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Exploring opportunities to grow B.C. tourism

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
11:00 AM
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Schedule:Registration, Networking and Canapés:  11:00 a.m.
Program:  11:30 - 12:30 p.m.
Sponsorship Opportunities


The economic significance of the tourism industry is undeniable.

It is one of the fastest-growing sectors around the globe, with the number of international travellers projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. Here in British Columbia, tourism is a critical economic driver that brings a host of social and cultural benefits to our communities.

The Greater Vancouver Economic Scorecard 2018 identified international tourism as a promising source of potential economic growth in our region. To fully leverage this opportunity, the tourism industry in B.C. needs to continue building strong brands, embracing innovative solutions, and exploring new strategies and opportunities.

At this event you will:

  • Learn about what industry leaders need to do to ensure long term success for the tourism industry.
  • Hear where the major players in B.C.'s tourism industry are finding new opportunities for growth and how they are building strong brands.
  • Gain insights into how the tourism industry is reacting to shifting political landscapes – at home and abroad.

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Steve Sammut

Steve Sammut
President, Rocky Mountaineer

Based in Vancouver, B.C., Steve Sammut joined Rocky Mountaineer in 2012 and was appointed President in 2015, leading the Rocky Mountaineer team. Before his role as President, he served as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer overseeing all areas of Finance, IT, Strategic Planning and Corporate Development for the organization.

With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Sammut provides overall leadership to deliver growth, consumer value and long-term strategic direction for building the Rocky Mountaineer brand. He possesses an impressive business acumen with deep experience in the hospitality and real estate industries.

Prior to joining Rocky Mountaineer, Mr. Sammut held the position of Chief Financial Officer with Intracorp Projects Limited, a leading real estate development firm. He was also active in a variety of senior leadership roles at the global resort operator and developer, Intrawest ULC, including Corporate Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for the Real Estate Division. At the beginning of his career, he spent five years with CIBC World Markets Corporate Banking Group in Toronto, Ontario.

A Chartered Financial Analyst, Mr. Sammut holds a Master of Business Administration degree from McMaster University and received an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.

 Ty Speer

Ty Speer
President and CEO, Tourism Vancouver

Ty has a strong background in sales and marketing and has held senior leadership positions in organizations with parallels to Tourism Vancouver – most notably in major sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

He brings a private‐sector, international perspective with extensive experience working with boards of directors, multi‐levels of government, corporate sponsors and media. His most recent role was Deputy CEO of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games where he led a commercial program that exceeded some $168 million in revenues. For the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, his responsibilities included leading all client partnerships (55 sponsors) and managing commercial relationships with the British Olympic Association, the British Paralympic Association and various public sector partners such as Greater London Authority, Visit London and UK Sport.

Prior to his recent consecutive games' experiences, Ty held senior positions with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and Octagon (formerly Advantage International).

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ty has a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Management from the Australian Graduate Schools of Management in Sydney.

Tracy Eyssens

Tracy Eyssens
CEO, Indigenous Tourism BC

Tracy Eyssens brings over 20 years of working with Indigenous communities in British Columbia. Her expertise in economic development and forging strategic collaborations has enabled her to build effective partnerships to enable the development of prosperous economies for Indigenous peoples. She has worked with over 150 First Nations across B.C. supporting over 300 projects in First Nation communities.

As the CEO, she has secured $4.025M in multi-year funding to support ITBC's 5 Year Strategy "Pulling Together". Her passion for delivering positive results has enabled her to build and lead a dynamic team at ITBC executing new and innovative initiatives that will build a thriving Indigenous tourism sector in B.C.

Marsha Walden

Marsha Walden
President and CEO, Destination British Columbia

Marsha Walden is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Destination British Columbia. A life-long British Columbian, Marsha's career spans corporate leadership roles in marketing, strategy, transformation, operations, communications, and social responsibility. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, loves to travel, and takes full advantage of family life in our extraordinary province.

Special Remarks

Hon. Mélanie Joly

The Honourable Mélanie Joly
Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, Government of Canada

A lawyer by training, Minister Joly is passionate about her city of Montréal and the power of positive politics.

Minister Joly worked at two major law firms in Montréal before making the leap into communications, as a managing partner of the Montréal office of the international communications firm Cohn & Wolfe.

A firm believer in the importance of community involvement, Minister Joly has served on numerous boards of directors, including those of the Régie des rentes du Québec, Fondation du CHUM, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She has also served as a spokesperson for Logis Rose-Virginie and as an ambassador for Herstreet.

Minister Joly holds an Honours Bachelor of Law from Université de Montréal and a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford.

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Supporting Sponsors:
Rocky Mountaineer

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