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June 24th, 2022

Note to our Readership: Friday, July 1st marks Canada Day and a national holiday. The next scheduled edition of "BC's Voice of Tourism" will not be published, however, a special bulletin may be distributed in the event of timely and important industry news that should be shared.


After five straight days of testing positive for COVID-19, I finally produced a negative test some 24 hours before a scheduled flight to visit family in Saskatchewan. Notwithstanding I may not have been able to board the plane due to federal government and airline protocols, I was technically free of the virus…or so I thought.

On the surface, it appeared I was in the clear, but deep down I knew I wasn’t healthy enough to travel. My throat was still sore, I had a nasty cough, I lost my appetite, was physically exhausted, and began experiencing what’s known as COVID brain…forgetting stuff and not being able to concentrate over a long period of time. In spite of a negative test (which turned out to be false), something was wrong. Sure enough, a mere four hours before my flight I tested again and registered positive, consequently cancelling my trip. Clearly it was the right move for the right reason.

I use this analogy in the context of government decisions that at face-value seem good, well-intentioned, and exciting yet can provoke all sorts of backlash and expose problems. Case in point…last month’s announcement that the province planned to build a brand-new Royal BC Museum (RBCM) to become the crown jewel of all museums in Canada should have been met with enthusiasm. RBCM would be safer, more inclusive, accessible, and a canvas for BC’s history and inspiration for our future. The project would be designed and constructed in partnership with First Nations and branded as a museum for everyone.

Local politicians, Indigenous and tourism leaders lined up to support the initiative. I was one of them. After all, who wouldn’t want a shiny new museum for residents to be proud of, to attract new and more visitors to Victoria, to bolster reconciliation objectives, to educate students, to use as function space for conferences, and other benefits? Yet, as you know by now the negative response was immediate, harsh and totally unanticipated by government.

The Times Colonist newspaper practically begged museum advocates to send a letter to the editor offering support for the proposed new cultural venue. No one did. Instead, readers blasted the project suggesting that in times of scarce funding, doctor shortages, more important infrastructure needs, among other reasons, replacing the museum was at best discretionary and not necessary. During question period in the legislature, opposition parties relentlessly criticized government’s RBCM scheme.

From the perspective of Victoria’s tourism industry, removing this major attraction for the better part of eight years would result in major revenue losses and be difficult to mitigate. What’s more, an independent Angus Reid poll last week showed that 69 percent of British Columbians opposed the plan. Surprising to be sure but not entirely unexpected given public response following the initial announcement.

On Wednesday we learned that the province took the decision to pause the RBCM redevelopment pending further consultation and evaluation. The concerns expressed by tourism operators in Victoria, as well as residents throughout BC and other stakeholders forced government to reconsider the project. What at face value seemed like a good idea was not well timed nor received… at least within the current economic, social, and political climate. It doesn’t mean it won’t be rebuilt at some point or that a new museum isn’t necessary but just not now.

I commend the province for stepping back instead of fighting back. Generally, governments are not in the habit of cancelling something so ambitious and exciting, let alone pausing a core deliverable within its mandate. At the same time, listening to the tourism industry, First Nations, various colleagues, media, and the people of British Columbia recommend against rebuilding the RBCM pending further due diligence, is a smart move and one that is welcome by most South Island tourism operators and certainly many other stakeholders within and outside of our sector.

You’ve heard the saying, go with your gut. In my case, the decision to forego a visit with family was based on feeling lousy and ultimately proving through science that I had still had COVID. For the province and the RBCM proposal, the decision to postpone the rebuilding project was about listening to a broad range of interests and acting accordingly. As Premier Horgan noted it means taking responsibility when you make the wrong call.

Wednesday’s decision was clearly the right one for the right reason.

Walt Judas,
Royal BC Museum Project Stopped

Earlier this week, Premier John Horgan announced the province is halting plans a to rebuild the Royal British Columbia Museum.

The following is a response from Alicia Dubois, CEO, Royal BC Museum.

"On behalf of the Royal BC Museum, I wanted to reach out and thank you for your continued support as we work to modernize the Museum.

In line with the Premier Horgan’s announcement...plans to replace the Royal BC Museum will cease pending broader community engagement.

What this means is that the museum will not be closing its doors come September. We will still work to address the seismic and accessibility concerns, but the Museum’s mission is still the same – to tell the story of British Columbia on behalf of all British Columbians.

Over the past month, we heard how important this Museum is to our province, and our plan to expand beyond its current walls will still move forward.

Community engagement and listening to the people of BC is our main priority. This is not only understanding what they would like to see from their Museum moving forward, but also hearing the stories and lived experiences that will help us re-imagine how we can celebrate our shared heritage in positive and inclusive ways.

We will also continue with our exciting travelling exhibitions program and provincial learning and outreach events.

Finally, I want to thank you for coming along with us on this journey. Your support has meant the world to us.

Alicia Dubois
Now Available | Destination Canada's Corporate Strategy

This week, Destination Canada published its corporate strategy entitled Canada’s Tourism Renaissance. This summary highlights Destination Canada’s work to support the 225,000 small and medium-sized tourism businesses across Canada and their communities.

Destination Canada is laser focused on driving sector recovery from the pandemic. At the same time, they understand the responsibility to take action for an even better future. This strategy outlines the 3-year plan for recovery and begins to lay foundations for our sector’s future.

Later this year, Destination Canada will share its long-term strategy for driving future sector growth & resilience over the next decade in support of the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy expected to be released later this year by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance.
Federal Tourism Growth Strategy

In its recent budget, the federal government stated that “to continue supporting Canada’s tourism sector, the Minister of Tourism will work with the tourism industry, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous tourism operators to develop a new post-pandemic Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, which will plot a course for growth, investment, and stability.”

TIABC's national counterparts...TIAC will be actively participating in these consultations, including drafting a detailed submission that reflects the tourism industry’s priorities for moving towards growth, investment, and stability. Yesterday, TIABC CEO Walt Judas took part in one of the consultation sessions, along with TIABC members Dave Cowen of the Butchart Gardens, and John Wilson of Wilson's Transportation.

Tourism stakeholders, business owners and employees, as well as members of the public, are invited to inform the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy and help lay the foundation for the future of Canada’s tourism industry. To share your views on how Canada can build on its reputation as a world-class destination, please send an email to tourisminfo-tourismeinfo@ised-isde.gc.ca.

The deadline for submissions is July 20th.
Government Introduces New Refund Rules For Cancelled Flights

On Wednesday, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, announced new regulations by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to “ensure Canadians’ interests are protected when they travel by air and that
the Canadian Transportation Agency’s new Regulations Amending the Air Passenger Protection Regulations are now finalized,” the minister’s statement said.

These regulations require that refunds be provided for cancelled flights or lengthy delays in all types of situations outside an air carrier’s control and regardless of the type of ticket that was purchased. They will come into force on September 8th.

The new regulations will amend Canada’s existing Air Passenger Protection Regulations, and will apply to future flights that are cancelled for reasons outside an air carrier’s control, including major weather events, a pandemic, as well as situations where it is not possible for the carrier to complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable timeframe.

Read the new regulations here.
Survey Report | Metro Vancouver Businesses
Still Face Economic Uncertainty

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, in partnership with the Business Data Lab at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, has released the results from the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions for Metro Vancouver from Statistics Canada.

New survey data shows 35% of businesses in Metro Vancouver report being in a worse overall position today than in 2019, substantially higher than the national average (28%). Half of businesses (52%) listed the rising cost of inputs as an obstacle over the next three months and 37% expect to raise the price of goods and services, particularly in retail (71%) and accommodation and food services (67%).

Highlights of Survey Results

  • Labour shortages: Difficulty attracting and retaining talent continues to hamper economic growth. Of businesses expecting labour challenges, 64% reported it is more challenging to recruit and retain staff than 12 months ago. The impact of labour-related obstacles is expected to result in management (47%) and existing staff (43%) working increased hours.
  • Supply chain disruption: A full 82% of businesses that expect supply chain challenges in the coming quarter reported that supply chain challenges have worsened in the past three months, with increased delays in deliveries (81%), increased input prices (78%) and shortages (68%).
  • Inability to take on more debt: More than half of businesses either cannot (33%) or are unsure whether (22%) they can take on more debt. This number has been climbing and is expected to climb higher as interest rates increase.
  • Rising costs: Increased input costs have been accompanied by supply chain challenges. Of businesses that anticipate supply chain challenges, roughly 4-in-10 expect difficulty maintaining inventory levels (40%) and acquiring inputs, products or supplies domestically (38%) and internationally (43%) to continue for 12 months or more.

Read the full news release here.
New Office for Vancouver's
Night Time Economy

Yesterday, Mayor Kennedy Stewart from the City of Vancouver joined the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), Destination Vancouver, and the Hospitality Vancouver Association
(HVAN) to announce the launch of a new Office for Night Time Economy.

With initial funding from the three organizations as well as the City, the new Night Office will be tasked with leading outreach and advocacy for Vancouver’s night time economy with plans to hire a full time “Night Advocate” this fall.

The new Night Office will be managed on an interim basis by the HVAN. The Night Office will commence outreach to Vancouver’s tourism, hospitality, and arts and culture sectors this summer and return this fall with recommendations on future actions the City can take to support and grow the night time economy as well as how to make the Night Office permanent.

Read the official announcement here.
Emergency Preparedness
Reminder | Take Precautions

As the province begins to experience warmer temperatures and water levels begin to rise, British Columbians are reminded to take precautions and be prepared.

Many parts of the province have already been declared a state of emergency or given notice to take precautions.

A reminder that PreparedBC has developed resources readily available to access such as:

For more information and other resources available from PreparedBC, visit here.

Additionally, TIABC wishes to remind readers of The B.C. Tourism Emergency Management Framework for additional reference. This is a shared plan that works to coordinate roles and responsibilities across the tourism sector to better service needs of visitors in an emergency and to ensure long term health of the visitor economy.
Now Available | Jobs for Ukraine Portal

As you are all aware, Ukrainians are coming to Canada to escape the crisis in their country. When they arrive, many will look for a job.

During last week’s meeting with senior officials at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), TIAC's Beth Potter had the opportunity to listen to many guest speakers including the Canada Industry for Ukraine team from ISED, the Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades team at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the Student Work Placement team at ESDC and the Industry Skills Directorate team at ISED. They all gave an overview of their work and the opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

We are pleased to share with the attached PDF (in English and French) outlining the tools available to Canadians looking to support the settlement of displaced Ukrainians. In particular, we’d like to highlight the Jobs for Ukraine portal.

If you are already supporting displaced Ukrainians arriving in Canada, thank you for doing so - and encourage you to readily distribute this information readily.
BC 2030 Olympic & Paralympics

As a reminder, The Lil̓’wat7úl (Lil’wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations have invited the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee to officially collaborate on exploring the feasibility of hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (the Games) in British Columbia.

With the group now entering its engagement phase to learn how the games can be delivered to benefit BC province-wide, you are encouraged to take the survey and share your perspective.

To learn more about the 2030 Games Engagement, visit here.
Get to Know | go2HR Training Offerings

Tourism and Hospitality students can benefit from industry leading training from go2HR. go2HR offers comprehensive customer service training with the SuperHost® Service for All. SuperHost® Service for All Foundations of Inclusive Service is a turnkey online training solution that provides students with the flexibility to manage their own learning schedule and obtain an industry-recognized certificate.

The course will share practical knowledge to better understand and recognize diversity and will allow students to learn the tools they need to adjust and adapt service to the unique needs of every guest.

This self-paced course includes interactive video modules and reflective exercises that will keep your students engaged as they learn. Level up your student's workplace readiness with go2HR's SuperHost® Customer Service Training.

Learn more here.
Congratulations to Michael J. Ballingall

Congratulations are in order for Big White Ski Resort Senior VP, and TIABC Director Michael J. Ballingall, who is the latest recipient of the Far West Ski Association’s Bill Mackey Award for Outstanding Ski Industry Employee.

Big White Ski Resort and Aspen Snowmass are the only two resorts in North America to have received this award three times.

The Far West Ski Association, founded in 1930, held its 89th Annual Convention and Meeting June 9 to 12 in Portland, Oregon. FWSA represented 150 ski clubs throughout North America.

The Bill Mackey Award is given for outstanding service to the skiing public by a ski industry or ski area employee.

Read the full announcement here.

Moments of Levity

As an industry that continues to face enormous challenges during COVID-19, every once in awhile it's important to share a laugh, a good story, a beautiful image or an interesting anecdote to provide moments of levity during this most difficult time.
New Episode
BLBCA Mountain Escapes

In this episode, Brad Harrison chats with Sabine and Aaron Cooperman, owners/operators/guides of Sol Mountain Lodge, located in the Monashee Mountains, south of Revelstoke.

Sol Mountain Lodge is an amazingly comfortable facility, situated in big snow country and is definitely family-friendly. The Cooperman's young adult children, Josee & Seth are actively involved in the day-to-day operation. Don't miss it!

Listen to the podcast here.
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On behalf of TIABC and Board of Directors, we are pleased to acknowledge the following member. We appreciate their support and investment in our advocacy efforts. It's a pleasure to introduce them to our industry network and readership.
Wilderness Tourism Association of BC

The Wilderness Tourism Association of British Columbia (WTABC) was born out of the need for an organization focused on land use issues faced by nature-based tourism operators. After a Tourism Land Use Symposium in Vancouver in 1999, industry stakeholders aspired to provide nature-based tourism operators with a stronger voice in dealing with issues specific to their sector of the industry (specifically forestry and land tenure issues).

Today, the WTABC works to improve communications between tourism operators, governments and other industry sectors regarding wilderness conservation and access to wilderness tourism opportunities.

Learn more about the WTABC here.

We strongly encourage you to consider membership or renew your membership with TIABC to support our important advocacy efforts on behalf of the entire visitor economy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic TIABC has identified your concerns, raised your voice, championed your needs, pushing for support and programs while encouraging policy changes.
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Just Announced | Canadian Hotel Mid-Year Update Webinar

Join the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) and CBRE Hotels for a mid-year update on Canada's Hotel Industry as we delve into the year-to-date 2022 performance and take a look at the economic, travel, and industry trends expected to impact the sector over the balance of the year and into 2023. This will be a 30 minute update with time for extended Q&A.

Date: Tuesday, June 28th at 10:00 am

Click here to register.
Information Webinar
Climate Preparedness & Adaption Strategy

BC's Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy has recently been released. The strategy strengthens our capacity to anticipate, prepare for and respond to the changing climate. This includes sudden events like wildfires, floods and heatwaves as well as changes that happen more slowly like receding glaciers, rising sea-levels and shifting ecosystems.

Learn more about the strategy by attending an informational webinar:

Date: Thursday July 7th at 1:30 pm

Register here:
You can also learn more about the strategy by clicking here.
safer spaces
REMINDER | Safer Spaces Course

TIABC would like to remind industry of the Safer Spaces course: Creating Sexual Harassment-Free Workplaces in BC's Tourism and Hospitality Industry. This free online course has been extremely well-received by industry as it addresses one of today's concerning topics and supports employers and supervisors in creating workplaces that are free from sexual harassment.

Safer Spaces was designed by a team of experts convened by go2HR. The project team is united by a commitment to reduce the stigma around workplace sexual harassment and a desire to champion the topic as an integral element of workplace education and training.

The Safer Spaces course covers the following topics:

  1. Defining Sexual Harassment
  2. Identifying Risk Factors in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
  3. Understanding Workplace Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Building the Workplace Culture
  5. Training and Communication
  6. Receiving a Disclosure of Sexual Harassment
  7. Responding to a Disclosure of Sexual Harassment
  8. Creating Safer Spaces for Everyone

We encourage everyone to join the TIABC Board and staff in completing the training and certification.
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Mark your calendars for the 2022 CITAP AGM. Online registration will open in early June, so please stay tuned! There will be no cost to attend the meeting.

Date:  Wednesday, June 29th
Time: 10:00-11:00 AM via Zoom

CITAP Board of Directors Openings for the 2022/23 Election:
  • 4 (four) RTO Openings (with a maximum of 3 directors per region); 2 openings- Asia Pacific; 1 opening- Europe; 1 opening- The Americas
  • 1 (one) DMO Opening
  • 3 (three) CUS Openings (with a maximum of 2 directors per sub-category) 

Prior to the AGM, on June 21st, CITAP will give all candidates the opportunity to address membership as part of their campaign via Zoom. To update your profile, please log in to your CITAP account on the website.

For further information, please contact CITAP office at 604.247.1997 or citap97@citap.ca. 

BC Hospitality Foundation Golf Tournament

Date and Location: July 4th, Westwood Plateau Golf Club, Coquitlam

All proceeds support BC hospitality workers in financial need due to a medical crisis.

Click HERE to learn more and to register.
BC Wine Industry Recognition Awards | Wine Grower's Symposium

Wine Growers British Columbia along with Wine Growers Canada, Wine Growers Ontario and Wine Growers Nova Scotia are pleased to invite you to attend the annual Canadian Wine Growers Symposium and Annual Awards Ceremony.

The symposium will have high profile speakers addressing emerging political and market trends and impacts of the pandemic, followed by the host organizations Award Ceremonies.

Virtual Event

Date: Monday, July 11th, 10:00am-2:00pm
  • Symposium: 10:00am-1:00pm
  • Industry Awards Ceremony: 1:00-2:00pm

Registration is complimentary to industry professionals

Click HERE to learn more and to register.
2022 Canada 55+ Games

The 2022 Canada 55+ Games are coming to Kamloops August 23–26.

The Canada 55+ Games is a large multi-sport event with over 2500 participants competing in 26 different events.
The Games focus on the social, physical and psychological well being of the participants through participation in a multi-day event. The Games are held over four days and participants must qualify through their provincial 55+ games competitions.

The Games offer opportunities for enrichment, fulfillment and improved quality of life provided by participation in a broad variety of athletic, recreational and social events. Although the very nature of the Games is to declare a winner or winners, the aspect of winning is secondary to the social side related to reuniting with friends from Games past.
Elevating Women in Food and Wine

Yes Shef returns! At this long-table dinner, guests will be served five unique courses with wine pairings.

Each course is co-created by a notable Chef and their student apprentice. Women of the wine world will select a pairing to compliment the flavour profiles. This inspirational fundraiser features the best Chefs, Sommeliers and Student Apprentices in BC. Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund for the future generation of Shefs.

Your ticket includes a welcome cocktail, five wine pairings and five unique courses created and served by the phenomenal female talent in Vancouver’s food and beverage community. For group seating requests, please email yesshef@worthassociation.com

Date: August 15th, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Place: Chambar Restaurant, 568 Beatty Street, Vancouver

Purchase tickets here.
Save the Date | Wine Growers of BC | AGM

The culmination of WGBC activities, including marketing, communications, advocacy and more over the Fiscal Year 2022 will be reported on in the Annual Report released at the Annual General Meeting. As quorum is critical for this meeting to proceed, please add this date to your calendar.

Date: Wednesday, September 7th - 10am-noon
Virtual Event: Add to calendar HERE
Sport Events Congress | 2022

Sport Tourism Canada and Edmonton Events have announced that Sport Events Congress 2022 will be held November 2-4 in Edmonton.

SEC22 promises to be everything that attendees know and love about Congress – interactive, educational, opportunities for business-to-business networking, evening social events (including an Edmonton Oilers NHL match-up at Rogers Place). View the preliminary schedule here.
Feel free to send us your ideas on what information would be valuable for TIABC to share through our Bulletin going forward. Drop us a line at info@tiabc.ca.
TIABC recognizes that our members, stakeholders and staff occupy the ceded, unceded and traditional territories of Indigenous Nations across British Columbia. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to live, work and play on the lands that our Indigenous friends and First Nations ancestors honour and care for.