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Feb 24, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – February 24th, 2023



Brrrr!!!! Yes it’s cold in BC this week but imagine what it was like for me to step off a plane in Kamloops on Wednesday to high winds and a temperature of minus 12 degrees after vacationing in Mexico where I wore nothing but t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops for the better part of a week.

I recognize that no one is feeling sorry for me but I did take one for the team where within 15 hours of returning home from the beach I was on stage at the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) Summit at Thompson Rivers University talking about BC’s Tourism Emergency Management Framework to business operators, DMOs and other TOTA stakeholders.

Although it had little to do with the outside temperature, all of the TOTA staff at the Summit were wearing sweatshirts with the number ‘7’ emblazoned on the front reminding delegates of the Thompson Okanagan Regional Pledge that is built around values inspired by Indigenous philosophy, sustainable and mindful practices, preserving the lands for others to continue to enjoy, and recognizing that what we do today will impact generations to come.

The 7 Affirmations Pledge was inspired by former TOTA board member Frank Antoine a few years ago out of a need to develop guidelines for sustainable tourism and conscious travel based on the seven generations principle that suggests the decisions we make today will have an impact for as many as seven generations to come.

The pledge includes the following tenets:
Discover the soul of a place in its history
As of this moment, you are deemed a guardian of the land, air and water
Whether you’ve journeyed near or far, we invite you to feel at home in this place and value it as we do
Follow the map of your heart but venture wisely
Let a life outside bring you happiness inside by learning the laws of wilderness living
Choose to buy locally and you’ll transform riches into enrichment
Anything worth knowing is worth sharing

The pledge serves as a guide for companies, locals and visitors to incorporate the philosophy of sustainable tourism into their operations, day-to-day lives, and travel. I think it’s brilliant but don’t take my word for it…look it up on TOTA’s website for yourself.

I mentioned my friend Frank Antoine earlier. He’s not only Chief of the Bonaparte First Nation, but also co-founder of Moccasin Trails, and on the boards of both Indigenous Tourism BC and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. Frank also happens to be our opening keynote presenter at next week’s BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference in Prince George and is undoubtedly going to reference the 7 generations concept.

I’m sure that within a few days I’ll be acclimatized to the colder weather in our province…thankfully just in time to enjoy and appreciate the great hospitality that all conference delegates will enjoy courtesy of our friends in Northern BC. While I’ll be sure to pack my long johns and toque, I hope to see all TOTA delegates wearing their ‘7’ gear to stay warm and remind us of why the 7 Affirmations Pledge is so important.

Walt Judas,

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 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