Advocacy & Policy Development
The Voice of the BC Tourism Industry
TIABC’s primary role is to be an advocate for British Columbia’s visitor economy. Proper advocacy is about creating an open, trusted, collaborative and two-way dialogue with government, professional colleagues and stakeholders.
As a provincial organization, TIABC focuses its resources on the issues and opportunities that have the broadest impact on the tourism industry. The process to determine the issues most important to the industry include an annual members’ issue survey, tourism town halls, industry conferences and events, as well as hearing directly from our members. We want to hear from you. Feel free to contact us directly or reach out to one of our Board members.
The Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia’s vision is “For tourism to be recognized as one of British Columbia’s leading and sustainable industries.”
As the primary advocate for British Columbia’s visitor economy, TIABC unites operators, sectors, DMOs, government and residents to support and be passionate about making B.C. a great place for tourism. Through the work of the Policy Committee and Board of Directors, TIABC evaluates a range of issues that impact the BC visitor economy to determine its advocacy approach and involvement.
TIABC’s 2017 Policy Positions can be viewed in full in the Members-only section of this website.
|MRDT||The Provincial government recently changes to the Municipal & Regional District Tax (MRDT) program.
Destination marketing organizations across the province have since written more than 1,300 letters to Finance Minister Carole James stating their objections to the proposal, which includes enabling MRDT to be used for affordable housing initiatives.
|In-progress||July 2018 letter to Finance Minister – click here
February 2018 letter to Finance Minister – click here
|May 2018: Penticton council upset with province’s plan to use hotel tax revenue on affordable housing
|go2HR||TIABC is urging the provincial government so negotiate an agreement to keep the management of the Serving it Right program with go2HR as it has been for some 30 years.
The effectiveness of the Serving it Right can be directly attributed to industry’s long-standing partnership with government and go2HR’s stewardship of the program since its inception. The revenue collected from go2HR’s administration of the program has allowed the organization (on behalf of industry) to invest in multiple programs, research, and training.
|In-progress||July 2018 letter to Attorney General – click here||go2HR Serving it Right|
|Labour Shortages and TFWP||TIABC is urging government to consider a Seasonal Tourism Workers Program similar to the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program that allows for exemptions to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) under certain terms and conditions.||In-progress||February 2016 letter to (and response from) federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development & Labour is available to TIABC members only – click here
go2HR and TIABC jointly produced two 2016 publications: Immigration and Seasonal Tourism Worker Policy Recommendations and Business Case: Seasonal Worker program.
These documents are available to TIABC members only – click here.13 associations jointly contributed to a BC Labour Relation Code Review submission in March 2018 – click here
|BC Tourism Labour Shortage Economic Impact Study (Summary Report May 2016)
|Short Term Rentals||TIABC is urging civic politicians across B.C., as well as the provincial government to develop and enforce regulations to deal with the proliferation of short-term vacation rental (STRs) accommodation in dozens of communities across the province.
Recognizing that there is no one solution to the complex issue of short-‐term vacation rentals, TIABC suggests the province can play a role by eliminating the exemption on PST and the Municipal & Regional District Tax (MRDT) that owners of properties with less than four rooms receive under current regulation.TIABC also urges local governments to develop and/or enforce their own community regulations on STRs, to not only compel property owners to legally offer rooms for rent, but to level the playing field for traditional accommodation providers (hotels, B&Bs, resorts) who pay significant provincial and business taxes.
|In-progress||December 2017 letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing is available to TIABC members only – click here
To view the November 2017 TIABC response to Vancouver Sun Op-Ed piece on short-term rentals, click here
To view the October 2017 letter to Vancouver Mayor & Council, click here
To view the September 2016 TIABC press release, click here
|March 2017: Ucluelet Enlists Host Compliance to Identify Illegal Vacation Rentals ucluelet.ca
April 2017: Richmond to crack down on short-term rentals www.cbc.ca
|Funding Formula for Destination BC||In order for Destination BC to continue to do its great work, TIABC urges the BC government to follow through on a formula-funding commitment made to our industry when the creation of Destination BC was announced on November 3, 2012.||In-progress||July 2016 letter to Minister of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training is available to TIABC members only – click here
November 2016 letter to Premier Christy Clark is available to TIABC members only – click here
November 2014 letter to Premier Christy Clark is available to TIABC members only – click hereTo view the provincial government’s announcement of Destination BC and the explanation of how for the first year of operations the Crown corporation will receive the full funding that government has used for tourism marketing, and after that, funding will be set based on a percentage of annual sales tax activity and enshrined in legislation, click here.
|March 2018: Provincial budget draws mixed reactions
March2017: Destination BC to get more provincial funding
March 2017: www.biv.com
|Ride Sharing||For Uber to operate in British Columbia, it must comply with the same system and regulations as taxi companies to ensure the safety of passengers, drivers and the public. These regulations would include, but are not limited to, national safety code standards applicable to vehicles , regular vehicle inspections, vehicle age and emission standards, accessible vehicles, on-board cameras for protection of drivers and passengers, Work Safe BC coverage, business licenses, and remittance of requisite taxes such as PST and GST.||In-progress||October 2018 submission on Taxi Modernization and Ride-hailing – click here
April 2016 support letter to Minister of Community, Sport & Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for Translink is available to TIABC members only – click here
September 2015 support letter to Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure is available to TIABC members only – click here
The full February 2016 support letter (on behalf of BC Taxi Association) sent to Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure regarding TIABC’s concerns over ride-sharing services is available to TIABC members only – click here
|July 2018: Government adopts key recommendations on modernizing taxi industry
July 2018: Taxi industry’s plan to take over ride-hailing in Vancouver, keep Uber out
|Federal Preclearance||Canada and the United States signed the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance on March 16, 2015. On March 10, 2016, our two countries announced our intention to support the legislation necessary to bring that Agreement into force. In the United States, the necessary provisions were introduced in the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act of 2016, introduced on March 1, 2016. The Government of Canada intends to introduce the necessary legislation in the spring of 2016. TIABC is part of the Working Group, which recently learned that the meeting between the U.S President and the Canadian Prime Minister produced the action item to convene a Preclearance Consultative Group (PCG) to discuss implementation issues at several locations and the potential for expansion to other sites in both countries over the medium to long term.||In-progress||A copy of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) White Paper on the benefits of US-Canada preclearance is available to members only – click here
May 2017 response from federal Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness is available to members only – click hereFebruary 2017 letter to federal Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness is available to TIABC members only – click here
Victoria sails closer to goal of being cruise ship home port
|Belleville Terminal Expansion||Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a tourism destination but also a working harbour that welcomes over one million visitors annually through float planes from Vancouver and ferry services from the United States. The redevelopment of Belleville Terminal, including the consolidation of Victoria Clipper and COHO terminal operations, will result in an effective, updated and welcoming inner harbour gateway, particularly once implementation of pre-clearance measures with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol are implemented.||In-progress||The entire June 2016 support letter sent to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development is available to TIABC members only –– click here
The December 2015 support letter sent to the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities is available to TIABC members only – click here
Infrastructure funding raises hopes for Belleville terminal plans
|Campgrounds and Tax Assessments||The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has classified campgrounds as “specified investment business” for many years, but a recent change in interpretation put campgrounds in the same category as apartment buildings, mobile home parks and other full-time residential complexes…entities deemed not eligible for the small business tax rate.
Many campground owners are finding it extremely challenging to sustain their operations due to burgeoning land costs, higher assessments and taxation, increase labour costs and/or staff shortages, encroachment by developers and myriad other impediments. Layer on three to four fold business tax increase and many owners will be forced to cease operations, causing significant damage to the province’s tourism industry.
|In-progress||The entire August 2016 letter sent to the federal Minister of Small Business and Tourism is available to TIABC members only – click here||Canadian Camping and RV Council update on CRA tax assessment:
|Ferry Transportation||A coalition of First Nations bands, tourism operators, associations including TIABC, communities and destination marketing organizations, called the Mid-Coast BC Ferry Working Group, presented the report: Tourism Development and Ferry Services: A Vision for First Nations and Rural Communities on BC’s Central Coast and North Island to Jobs, Tourism and Skills Minister Shirley Bond, Transportation Minister Todd Stone and MLA Donna Barnett (Cariboo-Chilcotin) in Victoria. To view the report, click here or visit the Aboriginal Tourism Assoociation of Canada.||In-progress||September 6, 2016 – TIABC press release: Unique Partnership Key to New Agreement with Province of B.C. on Mid-Coast Ferry Service||July 2018: Direct ferry service to Bella Coola delayed again, slowing summer tourism
March 2016: Ferry service on B.C.’s Central Coast missing link in potential tourism gem
|Wildfire Mitigation||The summers of 2015 -2018 resulted in extensive wildfires throughout BC. Consequently, TIABC urges the provincial government to increase its resources to control and mitigate the damage.
|In-progress||The entire July 2015 letter sent to Premier Christy Clark is available to TIABC members only – click here
TIABC participates on an Emergency Preparedness committee with other industry tourism stakeholders to enhance information sharing and ensure the consistent key messaging that BC is open to explore.
Prospective guests are asked to contact or connect with Drive BC, BC Parks, Destination BC, individual community’s and the government of BC to determine where to go or where not to go in British Columbia.
|TIABC has issued a Public Service Announcement to be utilized by the tourism industry to remind visitors and residents of the importance of fire safety.|
|Adventure Tourism Strategy||19 adventure tourism sector partners, including TIABC, created a new adventure tourism strategy for government consideration and adoption. The strategy proposes 3 primary actions by government.||In-progress||The strategy was submitted to government in December 2016, and is available to TIABC members only – click here||January 2018: Adventure tourism sector wants more respect from the province
The strategy was recognized at the 2017 BC Tourism Industry Conference by the previous provincial government.
|Privatization of Airports||The Government of Canada’s Transportation Act Review (Emerson Report) contains a recommendation that government consider privatizing and selling all major airports to generate revenue for other infrastructure projects. As an airport authority, YVR has a demonstrated proven track record, is known for its community support and philanthropy, and has developed important and significant relationships with the BC tourism industry. TIABC believes that YVR’s plans for further expansion to benefit the entire BC tourism industry has the best chance of succeeding under the existing structure.||In-progress||noairportselloff.ca||April 2018: Federal government postpones study of airport privatization
October 2016: Travellers will pay the price if Canada’s airports are soldwww.theglobeandmail.com
|B.C. Family Day||The annual British Columbia Family Day should remain on the second Monday of February.||In-progress||TIABC sent a letter to Premier Horgan in January 2018 with support from many tourism stakeholders – Click here
Letters were written by other tourism stakeholders. For example,
View the Tourism Golden letter – Click here
View the Tourism Kamloops letter – Click here
|ARCHIVED POLICY ISSUES|
|Agri-tourism on ALR Properties||Complete||The May 2016 letter to (and response from) the Minster of Agriculture is available to TIABC members only – click here||August 2016 BC Government news:
Agri-tourism balance supports farmers, celebrates farming
|Connecting America||Connecting America was a Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) co-investment vehicle to drive visitation from the US leisure market through strategically aligned national marketing campaign lead by Destination Canada. TIABC joined the advocacy efforts aimed a securing marketing investment for Destination BC and the US market.||Complete||The May 2014 letter sent to the federal Minister of State (Small Business Tourism and Culture) is available to TIABC members only – click here|
EXAMPLES OF RECENT TIABC MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES WITH GOVERNMENT AND STAKEHOLDERS
BC Liberal Caucus members re: helicat and ski
BC Chamber of Commerce, business operators and Port Alberni MP re: sport fishing
Pacific Whale Watching Association re: souther resident killer whales
Provincial & Territorial Tourism Industry Associations – strategy session with provincial TIA colleagues and TIAC
Tourism Minister re: feedback from TIABC leaders’ forums
CCCTA Re: Cariboo land issue
Tourism Ministry staff re: policy issues
MLAs re: various issues / policy updates
BC Hotel Association re: short-term vacation rentals
Whale Watching operators re: southern resident killer whales
Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) re: USMCA and pre-clearance
Better Transit & Transportation Coalition board meeting
Premier’s Chief of Staff re: issues update
Fisheries Minister, MPs, DFO Policy Advisor, Sport Fishing Society re: sport fishing
Tourism Opposition Critic re: issues update
BC Ferries Working Group
BC Taxi Association and Vancouver Hotel Association re: ridesharing
BC Guide Outfitters Association re: government policy
Destination BC and regional tourism associations re: emergency preparedness
Cruise Lines International Association re: cruise issues
Allied Golf Association re: policy issues
BC River Outfitters re: policy issues
Archived Advocacy Issues
NEW TOURISM VISION FOR CENTRAL COAST & NORTH ISLAND REGION OF BC
A coalition of First Nations bands, tourism operators, associations including TIABC, communities and destination marketing organizations, called the Mid-Coast BC Ferry Working Group, presented the report: Tourism Development and Ferry Services: A Vision for First Nations and Rural Communities on BC’s Central Coast and North Island to Jobs, Tourism and Skills Minister Shirley Bond, Transportation Minister Todd Stone and MLA Donna Barnett (Cariboo-Chilcotin) in Victoria. To view the report, click here or visit the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada.
Globe & Mail – March 27, 2016
Vancouver Sun – March 22, 2016
The Province – September 6, 2016
TIABC September 6, 2016 press release – Unique Partnership Key to New Agreement with Province of B.C. on Mid-Coast Ferry Service
TOURISM GOLDEN AND CP RAIL
TIABC member Tourism Golden requested a letter of support after Canadian Pacific rail company decided to close off an access point to the Kicking Horse River that is vital for the area’s river rafting companies. The letter sent March 2016 letter is available to TIABC members only – click here. Read Tourism Golden’s April 5, 2016 media release here. Read April 22 2016 update on resolution here.
LETTERS TO NEW FEDERAL MPS OUTLINING KEY BC TOURISM ISSUES
After the federal election, welcome letters were sent to all BC MPs outlining TIABC’s mandate and our four primary federal tourism issues: 1) labour shortages, immigration policy and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program; 2) pre-clearance and visas for low-risk travelers; 3) air access and capacity; and 4) increased and dedicated funding for Destination Canada. The entire November 2015 welcome letter sent to the Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Hon. Bardish Chagger available to TIABC members only – click here.
TOURISM VICTORIA TRADEMARK VIOLATION
TIABC provided a support letter for Tourism Victoria (TIABC member) who was seeking government intervention for a trademark violation by the Croatia Ministry of Tourism. The entire June 2015 letter sent to Minister of State (Small Business, Tourism and Agriculture) is available to TIABC members only – click here.
TOURISM VICTORIA VISITOR CENTRE RENOVATIONS
TIABC provided a support letter for Tourism Victoria (TIABC member) who was seeking Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program grant funding. The entire July 2015 letter sent to Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification is available to TIABC members only – click here.
VANCOUVER’S NORTH SHORE TOURISM HOTEL EXPANSION
TIABC provided a support letter for Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism (TIABC member) who was seeking endorsement of a proposal for a new and expanded hotel in their destination. The entire July 2015 letter sent to review committee is available to TIABC members only – click here.
BYLAW GUIDE FOR AGRI-TOURISM ON ALR PROPERTIES
TIABC submitted comments and recommendations regarding the proposed Minister’s Bylaw Standard Criteria (Bylaw Guide) for agri-tourism activities on properties within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). We consulted with a number of members and stakeholders to provide an informed summary of our questions and feedback. In TIABC’s view, the proposed Bylaw Guide appears to provide a clear and coherent framework for supporting agri-tourism activities in select circumstances. The entire January 2016 letter sent to the Minister of Agriculture is available to TIABC members only – click here. In early August 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced a regulation that establishes that ALR land owners will not need a permit from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to host specific activities like commercial weddings, concerts or non-agriculture related festivals, providing that:
- The farm is classified as having farm status under the Assessment Act;
- No new, permanent structures are being built;
- All parking must be on the farm (no road parking) but the parking area must not be permanent nor interfere with the farm’s agricultural productivity;
- The number of guests at any event is 150 or less; and
- The number of events is 10 or less in a calendar year.
An application to the ALC is required if any of the above conditions are not met. To view the Ministry of Agriculture announcement of the eligible agri-tourism activities, click here.
CBC news – August 2, 2016
DISCOVERY COAST FERRY ROUTE
Discovery Coast Ferry Route – TIABC took a lead role and immediately commissioned a report to determine the economic impact the cancellation of this ferry service will have on the communities that rely on the Discovery Coast Circle Route. The entire January 2014 report is available to TIABC members only – click here.
Connecting America was a TIAC/CTC initiative to seek additional investment from the federal government. TIABC advocated at the provincial level to support TIAC at the federal level to secure government support for this initiative. Full May 2014 support letter sent to Maxime Bernier, then Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business available to TIABC members only – click here.
TOURISM ACCOMMODATION ASSESSMENT RELIEF ACT
TAARA (Tourism Accommodation (Assessment Relief) Act) – TIABC worked closely with the BC Lodging and Campground Association to support this initiative by being another voice advocating for modernization of the act which was finally approved as part of the 2016 BC budget. Full March 2014 letter sent to Finance Minister, Mike de Jong available to TIABC members only – click here.
DESTINATION BC TASKFORCE
Destination BC Taskforce – TIABC played a key role in working with government to fashion a proposal that led to the creation of Destination BC. A key part of the proposal was to imbed within legislation an investment model to ensure long-term and sustainable funding for DBC. TIABC thanks the many members who were a part of this taskforce and devoted many hours to develop a sustainable model.