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Current News

May 21, 2015
Shaw Centre Appoints New President and CEO

Ottawa, ON – The Board of Directors of Shaw Centre announced today the appointment of Nina Kressler as President and CEO, effective June 1, 2015. This unanimous appointment follows a rigorous national search to find the leader best suited to guide Shaw Centre in its next chapter of growth as Canada’s Meeting Place.

“During this time of transformation there is no better person to lead Shaw Centre than Nina Kressler. We are very impressed with her extensive sales and marketing experience, depth of knowledge of the convention industry, her passion and her business acumen. We are very confident that Nina will continue to lead us in achieving our vision of “Inspired People Creating Extraordinary Events”, said Marc Seaman, Chair Shaw Centre Board of Directors.

With an impressive background in hotel and convention centre operations and sales leadership, Nina joined the Shaw Centre team in October 2013 as General Manager of the Centre’s Food and Facilities operation managed by Aramark Canada. Nina began her career with the Sheraton Halifax Hotel as Director of Sales & Marketing, and moved on to senior sales, marketing and operations roles with the Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre, as well as the Casino Nova Scotia & Hotel in Halifax. Just prior to joining the Shaw Centre, Nina held the position of Vice President Business Development for the Toronto Congress Centre, where her performance driven approach had a demonstrable impact on significantly increasing its business volumes.

“I would like to thank the Board of Directors for the opportunity to work with the Shaw Centre team, stakeholders and partners as we take the Centre to the next level where it will make even greater contributions to the economic health of this tremendous city, supporting Ottawa Tourism’s efforts to continue positioning it as a key tourism destination. Their confidence in me will only serve to strengthen my passion and drive to succeed in this exciting arena and I look forward to bringing my vision for the Shaw Centre to life”, said Ms. Kressler.

About Shaw Centre
The Shaw Centre was founded as the Ottawa Congress Centre in 1983. With project funding from the Province of Ontario, the City of Ottawa and the Government of Canada, a brand new facility was constructed from 2009-2011, and was renamed the Ottawa Convention Centre, opening in April 2011. In October 2014, the OCC and Shaw Communications entered in a 10 year partnership, rebranding the OCC as the Shaw Centre. The Shaw Centre is a state-of-the-art convention centre and was recently named runner-up as the world’s best convention centre by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC).

The Ottawa Convention Centre® Corporation is an agency of the Government of Ontario

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shaw Centre
Sylvie Carbonneau, Director, Marketing & Communications
W: 613.688.8220 C: 613.327.0916
scarbonneau@shaw-centre.com

May 21, 2015
Niagara Falls hotel named to TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

Niagara Falls, Ont.— A Niagara Falls hotel has earned Hall of Fame honours after being awarded with TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel review site, recently announced the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa has been named to its Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. This unique accolade is granted only to businesses that have won the Certificate of Excellence five years in a row.

“Receiving this certificate for each of the past five years is an honour in itself, but being named to the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame is a monumental accomplishment that we are especially proud of,” says Anthony Annunziata of Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa. “We strive to provide the best experience for those travelling to Niagara Falls, whether on business or for leisure.”

The Certificate of Excellence can be earned only by receiving consistently positive reviews on TripAdvisor.

Currently, the Marriott Fallsview has been reviewed more than 4,100 times and holds an overall rating of 4.5 out of five, placing it in the top three hotels in Niagara Falls on TripAdvisor.

It has earned top ratings in categories including location, sleep quality, rooms and cleanliness, not to mention the hotel guarantees the best view of the Falls. To see the Marriott Fallsview guarantee, visit www.niagarafallsmarriott.com/marriott-fallsview-guarantee.

“Our guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations, fine dining and a state-of-the-art spa from the closest of all Niagara Falls hotels to the world-famous Niagara Falls,” Annunziata says.

Search “Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa” on TripAdvisor to view the page or leave a review. For more information on the Marriott Fallsview, visit www.niagarafallsmarriott.com.

About Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa
The Marriott Fallsview Niagara Falls Hotel & Spa enjoys the enviable distinction as being the closest hotel to Niagara Falls. As the area's premiere AAA Four Diamond, five-star luxury hotel in Niagara Falls, this Marriott Niagara Falls Hotel overlooks the majestic waterfalls and is located just minutes away from a variety of exciting attractions and casinos.

May 21, 2015
IACC Reports Highest Single Year Growth in Membership Globally

Chicago, Illinois—Following an 18-month restructure, the International Association of Conference Centres (www.iacconline.org) has recently reported its highest single year growth in membership globally, with 58 new members joining the only global professional association representing small to medium-sized venues that focus on meetings, training courses and conferences.

The new memberships have expanded the global reach of IACC by adding six new countries to the growing portfolio, including Kenya, Ukraine, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland and Italy. Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC presented the impressive growth results, which were obtained through IACC’s 2014 Annual Members Report, at the recent IACC-Americas 2015 Conference.

“We are delighted to report our highest single year growth in membership globally in IACC’s 30-year history,” commented Mark Cooper.  “We have welcomed 58 new members on board and what is more, 54 of these new recruits are conference centers, of which we are seeing a large growth in non-residential day conferences entering the marketplace globally.”

As the conference industry’s thought leader on the meeting experience, IACC represents its members by defining and promoting the IACC Meeting Concept and providing learning opportunities.

Cooper concluded with, “We are consistently striving to find new ways of delivering education and learning through training, certified learning, staff exchanges, trends and surveys. Our commitment to reaching and exceeding our goals remains as strong and focused as ever. Inspired by our track record, this year will see us aiming ever higher on behalf of our members.”

IACC is the only global professional association that represents small to medium sized venues focused on meetings, training courses and conferences. All members conform to a comprehensive global set of criteria and standards. The organization serves its members by being the global thought-leader in the meetings industry and currently has 400 members in 21 countries in the Americas, Europe and Australasia.

To download the 2014 IACC Annual Members Report, please go to: http://www.iacconline.org/_assets/images/about/IACC-Global-Annual-Report.pdf

Founded in 1981, The International Association of Conference Centres is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference centre industry and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional IACC meeting experience. Active members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Kenya, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England, Scotland, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and the Philippines. For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org.

May 14, 2015
Meeting Encore Announces Corporate Sponsorship of ‘Dress for Success Toronto’

Meeting Encore Ltd. announced during their 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration held on May 7 at One King West their intention to become a corporate sponsor of Dress for Success Toronto.

 As Meeting Encore celebrates its 25th year in business, Joe Nishi and Jennifer Glynn, Managing Partners and co-owners of Canada’s premier site selection company, Meeting Encore Ltd, are excited to announce their corporate sponsorship of ‘Dress for Success Toronto’.

Dress for Success Toronto is an affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide, a global charitable organization committed to the empowerment of women. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 140 cities in 19 countries and has helped almost 1 million women work towards self-sufficiency.

Dress for Success Toronto promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

“We are truly excited to be able to support Dress for Success Toronto” says Joe and Jennifer. “Supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of women and helping women in need get on their feet is something all of us can appreciate.” “Founded on the belief that every person deserves a chance to succeed, we are grateful to corporate partners like Meeting Encore, who help us transform thousands of lives as our clients get jobs and achieve economic independence, often for the first time,” says Debbie Lupton, Executive Director of Dress for Success Toronto.

For more information about Dress for Success Toronto, visit: www.toronto.dressforsuccess.org.

 

Meeting Encore Ltd. is Canada’s finest site selection company. They provide strategic sourcing for your next meeting, incentive or conference. They have been assisting their clients for the past 25 years. They can be reached at 905-403-9646 or contacted via their website at www.meetingencore.com.

 

May 12, 2015
Green Key Global Wins Responsible Travel & Tourism Forum Innovation Award

Ottawa, ONGreen Key Global, a leading environmental certification body offering a suite of programs and resources designed specifically for the lodging industry, has received the Responsible Travel & Tourism Forum (RTTF) Innovation Award.

“Green Key Global is thrilled to have been selected as the recipient of the RTTF Innovation Award,” stated Anthony Pollard, Managing Director for Green Key Global.  “Our success has been based on three key pillars including cost-savings for owners, the provision of sales and marketing information for members and the reduction of the industry’s environmental footprint.” 

Green Key Global has continually distinguished itself as a leader in corporate social responsibility certification through educational, collaborative and promotional efforts. Its programs help members leverage organizational corporate social responsibility activities to support sustainable initiatives, improve overall fiscal performance and community relations.

The award was presented to Anthony Pollard by David McClung, President Baxter Media, at the Leadership Awards Luncheon held at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel on May 11, 2015. The RTTF Leadership Awards celebrate the innovative work and responsible efforts of individuals and organizations throughout the Canadian travel industry. 

About Green Key Global
Green Key Global is a leading environmental certification body offering a suite of sustainability programs designed specifically for the lodging industry. For more than 18 years its flagship program, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, has been evaluating, inspecting, and certifying hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations. The Green Key Program and its sister program, Green Key Meetings, are comprehensive environmental audits that allow facilities to benefit on several fronts – cost savings, increased bookings from conscious consumers and meeting planners and responsible corporate citizenry.

May 11, 2015
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa Completes Meeting Space Expansion, Serenity by the sea Spa Transformation

South Walton, Fla.Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa – one of the South’s premier beachfront meeting destinations and the largest full-service beachfront resort hotel on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast – now offers a third, 7,500-square-foot ballroom, and has expanded and enhanced the award-winning Serenity by the sea Spa for meeting and leisure guests to enjoy, as well as a larger space for bridal parties to take on complete relaxation for the big day. 

Completed in March, the Coastal Ballroom addition included expansion to pre-function space, current restroom facilities and permanent registration areas. The additional space now provides meeting planners with more than 23,000 square feet of ballroom and event space on a single level, with approximately 10,000 square feet of additional pre-function area to support the three ballrooms. Now with nearly 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, and 20,000 square feet of outdoor event space, the resort can now accommodate larger conferences and events and provide additional flexibility for group activities and breakouts.

The award-winning Serenity by the sea Spa has completed a major overhaul involving the footprint of the space and upgrades throughout. The spa was expanded by 3,000 square feet, providing more space for individual guests and groups in the women’s locker room, lounge facilities and new group relaxation area. The spa also now offers a separate and expanded salon for hair and makeup, as well as a separate nail salon with four manicure and four pedicure stations. The new area totals 14,500 square feet and also includes an all-new fitness center offering 24-hour guest access, updated reception area, retail area and new tile/paint accents throughout the spa.

Over the last three years, Hilton Sandestin Beach has spent more than $30 million on transformations touching every aspect of the property, from award-winning meeting space and guest rooms to public areas and restaurants.

Set against a beautiful backdrop of the sugar-white sand and emerald-green water and an ideal location for any event, in 2014 alone, Hilton Sandestin Beach has received top honors from some of the country’s most prestigious meetings publications including Smart Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Corporate & Incentive Travel, ConventionSouth, Meetings Focus and Successful Meetings. The resort masterfully accommodates groups from 10 to more than 2,000 with a combination of luxury resort amenities, deluxe accommodations, award-winning meeting facilities, fabulous beachfront setting and professional staff – all under one roof.

For more information about Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, visit the new HiltonSandestinBeach.com website or call 850-267-9500. For more information about Serenity by the sea Spa, visit SerenitybytheseaSpa.com or call 850-622-9595

About Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is located on the sugar-white sands and emeraldgreen waters of Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast in South Walton near Destin, Fla. Aside from its stunning location, Northwest Florida's largest full-service beachfront resort hotel boasts 602 spacious accommodations, more than 40,000 square feet of award-winning meeting space, a world-class spa and fitness center, six on-site dining venues – including a AAA Four-Diamond restaurant – abundant resort recreation options, access to championship golf courses, and close proximity to the area's best attractions. For more information on Destin's premier hotel, visit HiltonSandestinBeach.com, or stay up-to-date with its Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

May 11, 2015
Malaysia Airlines MH Travel Agent Contest

Malaysia Airlines’ travel agent contest will end this Friday May 15th. Agents just need to answer three fun fact filled questions about the airline or its destinations to win this week’s $15 gift certificate.  And if they enter a ticket sale they will be eligible to win the grand prize:  a $250 gift certificate of their choice.

Enter at: www.mhtravelagent.com

May 07, 2015
Choice Hotels Unveils New Brand Identity and Integrated Marketing Campaign

Rockville, Md.— Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today introduced a new identity that is rolling out company-wide. The launch includes a new look and feel and an integrated advertising campaign that spans TV, radio, digital, and mobile designed to grow Choice’s brand awareness and celebrate everyday experiences and “people connections.” A redesignedChoiceHotels.com makes it easier to book hotel reservations from any device making those people connections more effortless than ever. The new identity will be activated across public relations, social media, and strategic partnerships to reach potential hotel guests in all channels. These integrated efforts reflect a new positioning that reinforces why people choose Choice Hotels when they travel to connect in person.

The refreshed brand positioning and new identity builds off of Choice Hotels' 75 year legacy as a gateway to a portfolio of brands. It also reflects the new direction and growth of the company as it realizes opportunities with business travelers across the portfolio, particularly in the upscale segment, and among millennials. “Our goal is to bring people together and welcome every guest, wherever their journey takes them,” says Robert McDowell, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution at Choice Hotels International. “We want to stand out and show people that we understand what truly matters to them. Travel is not only about the destination. It’s about connecting with the people you are going to see there. Choosing to get out and go might not be the easiest option, but it’s the right one.”

With rapid changes to technology and social media moving at lightning speed, it is easy – and more convenient – to connect with people virtually versus in person. However, according to a recent survey, 85% of people agree meeting face-to-face is more productive than communicating electronically. With nearly 60% of Millennials (aged 18-34) stating that their favorite part of traveling is the people they are with or going to see, Choice Hotels’ creative urges Americans to get out and go connect in person with friends and family, seizing the opportunities they might otherwise miss.

“Our portfolio of brands spans a range of price points and guest experiences that meet any stay occasion anywhere around the world. Choice Privileges offers the rewards and perks guests are looking for, so no matter where your people are, a Choice Hotels property is never far away—and the people at our hotels are always ready to make you feel welcome, wanted, and respected,” says McDowell.

The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” song acts as the musical anthem throughout the TV advertising spots highlighting various scenarios where customers can choose to stay home or choose to go to that high school reunion, family event or business meeting. The customers ultimately opt for the better option – to go and make an in-person connection – and when they do, they can book faster and more efficiently on the completely redesigned ChoiceHotels.com website.

For more information about Choice Hotels and its family of brands, connect with us at the new www.choicehotels.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc® (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world’s largest lodging companies. With more than 6,300 hotels franchised in 35 countries and territories, we represent more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of December 31, 2014, 603 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company's Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge® and Rodeway Inn® brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet our guests’ needs. With more than 22 million members and counting, check out our Choice Privileges® rewards program to see how you can reap the benefits of being a member of the Choice Hotels® family. Visit us at www.choicehotels.com for more information.

May 05, 2015
Rocky Mountaineer Appoints Karen Hardie as Vice President of Global Sales

Vancouver, BC—Rocky Mountaineer, provider of inspiring journeys throughout the Pacific Northwest and majestic Canadian Rockies, is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Hardie as Vice President of Global Sales.

Based in Vancouver, Hardie will be leading the company's international team of sales professionals, expanding business development opportunities with trade partners and focusing on growth with valued partners across all travel industry distribution channels.

"Karen's combination of extensive knowledge, dedication and expertise are invaluable to the growth and development of our amazing company," said Randy Powell, CEO and president, Rocky Mountaineer.  "We are delighted to have someone of her caliber to lead our global sales team and continue to produce extraordinary results."

Hardie joined Rocky Mountaineer in 2012 as the Director Sales, USA, bringing numerous years of experience within the tourism industry along with exceptional sales, marketing and business development skills. She has an outstanding reputation for delivering sales growth and quickly climbed the ranks and relocated to Vancouver to serve as the Director of Global Sales Operations in late 2013. Prior to joining Rocky Mountaineer, Hardie was the Vice-President of Sales for Stella Travel USA. She has also held senior positions with Orion Expedition Cruises in California and Australia as well as St. Ives Travel (American Express and Virtuoso Agency) located in Sydney, Australia.

About Rocky Mountaineer

2015 marks the 25th Anniversary for Rocky Mountaineer and the company has a lot to celebrate. Since its inception in 1990, Rocky Mountaineer has grown to be the largest privately owned luxury tourist train in the world and is considered by many as the only way to see the Canadian Rockies. In the past 25 years, the train has welcomed onboard over one and a half million guests from around the globe. With over 45 vacation packages, five unique rail routes, and iconic destinations such as Seattle, WA, Vancouver and Whistler, BC, and the majestic Canadian Rockies in Alberta, there is a journey for anyone looking for a life changing experience. The world renowned train travels by daylight through the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada while guests relish in the breathtaking views of tumbling waterfalls, glacier-capped mountains, and wildlife of the regions. Rocky Mountaineer has received numerous international awards and accolades for service excellence, including eight World Travel Awards for both "World's Leading Travel Experience By Train" and "World's Leading Luxury Train." In 2013, it was also recognized as one of the world's "Dream Trips" by the prestigious Travel +Leisure magazine.

May 01, 2015
Hotel La Ferme will join the national network of Le Germain Hotels

Group Germain Hotels becomes the official operator of Hotel La Ferme

Quebec City—Group Germain Hotels and Groupe Le Massif, two innovative Quebec-based companies, announced today that they have signed an agreement that will see Groupe Germain Hotels become the official operator of Charlevoix's Hotel La Ferme as of June 1st.

"From the very beginning we hoped that this large scale project at Le Massif de Charlevoix would be able to establish partnerships with major players to ensure its development and growth. We have built a unique and recognized hotel in the heart of Charlevoix and Group Germain, a major player in the Canadian hotel industry, will bring its expertise to the destination," said Daniel Gauthier, president of Groupe Le Massif's board of directors.

Daniel Gauthier and Group Germain have maintained a close working relationship on several projects over a number of years. These business associates share a common vision and values that will be instrumental in further showcasing Hotel La Ferme to the world.

"We were often asked if Hotel La Ferme was a Le Germain Hotel because of its great design and comfort. This project is a natural progression," said Christiane Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. "We will proudly operate this hotel in the spirit in which it was created."

"We will leverage our national network and 26 years of experience in hotel management and operations to promote Hotel La Ferme and the Charlevoix region," explained Jean-Yves Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. "The natural beauty of the region I have grown to love and the flavours of its terroir deserve to be experienced by a much larger audience."

Group Germain Hotels, which owns 11 establishments across Canada, six outside the province of Quebec, plans to open another three properties in Ontario and Alberta by 2017.

About Hotel La Ferme
Named the hotel with the most beautiful interior design on the planet by Retail and Leisure who award the world's most prestigious interior architecture and design prizes, Hotel La Ferme offers a completely unique experience to its visitors. At the heart of the Le Massif de Charlevoix project, it welcomes visitors from here and abroad and allows them to sample the beauty, authenticity and uniqueness of a region that flourishes between the river and the mountains, between nature and culture. In addition to its 145 rooms and lofts, Hotel La Ferme includes: a railway station, a bustling public square, a restaurant that emphasizes Charlevoix's terroir and market cuisine, a café, a lounge bar, a multipurpose room, six meeting rooms, a spa and a gym.

About Group Germain Hotels
Ranked as one of Canada's 50 best managed companies, Group Germain Hotels is a family-run business, founded in Quebec City, which owns and operates Le Germain 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 700 people welcome guests for a total of 325,000 overnight stays, bringing the total overnight stays to nearly 3 million since the first hotel opened in 1988. For more information, visit www.groupegermain.com .

Photos of Hotel La Ferme can be downloaded via our Flickr album here.