Current News

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

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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 15, 2021
Cabot Cape Breton Voted Best Canadian Hotel In Hemispheres Magazine's 2021 Readers' Choice Awards

Toronto/CNW/—Cabot Cape Breton, located on over a mile of sandy beach along the coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, has tied for Best Canadian Hotel with Fairmont Banff Springs in Hemispheres magazine's 2021 Readers' Choice Awards.

The magazine's second-annual Readers' Choice Awards recognizes the world's top hotels, resorts, destinations, cities, and more, based on the results of a 2021 reader survey. The awards are a trusted source of travel inspiration as readers once again embark on long-awaited trips around the globe. The award-winning in-flight magazine for United Airlines, Hemispheres covers travel, fashion, technology, entertainment and more. Full results are available online here, and winners are featured in the September issue of Hemispheres, out now.

"We are honoured to be voted the best Canadian hotel by travelers from around the world," said Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and Co-founder of Cabot. "This recognition is a testament to our dedicated team, who are committed to delivering exceptional service and helping guests create memories that will last a lifetime."

Cabot Cape Breton has garnered international acclaim as one of the premier vacation destinations in the world and offers one of the best golf resort experiences in North America. The resort includes a charming 72-room lodge with ocean views from every room, 19 stunning golf villas, two dynamic golf courses that rank among the world's best, a newly opened 10-hole short course and exquisite dining in three on-site restaurants. The Cabot portfolio also includes the 400-acre Cabot Saint Lucia resort community in development on the northern tip of Saint Lucia and newly launched Cabot Revelstoke in British Columbia.

For reservations, visit www.cabotcapebreton.com or call 855-652-2268.

About Cabot Cape Breton:
Located on over a mile of sandy beach near the world-renowned Cabot Trail, Cabot Cape Breton is the perfect island escape for social distancing and outdoor adventures. The resort includes two golf courses ranked No. 1 and No. 3 Best Golf Courses in Canada from ScoreGolf. Further solidifying its reputation, the resort was also named one of the Top 10 Resort Hotels in Canada in Travel + Leisure's 2020 World's Best Awards. Exciting enhancements for the 2021 season include new real estate offerings, curated outdoor experiences, and the opening of The Nest, the highly anticipated par-3, 10-hole short course from Whitman, Axland & Cutten. All guestrooms feature ocean views with nightly rates starting at $330. For more information, visit www.cabotcapebreton.com.

About Cabot:
Cabot is the developer and operator of a diverse collection of residential, resort, golf club and master-planned communities. The portfolio includes the award-winning Cabot Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, the Cabot Saint Lucia resort community in development on the northern tip of Saint Lucia and newly launched Cabot Revelstoke in British Columbia. Cabot continues to build upon a legacy of excellence in golf, luxury residential offerings and boutique resort lifestyle across each unique property, where owners and guests have exclusive access to destination specific experiences and an unparalleled quality of service.

SOURCE Cabot

September 10, 2021
Submissions open for Events Industry Council Global Recognition Awards

The Events Industry Council (EIC), the global voice of the business events industry on advocacy, research, professional recognition, and standards, has announced submissions have opened for its annual Global Recognition Awards.

The awards celebrate and honour exemplary achievements and focus on leadership at all levels and areas of focus within the global business events industry. This year’s categories are:

  • Hall of Leaders, recognising lifetime achievement for those that have had a legacy impact on the global business events sector
  • Social Impact Award, recognising extraordinary effort on the part of an individual or organisation in the areas of people, planet and prosperity
  • Adaptation and Innovation Award, recognising extraordinary effort on the part of an individual or organisation in the areas of adaptation and innovation to ensure our industry’s relevance now and into the future
  • Pacesetter Award, recognising emerging leaders whose forward thinking and innovative approach has led to ground-breaking changes that are advancing the industry today

Submissions are open until 28 September 2021, with winners announced on the evening of 7th November 2021, at the Global Awards Ceremony which takes place during IMEX America in Las Vegas.

Commenting on the Awards, Amy Calvert, CEO of the EIC, said: “Our Global Recognition Awards play an important role in recognising the remarkable efforts and the impact professionals have on our industry and beyond, both now and in the future.

“Now more than ever it is important that we reward and inspire leadership and innovation, as together we work to build back better from the effects of the pandemic and ensure these inspiring stories are shared broadly as a beacon for the future.”

Commenting on the awards, Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC and 2021 Chair of the board of the Events Industry Council (EIC), said: “The business events industry is renowned for its creativity and tenacity and never has this been more evident than in the last 18 months. The EIC Global Recognition Awards are vital in highlighting the importance and transformational effects of leadership and genuine innovation, especially as we continue to return to health post-pandemic.”

Strategic Partner for the Global Recognition Awards is MGM. EIC’s Official Event Technology Provider is Cvent.

For more information on EIC’s Awards programme, visit: https://eventscouncil.org/Leadership/Global-Recognition

For more information on the Events Industry Council, visit: https://www.eventscouncil.org/.

September 09, 2021
Tourism Industry Releases Survey Report in Advance of Federal Leaders’ Debate

Banff, Alberta – This morning, Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), gave a state of the tourism industry report in the context of the pending Federal Election.Potter made the announcement from Banff, Alberta during the first in-person Board meeting held by the association sincethe beginning of the pandemic more than 18 months ago.
Potter outlined that the tourism industry was the first hit, hardest hit, and will be the last to recover from the pandemic crisis. The impact on the visitor economy has been greater than  SARS, the 2008 economic crisis and 9/11 combined.

In a report prepared by TIAC researchers, Potter made clear that “Prior to COVID-19, tourism was Canada’s fifth largest sector sustaining more than 1.8 million jobs. But since the pandemic, the industry has lost two summer seasons, drained financial reserves, taken on massive debt and now has difficulty attracting enough employees as it strives to relaunch.”Potter then added, “without the economic jargon, tourism is on the brink of disaster without continued federal support.”

The data makes clear that tourism businesses have faced devastating revenue losses due to COVID-19, and TIAC made public the following key points from an industry-wide survey of tourism businesses in every province andterritory:

  • Almost 40% of respondents say they would have to shut down their businesses today if they no longer received support from government programs.
  • One third of respondents expect more than a 50% decline in revenue in 2021 compared to 2020.
  • One third of respondents lost between 75% and 100% of revenue compared to the same time in 2019.
  • 64% of respondents indicated low cash flow as a challenge facing their business, with a majority citing financial shortfall and burden as the biggest risk currently impacting them.
  • Almost half of respondents have taken on over $50,000 in debt to keep their business afloat.
  • Majority of respondents predict it will take between 1 to 3 years for sufficient tourism demand to return to thepre-pandemic level of profitability.
  • 65% of respondents accessed the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), and 35% accessed the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).

Potter highlighted the report’s conclusions that “even with extensive vaccinations and the gradual lifting of restrictions, a bleak fall and winter is certain. There will be no conventions, limited business and government travel, and the wind down of support programs (CEWS & CERS) could not come at a worse time.”

On the eve of the federal leaders’ debate, Potter urged “all parties to support a qualified and limited financial support program from September 2021 to May 2022 to the hardest hit businesses.” Specifically:

  • Survival support for the hardest hit tourism, hotel and event businesses of any size that have experienced a 40%loss in revenue in any 12-month period after March 31, 2020.
  • Government support would cover negative cash flow from normal financial operations (i.e., excluding capital expenditures and non-cash items such as depreciation or accruals). Support not to exceed 75% of normal cashexpenditures.
  • Program to run from September 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. Cash flow calculated on a cumulative basis inclusiveof CEWS and CERS.
September 09, 2021
The WestJet Group announces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all employees

Calgary/CNW/—The WestJet Group today announced that effective October 30, 2021, all WestJet Group employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, full vaccination status will be a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group.

"Protecting the health and safety of our guests and employees remains our number one priority and vaccinations are our best line of defense," said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President of People. "Aviation has been one of the hardest hit industries and we believe requiring all WestJet Group employees to be vaccinated is the right thing to do and ensures the safest travel and work environment for everyone in WestJet's world."

The WestJet Group will evaluate and accommodate those employees who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 either through medical or other exemption. Employees who fail to attest their vaccination status by September 24 or achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, will face unpaid leave or termination of employment. As part of its vaccine mandate, the airline will not provide testing as an alternative to vaccination.

Continued Porter, "The WestJet Group remains committed to building back even stronger to ensure a competitive aviation industry in Canada. Requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential to the safe restart of travel across Canada."

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All promise. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at facebook.com/westjet Follow WestJet on Twitter at twitter.com/westjet and WestJet News at twitter.com/westjetnews

Follow WestJet on Instagram instagram.com/westjet/ Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at youtube.com/westjet Bookmark WestJet's Newsroom at westjet.com/en-ca/news

Recent recognition includes: 
2020/2019 Number-One Ranked Canadian Airline Loyalty Program in Member Engagement (Bond Brand Loyalty)

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)

2019/2018 Number-One-Ranked Airline Credit Card in Canada (Rewards Canada) 

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

September 08, 2021
Porter Airlines returns to the air

Toronto/CNW/—Porter Airlines officially returns to the skies today, almost 18 months after suspending flights due to COVID-19 public health and travel restrictions.

Flights to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Thunder Bay are the first to restart. Other Canadian destinations starting within the next 10 days are Halifax, Quebec City, St. John's, NL, and Moncton. U.S. destinations in Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington return on Sept. 17. Flights to other year-round destinations are set to resume as of Oct. 6, with all routes currently available for booking. The initial flight schedule can be found at www.flyporter.com.

"Our passengers and team members have been waiting for this day to arrive," said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. "We currently have over 900 team members who have put in countless hours to get everything ready for our return to service, with more being recalled or hired every week. Everyone at Porter is looking forward to welcoming passengers back and delivering our distinct style of service again."

Toronto Mayor John Tory joins the celebrations at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Porter has strengthened its existing standards with a focus on high levels of sanitization in order to protect the health of its passengers and team members. More information about the Healthy Flights program can be found on Porter's website.

In addition to Healthy Flights, Porter has also introduced a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for its team members. To support a safe and healthy workplace and travel experience, team members must present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift or be fully vaccinated. The Canadian federal government announced in August its intention to mandate vaccination for federally-regulated workers; once specific details are known, Porter's policy may evolve.

Bookings made before Sept. 30, will be eligible to change or cancel with no fees. Passengers also have the option to book a flight with the Full Refund Option for $40 plus taxes. The Refund Option entitles customers to receive a refund, including base fare, taxes and fees, for their booking upon advance cancellation of their flight for any reason.

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John's, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Details of growth plans to provide North America-wide service are available at flyporter.com. 

SOURCE Porter Airlines

September 07, 2021
Air Canada Equips Customers with a Powerful New Trip Planning Tool Through Expanded Travel Ready Hub

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Air Canada today unveiled its expanded Travel Ready hub, an interactive online tool to help customers plan and prepare for upcoming trips. Customers can use it to easily and conveniently obtain such information as necessary travel documentation, COVID-19 test requirements and country travel restrictions for any global destination.  Air Canada's Travel Ready hub is available at aircanada.com/travelready and on the mobile version of the Air Canada website.

"We continue to develop practical solutions to help our customers be travel-ready, wherever they want to go. This includes assisting them in navigating the changing entry requirements set by countries in our global network by making all relevant information available in one convenient place. But beyond making essential travel information readily accessible, our easy-to-use Travel Ready hub is designed to make it simple for customers to choose where to go next by showing the countries that are open to visitors through an interactive map," said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

The airline's enhanced Travel Ready hub features a search widget so that users can access information specific to their situation and itinerary. Among other things: the hub allows customers to review entry requirements for every country on their itinerary, including if they are connecting via another country or traveling with an Air Canada airline partner; if their travels require a COVID-19 test, ensure they have the right test (molecular or antigen) taken within the valid time window; and provide travel advice, particularly related to airport arrival times, given additional checks in-place. All of these features are designed with the goal of delivering a smoother and quicker airport experience for customers.

Air Canada will continue implementing initiatives to streamline the travel process, increase customer convenience via digital tools, and remain a leader in adopting science-based measures to further enhance safety. To date, the airline has put in place the following measures for customers to travel easily, confidently and safely:

  • Ongoing restoration and strategic rebuilding of its international, transborder and domestic network to conveniently reunite people with friends and family, together with flexible and expanded change and cancellation options for bookings;
  • A new digital solution via the Air Canada App and website, enabling customers flying between Canada and select countries to conveniently and securely scan and upload COVID-19 test results to validate compliance with government travel requirements prior to arriving at the airport;
  • Numerous streamlined processes, from several check-in options via web, mobile or airport self-serve kiosk, Touch-Free Bag Check and Bag Drop services, digital presentation of all reading materials via PressReader on personal devices. In the lounge, meals can be ordered and delivered straight to the table through the new Maple Leaf Lounge @ la table service, with additional opportunities to further modernize processes underway;
  • The award-winning Air Canada CleanCare+ program, featuring enhanced biosafety measures throughout every stage of air travel from check-in to lounges to boarding to on-board, which includes highly efficient HEPA air filters on aircraft;
  • As of Oct. 31, 2021, Air Canada is requiring all its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, further ensuring the safety and well-being of customers and employees.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline and, in 2019, was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada's flag carrier and 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. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler's Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX's Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow Air Canada on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join Air Canada on Facebook.

Sign up for Air Canada news: aircanada.com

SOURCE Air Canada

For further information: Contacts: media@aircanada.ca; Internet: aircanada.com/media

September 02, 2021
IMEX Buzz Day helps to create trend watchers

Virtual sessions explore future trends & deliver inside track on IMEX America

Business event professionals can learn how to become trend watchers and create products, services and campaigns tailored to future needs at IMEX Buzz Day. The free virtual experience taking place on Wednesday 15th September, has one eye firmly on the future with panel sessions covering what lies ahead in the world of business, events and technology. The final in the series of Buzz Days on the IMEX BuzzHub has also been designed to provide the inside track on the 10th edition of IMEX America this November, helping participants to plan their show experience, guided by the IMEX team.

New World, Same Humans, Different future-focused sessions

Leading trend watcher David Mattin, founder of New World Same Humans, leads the future focused Buzz Day sessions. His community of over 14,000 ‘curious souls’ are dedicated to exchanging perspectives on the future of trends, technology, and society. David will share the key trends set to reshape behaviours and expectations this decade as well as practical tips on how to identify what’s around the corner and apply it to business planning.

In another session,The Future of Technology is explored by the experts behind Run the World, Swapcard, Cvent and EventMB. IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer is joined by a stellar line-up of industry experts sharing perspectives on What does the future hold for the events industry? Joining Carina on the panel will be Nicola Kastner, VP, Global Head of Event Marketing Strategy, SAP; Colja Dams, Owner, Vok Dams; and Mike Dominguez, President and CEO, ALHI.

The road to Mandalay Bay

In a series of ‘Ask me anything’ sessions, participants are invited to (virtually) meet the IMEX team who will provide the inside track on preparations for the show. The Hosted Buyer team will share practical tips to help those who are new to the IMEX experience achieve the best business value – and maximum fun! – from the show. They will also introduce participants to IMEX America’s new home, Mandalay Bay.

IMEX’s Operations teams will share insight into the show experience, from the design to health and safety measures and the all-important logistical information. They will detail how they’re creating a show that’s safe but not sterile, in line with the latest safety requirements.

Finally, Ask me anything about What’s on at IMEX America and what not to miss! sees the Knowledge team share the latest updates on the inspiring speaker programme, new show initiatives and sensational Las Vegas social events.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “Predicting and responding to the future business landscape can sometimes be difficult, but it’s always essential. Our exciting range of experts have a laser focus on the future and can share insight into the developments set to shape our world.

“With IMEX America taking place in November, we’re now firmly on the road to Mandalay Bay. Our final IMEX Buzz Day is designed to pave the way, introducing the business events community to the people working behind the scenes to create a show that’s safe, packed with learning opportunities and designed to deliver real business value.”

The IMEX BuzzHub platform takes place on 15th September, delivering human connections, business value and tailored content on the ‘Road to Mandalay Bay’ in the run up to IMEX America, 9 – 11 November, and Smart Monday, powered by MPI on 8 November.

Registration for BuzzHub is free

#IMEX21 and #IMEXbuzzhub

www.imexexhibitions.com

September 01, 2021
UNITE 2021 A Global | Virtual Leisure & MICE Trade Show October 20 & 21

Toronto, Canada - UNITE by Saleint is pleased to announce the launch of the second edition of UNITE, A Global, Virtual – Leisure & MICE Trade Show that attracted qualified buyers from around the world in its first year. Scheduled this year for October 20 & 21, the virtual platform will offer new features including matchmaking and keyword search allowing for better connections and productive conversations. The show will operate for 48 straight hours giving everyone the flexibility to join in their local time zone or in that of their target market’s time-zone.

An exhibitor will received a minimum of 40 pre-scheduled meeting and will be able to screen share during these video calls to showcase their products. For additional exposure, exhibitors will have access to ad-on features including second login, collateral distribution and being a part of the speaker series – all for a nominal cost. The webinar sessions can be either stand alone or in combination with the show participation. Additional details are available at https://www.unite-virtual.com/exhibitors/ or with one of our regional ambassadors. Early bird discounts end August 31, 2021. For our DMC partners, only 02 DMC’s per cluster country will be accepted on first-come-first-serve basis with an option for exclusivity.

Meeting planners, Travel Agents and Tour Operators will be the Buyer attendees, who will not only be able to attend the speaker sessions and webinars but will also be able to meet suppliers from around the world. There will be gifts and prizes available for our buyer attendees and an opportunity to network with fellow colleagues too. Featuring this year is the Hidden Gem Series where we discover the ‘little known’ aspects in some of the most popular destinations around the world. MICE planners will be able to tap into content pertinent to them as well.

UNITE is a Trade Show supported by entrepreneurs from the Travel & Tourism Industry. With over 100 years of collective experience from different facets of this resilient industry, this show was built by colleagues for colleagues so that we all could UNITE.

Our key sponsors include - MPAHT (Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking), Pink Media, Ignite Magazine, Greek Travel Pages, Travel2LATAM, EVINTRA, IGLTA and Hozpitality

To learn more or for additional questions please contact:
Mahima Tripathi | mahima@saleint.ca | +1-416-238-2428

Information on UNITE 2021 is available at www.unite-virtual.com/unite-2021

August 25, 2021
Air Canada Introduces Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for All Employees and New Hires

Requirement designed to protect the health and safety of employees, customers

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Air Canada today said it has introduced a new health and safety policy to further protect employees and customers that makes it mandatory for all employees of the airline to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to report their vaccination status as of October 30, 2021. In addition, the airline is making full vaccination a condition of employment for any individual hired by the company.

Since the beginning of the pandemic Air Canada has been a leader in the adoption of science-based measures in response to COVID-19. This has included the airline being among the first to require pre-boarding temperature screening of customers, obligatory onboard mask-wearing policies and the use of testing. The decision to require all employees of Air Canada mainline, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Vacations to be fully vaccinated and report their vaccination status is another initiative to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees and customers.

Under the mandatory vaccination policy, testing will not be offered as an alternative. While Air Canada will fulfill its duties to accommodate employees who for valid reasons, such as medical conditions, cannot be vaccinated, failure to be fully vaccinated by October 30, 2021 will have consequences up to and including unpaid leave or termination, except for those who qualify for accommodation. Air Canada's policy is also in accord with a recent announcement by the Government of Canada requiring employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated by the end of October 2021. 

Air Canada remains committed to the continued development and application of new safety measures and processes as they become available that are effective and convenient for customers. Such measures are vital to the safe restart of the air transport industry which, apart from enabling Canadians to travel freely, is also an essential driver of economic activity in Canada.  For more information on Air Canada's programs and policies to safeguard customers and employees from COVID-19, please visit Air Canada's Travel Ready Hub at www.aircanada.com.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline and, in 2019, was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada's flag carrier and 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. In 2020, Air Canada was named Global Traveler's Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX's Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow Air Canada on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join Air Canada on Facebook.

SOURCE Air Canada

August 24, 2021
Top Five Expectations of Canadian Business Travellers in 2021

New research from SAP Concur reveals almost nine in 10 Canadians are ready to get back in the air

Toronto/CNW/—As Canada gets closer to the return of corporate travel, businesses are taking a closer look at how they can safely resume travel programs. New research commissioned by SAP Concur reveals Canadian business travellers overwhelmingly want to return to business travel. The report findings provide insight into how companies can prepare to meet the demands of travelling employees and ensure a responsible return to business travel.  

The survey of 3,850 business travellers in 25 global markets included 250 within Canada. The top five Canadian findings include:

1. Canadian travellers are ready to get back in the air.
Nearly nine in 10 Canadian business travellers are ready to resume travel in the next 12 months (89 per cent) and get back to what they do best, including three in five who are very willing (59 per cent). This is driven by travellers' belief that they will suffer if their company does not increase business travel in the next year.

However, to feel comfortable, they expect increased flexibility, marking changes in how they travel and do business. In fact, Canadian travellers are looking to mix time in the air with time off. A surprising 92 per cent plan to add leisure travel to their business trips in the next 12 months. In fact, 50 per cent say they'll do so a quarter or more of the time (compared to 38 per cent globally).

2. Canadian travellers worry failing to resume travel will hurt their career and their lives.
For many, business travel is tied to their career success and fulfillment—so much so that more than three-quarters of Canadian business travellers worry the inability to increase business travel will affect them personally (76 per cent). Their personal career concerns include difficulty developing and maintaining business connections (49 per cent), not advancing in their career (33 per cent) and making less money (26 per cent). In fact, an alarming 85 per cent* of female business travellers fear personal or professional consequences if they don't increase business travel in the coming year, significantly more than the 70 per cent* of men who say the same.

As a result, almost two-thirds of Canadian business travellers (63 per cent) say they are driving the return to the skies rather than their company—largely in part because they view their trips as opportunities to strengthen business relationships and broaden their horizons, and almost half of Canadian business want to make personal connections with customers and colleagues (49 per cent).

3. Flexibility is a top driver for Canadian business travellers.
In a key departure from the narrative of the previous year, 73 per cent of Canadian business travellers rank flexibility as a top-consideration for business travel, well ahead of vaccination-related demands at 65 per cent. This includes everything from planning through the completion of their trips: business travellers cite being able to select their preferred accommodations (51 per cent) and mode of travel (37 per cent) as essential travel perks. Findings suggest structured policies are not an issue for business travellers—provided those policies are up to date. Those whose company has a mandated travel policy (54 per cent) or guidelines (32 per cent) also see the ability to book travel directly on supplier websites as an essential benefit.

4. Canadian business travellers do not want COVID-19 travel policies to stay in place.
Nearly 3 in 4 Canadian business travellers (73 per cent) do not want their company to return to pre-COVID-19 policy. A third (33 per cent) expect their company to adjust by allowing modifications to policies for health and safety. Business travellers with mandated policies (69 per cent) or guidelines (51 per cent) want looser restrictions. With greater flexibility, among other adjustments, they'd take trips closer to home (38 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively), stay at larger hotels (33 per cent and 35 per cent) and use their own car or rental instead of public transportation (40 per cent and 24 per cent).

5. Safety remains a priority, but Canadian travellers feel it's a shared responsibility.
Last year, more than one in three business travellers held themselves most accountable for their health and safety on a trip (33 per cent), followed by the transportation providers (19 per cent) and their employer (14 per cent). Now, after experiencing the pandemic, one in four hold themselves most responsible (25 per cent), followed by their company's travel agency (21 per cent) and their employer (19 per cent).

Canadian business travellers say prior to the trip—as they plan and organize all their bookings and safety protocols—is wearing on them: More than two in five Canadian business travellers (45 per cent) say the most stressful stage of the business trip comes before the trip itself suggesting travellers need more support and more solutions for planning their trips.

*Small base size; findings are directional.

For more information, download the Canadian addendum and Global Business Traveller whitepapers.

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com), a leading independent provider of quantitative, qualitative and hybrid market research, among 3,850 business travellers defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually from the following markets: U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, LAC (Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina), UK, France, Germany, ANZ region (Australia and New Zealand), SEA region (Singapore and Malaysia), China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, India, Korea, Italy, Spain, Dubai, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), South Africa, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. Additionally, Wakefield Research surveyed 700 travel managers from the following markets: U.S., Mexico, UK, France, Germany, SEA region (Singapore and Malaysia), and Hong Kong. Both surveys took place April – May 2021. For the interviews conducted in this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.6 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About SAP Concur
SAP® Concur® is the world's leading brand for integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions, driven by a relentless pursuit to simplify and automate these everyday processes. The highly-rated SAP Concur mobile app guides employees through business trips, charges are directly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. By integrating near real-time data and using AI to analyze transactions, businesses can see what they're spending, help ensure compliance, and avoid possible blind spots in the budget. SAP Concur solutions help eliminate yesterday's tedious tasks, make today's work easier, and support businesses to run at their best. Learn more at concur.com or the SAP Concur blog.

About SAP
As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies run better. SAP applications and services enable our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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Please see https://www.sap.com/copyright for additional trademark information and notices.
SAP News Center press roompress@sap.com. Please consider our privacy policy. If you received this press release in your e-mail and you wish to unsubscribe to our mailing list please contact press@sap.com and write Unsubscribe in the subject line.

SOURCE SAP Concur

August 24, 2021
Air Canada Ready to Connect Munich to Toronto

Book with confidence with Air Canada’s new travel policy

Munich—Following the Government of Canada’s announcement to reopen international borders on September 7th, Air Canada is pleased today to unveil additional details of its planned Munich (MUC) – Toronto (YYZ) schedule. Seats are available for sale through all booking channels including aircanada.com and via travel agencies.

The loosening of restrictions enables foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated with the Government of Canada-accepted vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and J&J) at least 14 days prior and who meet specific entry requirements to enter Canada for non-essential travel. See the Government of Canada’s full list of requirements for travellers entering Canada

“As travel restrictions ease across the globe, we are committed to rebuild our international network and continue as a global carrier connecting the world to Canada. With Europeans eager to travel again to Canada, we are ready to reunite customers with their families and friends,” said Jean-Christophe Hérault, Regional Sales Manager Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Eastern Europe at Air Canada. “Our flights from Munich to Toronto conveniently connect to our flights across Canada and the U.S. at our Toronto hub. With our industry-leading CleanCare+ bio-safety protocols, Air Canada has your health and safety as its top priority. We know people are excited to travel, and we look forward to welcoming our customers onboard,” concluded Mr. Hérault.

Air Canada is offering up to three flights per week on a 298-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner featuring a choice of three cabins of service: Air Canada Signature Class, Premium Economy and Economy class.

"We are very excited about the resumption of non-stop service from Munich to Toronto and see this as an important sign for a further recovery of the transatlantic traffic," comments Jost Lammers, CEO Munich Airport.

Flight schedule from Munich-Toronto: Flight

Route

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Aircraft

Day of Operation

AC837

Munich to Toronto

16:00

18:35

B787-9

Tues, Thurs, Sat

AC836

Toronto to Munich

20:20

10:00 +1

B787-9

Mon, Wed, Fri

Note that Air Canada’s commercial schedule may be adjusted as required based on the COVID-19 trajectory and government restrictions. Passengers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. For the most current information, please visit our Information Hub or IATA’s Timatic website.

Travel Policy: Book with confidence
Air Canada's new refund policy is applicable to all tickets purchased. It offers customers the option of a full refund to the original form of payment, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus should the airline cancel or reschedule a flight by more than three hours.

International Services
Air Canada’s international services include wide-body aircraft featuring choices of Air Canada Signature Class with lie-flat seating, Premium Economy and Economy Class. Hours of complementary inflight entertainment is available at every seat throughout the aircraft along with options to purchase onboard wi-fi.

All customers are provided with individual care kits which contain antiseptic wipes, face covering and hand sanitizer. Air Canada’s onboard services have resumed, and will gradually feature new meals inspired by a panel of celebrated Canadian chefs on international flights departing Canada.

Customers can also collect and redeem Aeroplan points through Canada's leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada, priority boarding and other benefits, where available.

Travelling internationally? Visit our Travel information hub or IATA’s Timatic website for the latest government entry requirements. Customers are responsible for ensuring they meet all government entry requirements, including holding the correct travel documents, visas, any required health certificates, and all other eligibility requirements for any flights they purchase. Government requirements may change with little notice.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline, and in 2019 was among the top 20 largest airlines in the world. It is Canada’s flag carrier and 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. In 2019, Air Canada was named Global Traveler's Best Airline in North America for the second straight year. In January 2021, Air Canada received APEX’s Diamond Status Certification for the Air Canada CleanCare+ biosafety program for managing COVID-19, the only airline in Canada to attain the highest APEX ranking. Air Canada has also committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. For more information, please visit:

aircanada.com/media, follow Air Canada on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join Air Canada on Facebook.

Contacts: media@aircanada.ca

August 18, 2021
Porter Airlines first Canadian airline to mandate COVID-19 testing or vaccination for all team members

Toronto/CNW/—Porter Airlines is introducing a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for its team members to support a safe and healthy workplace for employees and passengers.

Aligning with Porter's restart of service on September 8, 2021, team members must be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift.

The Canadian federal government recently announced its intention to mandate vaccination for federally-regulated employers and workers. Porter is the first Canadian airline committed to introducing these important safety measures. Once specific requirements from the government are known, the policy may evolve.

"We have a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. With vaccines readily available for everyone in Canada and the U.S., and their proven effectiveness, requiring vaccination or regular testing is a critical measure to protect the health of our team members," said Michael Deluce, president and CEO, Porter Airlines. "We are providing a testing option to ensure that personal circumstances are accommodated."

The airline industry has been critically impacted by the pandemic. Travel restrictions have only recently been modified after more than a year, based largely on vaccination rates. The effectiveness of vaccines is shown to be consistently at 95% or greater in reducing severe illness and death. They are also highly effective in protecting against infection.

"This policy is another layer of reassurance for our passengers. In addition to our Healthy Flights program, now every team member passengers come in contact with will either be fully vaccinated or recently tested. Working and flying with Porter will be a safer experience for everyone," added Deluce.

Porter also supports the government's plan to require full vaccination for all air travellers. The airline is resuming service to select Canadian destinations on September 8. For more information, visit www.flyporter.com.

About Porter Airlines
Porter Airlines provides a warm and effortless approach to hospitality, restoring glamour and refinement to air travel. Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®.

The airline currently offers flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, St. John's, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Windsor, New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), Boston and Washington (Dulles), and has seasonal flights to Mt. Tremblant, Que., Muskoka, Ont., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Stephenville, N.L.

Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Details of growth plans to provide North America-wide service are available at flyporter.com.

SOURCE Porter Airlines

August 17, 2021
Tourism Recovery Campaign Launches in Support of Toronto Visitor Economy

Never Have I Ever, TO calls on locals and visitors to discover and share new Toronto experiences

Toronto/CNW/—A collaborative tourism recovery campaign is launching today in support of Toronto's visitor economy that calls on locals and visitors to join a citywide game and explore Toronto in new ways. Never Have I Ever, TO – crafted by Destination Toronto, is in close collaboration with the City of Toronto, BIAs, and businesses across all sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry. This collective show of support comes at a time when Toronto's tourism and hospitality industry continues its critically-needed reopening and recovery. 

The $4.2-million marketing campaign, targeting social media, digital, television and out-of-home advertising, is a play on the popular game of the same name that encourages locals and visitors from regional drive markets in Ontario and Quebec to try experiences of all kinds throughout the city – and inspire others to do the same using #NeverHaveIEverTO.  

Running from August 17 to October 30, the recovery-focused campaign promotes many of the businesses and experiences hardest hit from the global pandemic including hotels, attractions, tours and the city's culinary scene. As more restrictions are lifted and reopenings take place, other hardest hit sectors will be added alongside the campaign's evolution. 

The campaign asks locals and visitors to "find your Never Have I Ever" experience in Toronto from visiting an iconic attraction for the first time or taking their first hotel staycation, to sipping cocktails on a newly-discovered patio or trying a new cuisine at one of the city's eclectic restaurants.

"Never Have I Ever, TO is part of a citywide conversation to get Toronto back on its feet by encouraging all of us to take a fresh look at our own city and explore Toronto's unique experiences," said Scott Beck, President & CEO, Destination Toronto. "There is no full economic recovery until travel returns, and that recovery starts with us. It's time for locals and visitors from nearby cities to take in the experiences we may have walked by time and time again, or to rediscover the experiences we've missed since the start of the pandemic."

The campaign also includes My Toronto Pass – a new mobile-exclusive passport featuring offers on attractions, tours, experiences and more for locals and visitors, alike. My Toronto Pass launches today in conjunction with Never Have I Ever, TO

Mayor John Tory found his own Never Have I Ever moment at the top of the city at the CN Tower's EdgeWalk, and shared the video of that experience today. 

"Toronto is a unique city filled with many experiences, and things to do. During the past year and a half, our entire city has made tremendous sacrifices to keep each other and our city safe but now we are given an opportunity to explore all that our city has to offer," said Mayor John Tory. "Local businesses across Toronto have done a tremendous job to innovate their offerings and safely showcase the best of Toronto so that we can go out and try those experiences we have yet to do. I encourage residents to participate in this campaign and to do something fun and exciting that they have never done before in Toronto. Together, we can support our city, the many businesses in our city and all the people working to reopen these businesses, reopen our city and welcome people back."

Never Have I Ever, TO also takes advantage of new and existing ways locals and visitors can venture further and explore including the City of Toronto's ShowLoveTO initiatives like ActiveTO, CafeTO, StrollTO and the recently announced DineTOgether - the City's new restaurant program.  From September 17 to October 3, DineTOgether showcases the breadth and diversity of Toronto's restaurants and encourages residents to patronize local eateries through a feature menu available by takeout, delivery, patio dining and/or indoor dining.

More about the campaign can be found on the dedicated Never Have I Ever, TO website. 

ABOUT DESTINATION TORONTO
Toronto's visitor economy is a vital economic engine for the city, generating more than $10 billion in economic activity and supporting 70,000 jobs in 2019. Destination Toronto's mandate is to reflect the breadth and diversity of Toronto's people, places and culture to inspire residents and visitors to meet, visit and explore our city. Operating in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Destination Toronto markets and promotes the city to global travellers, attracts and supports major meetings and events, and supports local businesses to maximize the opportunities of visitor spending. For more information please visit DestinationToronto.com.

SOURCE Destination Toronto

August 15, 2021
Hyatt to Acquire Apple Leisure Group, Expanding Global Brand Presence in Luxury Leisure Travel

CHICAGO – Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced that Hyatt has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Apple Leisure Group (ALG), a leading luxury resort-management services, travel and hospitality group, from affiliates of each of KKR and KSL Capital Partners, LLC for $2.7 billion in cash. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.  

ALG’s resort brand management platform AMResorts® provides management services to the largest portfolio of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Americas under the AMR™ Collection brand portfolio, including well-known brands Secrets® Resorts & Spa, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Breathless® Resorts & Spas and Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts as well as the fast-growing Alua® Hotels & Resorts brand, which is expanding in European leisure destinations. The acquisition also includes ALG’s membership offering, Unlimited Vacation Club®, travel distribution business ALG Vacations®, as well as destination management services and travel technology assets. Following the completion of the transaction, ALG’s business will continue to be led by current ALG CEO Alejandro Reynal and the current ALG leadership team. Mr. Reynal will become a member of Hyatt’s executive leadership team and report to Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian.

“With the asset-light acquisition of Apple Leisure Group, we are thrilled to bring a highly desirable independent resort management platform into the Hyatt family,” said Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer, Hyatt. “The addition of ALG’s properties will immediately double Hyatt’s global resorts footprint. ALG’s portfolio of luxury brands, leadership in the all-inclusive segment and large pipeline of new resorts will extend our reach in existing and new markets, including in Europe, and further accelerate our industry-leading net rooms growth. Importantly, the combination of this value-creating acquisition and the $2 billion increase in our asset sale commitment will transform our earnings profile, and we expect Hyatt to reach 80% fee-based earnings by the end of 2024.”

ALG’s hotel portfolio consists of over 33,000 rooms operating in 10 countries. The portfolio has grown from nine resorts in 2007 to approximately 100 properties by the end of 2021 and has a pipeline of 24 executed deals with a large number of additional hotels in the development process. ALG’s Unlimited Vacation Club® is an exclusive travel club whose participants enjoy preferred rates and other benefits at AMR™ Collection properties. With over 110,000 members, Unlimited Vacation Club® membership has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 18% over the last five years.

“Combining Hyatt’s deep expertise and global brand footprint with ALG’s strong resort brands, operating capabilities and robust development plans will elevate our differentiated position and create a leader in luxury leisure travel,” said Alejandro Reynal, chief executive officer, Apple Leisure Group. “On behalf of everyone at ALG, I am grateful to our partners at KKR and KSL who supported us in building the platform into what it is today. I am excited to have our team join the Hyatt family and I anticipate a robust growth journey ahead as the industry expands and we are able to provide a best-in-class leisure offering to an even larger group of travelers around the world.”

“Today is a great milestone in what has been a story of growth, resilience, and dedication to world-class leisure experiences by an outstanding team at Apple Leisure Group,” said Chris Harrington and Rich Weissman, partners at KKR and KSL Capital Partners, respectively. “There is simply no better home for ALG to continue on its growth trajectory than being part of Hyatt.”    

Strategic Rationale  

  • Expand footprint in luxury and resort travel: The acquisition will expand Hyatt’s presence in luxury leisure travel and immediately add approximately 100 hotels and a pipeline of 24 executed deals in Europe and the Americas to its portfolio. Following completion of the transaction, Hyatt will offer the largest portfolio of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world, will double its global resort footprint, will be the largest operator of luxury hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, and will expand its European footprint by 60 percent. The acquisition will extend Hyatt’s brand footprint into 11 new European markets, greatly enhancing Hyatt’s growth potential in Europe, a critical region for global growth in leisure travel.  
  • Expand platform for growth: ALG’s strong developer and owner base will expand Hyatt’s relationships with deeply committed partners in key complementary geographies. Hyatt’s global network of developers and its operational expertise is expected to further accelerate growth of ALG brands. Hyatt plans to apply the combined strength of the teams to expand beyond ALG’s current pipeline in new geographies in which ALG does not currently have hotels.    
  • Benefit owners: Access to ALG’s owned distribution platforms and its extensive experience in leisure travel are expected to provide significant opportunities for Hyatt’s existing resorts. Owners of AMR Collection properties will receive increased access to a much broader collection of brands, and the backing of Hyatt’s global distribution, sales and marketing.  
  • Increase choice and experiences for guests: The combined resources of ALG and Hyatt will open up expanded offerings and experiences for the benefit of the combined companies' high-end guest and customer base. ALG’s exclusive membership offering, Unlimited Vacation Club®, will bring more than 110,000 highly passionate travelers closer to Hyatt when traveling for a variety of stay occasions apart from vacations. Following completion of the transaction, Hyatt will determine ways in which World of Hyatt and Unlimited Vacation Club® can bring added value and unique loyalty benefits to their member bases while benefitting hotel owners.   
  • Enhance end-to-end leisure travel offerings through:
    • ALG Vacations® as one of the largest packaged tour providers and leisure travel distribution platforms in North America serving Mexico and the Caribbean,   
    • Amstar, a leading destination services management company in Mexico and the Caribbean, and its Hawaii-focused counterpart Worldstar, and  
    • Trisept Solutions®, its unique leisure travel technology platform.     
  • Accelerate asset-light strategy: The acquisition of ALG’s asset-light business will meaningfully increase the percentage of revenues and earnings Hyatt will generate from fees. Additionally, Hyatt anticipates fulfilling its current commitment to sell $1.5 billion of hotel real estate in 2021, resulting in a total of over $3 billion of proceeds realized since the asset-sale strategy was announced in 2017 at a combined multiple of over 17x EBITDA as compared to Hyatt’s original estimate of 13x to 15x. Hyatt is further committing to an additional $2 billion in proceeds from the sale of hotel real estate by the end of 2024. 

The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.   

About Hyatt Hotels Corporation   

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company offering 20 premier brands. As of June 30, 2021, the Company's portfolio included more than 1,000 hotel and all-inclusive properties in 68 countries across six continents. The Company's purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top employees, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. The Company's subsidiaries operate, manage, franchise, own, lease, develop, license, or provide services to hotels, resorts, branded residences, and vacation ownership properties, including under the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Alila®, Andaz®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, Caption by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt™, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Place®, tommie™, UrCove, and Hyatt Residence Club® brand names, and operates the World of Hyatt® loyalty program that provides distinct benefits and exclusive experiences to its valued members. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.   

About Apple Leisure Group®   

Apple Leisure Group® (ALG) is a leading North American resort brand-management, travel and hospitality group with a unique business model serving travelers and destinations worldwide. ALG, through its group of affiliated companies, consistently delivers exceptional value to travelers and strong performance to resort owners and partners by strategically leveraging its portfolio of brands including: AMResorts LP, or one or more of its affiliates which collectively provide sales, marketing, and brand management services to resort and hotel brands under the AMR™ Collection including 5-star and 4-star luxury award-winning brands including Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Breathless® Resorts & Spas, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Alua® Hotels & Resorts, Sunscape® Resorts & Spas and Now® Resorts & Spas; ALG Vacations®, one of the largest sellers of vacation packages and charter flights in the U.S. for travel to Mexico and the Caribbean, with well-established brands: Apple Vacations®, Funjet Vacations®, Travel Impressions®, CheapCaribbean.com®, BeachBound®, Blue Sky Tours®, Southwest Vacations®, and United Vacations®; the exclusive membership program Unlimited Vacation Club®; best-in-class destination management services provided by Amstar DMC; and the innovative technology solutions provider Trisept Solutions®, connecting over 88,000 travel agents with leading travel suppliers.  

To learn more about the Apple Leisure Group advantage, visit www.appleleisuregroup.com.  

August 13, 2021
The Honourable Liza Frulla appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of Destination Canada

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced the appointment of the Honourable Liza Frulla as Chair of the Board of Directors of Destination Canada, effective August 6, 2021. The appointment was made following an open, transparent and merit-based selection process.

Ms. Frulla has been CEO and Director of the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) for several years and chaired its governance committee while she was a member of the ITHQ Board of Directors.

In 2018 and 2019, she was a member of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, whose recommendations played an important role in the development of Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

In the course of her rich career, Ms. Frulla has been a federal minister and a Quebec minister, and she has made a significant contribution to the Canadian arts and culture sector. She holds a B.A. from Collège Basile-Moreau and a degree in education from the Université de Montréal.

Destination Canada's mission is to influence supply and build demand for the benefit of locals, communities and visitors through leading research, alignment with public and private sectors, destination development, and marketing Canada nationally and abroad. In addition, its Business Events team leverages in-depth global market analysis to target international clusters aligned with Canada's priority economic sectors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected global tourism. Destination Canada, a federal Crown corporation, has been agile in expanding its focus from international marketing to domestic marketing to encourage the safe travel of Canadians within our borders and support Canada's tourism sector during this challenging period. It has established a strong foundation to support the sector's recovery and future resilience.

Quotes

"We know the tremendous contribution of the tourism sector to our communities, large and small. It supports good jobs in rural areas, small towns, Indigenous communities and big cities from coast to coast to coast. Ms. Frulla has an excellent track record in the hospitality industry and in the tourism sector as a whole. Her wealth of experience will truly be an asset that will help steer Destination Canada throughout the recovery of Canada's visitor economy."
 – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

"Liza Frulla is a respected, trusted and active member of the Canadian tourism sector, bringing incredible depth of knowledge. Her leadership and excellent track record will be a tremendous asset to Destination Canada and will help in the recovery and future resilience of the country's visitor economy. I also wish to thank Monique Gomel for her strong leadership as Interim Board Chair during the selection process."
– Marsha Walden, President and Chief Executive Officer, Destination Canada

Quick facts

  • In 2019, a record 22.1 million tourists travelled to Canada.
  • Tourism expenditures reached an estimated $104.4 billion that year.
  • In 2019, tourism directly supported approximately 692,000 jobs in communities across Canada and contributed an estimated $45.1 billion in gross domestic product.
  • To ensure that Canada is a destination of choice when domestic and international travel resumes more fully, the Government of Canada provided an additional $100 million over three years to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to encourage Canadians and international visitors to discover and explore the country.

Associated links

Stay connected

Follow @cdntourism on social media for tourism-related news and join the conversation using #cdntourismjobs: Twitter, Instagram.

SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

August 13, 2021
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal: AURA, the immersive experience by Moment Factory is back in a renewed form starting August 13

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal is announcing the return on August 13 of AURA, the immersive experience created by Moment Factory.

Taking place in the stunning nave of this Gothic Revival masterpiece, the AURA experience immerses the audience in a captivating visual and musical universe. First created to mark the 375th anniversary of Montréal and critically acclaimed worldwide, AURA has already been performed over 1,300 times between 2017 and 2020 and has been seen by more than 650,000 spectators from 137 countries.

This updated version features three new scenes told through music and images that are projected onto the most exquisite backdrop there is: Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal's breathtaking Gothic Revival architecture. The show celebrates the simplicity of light and the shapes, materials and colours of the Basilica.

The newly added musical moments showcase the Basilica's exceptional Casavant organ, which was inaugurated in 1891 and whose 7,000 pipes can be heard being played live during the show.

It was made possible by recording and sequencing a performance of Pierre Grandmaison, titular organist of the Basilica, that could later be played live without the musician while keeping all of the nuances and emphases of the composition. The soundtrack was composed by Marc Bell and Gabriel Thibaudeau of TROUBLEMAKERS. It includes an original orchestral composition performed by 30 musicians and 20 choristers, and features the impressive Basilica organ.

The uplifting effect of the organ and one-of-a-kind acoustics of the Basilica reveal the vast space surrounding the audience that reverberates to the powerful sound of this unique instrument for an authentic experience. 

"In its new format, AURA has become a must-try experience to be discovered or rediscovered," said Jean-Charles Boily, CEO of the Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal. "This extraordinary artistic project offers a new perspective on the architecture and art of the Basilica, which will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2029 and remains deeply rooted in Montréal's cultural life. Until we can welcome back international tourists, we want to excite and amaze Quebeckers from all across the province."

Éric Fournier, Partner and Executive Producer at Moment Factory, said: "We are very happy to contribute to the recovery of the entertainment industry by continuing our collaboration with Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal. AURA offers visitors an immersive and collective experience, while showcasing this jewel of our architectural heritage."

The AURA experience
Participants are invited to sit in the nave for a spectacular performance that brings together light and music. Wherever they are seated, they will be amazed by the breathtaking scenes projected across the Basilica's walls, vaulted ceiling and altarpiece.

AURA will first be presented on Fridays at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Saturdays at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Depending on demand, more performances may be added to the schedule. Tickets can be purchased online.

For a video clip and high-resolution images, please go to: https://www.aurabasiliquemontreal.com/en/press-room

About the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal
Built between 1824 and 1829, Notre-Dame Basilica is a jewel of Montréal's architectural, artistic and religious heritage. Its Gothic Revival structure, sculpted furnishings and religious artworks all contribute to its heritage status and must be preserved and showcased. The Basilica was the first Gothic Revival church in Canada. It was promoted Minor Basilica in 1982 and became a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989. Close to 1 million visitors marvel each year at its impressive sanctuary, its polychromatic gilded vaulted ceiling, and the sound of its imposing Casavant organ.

It has the dual mission of creating and maintaining conditions favourable to the expression of liturgical life while optimizing the preservation, promotion and awareness of its historical, architectural and artistic heritage.

For many years, it has been a part of the city's life, making the most of its prime location by hosting various cultural events.

About Moment Factory
Moment Factory is a multimedia studio with a full range of production expertise under one roof. The team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Headquartered in Montréal, the studio also has addresses in Tokyo, Paris, New York City and Singapore. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 450 unique projects worldwide, including the Lumina Night Walk series. Productions span the globe and include such clients as Changi Airport, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal, Disney, Arcade Fire, Microsoft, Sony, Boston Museum of Science, Madonna, Cipriani, Universal Studios, the Toronto Zoo, and the Reims Cathedral. Visit www.momentfactory.com.

www.AURAbasiliquemontreal.com 
https://www.facebook.com/AURABasiliqueMontreal/

SOURCE Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

August 13, 2021
The WestJet Group responds to mandatory vaccination requirement for airline workers

Airline working to implement government's mandatory vaccination requirement for federally regulated airline employees by the end of October

CALGARY, AB - The WestJet Group today welcomed the announcement by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra regarding mandatory vaccinations for federally regulated airline employees. 

"We continue to be a strong partner in Canada's vaccination rollout and are working diligently to implement the government's policy on mandatory vaccines for airline employees," said Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President, People and Culture. "Vaccinations are the most effective way to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, while curbing the spread of COVID-19."

 "We understand our people will have questions and will be discussing with our employee and labour groups in real-time," continued Mr. Porter. "We are seeking additional detail from the federal government on the requirement and are committed to working together to ensure the successful implementation of the policy by late October." 

WestJet currently has an active workforce of approximately 6,000 WestJetters, while 4000 remain inactive or furloughed. Swoop currently has an active workforce of 340 employees, while more than 170 remain inactive or furloughed.

The WestJet Group will adhere to the requirement for domestic travellers to be fully-vaccinated or tested prior to departure. The airline group is advocating that rapid-antigen testing is an acceptable, accessible and affordable alternative for unvaccinated travellers.

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.

August 12, 2021
The Malcolm Hotel in Canmore, Named "Best of the Best"

The only hotel in Alberta to receive the prestigious top 1% award, worldwide.

Canmore, AB/CNW/—On May 12, 2021, Tripadvisor awarded The Malcolm Hotel by CLIQUE, the title of Travelers' Choice® "Best of the Best" in the category of Worldwide Hotels. This award recognizes the most popular, most loved hotels; drawn from the experiences of the best experts possible: Real travellers who've been there before.

"This is a true testament to our incredible team that consistently goes above and beyond to ensure our guests are provided with Legendary service," says Andrew Shepherd, General Manager, The Malcolm Hotel. "Despite the challenging times we have faced, our team has continued to provide welcoming, safe, and memorable experiences. I cannot thank the team enough for their hard work, which has led to this achievement. A very special thank you to our Community, and our Guests who helped make this possible with your wonderful reviews. Your support means the world to us."

Every year, Tripadvisor combs through the millions of reviews from its global community of travelers to surface the hotels that people raved about most, and this year was no different.

"As the world gears up for a busier summer travel season, Tripadvisor's Best of the Best Awards are here to help people discover spectacular places to stay as they start planning their long-awaited next trip," said Lindsay Nelson, Chief Experience and Brand Officer at Tripadvisor.

Travelers' Choice® "Best of the Best" is the highest honor awarded by Tripadvisor to the top 1% worldwide. The Malcolm Hotel, with its deeply embedded historical roots, is the only Hotel in Alberta to have received this prestigious award and is currently ranked Top 25 in Canada. The Malcolm Hotel is excited to welcome back international guests as Canada reopens its borders. 

About The Malcolm Hotel: The Malcolm Hotel is part of a 70-acre development known as Spring Creek Mountain Village, and is the first high-end hotel and conference space to open in Canmore in 20 years. Owner, Frank Kernick, has much deeper and more personal ties to this project than most hotel property owners can boast; his father and uncle actually grew up on the land that is now home, in part, to The Malcolm Hotel. Between the late 1920s and early 1950s, the family operated a dairy farm on the land, supplying milk to what was at the time a mining town. Situated between two natural-flowing creeks, The Malcolm provides four-star service and hospitality to 124 mountain view rooms and suites, Full Conference facilities, and 5 food & beverage outlets; all with luxury amenities. Its ambiance and design reflects the pageantry, royalty and heritage of the past King of Scotland - Malcolm III, who is also known as Canmore's namesake. The Malcolm Hotel is Canmore's Crown Jewel.

View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-malcolm-hotel-in-canmore-named-best-of-the-best-301354489.html

SOURCE The Malcolm Hotel by Clique

 

August 11, 2021
Canada moving forward with a proof of vaccination for international travel

Ottawa/CNW/—While Canadians should continue to avoid non-essential travel worldwide, the Government of Canada recognizes that proof of vaccination credentials will support the re-opening of societies and economies.

Canadians are looking for a more reliable and secure way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccination history to foreign and Canadian border officials. To that end, the Government of Canada is collaborating with the provinces and territories to develop a proof of vaccination that will facilitate cross-border travel, while reducing the risk of spread and importation of COVID-19. We are also continuing to engage with Indigenous partners across the country to ensure that a proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples.

The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to develop a secure pan-Canadian approach. This plan is based on advice from our public health officials with priority placed on the safety and security of all Canadians.

For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveller meets their public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home.

Travellers will be able to submit their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN (mobile app or Canada.ca/ArriveCAN) when coming back to Canada. While the focus is on a digital proof of vaccination, we will also make sure that these documents are accessible for all Canadians who may need to use them.

The Government of Canada encourages everyone who is able to do so, regardless of travel plans, to get vaccinated. Vaccination with a complete series of approved COVID-19 vaccines provides individuals with substantial protection against the virus.

Destination countries determine if or what type of proof of vaccination is required and the related benefits that may be provided such as reduced or no testing or quarantine requirements. Canadians who do not have a proof of vaccination can travel outside the country, but they may have to quarantine or meet other requirements at their destination country, and they will be subject to mandatory quarantine and testing upon return to Canada. 

Canadians should always check the Government of Canada's travel advice and advisories, as well as the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, before booking a trip.

Quotes  

"Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made, our country is reopening—gradually, cautiously and guided by public health. This means that many Canadians are contemplating doing something they haven't done in over a year and a half: travelling. Our work with the provinces and territories to provide a consistent proof of vaccination is a key step forward in ensuring Canadians will have the documents they need once it is safe to travel again." 

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

"Around the world, vaccination rates are increasing and countries are reopening their borders. We will continue our work with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to provide Canadians with a secure and reliable proof of vaccination, which could be required for international travel. I encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to."

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Canada continues to participate in the international dialogue on proof of vaccination for international travel, including with the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, and through the G7.
  • Currently, there is no international consensus on an acceptable proof of vaccination, but we are working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in Canada.
  • Safeguards are being built into the policies, procedures and technical systems to protect the privacy of Canadians. Provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations are and will remain the custodians of Canadians' health data.
  • The Government of Canada is working with partners to ensure the recognition of Canada's successful, science-based vaccination strategy abroad, which includes mixed vaccination schedules, extended dose intervals and a portfolio of safe and effective vaccines.
  • The Government of Canada is continuing to engage with Indigenous leaders across the country to ensure that design of the proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples. This includes ensuring the program is equitable and accessible, and takes into account the needs of Indigenous communities, including Canada-U.S. border communities.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers, including Canadians, who are eligible to come to Canada must continue to upload their current vaccine documentation through ArriveCAN in English or French (or a certified translation) if they want to be eligible for the exemption from quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements.
  • The Government of Canada continues to work with the World Health Organization and its international partners to share data proving the efficacy of a mixed vaccine schedule. Vaccines are safe and effective, and provide strong protection against severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Canadians who currently need proof they were vaccinated can contact their province or territory for the record or receipt of vaccination if they don't already have it. More information is available at Canada.ca/vaccine-proof.  

Associated links –
COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders 
ArriveCAN
Travel advice and advisories 
How to book your vaccine appointment
COVID-19 vaccines: Proof of vaccination 

Follow us:
twitter.com/GovCanHealth 
facebook.com/HealthyCdns 
instagram.com/healthycdns

SOURCE Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

August 11, 2021
France Health Pass

 

New Vaccine Recognition System done abroad for tourists

Montreal —Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of Tourism, French Nationals Living Abroad and Francophonie, has announced the implementation of a vaccine recognition system given abroad for tourists wishing to travel to France.  International travellers outside the EU who are already in France, as well as those who arrive before August 15, will be prioritized in order to provide them with rapid access to the health pass. 

Health pass: when, where, for whom?

Already mandatory for travellers coming from or going to France and since July 21, 2021 in all places intended for cultural, sports and leisure activities, as well as fairs and exhibitions receiving more than 50 people, the health pass is required from August 9, 2021 in, among others:

  • Bars and restaurants (except for company restaurants and takeaway sales), both indoors and outdoors;
  • Public transport (trains, buses, airplanes) for long-distance travel. 

The 50-person limit is repealed, which means that the health pass is required from the first customer, i.e. people over 18, in all these places and establishments. It will only be mandatory for teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 as of September 30, 2021. 

Applying for a health pass and obtaining equivalents

In order to facilitate the stay in France of tourists from outside the EU, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has set up a specific system to obtain a QR code for vaccination equivalence valid on French territory.

Request for a health pass in case of vaccination abroad (procedure for tourists visiting France, outside the EU)

Travelers are invited to complete the relevant documents as soon as possible, available on the France Diplomatie website. All the forms as well as instructions and addresses for sending the request can be found there. 

Initially, this system is open to foreign tourists from outside Europe, already travelling in France or arriving by August 15, 2021. Applications for arrivals after this date will be considered at a later date.

Where to find the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in France

You can find the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in France on the French government website.

Where to get tourist information about France

For information on travel destinations and experiences in France and its overseas destinations, visit France.fr.

Preparing your trip to France

To prepare for your trip to France, Atout France recommends that you check the latest information on the France.fr website - Covid section, but also refer to the following sources

To see the latest news from Atout France in Canada, subscribe to our account on Atout France Canada on LinkedIn! 

#Explorefrance #TravelTomorrow #WhatReallyMatters

About Atout France 

Atout France, the France tourism development agency, is responsible for strengthening the positioning of France as an international destination. It assists territories in their development strategy and promotes investment projects in order to stimulate the French tourism offer and increase its quality. Atout France also provides its 1,300 partners with tools for understanding tourism demand and offers them marketing and promotional actions based on global destination brands to strengthen their international development. Finally, the Agency is in charge of missions (classifications, registrations, labels, etc.) aimed at guaranteeing the quality of services offered to visitors. Atout France is developing its international missions through a network of 32 offices in 29 countries.


August 10, 2021
Hilton Toronto/Markham Introduces Innovative Hygiene Technology to Maximize Guest Safety

Toronto/CNW/—As more travellers return to business and leisure trips, hotels are looking for new ways to ensure the safety and well-being of their guests. The Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre and Spa has partnered with Glissner to introduce The Elite, by Glissner– a fully touchless device using ultraviolet-C ray technology to keep guests' cell phones as clean as possible.

Smartphones are known to be riddled with germs, and The Elite significantly reduces the transmission of viruses and pathogens. Developed by health tech company Glissner, The Elite, can be strategically placed in busy areas of the hotel or conference centre to help keep guests safe.

"We're ecstatic to be partnering with Hilton of Markham as one of our launch partners," said Ronen Benin, CEO, Glissner. "The hotel's leadership team cares first and foremost about the safety of their guests and staff. We're very excited about the multiple ways in which the Hilton plans on using the interactive display on The Elite."   

With safety and hygiene becoming an area of increased focus for the hospitality industry, The Elite's quick cleaning time and sleek design provides guests and users with an enhanced experience that aims to replace the long and arduous manual phone sanitization processes. 

"The Elite, by Glissner, is a wonderful product that supports the safety measures in place at Hilton Toronto/ Markham against Covid-19," said Astrid Gerrebrands Schyvenaars, Director of Catering and Conference Services, Hilton Toronto/Markham. "Their team is extremely supportive in setting up the Elite for our guests and we are excited to host the Elite kiosk at our hotel." 

In addition to proper handwashing and hygiene, keeping smartphone and other high-touch surfaces as clean as possible is a great way to ensure a cleaner and healthier lifestyle.

"Our number one goal at Glissner is to provide seamless and intuitive technology that keeps communities safe," said Benin. "The events of the past 18 months have resulted in a 'new normal' to emerge, where personal hygiene and safety will remain a central theme in helping the fight against harmful viruses."

About Glissner™:
Glissner™ was founded by serial health tech entrepreneur Ronen Benin in early 2020 with the mission of making sanitizing phones as quick and simple as sanitizing hands. With innovative solutions like its CleanPhone™ device, Glissner combines science and delight to instill confidence in every corner of the world by sanitizing handheld objects safely and effectively. Glissner's flagship product CleanPhone™ is a sleek, touchless UV-C light sanitation device that kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria on a smartphone in 10 seconds. 

Visit us at:
Web:                www.glissner.com 
Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/glissnerUV 
Instagram:        https://www.instagram.com/glissnerUV 
Twitter:             https://twitter.com/glissnerUV 
LinkedIn:          https://www.linkedin.com/company/real-sanitation-station/ 

About Hilton Toronto/Markham:
Spacious accommodations, attentive service and an atmosphere of comfort make Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa ideal for business and leisure travelers alike. Located just minutes from both the airport and downtown Toronto, the hotel puts Guests in easy reach of major businesses, dining, shopping and other attractions. 

Visit us at: 
Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa 
8500 Warden Avenue, Markham, ON L6G 1A5 
905-470-8500 
www.torontomarkham.hilton.com 

SOURCE Glissner

August 10, 2021
"FEAST: Growing Indigenous Food Tourism in Ontario" Strategy Launched by Indigenous Tourism Ontario

AUNDECK OMNI KANING FIRST NATION, ON, Aug. 10, 2021 /CNW/ - The first of its kind in the world, FEAST: Growing Indigenous Food Tourism in Ontario (FEAST), is being launched today with a vision to establish Indigenous foods and foodways as integral parts of Ontario's identity.

Over a two-year period, Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) worked with partners across the province to develop FEAST, a 5-year plan to strategically advance the Indigenous food tourism sector. With Ontario being home to many diverse Indigenous cultures and unique foodways, Indigenous food tourism experiences serve as a catalyst for increased dialogue and cultural exchange, support Indigenous-owned businesses, and contribute to community development.

"As Indigenous people of these lands, we've been hosts for hundreds of years and initiatives like FEAST will further create space to help Indigenous people tell their story on their terms." - Kevin Eshkawkogan, CEO & President, ITO

FEAST will guide enhancement of existing Indigenous tourism products and encourage new, immersive food tourism experience development. With wide reaching impacts, ITO is committed to maximizing the economic, environmental, and socio-cultural benefits that Indigenous communities receive. In addition to strengthening local food systems, reducing food miles, and localizing the impacts of visitor dollars, this work will also contribute to cultural revitalization by protecting food traditions and celebrating innovations.

"Since time immemorial, Indigenous foods and foodways have been enriching the place that we are so privileged to call home, and they have the potential to become a meaningful part of every visitor experience in Ontario and beyond. As settler allies operating in the tourism space, we could not be more invested in supporting implementation in partnership with ITO and Indigenous businesses seeking to create positive change through food tourism." - Trevor Jonas Benson, VP, Destination Development, Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA)

To learn more about FEAST, please visit IndigenousTourismOntario.ca/news/feast-growing-indigenous-food-tourism-in-ontario/

Join ITO in celebrating Indigenous food tourism by sharing your favourite Indigenous food experiences on social media! Post a photo of your favourite Indigenous food experience, tag @IndigenousTourismOntario and use the hashtag #FEASTIndigenous.

About ITO
ITO is the province's first and only dedicated Indigenous tourism organization that focuses on uniting communities, Indigenous organizations and industry leaders to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario. Through product development and marketing of authentic Indigenous experiences, ITO establishes a platform for Indigenous cultural expression and preservation through tourism. Visit us at indigenoustourismontario.ca.

About CTA
The CTA is a not-for-profit industry organization. Towards bridging the gap between the food & drink and tourism industries, we represent a strong membership base in Ontario, celebrate restaurants committed to sourcing Ontario food & drink through our Feast On® program, and work internationally with destinations of all shapes and sizes to grow food tourism. Our vision is for culinary tourism to be a meaningful and sustainable contributor to local economies in destinations worldwide. For more information, visit culinarytourismalliance.com.

SOURCE Indigenous Tourism Ontario

August 10, 2021
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Is Granted Preliminary Injunction Allowing it to Sail from Florida with 100% Vaccination of Guests and Crew

MIAMI -- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (the “Company”) (NYSE: NCLH), a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, is pleased to report that today Judge Williams ruled in its favor granting a preliminary injunction which paves the way for the Company’s three brands to require documentation confirming a guest’s vaccination status prior to boarding. This order will now allow the Company to operate in the safest way possible with 100% vaccinationi of all guests and crew when sailing from Florida ports. Nothing takes priority over the health and safety of the Company’s guests, crew and the communities visited and its commitment to them is paramount. The Company’s first sailing from Florida is scheduled on August 15, 2021 on Norwegian Gem departing from Miami.

“The health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is our number one priority, today, tomorrow and forever. It’s not a slogan or a tagline, we fiercely mean it and our commitment to these principles is demonstrated by the lengths our Company has gone through to provide the safest possible cruise experience from Florida. We want nothing more than to sail from Miami, the Cruise Capital of the World, and from the other fabulous Florida ports and we welcome today’s ruling that allows us to sail with 100% fully vaccinated guests and crew which we believe is the safest and most prudent way to resume cruise operations amid this global pandemic,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “The public health environment continues to evolve around the globe and our robust science-backed health and safety protocols, with vaccines at its cornerstone, allow us to provide what we believe is the safest vacation experience for people who long to get back to their everyday lives and explore the world once again.”

“We are pleased that Judge Williams saw the facts, the law and the science as we did and granted the Company’s motion for preliminary injunction allowing us to operate cruises from Florida with 100% vaccinated guests and crew,” said Daniel S. Farkas, executive vice president and general counsel of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “While litigation is a strategic tool of last resort, our Company has fought to do what we believe is right and in the best interest of the welfare of our guests, crew and communities we visit in an effort to do our part as responsible corporate citizens to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, further spread of COVID-19 as we gradually relaunch our vessels.”

The swift deployment of vaccines has been the primary vehicle for people to safely get back to their everyday lives while containing the spread of the virus. The Company invested heavily in its comprehensive, multi-layered SailSAFE™ health and safety program with science-backed protocols developed in conjunction with the nation’s top scientific and public health experts. The Company’s policy of 100% vaccination of guests and crew was in place without issue in every port it sails from around the world except for Florida. Despite the ongoing global pandemic and the accelerating spread of the Delta variant, Florida prohibited the Company from requiring vaccine documentation which the Company believed would enable it to resume sailing in the safest way possible.

About Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.        

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH) is a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. With a combined fleet of 28 ships with approximately 60,000 berths, these brands offer itineraries to more than 490 destinations worldwide. The Company has nine additional ships scheduled for delivery through 2027, comprising approximately 24,000 berths.

August 05, 2021
Canadian chapters and Leslee Bell of Decor & More recognized by ILEA for outstanding contributions

McLean, VA—The International Live Events Association (ILEA) has announced the recipients of its 2021 Volunteer Awards and 2020-2021 Spirit of Excellence Awards, which honor ILEA members who have made invaluable contributions to ILEA and the live events industry as well as excellence in ILEA chapter leadership, respectively. Both the Volunteer Awards and the Spirit of Excellence Awards were presented during the ILEA 2021 Annual General Meeting on July 28.

“Over this past year, we’ve seen how incredibly strong and resilient ILEA’s community of volunteers is,” said ILEA International 2020-2021 President Dana Macaulay, CSEP. “Their spirit is exemplified by the recipients of our Volunteer Awards and Spirit of Excellence Awards, whose dedication to ILEA and the live events industry has made a difference in helping our members and community respond to and recover from the pandemic. Thank you — and congratulations!”

2021 ILEA Volunteer Awards

KLAUS INKAMP LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Leslee Bell, Partner, Decor & More Inc. — The prestigious Klaus Inkamp Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a well-respected leader who is of high ethical character and who has given selflessly to ILEA and the live events industry for an extended period of time.

J. ROBERT GRAVES PIONEER AWARD
Sara Grauf, CSEP, Senior Vice President, Event Strategy and Services, San Francisco Giants — Named for one of ILEA’s founders, the J. Robert Graves Pioneer Award is given to a volunteer who has significantly contributed to the growth and development of the association, not only through creative vision but through determined execution.

METTLE ATTITUDE AWARD
Jane Hague, Head of Business Development, ExCeL London — The Mettle Attitude Award is presented annually to the ILEA volunteer who is always willing to contribute, always perseveres, and achieves results against all odds.

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Rachel Jacob Barnett, Director of Partnerships and Giving, San Francisco Pride — The Volunteer of the Year Award goes to an ILEA volunteer who embodies not only professionalism but also determination. He or she is always available to lend a hand and strives to achieve ILEA's goals by going beyond the call of duty. 

2020-2021 ILEA Spirit of Excellence Awards

INDUSTRY AND CHAPTER ENGAGEMENT
ILEA Austin

CHAPTER SPECIAL PROJECT (tie)
ILEA Nashville
ILEA Northern California

MEMBERSHIP RETENTION
ILEA Vancouver

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT (awarded to an individual ILEA member)
Tiffanie Rosier, Owner, AllStar Photobooth, ILEA Virginia

CHAPTER DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
ILEA Austin

CHAPTER COMMUNICATIONS
ILEA Vancouver

MEMBERSHIP INITIATIVE
ILEA Minneapolis/St. Paul

CHAPTER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
ILEA Minneapolis/St. Paul

CHAPTER OF THE YEAR
ILEA Minneapolis/St. Paul

REGION OF THE YEAR
ILEA Canada

ABOUT ILEA
The International Live Events Association (ILEA) is a global community of thousands of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise, and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events around the world. ILEA advances the live events industry by creating an inclusive global community dedicated to personal and business development, and inspiration to elevate all professionals engaged in live events. ILEA’s events, education resources, and certification program provide members with exclusive opportunities for collaboration, thought leadership, and idea-sharing. For more information, visit ileahub.com.

August 04, 2021
WestJet to launch non-stop Calgary - Seattle service

New destination marks 12 non-stop options to U.S. from Calgary hub by November 2021  

Calgary, AB/CNW/—WestJet today announced new non-stop service between Calgary, AB and Seattle, WA. As the airline with the most flights from Calgary, the new non-stop service to Seattle will operate four-times weekly beginning November 4, 2021, on WestJet Encore's Q400 aircraft and will increase to two-times daily on May 19, 2022.

"We are delighted to add Calgary-Seattle service to our network, providing our first non-stop service between these two incredible cities," said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. "Whether planning to visit the Emerald City to catch a favourite sports team, or to explore the Canadian Rockies, this route provides guests in Western Canada and across the Pacific Northwest with new convenient and affordable options to connect for business or leisure.  As we continue to strengthen our presence from our home hub in Calgary, we will continue to make investments that support the restoration of our transborder network."

With Canada's border restrictions easing on August 9, 2021, WestJet is continuing to build upon its network position as Western Canada's largest air carrier with the introduction of new service between the two iconic cities.  

Guests will also benefit from the addition of Seattle to WestJet's network with new convenient connections via Seattle's Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to U.S. destinations. More details on connectivity options will be released at a later date.

Details of WestJet's new service between Calgary and Seattle:

Route

Frequency

Start date

Calgary – Seattle

4x weekly

November 4, 2021

 

6x weekly

December 20, 2021

 

1x daily

March 28, 2022

 

2x daily

May 19, 2022

Seattle – Calgary

4x weekly

November 4, 2021

 

6x weekly

December 20, 2021

 

1x daily

March 28, 2022

 

2x daily

May 19, 2022

Additional quotes
"WestJet's commitment to expanding trade links and leading the rebuild of the visitor economy in Alberta has never been stronger," said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President, External Affairs and Chief Legal Officer. "We have been listening to our partners and are thrilled to making the Pacific Northwest more connected to Canada via our global hub.  We look forward to expanded employment, trade and tourism links this investment will bring to life."

"Despite the challenges of the past year, we are a gateway for business and leisure travel to our region with the addition of another brand-new carrier to SEA Airport," said Lance Lyttle, SEA Airport Managing Director. "The region's resiliency during one of the most challenging times in our industry continues to attract additional choices for visitors, business and residents of the region. Whether you're traveling for business or taking a long-awaited trip to the beautiful Canadian Rockies, WestJet is a valuable addition to passenger choices."

"Congratulations to WestJet on their new direct route from YYC to Seattle," said Bob Sartor, President and CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority. "We look forward to introducing guests to this beautiful coastal city to enjoy great culture, cuisine and, of course, coffee as well as welcoming American guests from the Pacific Northwest region to YYC."

"WestJet's latest direct flight to Seattle is another sign of economic recovery for our tourism industry," said Doug Schweitzer, Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. "Bringing international travellers to Alberta is a key part of revitalizing our hospitality sector and getting people back to work."

"WestJet's first nonstop Seattle-Calgary passenger route will support the continued growth of business and leisure travel between our two great cities," said Brandon A. Lee, Consul General of Canada, Seattle U.S. "The route will make it easier for Seattle business leaders to take advantage of the innovative and vibrant business ecosystem in Calgary; home to 118 corporate head offices, the world's fourth lowest effective tax rate, while having easy access to the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks and ski resorts. This new route into WestJet's Calgary hub enables visitors' further destinations throughout Canada, making it easier to visit Calgary, Alberta and Canada at-large."

"With this new route connecting Calgary and Seattle, WestJet is further supporting the recovery of Calgary and Alberta's tourism economy," says Cindy Ady, Tourism Calgary CEO. "New airline routes are critical to the recovery of our tourism industry. Convenient air access will result in more visitors to our city, thereby bolstering the economic impact of tourism, which directly contributes over $2.5 billion to Calgary's economy each year."

About WestJet 
In 25 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries, pre-pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America as named by Cirium.

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership