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British Columbia takes lead in Canada growth as Alberta stumbles
British Columbia takes lead in Canada growth as Alberta stumbles
British Columbia took over as Canada's economic star Thursday, with government figures showing it grew the fastest among 10 provinces last year while Alberta's output fell to last place on lower oil prices.
9 social media tips for 2016
9 social media tips for 2016
Hotel marketers have never seen such rapid and overwhelming change like the one happening in social media. However, there are ways to approach the social media universe that will help maintain perspective in the face of all that change.
More Victoria hotels mulled and renos surge amid tourism boom
More Victoria hotels mulled and renos surge amid tourism boom
Reid James, general manager of Victoria's Hotel Grand Pacific, is counting down the days to July 4, when he is scheduled to get 116 of his hotel's 304 rooms back in service after a massive renovation.
Thank the bears, says guide for B.C. ecotourism boom
Thank the bears, says guide for B.C. ecotourism boom
He's been a tour guide for 17 years, but Tom Rivest says the enchantment of the Great Bear Rainforest never wears off. "It's a pretty special place, it's pretty magical," Rivest said. He is one of many bear viewing guides operating within the rainfores...
Canadian hotel occupancy drops in second week of June
Canadian hotel occupancy drops in second week of June
According to STR, the second week of June did not bode well for the Canadian hotel industry as occupancy dropped three per cent to 73.8 per cent and RevPAR was down 2.3 per cent to $117.07. However, the average daily rate from June 5 to 11 was up 0.7 p...
Mexicans can visit Canada visa-free starting December 1
Mexicans can visit Canada visa-free starting December 1
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added clarity to his longstanding pledge to allow Mexicans to visit Canada without needing visas by setting a date for the new policy. Starting December 1, Mexicans can enter Canada without a visa and be allowed t...
Canadian Hotel Occupancy Up 4.2 Per Cent
Canadian Hotel Occupancy Up 4.2 Per Cent
The Canadian hotel industry reported an overall occupancy increase of 4.2 per cent to 45.5 per cent during the week of Dec. 27, 2015 to Jan. 2, 2016, according to data from STR, Inc. Average daily rate for the week was up 4.7 per cent to $152.06 and Re...
Vancouver wants province to tax Airbnb rentals like hotels
Vancouver wants province to tax Airbnb rentals like hotels
Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs is calling on the provincial government to tax Airbnb and other short-term rental services as if they were hotels. Meggs will present a council motion that argues online accommodation booking platforms like Airbnb shoul...
Chamber talks wine, Airbnb
Chamber talks wine, Airbnb
Chamber and business leaders from across the province were in Kelowna for B.C.'s largest business policy forum: the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting and Conference. The BC Chamber AGM is hosted in a different community every year and is he...
Why Revelstoke's mountain coaster could be a game-changer for the city
Why Revelstoke's mountain coaster could be a game-changer for the city
To get a sense of how big the anticipation is for the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster, opening on May 21, you only need two numbers. 7,000: number of people who live in Revelstoke. 1.5 million: number of people who have viewed the Revelstoke Mountain Resor...
B.C.'s Gulf Islands make New York Times' top travel spots list
B.C.'s Gulf Islands make New York Times' top travel spots list
We all know about the spectacular and serene beauty of the Southern Gulf Islands, home to artists and great food. Now the more than two million subscribers of the New York Times know, too.
Hotel tax on way up
Hotel tax on way up
A higher hotel tax will allow Tourism Kelowna to promote the city more in Ontario, the Maritimes, Washington state, other parts of the U.S. and internationally. "Really, it's all about growth," said Tourism Kelowna CEO Nancy Cameron.
Low Canadian dollar could mean more staycationers in BC
Low Canadian dollar could mean more staycationers in BC
BC is continuing to see a surge in international visitors. But the government is also hoping a low Canadian dollar encourages British Columbians to spend their vacation dollars at home.
Trends in the B.C. wine industry
Trends in the B.C. wine industry
Wine can now be bought in grocery stores. In November, longstanding BC VQA wine stores, Discover Wines and the Kelowna Wine Museum Wine Shop announced their support to move into grocery stores with the Overwaitea Food Group in Kelowna. Three wine-in-gr...
Cruise season kicks off in Vancouver
Cruise season kicks off in Vancouver
This figures to be another record-setting year for tourism, and that's good news for workers in the hospitality business. Ty Speer, CEO of Tourism Vancouver, said visitors are responsible for $4 billion in annual spending, and some 70,000 jobs. "I thin...
Tourism report urges transportation links to B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest
Tourism report urges transportation links to B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest
First Nations and tourism operators say better transportation links are needed for people to experience the Great Bear Rain Forest, described by the province as B.C.'s gift to the world. A report released Tuesday from aboriginal groups, businesses and ...
Trips to Canada rise 11 per cent in year to January as loonie drops
Trips to Canada rise 11 per cent in year to January as loonie drops
Travel to Canada continues to pick up, while Canadians are reducing the number of trips to the U.S. and other destinations, according to Statistics Canada. The number of foreign tourists coming to Canada has increased 11 per cent in the 12 months to Ja...
Premier: Ottawa 'open' to increasing B.C. immigration numbers
Premier: Ottawa 'open' to increasing B.C. immigration numbers
B.C. Premier Christy Clark is pressing the federal government for a substantial increase in the number of skilled immigrants who can come to her province this year. Ms. Clark, accompanied by a squad of B.C. industry leaders, recently met with federal o...
New Canadian airline could boost Okanagan tourism
New Canadian airline could boost Okanagan tourism
An ultra low-cost airline has launched direct flights between several Canadian cities, including Kelowna. "We will bring skiers and summer vacationers on non-stop flights from Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Hamilton," says Newleaf President and CEO J...
The use of medicinal marijuana and e-cigarettes in Canadian hotels
The use of medicinal marijuana and e-cigarettes in Canadian hotels
The following guidelines are meant to assist hoteliers in making decisions regarding the use of medical marijuana and e-cigarettes in hotels. The HAC requested legal opinion of the rights and obligations of hotels to restrict the use of medicinal marij...
4 main reasons why travellers choose local hotels
4 main reasons why travellers choose local hotels
Travel is continuously changing, coloured by the digital evolution: Low airfares on scheduled flights and low cost airlines are paving way to affordable yet rather comfortable short and long trips and last minute or advance planned travel is simple and...
Tourism activity increases
Tourism activity increases
The good news just keeps rolling in for B.C.'s tourism industry. The latest international visitor numbers from February show that tourism is up 15.3 per cent during the first two months of 2016, with 71,007 more visitors to the province over the same p...
Ottawa allows seasonal exemption to temporary foreign worker rules
Ottawa allows seasonal exemption to temporary foreign worker rules
The Liberal government has quietly approved changes aimed at helping Atlantic Canadian seafood processors that will allow them to bring in unlimited numbers of low-skilled temporary foreign workers to fill seasonal jobs this year.
Cow Trail Classic back on track
Cow Trail Classic back on track
One hundred and fifteen riders from around B.C. answered the (cow) bell on Saturday for the running of the 2016 Cow Trail Classic mountain bike races, organized by the Merritt Mountain Biking Association (MMBA).
Vancouver city council approves Airbnb motion to work on new regulations
Vancouver city council approves Airbnb motion to work on new regulations
Vancouver city council approved a motion Wednesday to ask city staff to come up with ways to control short-term housing rental services such as Airbnb. City staff were told to study the impact those services have on rental properties, gather input from...
Tourism operators applaud new Canada-U.S. pre-clearance rules
Tourism operators applaud new Canada-U.S. pre-clearance rules
Tourism operators are hailing the March 10 agreement between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama that will expand pre-clearance for visitors to each country from what is currently only at eight Canadian airports.
New summer flight options for Canadians
New summer flight options for Canadians
This is shaping up as a great year for Canadians who want to take off and see not only more of their own country, but see the world. Here's a look at new flight options for Canadians travelling this summer.
Ferry service on B.C.'s Central Coast missing link in potential tourism gem
Ferry service on B.C.'s Central Coast missing link in potential tourism gem
Highway 20, which runs across central British Columbia from Williams Lake to Bella Coola, is one of the province's most beautiful drives. The big problem with it, from a tourism perspective, is that it's effectively a dead end.
B.C. government seeks recipe for success in addressing chef shortage
B.C. government seeks recipe for success in addressing chef shortage
It's a problem that's been simmering in the province's culinary landscape: there's a looming shortage of trained chefs. Penticton restaurant owner Nick Vassilaki noticed a lack of available trained chefs when he opened up The Cellar nearly two years ago.
Aboriginal tourism in B.C. aims to balance culture and commerce
Aboriginal tourism in B.C. aims to balance culture and commerce
Chief Wally Webber stands on the ferry dock in Bella Coola and talks about the Nuxalk First Nation's ambitious new project - a hotel and restaurant that they hope will become a hub for Aboriginal tourism in B.C.'s central coast.
Tourism Victoria sets sights on outshining a record 2015
Tourism Victoria sets sights on outshining a record 2015
Tourism Victoria is intent on increasing tourism revenue this year by as much as four per cent over record-setting 2015, said chief executive Paul Nursey.
Whistler visitors numbers hit a record 1.1 million
Whistler visitors numbers hit a record 1.1 million
Whistler Blackcomb hit a record 1.14 million visitors in the first two months of the ski season, according to a quarterly report from the company. In total, revenues are up 22 per cent over 2014 to $67 million while visitor numbers are up 21 per cent o...
Changes to British Columbia Serving It Right Requirements
Changes to British Columbia Serving It Right Requirements
Effective immediately, new regulations provide an exemption from the SIR requirements for foreign representatives of foreign liquor manufacturers who serve liquor in BC. In addition, the regulations now require licensed agents and their sales staff to ...
A sneak peek into Expedia's new nautical-themed Vancouver office
A sneak peek into Expedia's new nautical-themed Vancouver office
At Expedia's new office in Vancouver, employees are encouraged to write on the walls. "If it's shiny, you can write on it," says Matthew Eichhorst, president of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. "We try to really think about the tools that everybody needs in ...
Why German tourists love the B.C. wilderness
Why German tourists love the B.C. wilderness
Standing outside the airport near Bella Coola, Holly Behncke knows exactly why she wanted to visit British Columbia. "We love the mountains. We love everything to do with nature," said Benhcke, who was travelling with her husband and son from their hom...
Vancouver Island 3 ways
Vancouver Island 3 ways
Many destinations promise something for every type of traveller. But few places deliver the breadth of Vancouver Island. At 32,000 square kilometres — about half the size of Lake Huron — the island offers towering waterfalls and spruce tree...
Victoria tourism on pace for record breaking 2016
Victoria tourism on pace for record breaking 2016
Victoria tourism officials say the latest numbers for 2016 are in, and show Canadians staying home could push this tourist season to new records, beating marks set just last year.
Whistler offers golfers more than just tee times
Whistler offers golfers more than just tee times
After finishing my morning round at Whistler Golf Club, I temporarily lost my senses. Maybe it was the stunning mountain scenery or the thin air, but I agreed to try mountain biking in the afternoon. I dutifully yanked on the watermelon-sized helmet a...
B.C. national park faces opposition as debate continues over land protection
B.C. national park faces opposition as debate continues over land protection
Public support for a new national park in the South Okanagan continues to grow, but some influential organizations remain opposed to the proposal, which has been the subject of debate for several years.
Great American Eclipse draws tourists to path of totality
Great American Eclipse draws tourists to path of totality
Where's the best place to watch next year's eclipse? If you're thinking the grand open spaces of Wyoming, you have plenty of company. Hotel rooms across the Cowboy State are going, going, gone, well over a year before the arrival of the first total sol...
Tofino, B.C. in 'desperate'; need of housing for seasonal workers
Tofino, B.C. in 'desperate'; need of housing for seasonal workers
Pascale Froment left her house in Tofino last month to move with her fianc´┐Ż and baby into a trailer in an empty lot she'd purchased nearby. She didn't sell her home; instead, she opened it for staff at the surf shop and school her family has owned for ...
Canada's eTA Transition Ends March 14, 2016
Canada's eTA Transition Ends March 14, 2016
The Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will become mandatory on March 15, 2016. The eTA will be required for most visa-exempt foreign nationals who want to fly to or transit through Canada.
Tourists falling for B.C.
Tourists falling for B.C.
Latest visitor numbers show B.C. isn't just popular with international visitors in the summer, fall is increasingly becoming a key time for them to enjoy British Columbia.
Busy tourism season boosts employment in capital region
Busy tourism season boosts employment in capital region
Greater Victoria's unemployment rate fell to 5.7 per cent last month as the region's tourism sector geared up for a record season.
Canadian tourism sectors a bright spot in sluggish job market
Canadian tourism sectors a bright spot in sluggish job market
Even as Canada's employment growth stalls, Michelle Kenny is on the hunt for new employees. Ms. Kenny, the general manager of a small company that organizes incentive travel to Canada for businesses around the world, is feeling the effects of a boo...
3 great B.C. escapes within a drive or ferry ride from Vancouver
3 great B.C. escapes within a drive or ferry ride from Vancouver
There's a reason why the area northwest of West Vancouver is called the Sunshine Coast. In its dozen seaside villages, you'll find everything from funky galleries to world-class kayaking escapes, as well as plenty of sunny weather at this time of year.
Sidney-U.S. ferry starts service, town hopes for more passengers
Sidney-U.S. ferry starts service, town hopes for more passengers
Washington State Ferries anticipates the exchange rate favouring Americans will boost passenger numbers this season on the Sidney-Anacortes route. Spring has officially arrived and that means the MV Chelan has returned to service on the route. The 328-...
Vancouver convention a hit for convention planners
Vancouver convention a hit for convention planners
A city's tourism officials would want to put on their best face when hosting a convention of convention planners, which Vancouver apparently did in January for a meeting of the Professional Convention Management Association.
New operator takes wheel of cross-water bus service
New operator takes wheel of cross-water bus service
For the first time in 55 years, a new company will be carrying bus passengers from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver. On Monday, Victoria-based Wilson’s Transportation takes over the cross-water bus service, previously operated by Pacific C...