Skip to main content

Feb 2, 2021

Outdoor Recreation Council of BC request increase to BC Parks budget


Dear Premier,

BC’s provincial parks protect internationally significant ecological and cultural values and foster experiences to connect with nature through outdoor recreation. Our provincial park system is a driver of our important tourism economy, bringing in visitors from around the world.

Visitation to BC Parks increased by 24% between 2014-2018 and has continued to rise over the past few years. This steady increase in visitation has not been met with the necessary resources to maintain and upgrade park facilities. The summer of 2020 pushed visitor infrastructure to its limits, and winter recreation is already seeing a surge.

For years, visitors have struggled to find parking for day hikes, secure reservations for campground and wilderness camping, and have experienced poorly maintained and seriously eroded trail infrastructure. Despite the border closure, these challenges have continued throughout the pandemic as more British Columbians have engaged in outdoor activities.

Domestic and international tourism has the potential to play a significant role in the economic recovery of our province. It is widely believed that tourists will place increased value on outdoor experiences as the world emerges from the global pandemic.

For BC to support visitors, nature and the tourism communities that depend on BC’s expansive parks system, we must act now to increase the capacity of our park system in a meaningful way. The recent mandate handed down to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy which acknowledges the need for improved funding and calls for the creation of new campgrounds, trails and protected areas is encouraging and timely.

Increasing resources to BC Parks would allow for park system planning and expansion, maintaining critical recreation infrastructure, increasing staffing levels, necessary wildlife monitoring, ecosystem restoration, investing in partnerships with Indigenous communities, and upgrading and expanding parking lots, trails, and campgrounds. We welcome the recent $5 million investment to tackle some of the most critical deferred maintenance items such as shoreline erosion, water treatment, and bear caches. These are good examples of the types of projects that are needed across the province at a much larger scale.

Investment in the outdoors will create jobs across BC that will support sectors hit hardest throughout the pandemic. A robust parks system supports tourism and visitor spending in rural communities and expands nature-based recreation opportunities for urban populations, particularly in southwest BC. Improved trail infrastructure will allow more people to spend time outside, with a multitude of health benefits. Stable staffing levels will support livelihoods across BC and deepen partnerships with Indigenous communities.

We advocate for a meaningful commitment to increase the annual budget for BC Parks to $100 million for capital, land acquisition and operational investments that will spur our economic recovery, support reconciliation, and support the health of people and nature in British Columbia.


Brad Harrison, Adventure Tourism Coalition and Backcountry Lodges of BC
Ingrid Jarrett, BC Hotel Association
Stephanie Smith, BC Government Employees’ Union
Paul Grey, BC Marine Trails
Harry Crosby, BC Nature
Myles Armstead, BC Federation of Fly Fishers
Jesse Zeman, BC Wildlife Federation
Annita Mcphee, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, British Columbia
Colin Campbell, Elders Council for Parks in British Columbia
Barry Janyk, Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC
Tewanee Joseph, Indigenous Tourism Association of BC
Martin Littlejohn, Mountain Bike Tourism Association
Louise Pedersen, Outdoor Recreation Council of BC
Walt Judas, Tourism Industry Association of BC
Ciel Sander, Trails BC
Joe Foy, Wilderness Committee
Scott Benton, Wilderness Tourism Association and BC River Outfitters Association

These 19 organizations represent together 1,400 organizations and businesses in BC.

cc: Minister Selina Robinson, Minister George Heyman, Parliamentary Secretary Kelly Greene,
Minister of State Nathan Cullen and Minister Melanie Mark.

More Advocacy

Walt Judas spoke with TIABC Director Mike Retasket, former Chief of the Bonaparte First Nation, for his perspective on what this day means to Indigenous peoples and what it should signify to everyone else. 

What does National Truth & Reconciliation Day mean to you? 
Mike said: Orange Shirt Day or National Day For Truth and Reconciliation makes me realize there is so much work to do. So many things have happened to the Indian people there needs to be accountability. Who is it that needs to do the reconciling here? Reconciliation will require land, water, medicine, ceremony, language, culture, heritage, values and restitution. There are outstanding issues that will need to be addressed before truth and reconciliation hits the ground. It is this groundwork that requires commitments from government that can be measured so we ensure moving forward together.

#trw2023  #NDTR
🛫 Exciting News in the World of Travel! 🌎

TIABC CEO Walt Judas with the partners behind Airble, a new BC-based charter flight and tour app that allows customers to book on-demand and customized flight experiences for business or pleasure to hundreds of destinations.✈️🌟

(from left to right):
🔹 Saeed Golzar
🔹 Walt Judas
🔹 Sarvar Minwalla
🔹 Kevin Adlparvar

#Airble #TravelInnovation #NextGenTravel #BCtourism #BC
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Hon. josie_osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation, along with @guideoutfittersassociationofbc's Scott Ellis and @cariboochilcotincoast's Amy Thacker at the Vancouver Cabinet office following a productive discussion on ways the tourism industry can more effectively work with government to achieve mutual benefits for both the visitor economy and resource extraction industries such as mining.
Your support matters to us! 🤝

Meet Will Harding, Founder of Travel Local and proud member of TIABC. Hear why his business recently became a member of TIABC and why he encourages other businesses and organizations to consider a membership.

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.

Join TIABC today through link in bio. 👆
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Hon. josie_osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation, at the Fully Charged Live Canada exhibition at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 🙌
🚁 Weekend vibes: TIABC CEO Walt Judas joined a heli-hiking tour in the Cariboo Mountains near Valemount with pilot Nadia and fellow adventure enthusiasts. A thrilling experience in BC's stunning landscapes! 🏔️🌲