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Wednesday, March 7

9:00 am- 5:00 pm

Registration Open

1:30 pm- 3:30 pm

TIABC Town Hall - New Format, Higher Participation, Stronger Results

Based on feedback from last year’s TIABC Town Hall, we’ve overhauled the format and content for this year’s session to include a higher degree of involvement by delegates that will ultimately benefit all key stakeholders including TIABC, sector associations, DMOs, government and others.

Members of TIABC’s Board, Policy Committee and various subject matter experts (e.g. sectors) will facilitate individual discussion groups on more than a dozen key topics and issues ranging from short-term vacation rentals and ride-sharing, to labour and liquor policy.

Each session will be 20- 25 minutes with delegates participating in up to three subject areas to provide input, ideas and feedback on policies, decisions and priorities for TIABC to tackle and/or for government attention.

At the conclusion of the roundtables, all delegates will come together where session leaders will share their findings with the entire audience for further discussion and debate.

The 2018 TIABC Town Hall promises to be informative, engaging and beneficial for all delegates. Come prepared to discuss the issues and opportunities that affect your business, sector or community.

3:00 pm- 3:15 pm

Afternoon Break

3:15 pm- 4:30 pm

The Winning Pitch

BC’s tourism industry is booming and to support the growing number of visitors, we need new, innovative tourism products to increase the overall competitiveness of British Columbia as a visitor destination. The inaugural 2017 Winning Pitch received much positive feedback from all stakeholders and attendees at the Tourism Industry Conference, so go2HR is pleased to bring back the Winning Pitch 2018. Join a panel of tourism leaders as rising stars of BC’s tourism industry pitch a business idea that supports the regional development of tourism shoulder- and off-season. Our regional winners include:

  • BCIT
  • Selkirk College
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • Vancouver Island University

Who will have the winning pitch? As part of the live audience, your vote for your favourite business pitch will contribute to the overall score and help us pick the ultimate winner!

6:00 pm- 8:00 pm

Welcome Reception

Hosted by Aboriginal Tourism BC, come and mingle with your conference colleagues – old friends and new! 

Enjoy some appies and local beverages and share your stories about why #tourismmatters!

Thursday, March 8

7:00 am- 5:00 pm

Registration Open

7:30 am- 9:15 am

Breakfast & Keynote - Lital Marom

PLATFORM Economy Changing the Shape of Industry

Over the past two decades, some of the most profitable and successful companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, Alibaba, Uber— have upended entire industries by adopting a single phenomenon: the platform business model.

The platform multi-sided market is one of the most important economic and social developments of our time. We are moving from a world of linear businesses which create and push out value to consumers, to a world of networked systems which allow users to create and exchange value with each other. Moving from linear design to exponential networks.

This keynote lays out the fundamental differences that set platforms apart and the key drivers for its success. We will also explore how these considerations could be applied to innovate and re-shape tourism today. Whether you’re building a platform business or not, you can’t succeed in today’s economy without understanding how platforms work.

9:15 am- 9:30 am

Morning Break

9:30 am- 11:00 am

Building a Powerful Marketing Network - Destination BC Session

Deep collaboration within BC’s tourism industry provides our province with a competitive advantage over other destinations. Destination BC will highlight what they are doing to fuel BC’s Powerful Marketing Network, and demonstrate how they are working with industry to make British Columbia a more powerful force within an increasingly competitive global environment.


  • Marsha Walden, President & CEO, Destination BC
  • Grant Mackay, Vice President, Destination Management, Destination BC
  • Maya Lange, Vice President, Global Marketing, Destination BC
  • Guest Storytellers

11:00 am- 11:30 am

Morning Break

11:30 am- 12:30 pm
Choice of Sessions
  1. Concurrent Sessions

  2. A-1 Back by Popular Demand – MPs on the Hot Seat (This session will be repeated this afternoon - B-5)

    In this session, moderated by TIABC, federal MPs will discuss and debate national tourism issues ranging from airport privatization and air access, to CRA assessments and temporary foreign workers.


  3. A-2 Employer Reputation: Would you want to work for you?

    Your company has an employer brand, whether or not you choose to manage it. An authentic, engaging employer brand is critical to attracting and keeping the right staff for your organization - especially in the competitive tourism industry. What is your reputation with prospective employees? How does your employer brand impact recruitment efforts? Join go2HR for an interactive workshop to get you started!

    From the workshop, you will walk away with a better understanding of the key elements of employer branding, and an action plan to use your brand to improve recruiting. Now is the time to plan for future hiring!


  4. A-3 Tag - You're It. Why digital tagging is imperative to creating a competitive advantage for British Columbia's tourism industry.

    Digital transformation has significantly impacted the way travelers find, explore, book and share travel experiences, dramatically changing the nature of tourism and global competition. For destination marketers, it has become a digital battlefield; scale and intelligence now trumps differentiation. And data is the new currency.

    Join us to learn how Destination BC is using tagging to gather data to generate consumer insights. These insights give us an understanding of BC's best customers, and what impact our marketing programs are having. We'll explore what tagging is, why we're trying to tag the province, how you can benefit from tagging, and how to tag your website.


  5. A-4 The Big Shift - How Destinations Must Adapt to Compete for the Traveller of the Future

    Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is also one of the most competitive. The strategies and tactics used to attract travelers in the past 10 years will vastly disrupt in the next 10. Channels, media, technology and traveller behaviour have all changed. Those destinations and operators that manage their businesses strategically will be rewarded with strong performance. Those that continue to focus on their rear-view mirrors will see decline.

    Learn how destinations and operations will have to shift to compete for the future, what will the DMO’s role be in the future and what are the drivers of these shifts?


  6. A-5 Trends and Impacts of Digital Media on Travel Decisions

    Travelers face a dizzying number of decisions in the process of planning a trip. With travel, people turn to their devices throughout the consumer journey. They start when people begin dreaming of a trip, and they happen across planning, booking, and even during the actual traveling and post-visit.

    On average a user will make 419 digital moments when planning a trip. Through first hand research, and the study of online purchasing trends, the presenters will help you understand the “moments”, the influence of digital content, and how to strategize your marketing to meet the changing needs and wants of the traveler.


12:30 pm- 1:45 pm

Lunch and Keynote - Sophie Pierre

Indigenous Tourism For an Inclusive Supernatural BC

Sophie Pierre served on the council of the St. Mary’s Indian Band, now known as ʔaq'am, of the Ktunaxa Nation for 30 years, 26 as elected chief. She was also the administrator of the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council and served as the tribal chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council for 25 years. During that time, she also served as chairperson of the First Nations Finance Authority, president of St. Eugene Mission Holdings Ltd., and co-chair of the International Advisory Committee to the Indigenous Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy of the University of Arizona. Sophie Pierre was appointed chief commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission from April 2009 to 2015, by agreement of the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the First Nations Summit. She has also served on numerous boards and committees, local, regional, provincial, national and international, including as Chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC board from 2008-2011.

Sophie Pierre was recognized with the Order of Canada in 2016. She also received the Order of British Columbia in 2002 and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the business category in 2003. During her tenure as chief commissioner, Sophie Pierre was awarded two honorary doctorates of law: in 2010 from the University of Canada West and in 2012 from the University of British Columbia.

Since her retirement in 2015, Ms. Pierre was recognized in BC Business Magazine as one of the top 50 most influential women in BC.

She now spends her time as an elder adviser to her community and to the Ktunaxa Nation as well as was appointed a Trudeau mentor in 2017 by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

1:45 pm- 2:00 pm

Afternoon Break

2:00 pm- 3:15 pm
Choice of Sessions
  1. Concurrent Sessions

  2. B-1 Reconciliation in Action Through Indigenous Tourism

    Come and witness Reconciliation in Action. Broaden your understanding of what true reconciliation is and how meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities and business owners can develop and grow. Authentic Indigenous experiences can be your commitment and contribution to reconciliation in action.


  3. B-2 Sector Development: Where the Rubber Hits the Trail and Going Gardens Tourism

    Join the panelists in this session to learn about the development of each of their sectors – where they are at, how they got there and where they are going. Understand the importance of having a vision, working collaboratively and having strong leadership to continually evolve a sector and achieve success.


  4. B-3 DBC Workshop on Visitor Experience

    The success of a tourism destination rests heavily on the quality of the visitor experience. Destination BC’s new 2018-2020 Visitor Experience Strategy outlines a framework to help improve the long-term competitiveness of BC by creating a more seamless visitor experience.

    Join members of Destination BC’s Visitor Services team to learn more about the Visitor Experience Strategy, including its development process, key insights and deliverables, and what the team is doing next to help BC achieve its goal of being the most recommended destination in North America.


  5. B-4 Vancouver 2030: The Sustainable Future of the City

    B.C.’s largest city continues to stir the imagination of an increasingly mobile global traveller class. Resonance and Tourism Vancouver created the first-ever forward-looking projection of how those specific markets and their behaviours will impact the city and the province. Most importantly, the initiative created a blueprint for resilience and smart positioning to maximize this coming wave of new visitors to Vancouver as a gateway to the rest of the province.

    With a focus on 12 key origin markets (Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, UK, Germany, France, India, Mexico, Brazil, USA) and Canada, this is a practical data-packed session about the very tourists who comprise more than 95% of all overnight visits to Vancouver.


  6. B-5 Back by Popular Demand – MPs on the Hot Seat (Repeat of Session A-1)

    In this session, moderated by TIABC, federal MPs will discuss and debate national tourism issues ranging from airport privatization and air access, to CRA assessments and temporary foreign workers.


3:30 pm- 10:30 pm

Oh What a Night – at Big White! 

Join your fellow delegates for an amazing afternoon and evening of fun and festivities up at Big White! There will be snowshoeing, tubing, skating (weather permitting) and sleigh rides. Stave off the winter chill with a hot chocolate by the fire pit, or enjoy sampling some local wine, beer and spirits in the tasting lounge. Later, head up to the top floor of the day lodge for a reception-style dinner prepared by Big White’s award-winning chef and his team.

This will be an evening to remember! And speaking of remembering… pack your toque and mitts so that you can enjoy all that this amazing mountain has to offer!

Transportation up and down the hill will be provided by Bluestar Coachlines. The first bus heading up the hill will leave the Delta Grand Okanagan at 3:30 pm.

Friday, March 9

7:00 am- 3:00 pm

Registration Open

8:30 am- 9:30 am

Breakfast & Keynote - Darby Allen

Known as the face of the Alberta wildfires-and widely celebrated as a national hero - Darby Allen is an exemplar of selfless courage and level-headedness under pressure. Allen was Regional Fire Chief of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, an area that encompasses the community of Fort McMurray. In spring 2016, he spearheaded the evacuation of the city's entire population while the rest of the world watched. Throughout the ensuing weeks of operations, he worked tirelessly with first responders and volunteers, who came from across the nation (and globe) to assist. His updates to the media were not only a means of reliable information, but a source of optimism - Allen provided calm reassurance as the lead spokesperson throughout the rescue efforts.

Darby's presentation will provide actionable takeaways that are relevant for leaders in any field: lessons on encouraging and trusting your teammates wholeheartedly; never losing focus on the moment by worrying about the larger story; and establishing unbreakable relationships that observe and celebrate the smallest of human elements-like the power of a Canadian flag to boost morale and welcome evacuees home.

9:30 am- 10:00 am

Morning Break

10:00 am- 11:00 am
Choice of Sessions
  1. Concurrent Sessions

  2. C-1 Business Events and Economic Transformation

    Business events (meetings, conventions, exhibitions and incentive) can be central to strategies that enable cities, provinces and countries to develop their knowledge and creative economies. The business events industry differs from leisure tourism in terms of the purpose of the visit, decision makers, service providers and marketing approach, therefore, it requires a distinct strategy for attracting events to communities. Business events have the potential to align interests of several stakeholders such as the government, professional community, DMOs, and the supporting hospitality industry. 

    Come and learn how business events can be viewed as part of a comprehensive community and government strategy for economic transformation and growth in priority sectors.


  3. C-2 Social media in 2018: tips, tricks, and how to work with Destination BC

    Consider this: In our quickly changing social media landscape, social advocacy and peer recommendations are the most powerful marketing tools in the travel industry. Robyn Hanson from Destination British Columbia will provide an overview of their social media strategy, practical tips on aligning with Destination BC on social media, how you can leverage emerging and established social media channels, and tactics to captivate your audience, generate interest, and drive advocacy.


  4. C-3 The Guide to Content Marketing Success

    STOP, Read and Convert - that is the goal most of us have in our communications and/or marketing efforts. Within this hour panel presentation, you can expect to hear from leading experts on the art of generating online attention that will have your audience of interest stop, read and convert.

    Think of it as a funnel with three parts:

    1) High-level: what is the right content to make your audience of interest stop

    2) Mid-level: how to engage and amplify your content

    3) Lower level: what are best practices to see that your audience returns to your website and/or converts (i.e. buy your package, tickets, sign up for an e-news or whatever your goal might be)

    Join us to learn the art of building the right online funnel via our guide to content marketing success.


  5. C-4 IMPACT: How BC Tourism Can Lead in Sustainability

    Jill Doucette will present the outcomes of the Canadian IMPACT: Sustainable Travel & Tourism Conference, followed by a panel discussion on how we can advance sustainable tourism in BC, and what this means for our businesses and destinations. Topics include collaborations with First Nations communities, clean technology, business operations, conserving ecosystems, restoring local culture, and preparing for climate related threats.


  6. C-5 What does Marijuana Legalization Mean for Tourism? (This session will be repeated at session D-5)

    Given that marijuana legalization in Canada is expected sometime this summer or early fall, the question on many of our minds is “What are the implications on British Columbia's tourism industry?”. 

    The panellists at this session will provide some perspective... both pros and cons... on what communities and BC's visitor economy can expect.


11:00 am- 11:30 am

Morning Break

11:30 am- 12:30 pm
Choice of Sessions
  1. Concurrent Sessions

  2. D-1 Future of Airports

    Imagine locking the front door of your home, getting to the airport to your plane to your hotel, and back again, without the stress of security, luggage or lines, only the pleasant memories of a voyage well travelled. Airports of the future are focusing on this seamless and friction free guest service experience through new developments in technology, air service, terminal design, and the network effect of service offerings. Join panelists from leading British Columbia airports as we discuss these emerging trends.


  3. D-2 Place DNA

    Destination marketing has entered a new era. Global competition, a technology fuelled marketplace, and concerns about the impact of tourism on local quality of life are altering the role destination marketing organizations play. Success or failure starts by understanding your true identity based on your people, not marketing. By looking at your destination inside-out, not outside-in.

    With examples and case studies from around the world, William Bakker will show how DMOs and their stakeholders use Destination Think’s Place DNA™ as a foundation for destination promotion and development.


  4. D-3 Tour Runner 2020: The Future of Tourism, Cross-selling and Distribution

    Tourism guests are seeking easier, faster, more immersive ways to research, book and share their experiences with friends and family. Meanwhile, suppliers are looking to expand their distribution network, become less reliant on single source booking platforms, and increase their efficiency and ROI for their operations. 

    Kory will take you through the case study of Westcoast Sightseeing as they have adopted technology into their daily operations and seen rapid growth by connecting Vancouver’s tourism pillars by creating a supplier network that mutually benefits all in-destination members and grows the local tourism economy as a whole.


  5. D-4 What does Marijuana Legalization Mean for Tourism? (Repeat of Session C-5)

    Given that marijuana legalization in Canada is expected sometime this summer or early fall, the question on many of our minds is “What are the implications on British Columbia's tourism industry?”. 

    The panellists at this session will provide some perspective... both pros and cons... on what communities and BC's visitor economy can expect.


12:30 pm- 2:00 pm

Closing Lunch


Presentation from
Hon. Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture

Presentation of BC Tourism Industry Awards

The BC Tourism Industry Awards recognize excellence and innovation within our industry. These awards represent the highest accolades for tourism operators, businesses and associations and will be presented in the following categories:

go2HR    Employees First Award    

Go RVing Canada    Customer Service Award

TIAC    Destination Marketing Organisation Professional Excellence Award    
BDC   Innovation Award      

Destination Think      Remarkable Experience Award     


2:00 pm- 2:15 pm

Closing Remarks