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Jun 23, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – June 23, 2023



Years ago I promised myself that when travelling on business three or more time zones away, I would make sure to arrive at my destination at least 36 hours before my first formal engagement to allow my body clock to get adjusted, get some exercise and find my bearings. That way I could count on being acclimatized, well rested and attentive in meetings as opposed to zoning out and regrettably missing important information or dialogue.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, flight delays and other factors, I haven’t been able to keep that commitment. Often I’ve arrived at my destination the night before, gone to bed late (i.e. on pacific time vs. eastern time), and showed up to meetings the next morning dog tired and in desperate need of strong coffee to get me through the day. Thankfully, I haven’t fallen asleep in any meeting yet and conversely, even managed to concentrate and contribute.

Last week, I embarked on another quick trip to Ottawa to attend an informative Tourism HR Canada (THRC) briefing with colleagues from across the country. Notwithstanding the urge take a nap at one point, I learned so much about all the work THRC is doing, as well as the incredible wealth of resources they’ve built for our industry. I was also able to provide input into the tools THRC are creating to help operators train staff and equip business owners with the knowledge and skills to be better employers. It proved to be a very worthwhile session.

At various points throughout the day, I also discovered what other jurisdictions have done on workforce development and advocacy…which gave me some excellent ideas to explore for BC’s tourism sector in the coming months. For example, Prince Edward Island’s Tourism Industry Association received a provincial grant to hire three counsellors to help its members with mental health. Tourism operators, employees and family members are able to access up to six free counselling sessions without a referral. Talk about progressive.

Another nugget I heard about was the study that Alberta’s Tourism Industry Association (TIAA) commissioned to verify the economic and employment impact of the tourism industry (before and during COVID) relative to other industries. The report also looked at their government’s policy approach and financial support for the visitor economy vis-a-vis other sectors (& compared to BC) and offered recommendations to strengthen investment and job creation to help Alberta achieve its objective to double tourism expenditures by 2030.

While similar research on tourism’s economic impact is done annually in BC, the challenges Alberta’s visitor economy faces also ring true here. The TIAA report cites limited or non-existent mandates across relevant government departments to support the industry and advance new projects. It also denotes limited financial and staff resources within Travel Alberta and the various ministries that touch the tourism file. Sound familiar?

As I dug deeper, I discovered other parallels such as the need to improve how the tourism industry is evaluated and prioritized in provincial crown land use decision-making. Moreover, to effectively advance the industry, tourism needs to be enabled with “a supportive crown land policy framework, especially on public lands, that views outdoor recreation [and tourism] as an industry, and one prioritized for growth,” according to TIAA.

In the coming weeks, TIABC’s Policy Committee will review the Alberta report’s key takeaways to see if they might help inform our own advocacy priorities going forward. In the meantime, I’ve also shared a copy of the study with decision-makers in BC, as well as with my fellow Tourism Renewal Initiative Steering Committee colleagues.

To the average person, flying over nine hours to Ottawa and back in less than 36 hours may not seem practical, smart, or particularly sustainable. However, aside from being able to help shape some of Tourism HR Canada’s major initiatives, for me it was worth the knowledge I gleaned from industry colleagues at THRC and from across Canada…even though I was dog tired for a couple of days afterward and surviving on strong coffee.

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! 🏔️🌲