Current News

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Current News

January 16, 2019
SITE Crystal Awards Showcase Excellence In Incentive Travel

Chicago, IL—Since 1980, the annual Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Crystal Awards Recognition Program — sponsored by IMEX Group, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events – has brought industry acclaim to incentive travel companies. The winners are world-class organizations that excel in the design of unique, memorable group travel experiences that deliver measureable results for their clients.

The 2018 awards were presented at the SITE 2019 Global Conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, January 11-14. Seven companies from all over the world were honored for creativity in program design, marketing, corporate social responsibility and business results.

The winning programs not only showcase excellence in design and execution, but also demonstrate how incentive travel can advance client values and brands and achieve important business objectives such as increased sales, higher employee engagement and greater loyalty.

The 2018 Crystal Award Winners:

Excellence in Incentive Travel: North America: PRA Orlando

Most Impactful Effort Toward Corporate Social Responsibility as Part of an Incentive Program: CWT Meetings & Events with PRA

Best Destination-Based Experiential Incentive Travel Program: Destinos India working with Global Agency

Excellence in Incentive Travel: Latin America & Caribbean: ECO Destination Management Services of Aruba & Curacao

Excellence in Incentive Travel: Asia/Pacific: Meridican Incentive Consultants

Excellence in Incentive Travel: Europe: Ovation Global DMC - Ovation Switzerland

Excellence in Incentive Travel: Africa/Middle East: Walthers Destination Business Solutions Africa

For photos of highlights from the Crystal Awards, contact jjuergens@SITEglobal.com.

About SITE:
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 45 years, SITE has grown to over 2400 members in 90 countries with 30 local and regional chapters. For more information, please visit SITEglobal.com.

January 15, 2019
Exhibition Place's New Collective Agreement

Highlights of Exhibition Place’s Improved Production Labour Agreement

The events business is very competitive so it’s up to event planners and show managers to produce an experience to remember and one that attendees will keep talking about long after the event has ended. More importantly, it is critical to deliver a return on investment while staying on budget. No matter how much a planner may love a venue, when costs become prohibitive, they will go elsewhere.

We understood that the cost of production services was an issue for existing clients and difficult work rules posed a challenge for Exhibition Place to secure new business. We needed to modernize the collective agreement to reflect our lines of business in the exhibitions, sports, meetings and convention markets.

This new collective agreement with IATSE Local 58 will change the way we do business and transform what we can offer clients and address production labour within our new lines of business especially as it relates to plug and play technology and levels of expertise.

Achievements in the new collective agreement:

• Hours of work: The elimination of premium days attracting double time and no premium days based on an arbitrary day of the week

• New minimum call requirements based on our lines of business

• Elimination of labour duplication, otherwise known as job shadowing

• Third-party operators: The ability for clients to use their own operators for defined lines of business in the corporate and touring portfolio

• Recording your events: Updated and simplified language around recording and broadcasting reflective of current technology

• The ability for clients to employ plug and play technology for

o presentations

o disc jockeys and musicians

We feel that these new terms and conditions of the new Collective Agreement will help us accomplish the goals we had from the outset which were to be more competitive, attract more events to our venues and offer a better client experience.

What does this mean for you, our client?

Hours of Work

With the elimination of "dark days" and amendments to the overtime provisions, work can be scheduled any day of the week at regular time between 7:00 a.m. and midnight for the first eight hours. While double time rates will continue to apply for work assigned in excess of 12 hours, premium pay has otherwise been reduced to time and one half between midnight and 7:00 a.m.

Our new hours of work and scheduling language allow for work that engages Local 58 to be more cost effective, and to be more in line with local AV providers and other exclusive venue contractors.

New Minimum Calls

The new terms and conditions have reduced minimum call requirements:

• work that is scheduled at premium time

• that permit work to be scheduled on multiple activities within one event, and

• when employees are scheduled for more than one call in a day

Remember, a 5-hour minimum call from the previous Collective Agreement still applies when it is the only call of the day.

Labour Duplication and Third-party Operators

One of the most interesting recent developments in the industry today is that many touring events now travel with their own operators. In the new Agreement, labour duplication, otherwise known as job shadowing, has been eliminated. This change will affect business function and travelling events such as:

• conferences

• meetings

• conventions

• gala events

• travelling concerts

• trade and consumers shows

• theatrical productions

The travelling events listed above will no longer be required to use Local 58 labour exclusively, and can now use their own third-party operators to fill their key operator positions for defined lines of business in the corporate and touring portfolio, e.g. lighting, FOH sound, multi-media and video in combination with Local 58 labour in other roles.

Production services technicians at Exhibition place will get your show in and out, and may continue to provide technical expertise during your event in combination with operators provided by the event organizer. On a case-by-case basis, production staff from Local 58 can be reassigned to other meaningful work. Each event’s requirements will vary so please work with our meeting/events services team to work through your event logistics to determine staffing and budgets.

Recording Your Events

One of the best ways to make your marketing department love you is to capture video of activations in the moment, record testimonials or take photography for post-show or future marketing campaigns such as newsletters, social media, website content and blogs, YouTube or Vimeo channels and more. Under the new collective agreement, you are afforded more flexibility to capture these moments yourselves or invite traditional media and internet based environments without restriction or additional costs.

DJs, Single Person Setups and Musicians and Plug and Play Technology

Atmosphere is everything to an event and what that looks or sounds like is key. Hiring a DJ or musicians gives you one less thing to worry about and affords you more time to focus on other aspects of the show. In cases where there is not a substantial set up, you won’t need our expertise. Under our new direction, musicians utilizing plug and play audio equipment and DJs with a single person plug and play set up can entertain your guests for the evening without you having to engage production staff and incur an additional fee.

Plug & Play Presentations

Going forward, when hosting a meeting in one of our 43 meeting rooms between Enercare Centre and Beanfield Centre, you will now be able to run your own PowerPoint presentation through the existing house systems, absent the need for substantial technical support. In the event your meeting or presentation does requires additional expertise, our highly trained and customer service oriented staff are here to assist.

The changes listed above are by no means exhaustive of all the updates in the ratified Collective Agreement. In fact, the Collective Agreement contains provisions, some exceptions and restrictions so we recommend that you reach out to our meeting/events services team to walk you through what these changes look like specific to your event.

This new Agreement, however, ushers in a new era for all stakeholders concerned: exhibition and meeting planners, IATSE Local 58 and Exhibition Place, with a commitment to training, customer service and most importantly, working side by side to deliver exceptional service.

January 15, 2019
“Incentivizing Diversity and Innovation”: SITE’s Global Conference in Bangkok, Thailand Was A Meeting of Many Milestones

Chicago, IL—The SITE 2019 Global Conference, held from January 11-14 at the world-renowned Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok, hosted a record 375 incentive travel professionals from 30 different countries.

As Asia is the fastest-growing region of incentive travel, Bangkok was the perfect locale for the conference themed, “Incentivizing Diversity and Innovation,” highlighting how business innovation and success stem from a wholehearted embrace of diversity, and how the daily challenges that we face in our lives – both private and professional – are the furnace in which our enduring success is forged. Bangkok was also the ideal spot to inaugurate the newest chapter—SITE Thailand, which brings the number of SITE chapters around the world to 30.

Highpoints of the conference included the Crystal Awards ceremony, educational sessions with prominent speakers, certification opportunities, cultural events showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of Bangkok and exciting evening events where new and old friendships were rekindled.

Attendees came from all walks of the incentive travel spectrum: SITE members and non-members, media, corporate buyers, incentive houses, independent planners, destination marketing organizations, tourist boards, airlines, cruise companies, hotels, convention centers, DMCs, transportation companies, venues, speakers, trainers and educators.

Groundbreaking educational sessions were designed to inspire creativity and innovation with key topics including, “Embrace the Shake -- How Excepting Your Limitations Can Unlock Unlimited Creativity”; “Blockchain in Travel: How Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Could Change the Face of Travel”; How to Build Creativity Into Your Business Processes” and “How a Balanced Scorecard Approach Can Prove the Business Case for Incentive Travel."

Other learning sessions outside the meeting room included cultural immersions organized at creative spaces including Soy Sauce Factory and Thailand Creativity and Design Center.

Certification opportunities included the Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS), an entry-level certification program, and Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP) -- a career defining designation for mid-senior level professionals working across the niche spectrum of incentive travel.

During the conference, with the generous support of Meet in Ireland, SITE staged a series of workshops to create the “Bangkok Manifesto,” 10 high level statements to capture the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel.

The Manifesto will be a key theme throughout the 11 months that follow, providing a platform for ongoing discussion, education and advocacy.

Pre-and post tours brought delegates to learn and experience local lifestyle as well as Bangkok’s new developments. Delegates got the chance to observe Yodpiman market, Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, upscale accommodations and venues along the Chao Phraya River.

SITE President Philip Eidsvold, CIS, CITP said: "We promised delegates Bangkok would bedazzle and beguile. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and a veritable village of destination partners and suppliers, Bangkok will be front and center in the minds of incentive travel professionals for years to come."

CEO of SITE, Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP added: "With our global membership at 2,480, an all-time high for the association, SITE Global Conference, Bangkok continued to tear up the record book delivering our biggest ever Asia conference with new highs in terms of CSR activities, sustainability, audience engagement, social media reach and overall delegate satisfaction."

The final night of the global conference was held poolside at the upscale host hotel Shangri-La with delegates encouraged to explore the local restaurants of Bangkok later in the evening.

Next year’s SITE Global Conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada.

About SITE:
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 45 years, SITE has grown to over 2,400 members in 90 countries with 30 local and regional chapters.

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation whose fundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, and educational program support for incentive travel professionals. Our multi-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness of incentive travel. For more information, please visit SITEglobal.com.

January 15, 2019
Egencia Reveals 2019 Top 100 Preferred Corporate Hotels

Annual awards program recognizes top customer focused hotels from around the globe

Bellevue, Wash./CNW/—Today Egencia®, business travel from Expedia Group™, announced the winners of this year's prestigious Top 100 Preferred Corporate Hotel awards program.

With hundreds of thousands of properties available worldwide through Egencia, this program aims to recognize hotels that are committed to putting the customer's experience first, both through providing the best overall service to business travelers and overall value for corporate clients. Ranging from large hotel chains to independent hoteliers, finalists for the fourth annual awards program were selected based on satisfaction ratings, pricing, desirable amenities for corporate travelers, customer service and overall guest experience in 2018.

“A great business traveler experience is just as important to us as providing a great business travel platform here at Egencia, which is why each year we recognize and reward hotels that deliver outstanding customer service, tremendous value for money and popular amenities,” said Andrew Dyer, VP of Global Supply at Egencia brand. “This year's honorees go above and beyond what is expected of them to put the needs and comfort of business travelers first, offering conveniences such as complimentary breakfast and loyalty points.”

Spanning 17 countries across five continents, the 100 top hotels collectively delivered nearly 90,000 room nights with complimentary breakfast and 75,000 room nights eligible for loyalty points to over 145,000 Egencia business travelers in 2018.

The complete list of the Top 100 Preferred Corporate Hotels, along with city guides representing top markets with hotels in the awards program, including London, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo, are available here to help business travelers make the most of their time on the road.

About Egencia
Egencia, corporate travel from Expedia Group, is reimagining business travel management to make business travelers happier and corporate travel programs more successful. Egencia offers more personalized experiences through curated access to the world's most relevant travel options. Putting our customers at the center of everything we do, Egencia provides exceptional customer care and innovative travel manager tools to increase savings and compliance. Egencia serves businesses large and small in more than 60 countries. Connect with us on egencia.com and follow us on Twitterand LinkedIn and see what we're reimagining next on our blog.

© 2019 Egencia LLC. All rights reserved. Egencia, and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Egencia

For further information: Suong Lawless | PR Manager, NA | slawless@egencia.com; Stefanie Fricke | Crafted PR | egenciaNA@craftedpr.com | (206) 399-7833, http://www.egencia.com

January 12, 2019
A New Poolside Event Space to be Unveiled at Hotel Arts

CalgaryHotel Arts will unveil a new experience at Calgary’s hottest outdoor event space for summer 2019. The pool and patio renovations (staring January 10th) will transform this Calgary summer-hot spot into a year-round urban oasis, bookable for unique pool-side events in the heart of downtown.

The renovations will include two phases. Phase 1 will transform the space - originally built in 1972 when the Westward Inn was constructed - updating its design, structure and functionality. Working with Calgary-based VisionScapes, the renovations will include a new pool (with the Hotel Arts logo embedded in the base), a permanent wet bar with seating, several fireplace tables and a new self-watering landscape with custom-built planters along with new furnishings and awnings.

“The Hotel Arts pool has always been a coveted space for events in Calgary,” says Caroline Seymour, Director of Events with Hotel Arts Group. “These new renovations will truly elevate our poolside events, from a dedicated wet bar to fireside lounging! And now, planners can host pool-side soirees in the winter with a LED lit canvas roof protecting the space from the elements.”

Mark Wilson, General Manager and Vice President of Hotel Arts Group, is excited to launch a new poolside experience in this popular setting:

“Our poolside patio has been a unique outdoor gathering space for our guests and the broader community to enjoy with licensed poolside dining and special events. The renovation plan will introduce a new design aesthetic into the space and have the flexibility to utilize the space year-round with a unique design solution that can withstand our cooler climate in the winter months.”

Hotel Arts will launch Phase 2 of the poolside update in fall 2019, with the addition of an inflatable, illuminated canvas structure by Calgary’s Dynamic Air Shelters. The structure will cover the entire poolside courtyard so, for the first time, the Hotel Arts pool and patio can be used year-round while protected from winter’s chill. This innovative pool cover will be mounted annually from fall until spring.

The pool and licensed patio are slated to open for the May Long Weekend and the Hotel Arts team is excited to unveil a new cocktail and patio menu at that time for the summer season. Hotel Arts is accepting poolside event bookings – inquire online for your next event.

About Hotel Arts
Situated at the heart of Calgary’s art and entertainment scene, Hotel Arts offers a unique and refreshing connection to the city. Style-driven, the boutique property features modern décor and designer touches throughout with an extensive professionally-curated art collection. Home to versatile conference and event space and two onsite award-winning restaurants, Yellow Door Bistro and Raw Bar, offer unique and innovative dining experiences to guest and locals alike. The soon-to-be-opened year-round outdoor pool is an urban oasis including a food and beverage serviced poolside patio. Defined by the combination of local connection, boutique experiences, culinary delights, visual arts and exceptional customer service all driven by passionate employees who work to create an extraordinary guest experience.

For more information, please visit www.hotelarts.ca.

About VisionScapes
VisionScapes specializes in the design and construction of integrated, unique outdoor living environments and general contracting services. For VisionScapes, beauty is all in the details striking a balance between form and function on projects that are both esthetically pleasing and structurally sound.

For more information, please visit http://www.vision-scapes.ca/

About Dynamic Air Shelters

Dynamic Air Shelters engineers and manufactures lightweight, rapidly deployable textile shelters and constructions. Their solutions for adverse climate conditions are also adaptable to urban climates for unique hospitality contexts.

For more information, please visit https://www.dynamicairshelters.com/.

January 08, 2019
Swoop inaugurates the first commercial flight from Hamilton to Puerto Vallarta

The airline's first flight to Mexico is also a first for Hamilton International Airport

Calgary/CNW/—Today Swoop celebrates its first of four inaugural flights to Mexico.  Flight WO660 departs John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM) at 8:00 a.m. EST and arrives at the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) at 12:28 p.m. CST.

This is the first time an airline has offered service to Puerto Vallarta from the Hamilton International Airport. Travellers can also enjoy flights from Hamilton to Cancun beginning January 14, 2019 and Abbotsford to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán beginning January 12, 2019 and January 20, 2019 respectively.

The Puerto Vallarta International Airport and tourism partners are welcoming the arrival of the first Swoop aircraft and its travellers with a water arch, refreshments, gift bags and a lively mariachi band.

"Not only are we celebrating Swoop's entry into its fourth country in under six months of operation, but also a brand-new route for the Hamilton airport", said Karen McIsaac, Senior Advisor of Communications at Swoop. "Swoop continues to write a progressive narrative in the history of Canadian air travel, benefitting the thousands of Canadians that choose to fly with us every day and influencing growth in the tourism industry."

"Today's inaugural flight on Swoop from Hamilton to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is an exciting one for the Airport and our customers," said Cathie Puckering, President & CEO, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. "Puerto Vallarta is a brand-new destination offered for the first time from Hamilton and is a popular destination for Canadian and U.S. customers heading south to escape the cold winter weather. Hamilton is proud to fulfil this demand and see its list of sun destinations continue to grow in 2019."

"Puerto Vallarta's airport has been enjoying a continual increase in flights in the past two seasons and these new flights are a sign on the continuous interest in Puerto Vallarta's tourism offerings," said Javier Aranda Pedrero, General Director, Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. "Our guests will find that Puerto Vallarta can offer an exceptional warm and sunny vacation at every budget."

Flights are now available for booking through to April 27, 2019.

To learn more about Swoop's destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.com or connect with Swoop on FacebookTwitterInstagram.

About Swoop  
Established in 2018, Swoop is Canada's leading ultra-low-cost airline, independently operated as part of the WestJet Group of companies, offering point-to-point scheduled service to 14 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Swoop offers completely unbundled products and services, creating the unique opportunity for travellers to control their costs and customize their experience by purchasing only the extras they desire. 

Swoop operates a modern fleet of six Boeing 737-800 aircraft, equipped with in-seat power and Wi-Fi connectivity. A total of ten aircraft are expected in operation by the end of 2019. 

Swoop's mobile app allows travellers to quickly and easily book flights, manage bookings, check-in, view boarding passes, track flights and access Wi-Fi service in-flight.   

For more details on Swoop, including employment opportunities, visit FlySwoop.com

SOURCE Swoop

For further information:
Media contacts: To contact media relations, please email media@flyswoop.com.

January 07, 2019
The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real Opens as the Newest Addition to Meliá Hotels International

Located in the Dominican Republic, The Grand Reserve blends sophistication, high-end style and modern amenities into a thoughtful, curated luxury experience

Punta Cana, Dominican RepublicMeliá Hotels International, Spain’s leading hotel company with over 380 hotels in 40 countries, has announced its latest addition in the Dominican Republic with the launch of The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real, opening its doors officially in December. The new hotel is the first of its kind in the Paradisus portfolio and will feature ultra-luxe amenities and be the third Paradisus property to open in the Dominican Republic.

In addition to the debut of The Grand Reserve, Meliá Hotels International has transformed the neighboring Meliá Caribe Tropical resort into two distinct properties – Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort for adults-only and Meliá Caribe Beach Resort for families. The properties both opened its doors this past weekend. With a combined $140 million in renovations – $30 million for Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort Meliá Caribe Beach Resort and $110 million for The Grand Reserve – Meliá Hotels International continues to show its dedication to investing in the Dominican Republic region and adding to its world-wide luxury portfolio. Representing distinctive values, heritage, and personality, Meliá Hotels International’s various brands are found in iconic hotspots and undiscovered gems across the globe.

Designed in the shape of a circle, the universal symbol of wholeness and perfection, The Grand Reserve offers guests the most luxurious experience in Punta Cana with 288 expansive, brand new accommodations ranging from 800 to over 3,000 square feet. Suites feature either one or two bedrooms and a variety of amenities including living and dining spaces, ideal for entertaining, independent soaking tubs and walk-in showers, as well as private secluded balconies with hydro-massage whirlpool tubs and outdoor living spaces. Most noteworthy of the suites are The Grand Reserve’s Swim-Up Suites. Offering one or two-bedroom accommodations, these uniquely luxurious suites have direct access to an exclusive pool, complete with lush garden areas and a solarium.

With an immersive culinary program, The Grand Reserve features fourteen restaurants and bars including a gourmet market, modern steakhouse with open-format kitchen, ceviche bar featuring fresh signature ceviche’s, pokes and tartars, Asian-inspired concept featuring a sushi bar, teppanyaki and robatayaki tables and one of the most exclusive beach clubs in the Caribbean. Also debuting at its first Paradisus property is Black Oak, a modern take on your classic cigar bar offering a premium selection of cigars, liqueurs and artisanal cocktails.

Whether guests are looking for a relaxing getaway, a wellness retreat or an adventure-packed excursion, The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is suited for guests of all ages. The activities are endless and include relaxing at the Beach Club along the vibrant Bavaro Beach, participating in WOGA (water yoga) or taking a fitness class at the Circle Studio featuring new state-of-the-art fitness equipment and Blast! AquaFun Park, a kid’s adventure park featuring water games and slides.

Also debuting alongside the resort and new to the Paradisus portfolio are the MAIA Signature Treatments by Natura Bissé. Known for combining the most avant-garde techniques with technological innovation and traditional therapies, the new spa features products by the Spain-based beauty line Natura Bissé and boasts 14 treatment rooms and a relaxation room.

In addition to the countless amenities offered at The Grand Reserve, guests will be able to Stay at One & Play at Three, with complete access to the extensive property offerings at both The Reserve and Paradisus Palma Real, with 15 world-class restaurants including Passion by Chef Martin Berasategui, who holds ten Michelin stars (additional cost), YHI Spa and YHI Spa Oriental Garden, five distinct pools and complimentary Life Enriching Experiences. Opening rates start at $354 per night, all-inclusive, double occupancy.

Co-existing with hotel guests is an additional 144 suites for members of Circle by Meliá, creating a total of 432 suites in the entire building. Launched in 2016, Circle by Meliá is Meliá Hotels International vacation membership program offering the highest level of exclusive services and amenities including private transfers, exclusive dining experiences, spa treatments and special add-on amenities for children and couples.

About Paradisus by Meliá
Paradisus by Meliá is a luxurious, all-inclusive hotel brand owned and managed by Meliá Hotels International, one of the most successful family-owned hotel companies worldwide. The properties are located in some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations, as well as emerging hotspots, offering the ultimate guest experience. The luxury hotel brand currently has 11 hotels in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico, such as Paradisus Palma Real and Paradisus Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Paradisus Cancun, Paradisus Playa del Carmen and Paradisus Los Cabos (Mexico), all surrounded by stunning gardens, with beach-front views that reflect the natural beauty of the destination. 2019 will see new openings in Mexico and Cuba. Committed to health and well-being and environmentally conscious, each resort offers a range of authentic, personalized, Life Enriching Experience activities such as yoga, YHI Spa treatments, water sports and cooking classes. Guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in local experiences, from guided tours and offsite excursions to a superior culinary program available at each resort. Paradisus by Meliá offers unique room categories and luxury upgrade options, including Royal Service (adults only) and Family Concierge (families only), which are ideal for a wide range of guests: couples, family holidays, weddings and business trips.

About Circle by Meliá
Circle by Meliá is a new brand developed by Meliá Hotels International. This is a brand driven by luxury and exceptional experiences that will generate infinite memories for all its guests. Circle by Meliá is a vacation community that prizes transparency and has the only program that appeals directly to modern travel requirements by providing flexible access to the best experiences available across the entire company’s portfolio.

About Meliá Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies worldwide, as well as the absolute leader within the Spanish market, with more than 380 hotels (current portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries and four continents, operated under the brands: Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSIDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and TRYP by Wyndham. The strategic focus on international growth has allowed Meliá Hotels International to be the first Spanish hotel company with presence in key markets such as China, the Arabian Gulf or the US, as well as maintaining its leadership in traditional markets such as Europe, Latin America or the Caribbean. Its high degree of globalisation, a diversified business model, the consistent growth plan supported by strategic alliances with major investors and its commitment to responsible tourism are the major strengths of Meliá Hotels International, being the Spanish Hotel leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco Ranking) and one of the most attractive to work worldwide. Meliá Hotels International is included in the IBEX 35 Spanish stock market index. Follow Meliá Hotels International on Twitter @MeliaHotelsInt and Facebook meliahotelsinternationalwww.melia.com.

January 03, 2019
Details, Calgary's Oldest Event-Planning Company, Marks 30-Year Milestone

Founded by industry trailblazers, Details Convention & Event Management continues to create award-winning events

Calgary, AB—Details Convention & Event Management is pleased to announce its 30th year in business as Calgary’s longest-running events management company. Formed in 1988 by Jean Silzer and Debralee Fernets, Details came into being after the two met taking a certificate program in tourism at the University of Calgary. At the time, there were no programs focussed solely on event planning. Their first client was “Winning Women,” a group of women who tried to increase the number of women entering and winning political seats. From there, Details went on to plan a wide array of events for clients including Travel Alberta, GrowCanada and Inn from the Cold.

Much of Jean’s early event-planning experience came from volunteering at events and conventions. But with her background as a teacher, she believed that formal training and industry standards were the best way to legitimize the profession. She became the first certified meeting professional (CMP) in Alberta in 1990. Jean was also instrumental in creating standards in Canada’s event industry, helping to create standards documents for Meeting Professionals International’s Canadian Council and the federal government’s Department of Human Resources Development. Jean also started the Alberta chapter of Meeting Professionals International, which later separated into Calgary and Edmonton chapters.

This emphasis on learning also guided the many conferences that Jean planned. “The best value you can provide to attendees is to have them take home great new pieces of information that make their jobs and lives easier,” she says.

Jean eventually took over the entire ownership of Details, and her daughter, Niesa, joined the fold in 2005. With stage management and event-planning experience under her belt, Niesa brought her expertise to Details, and has continued to grow the production side of the business. Jean retired in 2016, turning the reins over to Niesa, who maintains Details as an award-winning company, garnering personal accolades such as Connect magazine’s Top 40 under 40 and event recognition such as Best Large Meeting and Best Conference for the Travel Alberta Industry Conference event.

Details could have easily become a large company, but it chose to stay small. Jean and Niesa both love planning, and they wanted to focus on providing that service directly to their clients, not by managing a team to do it for them. Their focus has always been on the people they work with, and helping them put on memorable events. “Over 30 years, we’ve seen so much growth in the event industry, but a lot has also stayed the same,” says Niesa. “The key is to take a deep look at an organization’s objectives and then create an event that exceeds them. I’m committed to my clients to continue to push the envelope, but also to never lose sight of why we’re producing an event in the first place.”

About Details
Details is a Calgary-based event-management company. As independent meeting planners, Details personally takes care of all of your event details, and boosts your odds of making a lasting impact on

your audience. As experts in project management, Details uses creative approaches to look after every element of your event—design, marketing/promotion, scheduling, logistics, coordination and delivery.

For more information, please contact:
Niesa Silzer, President
nsilzer@detailsinc.ca, 403-277-7377
www.detailsinc.ca

December 17, 2018
Shaw Conference Centre to become Edmonton Convention Centre on January 1

Edmonton, AB—Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) is pleased to announce that after 21 years as the Shaw Conference Centre, the venue will be renamed the Edmonton Convention Centre as of January 1, 2019. Shaw Communications’ naming rights agreement will expire on December 31, 2018.

“The Edmonton brand deserves to be showcased in the name of a venue that delivers more than $26 million in economic impact to the city each year,” said Derek Hudson, CEO, Edmonton Economic Development. “We are excited about the possibilities to use the Edmonton Convention Centre name as a platform to elevate the local community and economy. The new name reflects EEDC’s continued dedication to building Edmonton as a regional, national and international destination for events, meetings and conventions.”

Owned by the City of Edmonton and managed by Edmonton Economic Development, the convention centre celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2018. Earlier this year, it was recognized by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) as one of North Americas five top performing venues—the only Canadian venue to receive this honour since 2012. As downtown Edmonton’s largest event and convention space, the venue is a preferred destination for nearly 650 events each year.

“Edmonton’s downtown convention centre has been an integral part of our community and growing city skyline for more than 35 years,” said Richard Wong, GM, Shaw Conference Centre. “We have built our reputation on providing remarkable experiences and as we look to the future, our team will continue to exceed expectations under the Edmonton Convention Centre name.”

The venue was originally named Edmonton Convention Centre from its opening in 1983 to 1997. A naming rights agreement with Shaw Communications saw the venue named Shaw Conference Centre from 1997 to 2018.

About Shaw Conference Centre

Managed by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the Shaw Conference Centre has a vision to be one of North America’s top performing convention centres. Everything we do is dedicated towards pushing the limits of providing the very best experience an event planner or guest has ever had, anywhere. Contact us today by visiting ShawConferenceCentre.com.

Contact information:
Lauren Andrews
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Shaw Conference Centre
O: 780.917.7613
C: 780.937.1689 landrews@edmonton.com

December 17, 2018
Air Canada is Overwhelmingly Preferred by Business Travellers
  • Ipsos Reid annual survey finds Air Canada's lead widening over other Canadian carriers
  • Business Traveler USA names Air Canada "Best North American Airline for International Travel" and "Best North American Airline for Inflight Experience"

Montreal/PRNewswire/Air Canada is the preferred airline for domestic travel for 92 per cent of frequent business travellers, according to the Ipsos Reid 2018 Canadian Business Traveller Survey. The national study determined Air Canada is the only Canadian airline to see a consistent increase in preference and in usage for the past five years. Additionally, readers of leading frequent business traveller magazine Business Traveler have named Air Canada "Best North American Airline for International Travel", as well as "Best North American Airline for Inflight Experience", solidifying Air Canada's position as the preferred airline for business travel.

"This year's Ipsos Reid Canadian Business Traveller Survey confirms Air Canada is the preferred airline of Canadians who fly most often and that its lead over other carriers continues to widen. The 2018 results revealed the broadest margin of frequent traveller preference for Air Canada versus our domestic competitors since 2014, and we are especially pleased that this positive trend is seen in all regions of Canada," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

"Year-over-year increases in key ratings by business travellers reflect our business customers' appreciation of our strong global network, schedule, loyalty programs and focus on customer service. Together with the results from Business Traveler USA, this further indicates that Air Canada is successfully executing its global strategies, which include introducing a new, industry-leading loyalty program in 2020. On behalf of our 30,000 employees worldwide, I thank our customers for choosing Air Canada in growing numbers, and we look forward to welcoming them onboard North America's only international four-star airline as affirmed by global air transport rating organization Skytrax, for their next flight," concluded Lucie.

The 27th annual Canadian Business Traveller Survey is an online survey conducted independently by Ipsos Reid, based on business travellers who took a minimum of six round trip flights for business in the past 12 months. The results showed consistently strong ratings in customer preference for Air Canada's frequent flyer reward program, convenient flight schedule and customer service. Among other things, the survey of frequent business travellers found:

  • Overall satisfaction with Air Canada's service continues to increase, contrasting that of domestic competitors, climbing six percentage points over 2017 for in-flight and four percentage points for airports. Air Canada's highest scores in the last five years was satisfaction in its schedule, loyalty program, customer service and perception as a dynamic organization.
  • Air Canada is the only Canadian airline that has seen an increase in it's Net Promoter Score (NPS) for 2018,
  • 96 per cent intend to use Air Canada for domestic business travel in the coming year, significantly more than the intention to use other Canadian carriers.
  • Air Canada is the preferred airline for travel between Canada and the U.S., increasing by 11 percentage points over the last five years.
  • Business travel increased the most internationally to Europe, Asia and other global destinations, growing by five percentage points over last year.

Business Traveler USA invites its readers annually to select the top travel providers across the globe, noting that business travellers are always the first to identify the best products and services essential to success and return on the traveller's investment.

Additionally, the editors of Frequent Business Traveler which specializes in travel news, strategies and tips for global business have also recognized Air Canada's Signature Lounge at Toronto Pearson as "Best Airline Lounge in the Americas" and, Air Canada together with Star Alliance partner United, as "Best Airline in the Americas".

More information about Air Canada's array of services for business travel ranging from small to medium to large corporations is at: www.aircanada.com/businesstravel

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2017 served more than 48 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 63 airports in Canada, 56 in the United States and 98 in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax. In 2018 Canada was voted the Best Airline in North America in the Skytrax World Airline Awards and it was also named the Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.

SOURCE Air Canada