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Apr 14, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – April 14, 2023

TIABC

CEO MESSAGE

Years ago when a friend decided to build a new house, he moved his family of five from a two-level, 2,500 square foot home into a worn and weathered 800 square foot single-wide trailer next to a chicken barn on a rural farm property.

For over two years his brood endured the cramped quarters, teasing by friends, the stench of chicken manure, long commutes to work and school, as well as other inconveniences for the ultimate payoff of a brand-new dwelling in a nice suburb. The irony of it all is that every one of them admitted that living in that stuffy old trailer was one of the best experiences their family has ever had.

To be sure, living in a manufactured home or recreational vehicle (RV) is not for everyone. However, there are thousands of people who reside in trailer parks, as well as RVs for all or part of the year in every part of our province and absolutely love it. In fact, in many areas along the new pipeline route, there are hundreds of RVs and trailers of all shapes and sizes on private land and in campgrounds that have become thriving communities on their own.

I know of a church camp near Hope where pipeline workers from all over Canada have established temporary roots replete with an activities hall, frisbee golf, and other amenities to pass the time between one shift and the next. By all accounts, this makeshift trailer court is friendly, quiet, safe, convenient, and more than adequate as a home away from home.

So at a time when our province is challenged by substantial housing shortages, why don’t more communities allow solutions such as manufactured homes, recreational vehicles or modified shipping containers on a temporary (i.e. for a prescribed period of time) basis for seasonal workers such as those in the tourism and hospitality sector?

We’ve long heard that one of the biggest obstacles to attracting and retaining workers is finding adequate and affordable housing. While some people are willing to commute long distances for work and others don’t mind sharing accommodation even if it requires sleeping four to a room, there are other options like the one above that should be considered.

I discussed the issue of municipalities in many parts of the province failing to consider temporary accommodation of any kind with Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon a couple of months ago. Since then, TIABC completed a quick scan of several regions to determine which communities ban or permit temporary housing and any conditions attached therein. We subsequently submitted a briefing note with background information and recommendations to Minister Kahlon for review and consideration just prior to the UBCM housing summit in Vancouver last week and will be following up shortly to see what, if anything, the province chooses to do.

Obviously allowing modified shipping containers or trailers is not the panacea for solving all affordable housing problems but it could at least help many resort communities in particular reasonably house seasonal workers during the peak season.

To be fair, there are challenges regarding utilities (e.g. sewer, water), safety, noise, parking and other community concerns, but all can be overcome with political will, creativity and of course partnerships with tourism operators and/or the local business community. One only needs to look at the resource sector and their temporary housing camps to learn best practices and ways to resolve issues.

While it wasn’t exactly ideal for long-term living with kids that were growing up quickly, my buddy’s temporary trailer home provided a place for his family to live during a time when they needed it most, even if it meant being called TT by some of his so-called friends.

Walt Judas,
CEO, TIABC

Related Posts

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 deborah@tiabc.ca 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 visitvalemount@gmail.com