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Oct 21, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – October 21st, 2022

TIABC

CEO MESSAGE

One way to virtually guarantee a face-to-face conversation with a provincial cabinet minister or MLA is to hang out at the Helijet or Harbour Air terminals in downtown Vancouver or Victoria. Similarly, when the House of Commons is in session, the Air Canada lounge at YVR is a good place to find BC-based MPs en route to Ottawa on a Sunday morning.

Chance as they might be, these encounters often produce the best results since politicians tend to be more open and forthright, not to mention unencumbered by the formalities of gathering in an office at the Legislature or on Parliament Hill with a bevy of bureaucrats in tow.

Of course, the more common practice is to set up meetings with a specific agenda and intended outcome where discussions are generally recorded (by a staff member) and commitments made to follow-up and exchange further information or ideas.

Regardless of the preferred tactic, each year (although paused during COVID) our national counterparts at TIAC organize what’s called Hill Days, which consists of a two-and-a-half-day blitz on our nation’s capital to meet with various Members of Parliament to discuss tourism issues, as well as policies the federal government might consider to help the industry move forward. Some of my provincial counterparts and fellow TIAC board members, along with a few DMOs, related sector associations, and private business operators are also part of the Hill Days caravan.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, I tag-teamed with Whistler-based Brady Smith of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to meet with BC MPs representing both government and opposition…the purpose of which was to reiterate the key recommendations in TIAC’s submission to inform the impending Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. Of course, Brady and I brought an Indigenous and British Columbia lens to our discussions while ensuring every politician understood the key tenets of TIAC’s brief.

Yet, not unlike running into a decision-maker in an airport, the informal evening reception on Wednesday was another conduit to advancing some of our provincial and national objectives given the attendance of multiple Members of Parliament.

I had the opportunity to connect with Federal Tourism Caucus Co-chair Patrick Weiler (MP for West Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, Sea-to-Sky country) who asked me about federal issues that impact TIABC members. I referenced the jurisdictional division over the Species at Risk file, arbitrary fishing measures imposed by DFO, tax leakage by international companies in the sharing economy space, unsettled treaties, and the unfair tax rate imposed on campgrounds deemed by Revenue Canada to be investment vehicles for developers instead of what they really are…small, seasonal businesses largely owned by families that desire to keep operating their campgrounds.

Fortunately, Patrick is not only a strong supporter of our sector but is committed to working with TIABC and our sector partners in the coming months to further understand the issues, and more importantly, advance solutions for government consideration. I’ll have more to share in the near future on next steps for all concerned.

In the meantime, hats off to TIAC CEO Beth Potter and her entire team for coordinating the annual Hill Days event, intentionally timed this year on the heels of federal pre-budget submissions forwarded by TIAC, TIABC, ITAC, THRC, and many other tourism agencies. I believe our collective efforts will pay off down the road.

Incidentally, the Air Canada lounge at YOW is a great way to connect with BC-based professional colleagues who also regularly travel to Ottawa to advocate on behalf of their sectors or organizations. Despite the distance, ironically, it’s occasionally a more convenient meeting place and often leads to collaborative strategies and partnerships.

I’m curious to know who I’ll bump into during my next trip to YOW in November. Regardless, I’ll be prepared with key messages and requests.

Walt Judas,

CEO, TIABC

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 deborah@tiabc.ca 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 visitvalemount@gmail.com