May 5, 2023


Years ago while travelling to the Gulf Islands via BC Ferries, I heard the captain announce the sighting of killer whales on the starboard side which sent me scrambling outside to get a clear view from the top deck. Because virtually everyone on board did the same thing, the entire ferry listed to the right for a good five minutes until these magnificent creatures disappeared from sight.

The ferry was close enough to the pod of orcas for passengers to catch a glimpse as they surfaced, but far enough away so as to not disturb their path westward in the Salish Sea.

In my view, there is hardly a bigger thrill than seeing orcas in the wild. Judging by the hundreds of thousands of tourists, residents and students that go whale watching in BC every year, many would agree. In fact, demand is so strong for this activity, there are 40 companies offering tours annually between April and October. The whale watching sector employs hundreds of people directly and thousands more indirectly while generating over $100 million for the BC economy every year.

As you likely know, the industry regularly faces operational challenges, largely consisting of interim federal government measures to either restrict whale watching or ban it altogether in certain areas (e.g. sanctuary zones). Earlier this year, in the context of protecting the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SR), the feds had threatened additional measures such as more sanctuary zones, increasing the viewing distances for non-Southern Resident (NSRs) killer whales, and eliminating the exemption that allowed commercial whale watching operators to view NSRs from 200 metres (instead of the 400-metre barrier applied to all other vessels) provided they agree not to view endangered Southern Residents.

On the latter measure, viewing whales from a distance of 400 metres is akin to watching a fellow golfer sink a putt on the green of the same par four hole you’re about to tee off on. In other words, you can’t see much, if anything at all. Given that many other countries permit viewing orcas from 100 metres away, the proposed four-football field distance would put BC at a significant competitive disadvantage and seriously impact the whale watching sector here at home while conversely driving visitors to other destinations including neighbouring Washington State.

For the record, professional whale watchers in BC fully support protective measures that apply to the endangered Southern Resident killer whales but strongly oppose additional restrictions applied to viewing non-endangered species that are not supported by science. Moreover, operators actually help versus harm government’s objectives by collecting and reporting valuable data on all whale sightings, and by warning all vessels (e.g. ferries, cargo ships, tankers, tugs, recreational vessels) of whales in an area, intervening when renegade or ignorant boaters encroach on foraging whales, and by retrieving marine debris that can affect all forms of sea-life.

Following a concerted effort to keep the status quo by the Pacific Whale Watch Association and its member companies, TIAC, North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association, and TIABC, the feds recently confirmed there would be no increase to professional viewing distances for NSRs for at least the next 12 months. It was precisely the decision we were hoping for and sets the industry on course for a solid year.

That said, TIABC will continue to work with our whale watching members, as well as the Pacific Whale Watch Association, TIAC and other stakeholders to appeal to Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to create long-term solutions or measures that grant professional operators more confidence and security in the future of this valuable sector. More to come as the year progresses.

Last week at Mayne Island I got a tip that a pod of Bigg’s (transient) orcas was headed my way. So I walked to the end of the public dock in front of the Springwater Inn in the hopes of a sighting. I could also see on my app that a couple of whale watching boats were sailing toward neighbouring Galiano Island on the open strait. Because the whales failed to surface in Active Pass, I could only surmise that the pod had likely detoured around Mayne Island in favour of a less congested route. At that moment, I wished I was on a BC ferry or a whale watching vessel to see the orcas in their natural habitat rather than on the dock at Miner’s Bay. Maybe next time.

Walt Judas,
TIABC Bids Farewell to Director Ian MacPhee

TIABC bids a fond farewell to Director Ian MacPhee who recently stepped down from the board following his retirement.

In his professional role as Director of Sales, Marketing & Business Development for Prince of Whales Whale Watching, Ian represented the business sector on the TIABC board and also served as the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

We are grateful for Ian's tremendous contribution to our organization. His dedication and deep industry knowledge was evident during the five and half years he served TIABC.

We wish Ian health and happiness as he embarks on his next chapter.
TIABC Seeking Applications for Board Vacancy

The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) is inviting applications to fill a vacancy on its Board of Directors left by departing member Ian MacPhee.

The ideal candidate must be a TIABC member in good standing, or for members who are a corporation, be a director, officer or senior employee or shareholder of such member in the business category.

TIABC's board composition is striving for 50% gender parity and 30% diversity.

How To Apply

Applications should consist of a one-page letter stating your interest in joining the TIABC board, your experience in BC's tourism sector and non-profits, and how you can support TIABC in our advocacy efforts. Please contact J.J. Belanger, Chair, TIABC at [email protected] for more information or to submit your application.

TIABC Responds to Call for
More Short Term Rental Regulations 

TIABC Chair J.J. Belanger was a guest of CBC's Michelle Eliot earlier this week and spoke about the impact of short-term vacation rentals on communities and BC's tourism sector.

Listen to the interview HERE and move to the 11:45 min. mark to listen to TIABC's position on the issue.

Province Urges People to Be Prepared

Highway closures, evacuation orders across BC Interior due to flooding, mudslides

With evolving flood conditions throughout BC this week, the Province is urging people to prepare for flooding in certain areas.

BC's Interior is experiencing hot weather with accelerating snowmelt followed by heavy rainfall and thundershowers that will arrive this weekend. Based on reports from the River Forecast Centre, conditions in areas that are currently flooding, including Cache Creek and Okanagan Indian Band territory. Other areas are expected to deteriorate over the coming days.

Significant flood hazard is expected throughout small and medium-sized watersheds in the Central Interior, Okanagan, Boundary and Southern Kootenays.

People in affected regions should take precautions to ensure personal safety, including developing a household plan, putting together emergency kits, connecting with neighbours and learning about the local government emergency response plan for their area.

Additional Resources:

  • Visit the River Forecast Centre HERE.
  • Access the PreparedBC Flood Preparedness Guide HERE.
  • To pre-register with Emergency Support Services, visit HERE.
  • Floodwaters can quickly wash out roads and bridges. Be prepared and plan an alternative route. For the latest road conditions, visit DriveBC
BCLCA Advocates to Government
for Change

Last week BC Lodging & Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) President and TIABC Director Jamie Cox, along with BCLCA Executive Director Joss Penny, joined other representatives from the Canadian RV and Camping Council (CCRVC) in Ottawa calling on the Canadian government to invest in tourism policies and infrastructure upgrades to support the industry’s continued growth.

The team met with several MPs from all parties on the Hill to advocate on behalf of the camping/RV industry that:

  • The Government of Canada provide an exemption, by legislative change or other means, to seasonal businesses such as private campgrounds employing less than five full-time employees year-round;
  • The Government of Canada recognize the economic impact and importance of Private Campgrounds with increased investment, grants, resources, and marketing to support the desperately needed expansion of existing facilities and new campground developments; and
  • The Government of Canada provide more funding for electrical infrastructure improvements and enhancements in rural areas throughout Canada to facilitate the addition of EV charging stations within Private Campgrounds.
The Do's and Don'ts of Your
Tourism Industry Insurance

Hear from Rachela Pollock of Acera Insurance, a Commercial Insurance Broker that specializes in Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Tourism. Rachela will discuss ways to have your insurance policy work better for you
Join us to learn about how presenting your tourism business or association in the best light to underwriters can make all the difference on your premiums, along with insurance tips & tricks, understanding current market trends, and how claims have impacted the tourism industry as a whole. You won't want to miss this informative session. 
DBC Request for Qualifications

The Destination BC (DBC) Destination Development team has launched a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to refresh their list of qualified contractors with relevant experience and expertise to provide destination development consulting for strategy development/implementation services and project management/support services

If you are a subject matter expert in one of the below noted areas, apply for their RFQ.

  • Tourism Infrastructure Development
  • Community Tourism Planning
  • Product and/or Experience Development
  • Indigenous Tourism Development
  • Responsible Tourism Planning
  • Destination Stewardship
  • Visitor Management
  • Route Development
  • Seasonal and Geographic Dispersion
  • Partnership Building
  • Economic Development and Diversification
  • Workforce Development
  • Policies impacting destination development and related to, among other things, transportation, labour, and land use

Submit your application online, HERE.
TIAC Job Opportunity | Manager of Policy & Government Affairs

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is hiring a Manager of Policy and Government Affairs.

Are you that unique and effective blend of government affairs and policy? Do you have that keen interest and experience helping develop and champion innovative solutions to sometimes complex issues within the ranks of the federal government?

If yes, this opportunity might be the perfect fit for you to join the dynamic advocacy team at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

Learn more and apply HERE.
Job Opportunity | Director of Operations

Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is seeking an experienced Director of Operations professional with a demonstrated understanding and passion for Indigenous community economic development. The position reports to the leadership team to ensure that the organization goals are met and supports the ITBC Corporate Strategy objectives.

The role requires outstanding organizational, communication and leadership skills and the ability to develop innovative solutions that push boundaries. The Director of Operations will work and collaborate with the leadership team to strategize and develop long-term plans to foster new levels of productivity and leading-edge success for ITBC.

Learn more and apply HERE.
Government Accepting Applications for Destination Canada Board Directors

The federal government is accepting applications from candidates eager to join Destination Canada’s Board of Directors.

Destination Canada is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. It is responsible for marketing Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination where travellers can enjoy extraordinary experiences.

The Board comprises up to 12 individuals who oversee Destination Canada’s management by providing strategic guidance and effective oversight. Directors are appointed based on a range of skills, experience and competencies. If you are interested in joining the Board, submit your application via the Governor in Council Appointments website by May 16th.

Note: the application process for this position is managed by the Government of Canada (not Destination Canada).

Learn more HERE.

BC's Tourism & Hospitality Industry Partners Need to Hear From You!

TIABC, along with our tourism and hospitality partners go2hr, and Destination BC, have collaborated to conduct a survey about the status of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) efforts of tourism and hospitality businesses around the province.

This DEIA survey is one initiative that supports the BC tourism industry’s continued learning journey as we collectively reflect on how we might better authentically represent communities in BC, understand how others encounter the world, and ensure tourism experiences are safe, accessible, and inclusive for everyone.

Please share this opportunity with your network(s) and help the survey team reach over 19,000 tourism and hospitality businesses, and various industry partners, across the province.

BC's restaurant and accommodation sectors - we are eager to hear from you!
On May 2nd, Jenn Burling, Director of Sustainable Tourism for GreenStep joined TIABC to share about taking the Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge and about the importance of measuring the sustainability performance of your business, organization or destination.
Destination Greater Victoria Recognizes
John Wilson
2023 Miracle Award Recipient

The Destination Greater Victoria (DGV) Miracle Award is presented annually to a group or individual that has shown outstanding leadership and achievement in developing and supporting the Greater Victoria visitor economy. This year's recipient is John Wilson, President and CEO of The Wilson’s Group of Companies and TIABC Policy Committee member.

As quoted by DGV, "John is a passionate community leader with a desire to support sustainable tourism growth in our community and beyond." 

TIABC joins Destination Greater Victoria in extending our congratulations to John!
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism is a non-profit, stakeholder-based Regional Destination Management Organization that leads tourism in development and marketing in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Destination British Columbia, Destination Canada and industry partners in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region to help foster responsible growth of tourism and empowering a resilient visitor economy. Under this umbrella, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association leads development and sustainability, while Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association leads consumer marketing.

Learn more about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association HERE.
Your Membership is Important to Us!

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.

TIABC continues to identify your concerns, raise your voice, champion your needs, and push for support and programs while encouraging policy changes at both the provincial and federal level.

Your support and engagement is vital to ensuring businesses, DMO's and sectors are united and speaking with one voice on issues that impact BC's tourism industry.

Contact [email protected] for more information, visit our website HERE or the link below.
TIAC's Associate Program Now Available to TIABC Members

The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) are happy to announce an exceptional offer to TIABC members! Effective now, TIABC members in good standing can enrol in TIAC’s Associate Program FOR ONLY $25.

TIAC is the national voice for the travel and tourism sector and acts on behalf of Canadian tourism businesses promoting and supporting policies, programs, and activities that will benefit the sector’s growth, development, and prosperity.

By visiting this link, you can become a TIAC Associate Member, enjoy access to a range of TIAC benefits and add your voice to National efforts.

Note: If you are already a TIAC associate member, you will receive a renewal notice before your anniversary date. If you are currently a full TIAC member, you already get enhanced advantages. You will continue to enjoy added benefits and savings over and above what is available to associate members, including the TIAC Member Advantage program at Rendez-vous Canada.

Contact [email protected] for more information or visit our website HERE.
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BCLCA Webinar Series

A Presentation and discussion on "Best Practices on Preparing and Responding to Challenging Guest Interactions 2.0".
Guest Speaker: Ginger Brunner, Manager, Industry Human Resources, go2Hr

Date: May 17th
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am (PT) via ZOOM, Register HERE.
BCLCA Auction for the Month of May

The BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) is hosting its 2023 Auction in the month of May. The auction will be supporting Care Camps in Canada.

Care Camps are founded by campground owners and help kids with cancer get to experience the healing power of the outdoors by sending them to specialized oncology camps.

Donations can be made through the auction by visiting the website linked below, up until May 31st.

If you would like to donate a gift card or a gift certificate for the auction, please email [email protected] or call 604-908-5594.

Visit the website for more information HERE.
Jump Start Staff Training 24/7
Anytime, Any Device

Gear into summer with leading-edge e-courses focused on product, market, and business development. The Tourism Café Canada, an award-winning training and development company, has launched 11 bilingual courses on a wide range of topics, lasting from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.

Start with Tap Into Trends 2023; a free course for entrepreneurs looking for insights into product development trends influencing and driving change. Located on this e-learning portal, the company will continue adding unique courses built on current Canadian content and business examples in the year ahead. Each course offers a terrific opportunity for individual learning and team discussions, plus they can be incorporated into other company training or supported by coaching from the Tourism Café training team. For more information, contact Nancy Arsenault, Managing Partner.
Workshops, One-on-One Coaching and Certification Support

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is pleased to offer sustainability training, workshops and support completely FREE to industry. Made possible with the generous support of the Government of Canada through the Tourism Relief Fund, TIAC has secured the services of experts in the field to deliver a valuable program.

The program will be offered in cohorts, supporting participants to go deeper in sustainability and receive guidance on how to align with the UN SDGs and find practical actions to make tourism a force for good. This is a great learning and networking opportunity, with offerings including:

  • Symposium Recordings
  • Specialized workshops, one-on-one coaching, and green certification support
  • Resources, tools, and materials to support your journey 

Space is limited, so sign up today!
Employment Equity Partners' Roundtable

"Beyond Culture: Bridging Gaps in Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion"

Community leaders, researchers, policymakers and employers across public and private sectors will converge. Discussions will focus on transcending cultural norms and challenging predominant narratives to advance accessibility and inclusion within workplaces and institutions.

Date: Tuesday, May 9
Time: 9:00 AM (PST)
Location: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 W. Hastings, Vancouver

Outcomes will help employers and decision makers better understand opportunities for engaging talents from different equity-deserving groups, as well as contribute toward a national framework for employment equity in Canada.

Participation from public and private sector employers, including senior business leaders, human resource managers, DEI leaders and policymakers are encouraged to attend.

For further information about registration, sponsorship or partnership opportunities, please contact [email protected]. Visit the event website HERE.
Pathway to Net Zero Carbon Masterclass

The Pathway to Net Zero Carbon training MasterClass will provide participants with the key steps to measuring the carbon footprint of their organization based on the internationally accepted Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, and how to uncover the opportunities to both reduce emissions and save money. It is broken into the following three steps:

Step 1: The Carbon Challenge - review GHG accounting and reporting standards, and methods.
Step 2: How to Measure Your Carbon Footprint.
Step 3: We will help the participants on “How to Set Carbon Reduction Goals & Prioritize Actions based on a Net Zero Goal”.

There are two more workshops scheduled for this program:

  • Wed, May 17 - 930am - 1230pm PST
  • Wed, May 24 - 930am - 1230pm PST
BCHF Golf Tournaments | Registration Now Open
Foursomes and Single Players - don't miss out!

Okanagan 2nd Annual Tournament
May 18 - Harvest Golf Club

Vancouver 13th Annual Tournament
July 17 - Westwood Plateau

Victoria 9th Annual Tournament
August 23 - Olympic View

If you want to become a sponsor for any (or all) tournaments, contact Samantha at [email protected] our Event Manager or Mike Macleod, Golf Committee Chair at [email protected]
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Differentiating with First Party Data

Uncover the reasons why all hotel data isn’t created equally. Learn how you can effectively drive incremental revenue and maximize RevPAR in this presentation, led by John Hach, will provide insights on the benefits of utilizing first-party hotel booking data to deliver superior results for your hotel property. Updated content will be included with a detailed 2023 Vancouver lodging market outlook featuring pertinent global travel and demand trends.

Date: May 10
Time: 2:30 - 5:00 pm
Location: JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, 39 Smithe Street, Vancouver

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.
Westcoast Wellness Show is Returning

Focusing on the Fraser Valley, the Westcoast Wellness Show is returning with a strong focus on three pillars: physical, mental, and social wellness.

This event brings together local businesses, health practitioners, coaches, speakers, resources for the whole family, and tons of tips and tricks you can take home and put in motion right away!

Dates: May 12 & 13
Location: Coast Cascades Hotel & Convention Centre, 20393 Fraser Highway, Langley

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.
Rendez-vous Canada 2023

A world-class conference that connects international buyers with Canadian sellers of tourism products, this year’s Quebec City event will bring together approximately 1,700 tourism business leaders for more than 30,000 one-on-one appointments, experienced-based luncheons, exclusive breakfasts, and engaging networking opportunities. Get your brand in front of an audience with influence at RVC2023!

Dates: May 30-June 2
Location: Quebec City

Learn more and register HERE.
BC Chamber of Commerce 2023 AGM

This year’s AGM and Conference theme is Focusing Forward… Together.

Over the course of two days, public sector, private sector and Indigenous leaders will inspire us, challenge us to think outside-the-box and take steps to work together and chart a path to a future where businesses prosper, British Columbians thrive and communities flourish.

Date: May 31-June 2
Location: Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa, Whistler

Registration is now open! View the program and register HERE.

Save the Date | June 5-7
BC Aviation Council Conference - Prince George

We are pleased to announce the dates for the next annual BCAC Conference. It will take place in Prince George, ("Base camp to the North" and home to YXS) at the "Courtyard by Marriott" hotel.

More information including conference theme, draft agenda, list of speakers, as well as hotel and travel partner recommendations is available HERE.

Questions or Sponsorships? Ask Dave!
10th Anniversary of
The Art of Leadership for Women

The Art of Leadership Women focuses on the topics and trends most critical to leaders. This unique one-day conference features a riveting collection of world leaders, business icons, academics, and bestselling authors who inspire action.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn improved ways of leveraging their value, elevating their skills, and developing the strategies required to take their leadership and their organizations to the next level. This conference is not just for women, but for anyone who wants to champion change on behalf of women.

Date: June 6
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre

NOTE: TIABC members can receive up to $100 off registration by using code TIABC40

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.
Sport Events Congress 2023

Sport Events Congress, the largest annual gathering of everyone connected to the over $7.4 billion sport tourism industry in Canada, is a 3-day interactive and educational event. SEC23 has been designed to help facilitate the recovery of sport hosting. The SEC23 program is interactive, educational, offers opportunities for business-to-business networking, and evening social events

Date: June 6th - 8th
Location: Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel & Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel, Richmond

Learn more and register HERE.
21st Annual Coast Hotels
Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic

The 21st Annual Coast Hotels Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic will take place and will begin with a 12:00 Noon shotgun start in a Texas Scramble format. Last year, the tournament raised $80,000.00 for designated charities.

Date: July 13
Location: Tsawwassen Springs Golf Club, Delta

The two beneficiaries this year are once again the ALS Society of BC and the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Due to the success of this event, more than 50% of this year's playing spots have already been pre-sold.

Learn more and register HERE.
Abbotsford International Airshow

The Abbotsford International Airshow has grown to become one of the Fraser Valley’s largest and most exciting annual events.

Dates: Aug. 11, 12 & 13
Location: Abbotsford International Airport

Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now! Early Bird ticket access is EXCLUSIVE to Airshow Insiders.
Learn more about the event performers and event attractions HERE.
BC Restaurant Hall of Fame 2023

The BCRFA BC Restaurant Hall of Fame is returning. The BC dining scene is recognized across the country as industry and trend leading. Gather to celebrate the individuals and businesses whose vision, creativity and unbelievable hard work made this possible by inducting them into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Date: October 23
Location: Italian Culture Club, Vancouver

Tickets to attend the Inductee Evening are now on sale and are available HERE.
Thank-you for your readership! We encourage you to send us your ideas or content that would be valuable for TIABC to share through our Bulletin.
Drop us a line at [email protected].
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.