Spring 2017

Tourism Vancouver Island Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey now open

Tourism Vancouver Island would appreciate your participation in the 2016 Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey. All responses will remain confidential and secure. Thank you in advance for your valuable insights. Your input will be used to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our stakeholders.

We have contracted with Survey Monkey to field your confidential survey responses. Those who complete the survey by closing date on April 20 will have the option to enter their names in a draw for free registration for the Tourism Vancouver Island 54th Annual Conference and AGM, September 19 – 21 in Sidney.

Please contact Calum Matthews, Community and Industry Specialist, with any questions at Calum@TourismVI.ca or phone 250-740-1224.

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Working with Tourism Vancouver Island

Working with Tourism Vancouver Island can be as easy as telling us what’s happening in your community.  Our re-designed website, www.vancouverisland.travel, has a Festivals & Events page and we need your help in populating it.  There are many interesting and exciting events taking place throughout the Vancouver Island region all year long that attract visitors but we simply don’t know about all of them.  Telling us about a festival or event is quick and  easy.  Just go to http://vancouverisland.travel/festivals-events/, click on Submit Your Event, provide a few details and that’s it.  Once we review it, it’ll go live to the site.

New festival and event submissions will also be shared with Hannah Grant, our Social Media & Content Specialist, for possible mention across our social media channels.  You can reach out to Hannah directly at hannah@tourismvi.ca or 250-740-1229.

Tourism Vancouver Island updates

Tourism in the Vancouver Island region continues to see strong growth and Tourism Vancouver Island has reorganized its staffing to better support tourism growth and community marketing.

Hannah Grant joined the team as Social Media & Content Specialist and is responsible for © 2017 HA Photographydeveloping powerful and engaging social experiences that increase advocacy of and desire to travel to the Vancouver Island region. A recently converted islander, Hannah moved to Nanaimo in 2014 after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Translation Studies at the University of Ottawa. Her past experience includes translation, search engine optimization and social media management for a host of clients, both at a tech firm and in her freelance practice. In 2016, Hannah reached a wider audience when she presented at two technology conferences on internet marketing for real estate. When she’s not crafting words, Hannah can be found behind her sewing machine or out exploring Vancouver Island’s hiking trails.

© 2017 HA PhotographyKaren Bannister joined as the Consumer Marketing Specialist – Nanaimo and will be responsible for the effective planning and implementation of the Nanaimo destination marketing plan, strategies and tactics. Karen is a marketing professional with 13 years of experience and has spent much of her career in arts management, brokering high value corporate sponsorships as well as managing marketing campaigns, publications and membership programs. She is a graduate of the arts management training program, Income Managers, holds a Masters degree in Comparative Literature and has owned her own copywriting and online marketing consulting business for the last 4 years. She lives in Nanaimo with her family.

© 2017 HA PhotographyAs the Destination Development & Industry Engagement Coordinator, Melissa Mills is responsible for coordinating on-going destination development activities, assisting with Tourism Vancouver Island destination development initiatives and building strategic alliances with tourism industry stakeholders. Melissa brings with her more than 8 years of career experience in strategic marketing and business development, combined with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Science in Business Administration. Although raised on the Island, the majority of Melissa’s career development took place in Northern BC where she completed her post-secondary education. She has been fortunate to develop her skills through contributions to a number of organizations, in both private and public sector, including non-profit, natural resources, retail, and food & beverage. After spending nearly seven years in Northern BC, Melissa and her husband decided to return to the Island to start their family. Happy to be back enjoying island life, Melissa spends the majority of her free time outdoors with her family and friends, either along the shores, on the water, or in front of a campfire.

© 2016 HA PhotographyDarsey Batchelor, who has been with the organization as Office Assistant since July 2016, now serves as the Trade & Media Coordinator, and will support the planning and implementation of programs that will increase travel trade visitation and earned media attention to the Vancouver Island region.  Darsey joined the team after graduating from Vancouver Island University and receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management. Prior to joining Tourism Vancouver Island, Darsey worked as a Research Assistant through her university and as a Social Media Manager and Front Desk Agent at the Inn on Long Lake. After moving from a rural East Kootenay community, Darsey has embraced the Island lifestyle and enjoys exploring all that the Island has to offer.

The roles and responsibilities of these individuals will be complemented by the skills, knowledge and expertise of the current team, and guided by the leadership of Dave Petryk, President & CEO.

Marketing: Tourism Vancouver Island welcomes Lewis & Sears Marketing & Event Management to the Tourism Vancouver Island sales team.  With Wendy Sears taking the lead on behalf of Lewis & Sears, they join Cindy Pollard in rounding out the team that works with stakeholders in matching the best programs the organization has to offer. While Lewis & Sears are new to the sales team, Tourism Vancouver Island has worked extensively with them for the past two years as they coordinate the event management for the Tourism Vancouver Island annual conference & AGM.  Cindy Pollard joined the team last year and the organization is pleased to continue working with her.  Following are the regions Cindy and Wendy will represent:

Cindy Pollard
Regions:  Gulf Islands, South Island, Cowichan & Nanaimo
cindy@tourismvi.ca
Phone: 250-667-8327

Wendy Sears
Regions:  Parksville/Qualicum Beach, Pacific Rim, North Central & North Island
wendy@tourismvi.ca
Phone: 1-888-594-3243  Ext. 101, or 250-228-4452

Many stakeholders worked with Kevin East over the last year and Tourism Vancouver Island would like to thank Kevin for his service and wish him well with his new and continuing business endeavours. Cindy and Wendy are looking forward to getting started with new programs, and stakeholders can expect to hear from them in the coming weeks.  Should you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact Denise Le Gal, Consumer Marketing Specialist, at denise@tourismvi.ca or 250-740-1215.

Social Media:  Tourism Vancouver Island’s social media and content representative is a new addition to the team. With a dedicated resource to these channels, Tourism Vancouver Island is looking forward to innovating in the realm of social channels to help promote tourism on the island.

influencer-exampleSince having dedicated a full-time resource to social media and content, Tourism Vancouver Island’s channels have seen significant gains, particularly in brand awareness and engagement. In March, Tourism Vancouver Island hosted Instagram influencers Ben Giesbrecht and Jordan Dyck. Each influencer posted 6 images on their respective accounts, and posted Instagram stories throughout the trip, to a total of 16 stories. The posts received on average 1670 likes and 18 comments. The Instagram stories received on average 1108 views. Giesbrecht also compiled a video of the trip, which has yielded 3,151 views to date, and an additional Boomerang post, which has yielded 5,686 views and 74 comments to date.

The plan for the upcoming fiscal year includes an array of initiatives for stakeholder and community participation, whether that be through something as simple as sharing content or more involved strategies such as Instagram takeovers. To get involved in these efforts, simply reach out via email or get in touch with your sales representative.

Community & Industry Relations: The Destination Development Program is making excellent progress with the South/Central Island Planning Area, nearing completion after having the recently completed Destination Development Strategy Framework reviewed by the working group in January. The two remaining planning areas are progressing as anticipated as well; the Greater Victoria Planning Area is currently working towards executing their final planning sessions, scheduled for mid-April, and the North Island Planning Area sessions are entering the stakeholder engagement phase, with the aim of holding facilitated sessions in Comox and Port Hardy in late-April.

Powering Economic Alignment and Growth Through TourismIn an effort to increase the awareness and recognition of the economic and social value of tourism to the Vancouver Island Region, Tourism Vancouver Island has continued to build momentum in their efforts to deliver Value of Tourism presentations to community groups, stakeholder groups and municipal governments. Tourism Vancouver Island outreach efforts are being met with increased engagement and are now experiencing direct, unsolicited  inquiries from groups requesting presentations and/or referring other groups and facilitating necessary introductions. Tourism Vancouver Island staff would be happy to deliver a presentation on the Value of Tourism to your community or group. Presentations can be personalized to suite the needs of your audience and local context, with presentations typically ranging from 20 – 45 minutes. To request a speaking engagement, please contact Calum Matthews, Community & Industry Specialist at calum@tourismvi.ca or by phone at 250-740-1224. For more information, please visit www.valueoftourism.ca.

Korean Travel Agent FAM

Korean Travel Agent FAM

Trade & Media: Tourism Vancouver Island hosted its annual Discover Vancouver Island networking event at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort & Spa this past February providing an opportunity for over 25 receptive tour operators to source new products and meet with over 40 different suppliers. The event was an overall success as 93% of the suppliers felt that they had achieved their goals for attending, and 86% of the operators will be sourcing new product as a result of the event. Following the event, Tourism Vancouver Island hosted a familiarization tour for the receptive tour operators in the Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring Island. Tourism Vancouver Island also hosted a familiarization tour for 11 Korean travel agents in Nanaimo, Parksville and Tofino during the last week of March.

Tourism Vancouver Island has hosted a series of press trips over the course of the past three months. These press trips included a freelance journalist from Australia, social influencers from Vancouver and writers from adventure.com, Vitamin Daily, The Daily Meal, Filmtourismus, Seattle Magazine, and Parentmap Magazine. A highlight from this recent media coverage is an article by Aurea Dempsey writing for Vitamin Daily. These press trips were hosted across Vancouver Island and included visits to the Cowichan Valley, Port Renfrew, Tofino, Ucluelet, Comox Valley, Sooke and Nanaimo. Tourism Vancouver Island attended Canada Media Marketplace in New York. At this event, Tourism Vancouver Island had 24 one-on-one pre-scheduled meetings with 24 key U.S. journalists. For more information on working with travel media or travel trade, contact Heather McEachen, Trade & Media Specialist at heather@tourismvi.ca or by phone at 250-740-1214.

Get on Board!

Become a Board MemberAre you passionate about the tourism industry in the Vancouver Island region? Do you have time to contribute to a volunteer board of directors? Do you have knowledge/experience in the following fields: Accommodation; Marketing; Transportation; Own/Operate or Work in Private Sector Tourism; or First Nations. Tourism Vancouver Island is looking for a few talented and conscientious volunteer directors to lead and strengthen the organization.

Make your voice count: contribute to increasing the economic benefits that flow through tourism to the Vancouver Island Region with a strong collective voice. You’ll help make a difference in the organization, the community, the tourism industry, and quite possibly, in a lot of individual lives. You’ll be part of a functioning team that is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the organization.

Keep informed: learn what the organization is doing to reach the goals of the association. In addition, gain valuable training and knowledge in governance. You’ll learn so much and be exposed to a number of things that can make life more interesting. As a board member you review financial statements, come up with solutions, pursue stability and sustainability, and become part of a team responsible for the success of the organization.

Make a difference: as a director, you are a vital part of an organization that seeks to improve the visitor experience and ensure the region is internationally recognized as a preferred travel and getaway destination. Your involvement on the board can result in great attention, marketing and publicity for you and your company.

Stay connected: expand your network through regular board and committee meetings, social events, educational sessions, and marketing initiatives that keeps the industry informed and connected. You can meet some really fascinating people.

The responsibilities of being a board member are great, but the benefits can be immeasurable.

Information will be distributed in June regarding the election process to the Tourism Vancouver Island Board of Directors, but if you’d like to see information on the current Board of Directors, please visit our corporate website at www.tourismvi.ca or contact Lana Cheong at lana@tourismvi.ca or phone 250-740-1213.

TIABC Welcomes Performance-based, Formula Funding for BC

TIABC logoAnnounced in Vancouver on February 21, 2017.  The Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) says government’s budget commitment to performance-based, formula funding for Destination British Columbia (DBC) will help B.C.’s visitor economy continue on a positive trajectory for years to come.

“Funding certainty for Destination BC has been at the top of the list for TIABC’s advocacy  efforts dating back to 2013,” said CEO Walt Judas. “We’re pleased that DBC will realize an increase starting next year, as well as a stable base budget and potential for additional marketing funds in subsequent years to provide funding certainty to BC’s tourism industry.”

In contrast to an annual budget appropriation, formula funding guarantees a yearly base amount for DBC, with additional funds available based on both corporate and industry performance. Destination B.C.’s approximate $50+ million budget is used for marketing the province to potential visitors in several key markets including the United States, Asia Pacific, Australia, Mexico, Europe and within Canada.

B.C.’s $15+ billion visitor economy employs some 127,000 people in more than 19,000 businesses. The industry is coming off three straight years of record results for visitation, direct revenues and other key measures.

Destination BC’s immersive marketing platform breaks new ground

Our industry partners expect innovative ideas from Destination BC, and our new immersive content marketing program goes even further to put consumers in the heart of a BC moment. Developing the BC Journeys platform, which incorporates immersive 360° views of BC terrain from Google Street View Trekker, was a long and thrilling journey—but like all great initiatives it began with a single step and some strong partnerships.

During the summer of 2016, we partnered with Google, Northern BC Tourism, our regions, and many tourism businesses to literally put BC on Google Maps. We used the Google Street View Trekker technology, a wearable backpack with a complex camera system on top, to achieve 360° views of some of BC’s most beautiful terrain. We covered almost 1,000 km of BC’s wilderness over 105 days on foot, horseback, helicopter, plane, and boat. This project showcases all six regions of British Columbia.

DBC 2017 google trekkerThere are 2.3-million searches per second on Google and over one billion monthly users of Google Maps. The Google Street View Trekker component will capitalize on that reach, but our program is more comprehensive than that. We also sent a crew of expert content creators along with the Google Street View Trekker. These creators captured video, drone footage, 360° video and photography, highlights of which are now featured on the new BC Journeys platform, and will be distributed to millions of potential visitors in the Western US this spring. Watch this short video to see some of the content. Read More

Three sample treks (there are approximately 200 in total):
Anthony Island, Gwaii Haanas
Kettle Valley Trail (Myra Canyon)
Windfall Lake (near Tumbler Ridge)

go2HR: Commit to Workplace Safety with COR/SECOR Certifications and OHS Webinars

Whether you are a large or small business, a strong commitment to safety sets you apart as an employer of choice and inspires confidence from your current and future employees.

WRF SAfety 010-courtesy Mount Washington

Photo courtesy Mount Washington

The Certificate of Recognition Program (COR) is an occupational health and safety audit and certification program, rewarding employers that go beyond the legal requirements by taking the “best practice” approach to health and safety in the workplace. Participation in the program is voluntary and offers many benefits for employers, including WorkSafeBC financial incentives, the ROI in maintaining a well-functioning workplace, and building a positive corporate image.

go2HR – BC’s tourism human resource association – is the certifying partner responsible for coordinating the COR program and supporting participating employers in the BC tourism and hospitality industry. This January, go2HR launched the Small Employers Certificate of Recognition Program (SECOR), specifically designed for employers with fewer than 20 employees. SECOR offers similar benefits that large businesses enjoy, but with a slightly different process and audit tool that takes into account the size of the operation in order to increase small employers’ success. For small employers, instead of attending the scheduled in-person COR Internal Auditor training, the internal COR champion can obtain their training through online study and one-on-one-interactive sessions with one of go2HR’s industry specialists.

go2HR also hosts workshops and events to educate and update the industry on good occupational health and safety practices. The upcoming webinar will be held April 20, 2017, on the subject of “Working Alone” and the risks and injuries involved, and how employers and workers can control these environments to minimize threats and incidents.

If you have any questions or to learn more about COR and SECOR, please contact Mark Gilbert, go2HR’s dedicated industry health and safety specialist responsible for the occupational health and safety concerns of tourism and hospitality employers on Vancouver Island.

Nanaimo Airport Expansion Project

Thanks to the BC Air Access Program, the nanaimo airportNanaimo Airport will soon begin an expansion of the northern apron that will improve safety and provide a robust and durable aircraft apron to reduce congestion airside. This $351,215 infrastructure project funded through a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure program will be completed in the coming months.

The BC Air Access Program (BCAAP) provides capital cost-sharing contributions to airport infrastructure projects that will result in significant, incremental safety upgrades, economic benefit, or the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure.

“The Nanaimo Airport is a significant economic driver in our region, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the island year after year, which is why our government supports infrastructure improvements which continue to expand the airport’s ability to better serve residents and tourists alike,” said Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.

“The Nanaimo Airport Commission appreciates the tremendous support provided by the Provincial Government for our infrastructure projects through programs like BCAAP as well as the Infrastructure Canada and the Small Community Fund that was announced a couple weeks back,” says Lucie Gosselin, Board Chair of the Nanaimo Airport. “We would not be able to keep up with infrastructure projects without this type of support.”

Record-setting growth of 108% in the past 6 years underscores why the expansion is needed. “We are 10 years ahead of passenger forecasts and several times a day all three aircraft parking positions are being utilized simultaneously”, says Michael Hooper, President and CEO of the Nanaimo Airport. “For us to continue to grow air services, we need to expand the apron to allow four aircraft to be at the terminal.”

New projections estimate 450,000 passengers annually will use the Nanaimo Airport by 2020. Based on those forecasts, the Nanaimo Airport will remain a major economic catalyst for the central Island into the future and is estimated to contribute 2,000 jobs and $358 million in economic activity annually to the region by 2021. www.nanaimoairport.com

2017 Tourism Industry Awards Recipients

Destination BC and the Tourism Industry Association of BC announced the winners of the 2017 BC Tourism Industry Awards at a gala event on February 23, 2017 at the Victoria Conference Centre.

These awards recognize excellence in the province’s tourism industry. Recipients provide outstanding service, exemplify best business practices and innovative marketing, and deliver tourism experiences that contribute to the success of BC’s tourism industry—which generates approximately $15.7 billion in revenue for the BC’s economy.

Five awards were handed out at the awards gala, held during the BC Tourism Industry Conference. This year’s award winners are:

  • Customer Service Award: Yolanta Malkovska, 8th Generation Vineyard
  • Remarkable Experience Award: Free Spirit Spheres Inc.
  • Innovation Award: Share Vancouver Island Campaign—Black Ball Ferry Line, Tourism Nanaimo, Tourism Tofino, and Sooke Region Tourism Association
  • BC Destination Marketing Organization Association Professional Excellence Award: Tourism Golden
  • Employees First Award: Landsea Tours & Adventures

Tourism is an integral part of BC’s economy.  The industry is showing excellent growth and has huge opportunity ahead. 2016 was a record year, with international overnight custom entries to BC up 12.3%. Tourism employed 127,700 people in British Columbia in 2015.

Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards – winners

A total of 83 companies were named Finalists in the 17th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards and the winners were recognized on January 26, 2017 at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. Congratulations to the following tourism stakeholders that won in their category:

And well done to all finalists including the following tourism businesses: Dolphins Resort, West Coast Expeditions, Ramada Duncan, Coast Bastion Hotel, West Coast Edge ATV, Lefty’s Fresh Foods, Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, Crystal Cove Resort, Ocean Outfitters, Shelter Restaurant, Tofino Brewing Company, Orca Spirit Adventures, and Pizzeria Prima Strada,

Passenger Growth Continues at YQQ in 2016

For yet another year, the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) set a record for passenger growth. An increase of 5.1% was logged for 2016 as 368,733 people travelled through YQQ.

yqq 2016 growth

Airport traffic has experienced increases in passenger traffic year-over-year and is up 19% over the last 5 years. August was the busiest month of 2016 with 42,000 passengers during the peak summer season. The largest increase was reported in March with a 21% increase over the same month in 2015.

“Increased seat capacity along with some very competitive pricing from the airlines is making travel through YQQ attractive.” states Fred Bigelow, CEO of YQQ. “In particular, we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of area residents starting their journeys to the United States from YQQ. Strategically, we have the nation’s two largest airlines providing service to three major Canadian hubs,” continues Bigelow. “The options are endless with this ability to tap into their comprehensive global networks.”

YQQ Air Service and Destinations Includes:

  • Pacific Coastal with daily service to Vancouver (south terminal) and Campbell River
  • Air Canada daily service to Vancouver
  • WestJet daily service to Calgary and Edmonton with season service to Mexico (PVR)

For more information on great connection options for scheduled service to and from Comox click here.

go2HR: Post Your Seasonal Openings on go2HR’s Job Board

Photo credit: Tigh-Na-mara

Photo credit: Tigh-Na-mara

Hiring season is upon us! If you are looking to fill positions for the summer, post your openings on go2HR’s job board, BC’s #1 free job board exclusively for tourism and hospitality employers.

With nearly 40,000 visits per month, go2HR’s job board reaches an extensive pool of qualified candidates looking for frontline, supervisory, management, or executive positions. It is promoted to local students and job seekers at job and career fairs, presentations at schools and colleges, and through go2HR’s monthly career e-newsletter and social media. Whether you are looking to hire seasonal, permanent, part-time/full-time workers, post your job(s) for free and find the right employees now!

Destination BC’s Corporate Strategy 2017/18 – 2019/20 available online

Download Destination BCs Corporate Strategy here.

Green Tourism: 4 Tools to Help You Crush Your Sustainability Goals

Spring is the perfect time to check in on those green businessgreen tourism b goals we keep waxing poetic about over here at Green Tourism Canada, and it’s also a great time to check in on your progress. Why? Well, it’s been over three months since the start of the new year, it’s the start of a new quarter, and with all resolutions a solid reminder is always welcome.

Plus, while tourism is a year-round business, many tourism operators start to see traffic increase in the spring. The sooner you can churn through that data and update your metrics, the sooner you can start talking about how much energy, water, and waste you’ve saved over the last year or last few months, which is a key part of your green story. Tracking your progress towards your goals not only helps keep your tourism business accountable (you said you were going to ditch the plastic cups, but did you actually? And how’s that switch to LED lights coming?), but they also show that you are committed to your green business goals and are in this for the long haul.

In our last post we explored different ways to raise awareness about sustainable tourism, with one big component being your green business story. According to UNEP’s “Road Map for Celebrating the International Year of Sustainable Tourism,” the next step in this journey is to “promote the tools necessary to monitor and measure your business’s positive (and negative) impacts and get that information out there.” A good green tourism story is useless without some facts and figures to back it up, right?

4 Tools to Help You Crush Your Sustainability Goals _ Green Tourism CanadaSo what are those green business tools and where do you begin? If you’ve already worked with some tracking tools, or have worked with Green Tourism in the past, then you’re well on your way. If you’re wondering where on earth to begin, look no further! Here are a few tools to get started with.

4 Tools to Help You Crush Your Sustainability Goals

  1. Create a Supplier Inventory to determine just what percentage of your suppliers are local with this awesome mapping exercise.
  2. Conduct a Waste Audit, then talk about your results with your guests and staff.
  3. Measure Your Carbon Footprint using ecobase Carbon Software (BONUS: Green Tourism members currently gain free access).
  4. Call Us! We make it our business to help other businesses create sustainability goals and then stick with them. We live for metrics and holding ourselves (and others) accountable. Get Certified with Green Tourism. If you’re a member of TIAC, TIAO or TIABC, you get a $100 discount on your membership fee. Contact us!

The key with any green business tracking tool is to measure once to establish your baseline, then measure your progress on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. And don’t forget to talk about your results! It does no good to compile reams of data and have them sit in a pile, taking up space. Even if the numbers aren’t painting the rosiest of pictures (maybe your waste output was a bit higher than anticipated last year…), your customers will find it refreshing that you are voluntarily providing that information and being transparent, allowing for an open and honest dialogue about your work towards your sustainable business goals.

Written by Ryan Cope

TIAC: Tourism Marketing Gets a Big Nod in the  2017 Budget

TIACThe Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) applauds the March 22 budget pledge to provide significant support to help bolster marketing efforts for the Canadian tourism industry.

“The Tourism Industry Association of Canada is pleased that tourism marketing continues to be a priority in this year’s federal budget. Making permanent the $37.5 million per year in temporary funding previously provided to Destination Canada, starting in 2018-19, provides certainty and will allow Destination Canada to continue its strong collaboration with industry partners to maximize the impacts of its marketing campaigns to draw in more tourists from abroad and increase economic activity for the sector. We are also pleased to see investments of $8.6 million over four years to support the development of Canada’s unique and authentic Indigenous tourism industry as well as the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada’s five-year Indigenous Tourism Strategy” stated Charlotte Bell, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).

“Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world. Federal funding to advance Canada’s reputation in niche markets with growing popularity will help keep Canada competitive”, Bell added.

The Government has also pledged an additional $13.6 million over 5 years to broaden Statistics Canada’s data collection capability, and $2.7 million in continuing funding after this period. The budget also includes significant investments to continue to manage Parks Canada and to complete the Trans-Canada Trail.

“TIAC wishes to recognize the enthusiastic support for the tourism industry shown by the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus, who champion our industry in a non-partisan manner in both Houses of Parliament,” concluded Bell.

For more information please contact:

Marcela Diaz
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
mdiaz@tiac.travel
Phone: 613-238-6378

Destination Canada 2016 Highlights

Destination Canada announces almost 20 million travellers came to explore Canada from coast to coast in 2016 – the highest arrivals in 14 years.

Dest Canada_YearInReview_Infographic_2016_ENDownload the infographic on the Destination Canada website

  • 2016 was best year for Canadian tourism in 14 years with 19,977,285 arrivals, only 0.4% below the record set in 2002.
  • Total arrivals grew by 11% in 2016, which is the fastest year-over-year growth in 20 years.
  • Arrivals from Destination Canada’s 10 overseas markets grew 16% over 2015 levels.
  • We set new records for travellers from South Korea, China, Australia, India, France and Brazil.
  • An extra 670,740 US travellers arrived by air in 2016 setting a new record for US air arrivals, a 17% increase over 2015.

For more market intelligence for tourism in Canada, click here.

Get Your BC Parks Licence Plate today

Show your pride in British Columbia’s natural beauty with a park-themed licence plate and support our provincial parks and protected areas.

BC Parks with specialty licence plates _ BC Gov NewsThree new BC Parks-themed licence plates are available for purchase from your local Autoplan broker. All net proceeds from the sale and renewals of BC Parks plates will be re-invested back into provincial parks through the Parks Enhancement Fund.

The new specialty plates are part of the BC Parks Future Strategy, announced by Premier Christy Clark on Nov. 28, 2016. Within the strategy the Province is investing $22.9 million to build 1,900 new campsites, is seeding a new BC Parks Foundation with a $5-million endowment, and will be allocating funding in 2017 for other recreation and conservation initiatives, including hiring more park rangers.

The licence plates allow motorists to show their support, while ensuring BC Parks has additional funds to invest in new programs and improvements. The BC Parks specialty plates will cost $50.00 for the initial purchase, and $40.00 for each annual renewal. All net proceeds from the sale and ongoing renewals of BC Parks licence plates will be re-invested back into provincial parks through the Park Enhancement Fund, a transparent account where revenues enhance programs or services in provincial parks beyond the core services provided by government. Visit ICBC for more information.