Your Opinion

Our company encourages employees to buy cellular data travel packs when they travel:
 
Our company encourages employees to buy cellular data travel packs when they travel:
Always
54%
It depends
38%
Never
8%
 
look_for_new_issue
The Stockroom: See our destination guides
www.casinosduquebec.com
www.caesarswindsor.com
www.allstreamcentre.com
ignitemag.ca
conferences.spectacularnwt.com?utm_source=ignitemag.ca&utm_medium=cpm&utm_campaign=conference1
live.canadianspecialevents.com

Current News

February 26, 2015
Starwood Hotels Launches New “ProMeetings” App – A Mobile Solution for Planners on the Go

The Latest in a Series of Innovative New B2B Technologies, ProMeetings Makes It Easy to Manage Events in Real-Time from the Palm of Your Hand

Stamford, Conn.— Meeting planners can now manage events on-site, right from the palm of their hand, thanks to a powerful new app launched today by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT). Through ProMeetings planners who are SPG or SPG Pro members, can submit on-property requests – from an extension cord, to coffee service, to a change in lighting and everything in between – directly to associates who can fulfill requests in real time.

“Like our guests, our meeting planners and SPG Pro members are inherently mobile and want solutions that match the way they live their lives today,” said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President, Starwood Preferred Guest & Digital. “Our new ProMeetings app gives them the personalization and flexibility they need to deliver flawless experiences for their attendees.”

ProMeetings is in pilot at several Starwood hotels around the world, including W Singapore - Sentosa Cove, The Westin Singapore, Sheraton Atlanta Airport, W Atlanta Midtown, and The Westin Charlotte. Starwood will take key learnings from the pilot to enhance the offering before a full global rollout, which is expected in 2016.

“The ProMeetings app provides a faster and more efficient way for our properties to receive and complete on-property requests,” said Jonathan Kaplan, Starwood’s Director, New Business Development and Prospecting. “More importantly, it gives valuable time back to meeting planners so they can focus on the content of their meeting while our hotel teams can deliver better service.”

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 1,200 properties in nearly 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 with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

February 20, 2015
Starwood Hotels’ Eco-Wise Element Brand Gains Momentum in Canada with the Opening of Element Vancouver Metrotown

Overlooking the North Shore Mountains, Element Vancouver Metrotown Delivers Stylish, Sustainable Lodging in Burnaby’s Growing Business District

Stamford, Conn.—Accelerating growth in markets worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of Element Vancouver Metrotown – the second Element hotel to open in Canada. Owned by Bosa Properties and managed by Atlific Hotels, Element Vancouver Metrotown is part of Bosa’s new Sovereign building, the tallest tower in Burnaby, British Columbia. Offering picturesque views of the North Shore Mountains and downtown Vancouver, the new Element features 169 light-filled rooms and suites and an atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance and on the move. Element Vancouver Metrotown joins Element Vaughan Southwest in the greater Toronto region and will be followed by the opening of two more Element hotels in Canada next year.

 “Element Vancouver Metrotown is a terrific addition to our growing portfolio and an ideal choice for this location, given Vancouver’s bold initiative to become the world’s greenest city by 2020," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “On track to triple its portfolio by the end of 2017, Element is resonating with travelers who share the brand’s passion for great design and smart, sustainable living.”

Element Vancouver Metrotown is conveniently located on the northeast corner of Kingsway and Willingdon Avenue within Metropolis at Metrotown – a leading shopping, dining and entertainment complex just steps from the growing Burnaby business district. Home to numerous corporations and high-tech businesses, Burnaby is a quick 20 minute ride from downtown Vancouver via SkyTrain and convenient to Rogers Arena, BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“We are thrilled to partner with Starwood Hotels to introduce its eco-wise Element brand within walking distance of Burnaby’s business district and a host of entertainment options,” said Colin Bosa, CEO, Bosa Properties. “Element Vancouver Metrotown will help meet the rising demand for high-caliber lodging in this fast-growing area.”

“This new Element hotel delivers a compelling new choice for travelers visiting Metro Vancouver,” said Tim Tindle, Vice-President, Operations at Atlific Hotels. “Providing a fresh alternative to traditional extended stay lodging, Element is gaining momentum in markets across North America.”

Element Vancouver Metrotown features spacious studio guest rooms and suites with a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Spa-inspired bathrooms are equipped with an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Rooms also offer fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly® Bed. Guests can fuel their day with a healthy Rise breakfast and wind down with the Relax evening wine reception – both complimentary. Staying on the move is easy with complimentary bikes to borrow, a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center and an indoor saline swimming pool. A 28,000 square foot Good Life® Fitness gym is also located in the Sovereign Tower.

For the culinary enthusiast, Glowbal Group’s Trattoria will be opening on site in February, offering guests a casual dining option from one of British Columbia’s most popular restaurant groups. The hotel offers more than 6,000 square feet of prime meeting space with modular furnishing, fast & free WiFi throughout and a ChargePoint electric-vehicle charging station for guests and travelers.

“Burnaby is one of the fastest growing business communities in British Columbia and our Element hotel will offer healthy amenities and a balanced lifestyle to both the business and leisure traveler,” said Paul Gallop, Element Vancouver Metrotown General Manager. “We are proud to offer stylish, sustainable lodging in the bustling Metrotown area of Burnaby.”

Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. It is recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space, and offers travelers a fresh, reimagined extended stay hotel experience.

About Element Hotels
Element® Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers extended stay comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 14 markets in North America, 1 hotel in Europe with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook.

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 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and more than 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About Atlific Hotels
Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 60 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Ranked by Hotelier Magazine as one of the country’s top 5 performing hotel management companies in 2012, Atlific Hotels has 55 years of experience managing well known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended stay properties. The company has built a reputation for best in business accounting reporting, exceptional sales and marketing programs and sound operational systems. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties, Ltd. operates over 60 hotels throughout the United States. Together they manage over 120 properties in North America with over 16,500 rooms, which include independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Westin and Holiday Inn. For more information please visit www.atlific.com.

February 19, 2015
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Achieves Global CO2 Reduction Target

TorontoFairmont Hotels & Resorts today announced that it has achieved World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers Program targets, reducing its operational CO2 emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 levels. In doing so, the luxury hotel brand known for its industry leading sustainability programming becomes the first hotel brand to meet this ambitious environmental goal.

WWF’s Climate Savers Program was designed to inspire companies to change their thinking about climate solutions, while also encouraging them to transform themselves into low-carbon leaders. This leaves member companies better placed to avoid carbon-related risks while realizing opportunities within their long-term business strategies. Fairmont joined Fortune 500 companies and other top businesses like The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, and Nike to develop practical, cost-effective strategies that reduce emissions of CO2 and achieve energy efficiency solutions.

“According to the United Nations, emissions generated directly from the tourism sector account today for 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions but may be higher. When Fairmont joined WWF’s Climate Savers Program in 2009, our mandate was to help address this issue as part of our long standing commitment to sustainability,” said Jane Mackie, vice president, Fairmont Brand. “Achieving this goal is a testament to our colleagues’ commitment to their local communities. Thanks to their hard work, and through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates, we have removed as much CO2 as is generated by 13,569 passenger vehicles.”

Since its founding over a century ago, Fairmont has worked to deepen its connection to the environment and communities where it conducts business. This mindset led to the launch of the highly acclaimed and industry-leading Green Partnership Program, now known as the Fairmont Sustainability Partnership, a comprehensive approach to reducing the company’s impact on the environment, and to the brand embracing the Climate Savers Program.

“Leading companies like Fairmont are proving that strong environmental action leads to business success,” said Alberto Carrillo, Head of Climate Business Engagement for WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. “Successful actions like these are critical to mitigating the devastating impacts of climate change on people and nature.”

To meet the Climate Savers agreement, Fairmont undertook a wide variety of initiatives globally, this included:

--Reducing operational CO2 emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 levels
--Created and implemented a Green Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct.
--Educated and encouraged top suppliers (representing approximately 25 per cent of the supply chain) to provide products in accordance with the Green Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct.
--Updated Design and Construction standards to incorporate and reflect Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Fairmont hotels around the world also took their own unique approach to the challenge of reducing the brand’s carbon footprint, upgrading infrastructure and changing behaviours to reach the company’s goal. Activities were often driven by the actions of dedicated and passionate colleagues who were, and continue to be, committed to protecting and preserving the environment. Colleagues organized Sustainability Teams, leading the process as proactive, engaged, partners in the program. At the Fairmont St. Andrews, for example, the colleague Sustainability Team hosted open debates and pushed colleagues to propose initiatives that their department could then implement to create savings.

Some other notable activity and initiatives undertaken by Fairmont to achieve its Climate Savers target included:

Europe
--At Fairmont Le Montreux Palace pumping water from Lake Geneva saves more than 60% of annual electricity consumption, compared to a standard air-conditioning installation (340’000 kwh/year).

--In London, The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, installed a centralized compressor plant for all kitchen walk-in fridges and freezers. The hotel’s refrigeration plant reclaims waste-heat to preheat domestic hot water by 5 degrees Celsius. Reclaiming waste heat produces an approximate saving of £38,500 over the course of the year, and reduces the loading and firing rate of the boilers which also extends the expected life of the boiler and reduces maintenance costs.

Middle East, Africa & India
--Using outside breezes instead of air conditioning to circulate cold air into the Fairmont Dubai during the winter. This reduced energy consumption without impacting guest comfort.

Americas
--Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii heats its pool using waste heat from a chiller system at no cost. If the hotel were to heat its pool using conventional heating methods (like propane) it would cost more than $90,000 per year. The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is now examining the potential to apply solar films on windows and panels on the roof of the hotel to generate more of its power from a more sustainable source.

--In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the Fairmont Banff Springs began utilizing outdoor ambient temperatures for its chilled water system. It estimates that this will save approximately 368,750 kWh of energy consumption annually.  

Asia Pacific
--At Fairmont Singapore, the in-house Sustainability Team conducts monthly audits of offices, kitchens, and rooms to ensure energy efficient practices.

“Fairmont was very motivated through our partnership with WWF to help tackle climate change, achieve significant CO2 reductions, and deliver results worldwide,” said Allison Long, Fairmont’s business analyst, environmental affairs. “We are pleased with the results achieved thanks to our dedicated colleagues and are excited to be the first luxury hotel brand to reach the Climate Savers Program targets.”

About the Fairmont Sustainability Partnership
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a leader in sustainability and was one of the world's first hotel companies to embrace environmental stewardship. The luxury hotel brand has expanded this commitment to include economic, environmental, and social programming through its Fairmont Sustainability Partnership. With the goal of improving the overall well-being of local communities where Fairmont does business, the program focuses on four key areas to achieve change; responsible business, ecosystem, environment and engagement. Building on the brand's environmental platform, once lauded by National Geographic Traveler as "the most comprehensive environmental program in the North American hotel industry," ongoing global initiatives include reductions in energy and water consumption, waste generation and carbon emissions. Additional support includes sustainable practices related to design, proactive construction and procurement policies, as well as community outreach through local groups and partnerships. As the first luxury hotel group to address climate change, Fairmont also worked with the WWF in achieving established greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, among other strategic initiatives.

About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts connects guests to the very best of its destinations worldwide, reflecting each locale's energy, culture and history. Passionate travelers choose the luxury hotel brand for its ability to deliver memorable travel experiences, personalized and thoughtful service, and hotels that are one-of-a-kind. Serving as genuine gateways to their destinations, Fairmont hotels offer locally-inspired cuisine and spirited bars and lounges, distinctive design and décor, and a steadfast responsibility to environmental and social priorities. With more than 65 hotels globally, and many more in development, landmark hotels in the Fairmont collection include The Plaza in New York, London's The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai and Quebec City's Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leading global hotel company with over 110 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residence clubs, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please visit fairmont.com.

About World Wildlife Fund
WWF is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit worldwildlife.org to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @WWFNews.

February 12, 2015
Toronto sets new record for tourism

Toronto, ON—Toronto set new records in tourism by welcoming 14.3 million overnight visitors in 2014, Tourism Toronto announced today. Key drivers were a fourth consecutive year of growth in visitors from the U.S. and the highest number of overseas visitors ever in the destination.  Additionally, Toronto led the country in hotel occupancy and hotel room nights sold.

"The world is continuing to take notice of Toronto's emergence as an exciting leisure travel and meetings hot spot," said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. "This is a sophisticated city with a growing reputation and people want to come see for themselves what all the buzz is about. Our marketing strategy focuses on high-value visitors from major U.S. cities and key overseas markets such as the U.K., Germany, China, Japan and Brazil."

In 2014, 2.3 million Americans arrived in the destination for an overnight stay, which is a 3.7 per cent increase over 2013. In addition, the U.S. visitor profile continues to shift toward travellers from key American cities that are likely to fly to Toronto, stay longer and spend more. Americans who flew to Toronto accounted for 64 per cent of total U.S. visitors in 2014.

For the first time, China became the top overseas market (all countries other than Canada and the U.S.), with 230,485 visitors representing a 27 per cent increase over 2013. China surpassed the U.K. which had 217,232 visitors (up 8 per cent in 2014). Other top markets include India (94,742, +22 per cent), Japan (87,468, +28 per cent) and Germany (85,080, +12 per cent).  

The record number of hotel room nights sold in the Toronto region in 2014 was 9.45 million, and translated to 71.4 per cent hotel occupancy in 2014. Both of these figures were the highest of all major cities in Canada.

"In just two years we have generated 444,000 more hotel room night stays toward our five-year goal of a million," said Terry Mundell, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association. "More room nights are not only good for hotels and their employees, but equate to more visitor spending in our community."

Total visitor spending, including same-day trips, was $6.9 billion in the Toronto region across a range of businesses and activities including accommodations, attractions, restaurants, meeting venues, taxis, retail and entertainment. The tourism and hospitality sector employs 315,000 people throughout the Toronto region, highlighting the many diverse businesses that rely on inbound tourism.

"We're thrilled with Toronto's ongoing reputation as a top international destination and we're proud that our government, working together with Tourism Toronto and other partners, continues to successfully attract tourists, create jobs and grow our economy here in Ontario," said Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "Looking ahead, we expect an even bigger economic boost this year as we host the TO2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games."

Toronto is the most-visited destination in Canada by fellow Canadians with 10.5 million overnight domestic visits in 2014. These visits generated spending of $2.44 billion in the destination. In addition, Canadians make up the majority of the 25.5 million same-day visitors the destination received.

"The outlook is not without its challenges, but there has never been a more exciting time to visit Toronto – from new attractions, the new Queens Quay promenade, UP Express, new and renovated hotels, and a summer-long line-up of festivals, events and special promotions," said Mr. Whitaker.

Conventions and events
Toronto's convention sector also reached new heights in 2014 by booking a record number of future hotel room nights for conventions and meetings. In 2014, Tourism Toronto and its partners confirmed 665 future meetings and conventions including 13 major conventions to be hosted at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In all these meetings will bring 463,400 attendees to the Toronto region, generating 640,345 hotel room nights.

During 2014, Toronto hosted such global events as the International Astronautical Federation with 2,500 attendees from around the world, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (4,500 attendees), Million Dollar Round Table (7,000 attendees), Lions Club International (15,000 attendees) and Amway India (4,000 attendees).

The impact of meetings is far-reaching as many international delegates extend their stay, bring family with them to the convention and often are inspired to return again for a pleasure trip to explore the region.

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 www.seetorontonow.com.

February 11, 2015
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Holds the Title as the Only Hotel in Canada with both Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star & AAA Five Diamond Ratings

The brand's flagship sweeps the rankings and maintains leading position.

Toronto, ON—Four Seasons Hotel Toronto remains the undefeated title holder as the first and only hotel in Canada to ever have been awarded both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ratings two years in a row. The Yorkville hotel was successful in achieving the highest possible rankings from both organisations by continuously delivering an exceptional level of product and service to their guests year after year.

"Our Star Ratings recognize the finest hotels in the world. They serve as guideposts for consumers seeking exceptional travel experiences," said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide.

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto opened on October 5, 2012 and within a year, received both designations. With 259 guest rooms, a 30,000 square foot luxury spa, and Café Boulud and dbar by international restaurateur and Chef Daniel Boulud, it continues to stand tall as the company's hometown global flagship hotel.

"Both ratings have been designated by expert inspectors who grade us on hundreds of detailed standards," explains Dimitrios Zarikos, Regional Vice President and General Manager of the hotel. "We are honoured and proud to achieve this recognition."

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Halla Rafati
Director of Public Relations
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
60 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, ON M4W 0A4
Tel: (416) 928-7319
E-mail: halla.rafati@fourseasons.com

About Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto provides a preferred address for business and leisure travelers.  Recent awards and honors include Robb Report's Best of the Best 2013, Condé Nast Traveller's Hot List and T+L's 2014 Top City Hotel in Canada.  For more information, visit our Press Room or check out Facebook.

About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the originator of the prestigious Five Star Rating system, and has provided the travel industry's most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. To view the complete list of 2015 Forbes Travel Guide Star Award winners, visit http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/the-2015-forbes-travel-guide-star-award-winners.

About AAA Inspections
AAA is the only rating system that conducts on-site professional evaluations guided by member priorities. AAA is the only rating system that covers the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Travelers can learn about AAA inspections at AAA.com/Diamonds.

February 06, 2015
New Director, Event Management Services appointed at Exhibition Place

Exhibition Place is proud to appoint Martin Kenneally, to the position of Director, Event Management Services reporting directly to the General Manager, Sales & Events.   

Martin is a leader with extensive management, team building, operational and strategic planning experience both nationally and internationally.  Most recently Martin was the Senior Director, Security and Accreditation, Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.  Martin had a distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces providing operational, planning and financial leadership at all organizational levels.

“We are pleased to welcome Martin Kenneally to the professional and experienced team at Exhibition Place and look forward to his contribution.” says Arlene Campbell, General Manager, Sales & Events, Exhibition Place.

  

About Exhibition Place

Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment venue, attracting over 5.3 million visitors a year. The 192-acre site is an integral component of Toronto and Ontario’s economy, particularly with respect to conventions, sport, festivals, recreation, culture and tourism.  During the summer of 2015, Exhibition Place will become CIBC Pan Am Park, and will play host to up to 13 sports during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games.  Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart; which includes the promotion of sustainable development, environmental initiatives and leading edge green technologies and practices across the site. www.explace.on.ca. www.toronto2015.org/venue/pan-am-park

 

February 02, 2015
Skal International ‎Toronto Appoints New Board For 2015

Toronto, ON—Skal International Toronto announced today that it has elected Brent Bowes, Vice President of Plaza Premium Lounge as the new Club President for 2015.

Skal International Toronto has also elected Fred Azouz, Scott Barker, Lynda Falcone, David McClung, Karen Scott Caplice, Pierre LePage and Susan Webb. The committee chairs include Kimberly Hartley, Val Saunders, Tom Buecking, Joanne Gellatly and Audrius Valiulis.

Skal Toronto's past president, Paul Leon selected Mary Heron as the Skal person of the year in recognition of her work as the Executive Secretary for the Club.

In 2014, Skal International Toronto donated $7,500 to the Daily Bread Food Bank as a result of their successful annual golf tournament and charity gala auction. The Club's AGM was held on January 27th at Lambton Golf and Country Club where the executive team outlined their plans for 2015, which‎ included the annual golf tournament on August 10th, 2015 at Royal Woodbine Golf Club, and the Holiday Gala to be held Thursday, December 10th, 2015.

Skal Toronto revised their fee structure to provide more affordability for members, along with more networking events for the 2015 programme including the Golf Tournament and Holiday Gala & Auction.

Skal Toronto’s - Young Skal program has attracted young professionals from the industry adding an exciting new dynamic to the Club. New members are always welcome! To become a Skal International Toronto member, visit our new website for up to date information, links to the international organization and club activities. www.torontoskal.org.

The organization founded in 1934, is the largest organization of professional travel and tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its’ members, industry managers and executives, meet at local, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest in the Travel and Tourism Sectors. There are over 17,000 members in 400 clubs located in over 80 nations.

The next Skal International Toronto meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 24th at the new Delta Hotel Toronto.

 

January 30, 2015
Puerto Vallarta Receives Tourism Excellence Award at FITUR

Innovating Destination Plan Developed by Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, CVB and State of Jalisco Recognized for its Work   

Puerto Vallarta has been awarded the TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARD 2014 by Spanish Corporate “Grupo Excelencias”at FITUR 2015 for the development and implementation of its strategic plan to “re-engineer” the destination’s Tourism Action Plan put together by the Mexican beach destinations Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, the Puerto Vallarta’s Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism of Jalisco.

The engineering plan involves all tourism stakeholders, government departments, associations, chambers and private initiatives, and involves improvements in infrastructure and tourist heritage as well as a formal program of training and awareness aimed at local people who become hosts / destination ambassadors, reinforcing Puerto Vallarta as one of the world´s most friendly destinations.

Since the Puerto Vallarta’s Convention and Visitors Bureau was restructured this past August, its new Executive Director, Miguel Andres Hernandez has been busy laying the ground work to ensure the destination’s future as a serious contender in the business travel industry.

An important element in the CVB’s work is training and presentation by renowned meeting planners and professional congress organizers. On November 13 of this year, the bureau hosted Miguel Harraca, President of the Convention and Visitors Bureaus of Latin America and the Caribbean in a presentation on strategic alliances.

From Nov. 25-27, the CVB partnered with SITE and other Mexican entities to do the first of a number of training aimed to make as many of the member of Puerto Vallarta tourism industry Certified Meetings Specialists. Over 20 members participated in the four-course class in Mexico City. Additional classes with PCMA and other associations are currently being scheduled for 2015.

The CVB has also started working on the development of its own certifications. Designed to create a service norm and standard across the city, it has partnered with local, state and federal institutions to train and certify local businesses. On December 5, the OCV started a certification program that is expected to train more than 2,500 taxi drivers in basic consumer relations, destination representation, language and others. Similar certification are being developed for other suppliers in the destination, including restaurants, hotels, tour operators, etc.

As part of its promotions and PR campaign with the tourism board agency, LATITUDE, the CVB, the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center, destination hotels and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board have continued to promote the city’s infrastructure in numerous events throughout the year including AIBTM, IMEX and MPI’s WEC. Puerto Vallarta also becoming an MPI Preferred Partner in April.

Puerto Vallarta is most definitely a destination that will not fail to surprise, taking full advantage of its long list of features and benefits. On a daily basis, it is committed professionally to offer a unique and distinctive product, full of added values, to be a true “Experience Generator” for all those travelers seeking tirelessly for the perfect destination.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico is one of the main tourist destinations in Mexico for sunny beach vacations. Its unique features, perfect weather and convenient geographical location has made it one of the cities with the best connections by air and sea as well as one of the most visited by travelers from Mexico, USA, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

With more than 22,500 hotel rooms, an active tourist seaport, international airport, more than 300 days of sunshine per year and the traditions of Jalisco: excellent cuisine, tequila, raicilla, mariachi and charrería (rodeo style Mexican cowboys), Puerto Vallarta is a destination that falls in love and outdoes itself every day. Its setting is perfect for cultural, artistic, historical, culinary and adventure travel, for destination weddings, romantic escapes and incentive trips, corporate events, conferences and conventions.

A fantastic International Convention Center and more than 30 hotels offering excellent and warm deals for conference tourism, including meeting rooms and social areas, complement a varied and quality nightlife that boasts some of the best restaurants in the country and endless activities such as adventure and ecological tours, artistic events and sports. Being highly competitive, Puerto Vallarta is also positioned favorably today as one of most popular and quality destinations for medical tourism.

About Puerto Vallarta:
Besides being one of the top 5 tourist destinations in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta offers a wide range of hotels with business services as well as an International Convention Center, all of which is conducive to support a variety of events for all preferences, ranging from work meetings to international conventions. Besides sun, sand and sea, Puerto Vallarta boasts a rich environment to secure the success of your convention. Its geographical location bestows a beautiful, typical Mexican town surrounded by the emerald green mountains of the Sierra Madre and the deep blue sapphire tones of the Pacific Ocean.

The extensive range of hotels available includes international hotel chains as well as independent, traditional and boutique hotels that complement the various water sports, adventures, award-winning restaurants offering all kinds of cuisine, DMC professional services, exciting tours for large or small groups, world class spas, championship golf courses, entertainment 24/7, a picturesque downtown full of rich traditions and culture, friendly people and an enviable number of art galleries.

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most important tourist centers by the sea, having increased in popularity among event planners due to its accessibility, proximity, excellent climate and its new infrastructure for events.

January 27, 2015
Marriott Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Delta Hotels and Resorts

BETHESDA, MDContinuing its rapid global expansion, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) announced today it has signed definitive agreements to acquire the Delta Hotels and Resorts® brand and management and franchise business from Delta Hotels Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) for C$168 million (approximately $135 million).

The Delta brand comprises a diverse range of hotels and resorts with 38 hotels and 10,000 rooms in more than 30 cities across Canada. Delta offers a fresh approach to the guest experience, including its new ModeRoom™ guest room designs, innovative use of new technologies, and new properties, such as its flagship Delta Toronto located at the hub of Canada’s hottest high-rise neighborhood, South Core. When completed, the transaction will increase Marriott’s distribution in Canada to more than 120 hotels and 27,000 rooms, making Marriott the largest full service hotel company in Canada. [Click here for images.]

Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “Delta has an impressive portfolio of hotels that are among the most preferred in Canada. With this acquisition, we are continuing our focus on building our brand portfolio and growing in attractive regions outside the U.S. Combining the strong Delta brand with Marriott’s hotel development expertise will accelerate growth of the brand in Canada and in other markets around the world.”

David Grissen, group president overseeing The Americas for Marriott International, said, “at completion, this transaction will propel Marriott to a leading position in Canada.  Canada represents the largest international source market for our hotels in the United States, and the integration of Delta into Marriott’s 4,100 plus hotel global portfolio will provide new travel opportunities for both Delta and Marriott customers. We expect integrating Delta into Marriott’s systems, sales engines, Marriott.com, and the more than 49 million member Marriott Rewards loyalty program will create meaningful operational synergies for owners and franchisees.

Marriott’s Americas management team looks forward to working closely with Delta’s hotel owners and franchisees, and welcoming Delta employees, who will have access to a larger range of opportunities in North America and globally once the transaction closes.”

Under terms of the agreement, Marriott is acquiring the Delta management and franchise business, as well as the Delta brand and related intellectual property. At stabilization, after realizing certain operating synergies, Marriott expects the purchase price to be approximately 10 times annualized earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Click here to download infographic (English);  download infographic (French).

bcIMC-affiliated entities own 13 Delta hotels (and one under development) and will sign new 30-year management agreements with Marriott for these properties. Third parties own the other 25 Delta hotels; 15 are managed by Delta and 10 are franchised. In total, five managed hotels (approximately 1,100 rooms) are under development.

The transaction is subject to receipt of certain third party and governmental consents, including by the Canadian Competition Bureau. Assuming receipt of the necessary approvals, the parties expect to close the transaction in the second quarter of 2015.  Marriott does not expect the transaction will have a material impact on its 2015 results, excluding one-time transaction and integration costs.

Avington acted as exclusive financial advisor to bcIMC.

Note on forward-looking statements: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including the parties’ plans for closing; the resulting impact on the size of Marriott’s operations in Canada; Marriott’s expectations for Delta’s stabilized EBITDA and EBITDA multiple and Marriott’s 2015 earnings impact; and similar statements concerning anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the ability of the parties to agree on definitive transaction documents, the receipt of necessary consents, and other risk factors that Marriott identifies in its most recent quarterly report on Form 10‑Q. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Marriott International:
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,100 properties in 79 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit http://news.marriott.com/.