Chapter 7. Travel Services
Many organizations can have a hand in tourism development. These include:
- Sector-specific associations
- Tourism and hospitality human resources organizations
- Training providers
- Educational institutions
- Government branches and ministries in land use, planning, development, environmental, transportation, consumer protection, and other related fields
- Economic development and city planning offices
The rest of this section describes Canadian and BC-based examples of these.
Numerous not-for-profit and arm’s-length organizations drive the growth of specific segments of our industry. Examples of these associations can be found throughout this textbook in the Spotlight On features, and include groups like:
These can serve as regulatory bodies, advocacy agencies, certification providers, and information sources.
Tourism and Hospitality Human Resource Support
Tourism HR Canada — formally the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) — is a national sector council responsible for best practice research, training, and other professional development support on behalf of the 174,000 tourism businesses and the 1.75 million people employed in tourism-related occupations across the country. In BC, an organization called go2HR serves to educate employers on attracting, training, and retaining employees, as well as hosts a tourism job board to match prospective employees with job options in tourism around the province.
Throughout this textbook, you’ll see examples of not-for-profit industry associations that provide training and certification for industry professionals. For example, the Association of Canadian Travel Agents offers a full-time and distance program to train for the occupation of certified travel counsellor. Closer to home, an organization called WorldHost, a division of Destination BC, offers world-class customer service training.
You’ll learn more about training providers and tourism human resources development in Chapter 9.
British Columbia is home to a number of high-quality public and private colleges and universities that offer tourism-related educational options. Training options at these colleges and universities include certificates, diplomas, degrees and masters-level programs in adventure tourism, outdoor recreation, hospitality management, and tourism management. For example, whether students are learning how to manage a restaurant at Camosun College, gaining mountain adventure skills at College of the Rockies, or exploring the world of outdoor recreation and tourism management at the University of Northern BC, tomorrow’s workforce is being prepared by skilled instructors with solid industry experience.
Spotlight On: Emerit
Emerit is Canada’s award winning training resource developed by Tourism HR Canada in collaboration with tourism industry professionals from across Canada. For more information on Emerit, visit the go2HR website.
At the time this chapter was written, there were at least eight distinct provincial government ministries that had influence on tourism and hospitality development in British Columbia. These are:
- Tourism, Arts, and Culture
- Advanced Education, Skills, and Training
- Transportation and Infrastructure
- Environment & Climate Change Strategy
- Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
- Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation
- Jobs, Economic Development, & Competitiveness
- Public Safety & Solicitor General
Ministry names and responsibilities may change over time, but the functions performed by provincial ministries are critical to tourism operators and communities, as are the functions of similar departments at the federal level.
At the community level, tourism functions are often performed by planning officers, economic development officers, and chambers of commerce.
A final, hidden layer to the travel services sector is that of independent consultants and consulting firms. These people and companies offer services to the industry in a business-to-business format, and they vary from individuals to small-scale firms to international companies. In BC, tourism-based consulting firms include:
- IntraVISTAS: specializing in aviation and transportation logistics advising
- Chemistry Consulting: specializing in human relations and labour market development
- Beattie Tartan: a public-relations and reputation management firm
For many people trained in specific industry fields, consulting offers the opportunity to give back to the industry while maintaining workload flexibility.