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August 27, 2014
400,000 More Reasons to Visit Grand Lucayan

Book your next group at Grand Lucayan and earn up to 400,000 points.

Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas—Grand Lucayan, an award-winning, classic Bahamian resort, is pleased to offer groups who book a minimum of 15 rooms for two nights or more the opportunity to garner redeemable rewards with major loyalty programs from American Airlines AAdvantage®, United Mileage Plus® and others.

Offering an essential balance of authentic Caribbean charm and modern functionality via the resort’s state-of-the-art, multi-purpose meeting and event spaces, Grand Lucayan’s stellar group capabilities set the stage for weddings, meetings, corporate events and celebrations of varying sizes and needs.

From the resort’s world-class spa to an 18-hole championship golf course, there are a wide selection of amenities and diversions available to Grand Lucayan guests seeking to optimize their group stay. Applicable rewards vary on length of stay and are applied per room/per stay. Groups who book 30 to 99 combined nights receive 50,000 rewards points; book 100 to 249 nights and receive 100,000 rewards points; book 250 to 449 nights and receive 200,000 rewards points; book 450-749 nights and receive 300,000 points; 750 nigh or more receive 400,000 points.

Groups who book by November 30, 2014 for travel now through November 30, 2015 are eligible to receive points via the following programs:
- American Airlines AAdvantage® program
- Best Buy Reward Zone
- Frontier Airlines
- FuelCircle
- IHG Rewards Club
- United Mileage Plus®
- Virgin America Elevate

As an added incentive for budget conscious travelers, Grand Lucayan is currently offerings guests who book a stay of three nights or more by August 26, 2014 for travel through December 19th, 2014 a $200 credit applicable towards dining, spa, golf and tennis.

For more information on how groups can earn rewards points  by booking a stay at Grand Lucayan, visit

Offering a classic Bahamian experience, Grand Lucayan is an ideal destination for groups for its connectivity, affordability, and the range of soft adventure activities available on the island. For more information or to reserve your next meeting or event visit or call (877) 661-7448.

About Grand Lucayan, Bahamas
Located on Grand Bahama Island, Grand Lucayan, Bahamas has 542 guestrooms and suites and is situated along an expansive 7.5-acre beach with views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Just 55 miles off the coast of Florida, Grand Lucayan, Bahamas offers some of the finest amenities in the Caribbean. Guests enjoy spacious accommodations,  a selection of restaurants, three swimming pools, four tennis courts – all offering Grand Slam surfaces, a 25,000 square-foot Senses Spa & Fitness Center, 18-hole championship golf course – The Reef Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and 90,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space and a Las Vegas-style casino. Like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, @grandlucayan.

August 25, 2014
The Howes Group welcomes Desmond Lomas to the team on September 1, 2014

Brenda Howes, Founder and CEO of The Howes Group is excited to announce Desmond Lomas, Senior Manager, Global Accounts as the newest member to the THG team.

Ottawa, ON—As a dedicated hotelier for over twenty years, Desmond brings tremendous customer support and hospitality experience to this new role.  He is very focused on contributing to the success of others and helping meeting planners find the best venue.  Most recently Desmond was in the senior management role of Director of Sales and Marketing at one of Ottawa’s leading downtown meeting and business travel hotels.

“As I considered my next career change, I wanted to join a respected company in our industry that matched my ethics.  The Howes Group works under the principles of fair and logical which I experienced as a hotelier.  This company truly wants to help clients balance the risk and forge long term relationships with both clients and hotels.”, says Lomas about his recent decision.

Desmond has a degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Algonquin College. Hard-working, engaged, personable, caring and resourceful are some of the adjectives that have been used to describe him over the years. Desmond has a wealth of industry relationships and ideas to help find the ideal venue for each type of event.

Desmond serves on the Hotel and Restaurant Management Educational Advisory Board at Algonquin College in Ottawa, in addition to teaching at Algonquin College.  Desmond resides in Gatineau, Quebec with his wife and two children, where he enjoys being involved in his kids’ activities or playing on a local recreational soccer team.

The Howes Group is a site selection company based in Ottawa, ON.  This company works with national associations, corporations and government clients to procure group room blocks and help mitigate risk as clients commit to hotel contracts.  The Howes Group produces a widely circulated monthly industry newsletter focusing on hotel negotiating tips for their clients. 

For more information:
Brenda M Howes
Founder and CEO
The Howes Group
613 692 2514

August 22, 2014
Hilton Hotels & Resorts Announces new Property in Panama

Hilton Worldwide announced the opening of the newly-built Hilton Panama, a 347-room Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in Panama City, Panama. With a privileged location in the heart of this booming city that offers panoramic ocean views, this newest hotel in Panama City opens its doors just in time to celebrate the Panama Canal's Centennial. To commemorate the occasion, Hilton Panama welcomes guests with special introductory rates starting at $129* per night.

"We are thrilled to welcome Hilton Panama as the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts property in the country to the brand's growing global portfolio," said Rob Palleschi, global head, full-service brands, Hilton Worldwide. "This newest Hilton in Latin America represents our continued interest in the region, and introduces business and leisure travelers to Hilton's signature brand amenities and hospitality."

Forming part of a 70-story mixed-use complex with offices, shopping and entertainment, the 16-story Hilton Panama boasts one of the most desired locations in the city on a prominent intersection on the Panama Bay. Just 20 minutes from Tocumen International Airport and minutes from Casco Viejo - the historic city, Hilton Panama is within walking distance of the financial district and many of the city's finest restaurants, cafés and hotspots. Guests can go for stroll or bicycle ride along the Cinta Costera, along the bay right outside the hotel.

Designed by BA-HAUS / KNF, guests are introduced to a décor inspired by the spectacular views that serve as an effortless backdrop. A pleasant and upscale atmosphere combined with chic furnishings, intricate patterns and local elements create the perfect setting for fast-paced urban executives and global travelers. All aspects of this new hotel were carefully designed to ensure guests enjoy a world-class experience throughout their stay. This includes everything from upscale accommodations and delectable dining to flexible meeting space and the indulgent eforea: Spa at Hilton.

"The opening of Hilton Panama is a momentous occasion for Hilton Worldwide, as it introduces our fourth brand in Panama's booming capital," said Danny Hughes, senior vice president, Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, Hilton Worldwide. "With a fifth hotel coming soon, Hilton Worldwide will have five of its brands in Panama City, welcoming today's traveler with unparalleled choice in upscale quality and service standards."

Ideal for both business and leisure travelers, the upscale Hilton Panama features 347 guest rooms, including executive floor rooms and suites all outfitted with the Hilton Serenity Collection of amenities, wireless Internet access and more. Guests staying in an executive room or suite enjoy the added benefit of the hotel's executive floor service and executive lounge, offering light snacks and beverages.

Dining at Hilton Panama is an experience offering guests six gastronomic options to enjoy an array of culinary creations. The hotel's signature restaurant, Society Café, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and introduces guests to the talented and award-winning John Gray, executive chef with more than 25 years of experience who takes inspiration from Panamanian cuisine and puts a twist on the traditional. Guests can also choose from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, serving the finest selection of steaks and dishes; Saquella Restaurant, ideal for enjoying Italian style dining; Saquella Café Barista, offering quality coffee; Blue Bar, a relaxing environment for sipping cocktails with unparalleled views of the Bay of Panama; and the Pool Bar for poolside snacks and beverages. Twenty-four-hour room service is also available.

A great base for events and business travelers, the Hilton hotel in Panama City provides more than 23,000 square feet of flexible meeting space featuring 17 meeting rooms, including a ballroom for nearly 800 guests offering panoramic views of the Panama Bay. The ballroom is not the only room with amazing views as almost all spaces are adorned with natural light. The hotel also offers a business center with cutting edge work spaces and seamlessly integrated technology for maximum efficiency.

For those seeking pampering relaxation after a busy day, Hilton Panama introduces the first eforea: Spa at Hilton in Latin America. Featuring 5,000 square feet, eforea: Spa at Hilton offers an exclusive treatment menu, innovative design features and carefully selected product partners that appeal to today's global travelers. As the spa experience becomes more important to business and leisure guests, the new eforea: Spa at Hilton located at Hilton Panama enhances the travel experience. A 24-hour 5,000 square foot fitness center and an outdoor terrace swimming pool complete the facilities.

Hilton Panama participates in Hilton HHonors®, the only guest rewards program that allows members to earn Points & Miles® for the same stay and redeem points for free nights with No Blackout Dates at more than 4,000 hotels worldwide.

Hilton Worldwide currently has four hotels in Panama and plans to open a fifth property later this year. The company has a portfolio of 63 hotels and resorts open and welcoming travelers throughout Latin America, and has plans to continue expanding throughout the region.

For more information and reservations, visit or call 1-800-HILTONS.

*Rates do not include taxes, service charges, incidental charges or gratuities and are subject to change without notice. Blackout dates, early departure fees, and length of stay, deposit and cancellation restrictions may apply. Other restrictions apply.

About Hilton Worldwide
 Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT 25.64 (0.39%)) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of eleven world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,200 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 690,000 rooms in 93 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Visit for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at,,, and

August 19, 2014
The International Centre Announces Three New Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

Mississauga, ONAs the leading venue of choice for socially-minded businesses and individuals, The International Centre continues to demonstrate its focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the launch of its newest sustainability initiatives.  

Further demonstrating its role as a leading facility in sustainable practices, The International Centre’s newest initiatives showcase the company’s commitment to setting high standards of environmental stewardship, community outreach and employee engagement.

1. Received Two Sustainable Venue Certifications

  • Level One ASTM/APEX Certification for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings and Events. This standard was made in part with the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) to develop different levels of voluntary specifications for the events industry surrounding sustainable events and meetings.

  • 4 Key Rating from Green Key Meetings v2.0.
    Green Key Global formulated a new rating system for green meetings in conjunction with the MPI Foundation to assess sustainability and CSR initiatives based on six different specifications: Core Areas (Waste, Water, Energy), Communication, Activities, Health, Exhibitions and Audio/Visual.

“We have been committed to sustainability and CSR for many years now, and it is exciting to reach a new level in this commitment” says Sonya Poorter, Sustainability Officer, The International Centre. “Receiving these certifications means that alongside other venues, The International Centre is working towards creating a more responsible and sustainable business event industry."

As the first venue within Canada to receive a 4 key rating with the new Green Meetings Standard, and one of only ten venues in North America with an ASTM/APEX Certification, The International Centre has solidified their commitment to sustainability, CSR and supporting a more responsible event industry.

Earning these two certifications continues to demonstrate The International Centre as a leading venue of choice for planners seeking to make environmentally responsible events.

2. Developed Innovative Humber College Partnership:

As a long-time supporter of Humber College, The International Centre has taken their partnership with the institution's School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism to a new innovative level.  Beginning in September 2014, The International Centre will be the site of one of the program's mandatory courses outlined in their student curriculum.  Utilizing on-site resources, real-time situations and management staff, The International Centre will design and teach the course weekly for a 15-week period to Humber students.  

"After great discussions on creating something innovative, we feel this opportunity to provide real-life situational learning a bonus for the program and for Humber students" says The International Centre's Director of Operations & Sustainability, Trevor Lui (who will lead the teaching initiative).  "We value our partnership with Humber and have great alumni embedded in our workforce here; we hope this is the beginning of something much bigger.”

3. Launched Updated Sustainable Event Guide 2.0:

Developed by The International Centre, the Sustainable Event Guide incorporates sustainable principles at all levels of an event’s organization and implementation. As the first venue of its size in Ontario to offer a complete guide of this caliber, The International Centre’s Sustainable Event Guide will provide organizers and members of planning groups’ helpful tools and resources to achieve a more sustainable event. These guidelines are fully scalable for events of all sizes and varieties and theses helpful tools and ideas will make planning a sustainable event that much easier.

“This is a tried and tested tool built specifically for our customers where we’ve taken care of the heavy lifting to achieve a more sustainable event” says Trevor Lui.

To download a copy of the Sustainable Event Guide visit:

There’s Sustainability Happening Here!

About The International Centre
The International Centre boasts over  40 years of success as the leading trade and consumer show venue in North America, and one of Canada's largest privately owned multi-purpose conference facilities. Located at 6900 Airport Road, offering complimentary parking for 5,000 vehicles and surrounded by more than 10,000 hotel rooms, The International Centre is easily accessible from any point in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information visit

Media Contact
Trevor Lui
Director of Operations and Sustainability
The International Centre

August 19, 2014
Carlson Completes Acquisition of Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, today announced the completion of the acquisition from JPMorgan Chase & Co. ("JPMC") for the 45 percent equity interest JPMC indirectly held in Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"With the close of this acquisition, Carlson secures full ownership of the global leader in travel management," said Carlson President and CEO Trudy Rautio. "We have been pleased with CWT's past performance and are excited by its potential for continued growth and value creation."

CWT is a global leader specializing in business travel and meetings management. CWT works with clients to respond to the complexities and challenges of business travel management while addressing the needs and expectations of travelers.

CWT employs nearly 19,000 people worldwide spanning more than 150 countries and territories. CWT's clients include one-third of the Fortune Global 100 companies. In addition, it has a diverse client portfolio ranging from small and mid-sized companies, to government institutions and non-governmental organizations. In 2013, CWT generated traffic of $26.9 billion.

About CWT
CWT is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events. CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations of all sizes in more than 150 countries and territories. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in class service and assistance to travelers. In 2013, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled $26.9 billion. As part of its commitment to responsible business, CWT is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact Ten Principles. For more information about CWT, please visit our global website at Follow us on Twitter @CarlsonWagonlit.

About Carlson
Carlson is a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and is the parent company of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has more than 1,340 hotels in operation and under development including: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson Red, Park Plaza®; Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. CWT is a global leader specializing in business travel management and meetings and events. CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations of all sizes. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and territories and its brands employ more than 100,000 people.

August 13, 2014
Ryan McRae to join Marriott Hotels of Canada Ltd. as Vice President, Hotel Development

Toronto, ON—Marriott Hotels of Canada Ltd. announced today that Ryan McRae will join the company as Vice President, Hotel Development on September 15, 2014. McRae will be based in Vancouver, British Columbia and will be responsible for the growth of Marriott's full service, select service, and extended stay hotel brands in Western Canada.

McRae joins Marriott with more than 16 years of commercial real estate experience, including 8 years focusing on hospitality acquisitions and development. Most recently, McRae was Vice President, Acquisitions and Development for SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts, where he was responsible for Canada-wide hotel development and acquisition activities. He also served as chairman of the company's investment committee. Prior to his role with SilverBirch, McRae was a Development Director with Hilton Worldwide, focused on corporate growth in a variety of global markets, including, at various times, Western Canada, the United States Pacific Northwest, Europe, Russia, and parts of Africa.

"Given Ryan's extensive background in hotel development and his familiarity with Marriott's portfolio of brands, we believe that he is the ideal person to lead our efforts to increase distribution for Marriott in the growing markets of Western Canada," said Michael Beckley, Senior Vice President, Development for Marriott Hotels of Canada. "We are thrilled to have Ryan joining our team."

McRae holds a Master of Business Administration degree from INSEAD and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of British Columbia.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) began operations in Canada in 1986 with the opening of the Toronto Airport Marriott. Today, the company's presence in Canada has grown to more than 80 properties spanning 10 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts in the Luxury category; Marriott Hotels, the company's signature brand; Autograph Collection Hotels and Renaissance Hotels in the Lifestyle category; Courtyard by Marriott, Springhill Suites by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in the Modern Essentials category; and Residence Inn by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott in the Extended Stay category. Marriott International's development pipeline for Canada totals nearly 40 hotels, including more than a dozen properties opening in 2014. In 2013, Marriott Hotels of Canada was ranked fourth among the top 50 best places to work in Canada by AON Hewitt. Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) for company information, and for reservations, please go to Visit for the latest company news.

August 12, 2014
SCCN Voted Best Food and Beverage by Convene Magazine

Niagara Falls, ON—The votes have been counted and it is now official: Scotiabank Convention Centre executive chef, Shaun Goswell and his Centerplate team have been named ‘Best Food & Beverage’ by the readers and editors of ‘Convene’ magazine in their Third Annual ‘Best in Show’ awards.

“This is an incredible honour,’ says Chef Shaun Goswell of being selected from the countless number of venues from around the world. Chef Goswell shares the ‘Best in Show’ title with four other food and beverage finalists, including: the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Firekeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan; the Waldorf Astoria in Orland Florida; and, The Ritz-Carlton in Istanbul, Turkey.

“It is definitely not your typical convention centre food & beverage,” says Jacqui Sullivan, CMP director of conferences for Absolute Conferences & Events of Chef Goswell’s commitment to taking inspiration from Niagara’s rich viticulture and agricultural surroundings. “[They have] a major focus on fresh local ingredients, and a team who are up for the challenge of creating special menus to suit your budget.”

“They are all a chef would want,” says Shaun of his team of culinary professionals who are equally passionate about designing and creating dishes that draw from Niagara’s fresh, locally grown ingredients. “They never shy from any challenge that comes our way and are very hands-on when it comes time to working our on-site garden or when we go out on foraging expeditions throughout the region.”

A native of Truro, Nova Scotia, Chef Goswell has brought his East Coast charm and down-to-earth personality to his role as Executive Chef at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Since his arrival to Niagara in 2012, Chef Goswell has taken great joy in fusing his East Coast fares with the region’s abundance of local flavours and an unmatched selection of award winning local wines, which he showcases in his dishes at the Centre.

“A dish is only as good as the ingredients you use,” says Shaun, who is part of a new generation of chefs who employ in their menu designs and dishes a philosophy of seasonal and regional ingredients. “Partnering with local farmers is an important part of our success. Our year-round relationship with Niagara growers ensures the availability and quality of the ingredients in our menus.”

“We take great pride in having such a great award bestowed on one of our own,” says Jeff Dixon, Interim General Manager at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. “Shaun is full of energy and enthusiasm and it’s reflected in all he does at the Centre,” says Jeff of Chef Goswell’s many endeavours, including: designing and maintaining a 3,600 sq.ft. on-site garden; keeping a constant supply of fresh, locally produced ingredients by partnering with local farmers, greenhouses, and specialty meat suppliers; curing his own meats; fermenting vinegars; making his own cheese; canning fruits and veggies, sealing their flavours for the off-season; and even making soap from repurposed oils and natural ingredients.

Convene magazine’s recognition of his talents and energy only gives Chef Goswell a brief moment to pause; but there is no rest for the charmingly energetic chef who is currently working to completely design a whole new menu for the Scotiabank Convention Centre. “We avoid many of the norms that limit most large meeting facilities and large-volume cuisine,” says Shaun and adds “We take great pride in delivering a boutique style service as if you’re at a restaurant; where flavours, aromas, and presentation combine to create a unique personal experience [...] we believe that our clients will taste the difference.” Clients and guests to the Centre will certainly have something to rave about next time they are in Niagara Falls.

About the Scotiabank Convention Centre
The Scotiabank Convention Centre, in Niagara Falls, Canada (SCCN) is the region’s largest meetings & events facility. Much more than any ordinary convention and meeting facility, the SCCN aims at becoming an innovator of the unconventional and a model of a new class of ‘green’ convention & meeting facilities committed to sustainability and community leadership. The SCCN opened its doors in April 2011, and since then has welcomed over half a million guests and visitors for meetings and events that draw from the magic of Niagara’s many natural wonders, its rich history, culinary delights, and year-round cultural activities.

August 05, 2014
Atlific Hotels Gains Management Contract of Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga

Toronto, ONAtlific Hotels is proud to announce its management of Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga. The property, popular for its location in the heart of the Mississauga Business District as well as its proximity to Pearson International Airport, was recently acquired by Temple Hotels Inc.

“Atlific is thankful to have been selected to manage another Temple Hotels Inc. property,” said Philippe Gadbois, Senior Vice-President Operations, Atlific Hotels. “We are adept in servicing the hotels in the Toronto airport market and we look forward to bringing our trusted experience to another fantastic property in the area,” he added.

Current General Manager Steven Harrison is the perfect match for Atlific’s standard of service. Having been in this role for more than five years, he brings with him a wealth of expertise and knowledge of the ins and outs of the Hilton Garden Inn brand and the property.

Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga is conveniently located less than 10 kilometers from Toronto Pearson International Airport and in the centre of Mississauga’s Business District. The hotel is the perfect respite for business and leisure travelers, providing easy access to a variety of businesses and popular attractions such as Square One Shopping Centre, the Hershey Centre and downtown Toronto.

In addition to offering inviting rooms and suites, the hotel boasts a variety of amenities providing guests with a comfortable stay. Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga offers a fitness centre, heated indoor pool, and on-site dining options such as Pavilion Lounge, Great North American Grill® and the 24- hour Pavilion Pantry® for snacks at any hour. With almost 3,500 sq. ft. of versatile function space, the hotel can host a conference or event for up to 250 people. Complimentary parking, 24-hour business centre and free Wi-Fi access round out the program for the perfect stay.

About Atlific Hotels
Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 60 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Ranked by Hotelier Magazine as one of the country’s top 5 performing hotel management companies in 2012, Atlific Hotels has 55 years of experience managing well known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended stay properties and has built a reputation for best in business accounting reporting, exceptional sales and marketing programs and sound operational systems. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties, Ltd. operates over 60 hotels throughout the United States. Together they manage over 115 properties in North America with more than 16,500 rooms, which include independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Westin and Holiday Inn. For more information please visit