To recognize excellence and innovation with the BC tourism industry, the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia in partnership with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, established the British Columbia Tourism Industry Awards. These prestigious awards recognize individuals and organizations that are leading the way in this dynamic industry, earning the distinction as the best in their field. 

Erik Graff was awarded the WorldHost Customer Service Award. This award recognises frontline employees whose exceptional customer service contributed to outstanding travel experiences for visitors in 2010/2011.

“HI-C-PM Region is very proud and honoured that one of our volunteers, Erik Graff, has been recognized by the Tourism Industry in receiving such a prestigious award. Erik is one of over 120,000 employed or volunteering in the tourism industry in British Columbia. He was very deserving of it,” said Alistair McLean, CEO of HI-C-PM Region.

HI-C-PM Region Board’s Chair, Peter Nietresta, commented, “Erik's accomplishments on behalf of HI are truly remarkable.  At HI we strive to offer our guests unique experiences in all our hostels, and Erik's extensive volunteer commitment to our organization has allowed over 16,000 guests to experience Vancouver and its surrounding natural areas in truly amazing ways that you can only appreciate by going on one of Erik's tours.  It's one thing to wander around and take a look at a few sights on your own but an entirely different experience with Erik where you are immersed in what Vancouver is really all about!  Throughout this adventure you get to share the experience with likeminded travellers from around the world, many of whom may become your friends by the time the tour comes to an end back at the hostel.  Erik's selfless commitment is certainly deserving of the Worldhost Customer Service Award!”

Erik’s commitment to HI has been amazing.

Erik has been a volunteer for Hostelling International in Vancouver for 17 years. He guides his nine hour Vancouver and area tours twice a week, for seven months of the year. He has become well known in the backpacker industry, and has never missed giving his tours for the last 15 years. Come rain or shine, Erik is ready to show tourists the beautiful sights of Vancouver. Due to the popularity of his tours, Erik has received recognition in high profile guidebooks such as the Lonely Planet.

Each year at least 1,100 guests join Erik on his tours and since he started in 1995, he has had over 16,000 join him. I am sure you would agree that is a whole lot of travellers Erik has met! Erik has a real passion for Vancouver and loves to share that passion and show people why he just loves it here. We are actually lucky to have Erik in our country at all; originally from Denmark, back in the 60s Erik had been planning on immigrating to Australia, but after seeing an aerial photo of Vancouver’s beautiful mountains and coastline he changed his life plans and ended up in Vancouver.

"Having done the Vancouver city tours for 17 years, it has brought me tremendous pleasure to offer our visitors from around the world, this incredibly beautiful city and surrounding nature. One of the things that our guests find so unbelievable, is the fact that Vancouver (2.3 million inhabitants) has "so much natural beauty" so relatively close to the city centre, which no other major city can offer.  I run the tours 7 months a year, from mid April, until the 2nd. week in November! I hope to see you on one of my tours soon!" said Erik.

Find out more about Erik’s Tours >>


Author: Backpacker Buzz


Micah's picture
Erik is an amazing volunteer and this is a well earned honour. Keep up the great work, Erik!

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