Local Tourism Businesses & Employees Win Industry Awards at Vancouver Island Tourism Conference

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Immediate Release, April 14, 2022, Victoria, B.C. – Last night, the winners of the 2022 Vancouver Island Tourism Conference Industry Awards were announced at a gala held at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort.

“The tourism and hospitality businesses and employees in the Vancouver Island region have shown incredible resilience through the pandemic,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, 4VI (formerly Tourism Vancouver Island). “They are all deserving of an award and I wish we could recognize each and every one by name. The Vancouver Island Tourism Conference was an opportunity to come together as an industry in person and celebrate this resilience, dedication and innovation.”

Awards were given in five (5) categories:

  1. Employer of the Year: Oak Bay Beach Hotel
    The Employer of the Year award recognizes tourism businesses that exemplify best practices in gender equity, diversity, skills training, and benefits.

Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria focused on retention and development this past year, identifying the need to focus on the mental health and wellness of their team, as well as their growth. Through various programs this employer addressed some of the cost-of-living realities while creating a culture of balance and growth with their team, and achieved the highest employee engagement scores they’ve ever recorded.

  1. Employee of the Year: Josh Brown, Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

The Tourism Employee of the Year Award recognizes a front-line tourism employee that has demonstrated exemplary work performance, thereby enhancing business or customer satisfaction. This individual is valued for their outstanding service and seen as a key contributor to team success.

Josh Brown has worked for Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet for over 10 years, starting as a houseperson and moving his way up to Duty Manager. He is truly a “Josh of all trades.” He is the champion of the Green Team, working hard to implement an improved recycling process. Because of his fun-loving, laid-back nature, the team was quickly on board and ensured he had support for the program. He truly wants guests to have a memorable experience at the resort and is someone the team knows they can count on.

  1. Social Responsibility: Victoria Airport Authority
    Tourism businesses contribute to a vibrant community, and these businesses demonstrate daily that they believe in giving back. This award highlights the teams that make an impact on their community, the environment, the local culture and on business.  

In January 2021, Victoria International Airport (YYJ) received the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certified Gold rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM program. YYJ was the second airport in British Columbia and fourth in Canada to achieve this rating. In addition, YYJ implemented a Curbside Assistance Program where its Passenger Engagement and Safety Officers (PESO) help people with disabilities to move through the terminal. In 2021, the PESO team responded to over 700 requests for assistance.

  1. Resilient Business of the Year: Kaatza Station Museum
    This award celebrates the industry members who participated in the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program (VICTRP) and demonstrated a keen ability to innovate, adapt and build during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nominations were encouraged by VICTRP Program Advisors, TVI staff, and the industry.

The Kaatza Station Museum has been faithfully engaged in the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program since its inception in April 2020. They have leveraged program offerings to complete a website re-design, e-commerce set up, TripAdvisor optimization and more, including taking on an exciting new partnership to support reconciliation: a meeting place featuring Indigenous art, history and information displays in Lake Cowichan.

  1. People’s Choice: Malahat SkyWalk
    The People’s Choice Award was conceived as a way to give kudos via the conference attendees. It’s all about sharing the love for an incredible experience on Vancouver Island. We asked participants to share what made it special and what it meant to them.
    Malahat SkyWalk is thoughtful, well designed and accessible. The partnership with Malahat Nation, the mindful travel aspects and forest, history, and education… and that’s before visitors even reach the incredible Spiral Tower. The experience of climbing the tower is a slow build of breathtaking excitement and the panoramic views at the top are unmatched. The slide down is a fun and fast way to get your adrenaline up on the way down.

The 2022 award trophy is made from 100% recycled materials highlighting the importance of the health of our environment and how we can take steps to minimize our impact. The trophy is comprised of two components, each of which came from discarded items. The base is made from a locally reclaimed piece of Yellow Cedar from Van Isle Timber Co., and the top is made by Legacy Plastic from a recycled HDPE plastic drum found afloat in our ocean.

For more information on the Vancouver Island Tourism Conference, please visit www.vancouverisland.travel/corporate/tvi-conference-2022.  

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Media contact:

Anthony Everett, President & CEO, 4VI
Cell: 250-640-1604 | anthony@tourismvi.ca