots on the network, Fishing BC will have 3 minute versions of their popular Fishing BC videos featured as part of regular programming. Click here to sign up for a free September Preview of the Channel.
McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport Outlet Mall Expansion
Four years after the original completion and opening of McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport Outlet Centre, the  shopping mall has been significantly expanded . This latest expansion adds 84,000 sq. ft. of retail space.
Vancouver Island Castle Name Top Movie Destination
Hatley Castle is no stranger to the bright lights and big stars of Hollywood, but now the home of the X-Men is being enshrined as one of the world’s top movie tourism destinations. The tourism website, The Travel has named the Colwood castle one of the top 10 film locations worth travelling to. The brick-walled castle, which is maintained by Royal Roads University, has played roles in dozens of films. 
Smoke Free Summer in West Kootenays
Tourism officials say 2019 is turning out to be a pretty good year for visitors to the West Kootenays.
Minister Tours Trail Airport Upgrades
Mayor Lisa Pasin says showcasing the Trail Regional Airport for the country’s Defence Minister last week was an opportunity to highlight how communities throughout the Kootenay Boundary are reaping the rewards that came to fruition only because of significant federal and provincial funding.
The  World Indigenous Business Forum  (WIBF) takes place from October 8 to 10, 2019 in Vancouver, BC. WIBF focuses on Indigenous economic development, attracting hundreds of participants as well as the attention of thousands of Indigenous business-minded people around the world.
As a sponsor of the event, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), is offering pre and post-conference tours. If you have plans to attend, consider adding a couple of extra days to explore the local Indigenous culture! Tours are available October 5-7 or October 11-12.
Download details here
Tourism Vancouver's Open House - RSVP here
Upcoming Industry Events
September 23-27, Vancouver

September 25, Cranbrook

October 2-4, Whistler

October 3-4, Prince George

October 8-10, Nanaimo

October 20-21, Vancouver

October 23-24, Nanaimo

October 24, 2019, Courtenay

November 1-3, Barkerville

November 3-5, 2019, Victoria

November 12-14, Kelowna

November 19-20, Ottawa

January 19-22, 2020, Victoria

March 4-6, 2020, Victoria

April 6-7, 2020, Kelowna

April 28-30, 2020, Whistler

Send us your event listings and we can include it on our list!
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