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Current News

June 19, 2019
Tourism Toronto Launches New Destination Campaign: Let Yourself In

Campaign invites travellers to go all-in and share in Toronto pride felt across the city

Toronto/CNW/Tourism Toronto is launching a new destination marketing campaign, Let Yourself In – fresh on the heels of the Raptors capturing the NBA title and Toronto's sense of welcome and diversity seizing the world's attention. The campaign also arrives as Toronto celebrates another record year in visitation having welcomed 44 million travellers into the city in 2018. "Right now, Toronto's having a real moment – you can feel the incredible sense of pride and energy here. Now, with the world watching, we're inviting travellers to be a part of that pride and energy," said Jon Mamela, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Tourism Toronto. "Toronto is the front door to Canada, and our message to travellers is simple – Let Yourself In – be a part the excitement, diversity and unapologetic progressiveness that defines who we are."

Let Yourself In launches this week in select markets in the U.S. and Canada with an integrated digital strategy. The campaign is anchored by video, using a variety of digital channels and new digital tools to target potential travellers including original content, co-created stories with select publishers and influencers and social media featuring #openyourcuriosity. The campaign serves as the platform for Toronto's sales and marketing programs over the next two years. Videos from the Let Yourself In campaign can be viewed on Tourism Toronto's website See Toronto Now. 

The new platform follows Tourism Toronto's award-winning The Views Are Different Here campaign launched two years ago and watched more than 50 million times.

Toronto's meeting, conferences and events industry will also leverage Let Yourself In in global sales efforts. Business Events in Toronto have seen tremendous success in 2019 including tech conference Collision, Canada's premier tourism marketplace Rendez-vous Canada, and Meeting Professionals International's World Education Congress that coincided with the Raptors Championship parade. Last year, Toronto hosted more international delegates from meetings, conferences and events than any other city in North America.

"Let Yourself In is an open invitation to visitors from business event delegates and decision makers, to sports fans and leisure travellers, said Mamela. "It's an invitation to revel in the moments that make Toronto great. From moments of small connections with our people, neighbourhoods, attractions and culture, to moments so big they're seen all around the world."

Tourism Toronto is the official destination marketing organization for the region, "Canada's Downtown" – encompassing Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. With sales and marketing programs in key markets around the world, Tourism Toronto promotes the Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. For more information please visit

SOURCE Tourism Toronto

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Matt McNama, Corporate Communications Manager, Tourism Toronto, 416-994-2258, 

June 19, 2019
Companies with a strong travel culture have a competitive advantage: New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Egencia

Bellvue, Wash./CNW/—New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Egencia®, business travel from Expedia Group™, proves that when aligned with a company's strategy, a well-managed travel program can deliver a tangible competitive advantage. The report "Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market" shows 58 percent of business leaders confirm that having a strong travel culture – one where the company, its leaders and its processes support the use of corporate travel as a form of strategic investment with business value – produces better business results.

The research reveals that over the last year, companies with a strong travel culture had double the rate of improvement in key areas such as customer loyalty and retention (50 percent vs 21 percent), market share (43 percent vs 22 percent) and employee satisfaction (35 percent vs 15 percent), compared to companies with a weak travel culture. Even profitability improved significantly (47 percent vs 29 percent), proving the staggering impact a well-managed business travel program can have on achieving solid business results.

"Corporate travel is increasingly fundamental to business performance, particularly as companies expand their global footprint," says Wendy White, vice president of marketing at Egencia. "It's clear that when business leaders look at travel as a strategic investment and have a global travel management company like Egencia onboard, it quickly becomes a differentiator – and the data supports this. But a strong travel culture delivers more than a competitive edge, it helps teams across the world work better together and supports a unified company culture."

However less than a third (31 percent) of the 587 business leaders surveyed believe that their organization actually has a strong travel culture. In fact, most admit that managed corporate travel is not seen as a strategic investment in its future but rather a cost to be minimized. This is a critically shortsighted view in today's global marketplace where the majority of business leaders recognize that in-person interactions help ensure positive long-term relationships with customers (84 percent), and importantly, between employees in a company (78 percent).

While it's clear to business leaders what a strong travel culture is and why its fundamental in helping their company to differentiate and compete, well under half are prioritizing this today. Of the ones that effectively manage business travel, a huge majority (77 percent) have a single TMC onboard. It is proving to be the basis for a more strategic approach to business travel.

Having a full-service platform TMC like Egencia in place helps companies unlock the maximum potential of their travel program, creating value for their business and their travelers in a virtuous cycle. Travel managers benefit from data and analytics that help them identify new sources of savings, travelers can easily book and manage their trips through the Egencia app and businesses gain a competitive edge.

The full report "Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market" is available to read.

A total of 587 respondents drawn from Harvard Business Review audience of readers completed the survey in March 2019.

SOURCE Egencia

For further information: Siarah Khan | Global Senior Comms Manager |,

June 14, 2019
Exhibition Place Board of Governors Announces New CEO

Don Boyle named Chief Executive Officer of Toronto’s Exhibition Place

Toronto—After an extensive executive search, the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place is pleased to announce that Don Boyle has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of Exhibition Place.  

Don joins Exhibition Place after spending twelve years as Chief Administrative Officer in Haldimand County, in South Western Ontario. Over his time there, Haldimand County achieved four credit rating upgrades by Standard and Poor’s and are now ranked 4th in in the Province of Ontario for their municipal financial health. Prior to working in Haldimand County, Don served nine years as Director of Parks, Forestry and Recreation for the City of Toronto from the onset of amalgamation in 1998.

"The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the overall management and leadership of this landmark 192 acre entertainment venue located along Toronto’s waterfront” said Mark Grimes, Chair, Board of Governors of Exhibition Place. "Don brings to this position an appreciation of the complexities, challenges and opportunities Exhibition Place faces and I look forward to working with him as we continue to build on our past successes. Don’s consensus building approach and stakeholder management skills will benefit Exhibition Place."

"I am very excited to join the team at Exhibition Place," said Mr. Boyle. "Toronto is now the fourth-largest city in North America and likely the most diverse and vibrant. Building on the success of Exhibition Place and its stakeholders while maximizing potential synergies with a redeveloped Ontario Place makes this position an incredible career opportunity I felt compelled to compete for."

With new CEO at the helm, Exhibition Place will move ahead in alignment with the City of Toronto’s Master Plan Project, focusing on key development of the Exhibition Place grounds with a cultural and heritage preservation mindset.  This year the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place will develop a 5-year Strategic Plan for the site. The forthcoming 2020–2025 Strategic Plan will establish goals and objectives to meet the emerging needs of Exhibition Place and its stakeholders, while the Master Plan will play a significant role in the future of Exhibition Place development and evolution. Both plans will work in conjunction with the on-going revitalization of Ontario Place

2019 plans for development include the construction of a pedestrian skyway from Beanfield Centre to Hotel X allowing for fully integrated hotel and conference facilities on the grounds. This will continue to amplify Exhibition Place’s position as a sought after venue in the events, conference and trade show industries.

Exhibition Place is a leading destination for exhibitions, conventions, meetings and events - Toronto’s Gathering Place, and a contributor to the economic growth of the City of Toronto.

Don’s progressive leadership, extensive experience building longstanding relationships coupled with his entrepreneurial approach to public services will serve Exhibition Place well. He will assume the role August 12 and report to the Board of Exhibition Place.

About Exhibition Place
Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment and convention site, attracting over 5.5 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.      

Exhibition Place boasts the award-winning, LEED Gold Enercare Centre; Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre, and the Beanfield Centre LEED Silver conference venue. 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., @ExPlaceTO

June 13, 2019
Sustainability a top priority for meeting planners IACC’s 2019 Meeting Room of the Future Report reveals

Ethical operations and sustainable practices will be one of the most important areas of focus for venues by 2024 according to IACC’sannual Meeting Room of the Future report 2019, which was released today at MPI’s World Education Congress. 

44% of respondents believe that ethical operations and sustainable practices will be one of the most important elements for venues by the year 2024, with a major concern raised by meeting planners, when asked about the biggest frustration in food and beverage offerings, being the amount of food waste that meetings and events generate and how it is disposed of. A staggering 62% of respondents said that they will look at how a venue manages its food waste before booking.

Cyber security is also a key topic – and an area of some concern - for meeting planners, with 27% of respondents stating that cyber security will become a greater priority in the next three to five years, with 76% meeting planners reporting that they are concerned about cyber security when implementing new technologies into their events.

Matt Harvey, Vice President of Internet Services, PSAV said: “Events are vulnerable to a variety of cyber-attacks that can occur both prior to and during an event so organisations will need to take a holistic approach to security that addresses each type of threat. Event software developers, venues and Wi-Fi operator partners will be faced with the escalating challenge of improving security without diminishing the ease of use which will be key to the implementation of new digital technologies.”

The report also revealed a dramatic increase (up 8% from 2017 to 85% in 2019) in the number of meetings which are integrating new technology, such as audience participation apps, projection mapping and screen-sharing.

The report also points to the fact that the recent focus on experience creation has continued to grow. Since 2017 the number of meeting planners now responsible for creating memorable meeting experiences has grown by 10%, to 85%. The rise in demand for experience-led meetings is being attributed to an influx of new generations both attending events and also planning them. Younger generations are providing a driving force for change to meeting formats, breakout sessions and teambuilding activities.

Dietary requirements have remained the number one priority in food and beverage for meeting planners in 2019. Of those surveyed, 88% had full confidence that their venues of choice will accommodate special requests in advance of a meeting or event. However, some believe more can be done by venues when it comes to ensuring serving staff are briefed on ingredients and potential allergens, labelling all ingredients for buffet spreads but also creating more exciting dishes for those who have dietary requirements.

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC commented: “IACC is dedicated to setting the agenda for the meetings and events industry when it comes to giving venue operators insights and understanding into how they need to continue to adapt to deliver an outstanding experience for event planners. This year’s report reveals some interesting new trends and shows that trends that have emerged in recent years are continuing to grow. We are seeing more critical analysis of venues and practices before booking events and, especially, a real focus on sustainability and ethical operations. These are areas we expect to continue to develop over the coming years. I am interested to see how venues and companies address the concerns of meeting planners over the next year and what changes we will see in the 2020 report.”

IACC’s Meeting Room of the Future report brings together insights from over 250 meeting planners from five different continents to gain insights from global venue operators, industry experts and suppliers, with the goal of understanding how they are responding to the changing expectations and needs of meeting planners, as identified in the 2019 survey of buyers. 

To download the full report please visit the IACC Meeting Room of the Future website.


PR contacts: davies tanner Tel: +44 (0) 1892 619100

Becca Krug | Hollie Luxford | Andra Miclaus

About IACC

Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realised. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe.  IACC elevates the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive of the best-in-class meeting venues internationally.  IACC membership is a symbol of meeting excellence and exceptional connections amongst the best in the meeting industry.  This exclusiveness makes IACC’s members part of an elite group representing the most innovative, forward-thinking and results-driven meeting venues globally.

All members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics.  IACC includes over 400 member conference venues from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine,  Canada and the United States.

The IACC Mission Statement: "To bring together the brightest industry minds to promote the best meeting venues, which deliver exceptional meeting experiences.  There are meetings... And then there are IACC Meetings".

June 13, 2019
Toronto's Energy on Display for Global Conference of Event Professionals

Meeting Professionals International's World Education Conference showcases Toronto for future meetings and events at a time of unprecedented global exposure

Toronto/CNW/—Toronto is set to showcase itself as a destination for future events when the city hosts Meeting Professionals International's World Education Congress (MPI WEC) beginning this weekend. This signature event auditions Toronto to meeting professionals from around the globe at a time when Toronto is capturing the world's attention thanks to the energy and excitement surrounding the Toronto Raptors and the NBA finals. MPI WEC is taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from June 15-18.

“MPI's World Education Congress is the premier event for meeting and event professionals, with the global events industry experiencing Toronto at a time when the city is having a moment on the world's stage,” said Tara Gordon, Vice President, Business Events at Tourism Toronto. “From the energy buzzing throughout the city to the diversity and sense of welcome Toronto is known for, it's a remarkable time to experience Canada's Downtown and an even better time to host a live audition for future meetings and events.”

Toronto's meetings, conventions and events industry is an economic driver for the city. In 2018, business events generated $565 million for the Toronto regional economy with more than 500,000 delegates from around the world. In 2018, Toronto hosted more international delegates from meetings, conferences and events than any other city in North America, ranking 7th globally – the only North American city in the top 10. Toronto was also named Canada's top convention destination by Cvent in 2018, and is one of the top-ranked meeting destinations in the 2018 Watkins survey of top meeting planners.

“We are very pleased to welcome back MPI's World Education Congress, a convention that brings together leaders in our industry,” said Lorenz Hassenstein, President & CEO at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. “Toronto is a top destination for meetings in North America, and we look forward to showcasing the world-class experience that meeting professionals can expect from our multifaceted facility and city.”

2,500 attendees are expected for MPI's WEC, with the majority of delegates coming from the U.S. The event has an estimated economic impact of $6.1 million with Toronto last hosting the conference in 2002.

“The meetings and events industry is ever-changing and so is Toronto – a city that has transformed since MPI's World Education Congress was last here in 2002,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and chief executive officer at Meeting Professionals International. “MPI is an association for people who bring people together and this year we're hosting our World Education Congress in a city that brings the world together. Toronto provides the perfect backdrop for a conference brimming with inspiring and innovative education, dynamic networking and countless business opportunities for meeting professionals from around the globe.”

About Tourism Toronto
Business Events Toronto is the meetings, conferences and events unit of Tourism Toronto – the official destination marketing organization for the region, “Canada's Downtown” – encompassing Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. With sales and marketing programs in key markets around the world, Tourism Toronto promotes the Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. For more information please visit and

Tourism Toronto gratefully acknowledges the following MPI WEC Host City Partners: the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Business Events Canada, UP Express, BBW Event Staff, Cantrav Services Inc., Niagara Parks and Resiada.

SOURCE Tourism Toronto

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Matt McNama, Corporate Communications Manager, Tourism Toronto, 416-994-2258, 

June 13, 2019
Club Med announces Maria Chung as MICE Business Development Manager of Ontario and Western Canada

TorontoMélanie St-Germain, Manager of Meetings and Events by Club Med, today announced Maria Chung as the new MICE Business Development Manager for Ontario and Western Canada. Maria Chung is joining with more than 25 years of experience in the travel industry.

Involved in several notable hotel openings, including the opening of InterContinental Toronto Yorkville, where she spent 10 years, and introducing the Thompson brand to Canada, Chung has filled several senior positions in Sales and Marketing over her two and a half decades in the industry.

Chung’s vibrant personality, strong sales and interpersonal skills, complemented by her comprehensive knowledge of the local MICE market and depth of hospitality experience, will be key in developing Club Med’s MICE market in Ontario and Western Canada.

“I am excited to join the Club Med family, the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering upscale and friendly resorts worldwide,” said Maria Chung“Club Med is a multicultural company with strong values and commitments, I am proud to be a part of this renowned organization and be one of the ambassadors.”

“Maria’s sales and marketing skills in the tourism industry will be a great asset to expand our business in Ontario and Western Canada, which is a strong lever of growth for our brand, especially with the upcoming Club Med Québec Charlevoix resort opening in Canada in December 2020,” said Mélanie St-Germain, Meetings & Events by Club Med Manager, “We’re happy to have Maria join our Meetings & Events team and are looking forward to the contributions she will bring to the industry.” 

Meetings & Events by Club Med is led by a dedicated team of experts and offers premium group experiences for meetings, incentives, conventions and events. Each experience is tailor-made and offers the perfect balance between work and entertainment. Services include accommodation, open bar, dining, activities, transport and more.

About Club Med
Club Med, founded in 1950, is recognized as the pioneer of the all-inclusive market, offering more than 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Established in 26 countries across five continents, the group employs more than 23,000 employees comprised of 110 varied nationalities. Club Med has had a corporate presence in Canada for over 40 years and employs a staff of more than 50 team members in their Montreal head office.

For more information, visit or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

For more information please contact:
Sheri Clish, rock-it promotions, inc., 416.656.0707 X 122
Holly Wilks, rock-it promotions, inc., 416.656.0707 X 102

June 12, 2019
Fairmont Royal York turns 90 and unveils their grand transformation

Landmark Toronto hotel celebrated with lobby reopening event joined by Mayor of Toronto John Tory

Toronto/CNW/—Fairmont Royal York celebrated its 90th birthday today, surrounded by employees, guests, and members of the community. To commemorate the occasion, the iconic Toronto hotel also unveiled its transformed lobby, designed by Rockwell Group, and new lobby bar.

Hundreds of people crowded the famed lobby for the celebrations, which were inaugurated with entertainment from Big Smoke Brass Band. Present at the grand reveal were Mayor of Toronto, John Tory; Regional Vice President Accor Central Canada and General Manager, Fairmont Royal York, Edwin Frizzell; Project Lead for Royal York, Paul Campbell of ownership group, KingSett Capital; and Partner at Rockwell Group, Greg Keffer.

"Owning and overseeing the repositioning of the Fairmont Royal York, one of Canada's most iconic and enduring properties, is a responsibility we have treated with care, dedication and great respect," said Paul Campbell, Royal York project lead at KingSett Capital, Fairmont Royal York ownership group. "This is much more than just a hotel - it represents much of the history and soul of our great city." 

After the ribbon cutting, the hotel officially unveiled its new lobby and lobby lounge, CLOCKWORK Champagne & Cocktails, as well as REIGN Bar. An additional restaurant and bakery are set to open in the coming days as part of the hotel's complete signature dining experience, REIGN Restaurant + Bar + Bakery.

"A pivotal part of the Fairmont Royal York, CLOCKWORK will honour our legacy with a new statement timepiece," said Edwin Frizzell, regional vice president and general manager, Fairmont Royal York. "Our '90th Anniversary Clock' is dedicated to the people of the city of Toronto, as well as the past, present and future colleagues of Fairmont Royal York who have, for 90 years, been the beating "heart" of our hotel.."

Since opening on June 11th, 1929, Fairmont Royal York has welcomed many heads of state and celebrities and has been host to many historical moments. To honour its past, the hotel commissioned author and historian Dr. Carolyn Harris to help create a self-guided history tour for guests to explore the hotel's public spaces and learn more about its storied past. Looking ahead to the future, the hotel is sponsoring Toronto of the Future – a unique exhibition running from June 25th to July 1st that highlights the real estate and infrastructure projects expected to shape the landscape of the city.

To capture the hotel's legacy and Golden Era roots, Frank Rea of Forget Me Not Flowers designed a stunning floral installation, The Celebration Cake, which will be on display in the hotel lobby for the month of June. In honour of 90 years, Fairmont Royal York also donated 90 room nights to Heritage Toronto, who will disperse them across the city for not-for-profits to raise funds to support their public heritage programming and the work of the over 100  community and volunteer organizations in Toronto.

"I am so thrilled to help celebrate Fairmont Royal York's 90th birthday as they unveil their transformation," said Mayor of Toronto John Tory. "The hotel is truly an icon here in the city of Toronto, and I am excited for it to continue welcoming guests from all over the world to the city for another 90 years."

In addition to the lobby and dining spaces, the hotel also recently launched an entirely new Fairmont Gold offering — its luxury "hotel within a hotel" experience — and will soon reveal updates to its world-renowned meeting and event spaces as part of the property's most extensive restoration project to date. The hotel will also soon reveal its new Legacy Suites, set to open later this summer.

For more information about Fairmont Royal York's transformation, please visit and for its complete dining experiences visit, Follow REIGN and CLOCKWORK on Instagram @REIGNToronto and @CLOCKWORKToronto and Facebook @CLOCKWORKRYH and @REIGNRYH  

For nearly 90 years, Fairmont Royal York has stood proudly as a Toronto landmark, presiding over the block opposite Union Station – a love letter in stone to the heart of the city. It began its life as The Royal York, the tallest building in the British Commonwealth, soaring nearly 400 ft. and 28 storeys above the street level. A dominant feature on the skyline, the building contained 1,048 rooms, and included a concert hall, library, extensive bakery, radio station, ballrooms, restaurants, even a hospital. Little wonder it was called a city within a city – as it still is today. Today, this essential downtown landmark is in the midst of a grand/notable/magnificent transformation, reimagining its lobby experience, rooms, dining venues, event spaces, and Fairmont Gold – the property's exclusive boutique luxury experience. Another stunning chapter for Toronto's eternal, essential landmark is about to begin. See our future here.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is where occasions are celebrated and history is made. Landmark hotels with unrivalled presence, authentic experiences and unforgettable moments have attracted visitors to Fairmont and its destinations since 1907. The Plaza in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai are but a few of these iconic luxury hotels, forever linked to the special places where they reside. Famous for its engaging service, grand public spaces, locally inspired cuisine and celebrated bars and lounges, Fairmont promises a special brand of thoughtful luxury that will be remembered long after any visit. With a worldwide portfolio of more than 75 hotels, Fairmont also takes great pride in its deep community roots and leadership in sustainability. Fairmont is part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique and meaningful experiences in 4,800 hotels, resorts, and residences across 100 countries. |

About Rockwell Group
Based in New York with a satellite office in Madrid, Rockwell Group is an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm that emphasizes innovation and thought leadership in every project.  Founded by David Rockwell, FAIA, and led by David and partners Shawn Sullivan and Greg Keffer, the 250-person firm merges theater, performance and architecture to create extraordinary experiences and built environments across the globe. Projects include Union Square Cafe (New York); Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide; Warner Music Group (Los Angeles); W Hotels (New York, Nashville, Paris, Madrid, Suzhou, Singapore and Vieques); The Shed (Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect); the restoration of the Hayes Theater for Second Stage (New York); NeueHouse (New York and Hollywood); TED Theater (Vancouver); and set designs for She Loves Me, Kinky Boots, and the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. Honors and recognition include 2016 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Scenic Design for She Loves Me; the AIANY President's Award; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; and the Presidential Design Award. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Fairmont Royal York

June 06, 2019
SITE Global Conference Confirmed for Dublin, Ireland, 4-7 February 2021

Following a meeting of its International Board of Directors at the magnificent The Resort at Pelican Hill, SITE is delighted to announce that its Global Conference 2021 will take place in Dublin, Ireland from 4-7 February 2021.

Following a competitive RFP process with seven interested destinations, the Board selected Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Meet in Ireland’ bid for a “comprehensive, wide ranging submission that plays on the narrative of Dublin as ‘our village’, offering an intimate, deep, motivational experience on a backdrop of world-class hotels and venues, great global access and immense socio-cultural appeal”. 

Commenting on the Board’s selection, Philip Eidsvold, CIS, CITP, President, SITE 2019 and VP Strategic Alliances, One10 said: “While we received several strong submissions to host Global Conference in 2021, Meet in Ireland’s proposal was distinguished by a combination of powerful logistical considerations such as Dublin’s remarkable accessibility and a true sense of partnership with the entire destination working together as a single unit in support of the bid.”

Welcoming the news Ciara Gallagher, CIS, Manager at Fáilte Ireland and lead for the Meet in Ireland submission, said, “We’re delighted to welcome SITE back to Ireland. There has always been a close relationship between Ireland and SITE going right back to the Society’s foundation in 1973 when Anne Wold Graham, an employee at the Irish Tourist Board in New York, became SITE’s first president. This was a true pan-destination submission and our entire local team is looking forward to co-creating with SITE a truly unique Global Conference with Dublin as your village”. 

Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, CEO of SITE noted, “SITE Ireland has become our biggest chapter outside of North America with over 120 members. With established chapters in nearby Scotland and Great Britain, resurgent chapters in Germany, Benelux, Spain and Italy and other new European chapters coming on line soon, we’re looking forward to a Global Conference in Dublin in February 2021 with a distinctive European flavour and feel”

SITE Global Conference 2020 will take place in Vancouver, Canada from 24 – 27 January 2020. Visit our SITE Global Conference 2020 website for further details and to express your interest in attending.

About Fáilte Ireland
Fáilte Ireland is the National Tourism Development Authority for Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s role is to support the Irish tourism industry and work to sustain Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination.

About Meet in Ireland
Meet In Ireland is the official Business Tourism brand for the Island of Ireland. Owned and managed by Fáilte Ireland, it facilitates a partnership with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland to promote Ireland as a world class destination for Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events.

About Incentive Travel & SITE
Incentive Travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the Business Events industry with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain. Accounting for about 7% of all Business Events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2018) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $75 billion globally. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only Business Events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. We bring value to our members at both global and local chapter level by networking, on-line resources, education, certification and advocacy. SITE Foundation was established by SITE to support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry. Monies raised by the SITE Foundation help us make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities. The SITE Foundation is a registered charity holding a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization status.

June 05, 2019
Seneca faculty member honoured at the ILEA Toronto Gala

Seneca Event Management – Event & Exhibit Design program co-ordinator John Macbride was honoured with the Leslee Bell Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Live Event Association (ILEA) Toronto Chapter at their gala this week at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

Leslee Bell, who is a Canadian icon and pioneer in the event industry, and an inspiration for Macbride, was on hand to present the award.

ILEA is dedicated to the evolution of the special event industry and its professionals. Each year the lifetime achievement award honours the accomplishments of an ILEA Toronto member who has demonstrated a commitment to the chapter and the industry.

June 04, 2019
Business Travel Managers Share Challenges and Opportunities for Traveller Adoption of Online Booking Platforms

• Companies with high frequency travellers see a growing need for a single online booking tool (OBT) platform

• Customisation, education and surpassing a consumer-grade experience are important to improving OBT adoption

While 92 percent of travel managers say they have already adopted online booking tools, there is a growing need among businesses to create a more efficient and streamlined booking process. According to “Booking Tools and Technologies: One Size Does Not Fit All”, the new global survey of corporate travel buyers from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), underwritten by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), 80 percent of respondents say it’s important that all channels are integrated into one platform.

A large majority (81 percent) of respondents say they have a mandate in place requiring travellers to book travel through company tools and platforms, with 5 percent admitting adoption is currently lower than 10 percent. This indicates that, despite corporate policies, there are still real challenges and a need for ongoing education when it comes to user adoption.

Education to drive adoption

Low rates of employee adoption may be due to a lack of internal education on how to use the tools. Less than half (47 percent) of respondents communicate regularly with employees about their booking tools. Perhaps even more surprisingly, 8 percent of travel managers surveyed say their organisation has never communicated with employees about booking tools – not even during the onboarding process.

Correcting misinformation among employees

Employees might not understand the true value of using OBTs to book corporate travel, resulting in lower rates of compliance. Thirty-nine percent of travel managers say the primary reason employees aren’t booking through a company’s OBT is that travellers believe they can get a better price and save money elsewhere.

Shifting expectations

Individuals are increasingly using highly integrated platforms and technologies for online and mobile shopping, which furthers the expectation that OBTs should have the same user-friendly functionality. Only 11 percent of respondents state that chat and instant messaging (IM) channels are currently being used to book travel, but more than a third (35 percent) plan to add them as options for travellers in the future. This data reflects a desire to keep pace with consumer retail trends and an opportunity for the industry to strive to surpass them – something travel managers and technology providers should consider.

Travel managers who are worried about low rates of OBT adoption expressed concerns about duty of care (56 percent), employees booking outside of company policy (56 percent) and missed opportunities to save money (55 percent).

As every business has different travel-related needs, 90 percent of travel managers say optimising their OBT platform for company policy and preferred options was moderately to extremely important.

“Travel managers should be wary of evolving traveller expectations. The booking experience needs to be highly flexible and should look and feel like it does when they book personal travel,” said Fitzgerald Draper, Director of Research with ACTE. “While customisation and finding the right fit are important facets of a company’s OBT selection, users must also understand the platform’s value and functionality. Travel managers should look for ways to market the selected tool to their travelers, including all the benefits that come with it.”

Evan Konwiser, VP of Marketing and Product Strategy, American Express Global Business Travel, said: “Booking through OBTs is a critical part of the travel experience and should be channel agnostic and ubiquitous wherever a traveller wants to be. For a travel program to work, companies need to implement tools that are intuitive and delightful to use, while deploying a marketing toolkit to reinforce why the program is good for them and the business.”

Download the full report here.

About Booking Tools and Technologies: One Size Does Not Fit All

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) polled 202 corporate travel buyers from around the world from 6 March to 15 March 2019 for Booking Tools and Technologies: One Size Does Not Fit All. The study asked travel managers about the preferences and behaviours of their employees to assess how they interact with their organisation’s online booking tools. The research asked questions to assess the state of business travel in 2019, the rise of online booking tools and organisations’ satisfaction with these booking tools and was carried out with support from American Express Global Business Travel. For more information, visit this link or contact

About ACTE Global

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 31-year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, cost-effective and straightforward. ACTE advocacy and initiatives continue to support

impactful changes in safety and security, privacy, duty of care and compliance along with traveller

productivity that supports global commerce.

Learn more at

About American Express Global Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travellers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of 17,000 travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organise meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel,” “American Express Meetings & Events,” “American Express,” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license.

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Association of Corporate Travel Executives

Meghan Warren

Sloane & Company


American Express Global Business Travel

KWT Global (on behalf of American Express Global Business Travel)

(212) 462-1366