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September 11, 2014
Aimia appoints John Boynton Chief Marketing Officer in Canada

Montreal, QC—Vince Timpano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada, Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM), announces the appointment of John Boynton to the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer for Canada. Boynton's mandate is to ensure Aimia is recognized in Canada as the leader in loyalty marketing and for its full suite of loyalty programs, products and services.

Boynton will shape the future of the Aeroplan program by accelerating the development of innovative products and marketing, leveraging valuable member insights to ensure a rich and relevant member experience. He will also lead the proprietary loyalty business, with a focus on high-value loyalty products and services.

"John is a widely recognized and respected marketing leader within Canada and we are thrilled to have him join Aimia," said Timpano. "He has a strong track record in a number of sectors and brings a unique mix of social, digital and data-driven marketing expertise, coupled with classic marketing strategy and execution. John will play a pivotal role in building our Aimia and Aeroplan brands in Canada and strengthening our leadership position in this market."
With more than 25 years of broad marketing experience, Boynton most recently served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Rogers Communications Inc., one of Canada's largest communications and media companies. Prior to his 12 years at Rogers, he gained experience across a number of sectors across North America with brands such as Pepsi Co, Sprint Canada, and AT&T.

Boynton is a member of the boards of the Canadian Marketing Association, Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership Council at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He holds an Honors Business Administration, Marketing degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

About Aimia
Aimia Inc. ("Aimia") is a global leader in loyalty management. Employing more than 4,300 people in 20 countries worldwide, Aimia offers clients, partners and members proven expertise in launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, delivering proprietary loyalty services, creating value through loyalty analytics and driving innovation in the emerging digital, mobile and social communications spaces.

Aimia owns and operates Aeroplan, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program, Nectar, the United Kingdom's largest coalition loyalty program, Nectar Italia, Italy's largest coalition loyalty program and Smart Button, a leading provider of SaaS loyalty solutions. In addition, Aimia owns stakes in Air Miles Middle East, Travel Club, Spain's largest coalition loyalty program, Club Premier, Mexico's leading coalition loyalty program, China Rewards, the first coalition loyalty program in China that enables members to earn and redeem a common currency,  Think Big, the owner and operator of BIG - AirAsia and Tune Group's loyalty program, Brazil's Prismah Fidelidade and i2c, a joint venture with Sainsbury's offering insight and data analytics services in the UK to retailers and suppliers.  Aimia also holds a minority position in Cardlytics, a US-based private company operating in card-linked marketing.  Aimia is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: AIM). For more information, visit us at www.aimia.com.

September 10, 2014
The City of Ottawa, Groupe Germain Hospitalité, DevMcGill and EBC to break ground on $100 million Arts Court Redevelopment project

New Hôtel Le Germain to open in Ottawa in 2017

Montreal—The consortium formed by Groupe Germain Hospitalité, DevMcGill and EBC has been selected by the City of Ottawa for the construction of a state-of-the-art, 23 storey mixed-use complex that will be an integral part of the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project. Featuring a 120-room Hôtel Le Germain, 82 private residences, a theatre and an art gallery, this project represents a $60 million investment from the private sector and $40 million from the public sector (City of Ottawa and University of Ottawa).

"The City of Ottawa is pleased to partner with this dynamic consortium as we work together to make Arts Court the downtown hub for Ottawa's vibrant arts community," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. "This spectacular redevelopment will also create a world-class hotel and residential complex and provide artistic education possibilities within walking distance of many of Ottawa's signature attractions and the future stations of the Confederation Line LRT."

Located on the corner of Daly and Waller, the complex will be easily accessible. Positioned near the future Rideau and uOttawa stations along Ottawa's Light Rail Transit, it will also be just steps from the Ottawa Convention Centre, Byward Market, the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill.

"Ottawa's strong visitor base and the wealth of tourism options make the city an ideal place to pursue our national expansion. We're genuinely excited to offer the hospitality of our two banners in the nation's capital," explained Christiane Germain, co-president and co-founder of Groupe Germain Hospitalité.

Occupying the complex's first eight floors, the new Hôtel Le Germain will offer an elegant and authentic experience with attentive service. The hotel will be Groupe Germain Hospitalité's 2nd establishment in Ottawa, following the opening of an ALT Hotel on Slater Street in 2016.

Jean-Serge D'Aoust, senior vice-president, buildings at EBC confirmed: "For this project from the City of Ottawa, EBC has assembled a premier team that will ensure the Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court will be a work of the highest quality. This mixed, public/private complex, to be built for the City of Ottawa and private developers, is one of the few projects of this nature in Canada and represents an example of how other public bodies may create value on their real estate holdings. We are both pleased and proud to collaborate with the City of Ottawa on one of the 2017 festivities project."

Located between the 12th and 20th floors, DevMcGill's private residences, the Gallery Condominiums, will offer distinguished, minimalist design, bolstered by a vast range of refined touches. With 9-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, the residences will present spectacular views of the city allowing the Gallery Condominiums to establish a reputation as an exclusive, sought-after location in the heart of Ottawa.

"We are truly honored to contribute to the fulfillment of this incredible new project, on both the building's architecture and its interior design. We are in the process of creating a logo that will stand out and serve as a beacon for arts and culture in the city. The theme of the arts largely permeates the aesthetics of the residential component, from its common areas to the interior design of the condos," said Stéphane Côté, President of DevMcGill.

The design of the project is the result of collaboration between Groupe Régis Côté Architectes and Lemay Michaud Architecture Design.

About Groupe Germain Hospitalité
Ranked as one of Canada's 50 best managed companies, Groupe Germain Hospitalité is a family run business, founded in Quebec City, that owns and operates Le Germain Boutiques-Hotels and the no-frills-chic ALT Hotels across Canada. The company is renowned for its exceptional approach to hospitality and the unique style that characterizes its hotels. Every year, its staff of about 650 people welcome guests for a total of 325,000 overnight stays, bringing the total overnight stays to nearly 2.6 million, since the first hotel opened in 1988. For more information, visit: www.groupegermain.com

About DevMcGill
DevMcGill is a multiple award winning developer with over 15 years of experience developing condominium projects, while being recognized as a leader in the real estate industry. Building on the success of its past, such as the Montreal flagship construction projects Le Couvent Outremont Caverhill along the slopes of Mount Royal, plus Le 777 and Le Orléans in Old Montreal, DevMcGill is constantly researching the art of better living and innovating to build the urban centers of tomorrow. Its many projects currently in development include M9 in Old Montreal, Castelnau in Villeray, St. Dominic in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Avenue32 project in Lachine and the mixed-use residential and commercial complex, Le Beaumont NDG, in Montreal's Notre Dame de Grace district.

About EBC
EBC is a construction company that was founded in 1968. In its 46 years of existence, EBC has completed 600 projects totaling $7 billion. EBC operates in three main areas: building, civil engineering and earthworks and mining. The company employs 1,500 people and manages six offices in Quebec City, Montreal, Brossard, Ottawa, Timmons and North Vancouver. For more information, visit the EBC website: www.ebcinc.com.

September 10, 2014
IHG Announces Upcoming Opening of a Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites for Mont-Tremblant in Quebec

Mont-Tremblant, QCInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, announces the upcoming opening of a new Holiday Inn Express® Hotel & Suites in Tremblant in time for the 2015 winter ski season. Expected to open early 2015 and following a $3.2 million investment by the ownership, this property is located in the heart of the Tremblant pedestrian village, conveniently accessible to numerous ski lifts, restaurants and shops. IHG currently has 14 hotels open in Quebec Province with two more in the pipeline.

Nearby attractions include the Mont-Tremblant Activity Centre, which offers everything from sleigh rides and snowmobiling in the winter to rock climbing and white water rafting in the summer, and world class golf courses such as Le Diable and Le Géant which are located within a short distance of the hotel. Additionally, the Casino de Mont-Tremblant is also a gondola ride away and can even be reached on skis in the winter. Guests can enjoy Ziptrek Ecotours – a ziplining experience, allowing guests to come down the mountain on five ziplines, comprising nearly 4 km in length of suspended descent. Unparalleled views of the Laurentian Mountains and the diversity of the region’s four-seasons have enabled it to play host to highly acclaimed major events such as the IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant, the Tremblant 24h of Skiing, The Wanderlust Wellness Festival as well as the Tremblant International Blues Festival. These events have earned The Tremblant Village to be named a place among the top 25 ski towns in the world, according to National Geographic.

Only a 90-minute drive from Montreal, the four-story, 141-room hotel includes a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, outdoor whirlpool bath (open year round), fitness room, sauna and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Business travellers can take advantage of the Tremblant Convention Centre in the heart of the pedestrian village, located only 100 meters away from the hotel. Perfect for hosting meetings and conferences the centre offers 12 meeting rooms, an integrated business centre, and catering services.

“Holiday Inn Express hotels are designed to be the smart choice for value-conscious business and leisure travelers," said Heather Balsley, senior vice president, Americas Core Brands & Brand Operations, IHG. "With more than 2,200 properties worldwide and nearly 500 more in the pipeline, the Holiday Inn Express brand portfolio continues to provide our guests with an enhanced-stay experience at a great value.”

The Holiday Inn Express brand is one of the largest and fastest growing hotel brands in the industry, and in order to meet the ever-changing needs of its guest, IHG invested in the $1 billion Holiday Inn global brand re-launch, the largest in hospitality history. The relaunch continues to drive increased quality and consistency across the global portfolio, and new hotels feature a contemporary image with emphasis on arrival and welcome services, guestroom and guest bath comfort and a redesigned logo and signage.

“Tremblant is a top resort destination and is located in the heart of its pedestrian village, giving unparalleled access to all the skiing facilities here”, said Serge Dufresne, general manager, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Tremblant. “We look forward to welcoming our guests with all the amenities and services that they have come to expect from the Holiday Inn Express brand.”

The complimentary Express Start™ breakfast bar offers a full range of breakfast items, and now features healthy breakfast items, including Oikos yogurt, whole wheat English muffins, Special K cereal with red berries, new oatmeal flavors in cups, and a toppings bar - for yogurt, cereal and pancakes. Additionally, the breakfast bar continues to offer a rotation of egg and meat selections, biscuits, fruit, the brand's proprietary cinnamon roll, and Smart Roast® coffee. Guest rooms will feature contemporary styling, comfortable queen or king-sized beds, a sitting area with a lounge chair and an in-room coffee machine featuring complimentary Smart Roast 100% Arabica coffee. The SimplySmart™ shower incorporates a proprietary Stay Smart™ Kohler showerhead, signature shower curtain with curved rod. Upgraded 100 percent cotton terry towels and Bath & Body Works White Citrus bath products are also included. Guests will enjoy the SimplySmart™ bedding collection, where they will find crisp, fresh bedding that features an attractive decorative throw, a medium-weight duvet blanket and soft, 200 thread-count sheets.

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, free high-speed Internet access and free local phone calls (US and Canada only).  There are currently more than 2,200 Holiday Inn Express hotel locations around the globe.  For more information about Holiday Inn Express hotels or to book reservations, visit www.hiexpress.com. Find us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/hiexpress or Facebook www.Facebook.com/holidayinnexpress.

September 09, 2014
HMSHost and Paramount Fine Foods Open First of Two Locations at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Toronto, ON—Toronto Pearson International Airport is set for a restaurant renaissance over the next year with several new dining options scheduled to open by global restaurateur HMSHost. Local favorite Paramount Fine Foods, in partnership with HMSHost, has opened the first of two locations coming to Toronto Pearson.

Paramount Fine Foods adds a new dimension to the dining scene at Toronto Pearson with fresh, healthy, high quality and certified halal Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine—an experience that travelers won’t find in most airports. The first Paramount Fine Foods is located pre-security in Terminal 1, with the second location to open post-security in Terminal 3 in Spring of 2015.

“I am exceedingly happy to have the opportunity to bring Paramount Fine Foods and our Middle Eastern cuisine to hungry travelers at Toronto Pearson. Our halal food is a healthy, quick and tasty option for the thousands of visitors and locals who walk through the halls of Toronto’s largest airport,” said Paramount Fine Foods CEO Mohamad Fakih. “We look forward to the new expansion of Paramount and are excited to have teamed up with HMSHost. They have been great partners and carry the same beliefs toward quality and standards that have made us so successful on the street.”

Paramount was founded on serving the best fresh and healthy Middle Eastern cuisine around. Baked pita served straight from the oven, charcoal barbecued halal meats cooked to order, chicken and beef shawarma with exotic spices, and a variety of Manakeesh, a flat-bread style dish with various toppings, are just a few of the highlights from a diverse and original menu that was created from recipes that have been passed on through generations. Passengers at Toronto Pearson will be able to taste the difference that Paramount’s authentic recipes provide, creating a dining experience that will leave them coming back for more.

“Bringing an exciting range of dining options to our diverse guests is a top priority at Toronto Pearson,” said Howard Eng, GTAA President and CEO. “Our goal is to offer passengers a variety of restaurants, provide high quality options, and deliver local flavours and familiar brands. Paramount does just that with its authentic fresh and healthy Middle-Eastern cuisine priced to match its restaurants in the city.”

This is the seventh restaurant that Paramount Fine Foods has opened with the expertise of Mohamad Fakih. The brand has been extremely popular in the Toronto area since its beginning, earning Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Ontario in 2010, as well as Best Restaurant in Toronto in 2012.

“We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mohamad and Paramount Fine Foods to bring their unique and innovative culinary creations to the travelers at Toronto Pearson,” said Amy Dunne, Vice President of Business Development at HMSHost. “Mohamad and the Paramount team have done an outstanding job growing their brand in the Toronto area and we are confident that it will be just as well-received by travelers.”

Paramount is one of several new restaurants that HMSHost is bringing to travelers at Toronto Pearson over the next year. Some of the other highlights include The Hearth by Lynn Crawford; LEE Kitchen by Susur Lee; Twist by Roger Mooking; and Caplansky’s Deli and Caplansky’s Snack Bar, in partnership with Zane Caplansky. HMSHost will also open Bar 120: Cuisine Transformed with a menu developed by Modern Culinary Academy chef John Placko.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 100 airports around the globe, including the 20 busiest airports in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $2.7 billion and employs more than 30,000 sales associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of around €4 billion in 2013, the Group operates in 30 countries and employs some 56,000 people. It manages approximately 4,700 stores in over 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit www.HMSHost.com for more information. We can also be found on Facebook at fb.com/HMSHost.

September 08, 2014
Associated Luxury Hotels International Debuts “2015 ALHI Meeting Facilities Guide”

Free Guide Is Designed For Meeting Professionals, Association Executives & Incentive Specialists; Features 160+ Four- and Five-Diamond Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, With 10 Million Square Feet of Meeting Space Options

Washington, DC—Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has just released its new “2015 ALHI Meeting Facilities Guide,” a very useful 190-page meeting planners resource guide from which to identify Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels, resorts, and venues of distinction from around the world which are specifically designed and operated for meetings, incentive/recognition programs, conventions, and exhibitions. Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive/recognition specialists can contact ALHI for a free copy of the colorful and descriptive resource guide.

The very helpful and informative guide features beautiful large photos, easy-to-find “at a glance” descriptions, overviews, and critical facts about ALHI’s 160+ Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels, resorts, and venues around the world. This includes easy reference information about the property’s accommodations, meeting facilities, recreation, dining, unique attributes, points of distinction, and accessibility. The guide presents ALHI’s distinguished worldwide portfolio of extraordinary meeting, convention, and incentive resorts on land and sea. This includes incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, beach and island destinations, resorts with spas, mountainside resorts, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.

“This comprehensive new 190-page guide is a very valuable resource for meeting professionals seeking distinctive Four- and Five-Diamond site solutions for their meetings and programs,” said ALHI CEO David Gabri. “Some planning professionals call the annual guide their ‘idea book.’ We are often told that our annual guide is a vital tool for meeting planners in helping them identify luxury-level and upper-upper tier venue options and concepts to discuss internally and with ALHI that could be ideal solutions for their meetings and programs. The directory showcases our entire portfolio of Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts from around the world, offering more than 115,000 rooms and suites, and 10 million square feet of meeting space.”

“In addition,” Gabri said, “the guide also provides an easy-to-use, consolidated platform for our experienced ALHI Global Sales professionals to personally provide guidance and further insights to planners on why one or more ALHI Member hotels or resorts might be the ideal solution for a particular meeting or program. It is a tool that can assist in finding the most desirable, suitable, and effective solutions for the planner’s total program needs, and can even inspire ideas for future programs.”

Established in 1986, ALHI (www.alhi.com) is the prestigious dues-based Global Sales Organization (GSO) which is dedicated exclusively and approved specifically by the more than 160 Four- and Five-Diamond quality Member hotels and resorts on land and sea that it serves. Most of the Member hotels and resorts are independently owned or operated, or are part of emerging brands to the North American marketplace, with all in the upper-upper tier and luxury level. There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the GSO services, expertise, and account advocacy of ALHI, as its Members’ dues fund the Global Sales Organization to serve planners with local professionals.

“We design the annual guide with the assistance of our ALHI Industry Advisory Council,” said Gabri. “It is a user-friendly, table-top format that is designed and intended to be a quick and easy-to-use resource that planners can reference when working with their ALHI GSO professional. So whether it is an annual convention, special incentive/recognition program, large or small meeting, important board meeting, or executive retreat that you are planning, the guide is very useful in helping to identify and then narrow the options for programs of all types.”

Gabri continued, “Planners also can get incremental information, photos, videos, destination details, and other information on www.alhi.com . The combination of the guide, website, and the insight of our skilled ALHI Global Sales professionals has proven to be very popular with planners. This then leads up to site visits to the specific properties of interest, which we coordinate. So whether you are seeking city, resort, global, and/or incentive solutions, ALHI has the solution to suit your needs.”

For even easier navigations, the guide also features a section on ALHI’s 12 distinctive Specialty Segments to make it easy for planners to identify properties that will suit their programs’ unique desires and specific needs. The ALHI Specialty Segments include:  the “ALHI Big Box Solutions Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 24 Member hotels and resorts that offer more than 500 rooms, feature over 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and have at least one 20,000-square-foot ballroom; and the “ALHI Level 5 Collection,” consisting of ALHI’s 26 hotels and resorts that have earned the industry’s highest and most distinctive recognitions including the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating, and/or the esteemed Forbes (Mobil) Five-Star rating.

Other ALHI specialty segments include the “ALHI City Solutions Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 56 Four- and Five-Diamond quality city center hotels which are specifically designed to serve meetings and programs; the “ALHI Historic Collection,” consisting of 40 legendary hotels and resorts with more than 50 years of heritage; the “ALHI Mountain Collection,” with 26 options with inspiring mountain views; the “ALHI U-200 Gems Collection,” consisting of 18 ALHI Member hotels with 200 rooms or under, which specialize in serving meeting and incentive programs; the “ALHI Caribbean Collection,” with 22 resorts in 11 countries and territories, making it the largest and finest collection of Four- and Five-Diamond meeting and incentive resorts in the Caribbean; and the “ALHI Ocean Line Collection,” featuring 9 luxurious ships (i.e. “floating resorts”) that can accommodate groups nearly anywhere around the world.

Also available are:  the “ALHI Golf Collection,” consisting of ALHI’s 57 Four- and Five-Diamond golf resorts that cater to the meetings and incentive marketplaces; the “ALHI Beach & Island Collection,” featuring 49 Four- and Five-Diamond beach and/or island resorts and hotels with distinction which are designed to serve meetings and programs; the “ALHI Entertainment & Gaming Solutions Collection,” consisting of 25 Four- and Five-Diamond resorts and hotels in the U.S. and abroad that provide hallmark entertainment and/or gaming; and the “ALHI Passport Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 26 Member resorts and hotels outside of the U.S. which provide unique opportunities and beautiful backdrops for meetings.  

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s Global Sales services for nearly 30 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms.

For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit www.alhi.com, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on the Specialty Segments. On the website, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.

ALHI has 20 professionally-staffed Global Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, Southern California (3), Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). Go to www.alhi.com to identify the “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, or to acquire a free copy of the new “2015 ALHI Meeting Facilities Guide” or the ALHI app, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com.

September 05, 2014
EMA Marketing Adds New Boutique Gem in Niagara-on-the-Lake to Portfolio

Oakville, ON—EMA Marketing is pleased to expand its portfolio to include the NEWEST Boutique GEM in Niagara-on-the-lake, 124 Queen Hotel & Spa. Located on the main street of Niagara-on-the-Lake, this luxury hotel is steps away from the town’s shops, restaurants and theatres.

The property offers 27 spacious and beautifully appointed suites, including one, two and three bedroom villas. They also offer a 5 bedroom villa which is perfect for small retreats, incentives, or casual meetings. Each suite is elegantly designed to offer guests an experience in luxury with its high quality furniture, dreamy beds, luxurious linens and comforters, incredibly soft towels and robes, and amenities by L’Occitane. The spacious villas include a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and premium kitchenware. It’s the perfect setting for small groups  to gather around the dining table or in the cozy living room complete with a 42’ HD television and gas fireplace. Additionally, private dinners and cooking demonstrations can be arranged in the villas.

Treadwell’s Restaurant has become the most critically acclaimed restaurant in the region thanks to its superb dining experience and authentic farm-to-table menu. An outdoor terrace is open through warmer months and their wine bar that looks onto the courtyard offers a fun, comfortable atmosphere for up to 30 guests.  

Meetings are hosted in the stylish Courtyard Cellar which accommodates 32 people.

It is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment including a 60’ interactive Panasonic plasma display, Virtual Whiteboard and Teleconferencing equipment. Another unique option for groups is the Rooftop terrace that accommodates groups of 60 for reception, or 30 for a sit down meal.

The Spa at 124 offers a full menu of organic luxurious body and beauty treatments. Centering on the ideas of Eco-Chic, Health & Wellness the spa boasts a boutique filled with products that support their initiative along with featuring a delightful beverage menu of organic fresh pressed juices and local organic wine and beer to enjoy while you relax. The salon style manicure and pedicure area, located on the upper level, offers six stations; while  the lower level of the spa provides a relaxation lounge and five treatment rooms. A state-of-the-art fitness centre is also available.

124 Queen Hotel & Spa was recently recognized by Readers Choice as one of the top three Small Hotels in Canada. In addition, it is consistently ranked as the number one hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Trip Advisor.

EMA Marketing is thrilled to welcome this new GEM to its portfolio and knows it will be of the same 5-star caliber of service as the other partners.

EMA Marketing’s mission is to offer exceptional service and first-class meeting and recreational facilities to ensure a smooth and unforgettable event.

About EMA Marketing
EMA Marketing is the authorized representative for some of the world's most luxurious and exclusive hotels & resorts and elite group of Destination Management Companies. The portfolio of award-winning, international hotels and resorts offers the perfect property for meetings or incentive retreats.

Contact: Liz Akey, CMP
liz@emamarketing.ca
905-338-6222
www.emamarketing.ca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on how groups can earn rewards points  by booking a stay at Grand Lucayan, visit http://www.grandlucayan.com/meetings-and-groups/points-rewards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information:
Brenda M Howes
Founder and CEO
The Howes Group
613 692 2514
www.thehowesgroup.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information and reservations, visit www.panama.hilton.com or call 1-800-HILTONS.

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

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

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

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

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

1. Received Two Sustainable Venue Certifications

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

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

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

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

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

2. Developed Innovative Humber College Partnership:

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

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

3. Launched Updated Sustainable Event Guide 2.0:

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

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

To download a copy of the Sustainable Event Guide visit:

www.internationalcentre.com/about-us/corporate/corporate-social-responsibility

There’s Sustainability Happening Here!


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

Media Contact
Trevor Lui
Director of Operations and Sustainability
The International Centre
905-678-5610
tlui@internationalcentre.com