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Oct 9, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – October 7th, 2022



In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been talking turkey with many members in recent weeks during my travels across the province. While at the Canada West Ski Areas Association BC-Yukon Fall Division Meeting at Sun Peaks this week, as well as the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Whistler last month, I took the opportunity to connect with sector association partners, DMOs, and operators to discuss issues that affect their stakeholders or businesses.

Not surprisingly I heard about workforce and housing issues as primary concerns. More importantly, members offered policy recommendations for TIABC to advocate for. For example, an extension to wage and rent subsidies offered by the federal government during the height of COVID would be extremely helpful…only in this instance paid directly to workers to assist with the high cost of living in many parts of the province.

Similarly, in housing challenged communities where some outside workers travel up to two hours from neighbouring towns, a transportation subsidy or dedicated vehicle (e.g. bus or van) would be welcome given how long and expensive commutes prompt many people to quit their jobs after only a few months.

Still with housing…while TIABC has been advocating for some provincial oversight and additional powers for local communities to enforce regulations vis-a-vis short-term vacation rentals, I heard one tourism leader say that implementing more rules or restrictions won’t necessarily compel owners of multi-million-dollar homes in his community to rent to long-term tenants instead of temporary visitors. Because of problems with the residential tenancy act, owners would rather leave their suites empty than deal with tenant problems.

In a meeting with a few sector association members in Kamloops, I learned that we’re regressing instead of progressing on the issue of secure land tenures for operators in the adventure tourism sector, largely due to new government policy and misalignment of decision-making authority (i.e. Forests ministry instead of Tourism ministry).

Although none of the aforementioned issues are insurmountable, a strategic advocacy approach by TIABC and our key sector partners is necessary to achieve desired outcomes that help our industry in its recovery and growth objectives.

While I’ll continue to talk turkey with stakeholders during my ongoing travels in the coming weeks, there will be an additional opportunity in the form of a member survey that will allow our sector partners, DMOs and businesses to identify top priorities and give TIABC its advocacy marching orders for the foreseeable future. Watch for the survey in your inbox next week and please take a few moments to respond.

In the meantime, in spite of our challenges we have much to be grateful for. I trust you’ll take the time to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends this weekend. Gobble gobble.

Walt Judas,

Related Posts

TIABC Director Dennis Innes (VCC Dean of Hospitality, Culinary & Baking) and CEO Walt Judas joined term 8 hospitality students, industry leaders, recent graduates, and faculty for a Philosopher's Cafe to discuss the state of the tourism and hospitality workforce this week at VCC's downtown Vancouver campus.
TIABC CEO Walt Judas with Tourism Abbotsford’s Barb Roberts & Clare Seeley, as well as VCM’s Chad Wetsch on a site visit to a land-based Tilapia fish farm owned and operated by the Sumas First Nation who are expanding their Fraser Valley holdings with ambitious plans to bolster Abbotsford’s tourism infrastructure and experiences.
As he does regularly, TIABC CEO Walt Judas recently presented to tourism students and faculty at @westerncommunitycollege's (WCC) Surrey campus, focussing on industry issues and TIABC's advocacy priorities. Walt also serves on WCC's Program Advisory Committee (PAC), as well as the PACs of @capilanou and @myvcc.
🍽️ What an incredible farm-to-table experience! Backyard Farm Proprietor and Chef Chris Van Hooydonk welcomed TOTA's Board of Directors and guests Walt Judas, Richard Porges (DBC CEO) and Scott Fraser (DBC Chair) for a memorable meal in Osoyoos this week.

Chris's culinary philosophy focuses on utilizing the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to create unique, tailored menus for each visit. With a commitment to true hospitality, the experience is marked by attentive service and a passion for showcasing the beauty of the South Okanagan.

Also pictured, Destination Osoyoos Executive Director Kelley Glazer, TOTA CEO Ellen Walker Matthews, and TOTA's Jane Parece. 

A huge thank you to Chris for providing such a delightful culinary experience! 🌿
🎉 Highlights from the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference in Victoria! 🌟

Close to 450 tourism industry professionals convened in Victoria last week for the annual 2024 BC Tourism Industry Conference, hosted by TIABC. Industry leaders representing businesses, sector associations, regional and community destination management organizations, First Nations, federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as non-government organizations gathered for the two-day event. 

Anchored by the conference theme - Shaping Our Future Together - the outstanding program provided both a knowledge and skills track via plenary sessions and workshops. Here are just a few highlights:

▪️ Opening keynote speaker Shaun Boothe shared a unique and emotional celebration of some of the world's most influential cultural icons. His energy and messages set the stage for the entire event.

▪️ Hon. Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport kicked off the conference by welcoming delegates and sharing her own personal story of working in BC's tourism industry.

▪️ Plenary Remarks by Hon. Soraya Martinez Ferrada: Insights from the Minister of Tourism and Economic Development Agency of Canada highlighted the industry's significance.

▪️TIABC CEO Walt Judas engaged in a compelling conversation with Premier David Eby whose remarks underscored the vital role of the tourism industry in British Columbia, earning him a standing ovation.

▪️ Opening Reception at the Royal BC Museum

A big thank you to all our sponsors for making this event possible! 🙌
Join us in celebrating the remarkable winners of the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Awards Gala presented by @indigenoustourismbc! 🎉✨ 

Ten awards were given out to recognize and celebrate excellence, leadership, and innovation within British Columbia’s tourism and hospitality sector. These awards showcased the province’s most exceptional leaders and positive change-makers this past year.

The winners of the 2024 BC Tourism Industry Awards are:

Business Woman of the Year Award - Sponsored by Prince of Whales
⭐ Winner: Ingrid Jarrett, @bchotelassociation 

Community Contribution & Impact - Sponsored by Tourism Richmond
⭐Winner: @princeofwhaleswhalewatching 

DMO Professional Excellence - Sponsored by BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS)
⭐Winner: @visitrichmondbc 

Employees First - Sponsored by go2HR
⭐Winner: @golfbc 

Inclusive and Accessible Tourism Experience - Sponsored by Destination BC
⭐Winner: Vancouver Aquarium

Indigenous Operator or Experience | Sponsored by Indigenous Tourism BC and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
⭐Winner: @homalcotours

Innovation | Sponsored by Tourism Innovation Lab
⭐Winner: @tourismnewwest 

Remarkable Experience | Sponsored by BC Destination Management Organization Association (BCDMOA)
⭐Winner: @nimmobayresort

Sector Association Excellence Award | Sponsored by Acera Insurance
⭐Winner: Sport Fishing Institute of BC

Sustainability Excellence | Sponsored by Nanaimo Airport
⭐Winner: @40knotswinery 

📸 @arkitekcreative