Dear Team Richmond,

Greetings from Victoria! 

It has been a busy couple of months for me, having met stakeholders, RTOs and buyers at two different trade shows. Last month, I had the good fortune to attend Showcase Canada Asia in Beijing. This month, I attended Canada’s West Marketplace with our marketing and sales team.  The three-day event combined appointments, social events, networking opportunities and FAM tours to international and domestic travel and tour operators. We were joined by 11 Richmond based Sellers, including six hoteliers. Attractions and tour operators such as Harbour Air Seaplanes, International Stage Lines, Pacific Coastal Airways, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport, the Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval and Vancouver Whale Watch rounded out Team Richmond at Canada West Marketplace.

While we were actively pitching Richmond experiences to buyers, we were also there for another purpose: to launch Richmond’s new destination brand to over 300 overseas tour operators and industry stakeholders during the BC lunch held on Tuesday, November 14. And I’m happy to say – it was very well received. 

If you missed the lunch at Canada’s West Marketplace, you have another opportunity for an exclusive preview at our Industry Luncheon on November 24 at the Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel. Tickets, while limited, are still available. Have a sneak peek at our behind-the-scenes video of how the new destination brand came to life.

The Future of Cycling Tourism in Richmond

Village Bikes in Steveston

I’ll admit it: I’m an avid cyclist. I took up cycling to stay active and quickly realized it was another way for visitors to experience a destination. Richmond is rich with biking trails and I felt it was an underserved part of our destination, which is why our industry development manager Ceri Chong and I attended the National Bicycle Tourism Conference earlier this month.

With our 80 kilometers of relatively flat biking trails in the city and along the waterside, we felt it was time to learn how to best market this experience to visitors particularly to Baby Boomers and those who want to participate in active leisure adventure. Learning from CVBs and DMOs who have established their bike travel and tourism programs afforded us an insider’s look at best practices, challenges and opportunities – all of which we can implement in a future plan for cycling tourism in Richmond. Cycle tourism is a fast growing multi-million dollar industry around the world and I am convinced that Richmond can become one of Canadas premier cycle destinations. 

I hope to see you at our industry luncheon next Friday and if I don’t see you, please continue to reach out to me directly at bokabe@tourismrichmond.com. I look forward to the thoughtful exchanges and feedback from the community.

Kindest regards,

Bruce Okabe
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer