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Jan 16, 2024

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – January 12, 2024


My wonderful daughters-in-law describe themselves as football widows for the better part of five months of the NFL season (which includes pre-season, regular season, playoffs, Super Bowl) even though they do watch some games. From what they tell me, my Kelowna-based sons are glued to as many as four television screens every Sunday, and one large screen on both Monday and Thursday nights to watch their favourite sport.

Like my boys I enjoy watching football as well, but one thing that drives us all nuts is when the networks show random stats that look impressive but actually mean nothing. My guess is they do it to make the play-by-play team sound knowledgeable, but I often wonder who comes up with such useless drivel.

For example, CBS will post a graphic along the lines of… “quarterback TL has thrown two or more touchdowns in each of his last 10 games when the sun shines and the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Wow! Really? How fascinating…not! Fact is the only statistic that really counts is how many games TL has won after throwing two or more TDs.

Virtually anyone can come up with stats and manipulate them to tell a story or illustrate a scenario. In the tourism sector, we’re guilty of it on occasion, especially in an advocacy or sales context. Sometimes we inadvertently paint an inaccurate picture of a situation based on our own interpretation of data, especially when it comes to surveys, which are a great tool but also have limitations.

Suffice it to say, research and statistics are vital and necessary to make good, informed decisions vis-a-vis direction and action. However, it’s a matter of working with experts on the right research methodology, interpreting and reporting out on the appropriate stats, and evaluating the measures against the organization’s key performance indicators.

In that regard, to ensure we’re doing our due diligence in capturing relevant feedback, TIABC has hired an independent consulting firm to help us evaluate the results of our latest member survey, which in turn will help inform our three-year, rolling strategic plan.

As you recall, we distributed the survey last November (thanks to those that took the time to complete it). This week I had a chance to review the aggregate results with our consultants who offered insights and perspectives I hadn’t considered before.

As part of the review, I took the opportunity to read the many comments and recommendations respondents made on where and how we can improve as BC’s Voice of Tourism. Some of them stung. For example, one individual said they’d like to see TIABC engage in more grassroots issues that are important to them rather than assuming what’s important while not really engaging. Another said that TIABC must be a stronger spokesperson for smaller businesses who don’t have the means to voice concerns about what government is or isn’t doing.

While these comments evoke a range of emotions, they are also fair and ultimately compel us as a team and board to find ways to do better and be better.

Using the survey as a baseline, our next step is to engage with business operators, sector and DMO leaders, as well as bureaucrats to further flesh out what we should be doing more of, less of, start doing, or stop doing, notwithstanding other operational and advocacy priorities for 2024 and beyond. If you’d like to share your thoughts and ideas (in confidence) with our consultants, feel free to reach out directly to Stephen Pearce at

As the NFL playoffs begin this weekend with the championship game next month, I will be rooting for the San Francisco 49ers whose quarterback has the highest rating in the entire league despite being the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft and consequently saddled with the title of Mr. Irrelevant. According to my sons and their football widow spouses, Brock Purdy’s stats matter not one whit unless he follows the playbook and guides his team to a Super Bowl title. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Walt Judas,


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📬 Postcards from BC 

Wish you were here from Matt Jennings, BC Fishing Tourism Association, at Phillips Lake. 🎣
🎙️ Just Released | Episode 26 - Dave Butler 🎙️

Meet Dave Butler, Vice-President, Sustainability at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, as he joins TIABC's Voice of Tourism host Walt Judas to discuss his career path, his work in sustainable tourism, and the challenges business owners and operators are facing in the province today.

You can listen to the Voice of Tourism podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Check us out on Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, Deezer, Podcast Addict and Podchaser. Or listen through the link in bio. 👆
🌅 Wish you were here from Gladys Atrill, Executive Director of Tourism Smithers, at Morin Lake in the Bulkley-Nechako Region! 🏞️
📈 With a view to building a stronger and more strategic relationship, TIABC CEO Walt Judas Met with Joe Baker, Dean of the Okanagan College School of Business in Kelowna. 

Okanagan College will officially break ground on its new Centre for Food, Wine & Tourism in September.
TIABC CEO Walt Judas checked in with Tourism Kelowna CEO Lisanne Ballantyne and TIABC Director Chris Lewis (Tourism Kelowna) while in the Okanagan this week. Walt and Lisanne discussed a range of topics including short-term rentals, emergency preparedness, infrastructure, business on the books and other priorities in the months ahead as the peak of the visitor season unfolds.
👥 TIABC's Membership & Communications Committee convened at the Richmond Oval recently for a strategic planning session that encompassed topics such as values, benefits, structure, fees and opportunities. 

Pictured left to right:
- Deb Kulchiski - TIABC
- Ceri Chong - Tourism Richmond
- Chris Lewis - Tourism Kelowna
- Nicole Ford - Rocky Mountaineer
- J.J. Belanger - Crystal Cove Beach Resort
- Jamie Cox - St. Andrews by the Lake
- Walt Judas - TIABC
- Mike Retasket - CCCT
- Joanne Burns-Millar - Pacific Destinations