Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

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Current News

October 17, 2019
Corporate Cards Continue to Lead Travel Programmes, Though Virtual Payments Are on the Rise

Alexandria, Va.—According to new research from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), developed in collaboration with Mastercard and the NAPCP (a global professional association serving the commercial card and payments industry), the use of corporate cards for business travel continues to expand globally due the security, efficiency and convenience that both employees and companies derive from their usage. Travel managers also report increased utilisation of virtual cards and single use accounts to help manage spend for infrequent travellers, helping manage a bigger piece of the total corporate travel budget.

The global study conducted by ACTE, Evolving Payments in Corporate Travel, found that when it comes to paying for corporate travel expenses, a majority of organisations (67 percent) continue to use corporate credit cards, with 60 percent saying they are very or extremely satisfied with them. Sixty-three percent say it is their preferred payment method. And while just 15 percent of organisations surveyed use virtual cards or single use accounts for business travel, another 28 percent plan to adopt them in the future.

Why Corporate Cards?
Traveller and travel managers’ need for simplicity underlies the continued leadership of corporate cards. For many travellers, using corporate cards avoids the need to pay for travel costs up front and eliminates onerous reimbursement processes. For companies’ travel management executives, corporate cards allow for better expense tracking and reconciliation, provide transparency into which airlines and lodging their travellers are using, and if travel policies are being followed.

“For many organisations, the adage of ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ applies when it comes to payments,” said Leigh Bochicchio, executive director, ACTE. “The corporate card has long been the gold standard for the industry, and its benefits should not be discounted. The beauty of a corporate card programme is it can be customised based on the needs of the organisation and its culture.”  

Personal Cards Are Not Well Suited for Business Travel
A key payment challenge organisations contend with is employees’ use of personal credit cards. Forty-eight percent of respondents say personal cards are used within their organisations, likely driven by two factors: first, the organisation may not have a formal policy in place prohibiting this; second, travellers are motivated by the appeal of earning cash back rewards, frequent traveller points or other travel benefits like airport lounge access.

However, the drawbacks for the organisation are clear. The use of personal cards offers little or no transparency into spending, inhibits travel managers’ ability to perform their duty of care responsibilities, prevents organisations from imposing reasonable restrictions on cards’ use, and can make it extremely difficult to manage reimbursement and expense reconciliation.

“When organisations’ employees use corporate T&E cards, they’re able to capture enriched data to reconcile expenses, prevent misuse and overspending, and ultimately, negotiate better rates with suppliers,” said Jeff Feuerstein, senior vice president, Global Commercial Product Management at Mastercard. “The cost of employees using their personal cards far outweighs the benefits, so it’s crucial to have clear corporate card usage requirements and to educate employees about why corporate card usage works in both the organisation’s and their favour.”  

There Is a Better Way
While there is a continued preference for corporate cards, the study showed that there are unmet needs for some travellers and travel managers, particularly in areas of controlling or limiting card usage. Managing the spend of those who do not have company-issued cards, like consultants, interview candidates, or infrequent travellers, rose to the top as well.  While not all companies feel as though corporate cards are the answer, they still require an alternative solution to personal cards.

The solution may lie in virtual cards, which offer travellers a single or multi-use account number for corporate travel purchases. These cards offer many of the benefits of corporate cards (e.g., the ability to capture spend data and avoid the use of personal cards) while also solving other challenges. For example, virtual cards allow travel managers to place limits on which merchants travellers can spend at, which categories they can spend on, when in time the funds can be spent, and on budget. Other key benefits of virtual payments include the enhanced data captured for each transaction and the absence of physical cards, which reduces the administrative burden of managing credit limits and monitoring ongoing usage of traditional cards.

“Virtual cards can be a great tool for organisations to add to their payment toolkit,” said Heather Miller, community engagement manager for the NAPCP. “Organisations have found success in using virtual cards as a solution for contract employees, interview candidates and non-frequent travellers. A virtual card offers all the benefits of the traditional card programme, such as data visibility and controls, while creating a better experience for the traveller who does not need to pay out-of-pocket for company expenses. The industry anticipates a growth in the adoption of virtual cards as more organisations start to realise the benefits.” 

The Path Forward
There are clear benefits in utilising each of these company-issued card payment options, yet travel managers have numerous considerations when evaluating their options. The size of their organisation, centralized or de-centralized nature of travel programme management, volume of employee travel, budget limitations, how the organisation utilises data, and tools at their disposal for managing and analysing travel spend all have a strong influence on the types of payments that will work best in any organisation.

Added Bochicchio, “Adopting a new payment method should be approached the same way as any change to a corporate travel programme: Identify what your organisation needs and what’s acceptable within your culture and work closely with your card provider to design and implement the right programme within your company. There is no one ‘right’ way to do things in this industry other than to be nimble and open to new options and technology.”

About Evolving Payments in Corporate Travel
To produce this report, ACTE Global surveyed 290 business travellers and corporate travel managers around the world via a combination of open-ended and multiple-choice questions. The survey was conducted in June 2019. To read the full study, click here.

About ACTE Global
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 30+ 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 www.acte.org.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About the NAPCP
The NAPCP (www.napcp.org) is a membership-based professional association committed to advancing Commercial Card and Payment professionals and industry practices worldwide. Serving a community of almost 20,000, the NAPCP is a respected voice in the industry and an impartial resource for members at all experience levels in the public and private sectors. For two decades, the NAPCP has provided unmatched opportunities for continuing education and peer networking through its conferences, regional forums, webinars, website, virtual demonstrations, newsletters and regular communication. The association sponsors research and publishes timely and relevant white papers, survey results and other documents. The NAPCP also offers the Certified Purchasing Card Professional credential (CPCP).

Media Contacts:

ACTE Global
Meghan Warren
Sloane & Company
mwarren@sloanepr.com
212-446-1897

Mastercard
Alyssa Rosenblatt
alyssa.rosenblatt@mastercard.com
914-249-1564

The NAPCP
Amy Allen
amy_allen@napcp.org
952-546-1880 x5

October 17, 2019
SITE Classic Brings 300 Incentive Travel Professionals to The Bahamas and Raises Over $250,000 for Research and Education

The 13th annual SITE Classic concluded today at Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar with 300 incentive travel professionals in no doubt as to the incentive appeal of The Bahamas despite the recent ravages of Hurricane Dorian. 

For three days attendees connected and built their professional networks, learned career enhancing new skills and discovered the pulse and beating heart of a truly stunning host destination while raising over $250,000 for SITE Foundation projects on research, education and advocacy. 

“We’ve had Baha Mar on our radar for some time now”, said John Iannini, CIS, CITP, President of the SITE Foundation, “so anticipation amongst our attendee community was almost at fever pitch. Hurricane Dorian did cause problems but once it passed, and the health and safety of our attendees was secure, we were determined to be part of the solution by bringing SITE Classic here and channelling the good news that The Bahamas is very much open for business”. 

“Hurricane Dorian was a prime example of how a threat can be turned into an opportunity. We leave The Bahamas personally and deeply enriched as a result of being able to play a small part in the Hurricane Relief program. Our DMC partner in The Bahamas, Cacique International used their unparalleled local connections to create an extensive, meaningful CSR activity where our attendees could get involved and make a difference. We feel privileged to have had this opportunity”, said Anne DiGregory, CITP, Vice President Fundraising and Events. 

Besides a full afternoon of activities in support of hurricane relief on day three of the event, on day two attendees choose from eight options that included an opportunity to take the Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP) designation. Highly popular, too, were destination-specific experiences particularly “flexing with the flock”, an outdoor yoga class in the presence of the graceful pink flamingos. 

From a fundraising perspective SITE Classic was a resounding success with silent and live auctions raising a combined $250,000 + for SITE Foundation. “SITE Classic is our flagship fundraising event. Its success is down to our incredible sponsors who donate amazing bucket-list travel packages and our patrons and supporters who dig deep to buy them! It’s fitting too that we raise money in and through extraordinary travel experiences – that is, of course, the essence of incentive travel”, said Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, CEO of SITE & SITE Foundation. 

SITE Classic 2020 will take place in Seattle from 27 to 30 September 2020. 

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.

October 16, 2019
Major Canadian hotel investment breathes new life into Comfort brand

Revitalization coincides with North American rebrand

Toronto/CNW/—InnVest Hotels and Choice Hotels Canada proudly announce the revitalization of 53 InnVest-owned Comfort Inn properties across Canada with a $100-million investment over the next few years. The investment coincides with a new Comfort brand identity and the recent launch of a new ad campaign which highlights the refresh of the Comfort brand across North America.

The roll-out begins in Winnipeg with the prototype, expected to be complete in early 2020, followed by the complete renovation of the remaining 52 properties including a full modernization of the exterior, expanded breakfast rooms and elevated experience in all 4,127 guestrooms.

Together with 10 new-build Comfort brand hotels planned in the Choice development pipeline for Canada for this year and next, these properties will strengthen and modernize the well-loved brand throughout Canada.

Trusted by both business and leisure travellers for more than 25 years, Comfort hotels in Canada are being updated with new lobbies, guest rooms and a modern brand identity. Choice Hotels Canada and InnVest Hotels collaborated on the partner selection of architecture firm Turner Fleischer for exterior work. Design firm Moncur was selected for interior renovations, which will feature sleek and highly functional guest rooms and lobby spaces.

"This will be a total transformation of one of our flagship hotel brands and we are looking forward to collaborating with InnVest on this exciting national project," said Brian Leon, president of Choice Hotels Canada. "We are confident our guests will embrace the new modern look and feel of our Comfort properties."

The changes don't stop there. The InnVest-owned Comfort hotels are working to reduce their environmental impact: diminishing single-use plastics, introducing hydration stations and providing bulk-sized bathroom amenities for guests—diverting more than 1.5 million miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles from landfills every year.

"At InnVest we believe in doing what is best for our guests, employees and the environment," said Jeff Hyslop, Senior Vice President of Asset Management at InnVest Hotels. "We are thrilled with our partnership with Choice Hotels Canada and are very excited to be working together to elevate our hotels to enhance the guest experience and implement changes that will have true, lasting impact."

The new Choice Hotels multi-media advertising campaign features the tagline "Our Business Is You." The redesigned Comfort hotels and logo take centre stage in the campaign, marking an important milestone as the brand completes a multi-year transformation across North America. The campaign leverages the consumer truth that "business" can be defined broadly—from meeting with clients to planning a family reunion. The campaign will also feature Choice Hotel's diverse portfolio of brands, which includes Sleep Inn, Clarion, and Quality, reinforcing that Choice offers a hotel brand to meet every travellers' needs.

About InnVest
With 81 hotels in its portfolio, representing 14 internationally recognized hotel brands, InnVest is the largest owner of hotels in Canada. In addition, the management team oversees the day-to-day activities of almost 70 hotels, making InnVest the largest operator of hotels in Canada. InnVest's portfolio is geographically diverse with hotels from Vancouver, British Columbia to Corner Brook, Newfoundland -- from roadside inns to luxury urban properties. At InnVest, our mission is simple – to deliver outstanding guest experiences and superior returns on quality hospitality investment.

About Choice Hotels Canada
Choice Hotels Canada® is one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the country with more than 350 properties currently open or under development. The Choice® family of hotel brands provide business and leisure travellers with a range of high-quality lodging options, including limited to full-service hotels in the upscale, mid-scale, extended stay and economy segments. Brands in Canada include Ascend Hotel Collection®, ComfortTM, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge® and Rodeway Inn®. All hotels are independently owned and operated. Choice Hotels Canada® is master franchisee of Choice Hotels International, Inc., which franchises more than 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 570,000 rooms, in over 40 countries and territories as of December 31, 2018. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com.

SOURCE Choice Hotels Canada Inc.

October 16, 2019
Air Canada Updates Schedule Through to February 14, 2020 in Response to Ongoing Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Air Canada said today that it has now removed the Boeing 737 Max from its flying schedule until February 14, 2020. The decision is based on operational considerations for the airline, as it launches a new reservation system beginning next month.

"Today we are extending to February 14, 2020 the removal of the Boeing 737 Max from our operating schedule. We are taking this prudent step as a result of the ongoing regulatory uncertainty about the timing of the aircraft returning to service. The extension will give us scheduling predictability through the implementation of the first phase of our new reservation system and the required stability as we prepare the second phase of the system roll-out, introducing it into the airport environment," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada. "As a result of these and other measures we are taking, including leasing two additional wide-body aircraft through at least the March Break, customers can continue to book with full confidence on Air Canada."

In compliance with a safety notice closing Canadian airspace issued by Transport Canada on March 13, 2019, Air Canada grounded its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Final decisions on returning the 737 MAX to service will be based on Air Canada's safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and approval by international regulatory authorities. 

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Air Canada's public communications may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments relating to preliminary results, guidance, strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions, are subject to important risks and uncertainties and cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including the factors identified in this news release and in Air Canada's public disclosure file available at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Air Canada's expectations as of the date of this news release and are subject to change after such date. However, Air Canada disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities regulations.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving nearly 220 airports on six continents. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2018 served nearly 51 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 62 airports in Canada, 53 in the United States and 101 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 1,250 airports in 195 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, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook.  

SOURCE Air Canada

October 15, 2019
Welcome Jennifer Beatty to Meetings + Conventions Calgary

Meetings + Conventions Calgary (MCC) is pleased to welcome our newest team member, Jennifer Beatty.  Jennifer joined MCC on October 7th as Director of Business Development, International + Ottawa. “I am delighted to be part of the team during these exciting times with the major investments to expand the meeting and convention facilities in Calgary. I am privileged and eager to represent a city I love and one which will be the second-largest convention city in Canada by 2024, ” Jennifer Beatty quotes.

Jennifer brings over fifteen years of extensive industry experience, holding previous senior positions with Tourism Ottawa, Travel Alberta, and, most recently, Resiada Inc. Jennifer is a former President of MPI Ottawa, is the current Chair of the Canadian Council, and sits on the Global Board of trustees for the MPI Foundation. She is also a Director for Meetings Mean Business Canada.

Jennifer will be based in Ottawa and will continue our work in establishing Calgary as Canada’s Ultimate Host City for meetings and conventions for our valued clients in the International and Ottawa markets. Please join us in congratulating Jennifer (JBeatty@meetingscalgary.com) on this exciting new opportunity.

MCC is also happy to announce that Violeta Maniotakis will be directing business development activities in the Western Canada market. Adding a dedicated and experienced resource to focus on the key markets in Western Canada will allow us to spread the exciting news on Calgary’s transformational investments to a much broader audience.

October 15, 2019
Tourism Whistler announces $3.5M Whistler Conference Centre renovation

Whistler, B.C.Tourism Whistler has announced plans for a $3.5 million dollar renovation to the Whistler Conference Centre, the resort’s signature conference facility located in the heart of Whistler Village.

“Recognizing group and conference business is a critical priority for the resort, our Board of Directors has approved this significant renovation to the Whistler Conference Centre to elevate it to a four-star facility,” says Barrett Fisher, president and CEO of Tourism Whistler. “Conference business is the number one strategy for growing Whistler’s shoulder seasons, buoying the resort’s tourism economy with groups who book in advance and fill need periods.”

The Whistler Conference Centre renovation will include design and technical upgrades including lighting, acoustical treatments, floor and wall coverings, furnishings, and artwork, in order to create a contemporary, sophisticated aesthetic that complements Whistler’s natural mountain environment.

“Adding high quality finishes and furnishings to the conference centre’s already iconic features such as the beautiful cathedral ceilings and Rumford rock fireplace, will not only enhance Whistler’s group business opportunities, but will ensure Whistler remains competitive as a world-class meetings and conference destination,” says Karen Goodwin, vice president of destination and market development at Tourism Whistler.

“The Whistler Conference Centre is utilized by a diverse selection of groups, including business from the corporate, incentive and association sectors, which drive 30 per cent of the resort’s total room nights during the spring, summer and fall periods. The conference centre upgrades will not only be beautiful, but practical and functional in design to suit a variety of conference and event needs,” adds Goodwin.

The Whistler Conference Centre will remain closed during the renovation, scheduled to happen during the conference centre’s low winter season beginning in January. The project is expected to be completed by mid-March 2020.

The Whistler Conference Centre offers more than 40,000 square feet of versatile meeting space with the ability to host a wide variety of conferences and events both in size and scope. More information about the Whistler Conference Centre and meeting and conference business in the resort can be found at whistler.com/meetings.

Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.944.7853 and whistler.com - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

October 08, 2019
Tourisme Montréal celebrates 100 years of promoting the city

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Tourisme Montréal marks its 100th anniversary today as it celebrates a century of uniting the city's key tourism stakeholders. The organization was the driving force behind many major projects, including the creation of the Entertainment District and the construction of the Palais des congrès. It has consistently supported Montréal's economic and cultural interests, along with the major international events that have elevated the city's status on the world stage, such as Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympic Games.

On October 8, 1919, the Automobile Club of Canada (the predecessor of CAA-Québec) founded the Tourist Bureau of Montreal with support from the municipal government, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal and several big names in local industry. The mission of the new organization was to promote Montréal and its road network in order to develop tourism. That same year, some 18,105 cars brought tourists into Québec.*

One hundred years later, Montréal welcomes more than 11 million tourists annually from all around the world, bringing in more than $4.5 billion* in tourist spending and supporting 57,000 jobs. Tourism is now one of the most profitable industries in the city.

"This anniversary is an opportunity for us to thank our 1,000 members and everyone who has contributed directly and indirectly to Tourisme Montréal's success in the past century. We're proud of our history and already looking ahead to a bright future for Montréal. I'd also like to thank our employees and board members for their unwavering dedication and hard work," said Yves Lalumière, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.

Following a century of operating as a private, non-profit and fully independent organization, Tourisme Montréal has earned a strong reputation for skillfully promoting Montréal as a destination to leisure and business travellers. As an active community member and innovator, Tourisme Montréal plans to continue developing its role as a promotional agency. It aims to attract 13.5 million visitors per year by 2022, which is two million more than in 2019 and represents and annual increase of 6%.

"Tourisme Montréal plays a crucial role in promoting the destination and helping the Palais attract major conventions," said Robert Mercure, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. "Montréal's success in the business travel market is thanks in large part to the excellent teamwork between our organizations and partners such as the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal and Quebec universities. As Tourisme Montréal marks its 100th anniversary, we're celebrating its widely recognized expertise and highlighting the organization's many achievements, which generate substantial economic benefits for the city and the province as a whole."

Today, Tourisme Montréal's colours are being projected on the Olympic Stadium's tower in recognition of the team working at the Olympic Park. "More than ever, Tourisme Montréal is committed to working closely with its partners and is steadfast in its belief that Montréal is not only the gateway to Quebec, but it is on its way to becoming one of North America's leading tourist destinations," concluded Yves Lalumière.

The annual programming for Tourisme Montréal's 100th anniversary celebrations is made possible by support from the following partners: Aéroports de Montréal (YUL), Air Canada, Casino de Montréal, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal, Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), Palais des congrès de Montréal, the Port of Montréal, lg2 and Salles de Bal Le Windsor.

About Tourisme Montréal
Established in 1919, Tourisme Montréal is a private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. The organization leads innovative tourist welcome strategies with a twofold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a quality experience and maximizing the economic benefits of tourism. Uniting nearly 1000 tourism professionals, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal's tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city's economic, urban and cultural development. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.

* Statistics from the Department of Highways and Mines
* Statistics Canada
Technical data sheet: Tourisme Montréal's Proud History

SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

For further information: and interviews:
Andrée-Anne Pelletier, Manager - Public Relations, Tourisme Montréal, 514-844-3344, 514-248-7844, aapelletier@mtl.org

October 03, 2019
Maritur DMC Mexico joins the Select Group Marketing collection of DMC’s

Toronto, ONIt is with great pleasure and excitement that Select Group Marketing announces our appointment as representative for Maritur DMC Mexico in the Canadian market.

Maritur is a full-service destination management company in with more than 40 years of experience, setting trends in the M&E industry in Mexico. Maritur’s offices are located in key destinations such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Merida, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Acapulco.

Maritur’s Director of Sales, Adriana Aburto, says “we are thrilled to have a solid organization like SGM on the ground in Canada doing the legwork for us and we are looking forward to welcoming many Canadian groups”.

Maritur has won numerous awards for their excellent work in Mexico. Amongst them are SITE Crystal awards and ADMEI 2019 Best Innovative Event Finalist

Select Group Marketing’s President, Jan Zandboer, says “Maritur is a great addition to our portfolio. Mexico has been a solid destination for the Meeting, Incentive and Group markets in Canada already, providing many exciting historic and cultural venues for the meeting and incentive market. Lots of historical sites are available for off property events”.

For over 30 years, Select Group Marketing's specialist knowledge and experience has provided value to meeting, incentive planners and industry partners alike.

Representing 14 Destination Management Companies, SGM continually strives to establish itself as the preferred supplier to buyers and sellers of worldwide products suitable to the Canadian group, meeting and incentive markets.

To learn more about Maritur and/or Select Group Marketing please contact

Jan Zandboer, President
Select Group Marketing
416-322-6018
jan@sgm-canada.com
www.sgm-canada.com

October 02, 2019
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Celebrates 35 Years of Contributing to Toronto’s Success

Toronto, ON—The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) celebrates 35 years of making key social and economic contributions to Toronto and Ontario on October 2, 2019. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the MTCC on October 2, 1984. Since then, the facility has been an important economic driver, a strong supporter of local business, and a place where global experts gather to share ideas, advance their field and make the world a better place.

In 35 years, the MTCC has welcomed over 65 million people from around the world, hosted over 21,000 events and generated an estimated $7.8 billion in direct spending economic impact for Toronto and Ontario. Economic impact is created when conference, trade and public show attendees who reside outside of Toronto spend on dining, hotel nights, shopping, transportation and more in the city.

“We offer the world in one province and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is vital to Ontario’s success in attracting business leaders and welcoming visitors to the City of Toronto,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I commend the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for their continued commitment to the promotion of our region as a business and tourism destination, and for their significant economic impact to the province of Ontario.”

“Over 35 years, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre has played an integral role in elevating Toronto’s global reputation and attracting world-class international meetings to the city –in many cases to Canada for the first time. We are very proud of our record of success in terms of economic and social contributions and we look forward to building on our success for many years to come with the help of our industry partners and exceptional team,” said Lorenz Hassenstein, President and CEO at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Many of the 21,000 events elevated Toronto’s global reputation by shining a spotlight on key sectors, and numerous chose the MTCC as their first Canadian venue. Recent examples include Global Spine Congress (GSC) and Rehab Week. Events hosted have range from high-profile, including the G20 and International Aids Conference, to popular consumer shows, corporate meetings, galas, theatre events, and film and TV shoots.

Aside from economic impact, the MTCC continues to leave a social legacy in Toronto. To date, the centre has donated 340,000 meals to local food rescue organizations, including TDSB’s Student Nutrition Program and the Daily Bread Food Bank. The MTCC has also been a leader in sustainability, which represents a core principle of its business. The facility diverts 90% of its waste from landfill and represents the first convention centre in Canada to offer clean renewable power.

Economic and Social Impact
$7.8 billion created in economic impact.
$2.3 billion in taxes generated.
Over 340,000 meals donated to local organizations and food banks.
90% of waste from events diverted from landfill.

Top Firsts
First convention centre in Canada to offer clean renewable power.
First convention centre in the world to host a G7 and G20 summit.
First convention centre in North America to reduce the C02 emissions during the delivery move-in for trade and public shows.
Many international conventions selected the MTCC as their first Canadian venue.

Watch our 35th anniversary video for more here

About the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada’s number one convention and trade show facility. Over the past 35 years, the Centre has hosted over 21,000 events and has added $7.8 billion in direct spending economic impact to the community. For further information, please visit www.mtccc.com.

Media enquiries:
Melanie Wade, Social Media and Communications Specialist
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
T: (416) 585-8504
E: mwade@mtccc.com

September 24, 2019
Zenus set to disrupt the events industry with facial recognition at GO WEST 2020

Houston, TX—Zenus, a leader in machine intelligence and face recognition solutions for the events industry announces a key partnership with GO WEST 2020. Only in its third year, GO WEST has already become one of the fastest growing, premier events designed by event professionals for event professionals. GO WEST 2020 will be hosted at the Edmonton Convention Centre, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from January 19-21, 2020.

“We are excited to work with GO WEST 2020 and deploy our full suite of solutions,” says Panos Moutafis, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Zenus. “It is one of the most vibrant shows for event organizers from across Canada, USA, and Europe. We cannot wait to attend and exchange forward thinking ideas with hundreds of event professionals.”

“Use of face recognition in events is here,” said Brent Taylor, Executive Producer of GO WEST and President of Timewise Event Management. “Let’s embrace it and have those conversations around privacy and appropriate use. We are thrilled to engage with industry leader Zenus to showcase these technologies to our community of event professionals.”

Attendees will experience a variety of face recognition technologies at GO WEST 2020 and will be able to explore the possibilities for its use. In addition, Dr. Moutafis will address the full assembly from The Main Stage and make himself available for further opportunities to continue the dialogue in breakouts and smaller settings. 

GO WEST 2020 will be hosted at the Edmonton Convention Centre, one of North America’s top performing convention centres. An attendance of 800 event professionals from across the continent and beyond is expected for three days of educational sessions, experiential workshops, social events and a 100-booth exhibition. Visit gowestlive.com for more information on the event.

About Zenus, Inc.: Zenus powers the world's fastest check-in and superhuman event analytics. The company’s award-winning service has been used by hundreds of events in over 30 countries. Event sizes have ranged from a few hundred to tens of thousands of attendees. Zenus implements privacy by design to protect end user information, offer peace of mind, and drastically improve the attendee experience.

About Timewise Event Management Inc.: Timewise has been a leading event management agency since their inception in 1999. It founded and produces the Edmonton Event Awards, Calgary Events Awards and GO WEST, initiatives to bring the events industry together. Their co-owners volunteer globally with Brent Taylor serving on Meeting Professionals International’s International Board of Directors and Arlene Schilke on their Women’s Advisory Board.

To learn more connect with Zenus via email at info@zenus-biometrics.com or Timewise via email at gowest@timewise.biz