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July 22, 2014
USA Today's 10 Best Choose Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Myrtle Beach Area

Myrtle Beach, S.C.—SA Today’s 10Best has published its list of the top 10 best luxury hotels in the Myrtle Beach area.

These 10 resorts were touted for their “upscale accommodations and first-class amenities.” The top 10, as chosen by USA Today’s 10Best, are:

·       North Beach Plantation
·       Marina Inn at Grande Dunes
·       Marriott Resort at Grand Dunes Myrtle Beach
·       Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort
·       Island Vista
·       Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach at Kingston Plantation
·       Avista Resort
·       Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center
·       Anderson Ocean Club
·       Dunes Village Resort

“These fantastic resorts are just a small sampling of the hundreds of wonderful accommodations the Myrtle Beach area has to offer,” said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.  “Everything from hotels and condominiums to vacation beach homes are available at affordable rates for a family on any budget. Our wide selection of accommodations is one of the many reasons we are a world-class beach destination.”

For a listing of all hotel deals in the Myrtle Beach area, go to

About The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Since 1938, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has stood as the unified voice of the Grand Strand's business community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded the MBACC its five-star accreditation, one of only several chambers in South Carolina to earn this distinction. The MBACC serves Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Little River, Atlantic Beach, Garden City Beach, Loris, Conway, Aynor, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. For more information, visit

July 21, 2014
Ottawa Tourism to host One Young World 2016

Ottawa, ON—Ottawa Tourism has won the rights to host the prestigious One Young World summit in 2016. Ottawa was the only western city in the running, competing against Bangkok, Thailand (which won the right to host in 2015); Kobe, Japan; and Hong Kong.

One Young World is an inspiring event, drawing close to 1,500 of the best and brightest young (18-30) entrepreneurs, businesspeople, humanitarians, and creators together from around the world to network and work on the problems of our day. More than 190 countries are represented, making this the most diverse event on the planet after the Olympic summer games. The annual summit has attracted Sir Richard Branson, Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and other luminaries, who are enthusiastic supporters.

“This event will raise Ottawa’s profile on the global stage like never before,” says Noel Buckley, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “These are prominent young people—and several high-profile Counsellors working with them—who will make connections that will further their careers and their projects… and Ottawa will be a part of that legacy.”

“Ottawa Convention Centre is proud to host the prestigious event One Young World within our world class facility,” said OCC President and CEO Patrick Kelly. “Our striking location, our commitment to the environment and our superior service are all a great fit with welcoming the leaders of today and tomorrow, a fact that was reinforced recently when we were named runner up as the World’s Best Convention Centre.”

The Ottawa event will take place September 28 to October 1, 2016. When the site selection committee visited in late June 2014, it toured several potential host hotels and other venues such as the Ottawa Convention Centre, National Arts Centre, Canadian Museum of Nature and more. The general public of Ottawa will be encouraged to get involved with this event, so stay tuned!

A delegation from Ottawa will attend the 2014 event in Dublin, Ireland in October and in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015. This short video from the 2013 event shares the power of the One Young World summit:

Ottawa Tourism provides industry leadership and destination marketing to service the travel media and attract visitors, tours and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Visit Ottawa Tourism at

July 21, 2014
WestJet Encore announces first Maritime destination

Calgary—WestJet announced today it will launch twice-daily, non-stop service between Toronto and Fredericton, New Brunswick, effective April 15, 2015. Flights will be operated by WestJet Encore using its fleet of 78-seat, Canadian-made Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft.

"The launch of service to Fredericton marks WestJet Encore's eastern-most destination to date," said Ferio Pugliese, WestJet Executive Vice-President and President, WestJet Encore. "We are very pleased to bring our low fares, high value and remarkable WestJet guest experience to the capital of New Brunswick for the first time, and we look forward to offering residents of Fredericton and the surrounding area the opportunity to take advantage of WestJet's growing domestic, transborder and international network. WestJet Encore's move eastward is part of a strategic plan to continue to liberate Canadians in smaller communities from the high cost of air travel, as WestJet has done throughout its 18-year history."

"We are delighted Fredericton has been chosen as the first destination to receive WestJet Encore in the Maritime Provinces," says David Innes, President and CEO, Fredericton International Airport.  "Our region has tremendous vitality and access to WestJet service was identified by our passengers as a high priority during our Community Air Access Strategy discussions in 2013."

Details of WestJet's new twice-daily service between Toronto and Fredericton:








8 a.m.

11:09 a.m.

April 15, 2015



2:50 p.m.

5:59 p.m.

April 15, 2015



11:45 a.m.

1:16 p.m.

April 15, 2015



6:35 p.m.

8:06 p.m.

April 15, 2015

Introductory one-way fares starting from:



Air transportation
charges (ATC)

fees and

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price from

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*Some restrictions apply. Bookings must be completed by 11:59pm MST July 23, 2014. Please see for details.

Convenient, same-day connections are available via Toronto Pearson to a variety of WestJet's domestic and international destinations including Montreal, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Vancouver, New York (LaGuardia), Las Vegas, Orlando and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

WestJet Encore launched in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it operates 90 departures daily to 19 destinations with 12 aircraft and approximately 500 employees.

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's most-preferred airline, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to 90 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 120 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods  ΜΆ  even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit

July 18, 2014
Palace Resorts Breaks Into Jamaica Market With Landmark Property

Miami—Palace Resorts – the company that sets the standard in luxurious, all-inclusive resort accommodations – proudly announces its newest property, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, the first Palace Resorts property located outside of Mexico. Expected to open in early 2015, the property, which will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation, is situated in the north coast of Jamaica, at the head of famed Ocho Rios Bay.

Set to undergo a 50 million dollar enhancement in September 2014, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande was acquired by Palace Resorts in July 2014 from Sunset Resorts Jamaica. Extensive renovations will include modernized guest rooms, overhauled meeting spaces, upgrades and redesigns of the common areas, restaurant updates, the addition of a FlowRider® Double wave simulator, Wired Teen Lounge and more. Ideal for a variety of guests ranging from families to couples, the resort will also feature an on property nightclub for adults and expansive kids club dubbed, "The Playroom" for guests 12 years of age and under.

"The Palace Resorts brand has successfully redefined Mexico's tourism and hospitality landscape and solidified our reputation as groundbreaking leaders of innovation within the all-inclusive arena. The natural beauty of Ocho Rios combined with the appeal of the iconic property, provided an enviable launching pad for the next chapter in Palace Resorts' story," said Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts. "As we look to the future, we believe Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will offer new and exciting opportunities and experiences for our valued guests seeking the highest caliber vacation experience. As we cement our footprint in the Caribbean, it is our hope that Moon Palace Jamaica Grande becomes Jamaica's top entertainment destination, bringing economic growth and positively impacting the island." 

"Launching our first property in Jamaica was a strategic decision. We believe this expansion will propel the Palace Resorts brand to new heights, as Jamaica is one of the most valued destinations for several of our key markets including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. With Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, the possibilities are truly endless, and we are eager to further develop the brand and introduce Palace Resorts to an entirely new audience," said Sandor Winkler, Chief Development Officer for Palace Resorts. "Jamaica is an absolute top destination and our entrance into the market is an anchor, as we continue to move into more destinations within the Caribbean."

Meet Me in Jamaica  
Poised to continue the brand's stellar reputation for unmatched meetings and events capabilities, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will offer the most meeting space of any hotel in Jamaica. Boasting 30,000 square feet of multi-functional space the property's meeting capabilities are comprised of multiple meeting rooms, ballrooms, exhibition areas, an outdoor terrace and more, ensuring a jaw-dropping setting for events. Fully equipped with smart technology, offering the latest audiovisual equipment and conveniently located rigging points throughout, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will be ideal for corporate clients and associations seeking a venue with outstanding facilities and services, accommodating groups both intimate and grand.

Taste the Difference
With five dining destinations throughout the property, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will feature exciting and eclectic flavors such as gourmet Asian, traditional Italian and modern Caribbean, among others, ensuring even the most discerning of gourmand guest palates is satisfied. The new property will also feature Palace Resorts' answer to endless snack and food options, via an upscale gourmet food corridor. Part farmer's market, part cafe, the gourmet corridor will offer patrons a wide variety of fresh cuisines from around the world.  As with all Palace Resorts properties, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will offer top-shelf libations and premium cuisine featuring only the highest quality standards. Additionally, the resort will offer 24-hour room service to valued guests seeking everything from a late night snack to a full course meal.

Jamaica Chic Meets Palace Glamour
Palace Resorts, the groundbreaking innovator that introduced the world to iconic brands such as Le Blanc Spa Resort and Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun, is expected to aesthetically transform Sunset Jamaica Grande into a destination resort fitting of its namesake. Conceived by cutting-edge designer Francois Frossard, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will offer guests dynamic decor and design that blends whimsical, European influences with chic Caribbean undertones. A tropical haven that is both respective and reflective of its Jamaican backdrop, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande is expected to raise the bar for all-inclusive decadence with Frossard's fantastical designs. 

Pamper Yourself in Wellness
Perhaps the most remarkable of Moon Palace Jamaica Grande's amenities will be the stunning 35,000 square foot wellness sanctuary. As luxury resorts continue to be synonymous with health and wellness offerings, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will redefine the notion of a traditional all-inclusive resort on its head, with an Awe Spa and state-of-the-art gymnasium. A decadent oasis for pampering, the resort's Awe Spa will come complete with multiple private treatment rooms, plunge pools and common areas for meditation and yoga. Offering a boutique experience of personalized service and treatments on a grand resort scale, a wealth of elements will guide the spa's selection of products, including the sea, Ocho Rios' tropical climate and Jamaica's local cultures. Natural elements of light, exotic wood and stone will be combined with modern decor to create a soothing ambiance for spa guests.

Lastly, as part of the enhancement project, each guest room will now feature the original CHI Ceramic Hairstyling Iron and CHI Pro Hair-Dryer, as well as the CHI wetline bath amenities including: Infra Shampoo, Infra Treatment (conditioner), body lotion, and bubble bath.

Located on the north coast of Jamaica, less than 90 minutes from the Montego Bay airport, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will feature 730 guestrooms and suites on a superb 17-acre beachfront featuring the longest stretch of private beach in Ocho Rios. Featuring a white-haute sand beach fringing the resort, five lavish swimming pools, lush verdant foliage, waterfalls, plunge pools and swim-up bars, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will welcome guests upon completion early 2015.

On July 17, 2014, Palace Resorts assumed ownership of the Ocho Rios' landmark property, Sunset Jamaica Grande, and will close its doors on September 1, 2014 to commence the multimillion-dollar enhancement project. Guests who book a stay of five nights or more will be privy to the most valuable vacation promotion on record – Palace Resorts' ever popular $1,500 Resort Credit, which can be used on spa and beauty salon treatments, chef dinners, romantic dinners on the beach, wedding packages, and off-site excursions and tours such as dolphin swims, snorkeling tours, river tubing, Negril city tours, Waterfall excursions and much more.  

To reserve your Palace Resorts stay, please visit, call (866) 424-4623 or contact your preferred travel professional.

About Palace Resorts
With eight oceanfront resorts overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Palace Resorts sets the highest standards for five-star all-inclusive vacations in Mexico and Jamaica. Offering luxurious and spacious accommodations accentuated by signature in-room double whirlpool tubs, nightly entertainment, the Caribbean's most extravagant spas and premier Jack Nicklaus signature golf courses, Palace Resorts sets the stage for a truly exceptional experience for travelers. The unparalleled level of service and comfort found at each property makes Palace Resorts a leading provider of world-class resort vacations.

July 17, 2014
Air Canada Named Best Airline in North America for Fifth Consecutive Year

Montreal—Air Canada has been named Best Airline in North America in the Skytrax 2014 World Airline Awards at the Farnborough International Airshow. It is the fifth consecutive year Air Canada has been recognized as the best airline in North America and among the leading carriers of the world. The annual poll, based on surveys of nearly 19 million global passengers, is regarded as a key benchmarking tool for product excellence and customer satisfaction by the global airline industry.

"We are extremely pleased that the Skytrax World Airline Awards have recognized Air Canada as the Best Airline in North America for five straight years. The North American aviation industry is highly competitive and it is therefore a source of great pride for Air Canada to consistently lead in this geography in terms of both service excellence and industry-leading products. Being the Best Airline in North America also places Air Canada amongst the leading airlines of the world and sets the bar very high to continue improving.  We are delighted to have established a leadership position in such a global industry from a Canadian base," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer.

"This award also reflects what more than 35 million customers tell us each year through their greatly appreciated loyalty: that Air Canada is one of the safest, most comfortable and convenient airlines to fly. I thank our 27,000 employees around the world, who all share in winning this award, for their professionalism and dedication."

"Air Canada has a secure grip on this award as Best Airline in North America, being a repeat winner again in 2014. With the awards voted for by airline customers worldwide, they represent the voice of passengers, and being a truly global survey are regarded as a benchmark of airline excellence," said Edward Plaisted, Chief Executive Officer of Skytrax. "This award recognizes the front-line service quality being delivered by Air Canada staff across all customer-facing areas, both in the airport and onboard environment, and it is their success that we are honoring today with this award."

About the World Airline Awards
The World Airline Awards ( are managed by aviation research organization, Skytrax Research of London, UK.  The transparency and global coverage of the survey distinguish these awards as the most prestigious and respected quality recognition for today's world airline industry.  The Survey operated between August 2013 and May 2014, with more than 100 customer nationalities from over 160 countries participating. The 2014 Awards are based on 18.85 million completed customer surveys, and included over 245 airlines worldwide. The survey covers all types of airline, from largest international airlines to small domestic carriers, with customers ranking quality standards across more than 40 areas of airline front-line product and service.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents.  Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2013 served more than 35 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 73 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,269 destinations in 193 countries.  Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax that ranked Air Canada in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers as Best Airline in North America in 2014 for the fifth consecutive year.  For more information, please visit:

July 17, 2014
Egencia Continues Global Growth Momentum with Six New Service Sites

Bellevue, Wash.—Egencia®, the business travel company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE), today announced that following the launch of online services in the Czech Republic and five new Egencia Global Alliance (EGA) partners added over the last six months, a total of 64 countries are now served by the company. The company's expansion responds to customer demand for services in new global markets.

"Egencia has grown and grown consistently over the past several years, outpacing our major competitors and showing double-digit, top-line growth every year," says Rob Greyber, president of Egencia. "Geographically, we're expanding right along with our customers as they reach into emerging markets. No matter where they book their travel, travelers get the same expert Egencia customer service, and our clients can count on consistent travel management programs and consolidated reporting across all regions."

Customer Service with Local Insights and Integrated Technology
On June 30th, 2014, Egencia launched its online services,, in the Czech Republic. The new online services reinforce the partnership between Egencia and Czech EGA partner, Business Travel Unlimited, allowing the offline services they provide to be integrated into the Egencia online booking system. Customers in that region can now access the Egencia online booking tool locally and continue to turn to Business Travel Unlimited for travel consultant services.

Middle East North Africa
Three out of the five new EGA partnerships are located in the strategic Middle East North Africa region.

  • Dubai, a major business and transportation hub for the Middle East, made the United Arab Emirates one of the first countries covered by the EGA program when it started in 2009. Egencia has signed a new EGA partnership there with Al Tayer Travel, a privately held Dubai-based company operating in 12 countries throughout the Middle East.

  • In response to increasing customer demand, Egencia now covers Egypt through a partnership with Travco Group International, a Giza-based full service travel agency with 30 independent companies.

  • In Algeria, EGA partner OK Voyage is one of the top five travel companies in the market and serves Egencia customers from its headquarters in Algiers.

Latin America
In January 2014, Egencia added Uruguay to its countries served in Latin America. New EGA partner Montevido-based Viajes y Turismo (VYT) is a leading travel agency with over 32 years of experience in the corporate travel industry.

Asia Pacific
The latest addition to the EGA network in the Asia Pacific region is Orbit Corporate Travel in New Zealand. Orbit Corporate Travel has over 25 years of experience in the corporate travel industry and is part of the House of Travel Group, the largest travel brand in New Zealand.

For an interactive map with all of the Egencia locations worldwide, go to

Egencia will be highlighting its momentum in travel management solutions at the GBTA convention in Los Angeles from July 24-30. Visit booth #2625 to find out more and see our latest technology innovations.

About Egencia
Egencia is a leading full-service travel management company delivering innovative business travel technology and expert local service to more than 10,000 clients in 64 countries around the world.  As part of Expedia, Inc., one of the world's largest travel companies, Egencia provides forward-looking companies with the ability to drive compliance and cost savings in their travel programs, while meeting the needs and requirements of the modern business traveler. For more information please visit us at or connect with us on Twitter @Egencia.

July 16, 2014
Puerto Vallarta Reinforces Commitment to Business Travel with Restructuring of CVB

New YorkPuerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s premiere business travel destinations, has restructured its Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) in an effort to increase outreach, assistance and promotion of the destination through meetings, incentive travel and conference markets.

The entity will be headed by Executive Director Miguel Andres Hernandez, who served as President of the Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Association Tourism Board from 2010 to 2012, and GM of Puerto Vallarta’s Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa from 2009 to 2012. The CVB will promote tourism development in the region and act as a liaison between international and local businesses and governments as a way to facilitate and attract international meetings, conferences, events and incentive travel to the city.

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has been promoting the city’s infrastructure in the business travel market as part of its promotions and public relations campaigns. As a result, Puerto Vallarta is currently in an alliance with the Mexico Tourism Board, participating in conferences and events such as AIBTM, IMEX and MPI in 2013 and this year and becoming an MPI Preferred Partner in April.

The CVB will take these initiatives further by providing meeting planners a direct contact to work with when bringing events and programs to Puerto Vallarta. Hernandez and his team will be able to offer presentations on the destination’s infrastructure and offerings, support and answer RFP’s, provide welcoming collateral and assist in obtaining permits within the city and support from local, State and Federal governments for bigger conferences or events.

This year the destination will once again be holding Vallarta Meetings, Puerto Vallarta’s special educational trip for US and Canadian meeting planners, from November 10-15. To learn more on this initiative please visit

Located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta turned 96 this year; while it has grown to be a world-class destination, at its center it still remains a charming Mexican pueblo with colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Its 120 miles are surrounded by the Bay of Banderas and the Sierra Madre, making it Mexico’s most diverse and most Mexican destination. The sea port where the Charros (Mexican cowboys) play, adventure seekers zipline and foodies taste one of over 360 restaurants.

The city of Puerto Vallarta started a series of remodeling projects six years ago, and in the past two years has re-opened its iconic Malecon, or boardwalk, the historic Pier Los Muertos was refurbished and the streets of the downtown area were widened, making it one of the few tourist zones in Mexico to be pedestrian friendly and wheelchair accessible.

In the past 6 months, two hotels have opened in Puerto Vallarta - Hotel One, with 125 rooms & Holiday Inn Express, with 115 rooms – both are conveniently located less than 10 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta’s a state-of-the-art International Convention Center, airport (PVR) and downtown. By the end of 2015 three other hotels will have opened, the Hyatt Ziva and Hotel Mousai in the Mismaloya area and the Altamar in the Romantic Zone. In addition, the Puerto Vallarta Fiesta Americana will be converting to an All-Inclusive in October.

As of 2013, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has been proactively working on its connectivity and increasing flights to the destination from the United States and Canada as well as Europe and South America. This includes direct flights from St. Louis, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Vancouver, Chicago and Oregon, resulting in a 17% increase in international arrivals for the first 6 months of this year.

Additional information on Puerto Vallarta is available at

July 16, 2014
Le Meridien Readies for Return to New Orleans with Reveal of Hotel Design

New Orleans—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today unveiled designs for Le Méridien New Orleans, a milestone as the French-born brand prepares to return to the Crescent City by end of year. As part of the strategic conversion plan of the former W New Orleans, the property has now transitioned to the Hotel New Orleans Downtown for the remainder of its $29 million renovation. Managed by Starwood Hotels, the Hotel New Orleans Downtown will remain open and fully operational as well as a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program until Le Méridien debuts this winter.

“Since acquiring Le Méridien in 2005, we have fully transformed the brand into a contemporary lifestyle experience dedicated to unlocking the destination through culture, cuisine and the arts,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels. “Simultaneously, we have focused on developing a consistent portfolio through new openings and full-scale renovations globally, and we look forward to Le Méridien returning to New Orleans with a chic, cultured product designed for the creative and curious minded traveler.”

Le Méridien New Orleans will feature 410 fully renovated guestrooms and corridors as well as a fully redesigned lobby experience, incorporating the signature Le Méridien Hub, a new destination restaurant and bar, and re-concepted second floor flexible meeting space. The hotel will continue to feature premium amenities such as the modern fitness facility, rooftop pool, and more than 15,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space.

Designed by New York-based Meyer Davis, the inspiration for the hotel’s design incorporates the mid-century aesthetic of Le Méridien layered with contextual influences from the city of New Orleans. Design elements and patterns within the hotel draw from the architectural features of the city, including the iconic wrought iron work seen throughout the Big Easy. Cultural references from the Mardi Gras parade route to quotes from one of the city’s most famous sons – Louis Armstrong – layer the design with a lens that is both uniquely Le Méridien and specific to New Orleans.

Wall coverings along the guestroom corridors have been inspired by the cartography of New Orleans with hidden quotes about the city incorporated into the custom pattern. As one moves from the corridor into the guestroom, the entry is wrapped in a graphic design that represents crowd densities along the Mardi Gras route. This theme of subtle nuances continues throughout the design of the guestroom, creating a unique design for Le Méridien New Orleans. A drafting height desk anchors one side of the room– allowing guests to work as a creative designer works – while a soaring headboard draws from the profiles of moldings found throughout the city. The guestrooms’ cool neutral tones with subtle touches of accent colors create a calm reprieve from the bustling city beyond.

Le Méridien New Orleans will feature the signature Le Méridien Hub™, which reinterprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place and further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; a sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague. The Hub features the signature Master Barista, a recently launched initiative to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each hotel, serve as a coffee cultural ambassador, and maintain knowledge of current coffee trends within the destination.

Located on Poydras Street, the hotel is adjacent to the Arts District and just a few blocks from the jazz clubs, restaurants and night clubs of the world-famous French Quarter. Nearby attractions include Harrah’s Casino, the Warehouse District, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, Riverwalk Shopping and the French Market.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien , the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With more than 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation and redefined brand strategy. For more information, please visit www.leMéridien .com oréridien . Follow @LeMéridien Hotels on Instagram and Twitter.

July 10, 2014
IHG Announces a New Holiday Inn Express Hotel for Fort St. John, BC

Fort St. John, BCInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announces the opening of the new 99-room Holiday Inn Express Fort St. John hotel. Located just off the Alaska Highway in the heart of Fort St. John, the hotel is in close proximity to a variety of recreational facilities and activities including the Pomeroy Sports Centre, which houses two-NHL sized ice rinks and a speed skating oval, Lake Point Golf & Country Club and Charlie Lake Provincial Park.

“Holiday Inn Express hotels are designed to be the smart choice for value-conscious business and leisure travelers," said Heather Balsley, senior vice president, Americas Holiday Inn Brand Family, IHG. "With more than 2,200 properties worldwide and 450 more in the pipeline, the Holiday Inn Express brand portfolio continues to provide our guests with an enhanced-stay experience at a great value.”

The Holiday Inn Express brand is one of the largest and fastest growing hotel brands in the industry, and in order to meet the ever-changing needs of its guest, IHG invested in the $1 billion Holiday Inn global brand relaunch, the largest in hospitality history. The relaunch continues to drive increased quality and consistency across the global portfolio, and new hotels feature a contemporary image with emphasis on arrival and welcome services, guestroom and guest bath comfort and a redesigned logo and signage.  

Located at 9504 Alaska Road, the newest addition to IHG’s portfolio in British Columbia features an open concept design and casual atmosphere packed with an array of on-site amenities such as an indoor pool, waterslide, hot tub, fully equipped fitness center, around 1,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a 24-hour business center.

“We are pleased to be a part of the Holiday Inn Express brand portfolio and to be able to offer travelers an outstanding guest experience at a great value in a convenient location,” said Tannis Frantik, general manager. “We believe this brand fits the needs of our guests and that’s why  a significant investment was made to build this new property.”

All rooms include a refrigerator, a Keurig coffee machine, microwave, and 42” HD television. The hotel offers guests a comfortable, affordable stay with innovative, preferred-guest upgrades to ensure a pleasurable experience. Business travelers can also take advantage of the large desks, ergonomic chairs, free local and toll free phone calls with private voicemail, complimentary breakfast and electronic copies of The Globe & Mail.

About the Holiday Inn Express brand
Holiday Inn Express hotels are modern hotels for value-oriented travelers.  Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers.  Guests Stay Smart at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free hot Express Start™ Breakfast Bar, free high-speed Internet access and free local phone calls (US and Canada only).  There are currently more than 2,200 Holiday Inn Express hotel locations around the globe.  For more information about Holiday Inn Express hotels or to book reservations, visit Find us on Twitter or Facebook

July 10, 2014
ACTE Director Critical of Recent TSA Electronic Device Battery Advisory - More Questions Than Answers For Business Travellers

Alexandria, VAGreeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, criticized a recent Transportation Security Administration advisory regarding the potential for a heightened threat status at unspecified airports in Europe and the Middle East. According to Koch, the TSA advisory raised more questions than it answered. 

"Statements from the TSA should reassure and inform travelers. Recent announcements regarding heightened security levels on US-bound flights from Europe or the Middle East did neither. They were too vague to serve as a warning and lacked the detail required for reassurance," said Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

The announcement of an unspecified threat against US-bound airliners from unspecified airports in Europe and the Middle East included this information: airport security inspectors “may require” passengers to switch on electronic devices —and that devices with depleted batteries would not be permitted to board the aircraft.

“It is unlikely that many business travellers will show up at the airport with spent batteries in their cell phones, hand-held devices, and laptops, but it can happen. What follows next is not clear. If the electronic device cannot board the aircraft, where does it go? Is it detained, to be shipped later? Or is it to be repackaged as checked baggage at the gate,” asked Koch.

Koch pointed out that some airports have two levels of security. “Suppose you pass through security at the checkpoint, but are stopped at the actual gate, where you no longer have access to your luggage? How would you gate-check a $700 cell phone or a $3000 laptop containing proprietary information,” he asked. Koch acknowledges that these concerns pale in comparison with a terrorist act, but business travelers need to know what they can expect.”

Some element of secrecy is to be expected in the performance of the aviation security function. However, a trickle of confusing information should not be construed as a “customer service,” nor palmed off as adequately informing the traveling public. “A statement from the TSA should answer more questions than it poses,” said Koch.

Business travellers want to know the most basic information: how credible is the threat; how has the process changed; will there be delays; and how will the situation affect me personally? “Providing the public with snippets of information will not be perceived as helpful. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives stands ready to work with the TSA in communicating with the business traveler,” said Koch. 

About ACTE:
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is a non-profit education and research organization serving the global business travel industry in 102 countries. Since 1988, ACTE has provided programs, industry leadership, and innovative policies that improve conditions for business travelers while increasing productivity — and saving companies millions. Visit