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Jan 28, 2021

TIABC support letter re: Abbotsford International Airshow proposal for a “drive-in” event


Re: Modified Abbotsford International Airshow

Dear Dr. Henry,

As the voice of tourism for British Columbia, we are writing to express our support for a modified, safe, COVID-friendly Abbotsford International Airshow (AIA) in August 2021.

As you are aware, British Columbia’s visitor economy has been decimated by government imposed and necessary travel restrictions that have virtually shut down multiple tourism subsectors such as meetings, conferences and special events like the AIA since March of last year. Aside from significant economic impacts on employees, businesses and communities, the lack of events or social gatherings has had a profound effect on the mental health and well-being of residents throughout the province.

Given current and prolonged limitations on the movement of people and gatherings, the need and desire for social activities, including entertainment, has never been greater. To that end, many communities dependent on events and tourism are not only looking for innovative opportunities to host locals and visitors in safe and secure settings but do so by respectfully and diligently abiding by provincial health and safety protocols and orders.

From the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia’s (TIABC) perspective, AIA’s ‘drive-in airshow’ proposal is a brilliant example of meeting government health and safety objectives while delivering benefits to locals, visitors, the City of Abbotsford, the region and province. AIA’s in-depth work on health and safety protocols, event logistics, operations and other measures to protect guests is commendable and could be used as a template for similar events for the duration of the pandemic.

TIABC strongly encourages the PHO and Province to thoroughly review AIA’s proposal, consult with organizers and the community on necessary adjustments, and ultimately approve the 2021 Abbotsford International Airshow soon to allow preparations for this exciting event to begin in short order.

Dr. Henry, thank you for your consideration. More importantly, thank you for all you are doing to keep British Columbians and visitors safe during this most trying time.


Walt Judas

CC: Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
Neilane Mayhew, Deputy Minister, Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
Salman Azam, Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
Jim Reith, President – Abbotsford International Airshow
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