AGA-BC: Update From The President 2018

It has been two, very quick years since you last received an update on the activities of the AGA-BC. In that period of time we have experienced a change of Government, increased pressure throughout the Province regarding water usage, increased pressure on small business through increased taxation and minimum wage increases, not to mention the continuing environmental pressures we are faced with in our daily activities. These are to name a few, of the increasing difficulties facing the golf industry.

Having said that, all is not doom and gloom as we have made great strides in dealing with a great number of these issues and have truly set the path forward to finding solutions and opportunity for growth.

Positive Outcomes:

  1. Conducted a Metro Vancouver Water Survey and Golf Industry Townhall in collaboration with the WCTA and BCGSA that helped shape the Metro Vancouver Water Use Plan and will provide a foundation for increased engagement of municipalities throughout the province.
  2. Facilitated changes to the redline liquor licensing boundaries for golf course operations in British Columbia together with the NGCOA
  3. Oversaw the production of an IPM Manual to assist both the government and the Golf Industry in fair and equitable integrated pest management regulations
  4. Continued lobbying of Government to introduce an adult fitness tax credit for British Columbians to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. This is one of the tax initiatives we have put forward every year to the select standing committee on finance.
  5. Continued collaborative lobbying efforts with Bluestone Government Relations towards maintaining our excellent relationships with government.
  6. Assisted with the expansion of the “First Green” program across Canada with the WCTA for the advancement of golf industry public awareness. This program is administered by the GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association and America) and utilizes the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching concept to educate school aged children on how golf integrates into the community, from playing it to its environmental impact.
  7. Facilitated annual $250,000 Co-Operative Marketing Partnership Program applications to Destination British Columbia as the legal entity for the British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance and six sub-provincial / regional organizations to together implement over $1 Million in marketing initiatives toward growing golf tourism in our province.
  8. Presented our AGA-BC objectives and accomplishments to the CSCM Canadian Society of Club Managers – Interior Sector in Kelowna.
  9. Attended the USGA Symposium in Vancouver, bringing all of the golf associations in North America together under one roof to discuss programs implemented and ways of collaboration.
  10. Met together with new Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum to discuss the successful role of the AGA-BC and explore opportunities for collaboration. I cannot underscore enough the role British Columbia Golf has played in fostering relationships between all of the Associations. Under the direction and leadership of Kris Jonasson we have been able to bridge many issues with both financial and administrative assistance.
  11. Revised our operating process to ensure compliance with the new Societies Act
  12. Commenced a strategic planning process facilitated by Shawn Ireland and Chelsea Craig, with a completion goal of the Spring of 2019.
  13. Our Golf Industry Scorecard remains a key communication tool for us and is accessible on our website with print copies also available should you have a need.

Next on the AGA-BC Tee:

  • Golf Awareness Day at the BC Legislature – May 28th
  • Continued strategic planning including a sustainable funding model for ongoing government relations and priority initiatives as well as a communications strategy.

I would also like to take this time to thank an outstanding group of board members who have worked tirelessly as volunteers to keep the golf industry firmly in front of Government. Without their dedication I am sure we would not be able to move forward with many of these initiatives.

I don’t mean to repeat myself but when something makes sense there is no point in trying to recreate it.  “Our hope is that this report will provide insight into the importance of what we are trying to accomplish and convey the need for all associations to participate – mentally, physically and financially. Given the breadth, depth and scope of work we do and that still needs to be done, the need to work together as a group for the betterment of the Golf Industry is both clear and imperative. No one group can do it alone. We look forward to another year of positive collaboration.”

If there are any questions please feel free to call me.

Sincerely,
Trevor Smith
President, AGA-BC
Tel: 250-320-6411
Email: president@aga-bc.org

The BCGMA Grows Golf Tourism In British Columbia

The British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance (BCGMA) is a cooperative marketing alliance whose primary mandate is to grow golf tourism in British Columbia.

BCGMA stakeholders include 74 featured golf courses, regional golf destination marketing alliances, destination marketing organizations, Destination British Columbia, British Columbia Golf, and as of September 2015 every provincial golf course 9 holes or larger (274 of them) are included in their online golf directory!

Highlights of our 2015 & 2016 Marketing Programs include:

  • 8 Featured Golf Regions
  • 74 Featured Golf Courses (37% increase from 54 in 2015)
  • 39% grown on our provincial golf tourism website GolfinBritishColumbia.com in 2015, and traffic is up a further 91% for the 2016 marketing cycle.
  • Over 2.76 Million Impressions generated through a $90,000 cooperative marketing program in 2015, and a new $118,000 program being implemented right now for 2016
  • Award winning database marketing to: 14, 754
  • Central Reservations sales increases of 39% in 2015 to $403,434, and are up 33% YTD for 2016!

We are delighted with the success of the BCGMA cooperative marketing program in the last 4 years and have every reason to believe that 2016 is shaping up to be a watershed year for golf tourism in British Columbia…

  • Industry consultation is taking place for the possible introduction of a Destination Marketing Fee on golf course green fees thereby generating long term sustainable marketing resources for the British Columbia golf industry.
  • On January 29th, the BCGMA was awarded $250,000 in Co-operative advertising funding from Destination British Columbia. This includes a provincial allocation as well as leverage for 8 regional golf destination marketing organizations in the province, including some that have never received provincial leverage. This is great cause for celebration for golf tourism in British Columbia and many thanks again to the AGA-BC as our legal entity in this process.
  • On that same day, three British Columbia golf resorts were included in a national application to Destination Canada, together with two from AB, two from Ontario, one from Quebec and one from Cape Breton, for matching “Connecting America” funds and have since received notification of $250,000 in Co-operative advertising funding from Destination Canada.

Cheers to a rising tide for golf tourism in British Columbia as it will lift all golf industry boats!

Trisha Larsen
Director of Marketing
British Columbia Golf Marketing Alliance