Information worth sharing
Tourism Vancouver Island celebrates award winners at sold-out Annual Conference
Each year Tourism Vancouver Island has the pleasure of recognizing stakeholders who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in the tourism industry over the past year. The annual Tourism Vancouver Island Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony showcased the best of Vancouver Island tourism representatives and businesses. The awards were presented at the Port Hardy Civic Centre on September 26, 2018 to a sold out venue. Read More
“Our awards program celebrates tourism businesses who collaborate, are innovative and go above and beyond to help grow tourism in the Vancouver Island region,” said Anthony Everett, Tourism Vancouver Island’s President & CEO. “The nominations received reflect the quality of experiences that visitors come to expect in our region, and this year’s winners have captured the essence of remarkable.”
Sponsored by Tourism Café, The Remarkable Experience of the Year Award was presented to Spirit of the West Adventures and the award was accepted by Rick and Breanne Quesnel. The remarkable experience was for their Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour. The details and planning that went into this tour were evident in the glowing reviews from customers. This tour offers a wilderness and wildlife experience that appeals to those looking for a unique high-end experience while in an outdoor setting. Guests can sleep soundly in the comforts of a glamping-style tent while listening to the blows of the humpback whales in the distance.
Sponsored by Eclipse 360, the Innovator of the Year Award recognizes a tourism stakeholder that has developed or renewed a tourism product, package, or initiative that captures the attention of visitors and increases the desirability of the Vancouver Island Region as a destination. This year the award was presented to the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa and accepted by Aaron Greasley, General Manager, and Linda Bridgman, Sales and Events Manager. The transformation of this property over two years has taken this resort to a new level. The Pacific Mist Spa, Ocean7 Restaurant and Aqua Bistro and Wine Bar have gone under extensive renovations to bring these amenities to a 5-star level. One of the most extensive renovations is the “Serenity Gardens” which encompasses the courtyard of the property and allows guests to relax in a serene setting while taking in the breathtaking view.
Sponsored by Tourism Vancouver Island, the Tourism Employee of the Year Award was presented to Dan Brady. Dan Brady, President of the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, has put in countless hours to unite the tourism stakeholders of Nanaimo. Dan Brady has been supportive of open dialogue, articulating and working on shared goals. Monthly tourism meetings bring Tourism Nanaimo, Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Vancouver Island University, City of Nanaimo and Visitor Centre staff together to discuss tactics, strategies, programs and activities.
Sponsored by Fortis BC, the Tourism Sustainability Award recognizes a tourism business that has set out to minimize their environmental impact, conserve natural resources, respect local cultures and benefit local communities. Their commitment to environmentally responsible tourism and changing the way they conduct business serves as an example to the industry. This year Campbell River Whale Watching was presented this award and was accepted by Jack Springer, Steve Gabrysh and Tyler Bruce. This organization has incorporated a number of sustainable practices both on the water and in the office. The grizzly bear tour is their most culturally rich tour where bears are viewed in the traditional territory of the Orford Valley in Bute Inlet. Working with the Homalco Indigenous band has allowed them to offer grizzly bear viewing in an environmental and sustainable way.
The Employer of the Year, sponsored by go2HR recognizes a company that exemplifies best practices in all areas of operations and human resource management. This year, the award was presented to Inn at Laurel Point and was accepted by Ann Reeves. Inn at Laurel Point not only consistently offers its guests exceptional outstanding service, but ensures that their employees experience an exceptional work environment as well. By fostering an open corporate culture, staff is made to feel part of the team, and therefore is more invested in the success of the Inn. The Inn has found that when trust and respect are given to employees, team members not only rise to the occasion, but continue to raise the bar.
Tourism Vancouver Island announces Board of Directors for 2018-2019
Tourism Vancouver Island’s 55th Annual Conference and AGM held September 25-27 in the north island community of Port Hardy, themed ‘Culture & Connections’, held great success with valuable networking and professional development sessions, notable keynote speakers, and great fun and entertainment. The business meeting concluded the event on September 27 with the announcement of the incoming Board of Directors for the 2018 – 2019 term.Read More
At the first meeting of the newly constituted Board of Directors, Ian MacPhee of Prince of Whales Whale Watching was re-elected to the position of Board Chair. “It’s a privilege to continue to Chair the Board of such a valued organization,” said Ian MacPhee. “2018 has been a year of change and growth starting with our new President and CEO, Anthony Everett, who has reinvigorated our relationships with island communities and stakeholders.“
Returning to the board and elected by acclamation for two-year terms are: Andrew Jones of Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures; Corene Inouye of Jamie’s Whaling Station Ltd.; and Lara Greasley of Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism.
Serving out their second year of a two year term are Ian MacPhee of Prince of Whales Whale Watching, Janet Docherty of Merridale Cidery & Distillery, and Arthur Wong of The Beach Club Resort.
Raymond Chan of RCA Consulting and Leif Bogwald of Vancouver Island Expeditions have been re-appointed to the board for a two-year term, while Jim Owens of JTO Hospitality Group has been re-appointed for a one-year term. Dean Prentice of Mount Washington Alpine Resort and Lillian Hunt of Indigenous Tourism BC will serve out their second year of a two-year term.
A vacancy exists for a representative in the Gulf Islands region with the recent resignation of Janet Clouston of the Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce as she moves to the east coast to start a new adventure. Janet has served on the board since 2014 and has been a valuable asset. A request for expressions of interest will be distributed in the near future to fill the vacancy.
The Officers consists of: Ian MacPhee as Chair; Arthur Wong as Vice Chair (Chair Elect); Raymond Chan as Governance Chair; Andrew Jones as Marketing Chair; and Leif Bogwald as Secretary-Treasurer. Carol Ann Terreberry continues as Past Chair.
Remarkable Experiences workshop in Greater Victoria area sold out!
Destination British Columbia’s new Remarkable Experiences program provides hands-on, collaborative workshops, personalized one-on-one coaching, access to traveler research & case studies, and provides invaluable networking opportunities with like-mined business operators. This program is available to small and medium sized tourism businesses with a maximum group size of 30. The fall program takes place October 10 & 11, and November 6 & 7. if you missed this opportunity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on future workshops.
Destination Greater Victoria brand launch
Tourism Victoria announced a new tourism brand for the Greater Victoria area to better reflect the changing, globally recognized travel destination, as well as a company trading name change to Destination Greater Victoria to better represent the customer experience in Greater Victoria, its regional members and marketing initiatives.Read More
The brand refresh is the culmination of deep engagement and consultation with the community and research with customers. The process involved identifying who we are as destination – what values we possess, how we see ourselves and what sets us apart from other destinations and to the customer. The result is a brand that will serve Greater Victoria for years to come.
After a rigorous RFP process, Tourism Victoria engaged Destination Think!, an international agency specializing in destination promotion and development. Over the course of six months they led engagement workshops with Greater Victoria residents and businesses, as well as conducted sentiment analyses and consumer surveys in target markets. This work created a brand story centred on Greater Victoria’s timeless beauty, built environment and connections to the Salish Sea.
The decision to update the company trading name from Tourism Victoria to Destination Greater Victoria is due to the evolving nature of our business. Most tourism boards have incorporated a destination management function and their names reference this responsibility. Examples include Destination Canada, Destination BC and Destination New South Wales. Over one quarter of you, our members are located outside of the City of Victoria or District of Saanich. And focused marketing campaigns such as the Pacific Marine Circle Route encompass the south Vancouver Island region leave the customer wanting to explore further, visit again and visit more frequently. Read more.
‘Cannabiz’ to be explored at Economic Summit, Oct 24-25
Want to know where cannabis medical and recreational product development is headed? How cannabis products will be distributed? What the retail environment will look like? What the local business and regional economic implications will be? Read More
A panel of industry experts intimately involved with cannabis industry R&D, government distribution, retail sales, and professional services will share the latest news on Canada’s precedent-setting legislation and the commercial impacts we can expect to see.
- Peter Guo, Enterprise Risk Services Leader, MNP, Moderator
- Philippe Lucas, VP, Patient Research and Access, Tilray
- Jeff Guignard, Executive Director, Alliance of Beverage Licensees BC
- Michael Tan, Executive Director, Cannabis Division, BC Liquor Distribution Branch
Boost your bottom line with this certification for your staff
With one certification, you can:
- Keep customers coming back
- Build brand loyalty
- Make your workplace more productive
- Boost your bottom line
How? Encourage your staff to take go2HR’s SuperHost Foundations of Service Quality, a practical introduction to the principles of providing a quality service experience. This online course takes students through a customer’s journey, where they can learn essential skills like service recovery, communications, teamwork, and more. Learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2P0EvOe
BC Premier John Horgan to deliver opening keynote at VIEA summit on October 24
Premier Horgan assumed office just over a year ago leading an NDP/Green coalition bringing a different approach and a new agenda for BC. What have been the major wins and battles for BC & the Island this year? Where are we headed? Premier Horgan will address delegates gathered at the Summit this fall.
Learn more about the past year under the direction of our new government by attending the 12th annual ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit, October 24/25 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo.
Roadmap to a Modern Framework for Regulating Airbnb
The British Columbia Hotel Association, in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC), has released best practice guidelines for regulating short-term rentals.
Governments at all levels are grappling with the implications of the growing short-term rental industry and platforms like Airbnb. Read More
The paper, Developing a Modern Approach to Short-Term Rentals in a Digital Economy, gives Canadian municipalities an analysis of regulatory developments worldwide and best practice approaches to developing a local framework.
This document is meant to be a tool for local governments to use in approaching the short term rental issue in their communities.
Train your staff in workplace safety to minimize risks and injuries
Statistics show that more than half of workplace accidents involve young and new workers during their first six months on the job. To help your employees better understand, prevent, and deal with risks and hazards you may encounter in the tourism and hospitality industry, go2HR’s Foundations of Workplace Safety, a new online certification designed specifically for new and young workers, can help your staff prevent injuries and minimize risks in the workplace. Learn more at http://bit.ly/2MisipN
2017 Global Tourism Watch is now available
In an effort to make sure you’re getting information as soon as it’s available, the 2017 Global Tourism Watch reports are now available.
Our Global Tourism Watch provides consumer-based intelligence on 10 markets around the world, and in Canada. These reports monitor awareness; travel intentions; perceptions of Canada; experiences sought by travellers and motivators and barriers for travel to Canada.
You can find all reports on the Global Tourism Watch page
New consumer website for trip planning
Destination BC has introduced the next evolution of HelloBC.com: an immersive, content-rich and thoroughly captivating consumer website that brings the province’s unique personality and diverse experiences to life. Boasting a clean and concise aesthetic, the new HelloBC.com integrates videos, maps, high-quality images and user-generated content into an immersive travel planning experience. The site is centered around storytelling, seamlessly guiding travellers through the entire trip planning process – from ideation to booking to in-destination support – through intuitive navigation, personalization capabilities and actionable links.
Province announces program to combat wildfires
The new Community Resiliency Investment Program will provide up to $50 million over the next three years to local governments and First Nations to help reduce wildfire risks around their communities.Read More
A key component of the new program is that it allows communities to apply for funding to cover up to 100% of their wildfire risk reduction projects, as opposed to the previous cost-sharing requirements. The types of activities eligible for funding have also been expanded to include more activities covered by the FireSmart program’s seven disciplines.
As part of Budget 2018, the BC government committed $50 million over three years to help reduce wildfire risks around communities. Up to $10 million will be available in the 2018-19 fiscal year, with $20 million available in each of the following two fiscal years.
UBCM will administer the program in collaboration with the BC Wildfire Service, First Nations’ Emergency Services Society and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, assisted by the BC FireSmart Committee.
Canadian Tourism Awards Finalists Announced
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada is proud to announce this year’s Canadian Tourism Awards Finalists! The Canadian Tourism Awards, presented by the Toronto Star, are the standard of excellence for the nation’s travel industry, showcasing our country’s best tourism products, services and experiences. They honour the people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer travellers superior tourism experiences in Canada. Click here to see a list of the finalists. Winners will be announced at the annual awards on November 28 at the Hilton Lac Leamy, in Gatineau, QC.
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada releases 2017/2018 year end report
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada has released its 2017/18 year-end report, showing the continued growth of the Indigenous tourism industry in Canada through the implementation of year two of its five-year strategic plan: The Path Forward. Highlights from the year include a series of eight new partnership agreements with international, national, provincial, and territorial partners, and a sold out International Aboriginal Tourism Conference in Alberta, where more than 500 delegates were in attendance. Read more
BC Air Access program improves travelling experience
The BC government is giving grants to 23 regional airports through the BC Air Access Program (BCAAP) to make safety and capacity upgrades, and create a better experience for people travelling by air. Projects can range from minor upgrades, like Bob Quinn Lake Airport’s runway vegetation management, to major advancements, like Qualicum Beach Airport’s terminal expansion. All BC aviation facilities can apply for funding each winter, to be awarded the following fiscal year. Read more.
Untapped Labour Markets: people with developmental disabilities
With BC’s current labour shortages, particularly among the youth, the tourism and hospitality industry is looking at new and untapped markets to help meet its employment needs. One skilled and viable – yet often overlooked – labour group consists of those with developmental disabilities. By tapping into this under-utilized labour pool, employers could see a significant return on investment (ROI) in terms of employee retention, decreased turnover, lowering recruitment and training costs, and other bottom-line benefits. Read more.
Marine Mammal Regulation Changes
The Federal Government has recently strengthened protections for marine mammals with updated regulations for whale watching and approaching marine mammals. Watching whales, swimming with seals and other activities revolving around marine mammals in their natural surroundings gives Canadians and visitors alike, particularly in coast communities like Nanaimo, an opportunity to better appreciate and understand these beautiful creatures, however in certain cases, getting too close to wildlife in their natural habitat can present significant risks to the animals and their ecosystem.Read More
In order to mitigate this risk, and standardize sustainable practices, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The new rules for whale watching and approaching marine mammals, which are now in effect, will provide a minimum approach distance of 100 metres for most marine mammals to legally protect these animals from human disturbances.
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