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Feb 23, 2024

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – February 23, 2024


35 years ago, I made the decision to leave broadcast journalism to enter the corporate world in a communications capacity. I’ve never looked back but occasionally people ask me if I regret leaving the media business. The short answer is no, although if I could have parlayed my brief radio stint into a career as a late-night talk show host, I might still be behind a microphone today.

That said, it’s amazing how things come full circle…or at least partially full circle. With the advent of podcasting, many wanna-be talk show hosts like me get to interview subject matter experts from around the world as part of our day jobs.

As you may know, since the start of 2023, I’ve set up a giant Yeti mic in front of my computer screen and interviewed 20 tourism industry leaders representing private businesses, DMOs and sector associations for TIABC’s Voice of Tourism podcast series. Although the podcasts are delivered in audio only, each is recorded via video as well so that I can look guests in the eye as we’re conversing. The experience has been both educational and fun.

The podcasts are somewhat scripted. I generally prepare questions in advance and follow an outline unless or until guests say something intriguing that leads our conversation down a different path. To this point, I’ve only been asked to edit one comment where the guest felt her remark would be misconstrued.

Similarly, for a number of years I’ve had a chance to moderate sessions with special guests at various conferences. Again, my hidden talk show host persona is exposed to the audience albeit with the added responsibility of fielding ‘live’ questions from attendees. Most recently, I moderated a panel discussion at the Impact Travel and Tourism Sustainability Conference.

In less than two weeks, I’ll be switching on my talk show voice again at the BC Tourism Industry Conference to facilitate Q&As with Premier David Eby, federal Tourism Minister Soraya Martinez Ferrada, as well as the executive team from Destination BC. While many of the questions will come from delegates via Slido, I’ve prepared a backup list on a variety of issues.

For Premier Eby, I aim to explore topics ranging from sustainability, public safety and housing, to workforce, the value of tourism to government, the BC budget, and the latest developments regarding Land Act amendments, among other issues the province is grappling with. At the same time, questions by delegates could steer our discussion in a completely different direction…which I suspect would make the entire experience more challenging and interesting for both of us.

As a former lawyer turned political leader, it’s a forum Premier Eby prefers. I’m counting on attendees to influence the content for all three sessions where I have the privilege of playing ‘talk show’ host.

Whenever I have the opportunity to watch a late-night talk show (which is not often because I’m usually sleeping) I try to pay close attention to the host to learn new interview techniques or better ways to manage guests. Same goes for podcasts or radio talk shows that I listen to. I don’t necessarily model myself after anyone in particular but I do attempt to emulate best practices and have fun when I’m behind the microphone instead of in front of it…which is a whole other discipline that I’d rather leave to others if I could.

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