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Dec 16, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – December 16th, 2022



Tis the season when I hear from a few relatives and friends who take delight in sending (via Canada Post) or emailing me their annual year-in-review letter that recounts every vacation, wedding, birthday, funeral, illness, injury, family visit, major purchase, restaurant meal, or concert they’ve experienced during the previous 11 months. Even though I’m already aware of most of their exploits thanks to snippets on various social media channels, I nonetheless enjoy receiving these epistles partly because of the detail and occasional embellishment included in each letter.

Regardless of whether it’s online or on paper, there is something about reading a letter that for me resonates far more than viewing a quick email, text, or social media post. Especially in a professional context, a well-written, comprehensive letter not only tells me something about the writer but also about the recipient. Such is the case for the recently released mandate letters issued by Premier Eby to each cabinet minister, minister of state or parliamentary secretary last week.

In preparing to write a congratulatory note to new or returning ministers that influence the tourism file, I read their individual mandate letters in order to convey brief and relevant information that not only outlines TIABC’s role and assessment on files their respective ministries are responsible for, but also offer to work with them to help resolve various challenges.

To be sure, there are consistencies in every mandate letter that speak to government priorities around attainable and affordable housing, safer communities, improved health care, and a sustainable, clean, secure, and fair economy…most of which are objectives the tourism industry can play a minor or major role in to help government address.

However, there are specific issues that affect the visitor economy referenced in more than a dozen individual mandate letters that TIABC and many of our sector and DMO partners are actively engaged in. For example (by topic & ministry):

Helping rural and Indigenous communities recover from the pandemic – Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
Developing Indigenous tourism products – Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation
Workforce development – Jobs, Economic Development & Innovation
Employment standards – Labour
Municipal & Regional District Tax –Finance
Land use and protecting wild salmon –Water, Land & Natural Resource Stewardship
Sustainable modes of transportation – Transportation & Infrastructure; Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation
Disaster risk and mitigation strategies – Environment & Climate Change Strategy; Emergency Management & Climate Readiness
Short-term vacation rentals – Housing
Removing barriers to employment for new arrivals – Municipal Affairs
Tenure security – Forests

As referenced earlier, the mandate letters tell us what priorities government plans to focus on (notwithstanding another crisis) over the next year. Therefore, it is incumbent on TIABC to closely evaluate the marching orders ministers have been given to see where we can find common ground and palatable solutions to various issues, and more importantly, where and how we need to spend our time and resources to advocate with sound policy to deal with the other outstanding difficulties our members and stakeholders continue to face.

In the event you haven’t read a mandate letter before, I assure you they’re not as exciting as skimming through a Christmas letter from cousins Joe & Jane Sixpack of Moose Jaw, but they are worth reviewing on a regular basis to better understand government direction and decisions.

I started to write my own year-in-review letter to send to friends and relatives this Christmas. However, I changed my mind because I had nothing more to say after the first line, “The highlight of my year was seeing travel restrictions finally lifted for good in March.”

Walt Judas,

Related Posts

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