Tourism Vancouver Island updates

FYE ca screenshotMarketing: Tourism Vancouver Island’s “Find Your Element” campaign has been in market since mid-April and is seeing excellent results so far.  The first eight-week flight of TV spots airing on Global TV in BC and Alberta had more than 11 million impressions (against Adults 35+), which is more than double what was anticipated.  The second eight-week flight is in market now and runs through October 16th.  If you haven’t yet seen the commercials you can view them on the YouTube channel here.

The new website,, has had more than 97,000 sessions in just over five months and that figure continues to grow.  Considerable dollars have been invested in a comprehensive digital strategy aimed at driving qualified traffic to the website and ultimately, to stakeholder websites.  All stakeholders have the opportunity to have a presence on this website for as little as $95 per year.  Interested?  Contact your sales representative for all the details.

Regions:  Gulf Islands, South Island, Cowichan & Nanaimo
Cindy Pollard

Regions:  Parksville/Qualicum Beach, Pacific Rim, North Central & North Island
Kevin East

Tourism Vancouver Island is also working with Insignia Research to conduct a conversion study on the “Find Your Element” campaign.  The study is being conducted in two waves and the full and final report will be ready later in the Fall.  Preliminary results from the first wave have shown that the campaign is having a positive impact in the marketplace.  Some indicators of the success are that Ad Recall is at 39% (which is higher than Insignia’s norm for other short-haul marketing initiatives) and the consumer has moved along the Path to Purchase by 15%.  The full report will include more detailed information including Return on Investment.

What do you think of Tourism Vancouver Island’s “Find Your Element” campaign?  Thoughtful and constructive feedback is always encouraged and helps inform decision making for future campaigns.  Send your comments to Denise Le Gal, Consumer Marketing Specialist, at

Community & Industry Relations: Summer was an exciting and busy time for the community and industry services department, marked by significant progress in the Destination Development and Cooperative Marketing Partnerships Programs, and the conclusion of the Vancouver Island Hiking Tourism Master Plan.

The new Destination Development Program kicked off on July 21st with a introduction session. The Team was pleased that approximately 70 tourism partners representing communities from the Pacific Rim, Central Island, Cowichan Valley and Gulf Islands participated in person and by webinar. The Program will build on this momentum with the second sessions that will take place on October 18th in Tofino, 19th in Nanaimo and 20th in Sidney.

The Cooperative Marketing Partnerships Program, through which Vancouver Island communities were allocated nearly $1 million in marketing funding by Destination BC, is having a meaningful and positive impact on community  destination marketing efforts. Community and Industry Services Specialist Calum Matthews had the opportunity to meet with community marketing groups to offer support and to discuss plans for the Program’s second year. Calum anticipates that Vancouver Island communities will once again submit strong applications to Destination BC by the November 30th, 2016 application deadline.

Tourism Vancouver Island is pleased to announce the completion of the Vancouver Island Hiking Tourism Master Plan for Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast. This innovative plan is the first of its kind in and it outlines the region’s path to an exceptional Hiking experience network. Tourism Vancouver Island looks forward to continuing to work with regional partners to implement the Master Plan’s recommendations.

Destination BC has partnered with Tourism Vancouver Island to deliver the fall 2016 Remarkable Experiences program that will take place from October through December in the Cowichan Valley region. Destination BC’s Remarkable Experiences Program is a one-of-a-kind tourism program in Canada, designed to support BC tourism operators in developing and delivering outstanding, visitor-focused experiences while enhancing their digital and social media marketing efforts.  This annual program will be delivered in different locations within the Vancouver Island region. For inquiries related to this program, contact Lana Cheong, Community & Industry Specialist at lana@tourismvi.caRead more

Heather oct 2016

Heather McEachen, Tourism Vancouver Island, and Ikuyo Enami, JTB International Ltd. stroll along the Mystic Beach Trail.

Trade & Media: This summer Tourism Vancouver Island hosted journalists from key international markets such as Australia, UK, Japan, Germany as well as Canada. Areas visited included the North Island, Campbell River region, Tofino, Nanaimo, Parksville and the Gulf Islands. Key publications that were supported from July to September included: Canada Theatres (Nana Diaries), Rhein-Zeitung, Rhein Main Press, 360 Kanada, Metro Newspapers, Germany Kanada Magazin, Australian social media influencers, CNN Traveler, Chicago Magazine, Avenue Magazine, Toque and Canoe, Daily Telegraph UK and

Highlights from recent media coverage include CNN Travel (Salmon and swimming pigs: the world’s weirder snorkeling spots), SIERRA (Where to see Great Bears in the Great Bear Rainforest), (Will and Kate Take Canada), and (Salt Spring island Adventures: Ideal PNW Destinations).

Tourism Vancouver Island hosted Rich Quirk of Destination America, Corinne Underwood of TRAXX, SK Touristik, ARA Professional Services, JTB International, German Canada Specialist agents and Vancouver Specialist agents to showcase a number of regions on Vancouver Island. These operators were particular interested in adding product from the Cowichan Valley, First Nations experiences and wildlife experiences.

For more information on Tourism Vancouver Island including marketing opportunities, staff and board contact information, and becoming a registered voting stakeholder, visit

53rd Annual Tourism Vancouver Island Conference & AGM

TVI Annual Conference & AGM 2016The community of Ucluelet was abuzz as the hosts of the 53rd annual Tourism Vancouver Island Conference and AGM from October 4-6. Attendance was at an ultimate high with the conference selling out one month prior to the event. Speakers this year included: Bosco Anthony,  a digital marketing strategist; Paul Clark with Inter VISTAS Consulting Group; Brent Barootes, CEO of the Partnership Group; Christine Willow, partner with the Chemistry Consulting Group; Rebecca Hurwitz, Executive Director of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust; Maya Lange, Vice President Global Marketing with Destination BC; and “Oyster” Jim Martin, trail maverick; and. Bruce Williams of CTV News Vancouver Island as emcee.

For more information about Tourism Vancouver Island’s annual conference, please visit

Tourism Vancouver Island Announces the 2016-2017 Board of Directors

Tourism Vancouver Island’s 53rd Annual Conference and AGM held October 4-6 in rugged Ucluelet held much success with valuable networking sessions, impressive keynote speakers, and great fun and entertainment.  The business meeting concluded the event with the announcement of the incoming Board of Directors for the 2016 – 2017 term.

Ian MacPhee, Chair

Ian MacPhee, Chair

At the first meeting of the newly constituted Board of Directors, Ian MacPhee, of Prince of Whales Whale Watching and Abbeymoore Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn, was re-elected to the position of Board Chair. “I’m looking forward to working with Dave Petryk and the entire Tourism Vancouver Island Team for another year, and I appreciate the support our talented board members provide myself, each other and the organization,” says Ian MacPhee. “Tourism Vancouver Island’s role continues to evolve but our mission remains the same – building the economic benefits of tourism for our stakeholders. I’m looking forward to a strong 2017 and the ability for Destination BC and the regions to do more with the government’s promised formula funding.”

Returning to the board and elected by acclamation for two-year terms are: Lara Greasley of Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism; Andrew Jones of Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures; and new to the board and elected by acclamation for a two-year term is Cathy Whitcomb of Whiskey Landing Lodge.  

Serving the second year of a two-year term are Ian MacPhee of Prince of Whales Whale Watching and Abbeymoore Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn; 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.

Raymond Chan of RCA Consulting, Jenn Bogwald of MNP LLP, and Jim Owens of JTO Hospitality Group have been re-appointed to the board for two-year terms. Returning to the Board for the second year of a two-year appointment are Lillian Hunt of U’Mista Cultural Centre and Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC, and Dean Prentice of Painter’s Lodge and April Point Lodge.

Canadian Signature Experiences collection adds new awe-inspiring authentic year-round adventures

CTC signature experiencesIn July, Destination Canada announced the addition of four new members to the Canadian Signature Experiences Collection, which allow visitors to explore some of Canada’s most rugged coastlines and experience the rich culture of Canada’s First Nations and coastal communities.

The Canadian Signature Experiences are a curated collection of innovative travel experiences designed to encourage visitors to keep exploring Canada. As diverse as Canada itself, these unique experiences are offered from coast to coast to coast and provide an introduction to the best Canada – and Canadians – has to offer, from urban gems to wilderness adventures.

The four new Canadian Signature Experiences have been chosen for the exceptional ways they connect visitors to Canadians and Canada’s geography and rich cultural heritage, with an emphasis on coastal communities and marine adventures:

  • Canada’s East Coast: Fins and Fiddles by One Ocean Expeditions explores Eastern Canada’s coastline over an 11-day expedition cruise, providing unrivalled access to remote communities, abundant wildlife and diverse cultural experiences representing Canada’s rich history. Guests set sail from historic Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and can enjoy excursions on and off the ship. These include exploratory trips aboard zodiacs, sea kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, on-shore hikes and bikes.
  • Experience Life on the Edge: The West Coast Trail Ecosummer Expeditions leads small groups on an epic seven-day hike that traces the pristine Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, BC. This rugged coastline was known as the Graveyard of the Pacific, with unpredictable weather and sea conditions resulting in thousands of ship wrecks over the years, and whose survivors created the original trail. Today, this demanding 76-kilometer (47-mile) route passes through old-growth rainforest and along sandy and rocky ocean shoreline. Guides assist avid hikers in expertly navigating tidal flows, ascend multiple ladder climbs, and guests are encouraged to get hands on with daily camp life. A highlight is falling asleep to the sound of the wild west coast waves hitting the shoreline every night.
  • Bones Bay Lodge offers Wildlife Eco-tours to a maximum of eight guests, who are flown in via seaplane to a floating lodge in Knight Inlet, off the coast of Vancouver Island. With abundant wildlife in the region, guests can view orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, Stellar sea lions, seals, eagles, black bears and grizzlies. Each day, the guided itinerary provides guests with a very intimate wildlife viewing experience in the four-day/three nights, all inclusive excursion. Knight Inlet’s abundant grizzly and black bear population makes this a haven for wildlife photographers, as bears can be viewed during the spring feeding on tender new plant growth and in the fall gorging on salmon as they prepare for hibernation. For whale lovers, this area of Northern Vancouver Island is well known for its robust whale population and as a prime spot for whale watching and whale research.
  • Sea Wolf Adventures’ Grizzly Bears of the Wild: A First Nations Wildlife Journey in the Great Bear Rainforest, immerses guests inboth Canadian west coast nature and First Nations culture. The journey begins by boat along the coast of Northern Vancouver Island into traditional territories occupied by First Nations communities for more than 15,000 years. Local rivers within the famous Great Bear Rainforest are the gathering places for grizzly bears where guests can view these 300-kilogram bruins as they feast on spawning sockeye salmon. A local Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations guide will ensure guests uncover the powerful bond between British Columbia’s natural realm and local First Nations culture.

Since the program’s inception, CSE has grown to 198 members and Destination Canada works in partnership with all 13 Canadian provincial and territorial marketing organizations to build and maintain CSE members. The program brings to the global stage Canadian experiences that are memorable and authentic—created to shift travellers’ perceptions about Canada as a destination to keep exploring.

For more information, contact Destination Canada, or 1-844-856-1161.

Tourism Industry Association of Canada Tourism Congress, November 29-30, 2016

TIACMark your calendars and start making plans to join your tourism sector colleagues at the 2016 edition of the Tourism Congress, TIAC’s annual conference.

This November, the Tourism Congress will be held at the Hotel Lac Leamy, close to Parliament Hill and the heart of government activity in Canada. Delegates from across the country will once again converge on the capital region and interact with the elected officials and decision-makers whose departments and agencies impact the travel and tourism industry.

Don’t miss the Millennial Effect with David Coletto, founder of Canadian research giant Abacus Data.  David is a sought after speaker and adviser when it comes to managing generational change.  Using original data and his perspective as a Millennial, his talk will focus on what Millennials and generational change mean for tourism in Canada.

David is the lead researcher for Abacus Data’s Canadian Millennials Practice and has advised organizations and corporations on how to engage and manage generational change.

Generational Change: The Millennial Effect is taking place Wednesday November 30th, 2016. For more details about this year’s Congress program please click here.

For more information or to register, click here.


go2_NoTag_4cSince 1979, go2HR has served BC’s tourism and hospitality industry with programs and services that support its growth and success. Formerly known as the Hospitality Industry Education Advisory Committee (HIEAC), the organization was re-branded as go2 in 2003, in conjunction with an expanded mandate to coordinate the BC Tourism HR Action Plan. This Action Plan was updated in 2012 and is now known as the BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy. In 2013, the organization has refreshed its brand to become go2HR.

Following are some of the ways go2HR is helping the tourism industry address its labour market challenges:

  • Tourism Career Awareness: go2HR, with the support of industry, launched a multi-channeled career awareness campaign which is designed to attract people to pursue tourism jobs and careers. The campaign targets multiple demographic groups and its tactics include career fairs, public relations activities, school and career centre presentations, BC tourism job board, Career Explorer, e-newsletter, and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Research and HR Planning: go2HR coordinates a variety of workforce-related research such as compensation, labour market projections and more.
  • Compensation Survey: Since 2008, go2HR has been working with Tourism HR Canada and other provincial human resources organizations to conduct a bi-annual tourism compensation study to stay informed of trends in wage, salary and benefits in the most common occupations in the tourism and hospitality in Canada.
  • Promoting Best HR Practices: go2HR provides information to employers on HR issues such as recruitment, retention, training and legal issues through the portal website, e-newsletter, articles in trade publications and speaking regularly at industry events and conferences. go2HR also sponsors the Employees First Award to recognize BC tourism employers with exemplary HR and leadership practices.
  • Industry Training & Certifications: go2HR helps businesses gain access to relevant front-line, team leadership and management skills training for their employees. go2HR also administers Serving it Right and FOODSAFE Level 1 by Distance Education, and makes them easy for tourism employees to get the certifications they need.
  • Industry Health & Safety: Working in partnership with industry and WorkSafeBC, go2HR’s goal is to assist the tourism and hospitality industry in becoming a leader in best occupational health and safety practices. Through its programs, go2HR provides customized health and safety resources as well as administration of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) program, an incentive program which provides employers rebates on WorkSafeBC premiums if they implement systems that go above and beyond regulatory compliance.
  • Foreign and Internationally Trained Workers: go2HR provides information and resource links for employers who are looking for permanent, temporary or seasonal workers outside of Canada.
  • Addressing Labour Shortages: There is no “silver bullet” to address labour and skills shortages. go2HR identifies, anticipates and responds to current and emerging labour and skills shortages in the sector.

Copyright © 2016 go2 Tourism HR Society. All Rights Reserved. Republished under license.

Explore BC campaign aims to keep travellers close to home this fall

Destination BC News, September 22, 2016 - Message (HTML)Destination BC’s Explore BC fall activities are designed to create urgency for BC residents to travel during the fall shoulder season. Key fall activities include ad spots on Global TV and sponsored weekly segments about festivals and events on both the Global TV morning news and News Hour. Read More

Destination BC’s Research Round-Up

Tourism Indicators: Passenger volume to YVR continues to increase each month resulting in an increase of 8.4% year-to-date (January -July 2016). Air Capacity to YVR has also increased every month over the same period in 2015, up 7.7%. BC Ferries has serviced over 12 million passengers year-to-date (January – July 2016), an increase of 4.7% over the same period in 2015. For other tourism indicators, see here.

Custom Entries: In July, international overnight entries to BC was up an impressive 11.8% overall. Some key international markets contributed to this great month; Asia up 13.3%, Australia up 30.4%, New Zealand up 22.9%, Mexico up 20%, UK up 35.8%,Germany up 15.4%. The International Visitor Arrivals publication summarizes custom entries data to British Columbia and Canada from selected markets of origin. See the full report on international visitor arrivals here.

The monthly International Arrivals by Province publication provides insight into overnight visitor arrivals for each province. The publication can be found here.

Register for this year’s ShakeOut!

BC ShakeoutMake sure to register for The Great British Columbia ShakeOut, the world’s largest “Drop, Cover and Hold On” earthquake drill, which takes place at 10:20 a.m. on October 20. Check out the ShakeOutBC website for a Tourism Participation Guide. Find other printable materials, such as door hangers, rack cards and tents cards under the Resources tab. Join millions of people worldwide in preparing to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes – wherever you live, work, or travel. Learn More

Seasonal ferry service to resume on BC’s Central Coast

Aboriginal tourism and mid-coast economy to benefit from B.C.’s strength _ Oct 2016The Government of British Columbia and BC Ferries are committing to a seasonal direct ferry service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola to support Aboriginal tourism and the mid-coast economy, Premier Christy Clark announced September 6.

This service will begin by the 2018 summer tourism season. A search is underway for an appropriate used vessel to make that happen.

“British Columbia’s strong, diverse and growing economy gives us the ability to invest in unique tourism opportunities along the mid-coast,” Premier Clark said. “By introducing the right ferry service, using the right vessel, we can take advantage of the increasing numbers of international visitors who come here to experience one of the world’s jewels – the Great Bear Rainforest.”

“We’ve been working with the Mid-Coast Working Group on how best to serve visitors to the mid-coast, given the pending retirement of the MV Nimpkish,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “This new service will provide access for visitors to the unique and unparalleled beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest, now protected by the Province, and create additional interest in tourism along the mid-coast and through the Cariboo-Chilcotin for years to come.”

The introduction of a new service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola requires the Province and BC Ferries to amend the Coastal Ferry Services Contract, which outlines the coastal ferry service levels. As this work happens, the government will work with BC Ferries, the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C. (AtBC) and its partners in the Mid-Coast BC Ferry Working Group to determine how to best serve the tourism sector and communities of the mid-coast.

“This new service will encourage the development of new cultural and eco-tourism options in the region, which will help create jobs and build our economy,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “Equally as important as the new ferry service is the path taken to get here. The collaboration between the Cariboo-Chilcotin tourism industry and First Nations should be held as a model for cooperation.” Read the full release here

2016 Canadian Tourism Awards

TIAC Announces the 2016 Canadian Tourism Awards FinalistsThe Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is pleased to announce the finalists for The Canadian Tourism Awards, presented annually by TIAC to celebrate success, leadership and innovation in Canada’s travel and tourism industry and recognize those who go above and beyond to offer superior tourism experiences in Canada. This year over 130 incredible submissions were received – our panel of expert judges have narrowed down the list of finalists.

The awards will be presented at the dinner ceremony at the Hilton Hotel Lac Leamy in Gatineau on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Since its inception in 2003, this gala evening has become a highlight of the Tourism Congress.

For more information on the Canadian Tourism Awards click here, and to learn more about Tourism Congress and to register, click here.

Congratulations to all finalists.

Canada and China sign Tourism Agreement

2016-10-11 12_16_00-Joint Statement Between Canada and the People's Republic of China _ Prime MinistStrengthening relations between Canada and China have been a major government focus in September. Building on Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip to China which produced announcements of additional Visa Application Centres in Chinese cities and declaring 2018 the year of Canada-China Tourism,  Chinese Premier Li Keqiang travelled to Ottawa where he announced a number of trade and business agreements with Canada including a new Memorandum of Understanding signed by Canada’s Tourism Minister, the Hon. Bardish Chagger, and China’s Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Luo Zhaohui.

The MOU seeks to strengthen the tourism relationship between the two countries, more specifically it sets out to do the following:

  • Promote academic exchanges in the tourism field;
  • Facilitate exchange visits of tour operators, media and tourism leaders to promote two-way tourism;
  • Seek opportunities for the promotion of international business event and incentive travel;
  • Share best practises in tourism promotion, marketing, destination development and management;
  • Participate in travel fairs and exhibitions in either country;
  • Promote safe and sustainable tourism;
  • Strengthen the cooperation between the CNTA and TIAC streaming from the Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2010 between the National Tourism Administration of the people’s Republic of China and the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding the Approved Destination Status Program (ADS).

Read the joint statement between Canada and the People’s Republic of China.
Reprinted from Tourism Industry Association of Canada

Vancouver Island shortlisted for British Airways’ The Club Reader’s Awards 2016BA Club Readers awards 2016

British Airways’ digital travel magazine, The Club (, is asking travellers to vote for their favourite places in its 2016 Readers’ Awards.

The awards celebrate the best-of-the-best in travel, and include categories relating to hotels, spas, bars, restaurants, destinations and airports.

More than 3.5 million British Airways Executive Club Members have been invited to vote for their favourites across all categories.

Vancouver Island is a finalist in the category of ‘Destination with the greatest countryside’ alongside other destinations including Marin County (California), Myanmar, Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania), Piedmonte (Italy), Scottish Highlands, and St. Lucia. View the shortlist here.

The winners will be featured in the November 2016 issue of The Club, which is live at the end of October 2016.


  • Hotel with the greatest wow factor
  • Hidden gem hotel
  • Outstanding design hotel
  • Friendliest family hotel
  • Paradise-on-earth resort
  • Most in-the-know concierge
  • Swoon-worthiest swimming pool
  • Ultimate mind-blowing spa
  • Bar to be spotted in
  • Restaurant worth the hype
  • Destination with the most epic driving
  • Best BA lounge
  • Most surprising city escape
  • Destination with the greatest countryside

About The Club

  • The Club is a monthly digital magazine published by Cedar Communications. It is sent directly to 3.8 million British Airways Executive Club members worldwide.
  • The Club features engaging editorial from worldwide travel experts, packaged in a smart user-friendly, responsively designed site.
  • The magazine is published in ten languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Latin Spanish, Latin Portuguese, Chinese and, Japanese).
  • You can read the latest issue here:

State of the Island Economic Summit – Aboriginal Economic Development

viea-2016Join us for a riveting panel session on The Changing Face of Aboriginal Business Development, sponsored by the Aboriginal Business Match, at the 10th Annual State of the Island Summit.

Aboriginal business development is changing. It is transforming from primarily community-owned ventures, often connected to resource projects and Aboriginal rights and title, to more small and medium sized, individually owned enterprises.

“Aboriginal entrepreneurship is a fast-growing part of Canada’s business landscape and The Changing Face of Aboriginal Business Development panel will give insight into and how communities and companies alike are benefiting from this rich diversification of innovation, talent and expertise. If you want to understand what the best practices are to approach opportunities in Aboriginal economic development, this event is well worth attending.” ~~ Maynard Harry, Managing Partner, Aboriginal Business Match.

Don’t miss this panel of experts, providing insight on opportunities and challenges along with best practices:

 Register for the 2016 Summit