Tourism Vancouver Island’s 2017-2018 Board of Directors announced
Tourism Vancouver Island’s 2017-2018 Board of Directors was announced at the business meeting during the association’s 54th Conference and AGM held September 19-21 in beautiful Sidney by the Sea. READ MORE
Returning to the board and elected by acclamation for two-year terms are: Ian MacPhee of Prince of Whales Whale Watching; Janet Clouston of Chamber of Commerce and Salt Spring Island Tourism; Janet Docherty of Merridale Ciderworks Corp.; and Arthur Wong of The Beach Club Resort.
Serving out their second year of a two year term are Lara Greasley of Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism; and Andrew Jones of Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures.
Lillian Hunt of Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC and U’mista Cultural Centre has been re-appointed to the board for a two-year term, while Raymond Chan of RCA Consulting, Jenn Bogwald of MNP LLP, and Jim Owens of JTO Hospitality Group will serve their second year of a two-year term.
Tourism Vancouver Island: Updates from our team
Marketing: Our website has seen a number of positive changes in the last few months aimed at increasing the performance for both stakeholders and consumers. The most prominent change is the new “My Travel Plans” feature, which has been added to all stakeholder listings on www.VancouverIsland.travel. READ MORE
Our paid digital strategy, which includes driving traffic to the website through Google Search, Google Ad Grant and Facebook ads, is performing very well and helping us achieve our goal of driving qualified visitors to stakeholder websites. Since the beginning of the fiscal year (April 1) we’ve tracked more than 19,000 clicks to stakeholder sites from VancouverIsland.travel. That’s an average of more 3,100 per month.
We’re also working on building our consumer database by running Facebook Lead Ads, which encourages consumers to subscribe to Island Moments, our bi-monthly e-newsletter. We’re averaging about 25 new qualified subscribers each day and now have more than 21,000 people receiving Island Moments. If you haven’t seen the new version of our e-newsletter you can see all the changes and read the latest issue at www.IslandMoments.ca.
Community & Industry Services: Tourism Vancouver Island and regional partners have made significant progress on the Destination Development Program that will result in a set of three sub-regional destination development strategies for the Vancouver Island Region as well as a Vancouver Island Regional strategy. The Greater Victoria Destination Development Strategy and the South Central Island Destination Development Strategy have both been completed in draft form and are undergoing review by respective planning area working groups and provincial ministry staff. The North Island Planning Area is well underway, with the next planning sessions taking place on November 1st in Campbell River and November 2nd in Port McNeill. It is expected that all sub-regional destination development strategies in the region will be completed by the New Year and the development of the Vancouver Island Regional Strategy will proceed shortly after.
Tourism Vancouver Island has launched two innovative special projects including the Tools for Tourism Investment initiative and the Vancouver Island Coast Cooperative Research Program. The Tools for Tourism Investment initiative aims to create new tools, workshops and online platforms to support tourism businesses, First Nations, and local governments in growing the economic benefits that flow from tourism to their communities and the region as a whole. This project has received $30,000 in funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust. The Vancouver Island Coast Cooperative Research Program will help community destination marketing organizations to determine key tourism performance indicators including the awareness, desirability and Net Promoter Score of their destination in a repeatable, comparable and cost effective manner. As a result, CDMO decision makers will be able to better track and demonstrate the effectiveness of their marketing and development efforts as well as of their organization overall. Click here to learn more.
Trade & Media Relations: The Travel Trade department supported ARA Professional Travel Services, Quench Trip Design and Jonview Canada on FAMS this summer. The summer proves to be a difficult time to host FAM trips as accommodation in many communities is limited due to the high volume of visitors. Many FAMs were pushed to the upcoming fall months. The trade specialist attended Explore BC held this August where new product was presented to local receptive tour operators and wholesalers.
The Travel Media department hosted over 20 journalists over the summer. Journalists visited all areas of Vancouver Island and had experiences from remote kayaking lodges, RV camping to high-end luxury hotels. A few of the recent results include:
- Pamela Roth, Matador Network – 10 Reasons why you should visit Vancouver Island
- Nikki Bayley, BC Living – BC Wine 101: Summer 2017 Edition
- Ron Johnson, Get Out There Magazine – Life’s a beach in Tofino
- John Lee, Globe and Mail – Cross Country Tour: stories from every province and territory
Annual Conference: September wrapped up the 54th Annual Conference and AGM. Highlights from this year’s conference include an enlightening presentation by Marsha Walden, CEO Destination BC; an upbeat speech by Lucas Aykroyd on “If the travel writer is happy, everyone is happy”; and various workshops on crisis management, social media, succession planning and millennials. Thank you all those who attended and wished Dave Petryk a jovial farewell as he moves on to his new chapter in life.
Mark your calendars for next year’s Tourism Vancouver Island conference that will be held in Port Hardy September 25 – 27, 2018.
Social Media: Summer on Vancouver Island has wrapped up, and the user-generated content from the past quarter has been exceptional. There has been strong usage of #ExploreVancouverIsland, with an additional 5,451 uses in just three months, and users are providing engaging and informative content. One such example is a sped-up video of water taxi choreography, which has performed extremely well on the Tourism Vancouver Island channels. The video garnered 221,947 views on Facebook alone. This example shows the power of relying on our residents and travellers to showcase Vancouver Island, and the benefit of social listening and engagement.
Get involved with consumer social media:
- Tag Tourism Vancouver Island on Facebook (@VancouverIsland.Travel), Instagram (@TourismVancouverIsland) and Twitter (TourismVI)
- Use #ExploreVancouverIsland
- Participate in Twitter chats, like the upcoming chats with Destination Canada (Cities on a Budget and Winter Fun & Winter Festivals).
Vancouver Island North Tourism: The new edition of the Vancouver Island North Tourism Recreation Map is now in circulation. A new page was created on the Get Lost Find Yourself campaign microsite to share the new outdoor recreation planning tools available through Vancouver Island North Tourism, including the Recreation Map and the Trail App.
Vancouver Island North’s Visitor Experience Survey had over 1,700 ballots submitted during the collection period from June 15 to September 5 and over 700 surveys have been completed. This is an increase in submitted ballots and completed surveys from the 2016 survey period. The Vancouver Island North Visitor Profile complied from these results will be delivered by October 16.
Port Hardy Mayor, Hank Bood, and the CEO of k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, Conrad Browne, were on hand at Tourism Vancouver Island’s 54th Annual Conference & AGM in Sidney on September 20 to announce that the community of Port Hardy, in the Vancouver Island North region, will be the host location for the 2018 conference. The new Kwa’lilas Hotel will be the host hotel, with the gala dinner planned to be held at the Port Hardy Civic Centre. The community and the region are looking forward to welcoming the delegates to Vancouver Island North.
Tourism Nanaimo: Tourism Nanaimo advertisements continue in the market place, now appearing on digital, social and broadcast channels. A specific off-season campaign is now in the works to showcase distinct Nanaimo experiences available to Vancouver-area residents who can travel harbour to harbour for a fun and relaxing autumn and winter getaway.
Tourism Nanaimo research efforts continue as we analyze first wave results from our Conversion Study, measuring perceptions in the marketplace before advertising materials hit. Our Visitor Experience Study, hosted at several Nanaimo locations this summer has concluded and the data from over 700 completed surveys is now being analyzed.
Tourism Nanaimo now looks forward to planning for Fiscal 2019 and will be preparing an application for Destination BC’s Open Pool program, as well as looking for partnership opportunities with other community destination marketing organizations and sectors involved in tourism promotion at the island and provincial level.
How Destination BC is working to help BC tourism during the wildfires
This year is turning out to be one of British Columbia’s worst wildfire seasons on record. Since April 1st, there have been over 1,000 wildfires that have burned more than 1,000,000 hectares. Our thoughts are with the residents and businesses in the communities directly affected by these blazes. Safety is always our primary concern.READ MORE
Due to the wildfires, we’re seeing an increase in leisure-trip cancellations—mostly by British Columbians and Albertans. This is affecting many tourism operators during their traditionally busiest season. Destination BC has taken immediate action by developing a marketing plan to help protect tourism in BC. Our current or planned actions include to:
- Fix inaccurate information about travel conditions and promote “Know Before you Go” tools and sites.
- Promote areas where it’s safe to visit now and in the fall by highlighting the message that “BC is open to explore.”
- Provide trip ideas to inspire travellers from BC, Alberta, and nearby Washington State.
Our immediate actions to date taken in July and August included:
- Engaged in proactive contact with over 100 media, resulting in coverage here and in Alberta by print outlets, radio, and TV, such as this recent appearance on Global TV.
- Provided accurate resource information to global tour operators and receptive tour operators (RTOs). We assisted with itinerary ideas where capacity exists and hosted over 110 RTOs at an event on August 16th to showcase new product and shoulder-season itineraries.
- Purchased print advertising promoting the fact that BC is open to explore as well as providing specific activity ideas for travellers. These pieces were carried in The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Vancouver 24 hrs, The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, The Edmonton Sun, and The Calgary Sun.
- Secured real-time advertisements on Facebook and Instagram to boost beautiful photos by actual travellers from around BC to help inspire travel.
- Partnered with Instagram influencers, such as Mike Seehagel from Alberta and Vancouver’s own Shayd Johnson to inspire camping, hiking, and biking—and other trip activity ideas.
- Arranged for BC is open to explore-themed billboards in Kelowna, Victoria, Metro Vancouver, and Squamish and soon in Alberta and Washington.
- And so much more coming to save the remainder of the 2017 tourism season.
These activities are a fraction of the work being done to help sustain, and in some areas, recover the 2017 tourism season. You can assist us in our efforts by using #exploreBC on your own social posts or by sharing Destination BC’s content with your network. Destination BC has increased the marketing budget available to support fall travel in affected regions. Detailed information for tailored activities designed to help the impacted areas will be coming from us soon.
Aboriginal Tourism BC Appoints new CEO
Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC) is proud to announce Tracy Eyssens as its Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Eyssens has been a long standing partner of AtBC’s for the last 17 years. She brings 20 years of experience working at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Throughout the 20 years, Ms Eyssens worked in a number of positions at the organization where she ultimately landed in Economic Development. READ MORE
Brenda Baptiste, Board Chair for AtBC says: “AtBC has been diligent in searching for a CEO with both the integrity and expertise to move our organization into the future. We believe that Tracy Eyssens will elevate AtBC’s leadership in the tourism sector over the next 5 years and beyond. She has been a member of our team throughout the last 20 years as an advocate and committed partner. Her vision and energy will lead our team as we “Pull Together” to continue to build a thriving Aboriginal tourism industry and sustainable economies for Aboriginal people throughout BC.”
Ms Eyssens has significant experience developing partnerships. With her many years of working with Aboriginal people, she was able to build effective partnerships to overcome the capacity gaps and unlock economic opportunities that have enabled the development of prosperous economies for Aboriginal people. She has worked with over 150 First Nations across BC, managed a budget of $40M and supported over 300 projects in First Nation communities ranging from cultural centers, infrastructure and business/industrial parks.
“The success of AtBC supports tourism growth across the province, making British Columbia a stronger, more competitive destination globally,” says Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination British Columbia. “Destination BC has a long history of working with AtBC and is looking forward to building on this important relationship with the benefit of Tracy’s experience and leadership.”
Tracy’s creativity and innovation has allowed her to push through boundaries and collaborate and partner on a number of initiatives and projects that have supported the economic prosperity of Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs. Working with a number of aboriginal organizations, federal/provincial partners along with private sector partners across the province, her vision for community economic development has allowed for the successful development of many diverse projects across BC.
“The opportunity to inspire the world to experience Aboriginal culture while continuing to activate Authentic Aboriginal experiences is a true passion of mine,” says Ms Eyssens. “I look forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of all Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism sector to support the development of a vibrant Aboriginal tourism economy.”
Tracy is an active volunteer in her home community of New Westminster where she raises her three boys. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba, is passionate about raising her boys in a diverse culture, and enjoys the odd hockey game now and then.
Ms. Eyssens officially began her journey with Aboriginal Tourism BC on August 1, 2017. www.aboriginalbc.com.
Learn how to develop and deliver outstanding visitor-focused Remarkable Experiences
The Remarkable Experiences Program is one-of-a-kind tourism program in Canada developed by Destination British Columbia and delivered in partnership with Tourism Vancouver Island. It is designed to support small and medium sized tourism operators in BC in developing and delivering outstanding, visitor-focused experiences while extending their digital and social media marketing efforts. READ MORE
These hands-on, collaborative workshops are facilitated by leading industry mentors and provide you with information and tools to elevate your product and your online presence, you will have everything you need to make your tourism experience stand out to potential customers.
This program, delivered in Courtenay/Campbell River, includes the following:
- Four full-day, in-class modules on Experience Design (Feb 6 & 7) and Digital & Social Media Marketing (March 6 & 7)
- 1.5 hours of personalized coaching to help put your ideas into action
- A digital assessment of your website and active social channels
- Workbooks and other resources to take home
- refreshments and lunch
Registration is now open. Visit DestinationBC.ca/Remarkable-Experiences for more information or contact Lana Cheong, Community & Industry Specialist, Tourism Vancouver Island, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-740-1213.
There’s still time to register for the TIAC 2017 Tourism Congress, Nov 28-29, Gatineau
The Tourism Congress has welcomed delegates from across the country for many years. As such we are giving it a makeover, a fresh take on content and format that will ensure Congress as always remains the national hub for critical discussion on industry issues and networking with industry and government. READ MORE
The TIAC team has been hard at work this summer, aiming to deliver an impactful symposium, where people, policy and politics converge.
We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers: Helen Marano, Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs at the World Travel and Tourism Council, and Greg Oates, Senior Editor at Skift, the largest intelligence platform for the global travel industry.
Career Opportunity with Snuneymuxw First Nation
In 2014, Snuneymuxw First Nation (“SFN”) Chief and Council created a master company called Petroglyph Development Group (“PDG”) to manage and generate economic development for SFN. Since then, PDG has grown to include three subsidiary companies (collectively called ‘The Group’) and continues to capitalize on exciting business opportunities.
PDG is seeking to hire a full-time Chief Executive Officer to oversee and manage The Group. READ MORE
For the full employment opportunity, please click here. Application deadline is October 16, 2017.
New TourismNanaimo.com website launched
A new website at TourismNanaimo.com offers visitors an intuitive and streamlined source of information for online trip planning. Information is well-organized and the overall look is clean and BC-brand compliant. The current 360° Creative Concept has been applied but can easily be stripped out so the website has legs for years to come. There is an emphasis placed on booking overnight stays (with a booking widget on all pages) and extended stays (through itineraries) with room to profile our stakeholders. READ MORE
A section of the new website, specifically for stakeholders, is currently under development and provides registration and e-update subscription features, as well as stakeholder focused resources such as research and statistical reports, Tourism Nanaimo program information, collaterals, and links to other community resources.
A digital, social and broadcast television advertising campaign kicked off late August and continues into March of next year. The Vacation Planner, printed in September, will be distributed on BC Ferries’ major routes to the Island from October 2017 to September 2018, as well as in visitor centres across BC next spring. For more information on these, and Tourism Nanaimo’s other marketing initiatives, contact Karen Bannister, Consumer Marketing Specialist at: 250-740-1222 or email@example.com.
Last chance to register for the Vancouver Island Economic Summit, held October 25 & 26
The Vancouver Island State of the Island Economic Summit is heading into its 11th year. Since 2007, the summit has been providing a venue and a forum for businesses and stakeholders on Vancouver Island to learn about and understand the State of the Island Economy. Youth, First Nations, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Small Business and other inspirational leaders on Vancouver Island participate in championing actions that will position Vancouver Island in the Global Marketplace.
For a list of speakers, workshops, schedules and more information, click here.
2017 Canadian Tourism Awards Finalists Announced
The Air Canada Business of the Year Award
- Eagle Wing Tours Ltd – Victoria, BC
- Gold Eagle Lodge – North Battleford, SK
- Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre – Sun Peaks, BC
The VIA Rail Community Outreach Award
- Great Wolf Lodge – Niagara Falls, ON
- Hostelling International Canada – Pacific Mountain Region – Vancouver, BC
- Ottawa Chamber Music Society – Ottawa, ON
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre Event of the Year Award
- Grand Prix Ski-doo de Valcourt – Valcourt, QC
- Half Corked Marathon: Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association – Oliver, BC
- Supercrawl: Supercrawl Productions – Hamiton, ON
The VISA Canada Innovator of the Year Award
- Montréal en Lumière – Montréal, QC
- Parks Canada Cape Breton Field Unit – Louisbourg, NS
- V2V Vacations – Victoria, BC
The Brewster Travel Canada Adventure/Outdoors Award
- Au Diable Vert – Sutton, QC
- Fogo Island Inn – Fogo Island, NL
- Traversée du Lac Saint-Jean à vélo – Alma, QC
The Culinary Tourism Experience Award
- Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar – Whistler, BC
- The Flight Across the Top of Canada: Edible Canada – Vancouver, BC
- The Prince Edward Island Fall Flavours Festival – Charlottetown, PEI
The Accor Hotels Marketing Campaign of the Year Award
- “Arrive Thirsty. Leave Inspired.” BC Ale Trail – Victoria, BC
- “It’s a Stampede Thing”: The Calagry Stampede – Calgary, AB
- “The Views are Different Here”: Tourism Toronto – Toronto, ON
The ATAC Aboriginal (Indigenous) Cultural Tourism Award
- Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre – Dawson City, YT
- Joe John Sanipass, Traditional Mi’kmaq Basket Maker – Fredericton, NB
- Tourism Industry of Wendake – Wendake, QC
The Hilton Worldwide Small or Medium-Sized Business of the Year Award
- Délices Érable & cie – Montréal, QC
- O’Brien’s Whale & Bird Tours – Bay Bulls, NL
- WindsorEats – Windsor, ON
The WestJet Social Media Initiative of the Year Award
- “Discover Our Secrets”: Northwest Territories Tourism – Yellowknife, NT
- “#ExploreNiagara”: Niagara Falls Tourism – Niagara Falls, ON
- “Test Drive Canada”: Air Canada – Dorval, QC
The Transat Sustainable Tourism Award
- Churchill Wild – Ile des Chenes, MB
- Listel Hospitality Group – Brackendale, BC
- Mistaken Point Cape Race Heritage Inc. – Trepassey, NL
The Tourism HR Tourism Employee of the Year Award
- Debra Elless: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – Vancouver, BC
- Devon Bayly Jones: Adventure Canada – Mississauga, ON
- Yolanta Malkovska: 8th Generation Vineyard – Summerland, BC
The CANADA 150 Diversity Award
- Fusion Festival: City of Surrey – Surrey, BC
- MOSAÏCANADA 150 / GATINEAU 2017 – Gatineau, QC
- SESQUI Inc. – Toronto, ON
Join the World’s largest earthquake drill: October 19 @ 10:19 am
If an earthquake occurred at your workplace right now, what would you and your co-workers do? Do you know if your children would be safe? What about any of your neighbors? Earthquakes can happen anytime, anywhere, and that’s why more than 350,000 British Columbians and counting are coming together through the Great British Columbia ShakeOut! READ MORE
Millions are learning how to protect themselves through holding a simple “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill. And many others are doing a bit more by involving a few neighbors, their office floor, or the local fire department in simulating how a community can act together. You can even hold a simple “text, don’t call” communications drill with your family, or if along the coast, add a tsunami evacuation walk to your drill! What will you do?
Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes – wherever you live, work, or travel.
Get Prepared: What we do before an earthquake determines how quickly we’ll recover.
- Know the risks: Visit the PreparedBC and Natural Resources Canada websites to understand the earthquake risk in British Columbia.
- Have a plan: Draft a family emergency plan outlining how you’ll respond during an earthquake, especially if you’re separated. Make sure to consider pets and people who need extra help.
- Build an emergency kit: Stock enough food, water and emergency supplies to sustain you for a minimum of three days. Longer is better.
- Create grab-and-go bags: Earthquakes aren’t guaranteed to happen when you’re at home. Have emergency kits for your vehicle and workplace.
- Seismically secure your home and workplace: Identify items that may topple in your home, workplace or school. Secure heavy furniture to wall studs.
- Consider earthquake insurance: Contact your provider and find out what’s available or recommended.
If you’re a business or organization, develop, review and exercise your continuity plan. Here are a few helpful websites:
For additional workplace resources and information, please visit www.shakeoutbc.ca