Destination BC News

DESTINATION BC NEWS - MARCH 22, 2017
The Google Street View Trekker in the
Kootenay Rockies.
The Google Street View Trekker in the Kootenay Rockies. Photo credit: Destination BC/Rick Graham
Destination BC’s immersive marketing platform breaks new ground
Our industry partners expect innovative ideas from Destination BC, and our new immersive content marketing program goes even further to put consumers in the heart of a BC moment. Developing the BC Journeys platform, which incorporates immersive 360° views of BC terrain from Google Street View Trekker, was a long and thrilling journey—but like all great initiatives it began with a single step and some strong partnerships.

During the summer of 2016, we partnered with Google, Northern BC Tourism, our regions, and many tourism businesses to literally put BC on Google Maps. We used the Google Street View Trekker technology, a wearable backpack with a complex camera system on top, to achieve 360° views of some of BC’s most beautiful terrain. We covered almost 1,000 km of BC’s wilderness over 105 days on foot, horseback, helicopter, plane, and boat. This project showcases all six regions of British Columbia.

The Google Street View Trekker at San Josef Bay, Cape Scott Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. | Photo credit: Destination BC/Rick Graham
The Google Street View Trekker at San Josef Bay, Cape Scott Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.
Photo credit: Destination BC/Rick Graham

There are 2.3-million searches per second on Google and over one billion monthly users of Google Maps. The Google Street View Trekker component will capitalize on that reach, but our program is more comprehensive than that. We also sent a crew of expert content creators along with the Google Street View Trekker. These creators captured video, drone footage, 360° video and photography, highlights of which are now featured on the new BC Journeys platform, and will be distributed to millions of potential visitors in the Western US this spring. Watch this short video to see some of the content. Read More

Three sample treks (there are approximately 200 in total):
Anthony Island, Gwaii Haanas
Kettle Valley Trail (Myra Canyon)
Windfall Lake (near Tumbler Ridge)

Read the case study on our successful tagging pilot project
A post-view visual.
A post-view visual.

During the recent 2016/17 North America Ski campaign Destination BC collaborated with eleven ski resorts on a tagging pilot project. A tag refers to a piece of code that collects anonymous data from a website. Through tagging of these resort websites, we were able to track indirect referrals (i.e. post-view conversions). A post-view conversion occurs when a prospective visitor is exposed to a Destination BC display ad but, instead of clicking directly from the Destination BC display ad to an industry site, arrives at the industry site indirectly through a third-party channel (e.g. organic Google search). Tracking these allowed us to gain a better understanding of the impact of our digital media activities. Our ultimate goal of tagging is to work towards creating an attribution model to understand what marketing activities drive consumers along the path to book a trip to BC. Find our case study on the project, along with more information on tagging, here.

New emergency planning guides help tourism industry be prepared
Cover of emergency planning guides.

When natural disasters strike, tourism operators play a vital role in providing information, direction, and guidance for visitors unfamiliar with BC and its potential hazards. Prepare for emergencies and ensure the safety of your staff and guests with these resources specifically designed for tourism operators. The guide and plan were developed in partnership by Emergency Management BC and the Tourism Industry Association of BC, with support from Destination BC, Tourism Tofino, the BC Hotel Association and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.

Don’t miss the video of our keynote 2017 BC Tourism Industry Conference presentation
Destination BC CEO Marsha Walden speaks at BCTIC. | Photo credit: Gabriel Teo, Destination BC.
Destination BC CEO Marsha Walden speaks at BCTIC.
Photo credit: Gabriel Teo, Destination BC.

New! Watch Destination BC’s info-packed and entertaining 2017 BC Tourism Industry Conference (BCTIC) keynote presentation “Winning Together in Our New World.” Find it here.

Destination BC team attends ITB Berlin
ITB Berlin

Destination BC recently joined our partners at the Canada Pavilion of International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin, the leading trade show of the worldwide travel industry. From March 7 to 11 Destination BC representatives met with top tour operator accounts and airline partners to develop BC’s product offerings and discuss marketing and promotional opportunities. Learn More

Tour operators Discover Vancouver Island
Last month, Tourism Vancouver Island hosted Discover Vancouver Island at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa—with support from Destination BC. Discover Vancouver Island is a networking event bringing together receptive tour operators (RTOs) based in Vancouver with Vancouver Island cities, communities, and suppliers. Read More
Destination BC hosted nine Asian Receptive Tour Operators on a familiarization trip to Cowichan and Saltspring Island
to develop low-season products and itineraries for the area. Here, they visit Salt Spring Island Cheese with owner Daniel Wood.Destination BC hosted nine receptive tour operators (RTOs) who are active in the Asia market on a familiarization trip to Cowichan and Salt Spring Island to develop low-season products and itineraries for the area. Here, they visit Salt Spring Island Cheese with owner Daniel Wood.
Research Round-Up
Customs Entries
The beginning of the year showed an increase of 9.9% in overnight entries to Canada and 9.2% to BC for January 2017. BC had an impressive increase of 33.4% in entries from Asia/Pacific countries. The International Visitor Arrivals publication summarizes customs-entries data to BC 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.
Small Business shines in 14th annual awards
Photo of award winners | Photo credit: Small Business BC
Photo credit: Small Business BC

Congratulations to the winners of the 14th Annual Small Business BC Awards were announced last month at the Pan Pacific Vancouver. The winners are:

  • Premier’s People’s Choice, presented by the Province of British Columbia
    Winner: Sea To Sky Air – Squamish
  • Best Apprentice Training, presented by ITA and Kwantlen Polytechnic University
    Winner: Ironside Design Manufacturing Inc. – Chilliwack
  • Best Community Impact, presented by Vancity
    Winner: Rainbow’s Roost – Kamloops
  • Best Company, presented by Sage
    Winner: Rocky Point Ice Cream Inc. – Port Moody
  • Best Concept, presented by Rogers Communications
    Winner: Winecrush – Penticton
  • Best Employer, presented by TruShield Insurance
    Winner: Central Kitchen + Bar – Kelowna
  • Best Immigrant Entrepreneur, presented by Small Business BC
    Winner: Lilián Cazacu Notary Corporation – Langley
  • Best Innovation, presented by BC Innovation Council
    Winner: Terramera – Vancouver
  • Best International Trade, presented by UPS Canada
    Winner: Wize Monkey – Vancouver
  • Best Marketer, presented by Yellow Pages
    Winner: The Argosy – Prince Rupert

Read More

Updates from our Asia team
Major Japanese travel show visits Vancouver
The TABI Salad film crew wrapped up their Canada shoot in Vancouver.
The TABI Salad film crew wrapped up their Canada shoot in Vancouver.

As part of the promotion of Canada 150, Destination Canada negotiated with a major Japanese broadcaster to feature Canadian destination content in an upcoming TABI Salad episode in April. Supported by Destination BC and other Team Canada partners, the crew visited Vancouver, Banff, Quebec City, Magdalen Islands and Niagara. TABI Salad has been airing in Japan for the past 25 years. Read More

Collaboration key in promoting “Cool Canada” to Japan
Team Canada Japan hosted six key Japanese accounts in Alberta last month.
Team Canada Japan hosted six key Japanese accounts in Alberta last month.

Team Canada Japan is working with tour operators to help them experience, package, and promote Canada’s off-season tourism products. The team—which includes Destination Canada, Destination BC, Travel Alberta, and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (with the support of Air Canada)—recently created a new joint marketing strategy with the goal of 10% year-on-year growth in off-peak season travel for the next five years. Read More

New Canada 150 campaigns launch in Tokyo
Actress Saki Yasuda and the comedian Dainagon-Mitsuko at the Canada 150 festivities in Tokyo.
Actress Saki Yasuda and the comedian Dainagon-Mitsuko at the Canada 150 festivities in Tokyo.

Destination BC was on the scene for the recent Canada 150 kickoff event at the Canadian Embassy in Japan. Destination Canada and partners introduced the LOVE Canada 150 campaign and other tactics to more than 250 guests, including representatives from travel trade and travel media. This was followed by a talk from the actress Saki Yasuda who was featured in Destination Canada’s Mosaic Canada docudrama, and the comedian Dainagon-Mitsuko, who will be featured in the LOVE Canada promotion. Read More

BC welcomes Korean influencers
The influencers gather at a launch party.
The influencers gather at a launch party.

Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world, which has led to a rapid increase in FIT, or Fully Independent Travellers, who want detailed information to plan their own trips to Canada and are seeking something a little different. Destination Canada has run a Korean Influencer Program since 2009. Read More

Destination BC launches new trade WeChat account in China
Destination BC's launches new WeChat account

Destination BC just launched its new China WeChat service account “BC travel trade updates.” Users can now easily find destination updates including festival lists, flight information, and familiarization-tour itineraries. Travel agents and travel media can also download and save electronic versions of all Destination BC’s brochures and PowerPoint presentations for training on their mobile. Destination BC is the first provincial marketing organization to launch a travel trade service account. Scan the QR code (see image) and follow our posts on WeChat!

Hundreds attend travel-trade seminars in China
Destination BC hosted nine Asian Receptive Tour Operators on a familiarization trip to Cowichan and
Saltspring Island to develop low-season products and itineraries for the area. Here, they visit Salt Spring Island Cheese with owner Daniel Wood.Left: Destination BC’s China team engaged in joint sales calls to key agents and met with media for interviews during the recent roadshow in China. Right: Each city saw attendance of more than 150 local travel agents and industry partners. This group shot is of the Shenzhen session.

Destination BC recently partnered with Vancouver International Airport and Tourism Vancouver to hold three travel-trade seminars in Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen. The roadshow to these “secondary cities” provided an opportunity to introduce Destination BC’s new 2017 marketing strategies, themed routes, integrated marketing campaigns, flight-route updates, and latest promotional offers. Read More

Media enjoy tailored ski lessons on Destination BC-led tour
Media guests explore Big White Ski Resort by snowmobiles.
Media guests explore Big White Ski Resort.

Our Travel Media team has been busy making the most of the ski season. Destination BC organized and led the “New to Skiing? Start Here” press trip to Big White and Sun Peaks resorts. This trip brought together six key media for tailored lessons to build confidence and improve technique. After hitting the slopes, the group tried popular non-ski offerings at the resorts. Outlets included National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, Northwest Travel & Life Magazine and Via Magazine, as well as social media influencers from China and Ontario. Read More

Updates from our UK team
Tracy Long (left) makes a connection while representing Destination BC at the British Annual Canada Travel Awards.
Tracy Long (left) makes a connection while representing Destination BC at the British Annual Canada Travel Awards.

Destination Canada recently threw their British Annual Canada Travel Awards 2017 (BACTA) at Canada House in London. Destination BC’s UK team attended to represent British Columbia.

BC featured in “30 Best Holidays in Canada”
Travel writer Aaron Millar included 10 sections on BC in the “30 Best Holidays in Canada” article he wrote for The Times. The article, which ran February 25, 2017, included Vancouver, Whistler, and the Great Bear Rainforest. Destination BC’s UK team assisted with the writer’s trip planning. Learn More
GOOD TO KNOW
Province accepting applications to Rural Dividend Fund April 3 to May 31
The Rural Dividend was established to help small rural communities reinvigorate and diversify their local economies. Read More
Vancouver sets record with more than 10 million visitors
More than 10 million people visited Vancouver in 2016 – the highest overnight visitation in the city’s history. Learn More
Wine sector worth $2.8 billion in BC
A couple sampling wine at the Poplar Grove Winery. | Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

The British Columbia wine and grape industry was worth $2.8 billion in 2015, according to a study from the Canadian Vintners Association, the BC Wine Institute, and others. Learn More
Left: A couple sampling wine at the Poplar Grove Winery.
Photo credit: Destination BC/Kari Medig

Ride sharing on the way for BC
British Columbia will help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive in anticipation of ride-sharing services coming to the province by the end of 2017, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone and Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender recently announced. Learn More
Good News
Province supports Canada Sevens Series women’s rugby tourney
The 2017 HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens rugby tournament will return to Langford this May, thanks in part to a $130,000 provincial investment announced by Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. Read More
New cycling infrastructure in Tofino underway soon
Tofino will receive $1 million in BikeBC funding this year for Phase 1 of a multi-use path extension to the Pacific Rim National Park, providing more safe cycling infrastructure in the community, announced Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. Learn More
Sun Peaks to undergo major revitalization to enhance guest experience
Sun Peaks Resort has just announced a multi-million dollar investment to enhance overall guest experience. Infrastructure projects include revitalization of both Sunburst and Bento’s lodges. The projects are the next step in the long-term Master Development Plan that has enabled Sun Peaks Resort to evolve into a world class destination. Read More
YVR breaks record by winning Best Airport in North America again
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was voted Best Airport in North America for the eighth consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. Read More
Traveler’s Choice list includes six BC inns and B&Bs
The 2017 TripAdvisor Canada Traveler’s Choice rankings of the top 25 B&Bs and inns in Canada includes six from BC, including properties in Clearwater, Kelowna, Ucluelet and Kelowna. Learn More
Local B&Bs honoured on annual list
Six BC properties are sitting cozy on the 2016 list of best B&Bs in Canada from BedandBreakfast.com. Learn More
News and Events
TOTA logo

Save the date for TOTA
Save the date! The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association will hold their Tourism Summit & Annual General Meeting November 1-2, 2017. Check their site for updates.
AdventureSmart | Photo credit: Destination BC/Grant Harder
Photo credit: Destination BC/Grant Harder
Be AdventureSmart
Be AdventureSmart this spring. Learn how to leave an online trip plan, safety essentials, and other important information. Learn More
Toursim Week

Celebrate National Tourism Week
Mark your calendars for Tourism Week in Canada May 28 to June 3, 2017. The week is organized nationally by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) as a grassroots initiative. Read More
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