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May 19, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – May 19, 2023



While spending the better part of two days in a Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) board meeting onboard the Rocky Mountaineer last week, I learned a lot about my fellow directors from across Canada, partly because I asked a lot of questions.

Throughout our time together, I asked my professional colleagues to share more on their career journeys, home life, travels, what keeps them up at night, hobbies, and other stuff. In some ways I felt like I was recording another episode of TIABC’s Voice of Tourism podcast.

Aside from what I already knew about their jobs and positions, I found out interesting tidbits on various board members that I was previously unaware of. For example, Serge is a heavy metal fan; Nina is a German gourmet chef; Heidi renovates and flips houses; Mandy is a hard-core mountain biker; Michelle recently took up the clarinet; John is a reluctant owner of two sports teams; Matt, the lawyer-entrepreneur is also a small-town mayor; Christina produces maple syrup from her own farm; Philip paints acrylics of landscapes and animals…the list goes on. It’s amazing how much one can learn when curiosity is in your DNA.

As for the business of the board meeting itself, I was also able to enquire about some of the issues that TIAC is dealing with, which again proved to be helpful to inform TIABC’s work in collaboration with the PTTIA (Provincial & Territorial Tourism Industry Association) on similar challenges.

Later this month the PTTIA will meet face-to-face in Quebec City for the first time in over six months to discuss our governance model, policy priorities, partnership opportunities, and best practices, among other things. As part of our meeting, our group will have the opportunity to participate in a private Q&A session with federal Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault. The aim is to find out what government is doing or planning to support the tourism sector as it continues to rebuild following the pandemic. Some of the questions PTTIA members are poised to ask include:

A. When will the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy be released and what might we expect? Will there be any new dollars attached to strategy initiatives?

B. How will government activate the tourism sector as a 7th Strategy Table as identified prior to the pandemic?

C. Will government consider a longer payback period on federal loan repayment terms to help operators who are struggling to meet their debt servicing obligations?

D. How will government support new product development and much-needed transportation infrastructure improvements?

E. Is government willing to address issues such as the luxury tax on boats, unfair taxation on private campgrounds, and arbitrary fishing closures that are wreaking havoc on sectors of the industry?

F. When will the tax nuance on foreign property owners in Sun Peaks, Apex, and Silver Star be repealed?

G. How can the tourism industry be better positioned to help government meet its biodiversity and climate-action targets? Will government prioritize and partner with the tourism sector on this priority?

H. How can the tourism sector, together with government, be better prepared for the likelihood of another major crisis like the recent pandemic?

There are many others to be sure. If there are specific issues you’d like me to focus on or questions to ask related to government policy, please drop me a line at your earliest convenience.

Last week I told my TIAC board colleagues that my first career was in broadcasting. Some asked if I ever had aspirations to re-enter the broadcast journalism field. The answer was emphatically no although the interviewing skills I learned at journalism school have come in handy for the podcast and other aspects of my job. Don’t be surprised if I asked you a pile of questions the next time we see each other face-to-face.

Walt Judas,

Related Posts

TIABC CEO Walt Judas joined Indigenous Tourism BC's Jamie Bourne and TOTA's Robb MacDonald on a panel to discuss sustainability at Tourism Valemount's Celebration of Tourism event over the Victoria Day long weekend. 

Moderated by Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson, the session also included Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, Simpcw Chief George Lampreau and Tourism Valemount Executive Director Marcie Down. On Sunday, the group toured popular tourism attractions in the area and also participated in the community's annual Chinook salmon fry release into Swift Creek.
🏒 Even though the Canucks failed to advance past the second round, home playoff games were a good boost for local bars, restaurants, transportation companies and other sectors within Vancouver’s visitor economy.  TIABC CEO Walt Judas was on hand for game 7 against the Oilers along with Air Canada’s Serge Corbeil and Greater Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Bridgitte Anderson.
Five years ago, China was BC's second largest international market.  However, overnight visitation from China was down 64% in 2023 compared with 2019, largely due to the absence of group tour business.  At the Rendez-vous Canada event this week in Edmonton, BC tourism industry leaders met with Minister Counsellor Li Jiangang of the Chinese Embassy (Ottawa) to begin discussions on a path forward to regain approved destination status for group tour business and ultimately see visitors numbers from China return to pre-pandemic levels. 

Pictured L to R - Destination Vancouver's Karen Soyka, TIABC's Walt Judas, Counsellor Li, Indigenous Tourism BC's Paula Amos, Destination BC's Richard Porges.
WORTH (Women of Recreation, Tourism & Hospitality) hosted its first Leadership Summit in downtown Vancouver, attracting some 250 delegates, including TIABC CEO Walt Judas, that attended sessions on industry burnout, dismantling barriers to gender equity, leadership and other topics. Walt had the pleasure of introducing Tourism Minister Lana Popham who acknowledged a number of women leaders who are making a difference in BC's visitor economy.

📸: @visioneventphotography
📬 Postcards from BC!

"Wish you were here" from Beach Tofino, courtesy of Dave Butler, VP/Sustainability CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures. 📸

Would you like your image featured in our weekly Postcards from BC? Contact to share your slice of paradise!
Sustainability and Partnerships Forum 🤝 💚 

Don't miss out on May 18, an engaging lineup featuring a dynamic panel of tourism experts and an insightful presentation on content creation! 

The event will be hosted at the Eagle Room, Best Western Valemount. Doors open at 5 pm, and the festivities will run from 6-9 pm. Enjoy tasty canapés provided by Tourism Valemount and refreshments at a cash bar. 🍽🥂

RSVP by May 14 to secure your spot! 🎟️
call (250) 566-3335 or email