Current News

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Current News

November 24, 2015
Palais des congrès de Montréal and Montréal InVivo join forces to generate even more economic and intellectual benefits for Québec

Montréal—The Palais des congrès de Montréal and Montréal InVivo have decided to unite their efforts for the purpose of attracting even more health and life science related major international conventions to Montréal and the Palais. This new partnership will not only mean significantly more initiatives aimed at bringing new large-scale events to the city, but also more economic and intellectual benefits as a result. Innovation will be fostered, along with the ongoing development of businesses and organizations operating in both of these key economic sectors in Montréal and Québec.

Montréal InVivo, the economic development organization whose membership spans 600+ organizations, including 150 research centres and 80 world-class company affiliates, is dedicated to the creation of a business environment that fosters innovation and growth within organizations in the life sciences and health sector. For its part, the Palais des congrès de Montréal, together with its 287-member Ambassadors Club, is constantly active securing major events for the Palais in order to generate even more economic and intellectual benefits.

“We firmly intend to give our city’s leading economic sectors the opportunity to take full advantage of these major international meetings,” said Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, a Québec government corporation. “On average, 37% of the events held at the Palais in the last 5 years have been in connection with the health and life sciences sector. This collaboration with Montréal InVivo will enable both organizations to draw from their respective strengths in order to ultimately attract even more major conventions and promote the LSHT cluster worldwide,” he added.

“Life sciences and health represent a booming sector, not to mention their contribution to the GDP, the new small businesses and the constantly growing number of jobs they’re creating. Montréal ranks 6th in North America for concentration of LSHS jobs,” mentionned Frank Béraud, Chief Executive Officer of Montréal InVivo. “This partnership is a natural fit with Montréal InVivo’s mission of bolstering the sector’s competitiveness and growth in the Greater Montréal Area and Québec-wide,” he continued.

The new partnership will span various forms, including information sharing and convention selection, and also continuing the work of putting together a new health related Montréal convention for 2016: the first ever International Congress on Personalized Health Care.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Recipient of the AIPC Gold Quality Standards certification, the highest in the convention industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events, and generates major economic benefits for Québec.

About Montréal InVivo
Montréal InVivo is Greater Montréal’s cluster of life sciences and health technology (LSHT) companies. A non-profit economic development agency, it is dedicated to creating economic and intellectual wealth. Its activities are funded by the Ministère de l’Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations (MEIE), the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine relevant du Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Occupation du territoire, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), Canada Economic Development (CED), and both the private and institutional sectors.

November 23, 2015
American Express Global Business Travel Predicts Moderate Air, Hotel and Ground Transportation Price Increases for 2016

Gradually-improving economies, lower gas prices and stronger demand will lead to slightly higher travel prices across all regions 

New York, NYThe American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016 (the “Forecast”), predicts air, hotel and ground transportation prices will see modest gains in 2016, as a slowly-improving global economy and stronger demand outpace increases in supply. Led by favorable market conditions in North America and tempered growth in Asia, the airline industry will see slight pricing gains as increased demand is offset by similar growth in capacity partially spurred by lower fuel costs. Global hotel performance is also expected to improve moderately in 2016, as limited increases in inventory fail to keep pace with the growing global appetite for travel. Overall, North America is expected to continue its momentum from 2015 and experience healthy rate increases, while Asia-Pacific and Europe will show moderate gains. Ground transportation rates are expected to remain relatively flat as overcapacity, strong competition and a continued focus on ancillary fees persist globally.

American Express Global Business Travel’s (“GBT”) annual Forecast provides subscribers with over 1,800 pricing predictions across airfares, hotel rates and car rental rates in the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific (APAC), as well as related travel management program recommendations. 

“While we expect modest increases in global travel prices heading into 2016, travel managers are operating in an era of new challenges and evolving disrupters,” said Caroline Strachan, Vice President, Consulting, American Express Global Business Travel. “In addition to handling tasks such as measurement and compliance, new factors such as the sharing economy and mobile booking channels are becoming increasingly popular for business travelers. In order to thrive in this digital era, travel managers need to be aware of and dynamically adapt to these forces across a variety of geographies.”

Americas Predictions & Dynamics 

North America
In North America, business travelers can expect minimal increases in air travel categories in 2016. In the United States, the airfare outlook is mixed as the economy continues to show steady growth and corporate demand increases. However, weaker capacity discipline among carriers and changing traveler behaviors have resulted in lower yields. For short-haul flights, increased competition and growth among budget-carriers will help suppress price increases, while fares on long-haul flights are expected to remain relatively flat, particularly on routes to Asia and Latin America. In Canada, the Forecast predicts slight declines for short and long-haul prices as a result of strong competition and the lower price of oil, which continues to be a damper on the economy.

Increased demand and higher group travel are expected to drive strong rate increases for North American hotels in 2016. Overall, momentum from 2015’s strong rate performance is expected to carry on through 2016 as corporate travel managers continue to be challenged in negotiating aggressive discounts. Major US cities, which are seeing higher occupancy levels, continue to be supported by robust corporate travel and group businesses. While a healthy pipeline of new construction is on the horizon, the impact from added inventory is not likely to appear until after 2016. In secondary markets, excess inventory will dampen price increases while competition for customers is pushing hotel brands to focus on property renovations. Across Canada, variability persists within each province, however, the country is expected to see more moderate price increases (2.5 percent) in 2016.

The ground transportation market across North America is expected to experience limited growth in 2016, with ride sharing and ancillary charges continuing to be key themes. Despite aggressive attempts by suppliers to increase pricing, negotiated rates should remain largely flat although increased ancillary fees will drive up average costs. Smaller companies that are unable to negotiate corporate rates will see more significant price increases. Ride-sharing services are also expected to see greater mainstream adoption and expansion in 2016.

North America Airfare, Hotel and Car Rental Forecast

Short-Haul Business Class

Long-Haul Business Class

Short-Haul Economy

Long-Haul Economy

Mid-Range Hotel

Upper-Range Hotel

Car Rental Base Rates

.4% to 2.4%


.4% to 2.9%

-1.5% to 1.1%

.7% to 2.7%

3.8% to 6%

4.2% to 6.3%

0% to 1%


Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016

Latin America

Overall, economic headwinds in Latin America are expected to drive down air travel costs in 2016. This downward pressure on pricing will be slightly more pronounced on Economy fares, but will result in moderate price decreases across the board. While the region’s economies continue to struggle, consolidation among Latin American carriers will help mitigate the impact. Brazil will remain a key destination for foreign air carriers, although many have trimmed their schedules or postponed new routes. Additionally, the depreciation of the Brazilian Real and other local currencies against the U.S. dollar and euro will further lower domestic demand for international air travel.

While Latin America continues to face bouts of economic weakness and political uncertainty, hotel rates are likely to rise as a result of inflationary pressures heading into 2016. Due to its robust manufacturing outlook and solid domestic consumption, Mexico remains one of the strongest economies in Latin America and is poised to experience favorable growth next year. Peru and Colombia are also expected to see hotel prices rise in 2016 as relatively strong economies and political stability make them attractive destinations for business and leisure travelers.

Given the strong competition between the major car rental companies and new local suppliers, Latin American car rental rates are not likely to experience notable increases in 2016. Larger car rental companies are expected to continue to establish themselves across Latin America as they capitalize on business from global corporations and local companies with travel patterns that match their networks.

Latin America Airfare, Hotel and Car Rental Forecast

Short-Haul Business Class

Long-Haul Business Class

Short-Haul Economy

Long-Haul Economy

Mid-Range Hotel

Upper-Range Hotel

Car Rental Base Rates

-3.5% to -.5%

-3% to 0%

-4% to -.5%

-4% to -1%

1.3% to 4.3%

1% to 3.5%

0% to 1%

Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016

EMEA Predictions & Dynamics

In 2016, European air prices are expected to remain relatively stable, with the exception of premium cabin travel costs, which are expected to tick higher. Variability persists across the region, however, the United Kingdom is poised for another strong year with steady demand and new routes being added among airlines. Air prices are expected to remain stable in the Nordic countries, despite the expansion of Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) across the region. Taking advantage of their new, highly efficient fleets, these carriers will put pressure on short-haul Economy fares. Continued pressure from both LCCs and Gulf Carriers will place strong downward pressure on fares throughout Europe, particularly on short- and long-haul routes to Asia.

In the Middle East, the combination of rapid capacity growth by Gulf Carriers and lingering weakness in the region’s oil-based economies are generally pushing prices lower, with the exception of premium long-haul fares. In Africa, airfares are expected to increase slightly in 2016 as a result of protectionist policies impacting intra-regional flights and higher infrastructure costs. Given Africa’s limited ground infrastructure, air travel to and from the continent continues to be the most convenient method of travel. However, high operating costs, a lack of low-cost carriers (outside of South Africa), and stringent intra-continental regulation are expected to support fare increases within the region.

While increased competition and growing demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles should keep base fares relatively flat in 2016, the average daily rates for ground transportation in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are all expected to rise in 2016 on higher ancillary expenses. Car-sharing services will also see significant growth in 2016 as major car rental companies make further investments in this area.

EMEA Airfare & Car Rental Forecast 


Short-Haul Business Class

Long-Haul Business Class

Short-Haul Economy

Long-Haul Economy

Car Rental Base Rates


-1% to 2%


1% to 3%

-2% to 1%

-3% to 0%


-1% to  .5%


Middle East & Africa

2% to 5%


1% to 3%


2% to 3%


0% to 1%


Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016

In 2016, hotel rates across Europe are expected to experience moderate price increases, as Europe’s economy stabilizes and demand increases without much corresponding growth in inventory. Growth will generally be stronger in larger cities where the weaker euro is spurring increased tourism. In the Middle East and Africa, an increasing inventory of mid-range offerings will provide travelers with more affordable choices, but rates will still rise on stronger economics in 2016.  

EMEA Hotel Forecast


Mid-Range Hotel

Upper-Range Hotel


1.7% to 3.3%

1.8% to 3.5%

Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016

APAC Predictions & Dynamics

Heading into 2016, airfare prices across the Asia-Pacific region are expected to show moderate growth across both business and economy classes. Domestic economy fares are expected to see the strongest fare hikes within the region, despite competition from high-speed rail offerings in China and Japan. Additionally, China will also show a mild uptick in fares as demand, especially from the burgeoning middle class, keeps pace with capacity and carriers expand their long-haul networks. Increases will be also be strong in India as its booming economy and poor ground infrastructure combine to push more travelers to solicit air options.

APAC Airfare Forecast

 Airfare Forecast Type

Business Class

Economy Class


1% to 2.8%

2% to 3.5%


.6% to 2.6%

1% to 2.7%


0% to 2%

.5% to 2%

Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016

Mid- and upper- range hotels in Asia-Pacific are likely to experience moderate growth in 2016, although this varies significantly by market. While the anti-corruption campaign for government officials still impacts luxury hotels across China, the country continues to enjoy strong demand reflected in higher average daily rates and occupancy numbers. Favorable exchange rates and limited inventory is fueling substantial rate hikes in Sydney and Tokyo, while the end of the mining boom is having the opposite effect in the western half of Australia. In India, stronger demand is being offset by lingering overcapacity that should result in relatively shallow rate increases.  

 APAC Hotel Forecast

Mid-Range Hotel

Upper-Range Hotel

1.3% to 3.7%

1.6% to 4%

Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2016

For details on how to purchase the Forecast, which includes many more country-specific insights on airfares, hotel and car rental rates in regions throughout the world, please contact:

About the Global Business Travel Forecast 2016 and Methodology
The Forecast is a key deliverable of Global Business Consulting from American Express Global Business Travel as a part of their EXPERT INSIGHTS research practice. The EXPERT INSIGHTS research practice also produces monthly industry analysis, the Business Travel Monitor pricing index, and detailed travel program best practices and benchmarking reports.

The Forecast is based on a number of primary data sources, including proprietary data from the Global Business Travel Monitor, the American Express Global Business Travel contracted rates database, aggregate transaction data, and secondary data sources including Smith Travel Research (STR) Global Hotel Reviews, Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) and Airline Weekly.

With the 2016 transaction trends and expected global expenditure context in hand, Global Business Consulting subject-matter experts considered their recent front-line in-market and contract negotiation experience to predict specific expected price changes by country and region. This forecast also took care to make predictions by fare type and classes of service for air and hotel, as price changes differ within these variables. All ranges represent forecasted year-over-year changes in negotiated business travel rates.

Although the forecasts and projections provided in the report are based on information gathered from internal and external sources that American Express Global Business Travel believes to be reliable, no representation or warranty is made as to the accuracy of the forecasts or projections made herein. In addition, actual changes in business travel costs could vary significantly from forecasted data, particularly as a result of unforeseen future political, economic, and/or environmental events.

About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel enables corporations and empowers business travelers with insights, connections and exceptional customer service on a global scale. Through technology and information, American Express Global Business Travel provides leading travel solutions, integrated consulting services, proprietary research, and end-to-end meetings and events capabilities. These innovative offerings enable clients to optimize the return on their travel and meetings investments.

American Express Global Business Travel has operations and network partners in nearly 140 countries worldwide with approximately 12,000 employees. American Express Global Business Travel ranked first among corporate travel providers in the 2015 Corporate Travel 100 (“CT100”), an annual listing compiled by Business Travel News which ranks companies with the largest volume of U.S. air bookings. Learn more about how American Express Global Business Travel connects the world at and

American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”) is a joint venture that is not wholly-owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (“American Express”). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express, and are used under limited license.

November 20, 2015
QuickMobile Grows More Than 100% Year Over Year and Ranks Among the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500

Vancouver, BCQuickMobile, the global leader in enterprise mobile meeting and event apps, today announced it earned a ranking for the third consecutive year on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a list of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America. QuickMobile ranked #182, growing by more than 100 percent year over year between 2011 and 2014.

The total addressable worldwide market for mobile apps for meetings and events is estimated at more than $8 billion, based on figures provided by PwC and Frost & Sullivan. Core markets in North America and Europe enjoy higher than average penetration rates, but are far from saturated. In fact, the growing importance of enterprise-wide mobility strategies continues to stimulate demand. Over the past seven years, QuickMobile has transformed the event and meeting experience with its scalable app platform and rich attendee data.

David Smith, QuickMobile’s chief executive officer, credits the company’s consistently strong year-over-year growth to its opportunistic head start and its continued innovation. He said, “Our team has worked hard to keep pace with demand, develop new technologies and prepare our company for continued growth. We have had tremendous traction for our multi-event technology with Fortune 100 companies, as well as global brands in all sectors, especially high tech, financial, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing. We are continuously developing and integrating new technologies and diversifying our product offering, further entrenching QuickMobile as the recognized leader in mobile apps for meetings and events. When we look back at everything that we accomplished, it’s clear that we are primed to expand our market position.”

QuickMobile’s app platform and content management system makes it easy to create and manage apps for all types of meetings and events, from marquee trade shows and user conferences to shareholder meetings, sales kickoffs and beyond. The company develops mobile event apps for enterprise clients, associations, trade shows and conferences, providing a secure, scalable, and flexible mobile platform that delivers an immersive experience for attendees and deep analytics that help drive the business forward.

About Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500
Technology Fast 500, conducted by Deloitte & Touche LLP, provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies – both public and private – in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2011 to 2014.

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company's operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or CD, and current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million USD or CD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of four years, and be headquartered within North America.

About QuickMobile
QuickMobile deepens the value of meetings and events with mobile apps that engage and delight audiences. QuickMobile's enterprise mobile app and analytics platform creates an always-on communication channel that allows event owners to increase attendee participation, build loyalty and generate revenue through richer experiences. By fully leveraging the capabilities of QuickMobile's mobile and social solutions, customers can extend events into yearlong conversations and build lasting relationships with their audiences. QuickMobile’s head office is located in Vancouver, Canada. For more information, visit Follow QuickMobile on Twitter @quickmobile.

November 19, 2015
Air Canada Unveils Major Expansion to 12 U.S. Destinations

New services offer more non-stop travel options and support international growth                   

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Air Canada announced today new non-stop services between four key Canadian hubs and 12 U.S. cities beginning next summer. The new transborder routes will introduce new destinations, such as Toronto-Washington-Dulles, Toronto-Salt Lake City and Vancouver-San Jose, while also creating new city-pair routings, such as Vancouver-Chicago, Montreal-Houston, Montreal-Denver and Calgary-San Francisco. To promote the new routes, Air Canada is offering special introductory fares; details are available on

"Air Canada is the foreign carrier operating the most flights to the U.S., carrying the most customers and serving the most destinations. As such, we are pleased to strengthen our market presence, particularly as the U.S. is the top destination for Canadian travelers and Canada is one of the most popular destinations for Americans. For those traveling onward in the U.S. these new routes strengthen Air Canada's connections with major hubs of its partner United Airlines, including Houston, Denver, San Francisco and Washington-Dulles, giving customers more travel options and convenient connections throughout the U.S. and Latin America," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada.

"These new routes will also support our international expansion by making it easier for international travelers flying to and from the U.S. to connect to Air Canada's global network through its major Canadian hubs. International travelers are increasingly finding that connecting through Canada on Air Canada is the most convenient way to fly to and from the U.S. and between the U.S. to both Europe and Asia. Not only do our hubs offer some of the shortest elapsed travel times, they also provide international travelers seamless connections and Air Canada's Four-Star service, featuring lie-flat seats in International Business Class, a Premium Economy cabin on select flights, and seatback In-Flight Entertainment throughout all aircraft. All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access at our hubs, priority boarding and other benefits."

The new routes announced today will be operated by Air Canada mainline, Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Express aircraft. All routes will operate year-round except where indicated by (*).




Start Date

Toronto-Salt Lake City, Utah


May 27, 2016

Toronto-Portland, Oregon


May 26, 2016*

Toronto-Washington, DC-Dulles¹

Two-times daily

May 2, 2016

Toronto-Jacksonville, Florida¹

Two-times per week
(Saturday, Sunday)

May 21, 2016

Montreal-Denver, Colorado


June 4, 2016

Montreal-Houston, Texas¹


June 6, 2016

Montreal-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania¹

Two-times daily

May 24, 2016

Calgary-Phoenix, Arizona²

Three-times weekly
(Monday, Thursday, Saturday)

Continued from Winter

Calgary-San Francisco, California¹


June 18, 2016

Vancouver-Chicago, Illinois


June 4, 2016

Vancouver-San Diego, California²


June 2, 2016*

Vancouver-San Jose, California¹

Two-times daily

May 9, 2016

¹ Flight operated by Air Canada Express;  ² Flight operated by Air Canada rouge.

About Air Canada 
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents.  Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2014 served more than 38 million customers.  Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 55 in the United States and 86 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,321 airports 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.  For more information, please visit:, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

November 16, 2015
Marriott International to Acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Creating the World’s Largest Hotel Company

Company Will Have 1.1 Million Rooms in More Than 5,500 Hotels, Spanning the Globe in Over 100 Countries

30 Leading Brands Will Provide Guests Unmatched Choices

(NASDAQ: MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced today that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will create the world’s largest hotel company. The transaction combines Starwood’s leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott’s strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment, creating a more comprehensive portfolio. The merged company will offer broader choice for guests, greater opportunities for associates and should unlock additional value for Marriott and Starwood shareholders. Combined, the companies operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide. The combined company’s pro forma fee revenue for the 12 months ended September 30, 2015 totals over $2.7 billion.

Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, said: “The driving force behind this transaction is growth. This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace. This greater scale should offer a wider choice of brands to consumers, improve economics to owners and franchisees, increase unit growth and enhance long-term value to shareholders. Today is the start of an incredible journey for our two companies. We expect to benefit from the best talent from both companies as we position ourselves for the future. I know we’ll do great things together as The World’s Favorite Travel Company.”

J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, said: “We have competed with Starwood for decades and we have also admired them. I’m excited we will add great new hotels to our system and for the incredible opportunities for Starwood and Marriott associates. I’m delighted to welcome Starwood to the Marriott family.”

Bruce Duncan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said: “During our comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives, it was clear that our talented people, world-class brands, global leadership and spirit of innovation were much admired and key drivers of our value. Our board concluded that a combination with Marriott provides the greatest long-term value for our shareholders and the strongest and most certain path forward for our company. Starwood shareholders will benefit from ownership in one of the world’s most respected companies, with vast growth potential further enhanced by cost synergies. Starwood’s shareholders will also receive the value of the previously announced sale of our vacation ownership business to Interval Leisure Group, which is not part of this transaction.”

Adam Aron, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis, said: “We are excited to play a vital role in the creation of the biggest and best hotel company in the world with tremendous upside potential. The combination of our two companies brings together the best in innovation, culture and execution. Our guests and customers will benefit from so many more options across 30 hotel brands, while our hotel owners and franchisees will derive value from our combined global platform and efficiencies. We are also delighted that our associates will have expanded opportunities as part of a larger organization that is consistently recognized as one of the best companies to work for in the world.”

One-time transaction costs for the merger are expected to total approximately $100 to $150 million. Transition costs are expected to be incurred over the next two years. They cannot be estimated at this time, but are expected to be meaningful.

Marriott will assume Starwood’s recourse debt at the closing of the transaction. Marriott remains committed to maintaining an investment grade credit rating and to continue managing the balance sheet prudently after the merger. Marriott expects to maintain our 3.0x to 3.25x adjusted debt to adjusted EBITDAR target.

Arne Sorenson will remain President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International following the merger and Marriott’s headquarters will remain in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott’s Board of Directors following the closing will increase from 11 to 14 members with the expected addition of three members of the Starwood Board of Directors.

The transaction is subject to Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide shareholder approvals, completion of Starwood’s planned disposition of its timeshare business, regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Assuming receipt of the necessary approvals, the parties expect the transaction to close in mid-2016.

Read the full press release here.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,300 properties in 85 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $14 billion in fiscal year 2014. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, Bvlgari®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Gaylord Hotels®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Courtyard®, Residence Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, TownePlace Suites®, Protea Hotels® and MoxyHotels®. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 54 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,270 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Design Hotels, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element®, and the recently introduced Tribute Portfolio™. The company also boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®). Visit for more information and stay connected @starwoodbuzz on Twitter and Instagram and

November 11, 2015
IHG Announces New Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Cold Lake, Alberta

New hotel opens in convenient location for military, business and leisure travellers

Toronto, ON – InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today announces the opening of the new 129-room Holiday Inn Express® and Suites Cold Lake hotel in Alberta (Canada). This is the first Holiday Inn Express hotel in the city and is less than 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Cold Lake. Located near 4 Wing Cold Lake Royal Canadian Air Force Base, Imperial Oil and the Cold Lake Provincial Park, this hotel is expected to become a top choice for military, business and leisure travellers in the Cold Lake area.

Jennifer Gribble,  Vice President, Holiday Inn Express® Brand, IHG said:  "Holiday Inn Express hotels offer guests a great night’s rest and everything they need to stay productive on the go, and this hotel is the smart choice for people travelling to Cold Lake. We are proud to welcome the Holiday Inn Express Cold Lake hotel to our portfolio.”

The Holiday Inn Express brand is the smart choice for travellers seeking a hotel that will help them rest and go while staying productive, delivering exactly what they need and nothing they don’t. The more than 2,400 Holiday Inn Express hotels worldwide offer a simple and efficient stay through the uncomplicated yet personal service travellers expect from the brand.

The hotel features an indoor pool, hot tub, a 24-hour fitness center, a 24-hour business center and meeting space accommodating up to 50 people. Guest rooms feature contemporary styling, comfortable queen, king-sized or two double beds, a sitting area with a lounge chair and an in-room coffee machine featuring complimentary Smart Roast™ 100% Arabica coffee.

The complimentary Express Start™ breakfast bar offers a full range of breakfast items and now features an expanded selection of healthy breakfast items, including Oikos® yogurt, whole wheat English muffins, Kellogg’s® breakfast cereals, new Quaker® oatmeal flavors in cups and a toppings bar for yogurt, cereal and pancakes. Additionally, the breakfast bar continues to offer a wide variety of options including a rotation of egg and meat selections, biscuits, fruit, the brand's proprietary cinnamon roll and Smart Roast coffee.

Jun Li, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cold Lake said: “We are pleased to be the first Holiday Inn Express hotel in Cold Lake. With our convenient location to a major military base and the Cold Lake Regional Airport, we look forward to welcoming a wide range of travellers with unmatched comfort and convenience at a great value.”

The hotel, located at 5315-48 Avenue, is owned and managed by 1756380 Alberta Ltd. The Holiday Inn Express brand is part of IHG’s diverse family of brands in nearly 100 countries and territories. The scale and diversity of the IHG family of brands means that its hotels can meet guests’ needs whatever the occasion – whether an overnight getaway, a business trip, a family celebration or a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-HOLIDAY or by going to The Holiday Inn Express brand participates in IHG® Rewards Club. The industry’s first and largest hotel rewards program is free, and guests can enroll at, by downloading the IHG® App, by calling 1-888-211-9874 or by inquiring at the front desk of any of IHG’s more than 4,900 hotels worldwide.  The hotel also participates in IHG Green Engage® and offers unique programs to ensure sustainability.

About the Holiday Inn Express® brand
Holiday Inn Express® hotels are modern hotels for value-oriented travellers.  Fresh, clean and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travellers.  Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free hot Express Start™ breakfast bar with new healthier offerings, free high-speed Internet access and free local phone calls (U.S. and Canada only). There are currently over 2,400 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

November 10, 2015
Delaney to become SITE’s fourth Ovation President

Ovation Global DMC is proud to announce that Aoife Delaney, Director of Global Sales, has been elected as SITE President for 2017. Aoife’s appointment was announced at the recent SITE International Conference in New Delhi along with the appointments for the 2016 International Board of Directors. Aoife will succeed Rajeev Kohli who takes up the presidency of SITE (the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) for 2016. 

2017 will be Ovation’s 23rd year in operation and Aoife’s appointment will make her the fourth President of SITE to hail from Ovation Global DMC. In addition, Aoife will be SITE’s youngest president to date as she follows in the footsteps of Ovation’s SITE Past Presidents Padraic Gilligan, Hugo Slimbrouck and Patrick Delaney.

Commenting on her appointment Aoife said: “Having joined SITE back in 2007 I have benefitted hugely from being involved in initiatives such as the SITE Young Leaders Programme and the many SITE events which take place throughout the year. The networking and education available to members across the globe is second to none and I look forward to being heavily involved as a board member in 2016 and as SITE President in 2017.”

Founded in 1973, SITE is the only global organisation dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. By providing exceptional opportunities for professional development, certification and business connections, SITE has grown to over 2,000 members in 90 countries with 29 local and regional chapters.

Ovation Global DMC
Ovation Global DMC (, is a leading network of Destination Management Companies offering best-in-class DMC services to associations, corporations and agencies at over 100 locations across five continents. With its network of strategic partners and its alliance with the DMC Network (, Ovation offers services in all major meetings destinations globally.

For further information contact;

Ian Hemmingway
Marketing & PR Manager

Ovation Global DMC
Tel: +353 1 2802641

November 05, 2015
Air Canada Encourages Travelers to form a Toronto Connection

International customers can add up to a week at no charge in Canada’s largest and most vibrant city

Toronto, ON—Air Canada customers travelling between the U.S. and Europe or Asia via the airline’s Toronto Pearson global hub will have an opportunity to pause their journey in the city for up to one week with no stopover fee. This special offer, developed with the support of Tourism Toronto, is designed to encourage U.S. originating international customers to take advantage of their connection to experience Canada’s largest and most vibrant city.

“As Air Canada’s global hub, Toronto Pearson is quickly growing in popularity as the most efficient connecting point for U.S. originating travelers to Europe or Asia. But in addition to being extremely convenient for transiting international travelers, Toronto makes an ideal city getaway and for those who have the time, as there is a tremendous amount to see and do in one of the world’s most multicultural and vibrant cities. This is why we are pleased to offer our U.S. originating customers flying on international connections with an opportunity to stop over in Toronto for up to a week at no extra cost to their Air Canada ticket so that they can explore and enjoy its diverse attractions,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada.

“International travelers are always looking for added value and exciting destinations and this offer provides both. It’s the perfect way to spend some time exploring Toronto – for the first time or the tenth time – without any additional airfare,” said Andrew Weir, Chief Marketing Officer of Tourism Toronto.

Air Canada’s extended stopover offer is available to U.S. originating international customers connecting through Toronto while travelling from more than 50 U.S. cities to Europe or Asia and can be applied to either the outbound or inbound portion of the trip. Customers can stay up to one week in Toronto for the same price as a usual roundtrip ticket – without any additional fees for an interrupted journey. The offer is valid for flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada rouge. For more details including fare rules please see

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 190 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2014 served more than 38 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 64 Canadian cities, 52 destinations in the United States and 78 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,321 airports 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. For more information, please visit: follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

About Tourism Toronto
Tourism Toronto, Toronto’s Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,100 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. For more information please visit

Contacts: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal) 514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto) 416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver) 604 270-5741

November 03, 2015
JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa Opens Its Doors to Guests

Luxury Resort Includes Ultra-Exclusive Griffin Club, Jasha Spa and Temazcal, and Café des Artistes

Bethesda, Md.— Today, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the global luxury brand that is part of Marriott International’s (NASDAQ: MAR) Luxury + Lifestyle portfolio, debuts JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa.  The new five-star luxury beachfront resort, designed by Jim Olson from Olson Kundig in collaboration with Mexico City-based design firm IDEA Asociados, boasts 299-guestrooms and suites, all with unobstructed ocean views, and features modern architecture inspired by local Mexican traditions and the spirit of the desert.

“Jim Olson and his team have created an idyllic environment featuring awe-inspiring modern design that highlights the tranquility of Los Cabos,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President, Luxury Brand Management & Guest Experience at Marriott International. “Upon arrival, guests will immediately be taken by the destination’s natural beauty. JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa perfectly complements its surroundings while providing guests with an unparalleled enriching resort experience.” 

Situated in the upscale Puerto Los Cabos community, JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa is located within the dunes of the pristine coast of the Baja peninsula, where the desert meets the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Inspired by the local traditions and spirit of the desert, Olson’s design seamlessly blends architecture, art and nature. “As you move through the space, there are always moments where your eye can focus on the outdoors,” Olson notes. “The architecture is designed to frame nature.”

Upon entering the open-air lobby, guests are greeted by the sea and the resort’s expansive infinity pools, creatingthe effect of the ocean merging with the property itself. In addition to thoughtfully-designed guest rooms and suites, the resort features six pools, including sea water and infinity pools; the 21,000 square foot Jasha Spa and modern-day temazcal, a Mexican sweat lodge; seven restaurants and bars, including the signature restaurant Café des Artistes by famed Chef Thierry Blouet; banquet and meeting facilities; and retail shops. 

The resort also offers the ultra-exclusive Griffin Club, a 45-room boutique hotel within the resort that includes a private beach and pool, butler and chef services, private spa areas, a movie theater, food and beverage offerings, access to the chef’s private table at Café des Artistes and more.

Café des Artistes, JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, isa fine dining experience from award-winning Chef Thierry Blouet. With both indoor and outdoor seating, Café des Artistes features Mexican cuisine with French influences, a carefully curated wine cellar highlighting the best of Baja California vintages, a chef’s private table and a rooftop bar. Other food and beverage establishments include the casual, yet elegant Mexican restaurant Úa, which means “home” in the local language of Cochimi; Nak & Grill Bar, a poolside restaurant offering open-grilled local seafood dishes; P’yote Rooftop Bar, which includes an extensive list of Mezcal cocktails created by Chef Blouet, and more.

Jasha Spa incorporates ancient pre-Columbian techniques, healing herbs, and organic ingredients into its extensive treatment menu.  The expansive spa includes twelve treatment rooms, an outdoor garden and relaxation lounge, vitality pools, an outdoor lap pool, and private Jacuzzis.  Nestled within the spa’s garden is a modern version of the traditional temazcal, a Mexican sweat lodgeused by ancient Aztecs as a therapeutic instrument to promote healing and health.  In the temazcal, a “Temazcalero”, a master in the ancient art of wellness, leads guests through a customized, guided meditation.  Fitness classes such as yoga, boot camp, water aerobics, cycling, and guided hikes are also offered on-property. 

A multi-million dollar art collection is featured throughout the resort and includes works from internationally acclaimed artists such as Jaume Plensa, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Angel Otero, Sam Falls Tobias Pils, Jorge Yazpik, Carlos García de la Nuez, Jan Hendrix, Héctor Zamora and more. Guests also have access to Puerto Los Cabos’ private marina and golf courses designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus. 

JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa offers over 37,000 square feet of event space for weddings and corporate meetings including the 7,950 square foot Mila Ballroom, the 5,425-square-foot beachfront Amet Patio, and several private and semi-private terraces and gardens. Additionally, the Kepe gazebo, which has a view of the Sea of Cortez, is perfect for wedding ceremonies.  The resort also offers performing art events and special celebrations under the stars in the 7,104 square foot Sum-San amphitheater, which is inspired by ancient Greek forums.

Conveniently located 25 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa will offer world-class amenities, on-property cultural events, and a variety of land and sea excursions.  Opening rates begin at $460 per night and $640 for the Griffin Club, room only.

About JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts 
JW Marriott is part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties in gateway cities and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to today’s sophisticated, self-assured travelers, offering them the quiet luxury they seek in a warmly authentic, relaxed atmosphere lacking in pretense. JW Marriott properties artfully provide highly crafted, anticipatory experiences that are reflective of their locale so that their guests have the time to focus on what is most important to them. Currently, there are 75 JW Marriott hotels in 27 countries; by 2019 the portfolio is expected to encompass more than 100 properties in over 30 countries. Visit us online, on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

October 29, 2015
Ivanhoé Cambridge invests in the transformation of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal

Montreal—Ivanhoé Cambridge and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts today announced details surrounding the major renovation project planned for Montreal's preeminent downtown hotel, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. Ivanhoé Cambridge will invest Cdn$140 million to transform the hotel experience at the world renowned property.

Objective 2017
To execute the renovations, the hotel will close in mid-June 2016 and will reopen in June 2017. All the common areas and about 500 guest rooms will be ready for the celebrations marking the 375th anniversary of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. The remainder of the rooms will be completed by December 2017.

"This transformation will mark the hotel's return as Montreal's leading business destination and preferred venue for international events and global business conferences," said Daniel Fournier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ivanhoé Cambridge. "We are extremely proud to invest in downtown Montreal, our economic, commercial and cultural heart. This project is an exceptional opportunity to innovate and to write a new chapter in the history of our great city."

Kevin Frid, President of the luxury hotel brand's parent company FRHI Hotels & Resorts, said: "Ivanhoé Cambridge is a trusted and committed partner and we look forward to working closely with them on this very exciting revitalization project. From royal visits and John and Yoko's Bed-in to being a key meeting place during F1 celebrations, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has a history unlike any other hotel in the city. We look forward to adding to the hotel's remarkable legacy by restoring and renovating this landmark building for future generations to enjoy."

The vision of the project
After its transformation, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel will offer an innovative business campus developed by the creative teams at Sid Lee. The campus will include a set of interconnected and accessible public meeting and multifunctional spaces where businesspeople will be able to engage in creative, collaborative and innovative experiences. This living environment will be oriented towards stimulating creativity and promoting business ingenuity.

The transformation will mark the hotel's return as a leading luxury international business destination. The hotel will offer an array of impressive restaurants and bars, as well as an urban market that will be unique in downtown Montreal. Its new open spaces will host varied cultural and commercial events and activities featuring exciting programming. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth will continue to be, along with Place Ville Marie, the epicentre of Montreal's underground city shared by more than 19 million people a year.

The employees
The decision to close the hotel was not taken lightly. Ivanhoé Cambridge and its partner Fairmont Hotels and Resorts chose to execute the work over as short a period of time as possible to minimize the impact on the hotel operations, its guests and the city.

This closing will impact more than 600 employees, the vast majority of whom will be laid off temporarily for a period of about 9 to 12 months. A small transition team, consisting of sales, marketing and essential services personnel, as well as outside catering services, will be maintained.

It is estimated that ultimately, the new concepts will lead to an increase in the total number of employees at the hotel. A comprehensive personalized support program has been implemented to ease the transition. Employees will have the opportunity to be relocated to other area hotels and establishments managed by the Fairmont brand. With the new experiences of all kinds to be introduced at the property, a major employee training program will be undertaken by Fairmont during the final months of the work.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts regularly ranks among Canada's best employers, and for good reason: it is a company whose success relies greatly on its employees. The Queen Elizabeth's employees are part of the hotel's great history, and their contribution is highly valued.

For Montreal
This investment furthers Ivanhoé Cambridge's plan for downtown Montreal. As proud owner of the hotel, Ivanhoé Cambridge is counting on its close collaboration with its partners Fairmont and Sid Lee as a new chapter in the history of Montreal is being written.

To watch the project video:
Note to editors: to download the digital assets (renderings, fact sheets and video) that support this news release, please access via Dropbox:

About Ivanhoé Cambridge
Ivanhoé Cambridge, a global real estate industry leader, invests in high-quality properties and companies in select cities around the world. It does so prudently with a long-term view to optimize risk-adjusted returns. Founded in Quebec in 1953, Ivanhoé Cambridge has built a vertically integrated business across Canada. Internationally, the Company invests alongside key partners that are leaders in their respective markets.

Through subsidiaries and partnerships, Ivanhoé Cambridge has direct or indirect interests in over 160 million ft2 (up to 15 million m2) of office, retail and logistics properties as well as in more than 23,000 multiresidential units. Ivanhoé Cambridge held more than Cdn$48 billion in total assets as at June 30, 2015. The Company is a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (, one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers. For further information:

About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations, providing travelers with memorable travel experiences, thoughtful and attentive service and luxury hotels that are truly unforgettable. Each Fairmont property reflects the locale's energy, culture and history through locally inspired cuisine, spirited bars and lounges and distinctive design and decor. With more than 70 hotels globally, and many more in development, the Fairmont collection boasts some of the most iconic hotels in the world, including The Plaza in New York, The Savoy in London, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Québec City. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company that operates more than 130 hotels and branded residential properties under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. For more information or reservations, please visit