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Oct 6, 2023

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – October 6, 2023



In 1993, Kim Campbell became Canada’s first female Prime Minister while Bill Clinton was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States; Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey were at the top of the music charts; Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Garth Brooks and Whitney Houston were among the most popular performers; Sleepless in Seattle, Schindler’s List, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, and Philadelphia were the year’s must-see movies; the North American Free Trade Agreement became law; Beany Babies were all the rage; Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize; Slovakia became a country; the price of gas was under $.50 cents a litre; the average house in Canada cost $150,000; the World Wide Web officially launched; and importantly for our sector, Tourism Human Resources Canada (THRC) was born.

Like the Internet and Snoop Dogg, THRC continues to thrive in spite of how much has changed in our world since the early nineties. Under the leadership of Philip Mondor, the organization has been providing solid advice and recommendations to government on policy, as well as comprehensive HR services to businesses, sector associations, and myriad stakeholders since its inception some thirty years ago.

Given the enormous workforce shortages in Canada’s visitor economy, THRC is more important than ever. At its annual Tourism Labour Market Forum in Ottawa this week, THRC briefed some 100 stakeholders from across Canada on the dire state and rapidly changing nature of the tourism workforce, new policies that need to be implemented or affirmed, and where our industry must focus its efforts to solve the severe staff shortages in every part of the country.

I can’t even begin to download all of the information I gleaned from the two-day session. However, I do wish to share a few interesting observations that might help a few tourism colleagues recalibrate their HR strategies moving forward. Some of this may be familiar to you but still worth mentioning. For example:

We’re starting to see a movement where instead of employees, companies are hiring only contractors (e.g. gig workers) to fulfill a specific role on either a full-time or seasonal basis; the chasm between the skills needed by employers and those offered by workers is growing wider; the rise of social equality and equity is a huge factor in where people are choosing to work; recruiting workers has become more of a community effort given obstacles such as accessible transportation and affordable housing; and prioritizing mental health and wellness is now equally acknowledged by employers and staff.

Each one of these ‘trends’ present both a huge challenge and opportunity, and that’s where organizations like Tourism HR Canada and BC’s own go2HR can help steer our industry in the right direction.

The THRC Forum also heard from Keith Henry of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada who spoke about the need for a federal government led Indigenous labour strategy… a concept that’s already been initiated by Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) here at home.

I am encouraged to see so much good work being done by all the aforementioned organizations, as well as many others in British Columbia and across the country to address the issues pertaining to recruiting and retaining tourism workers to meet the growing demand.

For TIABC, our role has and will continue to be focussed on workforce related policy changes that benefit the tourism sector specifically…a list of which was included in our federal pre-budget submission with more to come in the weeks ahead after our learnings this week in Ottawa.

In the meantime, congratulations and a sincere thanks to Tourism HR Canada for three decades of outstanding efforts on behalf of Canada’s visitor economy. As the hardest working individual in the industry, Philip has been there almost since day one and can recall every single year of his tenure, which is quite a feat. Normally I can’t remember what happened three years ago let alone 30 years ago (& yes, I used the World Wide Web to research 1993 trivia), although ironically, 2020 is one year I won’t soon forget.

Walt Judas

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🏆🌟TIABC Director Miranda Ji and CEO Walt Judas celebrate with Madone Pelan, GM of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel and Brian Cant, VP of 4VI who won Business of the Year and the Sustainability Award respectively at the Canadian Tourism Industry Awards gala in Ottawa on Wednesday night.
🎵Music Advocacy Update! 

TIABC CEO Walt Judas catching up with Erin Benjamin, president of the Canadian Live Music Association, who spoke on the value of live music at the TIAC Tourism Conference in Ottawa. Walt and Erin worked together to lobby the federal government for support for the live music industry (which was severely impacted) during the pandemic.
TIABC CEO Walt Judas chaired an all-day meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts prior to the start of the TIAC Congress this week in Ottawa. 🇨🇦🤝

The PTTIA Committee tackled issues such as business insurance, workforce, debt, and other priorities at a national and provincial/territorial level. The group also spent some time on association best practices and discussed advocacy strategies with Federal Tourism Caucus Co-Chair, Senator Karen Sorensen.
🎉 We are thrilled to announce that registration is now open for the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference. The conference will take place at the Victoria Conference Centre on March 6 & 7, 2024 

Visit our website to view the 2024 registration fees. Early bird rates are available with member and non-member pricing options. Full conference registrations include complete access to all conference sessions, workshops, silent auction, welcome reception, and the awards gala. Register at our early bird rate before January 17, 2024 to save $100 on your registration!

Learn more and register through link in bio! 👆
📸 TIABC CEO Walt Judas with CCCTA director Shannon Landsdowne, CEO Amy Thacker and Williams Lake Mayor Surinderpal Rathor at the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast AGM & Summit.
🍁🕊️ TIABC's Board of Directors and staff join Canadians nationwide in remembering those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice. We express our gratitude for their service.

🌺 Lest We Forget.