Current News

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

Current News

February 21, 2020
Canada experiences third consecutive record-breaking year for tourism in 2019

Vancouver, BC: Today, Destination Canada - Canada’s national marketing organization, recognized a third consecutive record-breaking year with 22.1 million travellers to Canada in 2019 according to Statistics Canada. Tourism plays a significant role in the national economy, generating an estimated $104.9 billion in tourism expenditures in 2019, supporting approximately 1 in 10 jobs in communities across Canada and contributes an estimated $43.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product.

“This record number of arrivals shows once more that tourism is a strong and sustainable sector that benefits businesses and communities, large and small, across Canada,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “By working together, we are inspiring travellers to visit more parts of the country in all four seasons, to experience Canada’s diversity and inclusivity, to taste its culinary delicacies and to discover its Indigenous peoples.”

Destination Canada supports the growth of the visitor economy through data-driven marketing strategies that stimulate international demand and tourism export revenue for Canada in 10 countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the UK and the US. This diversified set of source markets allows for continued growth, even when some regions experience uncertainty.

“It is thanks to the hard work and passion of the millions of Canadians who contribute to this sector that we are experiencing another record-breaking year for tourism. It also reinforces that our Team Canada approach with our industry partners across the country is working and we are increasing Canada’s international competitiveness,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, Chairperson of Destination Canada’s Board of Directors. “Looking to 2020, we will continue to share relevant data, market intelligence and industry analysis with our partners to ensure we are promoting relevant, meaningful content to our audiences. This is especially relevant given uncertainty around the impact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak. We are committed to working with our industry partners to continue inspiring those with glowing hearts to fall in love with Canada.”

In addition to Destination Canada’s marketing efforts, the continued growth in the tourism sector is attributable to a variety of factors such as the Government of Canada maintaining renewed visa requirements for key markets making it easier for more people to travel to Canada. There have also been new flight destinations added and increased service on pre-existing routes to several Canadian airports opening up additional air access.

Key highlights

2019 was the best year for Canadian tourism on record, with arrivals reaching 22.1 million, breaking the 22 million mark for the first time ever.

Overnight arrivals to Canada from countries other than the United States reached an all-time high of 7.15 million (2018: 6.7 million). Overseas tourists typically stay in Canada longer and spend more, helping to achieve Destination Canada’s high-yield strategy.

The United States saw a strong year in air arrivals with 5.1 million (2018: 4.6 million) and a solid rebound in automobile crossings with 8.5 million (2018: 8.2 million). Overall, the US had another record-breaking year with 14.99 million total arrivals.

Mexico once again experienced impressive growth with 495,627 total arrivals, with a particularly notable increase of 12.4% in air arrivals. The Mexican market has continued to grow since changes to visa requirements at the end of 2016, which spurred demand for travel to Canada, prompting airlines to increase air service.

India saw an 9.7% increase in air arrivals helping achieve a new annual record for this market with 333,111 arrivals (2018: 287,416).

Improvements in international air access to Canada helped stimulate travel with non-stop air services adding 2.2% more seats in 2019. 

View the 2019 infographic from Destination Canada’s website.

About Destination Canada:

Destination Canada markets Canada internationally as a premier four-season tourism destination. In collaboration with partners in the Canadian tourism industry, Destination Canada creates marketing campaigns designed to showcase the best our country has to offer. Destination Canada also provides research and industry data to our partners—equipping them to optimize their businesses.

For more information, please visit:, sign up for Destination Canada News and follow @DestinationCAN and @ExploreCanada on Twitter.

For further information, please contact:
Media Relations
Destination Canada

February 20, 2020
Resorts World Las Vegas and Hilton Partner to Introduce New Multi-Brand Las Vegas Resort

Partnership to incorporate the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts brands and Hilton Honors loyalty program into US$4.3 billion integrated resort experience

Las Vegas/CNW/—Resorts World Las Vegas and Hilton (NYSE: HLT) have partnered to bring three of Hilton's premium brands together for the first time when the US$4.3 billion integrated resort, which is currently being developed, opens in summer 2021. The partnership marks Hilton's largest multi-brand deal in company history and will include three Hilton premium brands, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, LXR and Conrad, into Resorts World Las Vegas. The 3,500-room resort will also be part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 18 distinct brands, offering members direct access to instant benefits for guests, including flexible payment options, exclusive member discounts, Digital Key and more.  

With our commitment to redefining the luxury hotel standard in Las Vegas, it was only natural for us to partner with Hilton, a leader in the global hospitality industry," said Scott Sibella, president, Resorts World Las Vegas. "Hilton embodies the values and top-level hospitality that align with Resorts World's priority of bringing an unmatched guest experience to the Las Vegas market."  

"Our strategic partnership with Resorts World Las Vegas underscores Hilton's commitment to expanding our footprint and portfolio of exceptional properties," said Ian Carter, president, global development, architecture, design & construction, Hilton. "This will mark our largest multi-brand deal in company history, and we are excited to work with our new partners to create a distinct hotel experience in an unbeatable location for our future guests and Hilton Honors members."

Together, Resorts World and Hilton are bringing back the essence of The Las Vegas Hilton, once the largest hotel in the world and synonymous with gaming, conventions and entertainment in Las Vegas, with this multi-brand development. As the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand returns to the Strip, Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World will fuse the brand's decades of industry expertise with Resorts World's time-honored traditions and elevated service. This development also includes Hilton's newest luxury brand, LXR, which delivers unrivaled, independent properties, along with Conrad, Hilton's modern and design-forward luxury brand.

Guests will have access to the resort's premier facilities, including a 5,000-capacity state-of-the-art theater which is scalable to host A-list celebrity residencies and corporate events; 350,000 square feet of meeting and convention space; 220,000-square-foot pool complex with seven unique pool experiences; spa and fitness center; extensive collection of casual and fine-dining food and beverage concepts; and more.

Additional details about the project will be announced in the coming months.

Resorts World Las Vegas is being developed by Genting Berhad, which has been registered as a publicly traded corporation by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Resorts World Las Vegas has affiliated integrated resorts in the Americas, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Bahamas. Construction for Resorts World Las Vegas, one of the largest hotel construction sites currently in the U.S., is steadily moving forward with approximately 2,200 construction workers on-site each day at the 88-acre site. The property will be a tech-forward, innovative and inclusive resort which will stand on the pillars of elevated service, harmony, loyalty and luxury. Weaving traditions of Resorts World into the fabric of Las Vegas, the 3,500-room casino-resort will introduce a bold, fresh take on hospitality to the Las Vegas market with exciting new experiences, one-of-a-kind culture and seamless guest service. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Genting Group comprises Genting Berhad (KLSE: GENTING), the holding company, and its listed companies Genting Malaysia Berhad (KLSE: GENM), Genting Plantations Berhad (KLSE: GENP) and Genting Singapore Limited (SGX: G13). Genting Group collectively employs about 56,000 people and is involved in leisure and hospitality, palm oil plantations, power generation, oil and gas, property development, life sciences and biotechnology activities, with operations spanning across the globe, including in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, China, the United States of America, Bahamas and the United Kingdom. Genting Group is a leader in the global gaming and hospitality industry. Founded in 1965, Genting Group has more than 50 years of experience in developing and operating destination resorts in the Americas, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Bahamas, offering an unparalleled resort experience and iconic entertainment attractions to over 50 million visitors a year. For more information, visit

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,100 properties with more than 971,000 rooms, in 119 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world's most hospitable company, Hilton welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2019 World's Best Workplaces list, and was named the 2019 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, more than 103 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy, plus enjoy instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, TwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube

About LXR Hotels & Resorts
LXR Hotels & Resorts is Hilton's luxury collection brand, with each location offering a singular travel experience native to its place, history, and tradition. Found in the world's most alluring destinations, LXR Hotels & Resorts immerse you in truly profound travel experiences. We've connected legendary luxury properties into a network of hotels that are set apart by an unrivaled commitment to personalized attention and luxurious, yet locally immersive experiences for their guests. LXR Hotels & Resorts is part of Hilton, a leading global hospitality company, and each property benefits from the strength of the Hilton Enterprise and its award-winning Hilton Honors program. Visit to learn more.

About Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Spanning five continents with nearly 40 properties, Conrad Hotels & Resorts has created a seamless connection between contemporary design, leading innovation and curated art to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of the globally connected traveler. Conrad is a place where guests can experience service and style on their own terms – all while connecting with local and global culture. Connect with Conrad by booking at or through the Hilton Honors mobile app. Learn more about the brand by visiting, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Hilton Hotels & Resorts has set the benchmark for hospitality around the world, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. With 584 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties are located in the world's most sought-after destinations for guests who know that where they stay matters. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Begin your journey at, and learn more by visiting and following Hilton Hotels & Resorts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Media Contacts:

Emily Roberts
R&R Partners (for Resorts World Las Vegas)
(480) 317-6069

Karla Crockett
LXR Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts
+1 703 883 6857

Colleen Hart
Hilton Hotels & Resorts
+1 703 883 6616 

February 19, 2020
Get Ready to Bring Your 'A' Game: The Rec Room Is Now Open in Winnipeg!

Manitoba's First Location Features Bowling, Amusement Gaming, Live Entertainment and Virtual Reality

Plus, A New Dining Destination With Handcrafted Eats and Local Beer on Tap

Toronto/CNW/Winnipeg is now home to the ultimate new spot for eats and entertainment with the opening of The Rec Room at Seasons. Located off Sterling Lyon Parkway, the new complex spans over 42,000 square feet and offers delicious cuisine, exciting live entertainment, amusement gaming experiences and feature attractions — all under one roof. The Rec Room at Seasons is the first location to open in Manitoba and features a variety of exciting attractions, including six lanes of luxury bowling, bar games like ping pong and pool, as well as the latest in virtual reality experiences from VRstudios.

Great Food

  • Calling all foodies: The Rec Room features multiple dining options with a little something for everyone. The upscale casual dining area, called Three10, features a menu of Insta-worthy shareables and handcrafted dishes. Inspired by our vast and diverse country, it's sure to satisfy every appetite.
  • Prefer to eat while you compete? The quick service dining section, called The Shed, features premium poutines, savoury snacks and handhelds, and a sweet selection of made-to-order funnel cakes.
  • Fancy a drink? The Rec Room features a huge bar where sports fans can choose from 16 draught beer including local options, share a bite and catch the big game on even bigger screens (Go Jets! Go Bombers!)
  • Searching for that perfect social setting? The Rec Room is the ideal spot for private events, with a private dining room for celebrations, meetings, team building, corporate events and parties.

…And Even More Fun

  • This ain't your parent's rec room. The Rec Room at Seasons features a massive attractions area where gamers of all ages can play over 130 amusement games.
  • Looking for the ultimate redemption? Credits earned and tracked on RFID wristbands can be redeemed at The Trophy Case, a store filled with great prizes and nostalgia-inspired treats and toys.
  • Kick it old school with classic favourites like pool and ping pong or lace-up for some friendly competition with six lanes of luxury bowling.
  • Make the great escape. The Rec Room also features the latest in virtual reality experiences from VRstudios, including a VRcade arena and ATOM pods.
  • Care to level-up your social life? Join us in the live performance space for the latest entertainment, including musical acts, comedy, DJs, trivia and karaoke.
  • Got SCENE? The Rec Room guests can earn and redeem SCENE points, Canada's leading entertainment rewards program, on food and fun!

Cineplex currently operates seven other locations of The Rec Room in South Edmonton (AB), West Edmonton (AB), Calgary (AB), Toronto (ON), London (ON), Mississauga (ON) and St. John's (NFLD), and has announced plans for complexes in Burnaby (BC), Barrie (ON), Vancouver (BC) and Montreal (QC). New locations of The Rec Room range in size from 30,000-50,000 square feet, with approximately half of the space devoted to dining and live entertainment and the other half devoted to amusement games and feature attractions. Cineplex also operates Playdium, the reinvented entertainment complex designed for teens, their friends and family, with locations in Brampton (ON) and Whitby (ON). The Company also announced plans to open Playdiums in Dartmouth (NS) and Brossard (QC).

About The Rec Room
The Rec Room is Canada's premier 'Eats & Entertainment' destination that brings together incredible dining, amusement gaming, technology and live entertainment experiences all under one roof. Part of Cineplex, The Rec Room is a premier social destination and the ultimate gathering spot for corporate events, groups and parties.  While each location is customized to the individual community, The Rec Room concept features multiple dining environments and a wide range of entertainment options including a large amusement games area featuring state-of-the-art simulation, feature attractions and redemption games as well as an auditorium-style space perfect for musical acts, bands and comedians. For more information, visit or follow the action on social media through Facebook (@TheRecRoomWinnipeg), Twitter (@TheRecRoomCA) and Instagram (@TheRecRoomCA).

About Cineplex
Cineplex (TSX:CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the Film Entertainment and Content, Amusement and Leisure, and Media sectors. A leading entertainment and media company, Cineplex welcomes over 70 million guests annually through its circuit of theatres and location based entertainment venues across the country. In addition to being Canada's largest and most innovative film exhibitor, Cineplex also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (, food service, alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media), amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group) and an online esports platform for competitive and passionate gamers (WorldGaming Network). Additionally, Cineplex operates location based entertainment complexes specially designed for teens and families (Playdium) as well as Canada's favourite destination for 'Eats & Entertainment' (The Rec Room), and will be opening exciting new sports and entertainment venues across Canada (Topgolf). Cineplex is a joint venture partner in SCENE, Canada's largest entertainment loyalty program.

Proudly recognized as having one of the country's Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Cineplex employs approximately 13,000 people in its offices across Canada and the United States. To learn more visit or download the Cineplex App.

SOURCE Cineplex

For further information: Media Relations contacts: Katie Rankin, Associate, Communications,, 416-323-6684; Sarah Van Lange, Executive Director, Communications,, 416-323-6728 

February 13, 2020
Spa Four Seasons Montreal Earns Forbes Travel Guide 2020 Five-Star Award in its Inaugural Year

Montreal/CNW/—Spa Four Seasons Montreal, located inside the new Four Seasons Hôtel Montréal, has been awarded the Forbes Travel Guide 2020 Five-Star Award in its inaugural year. The spa is the only one in Montreal, Quebec, and one of only two spas in Canada, to obtain Forbes Travel Guide's highest rating. The Award places Spa Four Seasons Montreal in the top 4% of the world's best spas with only 85 Five-Star recognized establishments out of 1898 properties evaluated worldwide.

Spa Four Seasons Montreal has earned an unmatched reputation for intuitive hospitality, expertise, guest recognition, and personalized service with a caring, human touch. Located in the heart of downtown's bustling Golden Square Mile, the spa is an exclusive and intimate haven, where every detail has been conceived to help guests disconnect, de-stress, and be transported into a world of peace and serenity. Its customized treatments stand out for their level of refinement and their use of exclusive products by local and international labels. They include the only Kneipp Hydrotherapy facility with a stone path in Canada, a treatment originally developed as a water cure in the 19th century by German monk, Sebastien Kneipp, involving a natural reflexology walk over polished stones to massage acupressure points on the foot, and an interplay of hot and cold water on the skin.

"We are extremely proud to receive this prestigious Award in our opening year. A mere 1% of Forbes Travel Guide rated spas can attest to being a new Five-Star entry in 2020," stated David Wilkie, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Montreal. "The achievement is a remarkable testament to the dedication and exceptional level of service provided by our team to Four Seasons travellers and Montrealers alike. We are delighted that this recognition will contribute to Montreal's emergence and growth as a global luxury destination."

Designed with the lifestyle of its discerning guests in mind, Spa Four Seasons Montreal is a cocoon of wellbeing. Its eight luxurious treatment rooms showcase raffia walls and whitewashed wood panels and a VIP suite for couples with its own private entrance. Soothing soft colors, organic materials, oasis waterfalls, and beckoning furniture enrich its main environment. Its distinct pre and post-treatments areas include an interior sky-lit swimming pool and a modern steam room and sauna space.

See more about the luxurious features of Spa Four Seasons Montreal here:

Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. Its anonymous professional inspectors evaluate properties based on up to 900 objective standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, to help travelers select the world's best luxury experiences. The only way to get a Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended rating is by earning it through the independent inspection process.

To view the full Star Ratings for 2020, visit

For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star Ratings, click here.

About Four Seasons Hotel Montreal
The 169-room Four Seasons Hotel Montreal is located downtown in the city's Golden Mile Square, connected to luxury retailer Holt Renfrew Ogilvy.  Just ten minutes by foot from the Bell Centre, five minutes by car from the train station and twenty minutes from the airport, Four Seasons is ideally located for international visitors, regional weekenders and business travellers.  In addition to MARCUS restaurant and lounge, by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, the Hotel offers an intimate spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre, a skylit indoor pool and a stunning fifth floor ballroom with outdoor terrace. Architects of Four Seasons Hotel Montreal are Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture, both of Montreal; Hotel interiors are by Paris based Gilles & Boissier in collaboration with Philip Hazan, with restaurant and lounge by Montreal firm Atelier Zébulon Perron. An exclusive community of 18 Four Seasons Private Residences is also located in the same building, with interiors by Montreal-based architect and designer Philip Hazan.


Spa Four Seasons Montreal
Press Room:

SOURCE Four Seasons Hotel Montreal

For further information: Marlène Joubert, Director of Public Relations,, +1-438-221-1253

February 12, 2020
Flair Airlines Expands East: Bringing Eastern and Atlantic Canada Jet Service and Competitive Airfares

Canada’s only independently owned low-cost carrier, Flair Airlines, adds new flights to Ottawa, Saint John, Charlottetown and returns to Halifax

Edmonton, AB—Flair is excited to announce its 2020 summer schedule which will expand service into Eastern and Atlantic Canada starting May 2020.  New destinations will include Ottawa, ON; Saint John, NB, Charlottetown, PEI; as well as a returning service to Halifax, NS.

Sarah Riches, Director of Commercial for Flair Airlines states: “Our Mission is to make air travel accessible, affordable and desirable for all. Eastern and Atlantic Canada have long been plagued by high airfares and undesirable service. Simply put, they have been paying too much for too little and we believe its time for change.”  Jim Scott, CEO of Flair Airlines reports, “We are committed to connecting more Canadians with their families and friends across the country. Our expanded routes into Ottawa and the Atlantic Maritimes are exciting and displays the need Canadians have for affordable air travel.  Having flown nearly one million passengers in 2019 and with plans to fly 1.5 million in 2020, we are proud to be expanding our reach further across the country.”

Passengers aren’t the only ones excited for Flair to start service in their hometowns. Airports were also quick to welcome and offer their support. “Airlines like Flair have changed the aviation landscape worldwide by delivering lower-cost unbundled fares” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “Every passenger has the choice to pay for the options they value, such as seat assignments, checked bags, as well as in-flight food and beverage. Flair Airlines is a welcome addition to YOW’s offering.”

Saint John Airport President and CEO, Derrick Stanford, expressed similar excitement. “We’re delighted that Flair Airlines has selected Saint John as their exclusive New Brunswick destination. We’re dedicated to finding Saint John travellers the best possible value and options, and with Flair’s unique pricing model almost anyone can afford to fly.”

At the heart of Flair’s new markets is a commitment to support local communities and businesses.  From promoting tourism to placing local food and beverage product on board, Flair strives to contribute to the economic growth of the communities it serves.

“It’s exciting to see Flair return to Halifax Stanfield this summer, providing our passengers with even more choice for travel between Ontario and Nova Scotia,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “The addition of Ottawa as a second destination will complement Flair’s service between Halifax and the Toronto area over the past two years. We know their service offering is appealing to people of all ages and provides a stronger connection between our communities, driving inbound tourism and economic growth – it’s a real win-win.”

Adding Charlottetown to Flair’s route network has also sparked excitement and encouragement. “We are pleased to welcome Flair Airlines as our newest airline partner to Charlottetown,” said Doug Newson, CEO at Charlottetown Airport Authority. “Flair has impressively grown their fleet and route network since their launch in 2017, and we are excited to be a part of this latest expansion into Atlantic Canada.”

In addition to their new Atlantic routes, Flair has also relaunched service between Calgary and Kelowna, a route that passengers voiced their interest in heavily.

To celebrate their new summer schedule and destinations, Flair is offering introductory one-way fares between Toronto and Ottawa starting as low as $59 and fares between Toronto and Saint John for as little as $79 including all taxes and fees (limited seats available for a limited time).

The first new route commences service on April 16 between Calgary and Kelowna, followed by Toronto to Halifax on May 14, Ottawa on June 16, Charlottetown on June 26 and Saint John on June 25.

Details of Flair’s new service:

Service Between

Service Offered

Weekly Frequency

Service Run-Time

Toronto, ON to Halifax, NS

Thursday and Sunday

2 x per week, growing to 6x

May 14th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Toronto, ON to Saint John, NB

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays

4 x per week

June 25th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Toronto, ON to Charlottetown, PEI

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

3 x Week

June 26th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Toronto, ON to Ottawa, ON

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

7 x Week

June 16th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Edmonton, AB to Ottawa, ON

Monday, Thursday and Saturday

3 x Week

June 18th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Calgary, AB to Ottawa, ON

Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

3 x Week

June 17th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Ottawa, ON to Halifax, NS

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

6 x Week

June 17th, 2020 - October 24th, 2020

Calgary, AB to Kelowna, BC

Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

5 x Week

April 16, 2020 - October 24th, 2020


Bookings are now available for the newly announced routes for booking until October 24th, 2020.  Learn more at or connect with Flair on social media @flairairlines

About Flair Airlines

Flair Airlines has pioneered ultra-low-cost travel in Canada. Since launching in 2017 Flair has increased its fleet, route network and flight frequency in record time - now operating over 120 flights per week across Canada. Flair Airlines is focused on key airports and a network that supports seasonal demand.

Flair is on a mission to change the airline industry for the better, providing affordable and accessible air travel for Canadians amidst an industry that has too long been dominated by full-service airlines with high prices. Flair currently offers flights across Canada including Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Saint John, and Charlottetown. For more details visit

February 11, 2020
Communiqué Incentives Inc. announces new President and purchase by Watt International

Toronto, ON—Communiqué Incentives Inc. is delighted to announce their acquisition by Watt International. The sale brings together Communiqué Incentives Inc., a full-service event management agency and Watt International, a world-class integrated retail agency. The partnership will allow both companies to expand their offerings for their customers and push the boundaries in a competitive marketplace.

In a strategic move, Ardith Freethy and her team of advisors have appointed Lindsay Rudyk as President. This new role marks Lindsay’s return to Communiqué where she previously spent six years. Most recently, Lindsay led an events team with global reach for a Fortune 500 company and is excited to bring her breadth of knowledge and experience back to Communiqué. Rudyk is excited about the future “under our new partnership with Watt, we can take our legacy of building engaging and memorable programs to the next level. Together, we will be best-in-class in bringing great ideas to life.” Former owner and president of Communiqué Incentives Inc., Ardith Freethy, has been the powerhouse behind the brand for the past three decades. Her decision to take a step back coincides with her upcoming plans for retirement.

Communiqué and Watt International share a common vision of delivering remarkable end-user experiences and their union will allow them to build their bench strength. Communiqué Incentives Inc. has a 37-year history in delivering live events, incentive programs, business meetings, tradeshows and conferences. Watt has a 53-year legacy of building shopper-focused retail experiences that lead their categories and deliver business success. Vince Guzzi, Managing Partner of Watt International, summarizes the news saying “We are beyond thrilled to see thi spartnership come to life. We’ll continue to offer even more compelling end-to-end solutions to our clients, building from solid strategies and framed in customer-centric experiences.”

About Communique Incentives Inc. (
Communiqué Incentives Inc. is a full-service event management agency founded on the simple but fundamental mandate–to innovate, explore and inspire. With over 35 years’ experience planning dynamic events, innovative incentive programs, and meetings that inspire, we explore ideas and the world over to create programs that will move people physically and emotionally. At Communiqué ideas are brought to life.

About Watt International (
Watt is an integrated retail agency, with over fifty years’ experience working in over forty countries around the world. With a unique business model that integrates world-class consulting with inspired creativity, Watt leads its industry in uncovering the most meaningful insights, setting the right strategies, and delivering results-oriented creative solutions across every brand touchpoint.

Media Contact

Communiqué Incentives Inc.
Janet Bursey, Director of Business Administration
NEW ADDRESS (May 4, 2020)-590 King Street W.,Toronto

Watt International
Sabina Azizli, Marketing Manager

February 07, 2020
Meetings Mean Business Canada Advocates for Business Events at Lobby Days 2020

The Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) Board continued its mission to advocate the importance of business events to the Canadian economy, by travelling to Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Lobby Days 2020 held February 3rd and 4th.

This prestigious and important event was led by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC).MMBC Chair Clark Grue, Vice Chair Laura Pallotta, Past Chair Heidi Welker and coalition supporter and TIAC board member Nina Kessler, all attended Lobby Days 2020 with the prime purpose to continue promoting and advocating the importance of meetings and business events to the Canadian economy.

Grue, Pallotta, Welker and Kessler participated in a number of one-to-one meetings with various Ministers to talk about the economic and social value of business events in Canada. They also attended presentations by Destination Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Frontier Duty Free Association and Tourism HR Canada to learn more about their 2020 mandates.

In addition to the one-to-one meetings with MPs, MMBC Chair, Clark Grue presented the importance of meetings and business events during a TIAC Board of Directors and stakeholders luncheon.

Speaking about the success of being involved in “Hill Days”, Grue commented, “we had a great few days in Ottawa. We were also delighted that the Honourable Minister Joly, Minister of Economic Development (including Tourism) and Official Languages, as well as multiple cross-party MPs, attended the Hill Day reception as well as the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus presentation.  Considering that business travellers contribute four times the spend than that of a leisure traveller and that meetings stimulate over one-third of tourism in Canada, everyone we spoke with received the message that meetings and business events are an enormous opportunity for the Canadian economy and communities.”

A recent Global Economic Impact Study sited that in 2017, business events accounted for $33 billion direct spending, $19.4 direct GDP generated and accounted for 229,000 direct jobs.

To learn more about MMBC, visit

About Meetings Mean Business Canada

Meetings Mean Business is the single advocacy voice of the meetings industry in Canada. Our key focus is to communicate the importance of these business events to stakeholders across the country in order to promote investment to ensure our industry prospers. Through our relationship with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), we communicate the economic and social value of face-to-face meetings and business events to elected officials at all levels of government. This is intended to assist our leaders in government as they shape policy and legislation to grow the industry across Canada.

For more information:

February 07, 2020
WestJet announces 90 new and expanded travel opportunities from Calgary this summer

Calgary's hometown airline continues to invest in convenient and unique travel options

CalgaryCNW/—Today, WestJet announced its summer schedule featuring more than 90 new flights from Calgary including new non-stop WestJet Link service to Dawson Creek, B.C.

"WestJet is focused on investing in Alberta to build and strengthen our Calgary hub," said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. "As WestJet continues on its strategic path of becoming a global network airline, we are pleased to offer our guests the ability to conveniently connect for business or pleasure across Canada, Europe and beyond this summer."

With today's announcement of the new service between Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C., WestJet Link will operate five routes including between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and one between Cranbrook and Vancouver this summer. WestJet Link operations between Calgary and Prince George, B.C., will shift to year-round service on WestJet Encore's 78-seat Q400 aircraft effective April 26.

In addition, beginning May 14, 2020 WestJet will begin new service between Calgary and Boston. WestJet is offering guests convenient flight times between its extensive hub out of Calgary and the capital of Massachusetts. 

WestJet also recently announced new four-times weekly service between Calgary and Charlottetown starting June 25, 2020.

The schedule also highlights frequency increases from Calgary to popular destinations including Portland, Ore., Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Brandon, Winnipeg, Abbotsford and Yellowknife.

"WestJet continues to invest in YYC Calgary International Airport as its home base and expansion focus. It is Calgary's largest carrier and we are committed to facilitating their growth. These additional flights will serve more guests bound for more destinations, delivering recreational and business opportunities for our region," said Bob Sartor, President and CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority.

Highlights of WestJet's 2020 summer schedule include:
Calgary-Dawson Creek, B.C., new daily WestJet Link service begins April 26, 2020
Calgary-Winnipeg, an increase of seven weekly flights
Calgary-Victoria, an increase of seven weekly flights
Calgary-Nanaimo, an increase of seven weekly flights
Calgary-Grand Prairie, an increase of seven weekly flights
Calgary-Abbotsford, an increase of five weekly flights
Calgary-Fort McMurray, an increase of five weekly flights
Calgary-Comox, an increase of four weekly flights
Calgary-Brandon, from seven times weekly to 11 times weekly
Calgary-Yellowknife, from twelve times weekly to 14 times weekly
Calgary-Charlottetown, new four-times weekly seasonal service begins June 25, 2020

Calgary-Portland, from once daily to twice daily for a total of 14 weekly flights
Calgary-Boston, new daily seasonal service begins May 14, 2020

Calgary-Paris, from four-times weekly to six-times weekly
Calgary-Rome, new three-times weekly service begins May 2, 2020
Calgary-Cabo San Lucas, from twice-weekly to three-times weekly

The airline has added more than 300 Dreamliner departures out of Calgary in 2020, an increase of more than 52 per cent over 2019, to key transatlantic Dreamliner routes. The flights are uniquely and conveniently timed in the interest of Albertans and western Canadians with late-day departures and daytime arrivals to suit guests travelling to Europe. 

Dawson Creek is WestJet's 72nd destination out of Calgary, WestJet's home and largest hub. By June 2020, the airline will operate more than 1000 flights per week in peak season out of Calgary International Airport. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

About WestJet 
Together with WestJet's regional airlines, WestJet Encore and WestJet Link, we offer scheduled service to more than 110 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 250 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines. 

WestJet is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as Best Airline in Canada (2017-19) and awarded among travellers' favourite Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (2019). From 2017-2018, WestJet was also awarded among travellers' favourite Mid-Sized and Low-Cost Airlines in North America. The airline was also recognized among the Economy Class winners in North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook. 

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit

Recent recognition includes: 
2019 Swoop - Start-up Airline of the Year (CAPA 2019 Aviation Awards for Excellence)  
2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 
2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 
2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty) 
2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada) 
2018/2017 Winner Among Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 
2018 Winner – Economy, North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 
2018 North America's Best Low-Cost Airline (Skytrax) 
2018/2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria) 

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at 
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Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at 
Read the WestJet blog at 

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership 

WestJet's summer schedule features more than 90 new flights and 300 Dreamliner departures from Calgary. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

For further information: Media contacts: To contact WestJet media relations, please email 

February 06, 2020
Meeting Encore Ltd. Expands Coast to Coast

Port Hope, ON - Meeting Encore Ltd. is pleased to announce that Carol Brown Penney has joined the Meeting Encore team as our first Atlantic Canada Regional Director.

With over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry, Carol has worked within the Operations and Sales departments at Fairmont and Intercontinental Hotels Group, as well as other independent properties. During this time Carol has been an active member of Meeting Professionals International and the Canadian Society of Association Executives.

Carol has had the privilege of working with many clients that she can now call friends. “Being able to help a client execute an amazing program for the delegates has been the most rewarding aspect of my career,” states Carol. She looks forward to continuing to help her clients with their event needs and building on these connections with the Meeting Encore team.

“We are proud to continually grow our team and surround ourselves with professionals that have such extensive industry experience. We know how well-respected Carol is in the industry and that makes her a natural fit for the Meeting Encore team." say Joe and Jenn, Managing Partners.

Carol enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, and relaxing with a glass of wine on a sunny afternoon with her husband Terry and puppy Molly. She is working towards being a proper artisan cheese and ice cream maker and loves to host people at home.

We hope you join us in welcoming Carol to our family and wish her all the best in her new role! Carol can be reached at

Meeting Encore Ltd. is Canada’s first and finest strategic sourcing company. They provide hotel consulting, site location services and contracting for their valued clients. They are happy to be celebrating their 30th year in business. They can be reached at 905-403-9646, contacted via their website at or followed on Twitter at @Meeting_Encore.

January 30, 2020
SITE Breaks Attendance Record with More than 640 at its Global Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A record-breaking 640 incentive travel professionals from 42 countries came together for the Society for Incentive & Travel Excellence (SITE) Global Conference at the JW Parq & DOUGLAS Autograph Collection in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, January 24-27, 2020. 

SITE’s 2020 President Jenn Glynn, CIS, CITP, Managing Partner Meeting Encore, was delighted with the success of the first SITE meeting under her leadership:

“Limitless was the theme of this year’s conference and I couldn’t be prouder of the limits we pushed with the event design. Tahira Endean, SITE’s Head of Events, had a vision to create a festival experience, which allowed for a higher level of engagement for our attendees. The energy and emotion that was felt from the main stage to the dialogue dens and through our immersive destination experiences all helped to create lasting memories.”

First time attendees to seasoned veterans of SITE were impressed by the education and networking opportunities this conference afforded: 

“As a first-time attendee to the SITE Global Conference I was so impressed by the varied topics of education. From the keynote speakers to the informative breakouts, there was something for everyone. Time to collaborate with fellow chapter leaders was priceless. I also loved the focus on overall health and mental well-being. Education, experiences and most of all connections and reconnections with those in the Incentive industry was the return on the time invested,” said Mary Clare Darland, CIS, CITP, Director, Sourcing, Maritz Travel – A Maritz Global Events Company.

Legacy SITE member Joost de Meyer, CIS, CITP, Chairman & CEO, First Incentive Travel, added: “This is the best SITE conference I’ve attended in my 20 years of SITE. Everything was so well organized and there was so much energy in every educational session.”

Educational input ranged from highly personal sessions on self-care with tips for weight loss and support for depression and loss to more traditional career building sessions on Designing and Innovating Incentive Travel Programs and 7 Deadly Sins of a Proposal. During the conference attendees could avail of mental health breaks at the Restoration Lounge sponsored by InHouse Physicians and participate in morning 5k runs, yoga and SoulCycle classes. Cultural breaks included a tour of the murals of the city and a visit to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, among other tours.

Keynotes included a talk by Joost Rigter, who became blind in his 20s. He had the entire audience don blindfolds to experience life out of their comfort zone. New York Times best-selling author Ben Nemtin, challenged everyone with the question (also the title of his book) “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die”, tying into the “Limitless” theme.

The Crystal Awards, sponsored by IMEX Group, were presented during a festive lunch at the conference. Considered the highest honor in the incentive travel industry, the awards recognize creative, practical and truly memorable incentive programs. 

Technology was front and center as more than 7,000 people watched SITE’s Facebook live programming this week, as well.

“SITE Global Conference in Vancouver has been record-setting across so many metrics most notably attendance at 640 attendees, our biggest ever event by far. We also delivered 40 distinct educational sessions across four different stages, creating a truly festival feel. Following on from last year’s Bangkok Manifesto we developed the Vancouver Manifesto, moving from aspiration to action and setting out an agreed set of deliverables for 2020,” said Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, SITE’s Chief Excellence Officer.

Paul Mockler, Head of Meet in Ireland and Convention Bureaux of Ireland, host of the final lunch of smoked salmon and Irish lamb stew, made the big reveal: Dublin will be the host of the SITE Global Conference February 3-7, 2021.

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) non-profit organization status.