Profiling How Wide and Deep the Tourism Industry is in our Community

Tourism Week in Canada is a grassroots initiative that brings attention to the economic opportunity available to Canada through travel and tourism. It aligns tourism organizations, businesses and other partners from across the country around a common vision: a tourism sector recognized for its contribution to the Canadian economy.

To celebrate Tourism Week, Tourism Victoria interviewed six successful professionals who you probably didn't know depended on tourism. Here are their stories:

 

George Taylor - Le-La-La Dance Group Founder

George Taylor - Le-La-La Dance Group Founder

"I see a huge link between tourism and what we do because we express to the people our life and our history 10,000 years ago. I firmly believe in one thing in life and that is working together. I look around now and we're all working together cooperatively. We get phone calls requesting a First Nations dance group to open for a conference, we get that all the time now, but that never happened 20 years ago. But it's happening now because we've gained a better understanding of one another."

George Melas Taylor of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation grew up on the Namgis Reserve in Alert Bay, British Columbia, where he learned the traditional ways and values of his people. Both his parents were from Chieftainship families. Upon earning a Degree in Social Work in 1976, he moved to Victoria to become a social worker for several First Nations' Bands. Through his involvement with the many problems and obstacles facing the First Nation's youth, he realized the need and importance of creating a dance society to support and guide them. Under the guidance of elders and chiefs, the Le-La-La Dancers Society was formed in 1987. George is also a Director at Large with Aboriginal Tourism BC, of which the Le-La-La Dancers are a longstanding member.

 

Michael Howe - Longshoreman

Michael Howe - Longshoreman

"I'm third generation longshoreman. My family's been here since late 1800s. One of my late great grandfathers was Captain Morgan and now I also have a niece who is joining the ranks. There is a big sense of pride, I've always wanted this job and I worked hard to get it. I feel that I'm making a very good living and it's made a very good living for my families."

Michael Howe is a third generation Longshoreman with the ILWU (International Longshoremen Warehousemen Union), through Western Stevedoring. He was born and raised in Victoria and started his work in the trades through sheet metal and saw mills before starting at Ogden Point in 1980. A Longshoreman is a waterfront manual labourer who is involved in loading and unloading ships, including the hundreds of cruise ships that dock at Ogden Point on an annual basis.

 

Wayne Stoughton - Mechanical Engineer

Wayne Stoughton - Mechanical Engineer

"Tourism has a huge impact on the Engineering trades, from Shift Engineers to Power Engineers to all the other trades that support the Engineering group. The opportunities that exist for our group are huge. I highly recommend any tradesperson looking for something unique, and with a love to serve and engage with people, not to ignore the fabulous opportunities that exist in hospitality business. There are plenty out there and they are completely rewarding."

Wayne Stoughton is a Mechanical Engineer with the Fairmont Empress Hotel. He graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa and has worked for several major hotels including Group Accor (France), Sutton Place Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Brookstreet Resort and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Wayne is very passionate about sustainability issues and energy management, and is a proud member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians (OACETT), Association of Energy Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). 

 

Daniela Cubelic - Local Business Owner

Daniela Cubelic, Local Business Owner

"Tourism has impacted the growth and success of my business in significant ways. We were able to expand our customer base beyond Victoria as a result of tourists who came into my original store, loved the unique products and wanted to order them after they returned home. This led to the creation of a busy online business which ships our locally made products across North America. We have an enviable number of tourists in Victoria compared to many other destinations, and the mix of having many loyal local customers who work or have businesses in the tourism industry, combined with sales to visitors has been and continues to be instrumental to the success of my business."

Daniela Cubelic is the owner, founder and creative force behind Silk Road Tea, which opened in Victoria’s Historic Chinatown in 1992 and has become a renowned destination for locals and visitors. Daniela has been featured locally, nationally and internationally in numerous magazines, publications, and on radio and television. Hailed as “Canada’s Queen of Tea” (Globe & Mail), and “Canada’s Tea Master” (Vancouver Sun), Daniela’s love for tea and tea culture is steeped in her veins, and while she is trained in tea’s most ancient traditions, she is equally likely to be found forging new frontiers in tea. In addition to a flagship store in Chinatown, Silk Road Tea also has an outlet in the Victoria Public Market. All products are locally made in Victoria.

 

Bill Nieuwenhuis, Vice-President Sales

Bill Nieuwenhuis, Vice-President Sales

"I've been involved doing printing jobs for all sorts of hotels, bus companies, tour companies and others since 1985. Without the tourism industry we probably wouldn't be in business. It's such a big part of Victoria and it keeps us alive."

Bill Nieuwenhuis is the VP Sales for Digital Direct Printing and has been in the printing business for 30 years. Digital Direct Printing is a local printing company that serves all of Canada, as well as the United States, providing an extremely wide range of pre-press, computing, printing and bindery services for designers, printers, sign shops and multimedia specialists.

 

Jason Stearns, Senior Project Manager, Digital Agency

Jason Stearns, Senior Project Manager, Digital Agency

"I've been marketing businesses in the tourism industry for more than a decade, so I can say with confidence that the local tourism industry is a big part of Victoria. At FCV, a substantial part of our client base is related to travel & tourism. We have worked very hard to help our tourism clients with their goals, and that's really a self-fulfilling cycle. As we're able to demonstrate successful results for them, it drives more business in tourism to come in, and of course that means future work for us. While we do have expertise in many sectors, the tourism industry is one of the most important for our agency."

Jason Stearns is the Senior Project Manager for the Victoria office of FCV, the largest digital agency in B.C. He has been involved in developing digital media for both private and public sector organizations in the tourism industry since the late nineties.