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Apr 28, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – April 28, 2023

TIABC

CEO MESSAGE

Australian comedian Carl Barron does a hilarious bit where he makes fun of Aussies for never giving a straight answer to a question and instead saying what they’re “not” doing, feeling, or thinking. For example, ask an Aussie, When does the game start? and they’ll answer, not long now. Or…How’s it going mate? Not bad. How much was your new car? Not cheap. You get the idea.

Lately it seems I’m increasingly offering an Aussie-like response when answering questions or providing context for TIABC policies. At a YVR meeting today and during a Tourism Kamloops luncheon earlier this week, I specifically pointed out that TIABC is not against certain industries or services but acting in the best interests of its members and/or the tourism industry at-large when looking to advance regulations that impact other business sectors or communities.

For example, on the short-term vacation rental (STVR) file, TIABC is not anti-Air BnB or against homeowners generating extra income but we maintain that more government oversight is required to ensure STVRs comply with local regulations and to control the proliferation of this form of visitor accommodation which has seriously impacted the rental housing market for residents and workers. For the record, we know that some tourists prefer STVRs and in many communities there are few other choices of accommodation. We’re also aware that many of our professional colleagues and government officials operate STVRs. As long as they follow local rules, so be it.

Because we recognize there are gaps in passenger transportation services and both visitors and residents prefer options, we recognize that ridesharing is needed in other parts of the province aside from Metro Vancouver. Again, we’re not anti-ridesharing but contend that either additional regulation is required for Uber, Lyft and other operators to level the playing field with the taxi industry, or conversely, eliminate some of the regulatory burdens on cab companies that network transportation companies are obligated by.

As mentioned in this space last week, TIABC is not against mining or forestry but the tourism industry must be an equal voice at the table for land-based decisions that affect our sector, along with the need for natural resource companies to respect tourism tenures, values, and sustainability initiatives that are so vital to tourism operators.

Generally we do not oppose government’s decision to raise the minimum wage in BC to help people make ends meet. However, TIABC and many other business sectors would have preferred a more modest increase given the rising costs operators continue to face for virtually everything. At the very least, help for businesses in the form of tax breaks or other concessions would be welcome.

From my perspective, it’s good form to point out what TIABC is not against to avoid misperceptions or conflict with stakeholders that otherwise may not understand or listen to why we’re advocating for certain policy changes or direction.

Thankfully TIABC’s Policy Committee is very diligent about looking at all sides of an issue to try to find a good balance between protecting our members’ interests and those of visitors, residents, various levels of government, and other stakeholders. How we formulate policy is never easy or quick, nor are some of our positions popular with certain stakeholders, but we endeavour to advance recommendations that allow our members and the industry the best chance to prosper.

I trust you’ve had a productive and positive Tourism Week and are ready for a break (at least for those of you that work Monday to Friday). If you were to ask me what I’m doing this weekend, I’ll give you the standard Aussie answer…not much.

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