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November 25, 2014
Completed renovations at Le Westin Resort & Spa inspire year-round wellbeing

Mont Tremblant, QC—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) and Station Mont Tremblant today announced the completion and unveiling of the final phase of the all-encompassing renovation master plan at Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant. The hotel, located in the heart of Tremblant's pedestrian village, sets the stage for a renewing guest experience, and features a complete redesign of the hotel's interior including the 122 spacious guest rooms and more than 4090 square feet of premium meeting space with the latest technology. Additional enhancements include the re-designed lobby and front desk featuring a living green wall, and the new Gypsy Restaurant and Lounge offering Mediterranean cuisine. Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant is a 2014 SPG Member Favourite Best Winter Escapes winner for the third year.

"We congratulate the team on the completion of the significant enhancements at Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, a world renowned destination where guests enjoy superb access to incredible skiing, golf, upscale shops, dining and entertainment," said John Crouch, Senior Director of Operations for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant appeals to guests seeking to recharge and revitalize with the help of the Westin brand's signature programs and amenities, designed to send them home feeling better than when they arrived."

Earlier this year the Westin brand launched The Westin Well-Being Movement – a year-long global initiative designed to enhance the well-being of guests and associates with the introduction of a string of innovative partnerships and programs across the brand's six pillars of well-being: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well.

Living Wall - Vertical Garden Offers a Breath of Fresh Air
As the very final touches are coming, Le Westin Resort & Spa Tremblant will feature a living wall behind the front desk. A unique focal element of the new Westin lobby concept, the living wall was designed not only to improve indoor air quality, but also to create a calming, more natural environment.

Revitalized Guestrooms Offer Heavenly Experience
The resort's 122 accommodations have been thoroughly updated — including new furniture and amenities. The revamped design scheme includes calming, tonal colors that create a soothing environment, allowing guests to leave feeling better than when they arrived. Elegantly decorated guest rooms and suites feature wood details, warm fabrics, and panoramic windows with breathtaking views of the mountain or Lac Tremblant. Each guestroom features Westin's luxurious amenities including the coveted Heavenly BedTM

The renovation also included the creation of the Gypsy Restaurant and Lounge. Spanish-inspired and featuring Mediterranean flavours, signature dishes include tapas, paellas and seasonal cocktail selections, featuring house-made infusions and market fresh ingredients. Located in Quebec's year-round playground, the resort with its new meeting space is well positioned to become a favourite corporate business and incentive destination. With more than 4 090 square feet of renovated meeting and event space, the hotel is an ideal host for small to medium sized events and conferences.   

Special Renovation Offer
In celebration of the completion of the enhancements, Le Westin Resort & Spa is delighted to present a special offer. For stays before December 18th, 2014, guests can take advantage of 25% off stays all week, enjoy complimentary late check-out and receive double Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints®. Visit http://www.starwoodexclusiveoffers.com/le-westin-tremblant/ to book or call 1 866 716 8101 and mention rate code WRLCH14.

Tremblant: Take Me to the Top
Tremblant is a top resort destination owing to the excellence of its four-season guest experience both at the mountain, and in its pedestrian village. Its views of the Laurentians, the diversity of its offer and its highly acclaimed major events – of which IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant, 24h of Tremblant, Wanderlust and the Tremblant International Blues Festival – have earned it a place among the World's 25 Best Ski Towns in 2014 according to National Geographic, and the title of#1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America for a 17th time by SKI Magazine readers. With family, friends or your sweetheart, Tremblant welcomes vacationers and groups flying direct from Toronto with Air Canada and Porter Airlines, to enjoy 1,900 lodging units fanned out across 13 hotel establishments, over 75 restaurants, boutiques and a Casino, all at nature's doorstep.  

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts has been a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade. Today, Westin has 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, and is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in 100 countries and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

November 20, 2014
FICP 2015 Leadership Announced

Waikoloa, HI—Members of Financial & Insurance Conference Planners (FICP) announced the meeting planner elected to serve on the association’s board of directors at the 2014 FICP Annual Conference, held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa, Hawai’i. Joe Scully, Senior Director, John Hancock Financial Services – a division of Manulife Financial, Boston, Mass., will serve a three-year term effective January 1, 2015.

By acclamation, Shelia Cleary, 2nd Vice President, Recognition and Conferences, National Life Group, Montpelier, Vt., became the 2015 Chair.

The board of directors elected Caryn Taylor Lucia, CMP, Director, Corporate Events, SEI, Oaks, Pa., as the FICP Chair-Elect. Taylor Lucia will automatically become FICP Chair in 2016.

Continuing on the board are:

• Immediate Past Chair and Annual Conference Chair: Jana Stern, Director, Meetings & Events, Voya Financial, Minneapolis, Minn.
• Education Forum Chair: Marla Hannigan, CMP, Meeting and Event Manager, Mutual of Omaha, Omaha, Neb.
• Symposia Co-chair: Karin Pontelandolfo, CMP, Senior Meeting Planner, Liberty Mutual, Boston, Mass.
• Symposia Co-chair: Jeff Leggett, Kingston, ON
• Membership Chair: Marcia Merando, LLIF, FLMI, LUTCF, Director of Marketing, Frankenmuth Insurance, Frankenmuth, Mich.
• Education Chair: Kathy Roche, Manager, Meeting & Conference Planning, Western & Southern Financial Group, Cincinnati, Ohio
• Executive Director: Steve Bova, CAE, Financial & Insurance Conference Planners, Chicago, Ill.

Kelli Livers, CMP, CTE, Assistant Vice President, Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited, Houston, Texas, departs the board at the end of 2014.

To serve on the board of directors, one must be an FICP member in good standing for a continuous two-year period; be able to maintain their corporate and/or meeting planning responsibilities as well as their board responsibilities; have the full support of their company’s management; and have at least five years of work experience in the meeting/conference planning field.

2015 Hospitality Partner Advisory Council Announced

Kevin Regan, MBA, Corporate & Incentive Sales Director, Silversea Cruises, Ltd., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was named Chair of the Hospitality Partner Advisory Council (HPAC) for 2015.

The HPAC welcomes Cosimo Bruzzese, Vice President of Business Development, Briggs, Inc., A DMC Network Company, New York, N.Y., to its roster in 2015.

Linda Burley, CMP, National Sales Manager, Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, Nev.; Chris Gilbert, National Sales Manager, Charleston Place, Charleston, S.C.; Padraic Gilligan, MA, HDE, DMCP, Chairman, Ovation Global DMC, Dublin, Ireland; Julie Holmen, Director of Sales, Corporate and Incentive, Tourism Toronto, Toronto, ON; and Isabel Mahon, Director of Sales, Incentive/Insurance, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts North America, Chicago, Ill., return to the HPAC for 2015.

Clarence Day, CMP, Director of National Accounts, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Kapalua, Hawaii departs the HPAC after serving as its chair in 2014.

FICP provides high-quality information, education and networking to financial and insurance meeting professionals, increasing their success and strategic value. We maintain a balanced planner to hospitality partner ratio at all times, resulting in a unique business environment.

November 19, 2014
ACTE Canada Breaks With Organization Tradition And Names Two Co-Chairs to Head Regional Council

EdmontonBreaking with tradition, two ranking business travel executives will co-chair the Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ Canada Regional Council, a position normally held by one. According to Monica Hailstone, ACTE’s regional director, the industry challenges facing the council this year may well be best addressed by a buyer and a supplier team. Co-chairs Joeanne Comisso, Senior Specialist, Corporate Travel, VIA Rail Canada and Michelle Grant, Travel Administration Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, will begin their two-year terms on 1 January 2015.

 “ACTE’s Canada Regional Council is a tightly-knit group of professionals with shared vision and objectives,” said Hailstone. “They play a vital role in evaluating business travel trends, analyzing industry issues, and determining the action the association should take in developments of special significance to Canada.” She added that this year’s council will be addressing more engaged travellers, the evolution of data, and emerging markets paving the way for non-traditional approaches.

Joeanne Comisso has been an ACTE member for 9 years, and was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2011. She is a current Canada Council member, and previously served in this capacity from 2011 through 2012. Her contribution to the association also includes serving on the conference steering committee in 2010 and 2013. Commisso has a diverse business background spanning law enforcement, sales, and travel. She joined VIA Rail in 1999.

An ACTE member for six years, Michelle Grant was named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2012, served on the Canada Council in 2011, and has participated on the conference steering committee for four years (2010, 2012, 2013, and the current year). Her career started with Marlin Travel as a production agent in 1991, where she ultimately held the title of Senior Travel Consultant. Grant became the Travel Administration Manager for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers in 2008, and is responsible for the North American travel program, including meetings & events management, plus the company credit card and expense program. She is also responsible for managing partner agreement and negotiations. Ritchie Bros. has operations in more than 25 countries, including 44 auction sites worldwide.

About ACTE:
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is a non-profit education and research organization serving the global business travel industry in 102 countries. Since 1988, ACTE has provided programs, industry leadership, and innovative policies that improve conditions for business travelers, while increasing productivity and saving companies millions on their travel investment. Visit www.acte.org.
For more information contact:
Monica Hailstone
Canada Regional Director
Tel: 1-613-836-7652
mhailstone@acte.org

November 14, 2014
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Takes Home Tourism Industry Award of Excellence for Sustainable Tourism

Toronto—The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario is pleased to announce the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) as the winner of the 2014 Sustainable Tourism Award. Presented at the Ontario Tourism Awards as part of the tenth annual Ontario Tourism Summit, this award recognizes organizations that have made viable and maintainable contributions to the practice and promotion of sustainable tourism in Ontario.

MTCC has been active in the promotion of its sustainability program for many years, and 2013 was certainly no exception; one of three pillars of sustainability — planet, people and profit — was successful implemented into every aspect of MTCC's business. An all-time high rate of 89 per cent waste diversion from landfill was achieved, in addition to a 14 percent decrease in the amount of waste and recycling produced by the organization compared to 2012. MTCC also donated, composted or recycled over two million pounds of material through its extensive waste management program in 2013, and in December became the first venue in Canada to be awarded the APEX/ASTM Level 1 Certification for Sustainable Meeting Venues.

MTCC hosted 105 green events in 2013, representing a 23 per cent increase from 2012 — another all-time high. The centre's goal for its sustainability program is to eventually have every event hosted be a "green event," and their dedication to the cause is tangible. TIAO is proud to present MTCC with the Sustainable Tourism Award. Congratulations!

"Green initiatives are integral to the growth and stability of Ontario's tourism industry. Metro Toronto Convention Centre is leading the way for event venues to reduce waste, recycle more, and be more sustainable for future generations of tourists. Congratulations on this admirable achievement!"
Beth Potter, President & CEOTourism Industry Association of Ontario

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario is recognized as the umbrella organization for leading associations, destination marketing organizations and regional tourism organizations serving Ontario's diverse tourism industry. Collectively representing 149,000 businesses and 305,000 employees dedicated to promoting and operating the province's powerful tourism infrastructure, TIAO provides a strong, unified voice for the sector and advocates the importance of tourism to all levels of government in order to help the industry grow and prosper. The Tourism Industry Awards of Excellence recognize leaders in innovation, events, volunteering, sustainability and accessibility within Ontario's vibrant tourism industry.

November 10, 2014
Starwood Preferred Guest and Emirates Skywards Join Forces to Extend Benefits Across the Sky and Around the Globe

New Partnership Takes Loyalty to New Heights in Growing Travel Markets with Extra Rewards and Elite Earnings

Stamford, Conn. and DUBAI, U.A.E—Today, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and Emirates Airline® are announcing a new partnership providing reciprocal benefits to Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) and Emirates Skywards® members. The program, Your World Rewards®, begins Nov. 19 and allows SPG and Skywards elite Your World Rewards members who register for the program, to elevate their earnings and benefits when they fly with Emirates or stay with SPG Participating Hotels. 

With Your World Rewards, SPG and Emirates Skywards members will now earn in the air, on the ground and around the world. Whether on business or leisure, registered SPG and Emirates Skywards members will enjoy the best in travel from take-off to check-out with rich benefits, personal service and extensive access around the world through this partnership of two loyalty programs.

Elite SPG and Emirates Skywards members will receive exclusive rewards of each loyalty program. Skywards Gold and Platinum members will have the opportunity to upgrade their hotel experience, receiving exclusive benefits including access to SPG elite check-in, 4:00 p.m. late check-out and complimentary in-room Internet access. In turn, all SPG Platinum members will enjoy some of the advantages of Emirates Skywards elite like priority check-in and priority boarding when flying Emirates. Members will also receive complimentary e-gate access for flights in and out of Dubai.

Members will also earn bonus Starpoints® when they fly with Emirates and bonus Miles when they stay with SPG on top of their usual earnings. Elite SPG members will earn one Starpoint® per dollar, in addition to Skywards Miles, for all eligible Emirates operated flights; and all Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members will earn the equivalent of one Mile per dollar, on top of Starpoints, for all eligible stays at Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide. Conversion rates will be adjusted for local currencies.

“The combination of Emirates’ growing global network, Starwood's innovative take on hospitality and our top-rated loyalty programs allow us to recognize our most valuable customers with a heightened level of service and greater rewards wherever they travel – be it to one of our more than 140 destinations or at any of Starwood’s 1,200 hotels," said Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Emirates Airline. “This partnership unites two like-minded companies with complementary global footprints, putting more rewards on the map and taking our most loyal guests’ travel to new heights.”

As one of the leading global airlines, Emirates is constantly adding new routes and new destinations, connecting more people with more places. To date, Emirates has 54 A380 in their fleet and is receiving an average of two of these supersized aircrafts per month.  Particularly, the U.S. market has been a growing market for Emirates, adding Chicago as its latest U.S. destination in August and upgrading its routes to Dallas/Fort Worth to an A380 with San Francisco and Houston to follow shortly. In total, Emirates serves more than 140 destinations in more than 80 countries across 6 continents. With its hub in Dubai, it connects the West with the East – providing customers from the Americas, Europe and Africa service to destinations in the Far East and Australasia, West Asia, Indian Ocean and Middle East and vice versa.

“We are living in a new Golden Age of Travel with more people from more places traveling than ever before,” said Mark Vondrasek, Senior Vice President, Distribution, Loyalty and Partnership Marketing at Starwood. “Your World Rewards allows us to cultivate even greater loyalty with travelers from the world’s fastest-growing travel markets. As Emirates increasingly connects East with West, and the emerging markets to the developed world, their reach dovetails perfectly with Starwood’s preeminent high-end, global footprint and our pipeline of new hotels, 75% of which will open in emerging markets.” 

According to Vondrasek, SPG membership has grown 400% in key emerging markets over the last five years. And as the Middle East continues to emerge as a premier global gateway, and the crossroads of new world travel patterns, it is also increasingly a source of new frequent travelers. The Middle East is SPG’s third fastest-growing market behind China and India and one of the top 10 travel destinations for SPG membersToday, Starwood is the largest high-end hotel company in the region and expects to grow its footprint by 70% over the next five years, specifically in Dubai and other Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, where tourism is on the rise. With 82 operating hotels and more than 20 hotels expected to open by the end of 2015 in the region, Starwood is on track to reach a milestone 100 hotels across its Middle East and Africa portfolio.

Elevate Your Earning
Beginning Nov. 19, members can register for and learn more about Your World Rewards by logging on to their account at emirates.com/yourworldrewards or spg.com/yourworldrewards to link their Skywards and SPG accounts with benefits going live on Nov 19. 

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About Emirates
Since its launch in 1985, Emirates Airline has received more than 500 international awards in recognition of its efforts to provide unsurpassed levels of customer service.

The airline has experienced rapid and consistent growth, above 20 percent a year on average and has been profitable for the last 26 consecutive years. Financially self-sustained and unprotected, Emirates carried 44.5 million passengers in the 2013-14 financial year and declared a net profit of US$ 887 million, the Group’s revenue increased by 13.2 percent reaching AED 87.8 billion (US$ 23.9 billion).

Emirates is based in Dubai, one of the few cities in the world that pursues an open-skies policy, and operates alongside more than 120 other airlines in free and fair competition.

Its all wide-bodied fleet of over 230 aircraft and is among the youngest in the skies. The airline plans to more than double its size by 2020.

Emirates presently has 292 aircraft pending delivery, worth over US$138 billion in list prices.  As the largest order announced at any event to date, Emirates has again rewritten all records in civil aviation with an order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights; and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft. The agreement was signed at the Dubai Air Show 2013 and is the largest aircraft order in civil aviation history. Together, the Boeing and Airbus orders, excluding purchase rights, are worth an estimated US$ 99 billion at list prices.

Emirates, a global connector of people and places, operates services to over 140 destinations in over 80 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Asia-Pacific. Visit Emirates online at: www.emirates.com

November 07, 2014
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Recognized as One of the Best Employers in Canada

For the 13th year Starwood Hotels & Resorts is recognized on Aon Hewitt’s list of Best Employers in Canada

Starwood Hotels & Resorts today announced it has earned a place on Aon Hewitt's annual list of Best Employers in Canada. This is the 13th year that Starwood has been recognized as one of the top employers in the country. The listing will appear in the November 17 issue of Maclean's magazine and in the December 10 edition of La Presse.

"We are very proud to once again be recognized as one of Canada's best employers," said Trevor Bracher, Area Director of Human Resources, Eastern Canada. "At Starwood, everything we do, is guided by three promises: do the right thing, go the extra step and play as a team. Staying true to these promises and ensuring they come to life on a daily basis goes a long way in retaining our current employees and building an environment that makes people want to work for us." 

The primary requirement for being recognized as a Best Employer is creating and sustaining a highly engaged workforce, measured by asking employees at these organizations directly through a survey. According to Aon Hewitt's definition, employees are engaged when they "say, stay and strive": they speak positively about their employer to others, are committed to staying with their current employer, and are motivated by their organizations' leaders, managers, culture and values to go "above and beyond" to contribute to business success.

The annual study measures employee engagement by surveying employees on areas such as senior leadership, people manager effectiveness, enabling employee productivity and valuing and appreciating employees.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

November 06, 2014
NYU School of Professional Studies to Offer Certificate in International Conference Centre Management

New York, NY—The NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism has launched a new Certificate in International Conference Centre Management, developed in consultation with the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC).  This is one of the first non-credit certificate programs that specifically focuses on the distinct, highly complex segment of the global meetings industry and the unique challenges that require appropriate skills and training. 

The new certificate complements existing Tisch Center programs that span the hospitality industry, including Venue Operations, Restaurant Operations, and Conference and Meeting Management. IACC, which boasts 350 members worldwide, has been a supporter of Tisch Center students since 1999 when they established the IACC-New York University Doris Sklar Scholarship.

The six-course certificate incorporates cutting-edge technology and will be offered online in an asynchronous format that will allow students from anywhere in the world to complete the program. The required courses include Foundations of Conference Centre Management and Operations; Human Resource Practices and Techniques; Financial and Legal Frameworks; and Current Issues in Conference Centre Operations. Electives offered are Prospecting and Sales Strategies for Conference Centres and Event Venues; New Technologies for the Meetings and Conference Industry; and Marketing and Positioning Strategies for Meetings, Events, and Conferences.

The certificate is being offered in Spring 2015, and students will employ a global lens to evaluate common business issues, including decisions about ownership structures and day-to-day operations; supervising a diverse workforce in a service industry; ethical issues and risk assessment; business development, and marketing and positioning; identifying and deploying technology to modernise service offerings; and developing a strategic vision to ensure long-term success.

IACC Global President, Peter Stewart says, “The collaboration with NYU School of Professional Studies made so much sense to us as we scanned the market place for a provider to work with us on developing a conference center specific program which could be offered on a global basis.   Our relationship with the team at the Tisch Center goes back many years, and we value the opportunity to help them develop this program, which will be the first of its kind."

“We wanted to develop a curriculum that would serve the educational and training needs of both industry veterans and those seeking to begin their careers,” said Donna Quadri-Felitti, clinical associate professor and academic chair, NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. “Our collaboration with IACC is a prime example of how our programs align themselves with industry.”

Registration is open to all, including existing conference centre staff and those aspiring to work in this vibrant sector of the global meetings industry. The Certificate in International Conference Centre Management is endorsed by IACC and the association encourages their members to enroll their future leaders on this exciting new program.

The IACC Mission Statement: The International Association of Conference Centres is the thought leader on the meeting experience. IACC represents its members by defining and promoting the IACC Meeting Concept and providing learning opportunities.

The IACC Vision: “IACC is a community of passionate people and organisations delivering innovative and exceptional meeting experiences.

”Founded in 1981, the International Association of Conference Centres is a not-for-profit organisation 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 and the Philippines. For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org. “There are meetings and then there are IACC meetings.”

November 04, 2014
Canada ranked as No. 1 country to visit

Stellar reputation helps attract more international tourists, talent and investment to our country.

Vancouver—The international love affair with Canada shows no signs of cooling off. According to a new study from the Reputation Institute, Canada is the top country in the world to visit, live in, study and attend or organize events. A beautiful and enjoyable country, friendly and welcoming people, contributions to global culture and safe environment were key drivers in the rankings.

The 2014 Country RepTrak™ report ranked Canada as the country with the No. 2 best overall reputation in the world, after three consecutive years holding the top spot.

The Reputation Institute, which operates in 30 countries, is known as the world's leading reputation management consultancy. The 2014 Country RepTrak™ report is based on the online answers from 26,000 consumers in the G8 countries and focuses on the 55 countries around the world with the highest GDP. Trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards these countries, as well as quality of life, safety and attention to the environment are all major factors in the results. According to the Reputation Institute, there is a clear correlation between a country's reputation and the income it receives from tourism.

"For international travellers, conventions and meetings held in Canada can be the first spark that ignites interest in doing business that leads to investment, in addition to exploring the unique experiences that our country offers," says Greg Klassen, Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) president and CEO (Interim). "Canada's leadership in such areas as natural resources, life sciences and aerospace technologies helps make us an important destination for international meetings and conferences."

Countries with a strong reputation attract more tourists as well as foreign knowledge, investment and talent.  As visitors—including business people, future immigrants, investors, entrepreneurs and academics—become acquainted with Canada and its high-quality products, services and facilities, they can become advocates for the country, identifying business partnerships and creating a foundation for future trade relationships.

"It's fantastic that the world holds Canada in such high esteem, which helps make our country such a desirable place to visit," says Jon Mamela, CTC Chief Marketing Officer. "Looking ahead into 2015, we will continue to offer diverse experiences to curious travellers keen to live a life less ordinary by enjoying our incredible nature, dynamic cities, unique culture and local lifestyles."

There is no stopping the demand for tourism around the world, with international arrivals expected to grow as much as 4.5% in 2014, according to the UNWTO. Tourism is Canada's largest service export, contributing $16.4 billion in 2013. Canada is also the No. 1 location for outbound meetings business from the US, which brings in about $1.5 billion annually.

Additional web links:
--Tourism industry fact sheet to learn more about Canada's visitor economy
--CTC corporate profile for key facts and figures about the Canadian Tourism Commission 
--Brand Canada Library for rights-ready, free-to-use images and videos

About the Canadian Tourism Commission:
The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. A federal Crown corporation of the Government of Canada, we lead the Canadian tourism industry in marketing Canada as a premier four-season tourism destination. Our vision is to inspire the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we promote Canada's extraordinary experiences in 12 countries around the world, conduct market research plus provide resources and toolkits to help industry leverage Canada's successful tourism brand, Canada. Keep Exploring. For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

October 31, 2014
Exhibition Place is 3RCertified Platinum-Level status

2014 Recycling Council of Ontario Awards

Toronto, ONThe Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) awarded Exhibition Place the 3RCertified Platinum Level Status, which recognizes organizations taking a leadership position in waste reduction and diversion. Certification is awarded on the basis of an onsite evaluation and is valid for 3 years with successful annual assessments.

RCO was pleased to recognize nearly 60 organizations from across private and public sectors for innovation and achievement in waste reduction and recycling. The ceremony took place on October 23, 2014 and recognized Exhibition Place as the only organization in all of Ontario at Platinum Level status and as the first recipient of the program.

Exhibition Place’s GREENSmart Program was established in 2004, and incorporates a number of environmental initiatives which reflect our goal of environmental responsibility and leadership with respect to sustainability, energy production and waste reduction.

“I would like to thank our Chief Executive Officer, Dianne Young and the entire staff at Exhibition Place for continuously maintaining a level of outstanding achievement through the GREENSmart program,” says Councillor Mark Grimes, Chair of the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, ”Obtaining the highest standard for waste diversion in the Province was recognized both by RCO and Paul Evans, Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change at the award ceremony and the Board is very thankful and proud of that distinction.”

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

October 31, 2014
Calgary’s Hotel Capacity to grow by over 3,000 rooms

Calgary, AB—Meetings + Conventions Calgary is excited to announce that Calgary will be adding over 3,000 new hotels rooms to the city’s inventory by 2017. Calgary’s downtown core will have over 1,100 new accommodations added and the largest development will occur in the city’s Airport/Northeast quadrant with over 1,600 guestrooms to be added to the inventory.

Peter Gregus, Managing Director with Meetings + Conventions Calgary notes that “Calgary is currently underserviced for hotel rooms. This increase in hotel capacity to the city is necessary to accommodate our busy convention and meeting industry.”

Calgary Future Hotels Chart

Meetings + Conventions Calgary operates as a sales and marketing organization with a mandate to assist meeting planners, corporate clients and association executives interested in Calgary as a prime location for their meetings, conventions and incentive programs.

For interviews or further information, please contact:
Heather Lundy Director
Marketing + Communication
Phone: 403.261.8514
Email: heatherl@calgary-convention.com