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Jan 21, 2022

Letter to Mayor & Council re- Tradex

Letter from Tourism Industry Association of BC, Tourism Abbotsford, British Columbia Hotel Association


Dear Mayor & Council,

Since the city announced a formal process to seek other options for the management and utilization of Tradex last March, Abbotsford’s 200+ tourism and hospitality businesses have been concerned about the possibility of losing this valuable community and event venue. Many local and regional industry stakeholders including the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) and the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) voiced their opposition to sell or lease Tradex to a proponent that chooses to operate it for purposes other than for community events for which it was originally intended.

Recognizing the issues Abbotsford has faced in recent months vis-à-vis the damage caused by widespread flooding and the city’s focus on relief and recovery for residents, we nonetheless write today to seek an update on the process and Council’s impending decision on the future of Tradex. Given its importance to the tourism and hospitality sector, there are many current Tradex clients and partners such as hotels and retailers that are anxiously awaiting further information and direction by both the city and the venue’s management team in order to prepare for the remainder of the year and beyond.

As you know, tourism and event related businesses in the city and region continue to be hit hard by the pandemic. Moreover, the long road to recovery in Abbotsford will largely be tied to the events and activities generated by Tradex as a vital community venue. The local visitor economy can ill afford to lose this important venue and the $19+ million it generates each year. This is particularly true for the months and years ahead where local businesses need every possible avenue to survive and rebuild, including a stable and secure future for Tradex.

Mayor and Council, we look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Thank you,

Daniel Laverick
Board President, TAS

Walt Judas

Ingrid Jarrett
President & CEO, BCHA

Cc: Peter Sparanese, City Manager, City of Abbotsford (COA)
Katherine Treloar, General Manager, Innovation, Strategy and Intergovernmental Relations, COA Komal Basatia, General Manager, Finance and Procurement Services, COA
Aniz Alani, General Manager, Legal and Legislative Services, COA
Jody Young, Manager, Vancouver Coast & Mountains – Destination BC
Craig Nichols, Executive Director, Tourism Abbotsford

More Advocacy

TIABC Director Dennis Innes (VCC Dean of Hospitality, Culinary & Baking) and CEO Walt Judas joined term 8 hospitality students, industry leaders, recent graduates, and faculty for a Philosopher's Cafe to discuss the state of the tourism and hospitality workforce this week at VCC's downtown Vancouver campus.
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Tourism Abbotsford’s Barb Roberts & Clare Seeley, as well as VCM’s Chad Wetsch on a site visit to a land-based Tilapia fish farm owned and operated by the Sumas First Nation who are expanding their Fraser Valley holdings with ambitious plans to bolster Abbotsford’s tourism infrastructure and experiences.
As he does regularly, TIABC CEO Walt Judas recently presented to tourism students and faculty at @westerncommunitycollege's (WCC) Surrey campus, focussing on industry issues and TIABC's advocacy priorities. Walt also serves on WCC's Program Advisory Committee (PAC), as well as the PACs of @capilanou and @myvcc.
🍽️ What an incredible farm-to-table experience! Backyard Farm Proprietor and Chef Chris Van Hooydonk welcomed TOTA's Board of Directors and guests Walt Judas, Richard Porges (DBC CEO) and Scott Fraser (DBC Chair) for a memorable meal in Osoyoos this week.

Chris's culinary philosophy focuses on utilizing the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to create unique, tailored menus for each visit. With a commitment to true hospitality, the experience is marked by attentive service and a passion for showcasing the beauty of the South Okanagan.

Also pictured, Destination Osoyoos Executive Director Kelley Glazer, TOTA CEO Ellen Walker Matthews, and TOTA's Jane Parece. 

A huge thank you to Chris for providing such a delightful culinary experience! 🌿
🎉 Highlights from the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria! 🌟

Close to 450 tourism industry professionals convened in Victoria last week for the annual 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference, hosted by TIABC. Industry leaders representing businesses, sector associations, regional and community destination management organizations, First Nations, federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as non-government organizations gathered for the two-day event. 

Anchored by the conference theme - Shaping Our Future Together - the outstanding program provided both a knowledge and skills track via plenary sessions and workshops. Here are just a few highlights:

▪️ Opening keynote speaker Shaun Boothe shared a unique and emotional celebration of some of the world's most influential cultural icons. His energy and messages set the stage for the entire event.

▪️ Hon. Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport kicked off the conference by welcoming delegates and sharing her own personal story of working in BC's tourism industry.

▪️ Plenary Remarks by Hon. Soraya Martinez Ferrada: Insights from the Minister of Tourism and Economic Development Agency of Canada highlighted the industry's significance.

▪️TIABC CEO Walt Judas engaged in a compelling conversation with Premier David Eby whose remarks underscored the vital role of the tourism industry in British Columbia, earning him a standing ovation.

▪️ Opening Reception at the Royal BC Museum

A big thank you to all our sponsors for making this event possible! 🙌
Join us in celebrating the remarkable winners of the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Awards Gala presented by @indigenoustourismbc! 🎉✨ 

Ten awards were given out to recognize and celebrate excellence, leadership, and innovation within British Columbia’s tourism and hospitality sector. These awards showcased the province’s most exceptional leaders and positive change-makers this past year.

The winners of the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Awards are:

Business Woman of the Year Award - Sponsored by Prince of Whales
⭐ Winner: Ingrid Jarrett, @bchotelassociation 

Community Contribution & Impact - Sponsored by Tourism Richmond
⭐Winner: @princeofwhaleswhalewatching 

DMO Professional Excellence - Sponsored by BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS)
⭐Winner: @visitrichmondbc 

Employees First - Sponsored by go2HR
⭐Winner: @golfbc 

Inclusive and Accessible Tourism Experience - Sponsored by Destination BC
⭐Winner: Vancouver Aquarium

Indigenous Operator or Experience | Sponsored by Indigenous Tourism BC and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
⭐Winner: @homalcotours

Innovation | Sponsored by Tourism Innovation Lab
⭐Winner: @tourismnewwest 

Remarkable Experience | Sponsored by BC Destination Management Organization Association (BCDMOA)
⭐Winner: @nimmobayresort

Sector Association Excellence Award | Sponsored by Acera Insurance
⭐Winner: Sport Fishing Institute of BC

Sustainability Excellence | Sponsored by Nanaimo Airport
⭐Winner: @40knotswinery 

📸 @arkitekcreative