Destination British Columbia (Destination BC) is a Provincially funded, industry-led Crown corporation that supports a strong and competitive future for BC’s tourism industry through a combination of global marketing, destination development, industry learning, cooperative community-based programs, and visitor servicing. Destination BC’s programs help to improve the visitor experience, support businesses and communities across the province, and strengthen BC’s worldwide reputation as a destination of choice.
11 Nov 23Partner News
British Columbia Crowned Most Desirable Region in the World at 22nd Wanderlust Travel AwardsIn early November, hundreds of the world’s foremost travel leaders convened at the British ...Read moreBritish Columbia Crowned Most Desirable Region in the World at 22nd Wanderlust Travel Awards - News & announcementsIn early November, hundreds of the world’s foremost travel leaders convened at the British Museum for the results ceremony of the 22nd Wanderlust Travel Awards. Wanderlust announced the reader-voted awards across 20 categories. Over 91,000 votes were cast by Wanderlust readers which saw British Columbia crowned as the most desirable region. British Columbia jumped from last year’s Bronze position to this year’s Gold and Vancouver was voted in fourth place as the most desirable city worldwide. In Wanderlust’s words: “Any description of British Columbia’s landscape will only do this region an injustice, as its natural beauty has to be seen to be believed. Dramatic mountains, misty rainforests, glacial lakes and 25,000km of coastline bring with them a plethora of outdoor activities, from seeking out local wildlife (a perfect combination of bears and whales), to meeting Indigenous communities eager to show you their home through their eyes. Although exploring nature is a must, don’t forget to explore BC’s urban side too in Vancouver and Victoria, with cool neighbourhoods, boutiques and bistros to liven up your trip.” Destination BC’s UK media reps, Vicky Brabin and David Ezra, were delighted to attend the Wanderlust Travel Media awards at the British Museum and accept the award on behalf of British Columbia. To read the full story and full category winners, visit Wanderlust Travel Awards 2023: https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/wanderlust-reader-travel-awards-results/ British Columbia will also feature significantly in Wanderlust’s 30th anniversary issue as part of a multi-channel media campaign to launch Rainforest to Rockies and subsequent Iconics as they are released in the UK. Activities will include print and digital elements – some of which are the first of its kind for the publication, including an interactive map and travel tip reel. It will also partner with UK tour operator First Class Holidays, providing a direct call to action and a holiday competition to generate data capture. The campaign will further inspire Wanderlust readers and ensure British Columbia remains high on the travel list of this high value audience.
20 Apr 23Partner News
New tourism sustainability and resilience program for British ColumbiaTraining program supports communities across all six tourism regions of British Columbia A ...Read moreNew tourism sustainability and resilience program for British Columbia - News & announcements
Training program supports communities across all six tourism regions of British ColumbiaA new tourism sustainability and resilience program is offering training and mentoring opportunities to BC destinations with the aim of supporting a thriving future for tourism across the province. The program formally kicked off on March 16, 2023, with an introductory webinar on the global picture of tourism and today’s challenges. The webinar featured keynote speakers including the Travel Foundation’s CEO, Jeremy Sampson, and Director of Global Programmes, Elke Dens, as well as other key members of the Travel Foundation team. Throughout the discussion, planning concepts and tips were shared to an audience of more than 60 community stakeholders from across the province. More than 25 communities are participating in the workshop series that starts today and will continue through June 2023. The program is being delivered by the Travel Foundation in partnership the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (comprised of 4VI (Vancouver Island), Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Northern BC Tourism Association, and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association), as well as the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region of British Columbia. The capacity-building program aims to ensure that destinations and communities across BC can maximise the benefits of tourism for people and place, supporting organisations of all sizes and with varying mandates to create a strong, resilient, and just future for tourism in the province. This includes advice and guidance that will enable participants to identify and manage potential risks relating to tourism, as well as how to respond to resident, customer, and investor expectations. The program involves a series of four online workshops as well as one-to-one coaching for participants who receive access to a comprehensive handbook and workbook exercises, covering topics such as:
- understanding and managing tourism’s impacts,
- destination stewardship principles including climate action, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility,
- how to support tourism businesses to adapt, and
- product development and marketing for future-proofing destinations. T
22 Apr 22Partner News
Canada Wins 2025 Bid for Invictus Games in Vancouver and WhistlerThe True Patriot Love Foundation will bring the Invictus Games to Whistler/Vancouver, BC in 2025! Ever ...Read moreCanada Wins 2025 Bid for Invictus Games in Vancouver and Whistler - News & announcementsThe True Patriot Love Foundation will bring the Invictus Games to Whistler/Vancouver, BC in 2025! Ever since their launch, the Games have played a tremendous role in harnessing the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for serving members and Veterans. The Games will bring together over 500 competitors from 20 nations to compete in adaptive sports, including winter adaptive sports for the very first time – Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Skeleton, and Wheelchair Curling – in addition to the core Invictus Games sports of indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball. The Invictus Games 2025 will be held on the unceded territories of the x ʷ məθ kʷə y əm (Musqueam), S ḵwxw ú7mesh (Squamish), S ə l ílw ətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, Skalulmecw L íl wat ̓ Nation and the G élpcal L ílwat Nation. The Invictus Games 2025 are working closely to ensure they respond to Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and ensure Indigenous protocols are respected in all aspects of the Games. Visit the Invictus Games website for more details: https://truepatriotlove.com/invictus-games-2025/
04 Apr 22Expert Hub
5 Days To Transformation: Vancouver & BeyondBC’s largest city sits at the doorstep of wilderness. This closeness to nature shapes ...Read more5 Days To Transformation: Vancouver & Beyond - News & announcementsBC’s largest city sits at the doorstep of wilderness. This closeness to nature shapes the people who live here—and those who choose to visit—offering a deeper connection to the natural world. Here, a rainforest stirs as the ocean ebbs and flows, and mountains rise high behind downtown skyscrapers. This city is just the beginning of the adventure, and the experiences that lie beyond can take you even deeper into the wild.
Vancouver: Where The Journey Begins(Minimum 2 Nights)Spend just a little time in Vancouver and it’s easy to see why people are drawn to this corner of the world. Breathe in the fresh ocean air on an 10-km (6.2-mi) Stanley Park Seawall cycle or join Talaysay Tours for an interpretive forest walk with Indigenous guides, visit the Museum of Anthropology to see the art of living Indigenous cultures at the UBC endowment lands, stroll the beaches of Kitsilano, wander a rainforest canopy at Capilano Suspension Bridge, or tackle 2,890 stairs on the Grouse Grind hiking trail to scale the side of an iconic North Shore mountain. This multicultural destination is also a hot spot for international cuisine, with award-winning restaurants serving up food fusions and unique dishes. Go beyond, and discover what else there is to see in BC. Take five days or more and discover the experiences in nature, ready to transform you.
Sea-to-Sky Highway to visit adventure-laden Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton(Minimum 2 Nights)It may be cliché, but sometimes the journey is better (or just as good) as the destination. A drive along the famed Sea-to-Sky Highway, from Vancouver to Pemberton, is one of those journeys. This scenic stretch of road hugs the edge of the Coast Mountains and overlooks the Howe Sound Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Reserve, with otherworldly views from every window. Stop at the Cultural Journey kiosks along the way and learn about Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, who have been connected to and lived on this land for over 10,000 years. Eager to go underwater? Suit up at Porteau Cove Provincial Park for a dive, with two sunken shipwrecks and a reef of west coast sea life to explore. Stay overnight in Squamish and head up the Sea to Sky Gondola for sprawling views of the Coast Mountain peaks. Stroll the Panorama Trail to a viewing platform that perches over a cliffside, or go a bit deeper into nature and tackle Al’s Habrich Trail, an 8.4-km (5.2-mi) trek that leads to views of towering Sky Pilot peak.For relaxation, book a private 90-minute natural spa experience at newly opened AIKA Spa. This hot and cold therapy retreat is located deep in the dense rainforest of the Squamish Valley, with a wood-fired sauna, cold plunges, and outdoor relaxation areas. Post-spa, fuel up with fresh, locally sourced brunch at Fergie’s Cafe alongside the confluence of the Cheakamus and Cheekeye rivers. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can book a guided whitewater rafting trip with Squamish Rafting Company. About an hour away from Squamish, continuing up the Sea-to-Sky Highway, is the four-season resort destination of Whistler, where 2,000-metre (7,000-foot) mountains surround the outdoor adventure town. Join a 4×4 bear-viewing tour with trained wildlife guides who can take you to the best places to spot and safely view bears in their natural habitat. Or take the Whistler Gondola and record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and look down for your chance to spot bears roaming the grassy areas under the lift lines.To connect deeper with the land and those who have lived here since time immemorial, wander the halls of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to learn about the local First Nations cultures from local Indigenous guides. For relaxation and rejuvenation, soak in soothing hot and cold pools at Scandinave Spa. In Pemberton, just a 25-minute drive north, roam the landscape on a half- or full-day horseback riding adventure with Copper Cayuse Outfitters.
Scenic Highway 7 East to Explore Fraser Valley farms and the BC Ale Trail(Minimum 1 Night)Follow the winding and mighty Fraser River from Vancouver through BC’s Fraser Valley to the mountain town of Hope. En route, tackle the Coquitlam Crunch Trail to get the heart rate up, or choose from several hiking trails in Golden Ears Provincial Park, just outside Maple Ridge. This park is one of the largest in the province, with an extensive network of hiking trails, camping areas, and options to boat, canoe, or swim in Alouette Lake. In the Harrison River Valley, wander along the Circle Farm Tour to visit artisan cheese makers, potters, lavender growers, coffee roasters, and more. For natural healing, head to Harrison Hot Springs to soak in the mineral waters at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Or join a Rainbow Falls Jet Boat Tour with Harrison Eco Tours for a cruise along Harrison Lake to cascading waterfalls; keep your eyes peeled for swimming seals and soaring bald eagles. End your trip in Hope and tackle some mountain biking trails at Skawahlook Adventure Park, located on the traditional territory of the Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation. The park includes 4,000 metres of walking and biking trails, a skills park, and viewing platforms. Celebrate your tricks with brews at newly opened Mountainview Brewing Co.
Highway 3 to BC’s Wine Country(Minimum 3 Nights)The drive from Vancouver along Highway 3 is full of historic railway trails, fertile orchards, and sweeping landscapes, all leading to local wineries in the Similkameen, the Okanagan Valley, and Naramata, some of Canada’s most fertile wine growing regions. Along the way, stop in E.C. Manning Provincial Park to explore the Cascade Mountains. Wander the trails in the park and choose from short, 15-minute journeys to multi-hour hikes deep into the backcountry. Paddlers can hop in a canoe and explore picturesque Lightning Lake (tip: Lakeside rentals are up for grabs). For overnights in the Cascade Mountains, book a cabin or bungalow at Cathedral Lakes Resort, sitting 2,000 metres (6,800 feet) above sea level in Cathedral Provincial Park.In Princeton, walk or bike along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, through the valley of the Tulameen River. Continue along Highway 3 and through the Similkameen Valley to pick up local fruit and vegetables from the dozens of fruit stands that line the highway. Designate a driver and indulge at wineries en route, including Orofino Vineyards in Cawston. They have an on-site winery suite for those who want to stay a little longer. Once you hit Penticton, sunbathe at Skaha Lake Park, bike the Three Blind Mice trail network, or join another wine tour in one of three regions—Naramata, Summerland, and Okanagan Falls—all within a 20-minute drive of Penticton. Journey on to Kelowna for more sun-kissed beaches, wineries dotting the shores of both sides of Okanagan Lake, and more outdoor fun.
Coast Circle Route to See The Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island(Minimum 4 Nights)Go coastal to find an ecosystem in perfect balance. Journey off the mainland and explore little islands, seaside views, winding rivers, and hidden forests along the winding roads of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast by following the Coast Circle Route. Head across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria via BC Ferries. Make a detour to the artist enclave of BC and check out one of the Gulf Islands for at least one night. Galiano, Mayne, Saturna, and Pender islands each have vibrant artistic collectives, and the biggest concentration of galleries and studios is on Salt Spring Island. Once on Vancouver Island, journey up the east coast of the Island to explore unique communities in the north, like Duncan. Follow the Totems Tour to see more than 40 totems on a self-guided tour by following the yellow footprints to read about each carver and their unique stories. Farther north, take a heritage tour and stroll along the waterfront in Nanaimo. Stay overnight to enjoy more of the area, including the short ferry ride to Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) Marine Provincial Park for a picnic on one of the many sandy and secluded beaches. In the Comox Valley, explore the mountain bike mecca of Cumberland or laze by the river at Nymph Falls Nature Park.In Parksville, ocean lovers can beachcomb sprawling Rathtrevor Beach or walk the trails to Englishman River Falls. Journey on north to Courtney, and, if you’re feeling extra exploratory, take the ferry to Hornby Island, where turquoise beaches and artisan communities thrive. From Courtney/Comox, hop on BC Ferries to the Sunshine Coast and make a quick detour north. Here you can drive to the “end of the road” (a.k.a. the very end of Highway 101) to wander the boardwalks of the quaint seaside town of Lund. Explore Desolation Sound via multi-day kayak trips or day-trip boat charters. Continue south and head to Powell River where you can easily spend a couple of days exploring. Walk the Willingdon Beach Trail (temporarily closed) along the waterfront to the original Townsite and ride the mountain bike trails at Mount Mahony. For a gentler cruise, bike along the 13-km (8-mi) Island “Loon” Lake Trail that circumnavigates Inland Lake. On the lower Sunshine Coast, once you cross at Saltery Bay, hike the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park trail, see the narrows at high tide, and grab treats at the Skookumchuck Bakery, hidden in the forest. Rent paddleboards or kayaks to explore the islands and inlets of Pender Harbour or the Sechelt Inlet before sampling flavours at brewery and cidery tasting rooms at laid-back farms and orchards all the way down the coast. Book into a cozy bed and breakfast or hotel in oceanside Gibsons to stay for at least one night before heading back to the city.
29 Mar 22Partner News
Destination BC Restarts International Marketing with $6.7M Global CampaignAs travel resumes around the world, Destination British Columbia is competitively vying for international ...Read moreDestination BC Restarts International Marketing with $6.7M Global Campaign - News & announcementsAs travel resumes around the world, Destination British Columbia is competitively vying for international visitors with its launch of The British Columbia Effect – Find Yourself: an extensive CA$6.7M marketing campaign designed to drive emotional urgency and encourage travel to BC in 2022 and into 2023 from key markets, including the UK. The campaign leverages the global brand platform, The BC Effect, which aims to inspire travellers to tap into something bigger, awaken a deeper connection, gain a different perspective, and find themselves – in every sense of the term – all within British Columbia. With travellers seeking wide-open spaces, nature, wildlife and authentic experiences now more than ever, Canada’s westernmost province is well-positioned to meet and surpass their expectations. The campaign is driven by content that immerses consumers in the transformative powers of British Columbia’s nature while leveraging BC travel motivators such as rainforests, mountains, the ocean, wildlife, cities in proximity to nature, Indigenous experiences and sustainability. Trade-facing tour operators taking part include Audley Travel, First Class Holidays, My Canada Trips and North America Travel Service. Dedicated e-shots and trade events are among the planned support on offer to help travel agents capitalise on increased awareness of the province generated by TV, video, newsprint, magazine and digital ads. For additional British Columbia resources agents can also sign up to the BC Content Hub which includes images, videos, b-roll, travel stories, maps and more. Hiking in Mount Robson Provincial Park cr Megan McLellan. High-res version downloadable at: Hiking in Mount Robson Provincial Park cr Megan McLellan. High-res version downloadable here Lisa Cooper, Destination BC’s UK Travel Trade Director, said: “The British Columbia Effect – Find Yourself campaign will share the authentic values and transformative powers of BC’s nature with potential visitors, creating an emotional connection with the province. We are looking forward to working with our tour operator and travel agent partners to turn that into memorable, meaningful holiday experiences.” International travellers are essential for the full recovery of British Columbia’s tourism industry, as they spend more time and money in the province compared to domestic travellers. Pre-COVID, international travellers represented approximately 25% of visitor volume to BC, but approximately 50% of visitor expenditures. The Government of BC also recently announced an additional $6 million of funding for Destination BC to help support international marketing efforts through to 2024. Links and Resources:
18 Mar 22Expert Hub
Transformative Travels in British Columbia: 12 Trips for the Conscious TravellerNow, more than ever, we’re seeking something different from our travels. Amassing selfies has ...Read moreTransformative Travels in British Columbia: 12 Trips for the Conscious Traveller - News & announcementsNow, more than ever, we’re seeking something different from our travels. Amassing selfies has given way to the desire to travel more consciously, to connect more deeply with people, places, and cultures while leaving a place better than we found it. Inspired to protect the towering mountains, forested coastlines, abundant waterways, and wildlife habitats that make up the province, and following in the footsteps of long-established traditions introduced and preserved by Indigenous Peoples here for millennia, BC has been a leading socially-responsible and environmentally-friendly travel destination. And thanks to travellers’ growing appreciation for nature’s role in sustaining our health and happiness—a scientific fact that has been at the forefront of Indigenous practices—BC operators and tourism businesses, many Indigenous led, are leading in this space. Local doctors are now even prescribing an annual pass to Canada’s National Parks to patients who are suffering mental and physical health issues. The good news is you don’t actually need to get a prescription to receive all the benefits that BC’s nature has to offer—instead it can be as simple as choosing the landscape that speaks to your heart or a tour that calls to your social conscience. Here are 12 trip ideas to get the conscious traveller in you excited to make a difference on your next holiday to BC. Learn about Indigenous culture and land stewardship
- Stanley Park with Talaysay Tours, Vancouver
- Tours with Moccasin Trails, Kelowna
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler
- Malahat SkyWalk, Vancouver Island
- Haida House & Haida Gwaii Museum, Northern BC
- Cruise the Great Bear Rainforest
- Kayak With Whales, Northern Vancouver Island
- Farewell Harbour and the Broughton Archipelago
- Clayoquat Wilderness Lodge and Clayoquot Sound
- Sonora Resort, Desolation Sound with the Homalco First Nation
- Knight Inlet Lodge and the BearID Project
- Klahoose Wilderness Resort and the bears of Toba Inlet
19 Jan 22Partner News
Funding Supports Indigenous Tourism RecoveryA one-time allocation of $3.7 million will support Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) in leading ...Read moreFunding Supports Indigenous Tourism Recovery - News & announcementsA one-time allocation of $3.7 million will support Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) in leading the Indigenous tourism industry to its pre-pandemic levels of success by 2024. “Before the pandemic, Indigenous tourism was one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry. This funding is a call to action from the sector to empower Indigenous communities to recover and grow so Indigenous cultural experiences can once again be shared with the world,” said Melanie Mark, Hli Haykwhl Ẃii X̱sgaak, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This funding supports self-determination, economic and cultural reconciliation and responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.” As part of its Tourism Alignment Strategy, ITBC will support stakeholders and First Nation communities through capacity building and resilience funding to cultivate a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry. This funding will enhance Indigenous tourism by making tourism planning, training and mentoring services available to First Nation communities and businesses. It will provide support for Indigenous businesses to expand their reach through purchasing new digital and online tools, delivering training programs to assist businesses in developing marketable tourism products and working with interested First Nations to develop and market tourism experiences. “For the next two years, ITBC is committed to make choices that bring benefits to stakeholders and Indigenous communities to support the recovery and strengthen competitiveness for the future,” said Brenda Baptiste, chair of Indigenous Tourism BC. “We value and appreciate the collaboration and partnerships that we hold with industry and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.” ITBC’s Tourism Alignment Strategy focuses on creating alignment of Indigenous, provincial, regional and federal partners so ITBC can continue to improve British Columbia’s collaborative tourism network and support the expansion of tourism business activities by Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities over the next two years. Supporting this strategy will help numerous First Nations through tourism recovery in their communities. Indigenous Tourism BC plays an essential role in facilitating a significant and positive impact on the recovery and resilience of B.C.’s Indigenous tourism businesses, operators and communities affected by the pandemic. ITBC ensures Indigenous tourism businesses are supported in their recovery from the pandemic and encourages the development of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism experiences for visitors. They also help generate bookings for market-ready businesses. Quick Facts:
- $3.7 million is being provided to support the application of ITBC’s Tourism Alignment Strategy 2021-24 to implement COVID-19 recovery and fully recover Indigenous tourism to 2017-18 levels.
- $8 million has been provided to ITBC for Business Recovery Grants in 2020-21 and 2021-22 to provide direct support to Indigenous tourism businesses during pandemic recovery.
- Prior to the pandemic, Indigenous tourism was the fastest-growing sector of the tourism industry and generated $705 million in gross domestic output and created 7,400 full-time jobs.
- There are more than 480 Indigenous tourism businesses within more than 200 First Nations in British Columbia.
- ITBC reports 91% of its stakeholders were closed or operating with limited capacity, and 74% of Indigenous businesses had to lay off staff during the pandemic.
- The role of ITBC is to support all tourism-related Indigenous businesses to increase their economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits through tourism. This role includes engaging with the First Nations in B.C. to create awareness of the value of tourism for consideration as part of their economic development plans and provide connections to tourism businesses and entrepreneurs.
12 Jan 22Partner News
Vancouver Island Featured In Ny Times “52 Places To Travel In 2022” ListVancouver Island was featured recently in The New York Times on a list of 52 places ...Read moreVancouver Island Featured In Ny Times “52 Places To Travel In 2022” List - News & announcementsVancouver Island was featured recently in The New York Times on a list of 52 places to travel in 2022 where travellers can be part of the solution. The influential publication lauded the Cascadian rainforest as a “wonderland” and encouraged readers to experience local old-growth forests at MacMillan Provincial Park, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve. Vancouver Island is one of three Canadian destinations that made the list. See the coverage and full list here.