June 2, 2023


When my kids were young, we camped every summer at either Manning Park, Cultus, Chain or Kawkawa Lakes for a week every summer. My wife, who did not grow up camping, hated most of it because it was too much work. Even though we shared our parental responsibilities, setting up a tent, sleeping on air mattresses, cooking on propane stoves, cleaning, and be forced to use smelly outhouses were other reasons she cited for preferring a hotel with a pool or beach over a small clearing in the woods.

I, on the other hand, loved it. So did our children. Aside from hiking, fishing, swimming, carving hiking sticks, and eating, the highlight of our time together was over the evening campfire where we sat around swapping stories, burning wieners and occasionally making s'mores. The open fire-pit was central to our camping experience. It was where we set up operations, gathered after a day of activities, and huddled to keep us warm on many cool nights.

However, unlike those days when burning wood wasn't an issue, open campfires have been banned in certain regions or all of BC for parts of recent summers, largely due to the hot, dry weather conditions and risk of sparks emanating from unattended fires or ones that haven’t been properly extinguished. Even so, there are many campers and residents asking if it’s really necessary to forbid campfires despite the elevated drought conditions in the Rocky Mountain trench, Cariboo, South Thompson, Okanagan, and Peace regions.

Some folks in government and even in the tourism industry strongly believe that BC should permanently ban all open campfires from late spring until early fall (essentially prime camping season) regardless of the weather conditions. Make it a regulation once and for all. No annual evaluation or debate necessary. Get on with it.

But not so fast say others. Last week in TIABC’s One Minute Monitor, we asked members whether such a move is necessary. While 64% of respondents suggested it was a good idea, the rationale many shared when asked to explain their vote was even more illuminating.

Some offered that no campfire is worth BC blanketed in smoke for an entire summer. Others said a province-wide prohibition is not necessary if the risk conditions in a region are negligible. In other words, apply regulations if and when necessary but otherwise leave well enough alone. Moreover, a few pointed out that campfires are a major component of camping and that education and better care are what’s needed instead of an outright ban. To be sure, there is no easy answer or approach but let’s consider what provincial data tell us before making a decision.

In 2022, 68% of wildfires were caused by lightening while 31% were human caused from discarded cigarettes, arson, campfires and other situations. So while a third could technically be prevented, it’s important to point out there is no research that breaks down how many fires were actually triggered by wood burning campfires.

At our last Policy Committee meeting, we had a short debate on which position to take – for or against a fire ban – but did not decide one way or the other. However, now that we have further insight and feedback from members, as well as the BC Fire Service, we’ll revisit the issue again with a goal to ultimately share our policy or insights with government.

Furthermore, I’ll be pressing my colleagues on the Tourism Emergency Management Committee to do the same as we prepare, mitigate and help with tourism recovery efforts now that a number of wildfires are already burning around BC.

Although my days of pitching a tent and chopping wood are behind me, I’ll continue to use the propane-powered fire pit on my backyard deck to gather with family and friends over a glass of wine. With the small forest behind the house as a backdrop, it feels like the bygone days of camping with the kids, albeit with all the modern conveniences of today’s new RVs just steps away. For the record, my wife loves the great outdoors and has learned to love camping too…or more like glamping if truth be known.

Walt Judas,
New Funding Supports Rural
Regional Transportation

The Province announced earlier this week it is providing funding to help develop and maintain safe, reliable and affordable regional transportation options for rural communities in Northern BC.

Government is contributing $5 million to the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) to continue BC Bus North and the Northern Community Shuttle Program until 2026-27. This funding will ensure the continuation of critical transit services, including community shuttles, which connect people in rural communities to regional centres.

The Province has also provided $2.5 million to the NDIT, the Island Coastal Economic Trust and the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior to conduct regional engagement and analysis of rural, regional inter-city transportation. Government will use the outcomes of the trusts’ engagements, complemented by further engagement with other regions in the coming months, to help inform next steps for developing options on transportation solutions in rural communities.

Read the full announcement HERE.
Province Builds on Investment in
Wild Salmon Recovery

The BC government announced yesterday it is providing more than $17 million for wild salmon restoration throughout the province.

$15 million of the funding will be shared equally between the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the First Nations Fisheries Council (FNFC) to work to protect, conserve and restore the abundance of Pacific wild salmon in BC. Science, Indigenous knowledge and data will be used to actively advance habitat restoration and climate adaptation. The remaining $2.25 million will go to the FNFC to support this work.

Wild salmon rely on accessible rivers and streams for different life stages and are susceptible to the effects of major flood events. BC’s flood strategy will be in its next phase of implementation after public engagement early in 2023. It aims to build capacity throughout the province for flood resilience, thereby protecting wild salmon habitat and communities.

Read the official announcement HERE.
Auditor General Largely Praises BC's Destination Development Funding Program

BC's auditor general Michael Pickup presented his latest audit on the province’s Destination Development grant program at the legislature earlier this week.

The audit examined the $41 million in grants handed out to tourism operators in 2021 and 2022. The report was generally complimentary of the COVID-19 recovery program for the tourism sector. The auditor also said the province mostly met prescribed grant policies and program guidelines, outside of a few missteps by evaluators when selecting recipients and some master agreements that weren’t fully filled out.

His recommendations to improve the program mainly focused on fine-tuning the application acceptance process via a formal due diligence process and making sure staff document their rationale for funding approvals.

TIABC board member Miranda Ji, and Executive VP of Sales and Business Development for Destination Greater Victoria was asked to speak on behalf of the organization and stated that "despite its lack of metrics, the program is “absolutely” helping the tourism sector. Having these grants to help a lot of the different tourism businesses recover has been very beneficial for the industry as a whole.”
She also noted that "while some tourism companies are still struggling because international travel hasn’t yet returned to pre-COVID levels, many businesses that rely on tourists, such as hotels and businesses, are back near full capacity."
BC Chamber of Commerce Releases Report Addressing Labour Market Gap

Earlier today, the BC Chamber of Commerce released the “Addressing the Labour Market Gap Report”.

The report is the culmination of extensive research, drawing upon the input of 1,225 jobseekers and 812 employers. The provincial survey presents insights that will inform on solutions needed to bridge the gap between employer expectations and jobseeker aspirations.

The report identifies a number of gaps, that include:

  • Just over 50% of employers described challenges finding qualified candidates within the salary range they offered, while nearly 50% of jobseekers found it challenging to find jobs that met their salary expectations.
  • Jobseekers are struggling to identify and negotiate compensation for the work they seek. Employers are struggling to find time to administer a recruitment process and define a salary range.
  • Over 60% of employers reported having a range of employee policies in the workplace including on-the-job training, role expectations and conflict resolution, yet the majority of jobseekers cited a lack of such policies in their previous workplace.
BC's Minimum Wage Increase
Now in Effect

BC's general minimum wage has increased from $15.65 to $16.75 an hour as of yesterday.

The 6.9% increase will apply to approximately 150,000 workers who currently earn less than $16.75 per hour.

For more information about the increase, visit the Employment Standards Branch website HERE.
New Episode in TIABC's Voice of Tourism Podcast Series Now Available!

TIABC is pleased to release episode #8 in our Voice of Tourism podcast series. Host Walt Judas speaks with Erin Gless, Executive Director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, about the work they're doing on behalf of members and the impact of their research on ecotourism in British Columbia.

TIABC's Voice of Tourism podcast feature interviews with some of the most respected professionals in the tourism industry and has been developed to provide TIABC members and stakeholders with insightful content and a unique perspective on industry developments, policy directives, the work that sector associations are doing, and the opportunities that exist for businesses, communities, and government within the visitor economy.

Now Available on Spotify or the link below.
The Do's and Don'ts of Your Tourism Industry Insurance

Earlier this week, Rachela Pollock of Acera Insurance was a guest presenter on TIABC's Webinar Series and delivered valuable tips on how to have your insurance policy work better for you. Her topic included recommendations on how to present your tourism business or association in the best light to underwriters, along with insurance tips & tricks, understanding current market trends, and how claims have impacted the tourism industry as a whole. In case you missed it - we have included the presentation in the link below.
National Indigenous History Month

June 1st marked the beginning of a month designated by Canada to honour the cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples across the nation.

All Canadians are encouraged to continue seeking firsthand experiences and education about living Indigenous cultures and realities and to be changed by these experiences so that you are inspired to learn beyond this month.

Indigenous Tourism Canada (ITAC) and Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) ask that everyone broadens their experience of Indigenous leadership, language, art, ecology, literature, values, lands, economy, wisdom, and innovation. Reflect on Indigenous identity beyond survival and resilience or its place in Canadian history and reconciliation. Expand it to include recognition and celebration of Indigenous scholars, leaders, musicians, poets, painters, athletes, inventors, scientists, designers, and thinkers.

Learn more and seek Indigenous tourism experiences HERE.
YCD Announces Direct Service to Toronto
with Air Canada

Nanaimo Airport (YCD) announced today that Air Canada Rouge will resume its seasonal direct flight from Nanaimo to the nation’s biggest city this summer. Flights are scheduled to depart Friday mornings starting on June 23rd.

The non-stop route makes it convenient for residents to vacation or do business in eastern Canada and the rest of the world, thanks to easy connections. It also helps create tourism and trade opportunities for the Island by bringing in thousands of visitors over the summer.

A 120-seat Airbus 319 airliner will make the flight from Nanaimo to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in about 4.5 hours.

More information can be found on the Nanaimo airport website HERE.
Destination Canada Recovery Resources

A reminder that Destination Canada has developed valuable resources and insights to help provide an understanding of the shifts we are seeing within the industry and tools to help tourism businesses attract employees and travellers.

  1. Making the Most of Social: This guide is filled with tips and actionable steps on how to use social media effectively. Learn more.
  2. Marketing Tips and Tricks: This is a series of quick tutorials and takeaways on topics such as SEO, public relations, YouTube and more. Watch the full series here.
  3. Canada’s Tourism Renaissance: Our Strategy for Recovery: This document describes Destination Canada’s 3-year plan for revenue recovery and begins to lay foundations for our sector’s future. Read the document here. 
  4. Tourism’s Big Shift Report & Webinar: The Tourism’s Big Shift report identifies key trends that are impacting Canada’s tourism industry in the next one to three years. Read the full report here.
Job Opportunities | TOTA

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is seeking to hire two team members for the Kelowna office.

Communications Specialist (9 month contract)
  • Supports industry communications and awareness campaigns for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) by executing and monitoring communications, with a focus on news updates, email newsletters, website content, and social media content
  • Learn more and apply HERE

Research Specialist
  • To support Symphony Tourism Services research programs by leading, conceptualizing, designing and delivering provincial, regional, community and business-related research programs.
  • Learn more and apply HERE
Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association representing Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry.

Restaurants Canada is the largest membership organization of its kind and the only national association that serves the unique needs of the foodservice industry. Their members include independent operators, regional and national chains, restaurants, bars, caterers, franchisors, hotels, institutions, food trucks, convenience stores, industry suppliers, and other emerging business types.

Restaurants Canada is also the owner of Groupex, a group buying program for independent restaurant operators. Proceeds from Groupex supports their work on behalf of Canada’s restaurant industry.

Learn more about Restaurants Canada HERE.
Your Membership is Important to Us!

We strongly encourage you to consider membership or renew your membership with TIABC to support our important advocacy efforts on behalf of the entire visitor economy.

TIABC continues to identify your concerns, raise your voice, champion your needs, and push for support and programs while encouraging policy changes at both the provincial and federal level.

Your support and engagement is vital to ensuring businesses, DMO's and sectors are united and speaking with one voice on issues that impact BC's tourism industry.

Contact info@tiabc.ca for more information, visit our website HERE or the link below.
TIAC's Associate Program Now Available to TIABC Members

The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) are happy to announce an exceptional offer to TIABC members! Effective now, TIABC members in good standing can enrol in TIAC’s Associate Program FOR ONLY $25.

TIAC is the national voice for the travel and tourism sector and acts on behalf of Canadian tourism businesses promoting and supporting policies, programs, and activities that will benefit the sector’s growth, development, and prosperity.

By visiting this link, you can become a TIAC Associate Member, enjoy access to a range of TIAC benefits and add your voice to National efforts.

Note: If you are already a TIAC associate member, you will receive a renewal notice before your anniversary date. If you are currently a full TIAC member, you already get enhanced advantages. You will continue to enjoy added benefits and savings over and above what is available to associate members, including the TIAC Member Advantage program at Rendez-vous Canada.

Contact info@tiabc.ca for more information or visit our website HERE.
webinar header f
Barkerville Opens June 3rd!

Visitors will have 100 days to visit the popular attraction of Barkerville this year and the Historic Town & Park will open its doors to guests tomorrow through to Sunday, September 10.

Officials say Barkerville will continue to offer live interpretation programs, favourites such as the guided town tour, and its popular shops and restaurants will also open. Visitors will also be able to learn more about the Chinese culture of Barkerville while immersing themselves in the stories of the Original Peoples of the land.

Visit HERE for more information on the 2023 season.
The New Inclusive Economy Roadshow

The New Inclusive Economy (NIE) is hosting a series of business-to-business conversations intended to share research project findings with employers throughout BC.

Throughout the month of June, employers can attend free in-person workshops in a business-to-business roadshow hosted in 10 communities to learn about becoming more inclusive. Workshops will be held in Surrey, Vancouver, Prince George, Smithers, Terrace, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Fort St. John, Victoria and Powell River.

Learn more and register for these free and accessible events HERE.
BCHF Golf Tournaments | Registration Now Open
Foursomes and Single Players - don't miss out!

Vancouver 13th Annual Tournament
July 17 - Westwood Plateau

Victoria 9th Annual Tournament
August 23 - Olympic View

If you want to become a sponsor for any (or all) tournaments, contact Samantha at samantha@sasparilla.ca our Event Manager or Mike Macleod, Golf Committee Chair at mike@bcha.com
save the date banner
BC Aviation Council Conference - Prince George

We are pleased to announce the dates for the next annual BCAC Conference. It will take place in Prince George, ("Base camp to the North" and home to YXS) at the "Courtyard by Marriott" hotel.

More information including conference theme, draft agenda, list of speakers, as well as hotel and travel partner recommendations is available HERE.

Questions or Sponsorships? Ask Dave!
10th Anniversary of
The Art of Leadership for Women

The Art of Leadership Women focuses on the topics and trends most critical to leaders. This unique one-day conference features a riveting collection of world leaders, business icons, academics, and bestselling authors who inspire action.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn improved ways of leveraging their value, elevating their skills, and developing the strategies required to take their leadership and their organizations to the next level. This conference is not just for women, but for anyone who wants to champion change on behalf of women.

Date: June 6
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre

NOTE: TIABC members can receive up to $100 off registration by using code TIABC40

Learn more and purchase tickets HERE.
Sport Events Congress 2023

Sport Events Congress, the largest annual gathering of everyone connected to the over $7.4 billion sport tourism industry in Canada, is a 3-day interactive and educational event. SEC23 has been designed to help facilitate the recovery of sport hosting. The SEC23 program is interactive, educational, offers opportunities for business-to-business networking, and evening social events

Date: June 6th - 8th
Location: Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel & Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel, Richmond

Learn more and register HERE.
WORTH Presents "She's On The Tee"
 Golf Tournament

WORTH Association has partnered with GolfBC for a night of golf and networking for women of recreation, tourism and hospitality. Join She's on the Tee in Kelowna, where ladies take the spotlight on the green.

Connect with like-minded women, learn from PGA instructors, and enjoy a relaxed evening of improving your skills.

Your ticket includes:
  • Opportunity to Learn from 4 PGA Instructors 
  • Network and Connect with Like-Minded Women 
  • One Complimentary Drink 
  • Grazing Table of Snacks 
  • Chance to Win Fantastic Door Prizes 

Date: June 15
Time: 6-8PM
Location: Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club, Practice Facility
Price: $55 per person plus tax

Find your tickets HERE.
BC Family Fishing Weekend

BC's Family Fishing Weekend is an annual celebration of fishing that coincides with the Father’s Day weekend each year. In 2023, the three-day event falls on June 16th to 18th. This is a great chance to get together with family and friends, and try fishing! There are community events held around the province, with family-friendly fishing activities and education.

DYK - you can fish for free during the Father’s Day weekend and right through the third weekend in June (including the immediately preceding Friday). The provincial government waives the requirement for residents of Canada – individuals who have lived in Canada for the preceding 12 months – to buy or carry a non-tidal (freshwater) basic fishing licence. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which manages fishing in tidal waters, also offers the opportunity to go saltwater fishing for free.

Check out the map of events on BC Family Fishing and learn more HERE.
Annual General Meeting and Air-Cruise Intermodal Roundtable

Future Borders Coalition (FBC) members are invited to the Annual General Meeting and Air-Cruise Intermodal Roundtable event in Vancouver.

Date: June 22
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, SFU
The roundtable picks up from where we left off in Ottawa in April, with a specific emphasis on Cruise to Air transfers and planning for FIFA World Cup 2026. The event is hybrid, so if you can’t make it in-person, please register to attend virtually.

Learn more and register HERE.
21st Annual Coast Hotels
Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic

The 21st Annual Coast Hotels Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic will take place and will begin with a 12:00 Noon shotgun start in a Texas Scramble format. Last year, the tournament raised $80,000.00 for designated charities.

Date: July 13
Location: Tsawwassen Springs Golf Club, Delta

The two beneficiaries this year are once again the ALS Society of BC and the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Due to the success of this event, more than 50% of this year's playing spots have already been pre-sold.

Learn more and register HERE.
Abbotsford International Airshow

The Abbotsford International Airshow has grown to become one of the Fraser Valley’s largest and most exciting annual events.

Dates: Aug. 11, 12 & 13
Location: Abbotsford International Airport

Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now! Early Bird ticket access is EXCLUSIVE to Airshow Insiders.
Learn more about the event performers and event attractions HERE.
BC Restaurant Hall of Fame 2023

The BCRFA BC Restaurant Hall of Fame is returning. The BC dining scene is recognized across the country as industry and trend leading. Gather to celebrate the individuals and businesses whose vision, creativity and unbelievable hard work made this possible by inducting them into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Date: October 23
Location: Italian Culture Club, Vancouver

Tickets to attend the Inductee Evening are now on sale and are available HERE.
Thank-you for your readership! We encourage you to send us your ideas or content that would be valuable for TIABC to share through our Bulletin.
Drop us a line at info@tiabc.ca.
TIABC recognizes that our members, stakeholders and staff occupy the ceded, unceded and traditional territories of Indigenous Nations across British Columbia. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to live, work and play on the lands that our Indigenous friends and First Nations ancestors honour and care for.