Current News

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

Current News

September 29, 2016
Auction 2.0 Offers Luxury Travel Experiences Around the Globe

Share with family and friends - anyone can #bidforit!

SITE Foundation has launched Auction 2.0 a fund-raising initiative in support of its mission to enhance the awareness and effectiveness of motivational experiences and incentive travel. Proceeds from the auction help fund critical research and educational programming to elevate the knowledge and skills of incentive travel professionals around the globe.

Held in association with the Foundation’s premier events, SITE Classic and SITE Nite North America, the online auction opens on 26 September and closes 24 October, the Monday following IMEX America. Participation in the auction is open to the public, so anyone can #bidforit.

 “This year the Foundation partnered with Brojure to create an exciting digital portfolio where people can shop by region or experience and imagine their journey. We have also extended the auction dates to enable more time for potential bidders to explore the amazing travel packages and share the opportunity with their friends and family,” said John J. Iannini, CIS, CTC, SITE Foundation vice-president fundraising and vice-president, Melia Hotels International. “We hope everyone will participate in the auction to help enable the SITE Foundation’s continued investment in quality research and education for incentive travel professionals.”

Where in the world do you want to go? 

Whether you’ve been longing for a relaxing escape at a luxury resort, or dreamed about exploring the world on an adventurous holiday, Auction 2.0 features dozens of exciting travel packages to destinations around the world – from the beaches of the Caribbean, to historic European skylines and bustling cities in the Middle East. Or, consider giving a friend, family member or a much deserving co-worker the gift of travel. 

With the auction’s  “Buy Now” feature, you can instantly purchase the auction item and close bidding, immediately guaranteeing that you secure your desired travel experience. Packages will sell fast, so head over to to explore what’s available and #bidforit.

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

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation, whosefundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, andeducational program support for incentive travel professionals. Ourmulti-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness ofincentive travel. For more information, please visit

September 15, 2016
Tourisme Montréal rallies Montréal tourism industry around its value proposition for the business travel market

Montréal/CNW Telbec/—At its annual conference on tourism prospects, an event that kicks off Montréal's fall tourism season, Tourisme Montréal this morning presented the pillars that will support its strategy for the business travel market. The organization invited Montréal leaders to work synergistically with meeting planners to ensure the success of international conferences and events in Montréal.

This value proposition underscores the promise that the group of Montréal-based partners extends to clients: one of a quality experience with expert support. In this lively city that is constantly renewing itself, the "Montréal" team is made up of highly qualified individuals who know how to differentiate the city and help it maintain its position as a leading destination for conferences in North America.

Represented by the slogan, Montréal Works for You, this positioning is now stronger than ever and targets the conference and events market more specifically thanks to findings published in a recent report from Watkins Research Group, a firm that conducts specialized research in business. Every two years, the firm surveys meeting and conference planners to assess their satisfaction levels with certain destinations. Montréal is one of the cities recognized for the ease with which people can connect with local experts, its accessibility and safety, as well as its joie de vivre which translates into a more enriching experience for delegates.

"It is important to unify the voice of all our Montréal-based partners so that, together, we can make Montréal shine. In such a highly competitive market, this value proposition is what helps set us apart: Montréal is a place where doing business is easy and where there is an appreciable synergy between partners," said Yves Lalumière, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. "As a city, Montréal meets all the needs of conference planners. Our offer to them now includes a firm commitment to their satisfaction."

"In Montréal, tourism generates $3.3 billion in tourist spending. Business travel represents about 25% of these expenditures. Through this positioning, we want to let clients know that Montréal is the best place for holding events and that the destination's partners will help them be successful," added Michel Bourdon, Vice-President, Sales and Conference Services at Tourisme Montréal.

About Tourisme Montréal 
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position Montréal as a destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market.

For more information, go to

SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

August 29, 2016
The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Comes to Calgary for their Bi-Annual Conference

Calgary, ABThe Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) is excited to host the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) August 28-31. Calgary was shortlisted against Dubai for this bi-annual conference, which will bring approximately 1200 – 1500 attendees to the city. Held every two years the congress has taken place in Istanbul, Turkey (2012), Honolulu, US (2010) and Nagoya, Japan (2014).  The last time ISPCAN was in Canada was Montreal in 1984. 

The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre worked with the University of Calgary to secure the business which took over 4 years to confirm.  There was community support for the bid which included the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families, Child Welfare League of Canada, Calgary Counseling Centre, Prairie Child Welfare Consortium, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and Woods Homes.

The theme of 2016 is “Protecting our Children, Protecting our Future” and the Co-chairs for the congress are Dr. Jackie Sieppert, Dean of Social, University of Calgary and Assistant Deputy Minister Mark Hattori, Government of Alberta, Ministry of Human Services.  “Within the theme, we will discuss three main issues that we believe are core to achieving significant progress in preventing child abuse and neglect,” says Dr. Jackie Sieppert. “Restoring Aboriginal families and communities, incorporating the social determinants of health into stopping intergenerational violence, and promoting interdisciplinary and community collaborations.”

“The centre is a place where people come to network, share ideas and explore opportunities.  The international scale of this event will increase awareness that Calgary can host the world and is a great place to meet”, says Heather Lundy, Acting General Manager Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. 

The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, founded in 1977, is the only multidisciplinary international organization that brings together a worldwide cross-section of committed professionals to work toward the prevention and treatment of child abuse, neglect and exploitation globally.

About CTCC:
The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is Canada’s most established and busiest convention centre.  It’s innovative and up to date products provides results and collaboration with partners delivers unique solutions.  Our meeting spaces enhance social networking, promote interaction and bring together global leaders and thinkers!  Come and be part of the energy!

For more information, please contact:
Kaili Cashin
Coordinator, Marketing + Communication
Phone: 403.261.8514

August 19, 2016
Toronto—SITE Canada Members (and Staff) Dominate 2016 Hall of Fame Awards

SITE Canada members and staff dominated the Meetings + Incentive Travel (M&IT) Hall of Fame Award ceremony this week at the IncentiveWorks trade show. Four SITE Canada members came away with the coveted hardware. Leslie Wright, although technically not a member of SITE Canada, has been instrumental in the governance of the chapter, through her company Fletcher Wright Associates. 

The SITE Canada members in the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees include: 
•    INDUSTRY PLANNER: Heather Douglas, Meridican Incentive Consultants
•    INDUSTRY INNOVATOR: Grant Snider, DMCP, Meeting Escrow Inc.
•    INDUSTRY VOLUNTEER: Hayley Bishop, CMP, Wynford
•    RISING STAR: Christy Wright, CIS, SM+I/Strategic Meetings + Incentives
And our SITE Canada Secretariat:
•    INDUSTRY VETERAN: Leslie Wright, Fletcher Wright Associates

SITE Canada President, John Crowe says “I’m delighted and pleased to see so many chapter members as recipients of the Hall of Fame Award for 2016. All of us at SITE Canada are well aware of the incredible dedication of our members—recognition is so important and every winner is so deserving in every category. Congratulations to you all.”

M+IT’s Hall of Fame awards launched in 2009. Its goal is to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of meeting and incentive travel industry professionals. 

SITE Canada is part of a global network of travel and event professionals committed to motivational experiences that deliver business results. Our chapter provides insights and connections that inspire the utilization of this powerful tool across diverse industries, regions, and cultures and serves as a source of knowledge and best practices where members can make personal connections that sustain professional growth.

For further information please connect with 
John Crowe, President, SITE Canada 
T: 905.812.7483 

August 08, 2016
Exposoft Solutions Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in RIO!

Exposoft is providing event services at the 2016 Olympics taking place in Rio, Brazil.

Toronto, ON—Exposoft Solutions continues to provide leading edge solutions to the corporate hospitality market as it deploys its services at the RIO 2016 Olympics.  Exposoft has been providing software and services to top Olympic sponsors since 2004 and has managed more than a hundred thousand guests for the past seven games.  The system developed originally for The Coca Cola Company has evolved over the past 14 years to what it has become today, Crystal Event Management System (CEMS).

“We are proud to have been involved with these Olympic projects for the past 14 years.  The experience that we gain from these events has a direct impact on all of our other incentive travel partners” stated CEO, Bassel Annab, “We continue to evolve our technology and expand our services solutions to simplify the operational demands.  The coupling of skilled experienced event staff along with the Crystal platform guarantees a seamless guest experience.”

Exposoft’s Crystal platform is a one of kind system designed specifically for incentive travel operators and meeting/conference planners providing personalized experiences for each of their guests.  Exposoft provides a 360 degree solution from invitation to onsite accreditation, security tracking and post event survey.  The power of the system is that all aspects of the guests’ experiences are in one central location.  Ticketing, Housing and Travel inventory are all easily managed to create a great event experience for the guests and a stress free roll out for the operators.

August 05, 2016
Halifax Convention Centre Names FMAV as Official AV Partner

Five-year agreement aligns new facility with innovative event technology

Halifax, NS—FMAV is pleased to announce it has been named as the official in-house audio visual partner for the Halifax Convention Centre. As the first supplier selected for the new venue, FMAV will provide audio, visual, digital signage software and support including exclusive rigging services.

“We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship with the Halifax Convention Centre team and look forward to operating in an exciting new leading edge facility,” said Bill Brown, President and CEO, FMAV. “With this partnership, we look forward to create exceptional event experiences for clients and their participants through the delivery of innovative event technology services.”

FMAV maintains a long standing track record in Atlantic Canada in both event staging and providing in-house venue services including as the official audio visual provider in the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre.

“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with FMAV as we take an exciting step toward opening and operating our new Halifax Convention Centre,” said Carrie Cussons, acting President and CEO of the Halifax Convention Centre. “We are committed to delivering a strong customer experience, and together with FMAV, we’ll invest in better technical support for clients and align technology trends with our new, more sophisticated facility to provide innovative offerings.”

When the new Halifax Convention Centre facility opens in 2017, FMAV will provide audio visual services for meetings, conventions and trade shows over a five-year contract and has committed to an investment approaching half a million dollars in systems and equipment to deliver best in class meeting and convention services.

About FMAV
FMAV is the audiovisual and event technology company for people who plan meetings and live events. As the largest independent audiovisual firm in Canada, FMAV has more than 250 staff across seven offices from coast to coast, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. For more information, visit

About the Halifax Convention Centre
The Halifax Convention Centre is part of the Nova Centre, a one-million square-foot, mixed-use development including a hotel, financial tower and retail space. The Centre will have 120,000 square feet of event space, including two convention levels and a mix of multi-purpose, meeting a ballroom space. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Alissa Hurley

Suzanne Fougere
Trade Centre Limited

July 25, 2016
WestJet adds more flights for Canadians

Canada's low-fare leader invests in communities across the country 

Calgary—WestJet announced today it will add dozens of new flights to its growing domestic and international networks as part of its 2016-2017 winter schedule, enhancing service for leisure and business travellers.

"WestJet has been Canada's low-fare leader for 20 years with a proven track record of bringing safe, affordable and stress-free air travel to communities across the country," said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. "The addition of dozens of new flights demonstrates our commitment to invest in communities and serve Canadians now and in the future, a commitment backed by our established, trusted brand and caring, people-driven service. These increases enable communities to stimulate development, improve infrastructure and grow their economies. As our network of more than 100 destinations in over 20 countries continues to expand, we remain committed to offering our guests more choices, better connectivity and the opportunity to fly with Canada's highest-rated airline for customer service." 

Highlights of WestJet's 2016-2017 winter schedule:

  • New non-stop weekly service between Regina and Orlando, Florida, effective October 27, 2016.
  • New flights from Toronto to a number of Canadian and international destinations including Vancouver, Ottawa, Moncton, Myrtle Beach, Aruba, Kingston (Jamaica), San Jose and Liberia (Costa Rica), Port of Spain and St. Martin.
  • An increase of 41 new weekly flights between Vancouver and Kelowna, Prince George, Toronto, Honolulu, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles.
  • Kelowna will see 19 new flights per week to Vancouver and two additional weekly flights to Calgary.
  • Service from Halifax will increase with seven additional weekly flights to Sydney, Nova Scotia, and daily flights added this summer scheduled to continue through the winter.
  • Extension of existing seasonal services through the winter, including Vancouver-Montreal, and Toronto to Gander, Nashville, Los Angeles and Brandon.
  • Additional flights from Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to domestic and international destinations.
  • As previously announced, non-stop service to London Gatwick from Calgary and Toronto will operate on year-round basis through the winter.

For more information on new routes and increased frequencies in WestJet's 2016-2017 winter schedule, please visit

This winter, WestJet will operate an average of 642 daily flights to 95 destinations including 36 in Canada, 25 in the United States and 34 in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe. Combining summer and winter routes, this year WestJet will operate an average of 639 daily flights to 101 destinations including 38 in Canada, 27 in the United States and 36 in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe.

WestJet Vacations provides affordable, reliable and easy-to-book travel experiences to 64 destinations in 20 countries, including the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico and United States.

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's highest-rated airline for customer service, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods  ̶  even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit  

July 25, 2016
NewLeaf Travel Company Credits 16,000+ Canadian Supporters

Winnipeg/CNW/—NewLeaf Travel Company is excited to announce lift off with flights leaving from Hamilton, Kelowna, and Winnipeg on July 25, 2016.

Following NewLeaf Travel Company's June 23, 2016 announcement that they would resume sales for flights to 11 Canadian destinations, President and CEO Jim Young credited the 16,000+ Canadians who "purchased tickets and placed their trust in NewLeaf Travel Company. We've accomplished a lot, and walked through many hurdles in order to deliver an ultra-low-cost travel service."

Less than one month after ticket sales opened, NewLeaf Travel Company announced that the inaugural flight from Hamilton to Moncton on July 29th has sold out.  "This exceeds our projections, and we are thrilled.  In addition, many of our flights are near capacity," shared NewLeaf Travel Company's President and CEO, Jim Young.

NewLeaf Travel Company in partnership with Flair Air offers a long-awaited ultra-low-cost option for Canadian travellers.  NewLeaf Travel Company achieves base fares that are below other Canadian carriers through cost-saving measures, such as operating out of regional airports with lower landing fees; flying a simple point-to-point network with minimal time between flights; and offering purchase options for carry-on verses checked baggage, priority boarding, and call-centre assistance. 

Flights booked through NewLeaf Travel Company will be operated by Flair Air, a licensed Canadian airline with an experienced crew and pilots flying Boeing 737‐400 passenger jets.

NewLeaf Travel Company Inc. is a privately-held Canadian company headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba that provides leisure travellers with low fares and travel options that are unbundled and transparent.  See more at

Flair Airlines Ltd. is a Canadian airline with operations based in Kelowna, Calgary and Hamilton.  In business since 2003, Flair Air has a strong track record of safety and service. Learn more at

July 12, 2016
American Express Global Business Travel and Airbnb for Business Announce New Agreement for Business Travellers

First-of-its-kind agreement adds home sharing accommodations to corporate travel programs and helps travel managers provide more options to business travellers

Toronto—American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”) today announced a commercial agreement with Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company. The new referral partnership will make Airbnb for Business more accessible to GBT customers and allow data transfer and traveler tracking.

Since being founded in 2008, Airbnb hosts have welcomed more than 100 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of all travellers on Airbnb are business travellers. This trend is largely driven by travellers seeking accommodations that allow them to experience cities and neighborhoods they visit.

During the first phase of the program, once GBT refers a customer to Airbnb, individual travellers can book accommodations directly on using a corporate email address. In the coming weeks, GBT and Airbnb will integrate Airbnb booking information into GBT’s reporting platform so that GBT’s customers can easily track their travellers’ Airbnb bookings. Once that integration is complete, the reservation details for each business trip will automatically be shared with GBT. Travel managers can then access the data through corporate reporting and duty of care platforms. Travellers will then be able to access that booking information through GBT’s corporate reporting and duty of care platforms. Travellers will also have the ability to view their booking details in their regular corporate itineraries and on mobile devices.

“Business travellers want the freedom to choose accommodations that align with their personal and professional tastes,” said Wes Bergstrom, Vice President, Global Supplier Relations, American Express Global Business Travel. “At the same time, traveler safety and security are a top priority for companies. As the first travel management company (TMC) to partner with Airbnb, our customers can further evolve their travel policies and offer their travellers the ability to book preferred accommodations.”

“We are excited to be working with one of the leaders in the travel management space, and look forward to helping business travellers feel more at home while traveling on the road,” said Lex Bayer, head of Global Payments and Business Travel at Airbnb. “Airbnb for Business gives business travellers access to more than two million homes around the world, and the ability to explore a city like a local, even if it’s just for one night.”

The first phase of this partnership is expected to go live in the U.S. in the next few weeks, and to expand to additional countries later this year. GBT and Airbnb will continue to develop additional phases of this program, which will enable greater integration throughout the booking process.

About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) equips companies of all sizes with the insights, tools, services and expertise they need to keep their travellers safe, focused and productive while on the road. With approximately 12,000 employees and operations in nearly 120 countries worldwide, GBT empowers customers to take control of their travel programs, optimizing the return on their travel and meetings investments, while, more importantly, providing extraordinary traveler care. Learn more at and Follow us @

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.

About Airbnb
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

July 05, 2016
Montréal crowned top international business tourism city in the Americas

Montréal, QC—For a fifth consecutive year, Montréal ranks first in the Americas for international events, according to the International Meetings Statistics Report for the Year 2015 released by the Union of International Association (UIA), representing yet another outstanding performance. Overall, the city hosted 108 international events in 2015, up 29% from 2014.

This is an enviable position given how competitive the industry is worldwide. Montréal outranked all major U.S. cities by hosting:

  • 42% more international events than New York City (ranked first in the U.S.); and
  • 59% more than Washington DC, the U.S. capital.

Within Canada, the city clearly dominated by hosting over half (52%) the international events held in the country’s three major cities, i.e. Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal.

“As Montréal’s main venue for large-scale conventions, the Palais is proud of the city’s standing among the world’s leading destinations. Everyone in the business tourism industry keeps mobilizing, and this is essential to secure big international events so we may continue to be steadfast in our pursuit of generating ever more intellectual benefits and tourism revenue for Montréal,” declared Raymond Larivée, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès. “We’ve earned the AIPC Gold Quality Standards certification, the highest in the convention industry, and have been named a finalist for the AIPC* World’s Best Congress Centre award, so the Palais is clearly thoroughly equipped to handle major events,” he added.

“Montréal attracts thousands of business tourists each year, thus entrenching its standing as a tourism leader in the Americas. At Tourisme Montréal, we are committed to working alongside our clients to ensure they host successful events and to give them a unique experience. I would like to point out the hard work of our local tourism industry in maintaining Montréal’s Number One ranking at the top of the list of leading host cities for international events,” stated Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. 

For the 2015-16 year, the Palais des congrès welcomed almost 57,000 participants who attended 25 international events**, generating nearly $118,000,000 in tourism revenues for Montréal.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Recipient of the AIPC Gold Quality Standards certification, the highest in the convention industry, and shortlisted by the AIPC for its World’s Best Congress Centre award, the Palais des congrès de Montréal attracts and hosts conventions, exhibitions, conferences, meetings and other events, and generates significant tourism revenues for Montréal while contributing to promoting the city’s international reputation.

About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership with regard to the concerted hospitality and promotion efforts aimed at positioning Montréal in leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with changing market conditions. For more information, visit

About the Union of International Associations (UIA)
The Union of International Associations, founded in 1907, is a research institute and documentation centre that specializes in researching, compiling and providing information on international organizations and international associations as a means of understanding global issues

* International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC)
** Including U.S. conventions

Palais des congrès de Montréal and Tourisme Montréal

For information:
Amélie Asselin
Advisor, Communications and Public Affairs
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Phone: 514 871-5897

Andrée-Anne Pelletier
Manager – Corporate Public Relations
Tourisme Montréal
Phone: 514 844-3344 / 514 264-1638