Current News

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

COVID-19 Resource Centre

We have compiled a list of sources to help you access the latest information regarding COVID-19. Details and information surrounding COVID-19 are constantly changing. We will continue to monitor the situation and post relevant resources as they come in.


Current News

September 18, 2020
First Look: The New Hilton Quebec
Property Set to Reopen January 2021 Following $70M Renovation

Quebec City - Hilton Quebec is pleased to provide an early reveal of its new look and experience as it embarks on a new era of hospitality.  Nearing the completion of an over $70 million dollar renovation, the hotel is unveiling the first images of its transformation including new contemporary public areas, restaurants, event spaces and re-imagined guest rooms as they will appear when it reopens after a one year closure, January 2021.

The Hilton Quebec is one of the pre-eminent hotels in Quebec City and will have been completely re-defined as we welcome our first returning guests in January 2021.  This renovation represents the most significant investment the property has experienced as confirmed by the hotel owner, the Canadian company Innvest Hotels.   “It is with great excitement that we are rapidly approaching the re-opening of property, our investment in the Hilton Quebec highlights our continued support of this amazing hotel, their team and our confidence in the Quebec City market” says James Wolfe, Vice President Asset Management of InnVest Hotels.

"We look forward to reopening our doors and welcoming back guests, our team members and the community,” said Jean-François Lincourt, General Manager of the Hilton Quebec. “Inspired by the beautiful city of Quebec, our guest rooms and public spaces are designed to perfectly meet the needs of today's traveler, while offering an authentic Quebec local experience .”

Guests of Hilton Quebec will enjoy new rooms with a modern, elegant and warm look, showcasing one of the property’s main assets: its breathtaking views.

Each room offers an incomparable view of Old Quebec, the Plaines of Abraham, the St-Lawrence river and the Laurentian mountains.

The building's infrastructure is undergoing a major makeover, including the exterior cladding that changes from concrete to a lighter and more durable aluminum. A prominent figure in the Quebec City landscape, the hotel will keep the same exterior appearance.
The iconic Hilton Quebec lobby, restaurant and ballroom are also undergoing a renovation that will give visitors and business delegates an impression of grandeur, warmth and authenticity. Renowned chef Simon Renaud, continues to lead the property’s food and beverage team and  is cooking up a completely new culinary experience featuring the richness of the local terroir and its seasons.

With a major investment in its digital infrastructure, Hilton Quebec will be ready to meet the needs of today's customers, particularly by hosting events in a hybrid format, for both on-site and remote participants.
Guests will have peace of mind when visiting the property with Hilton’s new program, Hilton CleanStay, which delivers an industry-leading standard of cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties across the world. New elevated processes and Team Member training have been developed with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol, to help Hilton Quebec guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer stay from check-in to checkout. New standards for Hilton CleanStay include a Hilton CleanStay Room Seal to indicate that a room has not been accessed since being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, “knock and go” dropped-off room service, contactless check-in, extra disinfection on the most frequently touched spots in-room, and flexible housekeeping options.

Hilton Quebec is committed to creating event experiences that are clean, flexible, safe and socially responsible. Hilton EventReady with CleanStay provides curated solutions with creative food and beverage, thoughtful technology resources, elevated standards and practices with redesigned spaces for physical distancing, and reimagined ways to meet and gather to create a safe and comfortable environment for event planners and their attendees.

View renderings >

Video >

Virtual visit >

About Hilton Quebec
A 4-star getaway located in the heart of it all! Located steps away from Old Quebec and the main tourist attractions, Hilton Québec is well-known for its impeccable service and exceptional location. Each of the 569 rooms offers spectacular views. With the heated outdoor pool open year round, the 24h gym and a new restaurant, Hilton Quebec really is sure to please.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,200 properties with more than 983,000 rooms, in 118 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. In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection to hotels worldwide. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the 108 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, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
About InnVest Hotels
InnVest Hotels is a private company that holds one of Canada’s largest hotel portfolios together with a 50% interest in Choice Hotels Canada Inc., one of the largest franchisors of hotels in Canada. InnVest’s portfolio currently comprises 80 hotel properties, with over 10,500 rooms, operated under internationally recognized franchise brands like Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Delta, Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn. The organization has 15 hotels across the Province of Quebec. The portfolio is well diversified across hotel accommodation categories, brands, geography and customers. For more information go to
September 18, 2020
IBTM World 2020 Transitions to Virtual

IBTM Events today announces that IBTM World 2020 will transition to being a virtual event this year. This difficult decision has been made in close consultation with partners and is a result of the incredibly unpredictable travel restrictions that continue to be in place across the globe because of COVID-19.

“Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world remains very changeable. Therefore, even though the show is still some months away, we believe we have a responsibility to provide clarity to enable our partners, exhibitors, buyers and visitors to plan for the future,” said David Thompson, Event Director.

David continued: “This has been a difficult decision to take and we are very disappointed that we will not be able to bring the industry together in person in 2020 – the first year since 1988 that IBTM World will not take place as a live event. Our team and our partners in Barcelona have worked incredibly hard on IBTM World and while we are very sorry that the face-to-face event will not take place, we are confident that moving to virtual allows us to still provide a place for the global business events industry to gather and to do business.”

Commenting on the news Christoph Tessmar, Director of Barcelona Convention Bureau, said: “We are very sad that IBTM World will not take place live in Barcelona this year. We all wanted, and indeed hoped that we would be able to get back to meeting face-to-face this year, and I know this has been an incredibly difficult decision for everyone involved. We remain committed and supportive partners of IBTM World and together we very much look forward to hosting the global events industry in Barcelona next year.”

IBTM World Virtual will take place from 8 – 10 December 2020 and will incorporate one-to-one meetings between exhibitors and buyers, as well as a knowledge programme, with a range of targeted education sessions. Exhibitors and buyers will benefit from IBTM’s bespoke appointment system, matchmaking buyer’s business needs with supplier’s services to conduct efficient meetings. Further information on IBTM World Virtual will be released in the coming days.

Shane Hannam, Portfolio Director, commented: “We remain extremely grateful for the understanding and strong support from our partners and customers across our global portfolio throughout this pandemic and sincerely wish everyone a swift return to normal life soon. We are committed to Barcelona as a host city for IBTM World in 2021 and look forward to returning next year to meet with as many customers and partners in person as possible.”

For further information, visit

September 17, 2020
Air Canada to Make Complimentary COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Available to International Travellers

MONTREAL Air Canada today announced that it is including complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical & quarantine insurance for eligible customers booking round-trip international flights. The coverage, available for new bookings made in Canada from September 17 until October 31, 2020, inclusive, provides emergency medical and quarantine insurance designed to give customers added confidence when booking flights and travelling abroad.

"At Air Canada, we know people have personal, family and business reasons to travel. To give them greater confidence as they do so, we have engaged Manulife to offer all Canadian residents complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical & quarantine insurance when they book round-trip flights for travel outside of Canada. Combined with our industry leading airport and onboard biosafety protocols, including Air Canada CleanCare+, and our flexible rebooking policies, customers can be assured that when they book and travel with Air Canada their safety and well-being is our top priority," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

The Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance (the "Plan") is available for new international, round-trip bookings made in Canada between September 17 and October 31, 2020, inclusive, for travel completed by April 12, 2021. If, when abroad, customers test positive for COVID-19, the Plan will provide eligible customers coverage that includes:

  • Up to CDN $200,000 per insured for COVID-19 treatment medical expenses. 
  • Up to CDN $150 per person for quarantine costs (meals + accommodation); Up to CDN $300 per family per day up to a maximum of 14 days. 
  • Up to CDN $500 for expenses related to return home if the advisory from the Canadian government goes from Level 3 to Level 4 while at destination.

The Plan is available to all Canadian residents, subject to eligibility requirements, and is underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company ("Manulife"), Canada's largest provider of travel insurance. It is the most extensive geographical coverage included by a Canadian airline for Canadian residents, covering every international destination Air Canada serves. For full details, including applicable terms and conditions, please see:

Air Canada also recently announced that customers booking with Air Canada Vacations will be offered COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan provided by Allianz at no additional cost designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses if COVID-19 is contracted while travelling. It is available to all eligible customers who book an Air Canada Vacations package for travel by April 30, 2021 to eligible destinations. For details please see

Air Canada has been at the forefront of the airline industry in responding to COVID-19, including being among the first carriers globally to require customer face coverings onboard and the first airline in the Americas to take customers' temperatures prior to boarding. It has introduced a comprehensive program, Air Canada CleanCare+, to apply industry leading biosafety measures at each stage of the journey. As well, to give customers flexibility, it has extended its goodwill policy so that new bookings made up to December 31, 2020 can be changed without fees for original travel up to December 31, 2021.

About Air Canada 

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2019 served over 51 million customers. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. 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:, follow Air Canada on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join Air Canada on Facebook.        

September 17, 2020
Club Med Québec Charlevoix presents new renderings of its meeting spaces

Modern and modular rooms perfect for corporate stays

TORONTO – Club Med presents renderings of its meeting spaces for the future Club Med Québec Charlevoix, the first Club Med resort in Canada and the brand's first four-season mountain resort, which will open its doors December 2021.

Fall inspiration and adjustable spaces
The design concepts for the future resort will be reminiscent of a Quebec patchwork quilt, with different wings drawing inspiration from the characteristics of each season. The corporate spaces will spotlight the quintessential Quebec fall and the bright autumnal colours the region is known for. Tints of amber and notes of red will create a modern and cozy atmosphere and complement the exquisite landscape views visible from the foyer.
The corporate spaces, totaling 432 m², will be divided into adaptable meeting rooms and the foyer. The meeting spaces (350 m²) will be flexible in size and can be separated into three distinct rooms depending on the number of guests. An additional private conference room (25 m²) will be available for smaller breakout meetings. The foyer (82 m²) will be the perfect space for impromptu meetings over coffee, with its beautiful natural light coming in through the large windows.

The concept was developed by Quebec City-based architectural and design firm, Lemay Michaud, also handling the full interior design of the resort. Images can be viewed here.
Contemporary spaces
Club Med Québec Charlevoix’s new accommodation, catering and meeting spaces take inspiration from their local surroundings, with warm interiors that feature the latest amenities and infrastructure. The package for theall-inclusive stay will include accommodation, meals throughout the day, unlimited drinks, ski lift tickets, ski lessons and additional activities.
“We are delighted to present new renderings of the future Club Med Québec Charlevoix. The meeting spaces have been designed to meet the needs and expectations of the corporate market,” says Jacinda Lowry, National Sales Director for Club Med Canada. “The resort’s contemporary and sleek appearance, combined with an exceptional all-inclusive hotel offer, will be a major asset in welcoming corporate groups of all sizes.” 

Safe Together
Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Club Med was one of the first players in the hotel industry to launch a strengthened health and hygiene program to limit the spread of the virus within its establishments. Under Club Med’s Safe Together program, many measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of guests and staff. Among them: wearing masks within groups, hand sanitizer available throughout the Village, deep cleaning and frequent disinfection of surfaces and equipment, social distancing, a limited number of clients, temperature control when clients arrive and periodically during the stay, and doctor or nursing staff available 24/7 in the resort.
As Club Med looks ahead to the launch of Québec Charlevoix in December 2021, it will continue to monitor the situation closely and apply all necessary health & safety measures to its current and future resorts.
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 its Montréal head office.
In December 2021, Club Med will open its new Québec Charlevoix resort, the brand’s first in Canada and the first mountain vacation resort to welcome visitors year-round.
For more information, visit or contact your travel agent. For a behind-the-scenes view, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About Groupe Le Massif
Le Massif de Charlevoix is the brainchild of the Quebec developer Daniel Gauthier, best known for having founded the worldwide phenomenon known as Le Cirque du Soleil, one of Quebec’s greatest cultural exports.
As the site of Club Med’s first mountain location in North America and by virtue of a symbiotic combination of creativity, authenticity, and cultural and social sensitivity, Le Massif de Charlevoix promises bucolic backdrops, inimitable experiences, outstanding gastronomy and renowned service.
Started in 2002, the goal of this tremendous project is to develop sustainable tourism through deeply personal, original and environmental experiences within one of Quebec’s most beloved regions, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1989.

September 04, 2020
UNITE 2020: A Global Virtual Leisure and MICE Trade show

UNITE by Saleint Inc is organizing a Global Virtual Trade Show combining the Leisure and MICE industry on an online platform. The Trade Show is scheduled to start at 0000 hrs Toronto time (EDT) on September 16, 2020 and will be live till 2359 hrs Toronto time (EDT) on September 17, 2020.

One can expect to connect with 34 Exhibitor booths who will showcase more than 39 popular destinations across 5 continents and represent an excess of 45 brands such as Air Canada, Korea Tourism Organization, Six Senses, Club Med, Fiesta Americana, Korean Air, Taj Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and Versace Dubai among several DMC’s and unique hotels. Air Canada is also the Airline Sponsor and Collaborator for UNITE 2020.

The Speaker line-up consists of IGLTA’s Vice Presidents LoAnn Halden and Clark Massad, Six Senses Regional Director of Sales for Bhutan and Thailand - Claudine Triolo, Pink Media’s Matt Skallerud and a panel moderated by TravTalk where MICE and Luxury Leisure professionals uncover the future of India outbound and more…

It is expected that 1700+ meetings will take place over the two days.

To date, there are over 500 buyers registered who would connect with Exhibitors through one-on-one video chats. A Buyer Chat room and Air Canada sponsored Buyer Lounge will be additional spaces where Buyers (attendees) can interact with one another as well as reach out for technical support.

The Grand Prize is valued at USD 3200.00 (gifted by New World Safaris) and includes 2-night stay at the One and Only Cape Town is closely followed by Club Med’s 7-night stay valued at USD 2700.00. The Exhibitors at UNITE have contributed towards prizes that exceed USD 14,000.00 in value and can be won through the Virtual Gamification with live results.

The Global Trade Show has been supported and promoted by our key Sponsors and Collaborators – Air Canada, MPAHT (Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking), Pink Media, The Incentivist, TravelWeek, Ignite, Travel2LATAM, Think MICE, IoD London, Web Worx Labs, Evintra, MICE Online, TravelTalk and IGLTA. Information on UNITE 2020 is available at

Exhibitor registration closes on September 6. UNITE is extending a limited 3-hour pass for Travel Industry Suppliers (non-Exhibitors) to experience the various Collaboration Zones and Speaker sessions. 2-hour fee of USD 25.00 per registrant applies. Click here to register.


UNITE by Saleint Inc. is an organization created in the times when everyone and almost every industry was in a state of flux and turmoil. Represented in our logo – (collaboratively) hands holding the Earth up reflects our pillars on which UNITE has been built - Social Awareness, Collaboration, Inclusiveness, Unity, Responsible Tourism. For more information, email

September 02, 2020
The ​Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community reveals #LightUpLive #EclaironsLesScenes campaign

As of today, the Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community has an event hashtag all their own. Event organizers are asking venues and landmarks across the country to light up their buildings and marquees in red on Tuesday 22 September to raise awareness for an industry that remains dark.

Early response has been overwhelming. Organizations, grassroots groups and individuals are coming together to ask and assist with illuminating landmarks in red, bringing to light the many performers, creators, technical, logistical, and management support personnel who drive a $100 billion Canadian economic engine.

The selected hashtag #LightUpLive #EclaironsLesScenes draws attention to locations that have been primarily dark for over six months due to social distancing restrictions. Live event workers are encouraged to participate using social media, and participating venues and installations can be tracked on an interactive map at the event website (

“This grassroots movement has seemed to catch fire,” says Morgan Myler, co-founder of the Live Event Community group, which formed in March as a result of the cancellation of events worldwide due to COVID-19. “We started with a resource guide for workers to access critical health, financial and training opportunities when COVID-19 hit.”

According to Statistics Canada, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector lost 152,000 of 486,100 jobs between June 2019 and June 2020, and 86% of businesses experienced a high level of impact due to the decrease in demand or cancellation of services . Those that are still employed have seen a 45% reduction in hours worked . The corporate and business events sector directly employs an additional 229,000 Canadians according to a 2017 Oxford Economics3 study.

“I’m always impressed to see how quickly the event industry can respond,” says co-founder Rob Duncan “but considering how quickly the work stopped, people are really looking to do something, however symbolic it may be.”

The Day of Visibility for the Live Event Community will run Tuesday 22 September from an hour after sundown, coast to coast. Follow along at Live event workers looking for resources can visit

Live Event Community Mission

It’s in our name – we were founded as a community of Live Event Workers, to support and amplify the voices of freelancers and gig workers who do not belong to a representative organization. We speak to government and advocate for essential support for event workers not covered by traditional programs such as Employment Insurance. Finally, we offer a crowd-sourced database of health, financial, industry, and training resources for Canadians. We provide a place for those in the community to help each other.

Who Are We?

Live Event Community was created on 12 March 2020 in the aftermath of mass event cancellations across North America due to COVID-19. Live event freelancers were worried that their livelihood had disappeared overnight. Four live event professionals in Toronto registered a URL, spun up a phone number and launched a social media presence on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook to provide a vetted source of information available to all.

We have no funding and no membership. We do have an organic reach of 30,000 and 1,200 followers on Facebook, and a mailing list that has nearly tripled in the last week.

Our organization has a similar request to the government as many other travel, tourism and live event organizations:

  1. That the government recognizes that our industry has been devastated by the effects of COVID-19, and there is no set date for return. We were the first out and will be one the last to return.

  2. Continue financial support for live event workers until the industry is back to work.

  3. Assist companies throughout the supply chain who work to create, produce, manufacture and support an industry that will have to wait until large gatherings are safe again.

September 02, 2020
Clean, reliable and flexible - IHG® enhances ‘Meet with Confidence’ for peace-of-mind planning in an unpredictable world

As the world adapts to new expectations and plans for responsible gatherings, IHG® has enhanced its Meet with Confidence programme to provide appropriate and creative meeting and event solutions, without compromising on the experience or the flexibility that meeting planners require. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts have been delivering True Hospitality in meetings and events for decades and have meeting space available in most destinations around the globe. IHG is now combining this wealth of knowledge, with industry best-practices and the expertise behind the IHG Way of Clean, to bolster the global Meet with Confidence commitment.

Prioritising guest safety and wellbeing, while also providing flexible booking during uncertain times, Meet with Confidence means meeting planners and attendees can rest assured that meetings and events at IHG hotels worldwide* will adhere to leading cleanliness and safety practices through:

• Clutter-free event spaces configured to allow for social distancing, leveraging outdoor spaces where possible
• Tables and chairs disinfected before every meeting or event and during breaks  
• Management of attendee flow with signage and staggered breaks where possible
• Enhanced food handling and service guidelines 
• Hand sanitiser stations throughout the meeting and event space
• Technology solutions to support virtual and hybrid meetings
• Meet with Confidence checklist and pre-event inspection with the meeting planner or onsite contact 
• IHG Way of Clean - strengthened procedures throughout the hotel to redefine cleanliness and support guests’ wellbeing, from enhanced cleaning of high-touch areas to social distancing measures.

Derek DeCross, SVP, Global Sales, IHG commented: “We’re seeing a number of organisations currently, or looking forward to, holding safe and responsible meetings and events. To support this, IHG is offering meeting planners peace of mind and adaptability in these uncertain times. The Meet with Confidence programme combines a laser focus on cleanliness as well as flexibility where it’s needed most. Whether it’s for a 10-person meeting, an intimate wedding or a virtual global conference, with more than 5,900 properties in over 100 countries, our diverse family of brands provides exceptional spaces to ensure every meeting, event, or celebration is unforgettable.”

Meet with Confidence also offers maximum flexibility allowing meeting planners and group decision-makers to book with confidence. This offer, available at participating hotels, includes: 

• No Cancellation Fees
• No Attrition Fees for rooms that are not booked
• Up to a 5% rebate towards the master bill
• Short-form contract (at participating hotels)
• IHG Business Rewards points** applicable for the standard qualified bookings (Terms & Conditions apply)

The flexible Meet with Confidence booking terms apply when booking 10 to 50 rooms on peak (with or without a meeting room) at participating hotels for bookings before 31 December 2020, with meet or stay dates by 30 June 2021. More information, including the Terms & Conditions for ‘Meet with Confidence’ can be found here.

*At participating hotels in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia

**IHG® Business Rewards offers meeting planners the ability to earn points when they book accommodation, meetings, or an event at participating IHG® hotels worldwide.

September 01, 2020
EMA Marketing in Canada teams up with JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa in Costa Rica

EMA Marketing is thrilled to announce that the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa in Costa Rica has appointed Liz Akey, CMP to be their Canadian Sales & Marketing Representative to handle both the leisure and MICE markets. Pura Vida!

Also, exciting news that the JW Marriott has unveiled a NEW all- inclusive package exclusive for Canadians. The resort will be re-opening November 1st, 2020 and looking forward to hosting many Canadians.

This magnificent oceanfront resort has an outstanding location overlooking the Pacific Ocean and it offers an authentic hacienda luxury style in region of Guanacaste. The resort expands across 4,500 acres surrounded by the splendors of Costa Rican biodiversity. The walls are made of authentic stones that were handpicked from the local rivers complying with the environment. Windows and doors are made of wood coming from forest plantations and sustainable forest management. Ancient tiles of Terracotta from Italy were installed in the hallways and guestrooms.

The JW Marriott Guanacaste is proud to have the CST certificate (Certification of Sustainable Tourism) with 4 leaves which further shows our commitment to preserving the environment and ecotourism.

The resort offers 290 deluxe spacious guestrooms, 19 suites and 1 Presidential suite. Each room has a spacious private bathroom with a separate tub and stand-alone shower, private balcony or patio. High speed internet access, 32” flat screen TV, iron and iron board, bathrobe, minibar, Marriott’s new luxury bedding. Aromatherapy bathroom amenities are included as well as water bottle canister to use at our various water stations.

There are 5 restaurants ranging from Asian fusion, a genuine Guanacaste steakhouse, casual Grill and main restaurant offering Costa Rican & international cuisine. There are also 3 bars and a breathtaking infinity pool. For private group events there are eight outdoor areas.

The Spa has been rated in top five spas in Latin America. It has 18 treatment rooms with a wide menu of services and it also offers plunge pools, therapy baths and separate Men’s & Women’s Lounges. There is also a state-of- the- art fitness centre.

There are many activities to experience; nature walks on our trail circuit that feature tropical birds, wild animal watching, jogging trails, yoga class, biking, surfing, mixology class, astronomy observatory, bonfire on beach to name a few. Also, there is a Golf Course next door which offers stunning settings and challenges. It’s a par 72 course and 7,200 yards and designed by Mike Young.

For more information or to book an event at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa please contact EMA Marketing at (416) 420-6084 or Email:

The resort offers 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space of which the largest meeting room is 5,000 square feet. There are 4 breakouts and 8 outdoor areas for events.

The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa has taken the necessary measures to provide a safe and clean environment that aligns with the protocols with the Commitment to Clean program. Our Marriott Cleanliness Council is redefining our cleaning and safety standards. We will actively monitor and evolve our solutions to ensure the safety of our guests and associates.

The JW Marriott Guanacaste is the perfect addition to EMA Marketing’s portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts and destination management companies. Pura Vida!

September 01, 2020
Highly Anticipated Sandman Signature Hotel Opens in Saskatoon South

SASKATOON, SK - Sandman Hotel Group, Canada's fastest-growing hospitality company, is excited to announce the highly anticipated opening of their first Signature-branded hotel in Saskatchewan, Sandman Signature Saskatoon South Hotel. 

Located east of the South Saskatchewan River at 2815 Lorne Ave, Sandman Signature Saskatoon South Hotel will immediately catch your eye when driving along Circle Drive, as the hotel is well-known as Saskatoon's first six-story wood-framed building. When entering, guests will notice the ultra-modern and highly contemporary interior design as they are welcomed by a team of dedicated hospitality experts, committed to providing guests with an elegant, relaxed, and comfortable experience.

"The entire Sandman family is so excited to be part of the opening of this fabulous property in south Saskatoon.  It is our third hotel in Saskatchewan and our first Signature.  We are fully committed to the growth and success of the city and are pleased to be an ongoing supporter of Saskatoon's culture and economy.  It gives us all great pride to present this level of quality and genuinely caring service for which the prairies are so famous," said Robert Pratt, President of Sandman Hotel Group.

The hotel offers 230 spacious guest rooms and suites with upgraded room amenities, luxurious bedding, and deluxe bathrooms. Guests will soon be able to enjoy the indoor pool, whirlpool, fitness centre, and the convenience of having two well-known Canadian restaurant brands on-site: Denny's (opening September 2020) and Chop Steakhouse & Bar (opening November 2020). 

General Manager Monique Simons, and her team invite everyone to take advantage of the hotel's opening celebration rate by booking online at to enjoy a premium guest experience at Sandman Signature Saskatoon South Hotel starting as low as $109 a night.

About Sandman Hotel Group

Sandman Hotel Group was founded in 1967 by the Gaglardi family with the opening of their first hotel in Smithers, British Columbia. Sandman now owns and operates 61 hotels in 4 countries with 56 hotels across Canada, 3 in the UK, 1 in Ireland, and 1 in Texas.

September 01, 2020
The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax Introduces a New Standard of Luxury in Downtown Halifax

HALIFAX, NS - The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax  Inspired by the breathtaking beauty of Nova Scotia and influenced by their symbiotic relationship with the Nova Centre and The Halifax Convention Centre, The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax promises unmatched modern luxury with their highly anticipated opening on September 8th, 2020.

"Our entire organization is so excited about the opening of this fabulous hotel. Our partner, Joe Ramia, has been wonderful to work with and together we have built a beautiful hotel of which all of Halifax can be proud. It combines modern elegance, gorgeous views of the harbour and Citadel Hill with the warmth of genuine Nova Scotia hospitality. We are so grateful to our team, led by General Manager, Mark Schaay for the incredible job they have done preparing for this opening under extraordinary conditions." said Robert Pratt, President, The Sutton Place Hotels.

The contemporary and elegant design of The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax takes inspiration from the luxury brand's legacy of refined European elegance, the upscale and modern charm of Argyle andGrafton Street, and the city's maritime heritage. The sophisticated and spacious lobby complete with an elegant décor of Italian marble walls and extravagant lighting is a perfect place to relax while checking-in, or before dining at the award-winning onsite restaurant, Chop Steakhouse & Bar. The harmonious dark navy and gold design hues reminiscent of nautical heritage can be found throughout the hotel, including all 262 guest rooms and suites. Guests can enjoy exceptional comfort with built-in and automated in-room amenities, spa-inspired bathrooms, and floor to ceiling windows that perfectly capture the spectacular views of downtown, The Halifax Waterfront Harbour, and historical Citadel Hill.  

Guests can enjoy the upscale fitness facilities equipped with a recoiled floor for optimal comfort and performance, and will soon be able to experience the outdoor patio oasis, which includes an outdoor hot tub and fire pits surrounded by lush soft seating creating a perfect place to relax and splendour in the panoramic views of Halifax. The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax is truly one of a kind, and our team of dedicated hospitality professionals invite you to be the first to experience this new approach to hotel luxury with our Opening Celebration Rate:

Book your reservation at or call 1 866 378 8866 and stay between September 8, 2020 to January 30, 2021 and enjoy a room rate as low as $179/night, plus become a Sutton Prestige Member and receive 4 x Sutton Prestige Reward Points.

August 31, 2020
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Announces Launch of Safe Travels Program

Safe Travels Program is an operational program and awareness campaign designed to help passengers, staff and partners travel through Billy Bishop Airport safely and with confidence.

TORONTO - Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) today announced the launch of its Safe Travels Program, a comprehensive initiative developed in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic that includes operational measures and safety protocols that have been implemented to ensure a safe and healthy environment for passengers, staff and partners at Billy Bishop Airport.

Billy Bishop Airport has responded to the emergence of COVID-19 with a comprehensive health and safety program that is aligned with expert guidance and new industry best practices. Under the guidance of provincial and federal agencies such as Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Billy Bishop Airport has worked closely with its partners to implement a number of enhancements, procedures and new infrastructure to provide a safe and healthy environment for passengers, staff and partners.

Porter Airlines and Air Canada temporarily suspended commercial airline service from Billy Bishop Airport in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Safe Travels Program has now been launched and will be in place when the airlines resume operations later this fall.

"The extraordinary impact of this crisis has required an equally extraordinary response on the part of the aviation industry to ensure that passengers feel confident travelling again. The Safe Travels Program encapsulates our commitment to delivering a safe experience for our passengers as well as those who work in the airport," said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice-President, PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Airport. "Billy Bishop Airport is unique in many ways: its island location, its proximity to Toronto's downtown core, its unmatched, scenic approach and award-winning passenger experience. It is also unique in that this crisis and the resulting temporary suspension of commercial airline service at Billy Bishop Airport has afforded our team the time to step back, observe and get this right. We look forward to welcoming our passengers back to an enhanced version of the Billy Bishop Airport experience they already know and love."

While Billy Bishop Airport will continue to incorporate new procedures and innovations to ensure the airport can offer a safe and healthy travel environment, the measures currently in place include:

  • Requiring that face covering/masks be worn by all airport travellers and staff at the airport; 
  • Requesting that only travellers with boarding passes and airport staff enter YTZ, with exceptions made for those requiring special assistance; 
  • Designated ambassadors at key locations throughout the airport to facilitate passenger flow, communicate occupancy limits, and answer questions; 
  • Occupancy limits implemented in close-proximity spaces such as elevators; 
  • Implementing clear physical distancing and directional signage throughout the traveller journey to provide information and guidance; 
  • Installation of Plexiglas and traffic-flow protocols at face-to-face interaction points; 
  • Touchless processing of passenger belongings and documentation to the greatest degree possible; 
  • All passenger touch points including counters and screening machines sanitized often; 
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures across all high-touch areas and in public spaces, including Foggers and Electrostatic Sprayers equipped with an all-natural, environmentally safe product that eliminates 99.99% of viruses; and,
  • Providing additional hand sanitization stations throughout the airport.

The Safe Travels Program will complement programs in place with resident airlines Porter Airlines and Air Canada and is inclusive of all airport partners including Nieuport Aviation (terminal owners/operators); Stolport (parking) as well as government agencies including CATSA (screening and security) and CBSA (border protection). 

Click here to view a video outlining the passenger experience from curb to gate. 

Click here to learn more about the Safe Travels Program. 

Flying through YTZ soon? Click here to chart your path to safe travels. 

About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations via our airlines' networks, Billy Bishop Airport is an important international gateway and a key driver to Toronto's economy, generating more than $470 million in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year and supporting 4,740 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport operations. Billy Bishop Airport is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency and customer service and has won a series of passenger-driven awards.

About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $12 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.

August 27, 2020
Creativ Nation and Sheraton Laval Unveil Multimedia Studio for Hybrid Event

One of the largest production stages in the metropolitan region

MONTREAL- Facing the current crisis, the Creativ Nation team has joined forces with its long-time partner, the Sheraton Laval, to enable Quebec businesses of all sizes to bring large-scale interactive events to life for their employees, clients, partners and collaborators. To do so, they unveiled yesterday, in the presence of more than 500 participants (50 on site and 500 live from the Web), the RETHINK event.


The last few months have forced Creativ Nation and the Sheraton to reinvent themselves. The two companies have chosen to work together on hybrid events allowing both a physical and virtual presence of participants. Thus, the studio has a fully customizable 24 x 64 in stage and several screens, including an 8 x 24 screen for the presentation of virtual participants.

"It is not because physical gatherings are limited that we can no longer experience immersive and unifying events. This is why we are proud to have created one of the largest multimedia production stages in the metropolitan region in one of our most beautiful event halls in Montreal." says Pierre Jean, President and CEO of Creativ Nation.


In order to present its new studio and its many features, Creativ Nation and the Sheraton organized an event last night for their clients and partners. The event, on the theme "RETHINK", was hosted by comedian and moderator Mario Tessier, accompanied by the musical talents of singer-songwriter Frank Julien. What will tomorrow's new normal be? How can we rethink human connections? What about commitment, performance and differences? These questions arising from the current preoccupations of leaders were addressed in an elegant mix of seriousness and humour by several inspiring speakers who allowed for exchanges with participants, both on site and live from the Web. This event, which served as a promotional showcase, will subsequently be offered to companies who wish to RERHINK things and engage in discussions with experts.

RETHINK PERFORMANCE: Dr. Amir Georges Sabongui - Psychologist, specializing in stress and burnout prevention, and leadership training 

RETHINK DIFFERENCES: Marie Grégoire – Speaker, TV and radio host

RETHINK COMMITMENT: Dr. Sylvain Guimond - Expert and practitioner in the field of posture, biomechanics and sport psychology  

RETHINK CONNECTIONS: Pierre Jean, CEO Creativ Nation and Manon Goudreault, President dada agency

Click here to access videos and photos

About Creativ Nation

Creativ Nation is a Laval-based company that has been a leader in the event industry for over 35 years. Their team is passionate about creative and immersive concepts for all types of events.

About Sheraton Laval

Renowned as a hotel and business centre in the Greater Montrealarea, the Sheraton Laval evolves in an innovative and developing business context. As part of the Groupe Hôtelier Grand Château, it is an important economic player in its region and it is constantly seeking renewal opportunities.

August 21, 2020
Congratulations to all the Canadian #ILEAaward Winners!


On August 21st, the annual ILEA Esprit Awards were held virtually to ILEA Members all over the world and ILEA Canada Chapters and Members won BIG! Congratulations to all the Canadian Chapters and members who took home an award!




Best Industry Contribution: Hala Events from
ILEA Toronto


Best Event Decor Under $25,000: Events with Vizability from
ILEA Edmonton Chapter


Best Corporate Event Under $75,000: Eccelectic Events from
ILEA Toronto


Best Corporate Event Over $150,000: e=mc2 events from
ILEA Calgary


Best Event for a Non-Profit over $150,000: Hala Events from
ILEA Toronto


Best Social Event Non Wedding Under $75,000: Eccelectic Events from
ILEA Toronto


Best Meeting Under $500,000: Tycoon Events from
ILEA Edmonton Chapter


Best Meeting Over $500,000: e=mc2 events from
ILEA Calgary


Best ILEA Event Collaboration:
ILEA Vancouver




ILEA’s annual Spirit of Excellence awards recognize ILEA chapters which excel in chapter communications, administration, membership retention and growth programs. Congratulations to all Canadian chapters who were recognized:

Excellence in Membership Retention

  • ILEA Vancouver

Honorable Mention: ILEA Edmonton

Excellence in Membership Growth

  • ILEA Calgary

Honorable Mention: ILEA Toronto

Excellence in Special Projects

  • ILEA Edmonton
August 20, 2020
The Friendship Project: Greg & The Optimists

August 20, 2020 – Ottawa, ON - The hospitality, conference, meetings and business events industry is all about face-to-face connection.  Since Friday, March 13, 2020 – this global industry has been decimated.  Hotels across the country and around the globe, empty.  Convention Centres, empty.  Audio Visual booths, empty.  Keynote speakers, musicians, décor professionals, banquet and service team, all out of work.  Meeting planners, frantically moving conferences from 2020 into the unknown future.  Thousands upon thousands of employees let go…temporarily and now as the weeks have gone on, permanently.     

Quick Statistics About The Business Events Industry

In Canada / Globally

  • $33 Billion generated through direct spending / $1 Trillion generated through direct spending
  • 229,000 direct jobs / 10 million direct jobs
  • $19.3 billion direct GDP generated / $621 Billion Direct GDP
  • Canada’s business events ranked 6 out of 50 countries in global impact

Despite all of this devastation, a glimmer of light continues to burn amongst a small group of optimistic industry professionals from Ottawa.  It started with a flicker of an idea and is now ready to burn brighter.

As a group we created, The Friendship Project > We have recorded a song

A special song originally recorded by Carole King.  With written permission from the Carole King Institute, we are sharing this special message with our friends as a group called Greg & The Optimists’.  Our industry is still in a very uncertain place however the connection we hold for each other is strong. 

Each voice and sound on our track has been created by members of The Friendship Project. 

Thank you to the amazingly talented people who said YES to this project and shared their heart as we navigate this very difficult time.  We WILL meet again.  Until then, just remember in all seasons, wherever you are, ‘You’ve Got A Friend’.

Female Vocals (In Order of Appearance)

Jeanna Andre-Murdie, W.E. Travel

Nancy Bradshaw, Tourism Saskatoon; MPI Ottawa President

Martha Tobin, Staples Promotional Products Canada

Lesley Musker, Cdn. Assoc.of Defense and Security Industries

Brenda Howes, The Howes Group

Anne Vaillancourt, Friendship Project Collaborator

Disa Cameron, FMAV, aka DRAMAADD1CT (Rap Solo)

Male Vocals

Greg Plazek, Marriott Hotels of Canada; keyboard; vocals

Brent Beatty, FMAV

Shaun Clare, Friendship Project Collaborator



Jennifer Beatty, Tourism Calgary, tambourine

Chris Ferris, Encore, bass guitar

Guido Guzzo, Encore; Bed track producer, keyboard

Greg Plazek, Marriott Hotels of Canada, keyboard



A special thank you to these guys...

Shaun Clare, Friendship Project Collaborator

Kieran Howes, Friendship Project Collaborator

Guido Guzzo, Encore


The Friendship Project has partnered with The Boys and Girls Club of Canada.  To make direct donations to the children, families and communities nationally, click HERE.  Thank you in advance for your kindness.


August 11, 2020
Remarks to the House of Commons by Meetings Mean Business Canada

Remarks by Clark Grue, Chair Meetings Mean Business Canada, to The House of Commons of Canada’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in view of its study of the Canadian response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you Madame Chair and honorable committee Members….

Meetings Mean Business Canada represents a cross section of the Business Events community in Canada.  We are made up of Event professionals and event owners, hoteliers, transportation professionals, convention centres, airlines, Destination Marketing Organizations, technology companies and many others who make up an often invisible industry that supports the growth of every industry in our country.  In addition to this, Business Events stimulate no less than a third of the Tourism activity in Canada.

The Business Events industry was, until COVID hit us, a 1 Trillion Dollar global industry.  In Canada, according to Oxford Economics, 229,000 Canadian jobs were supported annually by Business Events.  The events that we have all attended in the past; conventions, exhibitions, congresses, and other business meetings of 10 or more, created $33 billion in direct spending and contributed $19 Billion to Canada’s annual GDP.

These numbers are real and should shine a light on a critical component of the Canadian economy that has been forced to shut down in the wake of the COVID crisis.  This industry that brings together our businesses, academic thought leaders, and Canadian citizens to exchange ideas and transact business has been shut down by the response to COVID 19.

Now, I can tell you that the industry is not suggesting that we have not responded appropriately to the COVID crisis in Canada.  Quite the opposite.   The professionals in the industry are highly tuned-in to the safety and experience of the attendees at Business Events.  This is their life, their living, their career.  They understand the safety of delegates in ways that no other industry does.  We track our guests before they arrive, while they are in our care and post event. 

These are not festivals, concerts or shopping malls.  At Business Events we are able to control where our guests go and where they do not go; we control how they interact; we control what they consume and how they consume food and beverages. We are prepared and ready to conduct our business much like the NHL has done with their Event bubbles for the playoffs.

This industry is well prepared to host events again.  We can do it safety and we can set a Global standard for doing it right.  Doing it with care and doing it in a way that every Canadian would be proud of.

Many of these professionals that are sidelined by protocols are struggling to get through this time.  Many of them are new Canadians, many of them are parents of kids, many of them do not have the stability of a pension or other financial supports.  They are vulnerable.

Canada needs our business events professionals to survive this crisis.  Sadly, without direct support for the people and businesses within the business events industry, they will not survive this fall let alone the next year.  Many will have to seek jobs outside of this vital industry.

Just as important, Canada’s industries; Health, Technology, Energy, Finance, Manufacturing, Forestry, Mining, Professional Services, Academia: they all rely on the Event Professionals that bring them together with their colleagues, their suppliers and their customers.  This convening of our industry leaders is a backbone to Canada’s economy which allows them to exchange intellectual and financial capital as well as invite the world to explore Canada’s innovation, resources and industry excellence. This fosters R&D, Foreign Direct Investment and Trade.

So, I am here today representing an industry of 229,000 Canadians that need help to survive.  Professionals that want desperately to be part of the solution for Canada as we restart our economy.  They are passionate about what they do and want to contribute to a solution for Canada.

But the clock is ticking.  We have lost a significant portion of 2020, all but lost the lucrative fall season and now we are looking at a challenged first half of 2021. 

We are part of the solution to get Canada’s economy restarted.  We are a sharpened tool that the government can use to carefully and safely launch the recovery phase of the crisis that we have experienced for the past six months.  We can create jobs quickly and efficiently.

Our asks are simple.

  1. Within appropriate safety protocols, empower this industry to convene again in safe and socially accepted ways.  In ways that bring our industries back together to once again move the economy forward.  We have the protocols ready and waiting.
  2. Ensure that the financial safety nets stay in place and are accessible to a wide rage of self-employed, SMEs and corporations that serve this vital component of the economy.  And make it easy to access these support programs.
  3. Separate “Business Events” from “Mass Gatherings” in the nomenclature around “events”; then leverage the business Events industry as an opportunity to bring Canadians together; and when the time is right, to invite our international visitors back to Canada to experience how we care for our guests and our country.  Do this by providing a federally funded Business Events and Conventions Attraction program for attracting and supporting the delivery of Business events for Canada.

Thank you for our kind attention.

August 04, 2020
Transat enriches its overall program: more than 40 destinations will gradually be offered for the winter season

MONTREAL - Transat A.T. Inc. is delighted to present the destinations it will offer travellers as of November 1, 2020, strengthening its overall program since gradually resuming its operations on July 23.

Air Transat plans to operate, at the height of the season, flights to more than 40 destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, the United States, Europe and Canada. A selection of South and Europe packages featuring more than 320 dream hotels will also be offered. And to help travellers plan their getaways with peace of mind, Transat is presenting even more flexible options to book, change or cancel a trip, in addition to ensuring a safe experience with its Traveller Care program.

"Even though the entire tourism industry has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire to go abroad for a change of scenery and for new discoveries is still very much alive in travellers," says Annick Guérard, Chief Operating Officer of Transat. "That is why we are delighted to present them with our enhanced offer. Now, more than ever, this program of more than 40 destinations allows us to redesign our future one step at a time and to renew our mission, which is to brighten the everyday of our passengers."

Enhanced flight schedule

As they gradually regain their appreciation for a well-deserved vacation under the sun, travellers will be able to choose from a wide range of flights.

From Montreal, Air Transat will operate direct flights to Colombia(Cartagena), Costa Rica (Liberia, San José), Cuba (Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Havana, Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero), the United States(Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Orlando), Guadeloupe (Pointe-à-Pitre), Haiti (Port-au-Prince), Honduras (Roatan), Jamaica (Montego Bay), Mexico (Acapulco, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta), Martinique (Fort-de-France), Panama (Rio Hato), Puerto Rico (San Juan), the Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, Santo Domingo), St. Maarten (Philipsburg) and El Salvador (San Salvador).

Travellers from Toronto will be able to fly direct to Colombia (Cartagena), Cuba (Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero), the United States (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando), Jamaica (Montego Bay), Honduras (Roatan), Mexico (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta), Panama(Rio Hato), the Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana) and St. Maarten (Philipsburg).

From Quebec City, 10 South destinations will be accessible via direct flight: Cuba (Cayo Coco, Holguin, Santa Clara, Varadero), the United States (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando), Mexico (Cancun) and the Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana).

Direct flights to the most popular destinations in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean are also scheduled from Halifax, Hamilton, London, Moncton and Ottawa.

In addition, to complement its range of flights, Transat is also highlighting its attractive hotel offer, featuring more than 320 properties grouped under its four collections—Luxury, Distinction, Family and Solo—to suit all tastes and budgets. Exceptional hotels in the United States and Europe are also on the program.

As for Europe, Air Transat will offer direct flights between Montrealand Spain (Malaga), France (Paris) and Portugal (Lisbon). In addition, direct flights from Toronto to Portugal (Faro, Lisbon, Porto) and the United Kingdom (Glasgow, London, Manchester) will also be offered. Travellers from Quebec City will be able to fly direct to France (Paris)during the holidays.

Finally, to open the door to more international destinations and enable travel throughout Canada, Air Transat will also operate domestic flights between Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Travelling with peace of mind

Subject to changes in demand and travel restrictions, Transat may have to modify its flight schedule. However, to reassure its travellers, it is offering them even more flexible booking options.

That is why it is extending its Book with peace of mind offer, applicable to all new flight bookings, until August 31, 2020. This offer allows passengers to change their travel dates or destination—or both—at no charge up to 24 hours before departure. In the event of a cancellation, they will obtain a travel credit that will be fully transferable and have no expiry date.

The Here Comes the Sun Promo also includes extra flexibility on new bookings of South packages made by September 11, 2020. It features perks like Transat's Price Drop Guarantee, a reduced deposit of only $100, and Option Flex, which allows travellers to cancel or change their booking at no charge or to transfer their package to a friend or family member.

And since passenger safety remains Transat's top priority, it will continue to apply the strict health and safety measures of its Traveller Care program at check-in, during boarding, on board and at destination. In addition, a practical guide for travellers containing all the information they need has been created to accompany them at every step of their trip.

Greener flights

Air Transat continues the transformation of its fleet and strengthens its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint by integrating two new Airbus A321neoLRs, the greenest in their class. It plans to add three more by next spring, bringing the total number of this generation of aircraft in its fleet to nine.

About Transat

Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel. It offers vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel under the Transat and Air Transat brands to some 60 destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 13 years, and was awarded Travelife certification in 2018. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees (TSX: TRZ).

July 20, 2020
Griffintown Hotel opens in the heart of the neighbourhood whose name it bears

MONTRÉAL  In this exceptional summer, as the tourism industry attempts to resume its cruising speed, a new kind of accommodation, Griffintown Hotel, is opening its doors to offer visitors to the city a safe and unique experience. The first concept of its kind in Montréal, this apartment-hotel is designed to provide its guests with a vivid "neighbourhood-type" experience in one of the city's most sought-after new districts, located between the downtown core and the Old Montréal historic quarter. Griffintown Hotel is prioritizing its guests' health and safety in the COVID-19 era.

A concept that has been tested successfully internationally 

Griffintown Hotel redefines hospitality. It offers its guests not simply rooms, but complete one- and two-bedroom condo-style apartments (395 to 845 square feet), a concept that has proven itself internationally. Each apartment is designed and equipped to make guests feel at home. From doing laundry to preparing a good meal – all these activities are possible in the comfort of a Griffintown Hotel apartment. 

Each apartment is equipped with a full kitchen, a living room and one or two bathrooms. The apartments are therefore ideally designed to comfortably accommodate up to five adults for a long stay. The hotel also offers discounts for rentals of seven days or more. 

"Launching a new apartment-hotel concept in the midst of a pandemic is quite a challenge, but we believe it demonstrates the need for an essential service like ours," said Laura-Michèle Grenier Martin, General Manager of Griffintown Hotel. "Our vision is perfectly in tune with today's reality. We offer a safe and autonomous environment while providing hotel standards and services."

A unique experience

Guests have access to many amenities. In addition to a 24-hour reception and security service, an indoor garage is available. With the hotel's Griffintown location, every apartment, whether facing downtown and Mount Royal or the Lachine Canal, enjoys an exceptional view of the skyscrapers and the iconic Farine Five Roses sign. The views are stunning from the private balconies featured with each modern, uncluttered unit. 

Since it is not always possible to have a safe table at a restaurant, and to support the principles of distancing, a take-out section reserved exclusively for hotel guests is located on the ground floor. This section offers gourmet take-away meals and a selection of local products for cooking in the apartments. In addition, the hotel's sister commerce, the Café-crèmerie-dépanneur GH (for Griffintown Hotel), offers everyday commodities just a block away from the hotel. Reception staff also deliver orders to the rooms.

Several measures in place in the time of COVID-19

Among the management's top priorities are the health and well-being of guests and employees. Because it is opening its doors in the midst of a pandemic, Griffintown Hotel's usual health and sanitation standards are not only carefully observed, but enhanced. A number of additional measures have been put in place, including a two-step apartment-preparation process, which includes disinfection using dry-vapour equipment commonly found in hospitals. In addition, all the condo-apartments have their own independent ventilation system. Finally, a 24-hour delay between bookings is respected in order to assure visitors' safety.

Visit to take advantage of official opening promotions.

About Griffintown Hotel

Griffintown Hotel is a new-generation accommodation for business and leisure travellers who want a simple and authentic Montréal experience. Located on Rue des Bassin, the hotel is close to several new restaurants, shops and parks that have transformed the Griffintown neighbourhood into one of the most sought-after in Montréal. The hotel includes 114 fully-equipped condo-style apartments that are available for short-, medium- and long-term stays via the hotel's website. Griffintown Hotel offers all the amenities of a hotel with the comfort of home. 

For more information, visit

July 15, 2020
The Palais des congrès de Montréal is proud to announce the launch of its new video and podcast studio

Montréal – The Palais des congrès de Montréal is continuing to proactively respond to the challenges the events industry is facing by innovatively adapting its services and solutions. Today, it unveils its latest strategic initiative aimed at shaping the convention centre of the future: a video and podcast studio designed for content creation as well as live and on-demand streaming. The name of the studio is: ‘’Palais Média Propulsion“, and its new state-of-the-art facilities will be made available to organizers looking to host hybrid events (both live and virtual) and to generate and capture compelling content that will drive further interactions on the web, social media and other platforms.

This innovative turnkey service will enable the Palais and its customers to seize and capitalize on the digital opportunities of events hosted at the Palais. And due to the fact that the Palais is a leading advocate for Montréal creativity, these customers will also enjoy access to a network of the city’s top production teams. Involving local firms and creatives in the content creation process will enable Québec talent to demonstrate what it can do to an international clientele. Event organizers can look forward to imaginative, agile, flexible and affordable options.

Content that reflects the range and diversity of events hosted at the Palais

From science talks during conferences to fun informal interviews, the new studio will produce content for all tastes. The studio will also feature themed channels covering local news, sports, innovation, wellness, etc. that will provide a unique showcase for the various topics being addressed at the events happening at the Palais.

Aptly located in the heart of the city, this studio will serve as a communication hub conveying the effervescence of the Palais, widely regarded as a driver of innovation and knowledge, and a favourite venue for ideas and people to come together.

A full range of services

This high-tech digital studio will be run by a creative team focused on accurately ascertaining the needs of customers and driven by a desire to communicate their mission during events. Palais Média Propulsion offers myriad possibilities:

  • Videos

  • Podcasts

  • Interviews

  • Live recordings

  • Clips and posts specifically for social media

Customers will be able to choose from turnkey packages or à la carte services.

An additional means of helping speed up the reopening

With the pandemic severely affecting major events, Palais Média Propulsion adds to Montréal’s competitive edge as our industry reopens. By fostering the onsite creation of quality content for social media consumption, the Palais is empowering organizers to reach a bigger portion of their audience, and thus help offset any lower turnouts stemming from the current global situation.

The studio becomes the latest in a series of initiatives, after the recent hybrid event packages, and the new health measures, the Palais has released to help restart events in Montréal, under a newly reinvented format.

“With our new studio located in the heart of Montréal, the Palais keeps evolving and reinventing itself in order to proactively meet the needs of customers looking to broaden the reach of their event beyond the venue’s walls and all across the world. Palais Média Propulsion is a creative and flexible solution adapted to our post-COVID reality that will deliver access to exclusive content captured with the finest technology available. This undertaking will reflect Montréal’s vitality and the unforgettable experiences we deliver at the Palais, where we always actively advocate for Montréal’s unique brand of creativity!” – Robert Mercure, CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal

The Palais des congrès de Montréal, a new leader in hybrid events, continues to respond proactively to the event hosting requirements prompted by COVID-19. Through PROGRESS, its Palais Reopening Operating Guide to Running Events with Safety Standards, the Palais is adhering to the new health standards ratified by the appropriate governmental authorities. Temporarily closed because of the pandemic, the Palais is now open for events of up to 50 people as of summer 2020.

The Palais des congrès de Montréal convention centre stands in the heart of the top host city in the Americas for international events, as ranked in 2019 by the Union of International Associations. It is the recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, awarded by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), and also a finalist for the prestigious Apex award honouring the “world’s best customer satisfaction ratings.” In 2019–2020, the Palais generated $228 million in economic benefits along with an invaluable amount of intellectual wealth via the 339 events it hosted. A trailblazer, it operates its own events lab, CITÉ, which houses Montréal startups that are helping redefine how conferences are held. The Palais is among the first convention centres in the world to operate a carbon neutral building, and is also BOMA BEST certified.

July 15, 2020
SITE Week July 20-23 – A Brand New Opportunity to Connect, Learn, Discover

SITE Week is a brand new event, created by SITE to respond to the needs of its members and industry at this challenging time. Taking place July 20-23, it is an opportunity to harness the full power of SITE’s global membership. There will be interaction and engagement with Town Halls, Business Recovery Updates, Hackathons, Ideation Sessions and the Launch of The Vancouver Manifesto. Day 1 is for SITE Members only, but the rest of the week is open to the wider Incentive Industry.

As countries begin to ease lockdown measures, and the Incentive Travel Industry sets out on the road to recovery, SITE Week is a chance to come together, reflect, and prepare at this midway point of 2020.

“Throughout the months of lockdown we tried to be together, apart. As we move to the next phase, it’s vital that we stay aligned. SITE Week is a chance for us to plan for recovery and celebrate our togetherness.” SITE President, Jenn Glynn, CIS CITP

SITE Week Overview:

  • 20th – Town Hall (SITE Members only – Hear from Leadership on how SITE is dealing with the impact of the pandemic. Opportunity for Q&A)
  • 21st – Vancouver Manifesto and Business Recovery Task Force update*
  • 22nd – Ideation Sessions/Presentations*
  • 23rd – Ideation Sessions/Presentations*

*Open to Non-SITE members also

SITE CEO, Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP relays his enthusiasm for the sessions towards the end of the week. “I am excited to welcome the wider industry to our ideation sessions on July 22 and 23. We have some incredible speakers and topics that will really connect with our industry’s needs at this time of change and uncertainty”.

Sessions will be held at times to suit global audiences, including topics such as; 

Experience Design; The Corporate Perspective & Supporting your Corporate Clients; Sales and Marketing in a Reopening Environment; Sustainability; Employee Wellness in remote work and return to office; Building new revenue streams for small companies; Technology Right Now; A Mental Health Support Discussion for business owners; Elevating Domestic and Regional Incentive Experiences; What's my next job and how do I find it?

…and more!

Registrations for SITE Week July 20-23 are now open.

July 10, 2020
EventWell announces a full mental health and wellbeing programme for the inaugural EventWell Digital Summit

EventWell Ltd, the charitable social enterprise, educating and campaigning for better mental health and wellbeing in the events industry, is delighted to announce the agenda for the inaugural Digital Summit 2020.

The EventWell Digital Summit 2020, is a two day digital event bringing the best in thought-leadership and knowledge from the world of wellbeing and mental health in events to a digital stage across two days, Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 July.

The inaugural event will provide tools and insight to help event professionals make better choices when it comes to self-care and overall wellbeing, and for employers insight to support positive workplace culture and support for teams and talent, building essential resilience to stay Event Well.

Helen Moon, Chief Executive said “We are really excited to be bringing the first EventWell Digital Summit to the event industry. A new annual event that will focus solely on mental, physical, emotional health and wellbeing, and at a really crucial time. The challenges that we are facing as an industry right now mean that there has never been a more important time to be talking about mental health in particular, with many professionals facing trauma and real challenges and difficulties, we hope that the education and thought leadership we will be sending out over the two days will be of vital support to our industry”.

EventWell are offering any event professionals who have recently been made redundant, lost work, businesses or jobs, free attendance to the summit, to enquire about securing a complimentary ticket you can email the event team at

For more information and a full agenda on the event visit

EventWell is the event industry’s official charitable organisation and social enterprise in the United Kingdom, educating and campaigning for better mental health and wellbeing in the event industry, offering thought-leadership, expertise and support services as the “Mental Health & Wellbeing Voice of the Event Industry”.

#EventWell20 is the fourth annual mental health and wellbeing national industry campaign powered and led by EventWell Ltd. The inaugural campaign held in September 2017 #EventWell17 was successful in inspiring the event industry to take action and start having open conversations on the health and wellbeing of event professionals..

EventWell Ltd was incorporated as a charitable social enterprise at the end of 2017 following the inaugural campaign week, with the aim of educating and providing a go to mental health and wellbeing hub and resource. EventWell’s vision is to “make tangible change to the event industry’s relationship with wellbeing” through its core values of empathy, culture and self-care.

July 07, 2020
Letter Writing Campaign | Meetings Mean Business Canada | Rally for Recovery of the Business Events Sector
As Provinces and Territories slowly begin to reopen, businesses that rely on the Business Meetings and Events industry need a clear reopening plan to ensure they can weather the impacts of COVID-19.
Meetings Mean Business Canada has launched a new letter-writing campaign targeting Members of Provincial Parliaments across Canada.  By using Push Politics, we have a platform that makes it easy for you to send the message directly to your MPP, MLA, MNA or MHA that:
  • Business Meetings and Events must not be grouped under mass gatherings and that;
  • Governments must fast-track the reopening of the Business Meetings and Events Sector by working with our industry leaders now. 
Meetings Mean Business Canada is an industry-wide, coast-to-coast-to-coast coalition which is the voice of 229,000 Canadians who rely on Business Events to create jobs and opportunities for them and their families.
Sending a letter is simple and takes 30 seconds.  Please visit and click “Send Your Letter” to ask your MPP, MLA, MNA, or MHA to take immediate action by supporting this sector and saving the businesses and jobs in your community that rely on Business Meetings and Events.
I am asking that as business leaders, you also encourage your staff, suppliers and extended network to send a letter and to share this initiative on your corporate and personal social media channels – we all need to come together as one industry to ensure our voice is heard loud and clear!
Additionally, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has launched an in-depth industry survey that will cover the use of government support programs to obtain much-needed data for government in order to address support for the visitor economy. Please take the survey now.
To be clear, to ensure the survival of this industry, bold measures are needed now – within days, not weeks or months. We collectively need to activate our sector and all those that rely on Business Meetings and Events to pressure government for immediate action.
Clark Grue
Chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada
June 24, 2020
Need a lift? CN Tower to welcome guests back starting July 15, 2020

TORONTO The CN Tower announced it will welcome guests back to the CN Tower observation levels starting July 15, 2020. 

Like every business, the CN Tower has unique challenges and has determined its opening date to allow for the implementation of the safety measures required. 

"The health and safety of our staff and guests is our top priority," said Peter George, COO of the CN Tower. "We are working to ensure every measure is in place to meet or exceed public health guidelines and provide a safe, comfortable, uplifting and exhilarating experience for everyone." Timed tickets will go on sale online July 1 on the CN Tower's website,

In order to meet or exceed the recommendations of public health authorities and the Government of Ontario, the CN Tower has assessed the building from bottom to top and made adjustments to ensure physical distancing is achieved throughout the building and guest experience. The guest flow, including elevator capacity, has been reimagined to avoid bottlenecks anywhere they might occur. 

Among the measures we have taken are:

  • Cleaned, disinfecting and treatment of our entire facility, including public and staff-only areas as well as our ventilation systems, with anti-microbial shield
  • Conducted enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-frequency touchpoints, using electrostatic disinfectant spray system, as well as hand disinfecting of high-touch and difficult-to-clean areas 
  • On an ongoing basis, we have introduced a dramatically enhanced cleaning and sanitization regimen 
  • Reconfigured or eliminated queuing to allow for physical distancing
  • Installed floor decals and signage throughout the building and property to reinforce physical distancing 
  • Reduced overall capacity 
  • Moved to timed ticketing only
  • Implemented a policy that mandates wearing a mask or face covering for everyone entering the building

Timed tickets for the reopening of the CN Tower go on sale online July 1. Visit for updates and to book tickets.

About the CN Tower

At a height of 553.33 metres (1,815 ft., 5 inches), Canada's National Tower is an engineering wonder, award-winning dining and entertainment destination, and has been Toronto's "must-see" attraction for over four decades. The CN Tower was visited by more than 1.98 million people last year. For more information

About Canada Lands Company

Canada Lands Company is a self-financing federal Crown corporation that specializes in real estate development and attractions management. Since 1995, Canada Lands has enriched Canadian communities and experiences by embracing the full potential of the properties it owns and operates. Canada Lands is a leader in attractions management with its operations of the CN Tower and Downsview Park in Toronto, the Old Port of Montréal and the Montréal Science Centre.

Canada Lands Company strives to enhance economic, social and environmental value for Canadians. It has delivered more than $1 billion in economic benefits to Canada since inception.

For more information

June 23, 2020
Iceland’s reopening leads with safety

As of June 15th the EU/EEA, EFTA and UK residents have begun to travel to Iceland. A travel restriction release eminently welcomed by both visitors and locals. This reopening is to be followed by nations outside of the Schengen Area on July 1st. All travelers and visitors alike are invited to either be conveniently tested for coronavirus upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport or go directly into a 14 day quarantine stay. 

Having successfully eliminated the virus by mid May, Iceland began to lift restrictions and announced the reopening of the border effective June 15th. Being a nation that has faced catastrophes like volcanic eruptions, avalanches and earthquakes, we were able to deal with the pandemic effectively by using a familiar method - allowing and trusting the experts and scientists to lead onward. And upward we went.  

With Iceland's stellar strategy of data-protection, including large-scale testing, tracing, and isolating - we feel confident in our reopening process while further controlling the pandemic, which will be closely monitored from every angle. As of today we have only a few Covid-19 cases, with no hospitalizations. 

The nation is confident and excited to welcome visitors again this summer. We believe that we have a lot to offer to make your holiday adventurous, safe and relaxing. Though the world is slowly emerging from lockdown we’re not expecting any high numbers in tourism, which will make this summer in Iceland the ideal Coronavirus Refuge, as titled it. 

As for the meetings industry, we have now opened gatherings for up to 500 people. Safety measures have been taken in all of the hotels, event spaces and other key venues. Restaurants are following strict guidelines, and transportation companies have implemented security strategies.

While this is still very much a developing story in the world, Iceland is ready for your arrival when you are.

June 22, 2020
Spain launches the ‘Responsible Tourism’ seal

The Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism has created the ‘Responsible Tourism’ seal for all those establishments that follow the Guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the tourism sector developed by the Secretary of State for Tourism, which are the only ones approved by the Ministry of Health.

To obtain the seal the establishment must show its commitment to follow the Guidelines. This seal is personal and non-transferable and must be renewed every year.

For the Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Oliver, “offering trust and safety is crucial at this time to attract both national and international tourists again. This seal is one more element in our strategy to reposition ourselves as a safe tourism destination worldwide. In addition, it serves to recognize the responsibility of those entrepreneurs who make an effort to create a safe environment in their respective businesses not only for tourists but for their own workers and residents”.

The ‘Guidelines for reducing the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the tourism sector’ contain specifications of service, cleaning and disinfection, maintenance and management of risk for different subsectors of the tourist sector, and will be the framework for the creation of standards at a global level, following an agreement adopted within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The Guidelines can be downloaded at:

June 22, 2020
Travel Alberta announces $17 million investment to help restart Alberta's tourism industry

CALGARY, AB, June 22, 2020 /CNW/ - Three new federal and provincial funding programs for Alberta destination management organizations and tourism businesses are addressing key areas of need, as identified in a recent Travel Alberta industry COVID-19 impact survey: 

  1. $4 million – Alberta Destination Management Organization (DMO) COVID-19 Operational Relief Program
    Through a partnership between Travel Alberta and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), this joint funding program will provide temporary operational funding to nine of Alberta's primary DMOs serving the cities and Rockies: Tourism Calgary; Edmonton Tourism; Banff & Lake Louise Tourism; Tourism Jasper; Tourism Canmore Kananaskis; Tourism Medicine Hat; Tourism Red Deer; Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association; and Explore Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray). WD is contributing $1.45 million with a further $2.55 million from Travel Alberta's budget to help ensure the future sustainability of these DMOs and their ability to support community tourism businesses as they reopen. 

  2. $4 million – Destination Canada Domestic Funding Program
    Destination Canada is providing a one-time contribution to Alberta's four largest city/community DMOs, that are major contributors to provincial revenues and employment. The funding to Tourism Calgary, Edmonton Tourism, Banff & Lake Louse Tourism and Tourism Jasper, who traditionally work with Destination Canada, will support regional promotional initiatives this summer and winter.

    Destination Canada's $4 million contribution will amplify Travel Alberta's own $4 million investment in regional campaigns to responsibly inspire Albertans to explore the province as provincial health guidelines allow. It will also support content creation to drive future visitation to Alberta in spring and summer 2021 and beyond.

  3. $5 million – Travel Alberta Cooperative Investment Program
    This grant program, 100 per cent funded by Travel Alberta, supports private sector tourism businesses, municipalities and non-profits through two funding streams related to product/experience development and partnership marketing investment to drive responsible travel and cash flow to businesses. Applications for the summer intake are now being accepted through to June 30, 2020.

"From the Rockies to the Badlands, it's not hard to see why visitors are drawn to Alberta. Yet tourism and those whose livelihoods depend on it have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we're here for them. This investment will help more Albertans discover the wonders of their own backyard, while supporting local jobs in tourism. Our message to Alberta tourism is clear: we've been here for you with immediate measures, we're here for you now as our economy reopens and we'll get through this together. We're working with you to support good jobs and help tourism bounce back stronger than ever."
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

"Tourism has been hit hard by COVID-19. The tourism industry is the fourth largest employment sector in the province, it's a key contributor to our economy, and it creates jobs and revenue that so many communities across our province depend on. Travel Alberta is taking action to address important needs, support destination management organizations and tourism businesses, and accelerate our tourism industry's recovery."
The Honourable Tanya Fir, MLA for Calgary-Peigan and Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

"In a recent COVID-19 industry assessment survey conducted by Travel Alberta, tourism partners clearly told us which support systems will have the greatest impact in helping them remain viable and adapt to the changes resulting from COVID-19, including operational funding and marketing support. These programs help address these needs and are critically important to the rebuild of Alberta's tourism industry and visitor economy." 
Linda Southern-Heathcott, chair, Travel Alberta Board of Directors

"Tourism will play a vital role in restarting Alberta's economy and we are pleased to see these federal and provincial funding programs tailored to address local industry needs. These investments will go a long way toward helping regional destination organizations and small- and medium-sized businesses in every corner of the province remain viable and support their re-opening and local marketing efforts to drive desperately-needed cash flow and get Albertans back to work."
Alida Visbach, board chair, Tourism Industry Association of Alberta

About Travel Alberta

Travel Alberta is the destination development and promotion organization of the Government of Alberta. We promote Alberta as a desirable place to travel, work, live, play, invest and learn. Working with businesses throughout the province, we capitalize on Alberta'sbreathtaking landscapes and world-class hospitality to develop memorable experiences for visitors to enjoy, in all regions, in all seasons. Our work directly and indirectly benefits our province, driving visitation and revenue, diversifying the economy, providing jobs, encouraging economic investment and enhancing quality of life for Albertans and their communities.

Established as a Crown corporation on April 1, 2009, we operate under the authority of the Travel Alberta Act within the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.

To learn more about Travel Alberta's strategy and programs visit
Travel Alberta on LinkedIn