Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

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Current News

February 21, 2017
Hotel X Toronto Announces byPeterandPauls.com as Culinary Partners; The Respected Toronto Entertainment and Hospitality Group to Manage Restaurants, Bars and Event Catering at Toronto's Most Exciting New Hotel

ByPeterandPauls.com to aim high in creation of destination restaurants and extraordinary events on the Toronto lakeshore.

Toronto—Hotel X Toronto President Henry Kallan today announced that respected Toronto entertainment and hospitality group byPeterandPauls.com will be operating two restaurants, all event catering, room service and the much-anticipated Peregrine SkyBar at the 404 room Hotel X Toronto, opening in 2017 on the Exhibition Place grounds.  

According to Kallan, byPeterandPauls.com was a natural fit for Hotel X Toronto. “At the Library Collection, we are known first and foremost for personalized service to our guests. We found that same dedication to flawless execution in byPeterandPauls.com. This is an award winning Toronto based company with a stellar reputation and years of experience.  Most importantly, they understood our desire to create innovative stand-alone restaurants that will give the people of Toronto a new culinary destination right on our waterfront.”

Peter Eliopoulos, CEO of byPeterandPauls.com, is enthusiastic about the opportunity afforded by Hotel X Toronto. “We are excited to introduce our guests to a variety of different dining options at the property. Maxx’s, our all-day dining room located on the south side of the building, will feature terraces with unobstructed views of the lake and an open concept kitchen. Petros 82 will be a Mediterranean restaurant featuring fresh seafood and natural ingredients. As a Canadian of Greek heritage, it will be a particular pleasure to bring fine Greek dining to this city.” 

One of the most anticipated elements of the new hotel is the Peregrine SkyBar, destined to become a “must see” for visitors due to its outstanding 30th floor views of Lake Ontario and the cityscape of Toronto. According to Eliopoulos “Peregrine SkyBar will have specialty cocktails created by our mixologist. The atmosphere will be vibrant, urban and lively – just like Toronto.” 

Hotel X Toronto will also have over 26,000 square feet of meeting space, many of which have views over the water, making the hotel an ideal venue for private celebrations, weddings and meetings. With over 35 years of experience in event management and numerous awards, including Meeting and Incentive Travel Magazine’s 2016 Best Caterer in Central Canada, byPeterandPauls.com is uniquely qualified to ensure that all events in the hotel are carried out flawlessly. According to Eliopoulos “We have built our reputation over many years of successful events. We intend to bring our expertise to every single event we do within the beautiful event spaces at the hotel.”

Hotel X Toronto will open in 2017.

About byPeterandPauls.com
byPeterandPauls.com is an award-winning hospitality and entertainment group based in Toronto, with a global presence. Currently managing and operating a diverse portfolio that is comprised of eight iconic venues, restaurants, a catering company, audio visual and DJ services, and one of the largest gifting companies in Canada. byPeterandPauls.com is often referred to as a leader and innovator in the hospitality industry, where perfecting the art of entertainment is their focus. Brand identities include, but are not limited to; Paramount, Universal, Bellagio, Savoy, The Manor, The Clubhouse, The Vue, S4 Sound Sensation, Peter and Paul’s Gifts, PeterandPauls EventCatering, YK, and Engine8 Media. byPeterandPauls.com was awarded Best Hospitality Group in 2015 by the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce, PeterandPauls EventCatering was awarded Meeting + Incentive Travel Magazine’s Best Caterer in Central Canada in 2016, and the Bellagio Event Venue was awarded in 2017 Best Event Venue by both Canadian Business and the Top Choice Awards. www.bypeterandpauls.com

About Library Hotel Collection
The Library Hotel Collection is comprised of seven unique properties with a shared dedication to outstanding guest satisfaction.  This commitment to kind, unpretentious service in beautiful settings has resulted in awards year after year from TripAdvisor and other prestigious organisations. In 2015 and 2016, the Library Hotel Collection earned the highest guest satisfaction ranking in the world – an astonishing 96.1% – in the Luxury Brand Report published by ReviewPro.  The Library Hotel Collection’s four New York City hotels have all ranked in the New York Top Ten on TripAdvisor (out of 463 hotels) for over a decade, at one point capturing the #1, #2, #3 and #4 spots simultaneously. In 2017 the Aria Hotel Budapest was named #1 Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. 

Each of the hotels in the collection is reflective of the creative vision of President Henry Kallan, named “Hotelier of the Year” by the Boutique Hotel and Lodging Association. Library Hotel is a book lover’s paradise where guests feel like they are in the private library of a grand residence. Hotel Elysée, home of the renowned Monkey Bar, is inspired by the elegance of a French country house. Moroccan-themed Casablanca Hotel is a serene jewel in the centre of the city, and Hotel Giraffe is a chic, retro-glam property – both were named “Top Hotels in the US” by TripAdvisor in 2016 and 2017. The latest additions to the Library Hotel Collection are the musically-inspired Aria Hotel Budapest and Aria Hotel Prague. Reflective of the musical history and heritage of their cities, both opened to immediate acclaim, being respectively named #1 and #4 hotel in Central Europe by Condé Nast Traveler.  In 2017, the Library Hotel Collection will open Hotel X Toronto, Toronto’s first urban resort, located on the shores of Lake Ontario in the heart of the Exhibition Grounds. 

The Library Hotel Collection: A Novel Approach to Hospitality www.libraryhotelcollection.com

February 17, 2017
Meetings Mean Business Coalition Goes Global

American-led coalition will work with international partners to unite the meetings industry around the world 

Washington, DC—The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMB), a cross-industry communications and advocacy initiative, is introducing a platform for industry professionals in every corner of the globe to better advocate for the power of face-to-face meetings. A newly created licensing agreement will allow partners in countries and regions outside of the United States to use MMB branding, messaging and research to form one strong, cohesive voice for the industry.

“We are thrilled to welcome more international partners into the MMB family through this global expansion,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and chief executive officer of Meeting Professionals International and co-chair of Meetings Mean Business. “This will allow us to extend the MMB brand in an authentic, grass roots and meaningful way, which truly emphasizes that meetings matter all over the world and provide a platform to engage the global events community.”

MMB provides a framework for an industry-wide communications and advocacy coalition that can be customized in a way that is authentic to each country or region. International partners will leverage existing MMB tools and resources, repurposing the materials and messaging to best fit their cultural environment and community needs. Collectively, these organizations will globalize a universal message about the value of in-person meetings and the industry behind them.

The Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada (BEICC), founded in 2009 to advocate on behalf of the Canadian meetings industry, is the first to execute the MMB licensing agreement and will soon be rebranding as Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMB Canada). The BEICC board is actively reaching out to key industry stakeholders across all sectors of the Canadian meetings industry to transform the coalition into a proactive, well-funded advocacy movement with strong connections to federal, provincial and municipal governments.

“In-person meetings have a huge impact on the international economy and communities across six continents, but we are more powerful when we come together to share information and advocate for our industry,” says Grant Snider, BEICC chair and president and CEO, Meeting Escrow. “Building on what has been accomplished by the BEICC and aligning our efforts with the MMB coalition will help us better communicate the importance of our $27 billion dollar 341,000 full-time job industry in Canada and will help MMB create a template for expansion of this new industry-wide platform.”

Rose Timmerman-Gitzi, president, RTG Events and past chair of the BEICC added, “Meeting face-to-face helps build stronger personal connections, yields new business opportunities and supports our local communities throughout Canada. We’re excited to embark on the transformation of the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada using the MMB coalition model which reinforces those messages and ultimately promotes, protects and advocates for the meetings industry.”

MMB is in talks with additional partners and will look to keep growing its international presence in 2017 and beyond.

About Meetings Mean Business
Meetings Mean Business is an industry-wide coalition to showcase the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities. By rallying industry advocates, working with stakeholders, conducting original research, engaging with outside voices and more, the coalition brings the industry together to emphasize its importance. Comprised of nearly 60 members, the coalition unites the meetings industry with one strong and powerful voice. For more information, visit www.MeetingsMeanBusiness.com and download our app on iTunes and Google Play.

February 16, 2017
WestJet shakes up Quebec market with new routes, increased capacity

WestJet today announced a significant investment in Quebec's travel and tourism market with increased service and new routes to and from Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport as well as Quebec City's Jean Lesage International Airport. Overall, the airline is adding 105 more flights per week in the province, a capacity increase of 74 per cent.

"Our unique brand of great service and low fares has been embraced across Canada for more than 20 years and today, WestJet is here to offer more choice and competition to the Quebec market," said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President Commercial. "The people in Quebec have traditionally been served by a legacy carrier and WestJet believes this significant additional investment in the province will give leisure and corporate travellers a choice in airlines and bring lower fares to more than 8.2 million Quebecers. We look forward to flying hundreds of thousands of travellers to and from this beautiful province to enjoy the area and conduct business. As always, we are committed to making air travel in Canada better."

"The City of Montreal is pleased with the increased frequency of WestJet flights. The year 2017 marks Montreal’s 375th anniversary and this announcement is perfectly timed to help to promote our city internationally while creating local jobs", said Harout Chitilian, Vice-President of the executive committee of the City of Montreal, responsible for information technology, smart city, administrative reform and youth.

Starting June 15, WestJet will begin point-to-point service for the first time within the province with four daily flights between Montreal and Quebec City. On March 15, WestJet will launch twice-daily service between Montreal and Halifax. And, on October 15, WestJet will begin twice-daily service between Montreal and Boston.

In addition, the airline will also increase its number of non-stop flights between Montreal and Vancouver from six per week to 12. WestJet's operations between Montreal and Calgary will increase from 14 flights per week to 19. The airline's Quebec City and Toronto service will add one more daily flight for a total of three. With the addition of WestJet's new services the airline will operate 195 weekly departures from Montreal and 50 departures from Quebec City by October 2017.

"I want to thank WestJet for its confidence and support to develop Montreal-Trudeau as a hub," said Phillipe Rainville, CEO of Aeroports de Montreal. "With these three destinations, WestJet will now offer an average of eight additional flights per day and 33 per cent more seats departing from Montreal, which is excellent news for our passengers."

All three new routes will be operated by WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore and its fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier Q400s. WestJet is proud to support this iconic Canadian company based in Montreal and flies the fourth largest fleet of Q400s in the world. By mid-2018, the regional airline will have a total of 45 aircraft.

Routes to Vancouver and Calgary will be operated on WestJet's fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft featuring the enhanced Plus product and WestJet Connect, WestJet's Wi-Fi connected, inflight entertainment system.

Details of WestJet's new non-stop service:

Route

Frequency

Departing

Arriving

Effective

Montreal – Quebec City

Four times daily

7:45 a.m.

8:40 a.m.

June 15, 2017

12 p.m.

12:55 p.m.

4 p.m.

4:55 p.m.

8 p.m.

8:55 p.m.

Quebec City – Montreal

Four times daily

6:15 a.m.

7:07 a.m.

June 15, 2017

9:30 a.m.

10:22 a.m.

2 p.m.

2:52 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

6:22 p.m.

Montreal – Halifax

Twice daily

9:15 a.m.

11:57 a.m.

March 15, 2017

6:20 p.m.

9 p.m.

Halifax – Montreal

Twice daily

7:45 a.m.

8:43 a.m.

March 15, 2017

4:50 p.m.

5:48 p.m.

Montreal – Boston

Twice daily

7:15 a.m.

8:45 a.m.

October 15, 2017

4 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

Boston – Montreal

Twice daily

9:25 a.m.

10:57 a.m.

October 15, 2017

6:15 p.m.

7:47 p.m.

 

Introductory one-way fares are available starting from:

Departing

Arriving

Air transportation charges (ATC)

Taxes, fees and charges

Total one-way price from*

Base fare from

Other ATC

Montreal

Boston

$12.00

$0.00

$86.77

$99.00* CAD

Montreal

Halifax

$35.00

$18.00

$45.30

$98.00* CAD

Halifax

Montreal

$35.00

$18.00

$44.89

$98.00* CAD

Montreal

Quebec City

$31.00

$12.00

$43.76

$87.00* CAD

Quebec City

Montreal

$31.00

$12.00

$55.31

$98.00* CAD

*Book by February 20, 2017 (11:59 p.m. MT). Some restrictions apply. For more details, please visit westjet.com/quebec-en.

Today, as part of the celebration of increased service in Quebec, WestJet also announced that it is working with its partner, Big Brother Big Sisters of Montreal (BBBS) to give 10 "big and little" matches an experience of a lifetime with a trip between Montreal and Halifax. BBBS is one of eight national charities WestJet supports through WestJet Cares for Kids. In 2016, WestJet provided 452 gifts of flight through its community investment and WestJet Cares for Kids programs in Quebec.

February 13, 2017
Chris Siedel Appointed Regional Director, Strategic Partnerships for Eastern Canada

Toronto, ONSteve Bury, Senior Vice President Sales, Freeman Audio Visual Canada, is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Siedel to Regional Director, Strategic Partnerships for Eastern Canada, based in our Toronto office.

“In this role, Chris will develop new business partnerships for us with hotels, convention centres, and alternative meeting venues,” said Bury. “This new role reflects our commitment to the future of this important part of our business. Chris’s mandate will cover Eastern Canada, with particular focus on Ontario and Quebec.”

“Chris brings to the role a strong background in hotel business, where he spent most of his career working for various Canadian hotel companies.  He also worked in the AV industry for 3 years prior to joining Freeman last year, so this gives him a solid understanding of both sides of the venue business,” said Bury.

“I am excited about my new role with Freeman Audio Visual. Prior to my new role, I was working very closely with our venue partners and colleagues in our existing facilities.  In my new role my goal is to focus on new and existing partnerships while continuing to enhance customer relations with our venue customers,” said Siedel.

About Freeman Audio Visual
As part of the world’s largest brand experience organization, Freeman Audio Visual uses the power of technology to make meaningful connections with a multitude of audiences through the production of meetings, conventions, special events and trade shows. Freeman invests heavily in maintaining and growing its stable of state-of-the-art technology around the world. Freeman Audio Visual provides a full range of services to support the way audiences engage with content as the landscape continues to change.

Freeman Audio Visual has a deep, rich history of success and has received numerous awards recognizing its outstanding performance in technical, staging, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, customer service excellence and partnerships. Together with its customers and partners, Freeman Audio Visual will continue to serve clients throughout North America and the rest of the world through its growing global network. For more information, visit www.freemanav-ca.com

About Freeman
Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading companies and associations. Freeman derives insights that help define program strategies, target key audiences, deliver meaningful messages and drive revenues and results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its stability, strength, customer service mentality and its success over its 87-year history. A values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture, Freeman is dedicated to making meaningful connections with audiences. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded multiple consecutive J. D. Power awards for its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit www.freeman.com

February 09, 2017
Martin L. Leclerc Named General Manager of The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver

Vancouver, BC—Marriott International announced today the appointment of Martin L. Leclerc as general manager for The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver. A well-established leader with over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Leclerc’s career began at the Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta in 1991 where he worked in various positions in food and beverage. In 1997, he joined Delta Hotels as the Director of Operations at the Delta Vancouver Airport, and in 2000, he was promoted to Acting General Manager at the Delta Pacific Resort in Richmond. From there, he went on to be the General Manager of the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa and the Delta Beauséjour in New Brunswick. In 2006, Leclerc joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and held various General Manager positions at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal and The Fairmont Empress in Victoria and The Fairmont Nanjing Hotel & Residences in China. Since 2014, Leclerc has been the General Manager of The St. Regis Tianjin in China, part of Marriott International.

“Martin is a widely recognized and respected hospitality leader globally and we are pleased to have him join the team,” said Don Cleary, President of Marriott Hotels of Canada. “Martin’s extensive global experience across a multitude of brands and strong record of success in managing major hotel properties makes him the perfect fit for one of the Vancouver’s most prominent hotel properties.”

Leclerc earned a Business Administration Degree in Hotel Management and an MBA from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He also holds a Master’s Degree in International Management from the Université Paris-Dauphine, France.

“I’m thrilled to start a new challenge within Marriott and specifically at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver,” says Leclerc. “I’m fortunate to be joining such an iconic hotel with a rich history in Vancouver that prides itself on innovation and exceptional service. I look forward to working with the team to further develop genuine, key experiences for our guests.”

About The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver
Located adjacent to Stanley Park along picturesque Coal Harbour, The Westin Bayshore is an ideal destination for business and leisure guests alike. The hotel’s 499 spacious guest rooms and suites feature stunning views over the water and the city. The resort-inspired property features a 60,000 sq.ft. conference centre, the Vida Wellness full service spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and a pleasing variety of restaurants and lounges. Signature offerings include the Westin Heavenly Bed and Bath, WestinWORKOUT, and Breathe Westin. For more information visit www.westinbayshore.com.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts, a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade, lives its philosophy “For a Better You™” through the Westin Well-being Movement’s six pillars: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well. At more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience offerings that include the iconic Heavenly® Bed, RunWESTIN™ and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance®, delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRx™, the innovative workspace Tangent, Westin Weekend signature experiences, and Heavenly Bath and Heavenly Spa. Westin is proud to offer Starwood Preferred Guest®, the industry’s leading loyalty program. To learn more, visit www.starwoodhotels.com/westin. Stay connected to Westin: @westin onTwitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Westin.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 6,000 properties in 120 countries and territories. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 30 brands. Marriott 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 214 properties spanning 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, W®, JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, , Autograph Collection® Hotels, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, Aloft®, and Element®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. Marriott Hotels of Canada continues to rank as one of the top 50 best places to work in Canada by AON Hewitt and was awarded Hotelier Magazine's prestigious Company of the Year Pinnacle award for 2015. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com and @MarriottIntl.

Media Contact:
Sarah Woodgate
The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver
ssarah.woodgate@westin.com

February 09, 2017
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Selects VoX International As Canadian Representative

Toronto, ON—The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) has selected VoX International as its marketing partner in Canada. VoX will continue to grow awareness of Hawai‘i in Canada with a mandate of providing leisure travel and MCI group business by working with the travel trade, tour operators, airlines, cruise lines, meeting and incentive planners and the media. VoX has partnered with VMC Media to promote Hawai‘i with an aggressive consumer and trade marketing campaign, coupled with social media and digital advertising.

“Canada is the second largest source of international visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands and we see tremendous potential in the market. We believe we’ll benefit from a team of skilled tourism marketing professionals on the ground in market to help us build more demand for travel to the Hawaiian Islands. We were very impressed with VoX International’s track record, team approach and dynamic plan for marketing Hawai‘i in this important market,” stated George Szigeti, HTA President & CEO.

“Hawai‘i offers six islands in some of most idyllic settings, these picture perfect islands will touch your aloha spirit in so many different ways because each island is so unique,” remarked Susan Webb, President of VoX International. “We see opportunities for growth in outdoor adventure, culture, families/intergenerational, romance/honeymoons and long stay sectors and will develop dynamic initiatives for Hawai‘i to reach these key market segments.”

VoX has named Colin Wood, Account Director for Hawai‘i Tourism Canada; he will lead the account from its Toronto-based office with support from Lea-Ann Goltz in Western Canada, Renee Wilson and Serge LaMarre in Quebec and the VoX PR and MCI teams. 

Colin has been a leader in travel marketing in Canada for 15 years. He held senior management positions at Travel CUTS/The Adventure Travel Company and for the last six years, Colin provided strategic direction for key consumer campaigns at CAA South Central Ontario.

Colin Wood can be reached at Colin@voxtm.ca or 416-935-1896 ext. 229 and Lea-Ann Goltz can be reached at lea-ann@voxtm.ca or 778-968-2101. For MCI specific inquiries, please contact Deborah Edwards at deb@voxtm.ca or 289-253-9660.

About VoX International
VoX International is a Canadian-owned destination marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada with offices in Vancouver and Montreal, providing Canadian representation nationally. VoX is a full-service sales, marketing, event planning and public relations agency led by a team of high profile, knowledgeable travel industry executives. Recognized as a marketplace leader, VoX offers a wide range of support within the North American meeting, incentive, events, and hospitality and leisure tourism sectors. VoX’s passion for providing personal, innovative and results driven solutions are key factors for driving the company’s reputation for success.

About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA)
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success. For more information about HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority

Media Contact
Rosalyn Hunter 
Director Public Relations  
VoX International 
Tel: 416 935-1896 ext 236
Email: rosalyn@voxtm.ca

February 06, 2017
InspireME Monte Carlo joins the Select Group Marketing collection of DMC’s

Toronto, Ontario – It is with great pleasure that Select Group Marketing announces our appointment as representative for InspireME Monte Carlo in the Canadian market.

InspireME Monte Carlo is a full-service destination management company operating in Monaco, the South of France and Corsica.

With its office in Monte Carlo, the InspireME Monte Carlo team has over 25 years of professional experience in the MICE Market, so familiarity with the destination, and its venues, is unrivaled! InspireME Monte Carlo President and owner, Maria Arnolda (Miek) Egberts, CMP CMM, says “we are thrilled to have a solid organization like SGM on the ground in Canada doing the legwork for us”.

Miek further mentions:  “With so many years behind us of organizing successful events in Monaco and the South of France, we can truly say that the passion we have for our gorgeous country is unmatched, and our clients share our passion.”

Select Group Marketing’s President, Jan Zandboer, says “InspireME Monte Carlo is a great addition to our portfolio. Both the Principality and the South of France have been solid destinations for the Meeting, Incentive and Group markets in Canada already and we are looking forward to attracting more groups to experience this magnificent part of France. Miek and her team will showcase the area from new and exciting angles”.

In 2017 Select Group Marketing celebrates its 30th anniversary. Its specialist knowledge and experience has provided value to meeting, incentive planners and industry partners alike.

Representing 15 Destination Management Companies internationally, SGM continually strives to establish itself as the preferred supplier to buyers and sellers of worldwide products suitable to the Canadian group, meeting and incentive markets.

To learn more about InspireME Monte Carlo and/or Select Group Marketing please contact
Jan Zandboer, President
Select Group Marketing
15 Alexis Way
Whitby, ON L1R 2N9
416-322-6018
jan@sgm-canada.com

February 06, 2017
Hilton Honors Unveils More of What Matters Most: Industry-First Benefits Including Amazon Shop with Points

Hilton and Hilton Honors Also Introduce New Branding

MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton (NYSE: HLT), the world's fastest-growing hospitality company, today announced industry-first benefits for all 60 million members of its award-winning guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors, including Shop with Points at Amazon.com.  

Guided by extensive consumer feedback, Hilton Honors is now the first and only loyalty program that will offer members the choice to flexibly combine Points and money for a hotel stay, to use their Points at Amazon.com, to allow family and friends to combine their Points for free, and the ability to extend Diamond status when life puts travel on pause.

Today, Hilton also introduces a new corporate identity and logo for Hilton and Hilton Honors. This rebranding comes at a time when Hilton is more simplified and streamlined than ever, after the successful spin-offs of its real estate and timeshare businesses.

MORE USEFUL WAYS TO USE POINTS: SHOP WITH POINTS AT AMAZON.COM
Today, Hilton announced that starting this summer, Hilton Honors members will be able to use their Points to purchase products on Amazon.com.

"At Hilton, we are committed to continually innovating to deliver exceptional experiences for our guests," said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton. "Enabling our Hilton Honors members to use their Points to shop at Amazon.com, along with the other industry-first perks we're announcing today, are some of the many ways we are honoring that commitment."

MORE FLEXIBILITY TO USE HILTON HONORS POINTS: POINTS & MONEY
Hilton Honors is the only guest loyalty program where members can redeem their Points for an award night or a stay using a flexible combination of Points and money. Beginning in late February, members can use the new Hilton Honors Points & Money slider to select how many Points they want to redeem toward a room. This means members will now be able use their Points faster for hotel stays, any time, with no blackout dates.

MORE VALUABLE BENEFITS: POINTS POOLING
Beginning in April, Hilton Honors members will be able to combine - or "pool" - their Points with up to 10 friends or family members for free. A total of 11 members can pool their Points for stays in great locations for family reunions, bachelorette parties or any other event that brings people together.

NEW BENEFIT FOR DIAMOND MEMBERS
Whether bringing home a newborn, going back to school or launching a new career, Hilton Honors' most loyal members have shared that life sometimes puts travel on pause. Beginning in March, eligible Diamond members may receive a one-time, one-year extension of their status - for any reason. No other hospitality industry program offers this level of flexibility.

"These new perks revolutionize how all Hilton Honors members can use their Points. Frequent travelers told us they want more flexibility while less frequent travelers want to be able to use their Points in more ways and more quickly," said Mark Weinstein, senior vice president and global head, customer engagement, loyalty and partnerships. "Now more than ever, Hilton Honors is the most flexible, useful, and valuable guest loyalty program - giving our members more of what they want most."

NEW BRANDING TO REFLECT EVOLUTION
Hilton Honors members will notice an update to the program's name and logo, shifting from HHonors (with two H's) to Honors. This rebranding is reflective of the continual evolution of Honors.

As part of the rebranding, Hilton has revealed a new corporate identity and logo. From today forward, the company will no longer use "Worldwide" in its name and be known simply as "Hilton."

Today's Hilton Honors announcement is the latest in Hilton's "firsts" for the hospitality industry. Digital check-in with room selection, the industry's first-and-only way for travelers to check in and select the exact room they want, is available worldwide at more than 4,700 hotels and has been used more than 22 million times since it launched in the summer of 2014. And Hilton guests can now access their rooms through the Hilton Honors app via Digital Key, currently available in nearly 800 hotels, and with 2,500 hotels around the globe expected to offer the service by the end of 2017.

For more information about these new Hilton Honors perks, click here. To enroll in Hilton Honors, click here. It's fast, free and easy to join.

Contact:
Blake Rouhani
Hilton
+1 703 883 6615
blake.rouhani@hilton.com

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 4,900 properties with over 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world's most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences - every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with cash, an exclusive member discount that can't be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About Hilton Honors
Hilton Honors is the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 14 world-class brands comprising nearly 4,900 properties with more than 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can't be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. With more than 60 million members, Hilton Honors offers hundreds of ways to earn and redeem Points. Members can redeem their Points for free nights, premium merchandise or items at Amazon.com with Amazon Shop with Points, as well as make charitable contributions or gain access to unique events through the Hilton Honors auction platform (hiltonhonors.com/auctions), such as exclusive artist experiences and hotel concert events with Live Nation®, or race experiences with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team. The program is free to join, and travelers may enroll online by visiting www.HiltonHonors.com or connect with Hilton Honors at news.hiltonhonors.com.

February 06, 2017
Victoria, Saskatoon and St. John’s collaborate to boost conference tourism

Cities in Sync is a landmark new initiative to create an efficient tool for planners booking conferences and meetings in Canada

Ottawa, Ont.—Collaboration: two or more organizations working together to achieve shared goals. That’s the idea behind a landmark new initiative being launched today by tourism organizations in Victoria, B.C., Saskatoon, SK, and St. John’s, NL

Destination St. John’s, Tourism Saskatoon and Tourism Victoria are providing a simple and effective way for meeting planners to book their meetings and conferences.

Cities in Sync was announced in Ottawa at the Tête-à-Tête Tradeshow, Canada’s largest annual gathering of association executives, businesses and government agencies that procure or service the meetings and conference industry.

“This initiative gives planners peace of mind because they can work through Cities in Sync to book three consecutive events, knowing each one will meet their standards and expectations,” said Miranda Ji, Tourism Victoria’s Director of Sales for the Victoria Conference Centre and Business Events Victoria. “This is a competitive business space and any edge we can create to bring meetings business to our cities is a win for our regions.”

The agreement allows meeting planners to book all three cities to support a natural rotation through Eastern, Central and Western Canada. Importantly, it allows each destination to know they have future business on the books.

Victoria, Saskatoon and St. John’s are popular destinations with vibrant conference tourism sectors. As meetings and conferences are often booked years in advance, having business under contract provides some predictability for the tourism sector.

“We are excited about the prospect that this innovative concept will make booking conferences easier for planners. We’ll be as creative and flexible as we can. It’s a win for the destinations and the planners, said Krista Cameron, Director of Sales for Destination St. John’s.

The Cities in Sync initiative also has a marketing component that will be funded by the three cities’ destination marketing organizations, and includes incentives designed to appeal to planners. There is also consideration given to associations with bylaws requiring an additional province in the mix, thus creating a four-year cycle.

“We value our Canadian association business and what they can achieve through their national meetings,” said Candace Schierling, Director of National Conventions and Event Marketing for Tourism Saskatoon. “Our partnership provides a seamless cross-country experience with incredible landscapes for delegates to experience. Our work together as destinations allows us to provide planners with added tools for a successful meeting and, in turn, our cities will have confirmed economic benefits and increased tourism. We are very excited to be the first cities in Canada to bring this program forward.”

ABOUT:
Tourism Victoria
(Greater Victoria Visitors and Convention Bureau) is the official not-for-profit destination marketing organization of Greater Victoria working in partnership with more than 950 members in Greater Victoria. Tourism Victoria initiatives include Business Events Victoria, sales and marketing for the Victoria Conference Centre, leisure travel, lifestyle and travel media relations, and leisure, sport and cruise sales. Tourism Victoria is also accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).

Destination St. John’s is a private sector company operating under the direction of a Board of Directors on behalf of its partners. It is first and foremost a sales and marketing organization; selling member’s products, services and experiences to the world. It currently targets major meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT); sport and cultural events, leisure travel and group tours.

Tourism Saskatoon is a membership-based, non-profit visitor and convention bureau marketing Saskatoon and region as a destination of choice for leisure and business travel. Services include convention and events attraction, media relations, and membership services advocacy. Tourism Saskatoon is one of only a handful of internationally accredited destination marketing organizations in Canada.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jim Zeeben
Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Tourism Victoria
 250-414-6976 or 778-677-8342
jim.zeeben@tourismvictoria.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Rhonda Hutton
Director of Marketing, Destination St. John’s
709-739-8876 250-414-6976 or 778-677-8342
rhutton@destinationstjohns.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Candace Schierling
Director of National Conventions and Event Marketing, Tourism Saskatoon
306-931-7588
cschierling@tourismsaskatoon.com

February 03, 2017
SITE Foundation Releases New Study: Participants’ Viewpoints of Incentive Travel in India Motivational impact of incentive travel is higher in India than in the U.S. or U.K.

The Society for Incentive Excellence (SITE) Foundation has released the results of a new study, The Participants’ Viewpoint of Incentive Travel: India. The report continues the groundbreaking series started in 2012 that provided views of incentive program participants in the United States and the United Kingdom. 

“As the tenth largest business travel market in the world, India is emerging as a strong market for incentive travel. This new study provides companies and planners a deeper understanding of how to design incentive programs that engage and motivate participants in India to achieve higher levels of performance,” commented Tina Weede, SITE Foundation vice-president, research and education and president, USMotivation. “We are committed to global research and to continuing to conduct studies that compare and contrast participants’ viewpoints of incentive travel around the world."

Sponsored and conducted by marketing research firm, tmf dialogue marketing India, the study reveals the impact of incentive travel programs in India and compares results from qualifiers who earned incentive travel awards vs. non-qualifiers who did not. The data is presented alongside similar studies conducted in the United Kingdom and the United States for a helpful comparison of how this motivational tool affects participants from these three countries.

The overall motivational impact of incentive travel appears to be the highest in India with 89% of respondents viewing it as motivating or extremely motivating, versus 77% in the U.S. and 72% in the U.K. 

  • Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the incentive program made them feel appreciated (97%) recognized by their peers (90%) and increased their feelings of belongingness (89%) and loyalty (80%) to their company.
  • Nearly half of respondents perceive incentive travel as more valuable than other motivational tools such as cash (33%) or paid vacation time (25%).
  • The program destination was the strongest factor affecting the intensity of memories with 81% of respondents agreeing that the incentive travel reward let them experience something unique that they could not do on their own. And, by changing the destination, motivation spikes with 95% saying a different location from the prior program would increase their motivation next time.

SITE president Rajeev Kohli, joint managing director for Creative Travel Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, India spoke to the value of the new research. “Incentive travel is, fundamentally, a trip that offers participants experiences that are once in a lifetime, and/or that they could not easily afford to do on their own. Participants have earned the travel opportunity due to their performance, and therefore the experience needs to be meaningful. This new research provides valuable insight into factors important to the Indian audience so that planners can design programs that deliver business results.” 

Click here to download the full report.

About SITE
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members, we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 40 years, SITE has grown to over 2,000 members in 90 countries with 29 local and regional chapters. Incentive travel is not a luxury — it’s a necessity.

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation, whose fundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, and educational program support for incentive travel professionals. Our multi-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness of incentive travel. For more information, please visit SITEglobal.com.