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Jul 24, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – July 21, 2023



While boating on Harrison Lake last Saturday, I couldn’t help but admire and dream of owning one the beautiful homes and rustic cabins tucked away in various coves along the shore. As I usually do after visiting a destination within BC, I looked online to see what, if anything, was on the market and for how much.

Pouring over various listings, I noted that many of the vacation homes for sale at Harrison are off-grid and boat accessible only. What’s more, I learned that some of the more reasonably priced cabins are on leased land with varying terms and annual payments to the Crown.

As badly as I want a cabin, I’m equally hesitant about investing in a property where the lease could be cancelled with little notice or recompense. To be fair, I haven’t heard of that happening at Harrison or too many other places yet but I’m mindful that the operating environment for residents and businesses on crown land throughout BC has changed in recent years due to a number of factors, not the least of which is that land title and stewardship rights haven’t yet been sorted out vis-a-vis BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).  

In that context, part of my fear of purchasing a leased property is grounded in what I hear from tourism business owners who are challenged by similar situations with tenure and park-use permit (PUPs) applications and renewals.

According to a recent survey by members of the Adventure Tourism Coalition (ATC), many operators with land tenures and PUPs that have built a steady clientele, employed locals, invested heavily in lodges and equipment, and even improved the biodiversity of a place over the course of many years, are discovering that their agreements with the province are either not being renewed or reduced in length and appear likely to expire for good in the near future.

As you can appreciate, for any business operating on crown land, tenure security is foundational. Conversely, the absence of long-term contracts can seriously hamper their ability to carry on. Without tenure security, financial institutions won’t lend money to a business to help it grow and expand; operators won’t hire new staff or invest in new equipment and infrastructure; the company will have little to no resale value; and planning for future opportunities becomes a moot point.

The ATC survey also shows that frustration with the tenure process is growing. Some owners are considering folding their businesses, others are lobbying for longer terms, while a handful are operating without new tenure agreements and spending huge sums on consultation, environmental assessments, and other requirements in hopes of moving forward legally and with certainty.

Suffice it to say, the tenure situation must be resolved soon before the impact on individual businesses and the tourism sector overall becomes irreversible. To that end, TIABC, members of the Adventure Tourism Coalition and many other sector partners continue to work with the provincenot only to identify the magnitude of the problem but offer solutions for the benefit of all stakeholders.

One idea that’s resurfaced recently is to establish another form of tenure for specific tourism operators (akin to a lease) that provides exclusive rights in a certain area, while allowing for a “shared with public” tenure that opens the door to broader use of the land in question while seeking to avoid further conflicts. It’s still in the early stages of consideration so stay tuned.

Just as tourism operators aren’t willing to invest in their businesses unless tenures and PUPS are protected for the long term, I’m not eager to buy a cabin on crown land where the lease is more tenuous today than in years past. In the meantime, until I find a cottage that’s affordable, accessible and secure, I’ll continue to dream of a lakeside or oceanfront property from the comfort of my boat.

Walt Judas,

Related Posts

Walt Judas spoke with TIABC Director Mike Retasket, former Chief of the Bonaparte First Nation, for his perspective on what this day means to Indigenous peoples and what it should signify to everyone else. 

What does National Truth & Reconciliation Day mean to you? 
Mike said: Orange Shirt Day or National Day For Truth and Reconciliation makes me realize there is so much work to do. So many things have happened to the Indian people there needs to be accountability. Who is it that needs to do the reconciling here? Reconciliation will require land, water, medicine, ceremony, language, culture, heritage, values and restitution. There are outstanding issues that will need to be addressed before truth and reconciliation hits the ground. It is this groundwork that requires commitments from government that can be measured so we ensure moving forward together.

#trw2023  #NDTR
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TIABC CEO Walt Judas with the partners behind Airble, a new BC-based charter flight and tour app that allows customers to book on-demand and customized flight experiences for business or pleasure to hundreds of destinations.✈️🌟

(from left to right):
🔹 Saeed Golzar
🔹 Walt Judas
🔹 Sarvar Minwalla
🔹 Kevin Adlparvar

#Airble #TravelInnovation #NextGenTravel #BCtourism #BC
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Hon. josie_osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation, along with @guideoutfittersassociationofbc's Scott Ellis and @cariboochilcotincoast's Amy Thacker at the Vancouver Cabinet office following a productive discussion on ways the tourism industry can more effectively work with government to achieve mutual benefits for both the visitor economy and resource extraction industries such as mining.
Your support matters to us! 🤝

Meet Will Harding, Founder of Travel Local and proud member of TIABC. Hear why his business recently became a member of TIABC and why he encourages other businesses and organizations to consider a membership.

Your support and engagement is vital to ensuring businesses, DMO’s and sectors are united and speaking with one voice on issues that impact BC’s tourism industry.

Join TIABC today through link in bio. 👆
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Hon. josie_osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines & Low Carbon Innovation, at the Fully Charged Live Canada exhibition at the Vancouver Convention Centre. 🙌
🚁 Weekend vibes: TIABC CEO Walt Judas joined a heli-hiking tour in the Cariboo Mountains near Valemount with pilot Nadia and fellow adventure enthusiasts. A thrilling experience in BC's stunning landscapes! 🏔️🌲