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Jun 21, 2021

Letter of Appreciation to TIABC

Minister Mark


Dear Walt Judas and Vivek Sharma:

Thank you for your letter of June 7, 2021, regarding BC’s Restart Plan and the certainty it
provides to tourism and hospitality businesses. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share
your feedback with me.

It has taken all of us paddling together to reach this pivotal point in the pandemic, where there is
a palpable sense of hope and optimism for the future, not only for us as leaders who have worked
so hard to guide our industry through this pandemic, but also for the families and communities
that for the first time in over a year can see a path forward. As long as vaccination rates continue,
and cases and hospitalization remain low, British Columbia (B.C.) will continue to move through
our reopening phases.

The level of cooperation and partnership between industry and government throughout this
pandemic has been unprecedented, and I am grateful for the steady hand of the Tourism Industry
Association of BC in providing guidance to businesses and recommendations to government so
that we could reach this point. It is my intention to continue working closely together towards
recovery, resilience and beyond, and have that be the legacy that carries forward from this
difficult time.

I am personally looking forward to travelling in B.C. this summer with my family and supporting
our tourism operators, and I know thousands of other B.C. families are planning vacations across
the province this summer as well. However, I am also keenly aware that there is still a long road
to recovery, and that the industry will need more support. As you know, Budget 2021 committed
an additional $50 M for recovery and resilience initiatives for the tourism sector this fiscal year.
I look forward to discussing how best to allocate these funds with you and other industry leaders
in the weeks ahead at the tourism advisory table. I also commit that our Government will
continue our advocacy to the Federal Government to re-open our borders to international visitors
as soon as it is safe to do so.

Thank you again for writing.


Melanie Mark
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport

More Advocacy

TIABC CEO Walt Judas joined Indigenous Tourism BC's Jamie Bourne and TOTA's Robb MacDonald on a panel to discuss sustainability at Tourism Valemount's Celebration of Tourism event over the Victoria Day long weekend. 

Moderated by Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson, the session also included Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, Simpcw Chief George Lampreau and Tourism Valemount Executive Director Marcie Down. On Sunday, the group toured popular tourism attractions in the area and also participated in the community's annual Chinook salmon fry release into Swift Creek.
🏒 Even though the Canucks failed to advance past the second round, home playoff games were a good boost for local bars, restaurants, transportation companies and other sectors within Vancouver’s visitor economy.  TIABC CEO Walt Judas was on hand for game 7 against the Oilers along with Air Canada’s Serge Corbeil and Greater Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Bridgitte Anderson.
Five years ago, China was BC's second largest international market.  However, overnight visitation from China was down 64% in 2023 compared with 2019, largely due to the absence of group tour business.  At the Rendez-vous Canada event this week in Edmonton, BC tourism industry leaders met with Minister Counsellor Li Jiangang of the Chinese Embassy (Ottawa) to begin discussions on a path forward to regain approved destination status for group tour business and ultimately see visitors numbers from China return to pre-pandemic levels. 

Pictured L to R - Destination Vancouver's Karen Soyka, TIABC's Walt Judas, Counsellor Li, Indigenous Tourism BC's Paula Amos, Destination BC's Richard Porges.
WORTH (Women of Recreation, Tourism & Hospitality) hosted its first Leadership Summit in downtown Vancouver, attracting some 250 delegates, including TIABC CEO Walt Judas, that attended sessions on industry burnout, dismantling barriers to gender equity, leadership and other topics. Walt had the pleasure of introducing Tourism Minister Lana Popham who acknowledged a number of women leaders who are making a difference in BC's visitor economy.

📸: @visioneventphotography
📬 Postcards from BC!

"Wish you were here" from Beach Tofino, courtesy of Dave Butler, VP/Sustainability CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures. 📸

Would you like your image featured in our weekly Postcards from BC? Contact to share your slice of paradise!
Sustainability and Partnerships Forum 🤝 💚 

Don't miss out on May 18, an engaging lineup featuring a dynamic panel of tourism experts and an insightful presentation on content creation! 

The event will be hosted at the Eagle Room, Best Western Valemount. Doors open at 5 pm, and the festivities will run from 6-9 pm. Enjoy tasty canapés provided by Tourism Valemount and refreshments at a cash bar. 🍽🥂

RSVP by May 14 to secure your spot! 🎟️
call (250) 566-3335 or email