Bruce OkabeDear Team Richmond,

Our team’s been working hard behind the scenes to bring our new destination brand to life. You’ve seen our brand anthem video, you’ve read our business and marketing plan, you’ve heard about the investments we’ve made… now it’s time to really bring it to life. And what better way to do that than with a sneak peek of our brand-new website?

Our Website: A Sneak Peek

The website refresh is coming along, with a launch date set for February 20 – just a few days away. That said, we wanted to give you a sneak peek at what’s to come.

Food and Drink Page on the new website launching February 20

The new destination brand is alive and well in the new website and it’ll touch everything from our social media channels, print and digital materials (including the e-newsletter as you may have noticed), straight to the language we’re using to promote Richmond as a destination.

The website, and the new destination brand, launches on February 20th and you’ll see it everywhere. Pacific. Authentic. Richmond, BC will reinforce reasons to travel to Richmond, create a sense of urgency to visit and tap into people’s emotions. Along with the new website launch, we’ll be releasing short videos – 15 and 30 second videos – on our social channels for you to consume and share.

If you’re wondering how you can work the new brand into your business, you’re in luck. We’ll be holding a stakeholder-only workshop called Living the Brand in March, where you’ll learn how to put the brand into action and make it work for your business. Invitations haven’t been sent yet but look for the invite in your inbox.

Lunar New Year Festival: A Collaboration

Lunar New Year Festival

Speaking of things that are just around the corner, Chinese New Year happens on February 16 – gong xi fa cai! We’re ringing in the Year of the Dog with a new website – – brought to you in partnership from us and Tourism Vancouver.

We’ve always known the Lunar New Year was a big celebration in Richmond – the crowds at Aberdeen and River Rock get bigger every year. There’s no shortage of things to do during this time and we wanted to find a way to promote it. Thus, the Lunar New Year Festival website was born. Simply put, it’s a one-stop-shop for visitors and locals alike to plan their Lunar New Year experience in Richmond and Vancouver.

It’s not the first time we’ve collaborated with Tourism Vancouver to develop a wonderful product, and it certainly won’t be the last. We previously partnered with Tourism Vancouver, along with the Lower Mainland Tourism Alliance, to bring West Coast Foods to life, so this partnership was natural for us. By partnering, we were able to create a compelling Chinese New Year experience and events calendar to support the shoulder season.

Busiest Convention Year Ever

Busiest Convention Year Ever 2018

As you may know, Vancouver’s gearing up to host a record 33 citywide conventions and events in 2018. This has a direct impact on Richmond tourism-primary businesses, as we can expect to be the beneficiaries of the spillover effect.

While we aren’t strangers to this effect, it’s still a good idea to keep a close eye on the full list of upcoming citywide conventions posted on Tourism Vancouver. Some of the biggest conventions and sporting events are happening next month, including the Rugby Sevens (25,000 expected attendance), the 2018 GLOBE Forum (10,000 expected attendance), SIGGRAPH (15,000 expected attendance) and many others. The influx of attendees and visitors means more traffic through the Vancouver International Airport, the surrounding areas, and ultimately, at your business.

Changes in the Industry

Airbnb and the British Columbia government signed a landmark deal that deeply impacts our industry: Airbnb will be collecting eight per cent provincial sales tax and up to three per cent municipal and regional district tax on all bookings made through Airbnb. The province estimates the MRDT collected through Airbnb bookings will amount to around $5 million, which will go towards promoting tourism. We’re keeping a close eye on this development as well as working with the city to determine what this means for our destination. 

As always, my door is open to you for open discussion, thoughtful exchanges and feedback, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at I look forward to seeing you at future industry events and workshops.

Kindest regards,

Bruce Okabe, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Richmond

Bruce Okabe
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer