The tourism industry in Canada is growing, and British Columbia is no exception. 2016 saw an increase of 12.3% in international visitors and tourism is now one of BC’s leading business sectors (DestinationBC, 2017). Local tourist treasures have also been winning accolades including:

BC

British Columbia benefits from many competitive advantages in tourism, such as “proximity to Asia, spectacular natural assets, safe and welcoming environment, and world-class visitor experiences provided by nearly 19,000 tourism businesses.” (DestinationBC, 2017).

And it shows. In 2016, over 5.5 international visitors toured the province. To put that in perspective the local BC population in 2016 was only 4.6 million! This translates to $15.7 billions in revenue to the provincial economy and nearly 19,000 business supporting the tourism industry. (DestinationBC, 2017) With this kind of impact, tourism “has become one of BC’s leading business sectors.” (go2HR, 2017).

Canada

Nation-wide, Canada is also welcoming millions of travelers, both domestic and international. Canada has a very positive international perception which helps explain how in 2016, world travel to Canada grew by 11%, nearly three times the world average of 3.9% (Destination Canada, 2016). The trend seems likely to continue in 2017 as tourism spending has increased by 6.7% between January and March 2017 (Destination Canada, 2017). Passenger air transport, accommodations and food and beverage services saw the largest gains. More visitors also means more jobs. The first quarter of 2017 saw nearly 711,000 jobs added for tourism activities, an increase of 1.7% compared to the same period in 2016.

Industry Trends and Challenges

As direct flights to BC and Canada increase, we see more visitors from different parts of the world. More travelers from China, Australia, Mexico, and the UK are visiting Canada as flight connections between these countries improve. For example, air capacity from Germany to British Columbia increased by 37.8% in June 2017; subsequently German visitors to BC went up by 31%. (BC Gov News, 2017)

A challenge facing the tourism industry in BC is the ongoing labour shortage in service work such as hospitality and food and beverage services. In its 2016 Annual Report, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada writes, “Many of Canada’s most popular destinations are remote, resort communities that showcase Canada’s natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. While these places are iconically Canadian, they are not places many will relocate to for work, thus adding to labour shortage issues in high traffic tourist areas. The current labour shortage, particularly in Western Canada, is forcing many tourism businesses, including attractions, hotels and restaurants to reduce hours of operation and services offered.” (TIAC/AITC, 2016, p.44)

Resources

Associations

Magazines and Trade Journals

Directories

Additional resources

If you would like to access more resources, the Tourism Industry Guide is designed to help prospective and existing business owners gather information for their secondary market research. The guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.

If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide. It will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.

Related guides

Bed and Breakfast Guide

Outdoor Recreation - Adventure Travel Guide

Travel Agency Guide

References:

BC Gov News. 2017. "June showing positive trend for B.C.’s tourism sector." Retrieved from https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017TAC0074-001463?WT.cg_n

Destination BC. 2017. "Gaining the Edge: A Progress Update." Retrieved from http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/tourism-and-immigration/tourism-industr...

Destination Canada. 2017. "National Tourism Indicators: January to March (Q1) 2017 Highlights." Retrieved from https://www.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/2017-07/Intelligen...

go2HR. 2017. "Tourism Week in Canada May 28 - June 3." Retrieved from https://www.go2hr.ca/news/tourism-week-canada-may-28-june-3

Statistics Canada. 2017. "Travel Survey of Residents of Canada, 2016 (final)" Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170725/dq170725e-eng.htm

Tourism Industry Association of Canada. 2016. "Annual Report on Canadian Tourism." Retrieved from http://tiac.travel/_Library/TIAC_Publications/TIAC_Annual_Report_2016_EN...

 

The tourism industry in Canada is growing, and British Columbia is no exception. 2016 saw an increase of 12.3% in international visitors and tourism is now one of BC’s leading business sectors (DestinationBC, 2017). Local tourist treasures have also been winning accolades including:

BC

British Columbia benefits from many competitive advantages in tourism, such as “proximity to Asia, spectacular natural assets, safe and welcoming environment, and world-class visitor experiences provided by nearly 19,000 tourism businesses.” (DestinationBC, 2017).

And it shows. In 2016, over 5.5 international visitors toured the province. To put that in perspective the local BC population in 2016 was only 4.6 million! This translates to $15.7 billions in revenue to the provincial economy and nearly 19,000 business supporting the tourism industry. (DestinationBC, 2017) With this kind of impact, tourism “has become one of BC’s leading business sectors.” (go2HR, 2017).

Canada

Nation-wide, Canada is also welcoming millions of travelers, both domestic and international. Canada has a very positive international perception which helps explain how in 2016, world travel to Canada grew by 11%, nearly three times the world average of 3.9% (Destination Canada, 2016). The trend seems likely to continue in 2017 as tourism spending has increased by 6.7% between January and March 2017 (Destination Canada, 2017). Passenger air transport, accommodations and food and beverage services saw the largest gains. More visitors also means more jobs. The first quarter of 2017 saw nearly 711,000 jobs added for tourism activities, an increase of 1.7% compared to the same period in 2016.

Industry Trends and Challenges

As direct flights to BC and Canada increase, we see more visitors from different parts of the world. More travelers from China, Australia, Mexico, and the UK are visiting Canada as flight connections between these countries improve. For example, air capacity from Germany to British Columbia increased by 37.8% in June 2017; subsequently German visitors to BC went up by 31%. (BC Gov News, 2017)

A challenge facing the tourism industry in BC is the ongoing labour shortage in service work such as hospitality and food and beverage services. In its 2016 Annual Report, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada writes, “Many of Canada’s most popular destinations are remote, resort communities that showcase Canada’s natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. While these places are iconically Canadian, they are not places many will relocate to for work, thus adding to labour shortage issues in high traffic tourist areas. The current labour shortage, particularly in Western Canada, is forcing many tourism businesses, including attractions, hotels and restaurants to reduce hours of operation and services offered.” (TIAC/AITC, 2016, p.44)

Resources

Associations

Magazines and Trade Journals

Directories

Additional resources

If you would like to access more resources, the Tourism Industry Guide is designed to help prospective and existing business owners gather information for their secondary market research. The guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.

If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide. It will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.

Related guides

Bed and Breakfast Guide

Outdoor Recreation - Adventure Travel Guide

Travel Agency Guide

References:

BC Gov News. 2017. "June showing positive trend for B.C.’s tourism sector." Retrieved from https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017TAC0074-001463?WT.cg_n

Destination BC. 2017. "Gaining the Edge: A Progress Update." Retrieved from http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/tourism-and-immigration/tourism-industr...

Destination Canada. 2017. "National Tourism Indicators: January to March (Q1) 2017 Highlights." Retrieved from https://www.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/2017-07/Intelligen...

go2HR. 2017. "Tourism Week in Canada May 28 - June 3." Retrieved from https://www.go2hr.ca/news/tourism-week-canada-may-28-june-3

Statistics Canada. 2017. "Travel Survey of Residents of Canada, 2016 (final)" Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170725/dq170725e-eng.htm

Tourism Industry Association of Canada. 2016. "Annual Report on Canadian Tourism." Retrieved from http://tiac.travel/_Library/TIAC_Publications/TIAC_Annual_Report_2016_EN...

 

What do British Columbians value? Making positive impacts—and the social ventures sector is certainly thriving in British Columbia. According to the BC Social Venture Sector Labour Market Study, 2015 study published by the Sauder School of Business, it was found that, “the social venture sector in British Columbia has grown by 35% since 2010.”

What Are Social Enterprises?

The BC Centre for Social Enterprise defines social enterprises as “[applying] an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social issues and creating positive community change.” A few factors that determine a social venture’s success, as found in the Sauder School of Business study, include:

  • Strength of its business model
  • Leadership capacity
  • Access to capital

However, of all the factors involved, the study suggests that the key factor that drives a social enterprise’s success is the “awareness of the sector as the means to affect social change and in which to obtain meaningful employment.” Unlike traditional businesses who must meet the expectations of their shareholders, social enterprises and social ventures’ unique strength lies in their mission to create positive change as well as their ability to inspire both their employees and consumers to share that mission.

British Columbia is also the first to offer a unique business model: the Community Contribution Company (C3 or CCC). A mix of both sides, this new model is both for-profit and devoted toward positive social impacts.

Support for Social Enterprises

Although there is growth in the sector, there is still room for improvement. The Sauder School of Business study found that social enterprises would benefit from more networking and mentoring opportunities. So if you are looking for ways to grow and support your social venture or enterprise, here are a few opportunities for you:

References

BC Centre for Social Enterprise. (n.d.) What is social enterprise? Retrieved from http://www.centreforsocialenterprise.com/what-is-social-enterprise/

Centre for Social Innovation, Impact Investing; Sauder School of Business,  University of British Columbia. (2015). BC social venture sector labour market study, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/Faculty/Research_Centres/Centre_for_Social_Innovation_and_Impact_Investing/Knowledge_Hub/Publications

Ministry of Finance. (n.d.). Community contributions companies. Retrieved from http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/prs/ccc/

Social Enterprise & Non-Profit

What do British Columbians value? Making positive impacts—and the social ventures sector is certainly thriving in British Columbia. According to the BC Social Venture Sector Labour Market Study, 2015 study published by the Sauder School of Business, it was found that, “the social venture sector in British Columbia has grown by 35% since 2010.”

What Are Social Enterprises?

The BC Centre for Social Enterprise defines social enterprises as “[applying] an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social issues and creating positive community change.” A few factors that determine a social venture’s success, as found in the Sauder School of Business study, include:

  • Strength of its business model
  • Leadership capacity
  • Access to capital

However, of all the factors involved, the study suggests that the key factor that drives a social enterprise’s success is the “awareness of the sector as the means to affect social change and in which to obtain meaningful employment.” Unlike traditional businesses who must meet the expectations of their shareholders, social enterprises and social ventures’ unique strength lies in their mission to create positive change as well as their ability to inspire both their employees and consumers to share that mission.

British Columbia is also the first to offer a unique business model: the Community Contribution Company (C3 or CCC). A mix of both sides, this new model is both for-profit and devoted toward positive social impacts.

Support for Social Enterprises

Although there is growth in the sector, there is still room for improvement. The Sauder School of Business study found that social enterprises would benefit from more networking and mentoring opportunities. So if you are looking for ways to grow and support your social venture or enterprise, here are a few opportunities for you:

References

BC Centre for Social Enterprise. (n.d.) What is social enterprise? Retrieved from http://www.centreforsocialenterprise.com/what-is-social-enterprise/

Centre for Social Innovation, Impact Investing; Sauder School of Business,  University of British Columbia. (2015). BC social venture sector labour market study, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/Faculty/Research_Centres/Centre_for_Social_Innovation_and_Impact_Investing/Knowledge_Hub/Publications

Ministry of Finance. (n.d.). Community contributions companies. Retrieved from http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/prs/ccc/

Social Enterprise & Non-Profit

You’ve got “THE” business idea that you’re convinced will be a success. But how can you convince your audience? With research!

Prove You Know the Competition

A good starting point is identifying your competition within your industry. Do thorough research to find out what makes you different from the competition, and use that difference to explain why customers will buy from you. For example, if you think locality makes you stand out, why does that matter to your customers? What data suggests that this is an asset in comparison to your competition?

You can use free business directories to help discover your industry competitors. Canadian Companies Capabilities, ThomasNet, and Frasers are few directories that will let you search for businesses by products and services. When you find your competition, explore their individual websites to analyze their business model.

Don’t forget the power of social media! If your competition is active in their social media networks, take a look at their profiles to get a better idea of who they are. Hootsuite has shared a how-to post for using social media for competitive analysis.

Prove You Know Your Business Model

While analyzing the competition, think of your own business strategies—including pricing strategies. You want to prove to judges that you not only have a great product or service but that you also have a great business model to ensure it succeeds. Think globally when looking to discover what works for other small businesses and why. As a small business you may not be one of the big business names, but the way you sell your product or service will differentiate you.

Question Your Assumptions

Now you’ve collected data and used great references, maybe you have created brilliant infographics, but always remember to take a step back and analyze your progress. It is all too easy to get swept up in the big picture. Remember to frame your pitch with data that is relevant and tells the story for your specific industry. Use your research skills to help you develop a “just-right” pitch but always question your assumptions and ask “why?” And if research has your head spinning, make the process simple and start with one of our industry guides!

Ready to Make the Pitch?

Join one of these upcoming BC events:

  • Fundica Roadshow | Vancouver | April 28th
    Pitching applications are over, but tickets for the event are on sale until April 28th—and we'll be there!
    Get your tickets here!
  • Fundica Roadshow | Victoria | May 2nd
  • Ignite Capital | Toronto | June
    For women, youth, immigrant, and aboriginal entrepreneurs.
  • UBC Changemakers | Vancouver | Varies
    Look at the Connect to Community Grant, Chapman & Innovation Grants, Global Fund, and Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants.
  • VANTEC Pitch Circuit | Vancouver | Monthly
    For tech entrepreneurs.

Want More Pitching Competitions?

Scout out some past events in our blog post
Bonus: Check out these TED Talks tips to make your presentation a success!

You’ve got “THE” business idea that you’re convinced will be a success. But how can you convince your audience? With research!

Prove You Know the Competition

A good starting point is identifying your competition within your industry. Do thorough research to find out what makes you different from the competition, and use that difference to explain why customers will buy from you. For example, if you think locality makes you stand out, why does that matter to your customers? What data suggests that this is an asset in comparison to your competition?

You can use free business directories to help discover your industry competitors. Canadian Companies Capabilities, ThomasNet, and Frasers are few directories that will let you search for businesses by products and services. When you find your competition, explore their individual websites to analyze their business model.

Don’t forget the power of social media! If your competition is active in their social media networks, take a look at their profiles to get a better idea of who they are. Hootsuite has shared a how-to post for using social media for competitive analysis.

Prove You Know Your Business Model

While analyzing the competition, think of your own business strategies—including pricing strategies. You want to prove to judges that you not only have a great product or service but that you also have a great business model to ensure it succeeds. Think globally when looking to discover what works for other small businesses and why. As a small business you may not be one of the big business names, but the way you sell your product or service will differentiate you.

Question Your Assumptions

Now you’ve collected data and used great references, maybe you have created brilliant infographics, but always remember to take a step back and analyze your progress. It is all too easy to get swept up in the big picture. Remember to frame your pitch with data that is relevant and tells the story for your specific industry. Use your research skills to help you develop a “just-right” pitch but always question your assumptions and ask “why?” And if research has your head spinning, make the process simple and start with one of our industry guides!

Ready to Make the Pitch?

Join one of these upcoming BC events:

  • Fundica Roadshow | Vancouver | April 28th
    Pitching applications are over, but tickets for the event are on sale until April 28th—and we'll be there!
    Get your tickets here!
  • Fundica Roadshow | Victoria | May 2nd
  • Ignite Capital | Toronto | June
    For women, youth, immigrant, and aboriginal entrepreneurs.
  • UBC Changemakers | Vancouver | Varies
    Look at the Connect to Community Grant, Chapman & Innovation Grants, Global Fund, and Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants.
  • VANTEC Pitch Circuit | Vancouver | Monthly
    For tech entrepreneurs.

Want More Pitching Competitions?

Scout out some past events in our blog post
Bonus: Check out these TED Talks tips to make your presentation a success!

Tax season is upon us! We doubt many of you look forward to this period, except of course the accountants among us.   It is a time when we reflect on our finances and whether someone can assist us in meeting our financial targets.  This overview is for the financial savvy among us who dream of helping others meet their financial goals and build a safety net.

Usually when we write industry overviews, we focus on a specific industry. For this one we are making an exception and discussing a category: “Finance and Insurance.”  The “Finance and Insurance” category encompasses three industries– Financial Advisory, Insurance and Accounting. The bigger companies that provide these services usually focus on one or the other; however, small businesses tend to work with a team who can advise clients on their various financial needs. It is not uncommon for a business to advise someone on their mortgage, retirement, savings plans, alongside offering insurance products and helping them with taxes!

Industry Overview

According to a report by Advantage BC the financial services sector is one of British Columbia’s fastest growing areas of the economy, “contributing $35 billion to the provinces annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”.  The report cites Vancouver’s presence within the North American trading zone (the largest in the world), proximity to Pacific Rim markets, and growth of FinTech and other technological ventures as reasons for the growth.

Industry Trends and Challenges

BC’s financial industry is not sheltered from the ebbs and flow of international finance. When advising clients, financial advisors have to consider the opportunities and risks of not just  one market but several across the world, from developed markets to emerging to frontier ones. There are also numerous vehicles available for investment including mutual funds, real estate, pension plans etc. The recent increase in start up activity in Vancouver will also bring a wide array of investment opportunities.

Larger companies and changing regulations will continue to remain challenging for the industry. Accountants face increasing competition from SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings that help individual as well as small businesses with their accounts and tax returns.  

Resources

Morning Star Canada

Independent Financial Brokers of Canada

Canadian Underwriter

Canadian Couch Potato

Publications by CPABC

Additional Resources

The following guides are designed to help prospective and existing business owners gather information for their secondary market research. Each guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.

If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide, it will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.

 

Reference

Eagar, M & M. Eagar. (2016, Dec. 7). Positioning British Columbia as a Global Fin Tech Hub. Vancouver, BC: AdvantageBC. Retrieved from http://advantagebc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/AdvantageBC-Report-Posi...

Tax season is upon us! We doubt many of you look forward to this period, except of course the accountants among us.   It is a time when we reflect on our finances and whether someone can assist us in meeting our financial targets.  This overview is for the financial savvy among us who dream of helping others meet their financial goals and build a safety net.

Usually when we write industry overviews, we focus on a specific industry. For this one we are making an exception and discussing a category: “Finance and Insurance.”  The “Finance and Insurance” category encompasses three industries– Financial Advisory, Insurance and Accounting. The bigger companies that provide these services usually focus on one or the other; however, small businesses tend to work with a team who can advise clients on their various financial needs. It is not uncommon for a business to advise someone on their mortgage, retirement, savings plans, alongside offering insurance products and helping them with taxes!

Industry Overview

According to a report by Advantage BC the financial services sector is one of British Columbia’s fastest growing areas of the economy, “contributing $35 billion to the provinces annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”.  The report cites Vancouver’s presence within the North American trading zone (the largest in the world), proximity to Pacific Rim markets, and growth of FinTech and other technological ventures as reasons for the growth.

Industry Trends and Challenges

BC’s financial industry is not sheltered from the ebbs and flow of international finance. When advising clients, financial advisors have to consider the opportunities and risks of not just  one market but several across the world, from developed markets to emerging to frontier ones. There are also numerous vehicles available for investment including mutual funds, real estate, pension plans etc. The recent increase in start up activity in Vancouver will also bring a wide array of investment opportunities.

Larger companies and changing regulations will continue to remain challenging for the industry. Accountants face increasing competition from SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings that help individual as well as small businesses with their accounts and tax returns.  

Resources

Morning Star Canada

Independent Financial Brokers of Canada

Canadian Underwriter

Canadian Couch Potato

Publications by CPABC

Additional Resources

The following guides are designed to help prospective and existing business owners gather information for their secondary market research. Each guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.

If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide, it will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.

 

Reference

Eagar, M & M. Eagar. (2016, Dec. 7). Positioning British Columbia as a Global Fin Tech Hub. Vancouver, BC: AdvantageBC. Retrieved from http://advantagebc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/AdvantageBC-Report-Posi...

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