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Jul 8, 2024

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – July 5, 2024

TIABC

CEO MESSAGE

When my wife is done talking or listening to a podcast and decides a book is better company than me on long road trips, I typically have hours to ponder the state of our province. As I’m driving and taking in some of British Columbia’s best scenery from a highway vantage point, I occasionally think of questions to ask decision-makers when the opportunity arises.

For example and by way of context, at multiple points along the route to Christina Lake last month, I noted yellow signs with the word slow written on them. I’m sure you’ve seen flaggers flash the same instruction to motorists in construction zones. The obvious question for me is, “What does slow mean?” In today’s fast-paced world where everyone is a Formula One driver wannabe, slow might connote 100 kmh versus the posted speed of 120 kmh. Given it’s a matter of interpretation, who really knows since it’s all relative.

One day soon I’ll ask the highways department for clarification but in the meantime there are other questions to add to a list I’ve been compiling (or regurgitating) for government officials on a range of matters that may or may not be easy to answer. Here is but a small sample, including some by TIABC members:

  • Why is it taking so long to approve (or reject) a proposal for a new (gondola-based) attraction in the Fraser Valley that has been a perpetual holding pattern for six years? When is a decision forthcoming?
  • Why did the Treasury Board reject a recommendation by the Ministry of Water, Lands, & Resource Stewardship that would have provided compensation to guide outfitters who are no longer able to operate a viable business on their previously tenured territory after a court ruling gave the local First Nations title many years ago? Will this set a precedent for similar scenarios in future? What about compensation for other tourism operators displaced by new, non-compatible tenure holders (e.g. extractive industries)?
  • When will the policy for tenure renewal processes be clearly articulated and inconsistencies in decisions on length of tenures corrected?
  • Despite assurances that nothing will change, what are the potential downstream implications for tourism businesses and their staff members who own private property on Haida Gwaii now that the province has granted Aboriginal title to the Haida Nation?
  • How can we better support reconciliation and help government implement the tenets of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act (DRIPA) within the confines of the tourism industry?
  • Given the reputational damage it does to BC’s visitor economy, will officials please refrain from using the term ‘wildfire season’ when referring to this form of emergency?

To be fair, government colleagues we work most closely with at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport, as well as some of the other ministries tied to the visitor economy, are committed to resolving problems and finding answers even if the outcome is not what the tourism industry desires.

As you likely know, TIABC and several of our sector partners have been in discussions with many senior government officials and ministries to work through the aforementioned issues but the progress on certain files has been slower than we had hoped. Regardless, we press on and continue to probe and seek answers to the many questions that linger.

When driving on local roads, have you ever wondered why manhole covers (for lack of a better term) always seem to be positioned in line with the tire tracks, subsequently jarring passengers and damaging wheels, shocks, suspensions, and other vehicle components? Although I don’t know who to ask, in this case I doubt any answer would satisfy me or spare my poor car.

Walt Judas

CEO, TIABC

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Wish you were here from Matt Jennings, BC Fishing Tourism Association, at Phillips Lake. 🎣
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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