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5 Vancouver Island tourism teams earn top accolades

Oak Bay Beach Hotel best employer, Malahat SkyWalk voted people’s choice
Faro at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, which was recently honoured as Employer of the Year at the 2022 Vancouver Island Tourism Conference Industry Awards. Faro was previously listed on the inaugural 100 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining list by (Courtesy of Oak Bay Beach Hotel)

Five winners walked away with accolades from the 2022 Vancouver Island Tourism Conference Industry Awards at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria on April 13.

The Vancouver Island Tourism Conference was an opportunity gather as an industry in person and celebrate resilience, dedication and innovation, said Anthony Everett, president and CEO of 4VI (formerly Tourism Vancouver Island)

“The tourism and hospitality businesses and employees in the Vancouver Island region have shown incredible resilience through the pandemic. … They are all deserving of an award and I wish we could recognize each and every one by name,” Everett said.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel was named employer of the year, an award that recognizes businesses that exemplify best practices in gender equity, diversity, skills training and benefits.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s waterfront spa deemed best in B.C., 25th across North America

The hotel focused on retention and development the last year, identifying the need to focus on the mental health and wellness of team members, as well as their growth, according to a news release. Through various programs the hotel addressed cost-of-living realities while creating a culture of balance and growth with employees, and achieved the highest employee engagement scores it has ever recorded.

Malahat SkyWalk was named people’s choice, as voted by conference attendees. Participants find the new Malahat SkyWalk thoughtful, well designed and accessible. Its partnership with Malahat Nation, mindful travel aspects and forest, history, and education – before visitors even reach the incredible Spiral Tower, set the SkyWalk above others.

READ ALSO: Master carver Marston’s work graces Malahat Skywalk

Victoria Airport Authority earned the social responsibility award, for businesses that contribute to a vibrant community and demonstrate a belief in giving back. This award highlights the teams that make an impact on community, environment, the local culture and on business.

In January 2021, Victoria International Airport (YYJ) received the Rick Hansen Foundation’s Accessibility Certified Gold rating, the second airport in B.C. and fourth in Canada to achieve the status. In addition, YYJ implemented a curbside assistance program where its passenger engagement and safety officers help people with disabilities move through the terminal. In 2021, the team responded to more than 700 requests for assistance.

Josh Brown of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet, was named employee of the year. The award recognizes a front-line tourism employee who has demonstrated exemplary work performance, is valued for outstanding service and seen as a key contributor to team success.

Brown has worked at the resort for more than 10 years, starting as a houseperson and moving his way up to duty manager. Dubbed a “Josh of all trades.” He is the champion of the Green Team, working hard to implement an improved recycling process. Because of his fun-loving, laid-back nature, the team was quickly on board and ensured he had support for the program. He truly wants guests to have a memorable experience at the resort and is someone the team knows they can count on.

READ ALSO: Malahat Skywalk wins prestigious tourism innovation award

Kaatza Station Museum in Lake Cowichan was named resilient business of the year, which celebrates industry members who participated in the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program and demonstrated a keen ability to innovate, adapt and build during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit for more information on the conference.

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