14 things we thought were worth sharing:
Port Hardy to host Tourism Vancouver Island’s 2018 Annual Conference & AGM
Port Hardy, located in the heart of Vancouver Island North, the upper third of North America’s largest island, is unspoiled and largely undiscovered. It offers a breathtaking palette of parks, forests, lakes, saltwater inlets and jigsaw-puzzle coastline. Black bears forage for berries, whales splash at sea and eagles glide overhead. From remarkable coastal shorelines to the vast watery depths of the Pacific, Port Hardy has all the ingredients for the perfect wilderness adventure. Read More
Our annual conference is the tourism industry event of the year on Vancouver Island! Each year 150+ delegates from all areas of our industry convene in one region to network, educate themselves and show their support. These delegates vary from attraction operators and B&B operators to general managers and senior staff of hotels and restaurants to CEOs and managers of marketing organizations. www.tviconference.ca
- Position yourself as an industry leader
- Gain a competitive advantage through market exposure
- Foster relationships in the industry
- Increase your company’s visibility
- Demonstrate a commitment to tourism on Vancouver Island
Leif Bogwald appointed as Secretary-Treasurer to the Board of Tourism Vancouver Island
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Leif Bogwald as Secretary-Treasurer for Tourism Vancouver Island until the next Annual General Meeting in September. Leif brings a dynamic accounting and finance skill set to the board holding his Chartered Professional Accountant designation. Leif owns and operates Vancouver Island Expeditions which offers Read More
Awards and nominations include: Top 20 under 40 Community Business Achievement Award (finalist); Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence for Emerging Business (winner 2015); Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence for Tourism Award (finalist 2015); and Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce Black Tie Awards for Young Entrepreneur (finalist 2015).
Aboriginal Tourism BC announces name change to ‘Indigenous Tourism BC’
March 7, 2018 – Syilx Territory, Kelowna, British Columbia
At the BC Tourism Industry Conference, Brenda Baptiste, Chair of Aboriginal Tourism BC announced the organization’s name change to “Indigenous Tourism BC”. The decision was made after consultations with Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders across the province who suggested the use of the term “Indigenous” better reflects the communities’ connection with the land and recognizes the diversity of Indigenous peoples within British Columbia.Read More
Indigenous Tourism BC and its Stakeholders believe “Indigenous” more clearly captures the story of Indigenous peoples as indigenous to the land. It creates better alignment between the experiences and understanding of Indigenous peoples, which also has broader awareness in the international community. Finally, it recognizes the powerful connection between Indigenous people and stewardship of their land.
“We Raise our Hands” has also been added as a new tag line to further define our Corporate identity. The Indigenous gesture of the raising of hands is a way to acknowledge and honour our ancestors as well as give thanks for the opportunity to live and work within our ancestral lands. Finally, “We Raise our Hands” to welcome the world to show and share our living Indigenous cultures in British Columbia.
Read the full press release here.
New tourism funding and new ferry route will help draw more visitors
From www.bclocalnews.com. The return of ferry service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola will bring more tourists to the area.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association’s (CCCTA) application for funds through the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program, to support tourism recovery within the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, has been approved. Read More
The addition of a three per cent tax on accommodations will take effect on May 1, 2018, and the CCCTA is working with the Ministry of Finance to ensure accommodation providers in the CCCTA region (excluding Quesnel and Wells) are aware of how to properly collect and remit the tax. The additional funds will be managed by a local tourism industry marketing committee, and it is expected that the MRDT, which is applicable until 2023, will stimulate an injection of approximately $1 million in new marketing funds annually to drive more visitation to the region.
The addition of the MRDT will provide a much-needed marketing boost, along with other ongoing recovery efforts from last year’s devastating wildfires, being undertaken by the CCCTA; Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Emergency Management BC; Destination BC; and the Province of British Columbia.
A recently released report on the economic impact of the 2017 wildfires to the region estimated direct revenue losses to tourism-related businesses at $55 million. Additional economic impact estimates included a total economic impact of $101 million; an estimated GDP loss of $63 million; and some 98 per cent of tourism businesses impacted.
“These funds, along with other generous investments by our tourism industry partners, will go a long way to ensuring our key markets are informed that the exceptional visitor experiences provided by our region are available for the 2018 tourism season and beyond,” says CCCTA CEO Amy Thacker.
In anticipation of a successful MRDT application, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association applied for cooperative funds under the Destination BC Open Pool competitive program and was awarded $225,000 for the coming fiscal year to also fund the marketing of visitor experiences in the region.
One new experience which will be widely promoted is the June 2018 arrival of BC Ferries’ Northern Seawolf, which will run on the new “Great Bear Rainforest route” connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola.
This critical connection creates the ultimate B.C. journey: travelling to Vancouver Island through the world-renowned Great Bear Rainforest and Chilcotin Plateau, and along the historic Gold Rush Trail through the CCCTA and Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association regions.
“While the fires were devastating to our industry, we are resilient and strong in our commitment to continue to showcase our region to the world,” says CCCTA’s board chair, Andre Kuerbis. “We applaud the support of our provincial government and Destination BC in helping us continue to market that the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is open for the 2018 season with some of the best outdoor and wilderness experiences in the world.”
The approval of the MRDT funding follows last year’s $200,000 investment announced by Minister Lisa Beare, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. These funds were used specifically to encourage local British Columbians to book a vacation in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. The “It’s Your Backyard—Come Out and Play” campaign is live now (http://www.landwithoutlimits.com/backyard/).
Destination BC also invested an additional $400,000 to go toward increasing awareness of the fall and winter opportunities for travel and the unique experiences in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. This support will continue with the spring “Explore BC” campaign, airing on Global TV.
For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, visit www.landwithoutlimits.com.
Destination Canada 2017: Our Best Year Ever
The preliminary data, released today by Statistics Canada, shows that Canada has surpassed the previous record set in 2002, by almost one million.Read More
“Today’s results are yet another reminder of what has been clear for a while now: Canada is back. And more and more, the world wants to come and visit. We are excited to share our vibrant cities, beautiful natural attractions, diverse cultures and proud history with record numbers of visitors,” said the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. “This is great news for our tourism sector, and the more than 1.8 million jobs that depend on it. We are only just getting started, too. Our government is investing in Canada’s tourism sector and we have a comprehensive plan to increase tourism even further. As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism this year, I am certain that the record we set in 2017 is just the beginning of the amazing news for this vital sector.”
“This is fantastic news for Canada,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, Chairperson of Destination Canada’s Board of Directors. “Working with industry partners across the country has given us a competitive edge and positioned Canada as top of mind for travellers from all over the world.”
Since the previous peak year in 2002, the composition of tourists to Canada has changed significantly. Overnight arrivals to Canada from countries other than the United States reached an all-time high of over 31% in 2017, up from 19% in 2002. Overseas tourists typically stay in Canada longer and also spend more, benefiting tourism businesses across Canada, and the Canadian economy.
This record breaking year is due to a number of contributing factors, including Destination Canada’s innovative marketing campaigns in key international markets. The Government of Canada has implemented visa changes for priority markets by introducing the eTA and opening seven new 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 7% over 2016 to the highest level ever. It’s now easier than ever before for tourists to explore Canada. More information can be found on the December 2017 Tourism Snapshot report.
BC Ferries works with communities on future vision for Horseshoe Bay Terminal
The time has come to create a new vision for Horseshoe Bay terminal, from the services it provides to the look and functionality of its design. Your input will be the cornerstone of the redevelopment effort and will help to shape the future design and function of the terminal.Read More
We have embarked on an extended engagement effort to better understand the important role the terminal plays in your communities and travel experience, and to gather input on how you envision the Horseshoe Bay terminal of the future. We are currently engaging with key stakeholder groups, planning community workshops, and preparing for online engagement this spring. Your voice is important to us so please keep checking back for more information, or sign up to receive project updates below.
Learn more about the engagement process by clicking the blue box below or keep scrolling for answers to some of your frequently asked questions. Have a question that isn’t there yet? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and FAQs, visit BCFerries.com.
2018 BC Tourism Industry Awards Winners
The BC Tourism Industry Awards recognize excellence in the province’s tourism industry. Recipients provide outstanding service, exemplify best business practices, innovative marketing and deliver tourism experiences that contribute to the success of BC’s tourism industry – which currently generates $14.6 billion in revenue for the province’s economy.
Congratulations to all the amazing nominees for this year’s BC Tourism Industry Awards!
Here are the winners and finalists in each category:Read More
Employees First Award, sponsored by go2HR
This award recognizes a British Columbia tourism industry employer who has upheld high standards of excellence in human resources and people management practices.
- Ocean River Adventures
- Accent Inns
- Island Lake Lodge
And the winner… Island Lake Lodge!
Customer Service Award, sponsored by Go RVing Canada
This award recognizes frontline employees whose exceptional customer service contributed to outstanding travel experiences for visitors.
- Tourism Kelowna Volunteer Team
- Lalli Randhawa, Comfort Inn & Suites, Merritt
- Bram Bolwijn, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
And the winner… Bram Bolwijn, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery!
Innovation Award, sponsored by BDC
This award recognizes an individual, organization or consortium that has devised and implemented an outstanding marketing campaign or initiative that is directed at increasing the number of visitors to or within British Columbia.
- Tourism Vancouver
- Island Lake Lodge
- Fairmont Hotels for their World Class Wild Campaign
And the winner… Fairmont Hotels for their World Class Wild Campaign!
This award recognizes a British Columbia tourism business or organization that has developed, delivered, promoted and sold a new or improved tourism product or experience that reflects the essence of British Columbia and contributes to a remarkable visitor experience. Festivals/events, adventure/outdoor, food and beverage, cultural/ heritage, urban/rural and accommodation experiences may all be considered within this category.
- Okanagan Villa Estate Winery
- The Paisley Notebook
- Spirit of the West Adventures
And the winner… Spirit of the West Adventures!
Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) Professional Excellence Award, sponsored by TIAC & Andrew Peller Limited
Recognizes community DMOs for outstanding performance, accountability and commitment to the tourism industry in British Columbia.
- Tourism Kamloops
- Tourism Chilliwack
And the winner… Tourism Chilliwack!
Merridale wins six craft spirit awards and best in class
Merridale Cidery & Distillery is raising their cocktail glasses given their recent wins at the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition (CASC) on February 6th, 2018. The competition is reserved exclusively for micro-distilleries, and was judged by a panel of eight independent spirit experts in a completely blind tasting of artisan spirits from across the country. Read More
As one of the three founders of the Craft Distillers Guild of British Columbia in 2008, Merridale initiated lobbying the government to create the current regulatory environment which has led to the boom in craft distilleries throughout BC. “A truly craft distillery makes products which represent the terroir of the region,” said distiller and owner Rick Pipes. “We start with 100% BC grown raw materials, then we process, ferment, distill, age and blend all at our farm distillery. This way, it truly represents the character of our region, Cowichan.”
Merridale is passionate about making products they are proud of. They will not hurry anything to the market. All their gins and vodkas are made from spirits aged for more than 2 years in stainless steel tanks, and their brandies are aged in oak barrels for at least 6 years – more than double the industry standard for craft. Some of their spirits have now been aged for over 10 years.
Accompanying Rick Pipes in the distillery is Laurent Lafuente, Master Blender and Distiller, on the Merridale team. Laurent defines the work he does with the aged spirits as a “balancing act between the oak, spice and raw materials resulting in an exquisite expression of timeless age that inspires when consumed, and evokes memories to last”. The Cowichan Copper Gin, winner of a gold medal and best in class at CASC, bears evidence to this with 90% of the botanicals coming from the Merridale orchard and surrounding forest.
“Everything Merridale makes is from BC agricultural products”, said Janet Docherty, co-owner of Merridale and spouse to Rick Pipes. “We follow that same philosophy in everything we do – Our kitchen is farm to table and our cider has been farm to bottle since 2000.”
To celebrate their win, Merridale will host MEET THE MAKERS on February 24th. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the makers to hear and to taste their passion while sampling spirits and indulging in appetizers.
When asked what’s next? “We have a new green project on the horizon,” said Janet Docherty. “We are building a distillery, brewery and pizzeria at Dockside in Victoria linking urban Victoria to our agricultural roots in Cowichan. We hope to open in the spring of 2019.”
- Cowichan Copper Gin *BEST IN CLASS & GOLD in Aged Gin Class
- Cowichan Cider Brandy *GOLD in Brandy Class
- Cowichan XXO Brandy *GOLD in Brandy Class
- Cowichan Pear Brandy *BRONZE in Brandy Class
- Cowichan Gin *SILVER in Gin Class
- Cowichan Vodka *GOLD in Vodka Class
If you would like more information, please contact:
Janet Docherty, co-owner | email@example.com | (250) 920-9453
Tourism Nanaimo’s Discover Your 360° campaign wins two AVA Digital Awards
AVA Statuette – Platinum
Tourism Nanaimo’s Discover Your 360° campaign, created by Hot House Marketing, has won two AVA Digital Awards. The Discover Your 360° campaign took the highest honour of Platinum for the Digital Advertising Campaign and the second highest honour of Gold for Website Design and Production.
The Discover Your 360° campaign concept highlights Nanaimo’s ease of access, Read More
“Nanaimo is such an amazing tourism destination but is often overshadowed by other Island spots” says Dan Dagg, President of Hot House Marketing. “We knew if we could reach our most likely prospects and show them the range of magnificent things to do and see here, it would work. So, our approach was to simply present the destination through the authentic lens of a local and digital let us do that better than anything else.”
“The Hot House Marketing team has done great work with the Discover Your 360° campaign and we are delighted to have this effort recognized by these awards” says Anthony Everett, President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island. “This is a new campaign for Tourism Nanaimo and the website, as well as the accompanying digital campaign that Hot House Marketing developed, has been positively received by stakeholders and visitors alike.”
AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication. Work ranges from audio and video productions to interactive social media. AVA Digital Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).
For over 20 years, AMCP has been the industry’s preeminent third-party evaluator of creative work. Each entry is evaluated and scored by judges from AMCP. Entries receiving scores of 90-100 are Platinum Winners; scores of 80-89 are Gold Winners.
BC Government to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2021
British Columbia’s lowest-paid workers will earn a $15-an-hour minimum wage by June 2021, Premier John Horgan announced February 8, 2018, endorsing the recommendations of the Fair Wages Commission.
“Regular, predictable increases to our minimum wage are one important way we can make life more affordable for people,” said Premier Horgan.
“For too long, the lowest-paid workers in our province have been left to fall behind, with their wages frozen for a decade at a time. That’s not fair and it’s not right. Like all British Columbians, our lowest-paid workers deserve a fair shake and a fair wage.”Read More
The plan to reach $15 an hour provides for an immediate increase of $1.30 an hour on June 1, 2018, to a new minimum wage of $12.65 an hour. Additional increases will take place on June 1 of each year for three more years. By June 2021, B.C.’s minimum wage will rise to at least $15.20 an hour.
The next wage increase, on June 1, 2018, will benefit 94,000 minimum-wage earners, while increasing the minimum wage to over $15 an hour on June 1, 2021, will benefit 400,000 workers throughout the province. The commission’s scaled approach will allow businesses and employers to plan for predictable and stable increases to wages over time.
“Freezing the minimum wage for 10 years hurt people, and then increasing it in a sporadic and unplanned way hurt businesses. We are taking a balanced approach that will work better for everyone, by bringing in measured and predictable increases over time,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “I’m thankful for the incredible work done by the members of the Fair Wages Commission, who worked together to come up with a fair path forward.”
The Fair Wages Commission was established in October 2017 as an arm’s-length government body to help guide public engagement on how B.C. should achieve a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and also the timeline for implementation. In a report delivered to government in January 2018, following public consultations and receipt of research and submissions, the commission recommended four minimum wage increases over four years.
The Fair Wages Commission recommended the following schedule of increases:
- June 1, 2018: $12.65 an hour ($1.30 increase)
- June 1, 2019: $13.85 ($1.20 increase)
- June 1, 2020: $14.60 ($0.75 increase)
- June 1, 2021: $15.20 ($0.60 increase)
Depending on economic conditions, the commission recommended that government consider of an additional hourly increase of up to $.20, to $15.40 an hour in 2021.
The Fair Wages Commission report with recommendations can be found here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/237/2018/02/Report-1_BC-Fair-Wages-Commission_Jan-2018.pdf
For more information and quick facts, visit news.gov.bc.ca.
Open for Business Awards presents Best Large Communities Award to City of Campbell River
The Open For Business Awards recognize and celebrate communities that best demonstrate they are promoting and adopting business friendly initiatives within their region. The Awards provide an important platform for local government to learn and share Best Practices, and showcase winning initiatives that have contributed to the success of local businesses.Read More
Launched in 2011, the awards are managed and delivered by the Small Business Roundtable Secretariat, encompassing four categories:
- Small Communities (<5,000 residents)
- Medium Communities (5,000 to 25,000 residents)
- Large Communities (>25,000 residents)
- First Nations Communities (all sizes)
More information and FAQs can be found at Open For Business Awards.
Aboriginal tourism gets $2.25M infusion from federal government
Bardish Chagger, who was in Victoria to take part in the Impact Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference, said the money will help ensure Aboriginal tourism can grow and sustain itself. “This is about Indigenous people supporting Indigenous business,” said Chagger. The money is to be handed out over three years to Aboriginal Tourism B.C. Read More
“The Government of Canada takes that relationship seriously. It’s a priority for our government and this is how we will help grow on our commitment for reconciliation,” she said in an interview. “We want these communities to be sustainable, to be able to grow opportunities for future generations and this $2.25 million will make sure these businesses are market ready and are able to develop Aboriginal tourism and create capacity.”
The money is intended to support more than 400 Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses in B.C. by helping establish new products and marketing campaigns.
13th Golf course added to the Vancouver Island Golf Trail: Campbell River Golf & Country Club to open this summer
It has been a long, long time since a new golf course opened in British Columbia – 2011 to be exact. However, the drought for new golf course starved enthusiasts is about to end with the opening of the new Campbell River Golf & Country Club this summer! Golf Vancouver Island is thrilled to welcome its 13th golf course to the Vancouver Island Golf Trail.
Under new ownership of long-time Campbell River residents, the Mailman Family, the former Sequoia Springs golf course has been completely redesigned by Graham Cooke of Northern Golf Design. The new Campbell River Golf & Country Club promises both Read More
The Campbell River Golf & Country Club will open the first tee and driving range in summer 2018 with innovative technology and features. The golf course has been completely rebuilt from tee to green and the driving range will be the first in Canada to employ Toptracer range technology. Toptracer is the same technology used to track golf ball trajectories on major golf tournament sportscasts. Using Toptracer, golfers can get accurate views of their shots for analysis and comparison, or just for fun. For those that don’t golf, the driving range will be a fun place to hang out; where you can grab a cold drink, watch some sport highlights or step up to the mats and play virtual golf courses from around the world.
Golf enthusiasts can check out the development progress of the Campbell River Golf & Country Club on their new website crgolf.ca, including a course overlay of the old to the new course and a timeline of the course’s history and future. The website is designed to be easy to read, feature rich and allow the user to follow along with the construction of the golf course as it gets closer to opening. The Sandtrap Restaurant & Lounge at the Campbell River Golf & Country Club is already open so you can check out the progress firsthand over a meal.
2018 indeed promises to be exciting for the Campbell River Golf & Country Club and the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, however it doesn’t stop there. Coming for 2019 and beyond are a new hotel, spa, restaurant, clubhouse, and event centre.
Visit crgolf.ca to learn more about the Campbell River Golf & Country Club, and to plan a Vancouver Island golf vacation to include this or any of the other 12 amazing golf courses on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, visit golfvancouverisland.ca.
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