Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
November 14, 2019
Chair's Message

Earlier this week, TIABC held its annual general meeting in Kelowna. If you were unable to attend, I have taken the liberty to share pertinent sections of my AGM report in this week’s newsletter.

I would first like to thank the board for their faithful service this past year and for making my first year as Chair both enjoyable and beneficial. We worked well together as a board and through different committees that also included professional colleagues and members from various businesses and sector organizations. In fact, partnerships with the BC Chamber of Commerce, Coalition of BC Businesses, Spinal Cord Injury BC and many others have added another layer of depth to our organization that helped us fulfill our mandate.

I would also like to thank our departing Board members for their contributions throughout the years. Erica Hummel, David Mackenzie, Tony Munday, and Paul Nursey all dedicated countless time and energy to TIABC and helped the organization successfully grow and flourish. 

A big welcome to the new incoming Board members:
·       Ty Speer, President & CEO, Tourism Vancouver (DMO category)
·       Beverley DeSantis, CEO, Tourism Kamloops (DMO category)
·       Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President, Big White Ski Resort (Sector category)
·       Ian MacPhee, Controller, Prince of Whales (Business category)

Allow me also to thank our team – Walt, Laura, Fiona and Darlene for their efforts throughout the past year. Together, we made progress as an organization, particularly in our primary role as advocates on behalf of BC’s visitor economy.

It took a lot of work in recent years, especially after the last election to establish new relationships, but TIABC is well respected by government and regularly consulted and engaged on numerous issues as the voice of tourism acting on behalf of communities, regions, businesses, employees and sectors throughout BC.

Now reflecting inwards at TIABC, how did the year go for us? Well, I’ll point you to TIABC’s 3-year strategic plan that is posted on our member website. Our vision is for tourism to be recognized as one of BC’s leading and sustainable industries, while our mission is to unite operators, sectors, DMOs, government and residents to support and be passionate about making BC a great place for tourism.

In order to advance the vision and mission for the association, TIABC developed four strategic goals, each representing an ultimate outcome to be achieved and a forward looking path for the association. Collectively these goals and strategic initiatives take into account how to leverage organizational strengths, overcome weaknesses, realize opportunities and defend against threats. 

These initiatives are:
      Advocacy and Policy Development
      Strategic Communication and Government Relations
      Membership and Strategic Alliances
      Organizational Sustainability and Excellence

We made great strides against these initiatives over the past year. Furthermore, we bolstered our financial position through the support and commitment of our members and stakeholders. I’m proud of our achievements but there is a lot more work to be done and seemingly looming headwinds for our industry in the coming years. 

By most measures, 2019 is shaping up to be a strong year for tourism in BC. We experienced a healthy increase in total international overnight arrivals with 3.6% growth based on August year to date figures. It was encouraging to see that the growth was fairly balanced, with the US, Europe and Asia each growing at approximately 3%.  After two of the worst wildfire seasons on record, 2019’s fire season was relatively muted. For the first time in two years, we got a respite from a major crisis in our province.

The cruise industry enjoyed the second-largest season in its 33-year history, where almost 1.1 million cruise passengers transited through Vancouver, and a further 700,000 passengers that visited Victoria. All told, these were great macro signs of a healthy year for tourism.

On the flip side, there was a significant decrease in visitors from China, and it’s our largest international market outside of the US. The US-China trade wars, the protests in Hong Kong and the Huawei incident have clearly created a black mark for BC. We continue to face uncertainties and external threats when it comes to the sports fishing and whale watching sectors. And of course the mainstay issues of labour shortages, transportation and connectivity, capacity and housing affordability continue to limit industry’s ability to reach its full potential.

Alas, I’m sure many can relate in your own businesses and appreciate that the work never stops. As the old adage goes, it you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. Rest assured, TIABC is not standing still. We will continue to push the ball up the hill… sometimes we’ll achieve our objectives, other times we won’t, but I can guarantee you that we are always driving forward to create a stronger visitor economy for British Columbia.

Our organizational goals for the coming year remain largely the same, albeit with an even greater focus on the important policy priorities as identified by our members and industry. I am grateful for our solid membership that provides the support and means by which we can operate. I also want to thank our multiple partners that support us each year at the BC Tourism Industry Conference.

Please continue to connect with us on a regular basis.
Alroy Chan
Chair, TIABC

TIABC's 2019 AGM took place in Kelowna earlier this week in conjunction with the International Indigenous Tourism Conference. In addition to reports from the Finance, Governance, Membership/Communications, and Policy Development Committees, the meeting included elections for five board positions.

Along with returning board members Brenda Baptiste of Indigenous Tourism BC in the sector category and Barry Zwueste of St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino (Cranbrook) in the business category, three new directors were elected while one was appointed to replace a director who resigned before the end of her term.

TIABC would like to extend its gratitude to three board members whose terms expired:
  • Paul Nursey, Destination Greater Victoria
  • David MacKenzie, Pemberton Valley Lodge (BC Hotel Association)
  • Tony Munday, Munday Media & Design

For a full list of the 2019-2020 TIABC board, please visit our website:
TIABC Welcomes Four New Board Members
Beverley DeSantis
Tourism Kamloops

Beverley DeSantis joins the TIABC board in the DMO category.
Ty Speer
President & CEO
Tourism Vancouver

Ty Speer joins the TIABC board in the DMO category.
Michael J. Ballingall
Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing
Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna

Michael J. Ballingall joins the TIABC board in the Sector category.
Ian MacPhee
Prince of Whales, Victoria

Ian MacPhee joins TIABC in the Business Category.
Last Call for Presentations

The BC Tourism Conference is looking for new ideas, new speakers and innovative concepts for its education program. Ideal speakers are those who are keen to share valuable information, creative ideas for audience engagement, can provide superb educational session delivery, and who are willing to meet with conference delegates after the session.

Presentation proposals will be accepted for the following themes:
1. Technology and Innovation
2. Politics and Policies
3. Tourism Trends and Social Shifts
4. Marketing and Visitor Engagement

Submit your ideas today - submission deadline is Friday November 15th .

World's Largest International Indigenous Tourism Conference is Underway!

The official grand opening of the 2019 International Indigenous Tourism Conference (IITC) was held on Wednesday morning, bringing the largest conference of its kind in the world to Kelowna.

The event featured three days of inspiring stories and transformational experiences to unite the 700 delegates representing Indigenous tourism and other sectors of the visitor economy.

This year’s conference theme was Inspire. Transform. Unite. Accelerating Indigenous tourism growth .

Examples of local media coverage:

WORTH Association,  the society for women of recreation, tourism and hospitality is hosting  Empower Her  on November 27th at the Rocky Mountaineer Station from 5:30-8:30pm.  This networking event and panel discussion is designed for women (and men) who wish to move the dial. Empower Her's powerhouse panel will inform, inspire and empower to collectively identify ways to accelerate women to senior roles in the industry. 

Panelists include: 
▪ Mandy Farmer, CEO of  Accent Inns  |  Hotel Zed 
▪ Karen Hardie, VP of Global Sales,  Rocky Mountaineer
▪ Shiva Reddy, Wine Director,  Osteria Savio Volpe  |  Caffe La Tana  |   Pepino's Spaghetti House
▪ Marsha Walden, CEO of  Destination BC  

Featuring a special keynote address by Nancy Stibbard, Owner and CEO of the  Capilano Group .

Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler Empower Her events sold out last year. Don't delay on getting your ticket. Empower Her is a fundraising event for scholarships supporting women entering the industry.

Tickets and group rates are available at  www.worthassociation.com/empowerher  
Kootenay Lake Ferry Interruptions

The Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce is asking for help to regain safe, reliable and dependable ferry service.

Since the ongoing ferry cancellations, the Kootenay Lake Chamber is reporting that businesses and residents on both sides of the lake and the region are being adversely affected by unpredictable sailing cancellations since Labour Day. This has also had travellers and suppliers avoiding the area which impacts tourism operators.

Visit their website to learn more: ourferrymatters.ca
BC Wine Institute Update

BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) Consultation
Responding to a conflict between the BC LCRB and the Manufacturer Terms & Conditions Handbook (T&Cs) regarding the products eligible to be sold in a manufacturer’s on-site store, the LCRB is inviting winery participation in a consultation regarding the eligibility of products sold under a licensed liquor manufacturer’s On-site Store Endorsement. See more info  here .

BC Agricultural Land Commission Policy L-03 Update
Applying to most BC wineries, Policy L-03 includes the addition of new criteria limiting the allowable “development area” on the particular parcel of ALR land upon which the winery is located to 5%.
Responding to winery feedback, the BC Wine Institute has advised the Ministry of Agriculture that the policy definition of development area is very broad, open to loose interpretation, and includes any and all buildings, roads, parking areas and landscaping.

Climate change is already impacting communities across British Columbia. We’ve seen record wildfires, extreme weather, increased drought and more frequent flooding. That’s why the government’s  CleanBC  plan commits the Province to develop a Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy to help ensure that communities across BC can prepare for a changing climate.

CleanBC is helping to reduce climate pollution and put us on the path to a low-carbon economy that creates opportunities for everyone. While this is a critical part of addressing the climate change challenge, we also need to take steps to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change that are already underway.

Share your thoughts on how climate change is affecting you, as well as your visions for how to build a resilient, climate-ready future. This input will help the Province better understand how to develop policies and programs that support communities across BC.
People can share their thoughts until January 10th, 2020, through an online questionnaire, discussion forum and written submissions. Additional opportunities for public input will follow in early 2020, with the release of the final climate preparedness and adaptation strategy later in the year.
Join the conversation on social media by tagging #ClimateReadyBC and #MyClimateStoryBC

To learn about what B.C. is already doing to prepare for climate impacts, visit:  
Tourism By The Numbers
BC Sees Spike in Visitors from India
Visitor numbers from India were up in the first eight months of 2019. Statistics show 90,099 Indian citizens entering BC during the first eight months of the year – up 33.8% from the same period a year ago.
Global Business Events
Destination Canada recently released the   Destination Canada Pace Report for Canadian business events . The first of an on-going series, the Pace Report measures Canada’s share of the global business events market allowing us to benchmark the contribution business events makes to our economy.

Key Findings as of October 2019
  • 36% of Canada’s business events come from the international market.
  • There is concentrated demand in May, June, July & September annually, and an opportunity to expand Canada’s share of international events outside this window.
  • 2020, 2021, 2023, 2025 are trending in a positive direction, while 2022 and 2024 each have significant reach requiring focused efforts to reach our targets.
Industry on the Move
James Chase Retiring from BC Hotel Association (BCHA)
During James’ 28 year tenure, the BCHA contributed greatly to BC's hotel industry with policy development and advocacy with various levels of municipal, provincial, and federal government officials. In addition, the organization spawned the affiliated organizations Alliance of Beverage Licensees of British Columbia (ABLE BC) and Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR BC).

TIABC would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge James' significant contributions to the tourism industry, and wishes him well in his future endeavours.
Celebrating One Million Chopsticks
YVR has officially recycled one million bamboo chopsticks, the equivalent of nine tonnes of diverted waste. Since 2016, YVR has partnered with ChopValue, a local innovative product engineering and design company that recycles used chopsticks and transforms them into sustainable products. 
Tourism Kamloops Wins!
Tourism Kamloops has won the award for Best Visual Storytelling at Crowdriff's SEE 2019 conference in Toronto. This award recognizes Tourism Kamloops' Meet the Locals' campaign.
WestJet Commits $100K to Indigenous Tourism
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has significantly increased its wingspan after WestJet announced a $100,000 (over three years) commitment to the association during the International Indigenous Tourism Conference in Kelowna.
Trail, BC Wins Top Gardening Award
The City of Trail – and countless hours of hard work by volunteers who gild the town year-round – received very high accolades by winning the Garden Community Destination Award at the recent North American Garden Tourism Conference hosted in Victoria.
Airbnb PST Revenues Higher than Anticipated
When the provincial government announced in February 2018 it would collect PST from Airbnb operators, it estimated it would receive $16 million from homeowners who offer short-term rentals through the site. The company recently reported it sent the province $33.7 million between October 2018 to September 2019.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) Celebrates Tourism Businesses
At the recent CCCTA conference and awards in Barkerville, the organization recognized two businesses: The 108 Mile Heritage Site and 108 Mile Ghost Tours won in the Outside of the Box category for introducing a new way to experience a Heritage Site. The South Point Resort won Digital Marketing Excellence for its substantial digital marketing effort to rebrand their business and grow its regional profile.
Tourism Activity on the Rise in Hope
The Othello Tunnels are the main draw for tourism to Hope, according to data gathered by the Hope Visitor Centre and AdvantageHOPE. Almost half of the specific information people requested from the visitor centre was for the Othello Tunnels. During the months of July, August and September, the centre fielded 4,453 Othello-specific queries.
Upcoming Industry Events
November 19-20, Ottawa

January 17-18, 2020, Victoria

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!
Learn More About TIABC
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