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Sep 23, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – September 23rd, 2022



In any given year, I only pay close attention to specific dates such as family birthdays, my wedding anniversary, annual work-related deadlines, and maybe statutory holidays. Otherwise, most dates don’t resonate with me but perhaps some should.

For example, every September 27th is World Tourism Day, an observance set aside by the United Nations (UN) to promote awareness and action related to the global visitor economy. So, why should I care?

Notwithstanding that I earn a living from this vital sector, I spend most days advocating for tourism’s rightful place within the social, economic, cultural, and environmental fabric of British Columbia, and am deeply convicted of its importance to our province, country, and world.

In its Tourism Day manifesto, the UN notes that tourism employs one in every 10 people on earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. It also serves as a first entry point to the world of work, especially for women, youth, migrant workers, and rural populations in developing and least developed countries (LDCs). Women represent a majority of the tourism sector workforce, while half of that workforce is under 25 years of age.

Moreover, in many parts of the world, the protection of biodiversity and conservation rely heavily on the tourism sector and the revenue it generates. In fact, the UN calls tourism an essential pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a catalyst for meeting goals with respect to decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, as well as life below water, among others.

As most people acknowledge, tourism allows us to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity and understanding of diverse cultures and practices.

And as proven over the course of the pandemic, we are also a resilient sector with a bright future contingent on addressing some major challenges including, but not limited to, climate change and sustainability, reconciliation, diversity, equity and inclusion, and myriad issues at a more granular level.

Contrary to what TIABC does for Tourism Week in Canada at the end of May each year, we are not planning any major initiatives for next Tuesday given multiple pressing priorities and time constraints. At the same time, we encourage you to take some time to acknowledge fellow members, colleagues, and stakeholders for their dedication and valuable contribution to our industry and province.

Even more importantly, let’s together ponder ways we can leverage the skills, knowledge, experience, and determination we have as tourism professionals to make our communities and province a better place, and help chart a course to a brighter future for generations to come.

For the record, September 27th is now a place marker in my brain to recognize and celebrate World Tourism Day annually. Now if I could only remember when Valentine’s Day is each year.

PS: On a related note…stay tuned for a special edition of our newsletter next Thursday to recognize National Truth & Reconciliation Day, which is on September 30th.

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