Information Worth Sharing
BC Ferries: inviting feedback on the next generation of ferries
BC Ferries launched their engagement program around our next generation of ferries, and is inviting feedback. The engagement program will run from March 12 to April 12. BC Ferries is getting ready to build new ferries to replace four of our existing vessels that service Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. This is one of the biggest projects BC Ferries has ever undertaken and there is a lot to consider as we work to reduce our environmental impact and remain flexible to changing travel demands, while also keeping fares affordable and enhancing our customers’ travel experience on board. Read More
Over the past several months the project team has been exploring options and deciding on technical design elements including the size and capacity of the new ferries, speed and maneuverability requirements, space allotments for various amenities onboard etc. As we continue to work on these requirements, we would like to invite our customers and the communities we serve into the conversation. We are especially interested in hearing ideas around accessibility requirements, family and pet amenities, outdoor space enhancements, food and beverage options, and the technology needs of our travelers.
We’re looking for your help as we design ferries that will serve the next generation of travellers. For more information about what we’re doing, please visit the project page at: www.bcferries.com/about/nextgen.
We want to know what’s important to you about these vessel replacements, and we’re seeking your input on key aspects of design. This survey should take approximately 3 minutes per topic. You can choose to share your thoughts on as many of the topics as you’d like.
Service For All: One-of-a-Kind Course on Inclusive Customer Service
Your customers vary in age, race, culture, sexual identity, beliefs, economic status, needs…are you ready to accommodate all of their different needs? Are your staff prepared to interact with people from various backgrounds?Read More
SuperHost’s new Service For All online training is here to help! In today’s diverse environment, it’s all the more important that our front-line employees be nimble and empathetic in order to create and enhance quality of service for different types of visitors, such as:
- LGBTQ/2S people
- Different generations (e.g. boomers, Gen X, millennials, etc.)
- Persons with disabilities
- Indigenous peoples
- People for whom English is a second language
- Customers from varying ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds
With engaging activities and realistic examples, employees will gain practical knowledge and tips to help them understand and deliver Service For All of your customers. Learn more at http://S4A.SuperHost.ca/
2018: Canada’s Best Year Ever!
on February 21, 2019, Destination Canada – Canada’s national marketing organization, announced a second consecutive record-breaking year with 21.13 million travellers to Canada in 2018. Tourism generates 745,300 jobs in communities across Canada and contributes an estimated $102.5 billion to the economy. Destination Canada supports this thriving sector through innovative, data-driven marketing in key international markets with industry partners.Read More
“The results released today once again demonstrate that tourism is a key part of the Canadian economy,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. “Canada’s tourism sector creates good jobs and supports middle-class families in every region of the country. Our government is determined to help this sector reach its full potential. That’s why we’re developing a new tourism strategy. We want Canada to take its rightful place among the world’s top destinations.”
“These strong results reflect the passion and dedication of the thousands of Canadians who work in our tourism sector,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, Chairperson of Destination Canada’s Board of Directors. “Destination Canada has aligned industry partners across the country when marketing Canada internationally to give Canada a competitive edge and consistent voice to position Canada as top of mind for travellers from all over the world.”
Overnight arrivals to Canada from countries other than the United States reached an all-time high of 6.7 million in 2018, representing 32% of the total arrivals. Overseas tourists typically stay in Canada longer and spend more, benefiting tourism businesses in communities across Canada, and the economy.
This record-breaking year is due to a number of contributing factors, including Destination Canada’s marketing efforts. In recent years the Government of Canada has implemented visa changes for priority markets by introducing the eTA and opening additional visa application centres in China, Canada’s third largest source market. New flight routes and increased service to Canadian airports have flight capacity soaring by 6% over 2017 to the highest level ever and representing an additional 2 million seats on flights to Canada. It’s now easier than ever before for tourists to explore Canada.
- 2018 was the best year for Canadian tourism on record, with arrivals reaching 21.13 million, breaking the 21 million mark for the first time ever.
- China, France, and Mexico surpassed the 700K, 600K, and 400K marks, respectively, for annual visitors to Canada for the first time in 2018
- A record breaking performance in December brought 2018 US arrivals to 14.44 million, the highest level recorded since 2004
- New annual arrivals records set in the following key international markets:
- China – 737,379 arrivals, an increase of 6% over 2017 (first time exceeding 700,000)
- France – 604,166 arrivals, an increase of 5% over 2017(first time exceeding 600,000)
- Mexico – 404,402 arrivals, an increase of 5% over 2017 (first time exceeding 400,000)
- India – 287,416 arrivals, an increase of 15% over 2017
- New monthly arrivals records set for December in the following key international markets:
- United States – 944,886 arrivals, an increase of 2% over December 2017
- China – 41,497 arrivals, an increase of 6% over December 2017
- France – 41,014 arrivals, an increase of 2% over December 2017
- Mexico – 40,996 arrivals, an increase of 6% over December 2017
- Australia – 37,485 arrivals, an increase of 4% over December 2017
- India – 17,855 arrivals, an increase of 5% over December 2017
For more information, visit the Monthly Tourism Snapshot page.
Wilderness Tourism Association Update
The Wilderness Tourism Association of BC held its 20th Annual General meeting at Royal Roads University on January 18 and 19th, 2019. The meeting was attended by 24 members and guests. The agenda included a day and a half meeting covering the business meeting and four workshops that focused on issues significant to wilderness tourism operators. Topics included: Indigenous Community Relationship Building, Using Corporate Social Responsibility to Future Proof your Business, Building Resilience in Wilderness Tourism Industry, Deep Dive into Adventure Travel, Trends in Adventure Travel.Read More
The 2017-18 Fiscal year saw and increase in WTA membership and board activity on files important to the membership. Advocacy actions focused on changes to open net fish farming policy and tenuring, forest practices regulations and policies, Parks Park use permit administration and tenure allocation practices.
The long awaited launch of the new WTA website occurred late in the calendar year along with the start of two surveys: Membership Focus and Coastal Marine Tourism Operators. The information gathered in these surveys will be used for representing tourism interests in the Federal marine planning protected areas process currently underway as well as informing provincial policy and land use decision making.
A new board and executive was elected on January 18. Executive members include: Kevin Smith, President; Breanne Quesnel, Vice President; Ross Campbell, Treasurer; Rick Searle, Secretary.
Directors include: Jamie Boulding, Kathy MacRae, Kristen Mucha, Marg LeeHane, Nic Coutinho*and Breanna Sloan* (*nominated and elected by the board, February 2019).
The board meets monthly by teleconference. Members wishing to connect with the board can do so at the monthly board meeting teleconference or by phone. Please contact Scott Benton for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250 655 4103.
Destination BC’s new Digital Asset Management System launched January 31st
With the launch of their new DAM System, the BC Content Hub, Destination BC aims to create a single virtual library for the BC tourism network to access, contribute, and share content – the foundation for the Content Commonwealth approach. The first phase of the launch, which went live on January 31, includes a new portal for industry partners to access the content Destination BC is curating, collaborating on, and creating in all formats (replacing their former Imagebank). Read More
The new system redefines “asset”, allowing for storage and sharing of not just photography and video footage, but also text files, audio files, advertising assets, and more – eliminating the need to store content in multiple places. More than just a place to store content, it allows Destination BC and future participating partners to centralize all of the work and collaboration that happens as part of content development – the project management, workflows, task management, rights management, editing, and feedback. It also gives Destination BC the ability to understand how content is being used through advanced analytics and reporting capabilities.
Please stay tuned to Destination BC’s industry channels for more information on the BC Content Hub and on building a Content Commonwealth approach. If you have any questions about the new system, including how you can participate, please contact Destination BC at Editorial@DestinationBC.ca.
Province restoring ferry service to coastal communities
Released Feb 22: Government is increasing service on 10 ferry routes that were cut in 2014, restoring 2,700 round-trip sailings for people living in coastal communities.
“For years people living in coastal communities saw ferry fares increase and services cut,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Quality, affordable ferry services are a necessity not a luxury for people in coastal communities. That’s why we’ve turned the ship around – first by rolling back ferry fares on small coastal routes and now by reversing cuts to services that were making it difficult for people to get around.”Read More
The minister announced these service changes and released the Redlin report, a comprehensive operating review of the coastal ferry service that identifies opportunities to improve services under the current model.
The ministry has been working with BC Ferries to respond to the BC Ferry Advisory Committee chairs’ request to restore some services cut in 2014 and have reached an agreement to return these services over the next year with the majority starting as early as this spring.
“The Redlin report was very comprehensive with more than 60 recommendations directed to all parties working under the unique and complex coastal ferry governance model,” Trevena said of the document, written by Blair Redlin, special advisor. “One of his recommendations is to establish a long-term vision for ferries and to connect coastal communities in a more integrated manner. This is something my staff and I will be focused on.”
The Province will also be amending the Coastal Ferry Act to implement some of Redlin’s recommendations that will ensure the model is putting people first.
Last April, government improved ferry service by providing funding to BC Ferries to reduce fares on the smaller and northern routes by 15%, freeze fares on the major routes and reinstate the Monday – Thursday 100% discount for seniors’ passenger fares. Fares will continue to be frozen this year.
For a backgrounder on ferry routes, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BC_Ferries_routes_backgrounder.pdf
Tourism Outlook and Labour Issues Survey
The recent growth of tourism activity in Canada has attracted a renewed focus on the sector by various stakeholders, including government. Despite this renewed focus, tourism businesses continue to struggle with a range of issues that require attention.
Please participate in the Tourism Outlook and Labour Issues Survey to help highlight issues that not only impact your competitiveness but also cause the tourism sector to under perform relative to its true potential. Read More
For more information, please contact Greg Hermus, The Canadian Tourism Research Institute, The Conference Board of Canada at (613) 526-3090 ext. 244.
HR Leader recognized for lifetime contribution to BC’s tourism industry
“This is an extraordinary award that we don’t normally give out,” said Walt Judas, CEO of TIABC. This special Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual for their long-serving tenure in BC’s tourism industry and their remarkable contributions to the industry’s success. Read More
“I have had the pleasure of working with Arlene and seeing her in action. She is about as passionate and dedicated about our industry as they come,” Judas continued. “When I first met Arlene, I was struck by her enthusiasm, her knowledge, and her commitment to making a difference. Each one of us in the industry relies on go2HR, almost on a daily basis. Her list of accomplishments is lengthy.”
Under Keis’s 17 years of leadership, go2HR has tripled in size, expanded programs to include contracts with the Industry Training Authority, WorkSafeBC and government, and established strategic partnerships with other tourism organizations. Key accomplishments include:
- establishing the first provincial tourism industry-led and -financed organization to promote tourism workforce development;
- creating an industry-specific portal website and niche job board to assist tourism businesses in recruiting, retaining and training its workforce;
- reinforcing and championing a healthy and safe culture for tourism businesses; and
- acquiring SuperHost™ customer service training from Destination British Columbia and refreshing the program to meet the current market needs.
An HR professional by trade, Keis has over 30 years of experience at the operational, corporate, and industry levels in both public and private sectors. Arlene has a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from UBC and is designated as a Chartered Professional in Human Resources.
“I am honoured to be presented with such prestigious award in front of hundreds of industry colleagues at the Tourism Industry Conference,” said Keis. “Our industry’s success is built on collaborations and partnerships. I am grateful for the opportunities to meet and work with so many organizations and individuals over the years, and I’m proud to be a part of the industry.”
Get ready for Tourism Week, May 26 – June 2, 2019
Mark your calendars for Tourism Week 2019. Tourism Week is still a couple of months away, but it’s time to start thinking about how to get your community, business and local government engaged. Visit our website for some ideas such as printing up your own #BCTourismMatters banner for use in your social media images.
Let us know your plans so we can be sure to share on our social media channels, and stay tuned for further updates as we get closer to May. #BCTourismMatters
World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage launched to combat overtourism
The new association will promote ethical practices and better management relating to culture and heritage destinations that are now buckling due to unrestricted visitor growth. WTACH will also encourage the implementation of sustainable practices at locations that are still in a honeymoon phase of tourism development.Read More
The creation of WTACH comes at a time when the UNWTO reports that international tourism arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of its previous forecast of 2020. The global economy grew 3.7% in 2018, says UNWTO, propelling international tourism arrivals growth to 6% for the year.
To advance its agenda, WTACH has been launched with 15 specialist advisors from diverse backgrounds relating to the culture and heritage tourism sector. They will work with destinations that need help now or want to put plans in place before running into trouble.
WTACH is the brainchild of its founder and CEO, Chris Flynn, a former director for the Pacific region at the Pacific Asia Travel Association, a role he held for 15 years.
He says emerging tourism destinations need more help. While there are overtourism abuses in economically developed, highly regulated destinations, Flynn argues that it is in lesser economically developed destinations where overtourism has disproportionately greater negative impact.
Tourism meltdown locations
“WTACH works with destinations to provide development strategies and policy framework recommendations to avoid the kind of tourism meltdown we are seeing at Angkor Wat, Phi Phi Island and Mt Everest,” says Flynn.
WTACH’s position is that tourism needs to respect host communities and their cultural and heritage assets by adhering to a framework that has the host community at its heart.
“It’s time for the tourism industry to take step back and look at the long term impact of its decision making,” says Flynn.
Social media and mobile devices aren’t helping. Carolyn Childs, CEO of MyTravelResearch.com, and a member of the WTACH advisory specialising in analysing data and trends, says it is no coincidence that WTACH is being born at a time when ‘selfie’ culture and the promotion of ‘Instagramable’ travel is sweeping the world.
“A unique image can ‘create’ a destination in moments – often leaving it unprepared or wrong-footed,” says Childs. “This is particularly true if the image runs counter to cultural values. It risks tourism losing its ‘social licence’ with host communities. Ironically, these ‘instadestinations’ risk destroying the very thing travellers are seeking,” she warns.
The desire for ‘authenticity’ in travel is also problematic. Childs cites an AirBnB survey which found that over 80% of millennial travellers (and 93% of Chinese millennials) seek a “unique” experience and want to “live like locals” while on holiday.
“The pressure on destinations and tour operators to find and monetise ‘unique’ and ‘authentic’ experiences will only increase as both millennial and mature travellers work through their ‘been there done that’ bucket lists,” she says.
“Having the right frameworks in place help communities and tourists. They build a more sustainable destination that delivers truly rewarding experiences,” she says.
On the supply side, WTACH believes that destinations should no longer make arrival numbers their holy grail.
The new association is deeply concerned that Turkey, for example, has decided to expand tourism arrivals from 40 million in 2018 to 70 million by 2023 – less than four years away.
“What interpretive and cultural safeguards have been put in place?” asks Flynn. “Have local communities been consulted? Is there an actual plan that involves a holistic government approach and key stakeholder and community engagement?”
Says Flynn: “At WTACH we know there’s a better way. We are now seeking like-minded organisations and individuals to help us advance responsible tourism in culturally sensitive host communities.”
Further information: http://WTACH.org
Great Bear Rainforest now on IMAX
Journey to a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters and the all-white spirit bear — the rarest bear on earth — in the film Great Bear Rainforest. Hidden from the outside world, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the wildest places left on earth. Found on Canada’s remote Pacific coast, it is the last intact temperate rainforest in the world—a place protected by the region’s indigenous people for millennia. Now, for the first time ever, experience this magical world in IMAX and giant screen theatres, and discover the land of the spirit bear.Read More
Great Bear Rainforest tells the story of one of the rarest animals on Earth—the fabled all-white Spirit Bear—and its ancient rainforest home. Hidden from the outside world, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the planet’s most exquisite and secluded wildernesses. Found on Canada’s rugged west coast, it is the largest temperate coastal rainforest in the world and is home to the indigenous First Nations people, who have provided stewardship of the forest for millennia. Embark on a remarkable journey into a land of grizzlies, coastal wolves, sea otters, and humpback whales—and discover the secret world of the Spirit Bear.
Narrated by Ryan Reynolds. Featuring a score composed and arranged by Hans Zimmer and Anže Rozman for Bleeding Fingers Music.
Great Bear Rainforest is a Spirit Bear Entertainment film presented by Seaspan in association with Destination British Columbia and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films.
Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhU7JW086fg
Now playing at Science World, Vancouver and IMAX Victoria.
Is your business registered as a stakeholder with Tourism Vancouver Island?
Do you own or operate a tourism-related business within the Vancouver Island region (including the Gulf Islands)? If so, register your business for FREE as a stakeholder of Tourism Vancouver Island. By doing so, you access a wide range of benefits that can help grow your business. Read More
Aren’t sure if you’ve already registered? Check the list of Registered Stakeholders.
Tourism Vancouver Island registered stakeholders:
- Are eligible for Destination British Columbia financially assisted programs
- Receive increased exposure through our Travel Trade and Media channels
- Have increased opportunity for marketing programs such as cooperative funding for advertising
- Have greater access to professional development and networking opportunities
- Receive discounted rates for our Annual Conference & AGM
- Will be able to update business information in our database to stay up-to-date on industry and marketing opportunities
- Registered Voting Stakeholders are eligible for nomination to the Board of Directors for Tourism Vancouver Island
- Registered Voting Stakeholders can vote in any regular, annual or special meeting of the association. This means you will be able to have your say in shaping Tourism Vancouver Island policy
Check the Stakeholder Category Criteria to see if your business qualifies as a VOTING or NON-VOTING stakeholder.