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Current News

November 30, 2021
Club Med inaugurates Canada’s first all-inclusive four-season resort in Québec Charlevoix

Notable attendees celebrate the highly anticipated opening of the mountain resort on December 3

Petite-Rivière-St-François—On Monday, November 29, dignitaries, partners and industry professionals from around the world gathered to inaugurate Canada’s first Club Med resort, Club Med Québec Charlevoix. The President and CEO of Club Med North America, Carolyne Doyon and President of Groupe Le Massif, Claude Choquette celebrated the official opening with the exceptional presence of the Premier of Québec, François Legault; Chairman of the Board of Directors of Groupe Le Massif, Daniel Gauthier; President of Club Med, Henri Giscard d'Estaing; and Mayor of Petite Rivière St François, Jean-Yves Bouchard. With the resort officially opening its doors on December 3, 2021, this esteemed group commemorated the incredible milestone of the launch of Canada’s first all-inclusive resort, marking a major achievement in Canadian travel and tourism.

“We are fortunate in Quebec to have spectacular landscapes, immense nature, warm people, talented artisans and restaurateurs to discover. Without a shadow of a doubt, Charlevoix offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and with the arrival of the first Club Med in Canada, we will be able to share this pride with everyone,” said François Legault, Premier of Québec. “Club Med will be an undeniable economic engine for Charlevoix, but it will also showcase and promote Quebec. Not only will Charlevoix establish itself as a prestigious destination, but it will make people want to explore all our superb regions. More than ever, we realize to what extent tourism is a major economic driver for the province. Quebec is beautiful, it's huge, and we are ready to welcome you with open arms!”

Today is a great day for our municipality. We are proud to welcome this renowned tourism partner who will bring significant benefits for our entire region,” said Jean-Guy Bouchard, Mayor of Petite-Rivière-St-François.

Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med celebrated the creation of the first all-inclusive four-season mountain resort in Canada. Sharing his strong ambitions for Club Med in North America, Giscard d’Estaing announced a new mountain property coming to the United States, Club Med Utah, slated to open in 2024. Club Med Utah will be a year-round Exclusive Collection (5 star) property and the first accommodations built at the world-class Snowbasin Resort, located only 45 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport. During the winter season, the mountain features 3,000 skiable acres and is consistently recognized as one of the best family ski resorts in North America. The project will mark the return of Club Med’s exceptional all-inclusive mountain leadership to the United States.

“We have been keen to open a Club Med in Canada for a long time and we couldn't ask for a more majestic place than this. This grandiose region and its landscapes are a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors; thus, we wanted the resort to remain open all year round, allowing travellers to discover the free spirit and beauty of each season, as well as the wide variety of activities that we offer in the summer and winter,” said Henri Giscard d´Estaing, President of Club Med. “This new Village reinforces Club Med's position as the world leader in high-end all-inclusive mountain vacations for families and active couples. During the pandemic, we demonstrated the strength of our business model and our ability to continue developing our projects. We hope that this new flagship will delight travellers, but also our teams and the inhabitants of the region that welcomes us.” 

Club Med Québec Charlevoix
The mountain resort will officially open on December 3, 2021, and will highlight Quebec’s culture in its design, cuisine, and experiences. As an all-season property, the breadth of adventure and wellness experiences will transcend expectations. With a stunning waterfront panorama and sweeping views of the scenic St. Lawrence River, this 4-trident (4 star) property accommodates families, couples, singles, friends, and meeting & events groups with packages, amenities and activities that cater to every need and desire.

The resort’s decor pays respect to the region’s landscape and environment, including motifs to emanate comfort, warmth and the local spirit. Designed by Québec-based company LEMAYMICHAUD, the resort will feature 302 family and couple rooms, including an Exclusive Collection (5 star) space with 25 suites.

Club Med Québec Charlevoix will offer an array of dining options with menus that are an ode to both Canadian and French cuisine. Using local delicacies unique to the region by season, guests will be able to appreciate and discover new flavours with farm to table dining experiences.

"Groupe Le Massif has teamed up with Club Med as they are the leaders in showcasing unique and authentic destinations around the world. The opening of the first Club Med mountain village in Canada marks an important step in the international influence of the Massif de Charlevoix project and is thereby becoming a newly recognized four-season destination!" said Daniel Gauthier, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Groupe Le Massif.

As part of Club Med’s commitment to the environment and sustainability, the resort will actively implement its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) charter that will be seeking BREEAM certification. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Method) is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method organization. The resort will also aim to be Green Globe certified, solidifying Club Med’s dedication to minimizing its ecological impact. To further emphasize its dedication to sustainable practices, the resort will partner with Solucycle, a Quebec-based NGO that collects organic food waste and converts it into biogas, a green energy source. To incorporate the resort’s employees, Club Med has also partnered with Montreal-based clothing company Hub1916 to produce all its staff uniforms from recycled plastic water bottles.

Club Med Québec Charlevoix is the first Club Med resort to become Rainbow Registered with Canada’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. This designation emphasizes the brand’s commitment to support of the LGBTQ+ community, ensuring that all guests and employees feel safe, welcomed and accepted.

Economic Impact
This opening of Canada’s first all-inclusive resort will shine a spotlight on Québec on an international stage and showcase the richness of the Charlevoix region as an ideal holiday getaway for all travellers.

The $130 million CAD project has generated 350 direct jobs and 400 indirect jobs for the Charlevoix region and will increase the flow of visitors connecting from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. Earlier this month the brand announced its sponsorship of the airport’s new V.I.P. Lounge by Club Med, ensuring guests travel with comfort.

About Groupe Le Massif
The Le Massif de Charlevoix project was launched in 2002 by Québec developer, Daniel Gauthier. Mr. Gauthier is a recognized co-founder of the world-leading Québec sensation known worldwide: Cirque du Soleil.
As the first Club Med mountain resort in North America, and by virtue of the symbiosis between creativity, authenticity, an appreciation for culture, society and tourism, Le Massif de Charlevoix, promises to be awe-inspiring with a picturesque setting, an outstanding line-up of activities, excellent food and unsurpassed reputation for service.

This magnificent project is built on a foundation of three pillars with the objective to provide an experience that is deeply personal, emotional, original, and environmental, while focusing on the development of sustainable tourism within one of Québec’s most popular regions and designated as a world biosphere reserve in 1989 by UNESCO.

About Club Med
Club Med, founded in 1950, is recognized as the pioneer of the all-inclusive market, offering more than 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Established in more than 30 countries across five continents, the group employs more than 23,000 employees comprised of 110 varied nationalities. Club Med has had a corporate presence in Canada for over 50 years and employs a staff of almost80 team members in their Montreal head office.

For more information, visit www.ClubMed.ca or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

For more information please contact:
Cherise Williams, rock-it promotions, inc., cherise@rockitpromo.com
Dillon Shaver, rock-it promotions, inc., dillon@rockitpromo.com

November 26, 2021
Exhibition Place, Canada's largest venue, reopens to the public for the first time since the start of the pandemic

Toronto/CNW/—Exhibition Place reopens for the first time, since the start of the pandemic, for the public to celebrate and support local entrepreneurs at the One of a Kind Show and the Polar Winter Festival, which debuts for the first time at Exhibition Place. 

"Exhibition Place is set to safely welcome back events that help drive tourism and economic impact into the community and City's economy, from conferences, conventions, consumer and tradeshows, serving as a gathering place for all to enjoy," said Exhibition Place General Manager, Laura Purdy. 

"We are pleased to welcome back the One of a Kind Show and Polar Winter Festival premiering this year at Exhibition Place," CEO Don Boyle said. "These are the first of many more events to come, as Exhibition Place is back to business and better than ever as Toronto's year-round activities hub contributing to economic prosperity while enhancing community well-being for all."

The One of A Kind Show runs from November 25 to December 5 and is back this year at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place, featuring over 400 talented artisans and makers from across Canada. Attendees' are asked to self-screen, wear a mask, practice physical distancing when appropriate, be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination before entering the One of A Kind Show. Due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions, the One Of A Kind Winter Show has capacity limits and requires timed-entry tickets.

Polar Winter Festival debuts at Exhibition Place as the city's biggest walk-through holiday market from November 25 to December 26, 5 to 11 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays at Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place.

"We are excited to return to live events again and see the joy on attendees' faces when they walk into our convention centre," said Exhibition Place General Manager Laura Purdy. "Over the last 18 months at Exhibition Place, we worked to enhance our corporate culture, implemented new platforms and technologies and skill-trained our employees," said Exhibition Place General Manager Laura Purdy. We received our GBAC Star, completed our Sky Bridge connection to our onsite hotel, upgraded our WiFi technology, and implemented a DEI strategy. We are now reopening our convention centre and offering Free High-Speed WiFi Internet throughout Enercare Centre and Beanfield Centre for our clients, exhibitors, and attendees."

Exhibition Place is the first Canadian venue to receive the GBAC Star™ Facility Accreditation. Designed to assist venues of all sizes in developing a comprehensive cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention system, GBAC STAR™ helps facilities better prepare for, respond to, and recover from biohazard situations like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Exhibition Place received the Safe Travels Stamp designation from the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. The stamp allows travellers to recognize governments and companies worldwide that have adopted standardized health and global hygiene protocols to ensure consumers experience 'Safe Travels.'

In 2022 and 2023, many exciting events are lining up, featuring the Toronto International Boat Show, Canadian National Exhibition, Honda Indy, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Collision Conference, among others, now scheduled to return to Exhibition Place. 

Exhibition Place
Exhibition Place is Canada's largest entertainment and convention venue, attracting over 5.5 million visitors a year. The 192-acre location is an integral component of Toronto and Ontario's economy, particularly with respect to conventions, sport, festivals, recreation, culture and tourism. Exhibition Place boasts the award-winning, LEED Platinum Enercare Centre; Canada's largest exhibition and convention centre, and the Beanfield Centre LEED Silver conference venue. Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart; which includes the promotion of sustainable development, environmental initiatives and leading-edge green technologies and practices across the site.

For more information, visit Exhibition Place's website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

SOURCE Exhibition Place

November 23, 2021
STR: Canada hotel performance dipped in October

Hendersonville, Tennessee—Canada’s hotel industry reported lower performance levels from the month prior, according to STR’s October 2021 data.  

The country’s performance levels also remained well below pre-pandemic comparisons from October 2019:

  • Occupancy: 51.0% (-24.4%)
  • Average daily rate (ADR): CAD141.87 (-10.5%)
  • Revenue per available room (RevPAR): CAD72.37 (-32.3%)

"Following the typical seasonal pattern, October hotel performance fell month over month, but there was some positive news in the data," said Laura Baxter, CoStar Group's director of hospitality analytics for Canada. Costar Group is the parent company of STR.

“Room rates reached 90% of the 2019 comparable, which was the closest the metric has been to pre-pandemic levels this year,” Baxter said. “Hoteliers continue to deploy revenue management strategies to achieve the growth in rates and have been reactive to the high inflationary environment.

“Leisure travel continues to be stronger than corporate demand, with weekends achieving $23 more in RevPAR than weekdays. While group demand has been steadily returning to other countries, such as the U.S. and the UAE, it has only just started to resurface in Canada. Capacity restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings have been lifted in most provinces for people who are fully vaccinated, so the framework for group travel recovery has been set. We expect to start seeing more group business so long that public health conditions do not get worse. Group demand has been markedly stronger since August, and although it may be too soon to declare a trend, this will hopefully be the start of accelerated group demand growth.”

Among the provinces and territories, Nova Scotia recorded the highest October occupancy level (59.2%), which was 19.2% below the pre-pandemic comparable.

Among the major markets, Vancouver saw the highest occupancy (58.7%), which was a 25.7% decline from 2019.

The lowest occupancy among provinces was reported in New Brunswick (39.7%), down 35.1% against 2019. Two markets tied for the lowest occupancy level: Edmonton (-30.3% to 37.6%) and Calgary (-33.6% to 37.6%).

“Outbound international travel is expected to pick up now that the land border is open for Canadians entering the U.S. and the official advisory against non-essential foreign travel has been lifted,” Baxter said. “The uptick is expected to be gradual and not have a material impact on recovery at this point. This is especially true as the domestic market typically generates more than 80% of overnight trips in Canada. Short outbound international trips will also undoubtedly increase with the recent announcement that requirement for PCR testing will be lifted for Canadians who depart the country for less than 72 hours. Advocacy by hotel associations continues for the complete removal of testing for all fully vaccinated individuals, regardless of place of residence, to boost inbound international travel.

“We upgraded our most recent forecast for Canada, and RevPAR is expected to come within a dollar of 2019 levels in 2023 and surpass those levels in 2024. A stronger-than-expected rebound in ADR has taken place and growth of the metric is expected to lead recovery. This recovery pattern is unique to the pandemic, as in previous downturns, recovery has followed the typical cyclical growth pattern, with improvements in occupancy leading the way, followed by ADR growth.”

Additional Performance Data
STR’s world-leading hotel performance sample comprises 70,000 properties and 9.3 million rooms around the globe. Members of the media should refer to the contacts listed below for additional data requests.

About STR
STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces. For more information, please visit str.com and www.costargroup.com.

North America Media Contact:
Haley Luther
Communications Manager
hluther@str.com
+1 (615) 824-8664 ext. 3500

November 22, 2021
Canadians Return to the Cayman Islands with Non-Stop Service on Air Canada Rouge and WestJet in December

Fully vaccinated travellers return without quarantine as of November 20

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands—Canadians can now turn their dreams of The Cayman Islands into reality as Air Canada and WestJet announced they will re-introduce 4-hour non-stop service from Toronto to Grand Cayman, with easy connections across Canada. Air Canada Rouge begins non-stop service as of December 4, 2021, with WestJet returning on December 16, 2021 allowing even more Canadians to enjoy the distinct virtues of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which began welcoming fully vaccinated international leisure guests without quarantine beginning November 20, 2021.

In March 2020, the Cayman Islands government quickly closed its borders to international air and sea arrivals, resulting in the effective mitigation of COVID-19 on the country’s pristine shores. The country emerged from the pandemic as an example of safeguarding public health and preserved the picturesque locale, exceptional accommodations and restaurants and special marine and cultural for all to enjoy.

Working closely with health authorities, and the public and private sector, the Cayman Islands introduced a multi-phase plan to carefully and safely re-open the islands. Now in Phase 4 of its five-part plan, the luxury destination is well positioned to ensure a safe return to tourism and offer its unique brand of polished experiences to discriminating travellers seeking peace of mind.

Public Health officials will continue to monitor the prevalence rate and spread of COVID-19. Transition between phases will be determined by a myriad of factors. At all phases, all inbound travellers are required to make a declaration of travel and vaccination status on the Travel Cayman Portal, and present the declaration certificate and vaccination documents along with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival. 

For more information on leisure travel to the Cayman Islands visit www.visitcaymanislands.com.

About the Cayman Islands
Located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquility of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is a premier destination for tasteful travellers, adventurous divers, honeymooners and families alike. World-renowned for its idyllic beaches and recognised as a sophisticated, diverse and memorable tourist destination, the Cayman Islands offers spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm and impeccable “Caymankind” service. From large-group trips and business-focused getaways to luxurious escapes and multi-generational family vacations, the Cayman Islands provides every element needed to keep guests coming back for more. With an abundance of world-class dining options, a host of adventure activities – including snorkeling, diving, jet skiing, caving, and nature trails – and a variety of meeting spaces for groups large and small, the Cayman Islands is well-poised to host any type of traveller or special occasion.

To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to www.visitcaymanislands.com or call your local travel advisor.

November 19, 2021
Dropping PCR test for Short Trips for Canadians Does Not Go Far Enough to Help Rebuild the Devastated Canadian Travel and Tourism Industry

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable") acknowledges today's announcement by the Canadian government removing the pre-departure PCR testing requirement for Canadians returning from the United States for trips less than 72 hours.

The industry welcomes the decision to recognize WHO approved vaccines, which supports the sector's recovery. However, while today marks a very small step in the right direction, it does not go far enough to help rebuild an industry devasted by COVID-19 pandemic.

To that end, the Roundtable calls on the federal government to follow the advice of its COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel (Expert Panel) and entirely remove the testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada.

The government is trying to solve one problem by creating another. Today's announcement to only remove the PCR test requirement for trips less than 72 hours creates a significant disadvantage for Canadian businesses that rely on American travel into Canada by effectively incentivizing one-way travel south of the border. Canadians can now travel cross-border to do their weekend holiday shopping without needing a test, but Americans looking to travel north will still be subject to testing.

"Canada stands alone as the only country in the world that is basing its travel rules on trip duration rather than vaccination status. To help rebuild Canada's tourism industry we need testing requirements that are consistent with those in place in other countries. And we need to harmonize those requirements across all modes of transportation be it by plane, car, boat, coach or train," said Beth Potter, Co-Chair of the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable and President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

"In effect, today's announcement opens the door to Canadians looking to support U.S. businesses like malls, hotels, and airports in advance of the holiday season, while firmly closing the door on Americans looking to visit Canada and support our domestic businesses, who are struggling after nearly two-years of pandemic closures. All American travellers looking to visit Canada still require a pre-departure PCR test to visit Canada," said Perrin Beatty, Co-Chair of the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable and President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, the Roundtable is calling for an amendment to the discriminatory child policy for travelling minors which effectively requires them to quarantine from school or daycare for two weeks. These policies were intended to be temporary and are counter to the federal government's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel Report and stifle the rebuilding of the travel and tourism sector across this country which the government recognizes has been the hardest hit.

Travel is now one of the safest activities in Canada as the transportation sector has become one of the few sectors requiring fully vaccinated employees and customers. To that end, it is time for the federal government to immediately re-open the border to all fully vaccinated travellers. The economy and Canadian families depend on it.

About the Canadian Tourism Roundtable

The Canadian Tourism Roundtable is a cross-Canadian coalition of leaders in the tourism and travel sector – including representatives from airports, airlines, hotels, and chambers of commerce across the country – committed to working together to restart the sector smoothly and safely. Travel and Tourism is a $102 billion sector, employing millions of Canadians across the country and accounting for 2.1% of the country's gross domestic product. It advocates for a safe and prosperous tourism and travel sector across Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable

November 15, 2021
London Designated as Canada’s first UNESCO City of Music

The City of London, together with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), is proud to announce that London has been designated a UNESCO City of Music. London is Canada’s first city to receive this designation.

“This designation reaffirms that London is an international hub for music and culture - home to incredibly talented artists, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, venue and festival operators and world-renowned music education programs,” says London Mayor Ed Holder. “We are a community with deep roots in the creative field, and where music is a vital part of our economic and cultural identity. The UNESCO City of Music designation is a recognition of the ongoing commitment and dedication to the development of the music industry by all those involved in the music sector.”

London is developing internationally recognized, award-winning talent (artists, producers, engineers) through post-secondary schools at Western University, Fanshawe College and Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). London was the second municipality in Canada to approve a Music Strategy (2014) and hire the London Music Industry Development Officer (2015). The London Music Strategy outlines priorities to advance London’s music sector and the community.

“Becoming a ‘UNESCO City of Music’ elevates London’s brand nationally and internationally and provides London with greater outreach and learning from access to UNESCO’s network of creative cities,” states Cory Crossman, London’s Music Industry Development Officer. “This designation is years in the making and was supported by our music community and the successful hosting of international acts and national events such as Canadian Country Music Association’s (CCMA) Country Music Week, the CCMA Awards and the JUNOS.”

The City of London now joins the 295 existing member cities and 59 other Cities of Music in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network (UCCN) across 90 countries. Members have made a commitment to being part of the network to share best practices, develop partnerships that promote creativity and the cultural industries, strengthen participation in cultural life and integrate culture in urban development plans. Member cities also commit to leading the charge towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local level.

“Given London’s first-hand knowledge of the role of culture in the municipal development context, its position as a hub of music education, and the broad support from its community, we are pleased to welcome a new partner that is contributing to the vitality of the local economy and advancing sustainable urban development,” says Roda Muse, Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. “We salute the efforts of all who have worked so hard for London to achieve the prestigious designation of a UNESCO Creative City.’’

Created in 2004, the UCCN is organized into seven fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. London joins three other Canadian cities that are also part of the network: Montreal (design), Quebec (literature), and Toronto (media arts).

About London
With a diverse population of over 400,000 people, London is currently the 11th largest city in Canada and offers its residents and visitors big-city appeal mixed with small-town charm.

London is a music education hub with three internationally recognized post-secondary music schools educating 1,000+ students with over 130 faculty and staff. London’s live music scene accounts for 963 full-equivalent jobs supporting over 4,700 live music events with a robust and growing recording industry. London’s cultural industries generate nearly $600 million annually.

London is excited to once again be opening its doors and hosting country music’s biggest stars. From November 26-29, 2021, London will be transformed to the country music capital of Canada as the city welcomes the country music industry for the CCMA’s 2021 Country Music Week. The weekend culminates with Canada’s biggest country music stars gathering at Budweiser Gardens for the 2021 CCMA Awards presented by TD on Monday, November 29.

For more information, visit: www.london.ca and www.londonmusicoffice.com

About the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Through its networks and partners, the Commission promotes UNESCO’s values, priorities and programs in Canada and brings the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage. CCUNESCO operates under the authority of the Canada Council for the Arts.

November 10, 2021
Canada's Travel Rules Decimating Business Travel, Stifling Vancouver Tourism Industry

Vancouver, BC/CNW/—Together with the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable"), leaders representing the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, the British Columbia Hotel Association, Vancouver based travel agencies and Destination Vancouver are calling on the federal government to remove unnecessary and non-science-based obstacles to international travel, such as the pre-departure PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers, threatening the survival of Vancouver businesses and freezing business travel.

Tourism and business travel has been an economic anchor for the Greater Vancouver area, which has sustained a reputation as one of Canada's prime destinations for leisure, meetings, and event travellers. As the largest Canadian city located on the west coast, Vancouver is also Canada's gateway to the Pacific and the Far East – a critical catalyst to Canada's economic diversification and connection to the world. Vancouver's prime location has turned into a central hub for business travellers from Asia and the United States.

However, since the onset of the pandemic, business operators in Vancouver who have come to rely on international visitors are facing another winter season of continued economic decline. The federal government's mandatory pre-departure PCR test to enter the country is leading international travellers to do business elsewhere. Canadian businesses are being disadvantaged compared to their American and European peers.

In 2019, Vancouver welcomed over 11 million overnight visitors, contributing $14 billion in total revenues to the Metro Vancouver economy and supporting over 104,000 full-time jobs.1 By comparison, revenues fell by 70% in 2020.

Canada's rules run counter to the recommendations made by the federal government's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel Report ("The Expert Panel"), which concluded that fully vaccinated travellers should not require a pre-departure test.

More concerning is the fact that Canada's travel rules are out of step with the international community, and our American neighbours to the south. Countries including France, Portugal, Germany and the United Kingdom have recognized that requiring pre-departure and arrival tests for vaccinated travellers is redundant and have exempted fully vaccinated travellers from pre-departure testing requirements. Any competitive advantage Vancouver might have secured in the lead up to 2020 risks being lost as other countries adopt common sense solutions to facilitate international commerce. 

Many international businesses are finding it too burdensome to send their teams to Vancouver. As a result, businesses in Vancouver's travel and tourism industry are bracing – yet again – for booking cancellations, with international visitors looking to either cancel or delay long-awaited trips. This is making it difficult to resource, understand hiring needs and to predict demand.

The pandemic, vaccination status, and available science have changed; so too should the response and measures to keep Canadians safe while allowing the travel and tourism industry to re-open.  

Quotes

"Business travel from the U.S., Asia, and around the world has pretty much come to a complete halt, and that is hurting our cities, especially Vancouver's downtown core. Today we are joining the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable in calling on the federal government to get rid of the pre-departure PCR text. Getting rid of unnecessary and outdated travel rules will help Vancouver get back to business."

Bridgitte Anderson
President & CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

"Vancouver's hospitality sector is heavily dependent on international business travel. Despite the broad availability of vaccines, and stable COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates across the country, many of our members are facing another winter season of staff cutbacks and low revenues as foreign visitors decide to stay home. As long as fully vaccinated foreign visitors continue to face unnecessary restrictions, this will continue to be the case, and businesses will continue to suffer. We need the federal government to make common-sense changes to the rules so British Columbia's hotels – and the families and communities they support – can get back to work."

Mike Macleod
Director, British Columbia Hotel Association

"Prior to the health pandemic, Vancouver welcomed over 11 million leisure and business travellers from around the world. The PCR test is a major barrier for international visitors who hope to travel to Vancouver and other parts of our province. The combination of testing availability and the high cost of a PCR test further complicates travel for all visitors to our destination.  We know that the rebuild of our industry will take time and we need the partnership of government to reduce the obstacles to travel so that our city's tourism businesses can recover."

Karen Soyka
Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Destination Vancouver

"The PCR test signals to international business travellers that Canada is not open for business. It also takes longer to get back PCR test results, which presents logistical challenges for short business trips and trips with a packed agenda. If we continue down this path, we will be at a severe disadvantage to our peers in the U.S. and Europe."

Claire Newell
President, Travel Best Bets

About the Canadian Tourism Roundtable

The Canadian Tourism Roundtable is a cross-Canadian coalition of leaders in the tourism and travel sector – including representatives from airports, airlines, hotels, and chambers of commerce across the country – committed to working together to restart the sector smoothly and safely. Travel and Tourism is a $102 billion sector, employing millions of Canadians across the country and accounting for 2.1% of the country's gross domestic product. It advocates for a safe and prosperous tourism and travel sector across Canada. 

SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable

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1  Vancouver's Tourism Industry Fast Facts – Destination Vancouver 

November 10, 2021
The Palm Beaches Launches New Meetings Campaign: Between the Sessions

West Palm Beach, Fla.—Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, in Southeast Florida, is launching a new brand campaign for groups business: Between-The-Sessions.  The new integrated marketing campaign will target meeting planners and showcase the unique destination experiences that large groups can enjoy between conference sessions and that set The Pam Beaches apart. 

The Palm Beaches are known for their distinct meeting itineraries and the new campaign highlights a number of the unexpected and non-traditional experiences available in the destination that elevate conferences, conventions, and meetings.  Campaign themes include open-air spaces and tropical oases, vibrant and walkable convention districts, memorable venues and events including croquet and polo, world-class museums and cultural attractions, and outdoor recreation and wellness activities that inspire.  The new Between-The-Session campaign will be featured in a variety of meetings and business publications throughout the U.S. using a combination of social, digital, and print advertisements. 

“More than ever, planners are looking for outdoor spaces, creative team-building activities, and offerings that inspire attendees during the conference and in their free time.  Our new Between-The-Sessions campaign focuses on how The Palm Beaches offer these in a style you cannot get anywhere else,” said Kelly Cavers, Senior Vice President Group Sales & Services for Discover The Palm Beaches.  “While business insights take place in the ballroom, meaningful connections and ideas can be sparked in a variety of settings like a sea turtle conservation facility or the international polo club.  In addition, our Destination Services team works to engage our outstanding community partners to provide planners with those “wow” moments between conference sessions that both inspire and connect meeting attendees.  Services can include securing a keynote speaker from vital local industries, finding an area artist to create a custom piece of art during the meeting, awakening attendees with an on-demand coffee experience from a local roaster, or creating a unique volunteer and team-building opportunity like a beach-clean up.” 

By featuring the exceptional offerings that set meetings apart in The Palm Beaches, the Between-The-Sessions campaign will remind professional business event planners of the distinct experiences that will elevate their events and energize attendees.  Beyond the ballrooms, the destination boasts beautiful beaches and natural splendor, along with unmatched arts and cultural, culinary, outdoor recreation, shopping, entertainment, and wellness offerings. 

The Palm Beaches also offer planners a wealth of tools to help them build their perfect meeting through its complimentary Destination Services team.  Using the engaged network of community partners, the Destination Services team helps planners customize meetings and create those one-of-a-kind memories both in and out of the meeting.  The Palm Beaches are sure to provide an unforgettable meeting for planners and attendees in Florida’s premier travel destination.  For more information on meetings in The Palm Beaches visit https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/meetings.

DTPB was one of the first destination marketing organizations to implement the industry’s highest safety standards destination-wide, Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation.  With business travel back on the rise, meeting attendees can feel safe from the moment they arrive at Palm Beach International airport, at area conference hotels, and at various local attractions.  The Palm Beaches remain committed to providing a stress-free travel experience.

About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit, accredited tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as The Palm Beaches, which spans more than 2,300 square miles and boasts 47 miles of pristine beaches from Highland Beach and Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tasked with growing visitation and the local tourism economy, the organization works year-round to bring travelers from around the state, country, and globe to visit Palm Beach County. The Palm Beaches’ have a rich history in hospitality as America’s First Resort Destination® and tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $5.5 billion in economic impact during 2020.

The Palm Beaches are home to more than 18,000 hotel rooms and feature more than 100 family-friendly attractions, an abundance of world-class luxury, award-winning restaurants, and 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, including 160 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current. 160 golf courses have earned it the moniker of Florida’s Golf Capital®, as well as The Cultural Capital of Florida® due to its thriving entertainment scene of more than 200 art and culture organizations. Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are accessible via Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), which offers more than 100 daily nonstop flights to 30 cities in the United States. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located within driving distance of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports.

For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com or on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubeLinkedIn, and TikTok). Visitors and residents can take advantage of county-wide deals via The Palm Beaches Savings Pass.  They can also tune in to The Palm Beaches TV for 24/7 streaming content of the destination’s hotels, attractions, restaurants, and experiences.

November 09, 2021
Destinations International Large Market Roundtable Brings Awareness to New Destination Booking Agreement Guidelines at IMEX America

Washington, D.C.—Today, members of Destinations International’s Large Market Roundtable hosted a discussion on new destination booking agreement guidelines at a media roundtable during IMEX America in Las Vegas, NV.

The Large Market Roundtable is comprised of large market destination representatives on the association’s Convention Sales and Services Committee. The group has been leading the conversation for the need for convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and business events strategists to work together to have accountability for the booking of meetings and events since IMEX America in 2019.

“The need for CVBs and business events strategists to come together to create best practices for destination booking agreement guidelines has been an ongoing conversation for our industry,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “Our Large Market Roundtable has taken the lead on this thought leadership, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with our industry partners throughout 2022 and beyond to work on this topic together.”

“As chair of the Large Market Roundtable, our focus has been establishing mutually agreeable terms to protect both destination and event strategist,” said Melissa A. Riley, vice president, convention sales and services, Destination DC and chair of the Destinations International Large Market Roundtable. The new standards will help us all continue to strengthen the meetings and events industry as we focus on the positive economic impact they bring to our respective destinations.”

The media event was opened up by Erik Evjen, director of data analytics and insights at Tourism Economics and the speakers included:

Dustin Arnheim, senior vice president of sales and customer experience, Visit Baltimore
Maria Grasso, senior vice president, convention division, Philadelphia CVB
Daren Kingi, senior vice president of sales, Visit Indy
Melissa A. Riley, vice president, convention sales and services, Destination DC

The Destinations International Large Market Roundtable is a sub-committee of the Convention Sales and Services Committee. The roundtable members include:

Atlanta CVB
Choose Chicago
Destination Vancouver
Destination DC
Destination Toronto
Explore St. Louis
Greater Boston CVB
Greater Miami CVB
Houston First Corporation
Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Louisville Tourism
Minneapolis CVB
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
New Orleans & Company
NYC & Company
Philadelphia CVB
San Diego Tourism Authority
San Francisco Travel Association
Tourism Montreal/Greater Montreal Convention & Tourism Bureau
Visit Anaheim
Visit Austin
Visit Baltimore
VISIT DENVER
Visit Indy
Visit Orlando
Visit Phoenix
Visit Salt Lake
Visit San Antonio
Visit Seattle
VisitDallas

About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with more than 4,700 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 15 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit www.destinationsinternational.org

November 09, 2021
Fairmont Banff Springs Announces $35 Million Suite and Guestroom Renovation

Banff, AB—Fairmont Banff Springs has announced it is embarking on a $35 million CAD renovation of its suites and guestrooms. The extensive renovation of the Royal Suite, Fairmont Gold rooms, select one and two bedroom suites, and terrace suites will begin in January 2022 and are anticipated to be completed in summer 2022. The refurbishment of all main building and conference centre guestrooms began in spring 2021 and are anticipated to be completed in spring 2023.

The sophisticated newly renovated suites and guestrooms will provide guests with a complete room makeover, featuring a contemporary look and stylish enhancements with classic design elements, creating a tranquil space for both business and leisure travellers.

The famed Royal Suite, located at the peak of the castle’s turret and boasting panoramic views of Banff National Park, will be transformed with the addition of a second bedroom­­­­ and an upgraded master bedroom, plus a reimagined dining room, two impressive bathrooms, and a cozy living room equipped with an intimate fireplace and in-room dry bar. The 1,895 square foot space is one of Banff’s largest and most exclusive suites.

“We look forward to showcasing the newly renovated accommodation to our guests and to unveil the next chapter of our iconic property,” said Gregor Resch, General Manager of Fairmont Banff Springs and Regional Vice President of Canada’s Western Mountain Region. “The renovation will allow us to continue to accommodate the needs of travellers and to provide guests with the highest level of luxury in the Canadian Rockies.”

The Fairmont Gold rooms and suites are designed by Jeffrey Beers International. The main building and conference centre guestrooms are designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates.

ABOUT FAIRMONT
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is where occasions are celebrated and history is made. Landmark hotels with unrivalled presence, authentic experiences and unforgettable moments have attracted visitors to Fairmont and its destinations since 1907. The Plaza in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai are but a few of these iconic luxury hotels, forever linked to the special places where they reside. Famous for its engaging service, grand public spaces, locally inspired cuisine and celebrated bars and lounges, Fairmont promises a special brand of thoughtful luxury that will be remembered long after any visit. With a worldwide portfolio of more than 75 hotels, Fairmont also takes great pride in its deep community roots and leadership in sustainability. Fairmont is part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique experiences in 4,900 hotels and residences across 110 countries. 

ABOUT ACCOR
Accor is a world leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,200 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing more than 40 luxury, premium, midscale and economy hotel brands, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor’s unmatched position in lifestyle hospitality – one of the fastest growing categories in the industry – is led by Ennismore, a creative hospitality company with a global portfolio of entrepreneurial and founder-built brands with purpose at their heart. Accor boasts an unrivalled portfolio of distinctive brands and approximately 260,000 team members worldwide. 68 million members benefit from the company’s comprehensive loyalty program – ALL - Accor Live Limitless – a daily lifestyle companion that provides access to a wide variety of rewards, services and experiences. Through its Planet 21 – Acting Here, Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the Group is focused on driving positive action through business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity. Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information visit group.accor.com, or follow Accor on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

CONTACT
Lynn Henderson 
Regional Director, Public Relations 
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Canada’s Western Mountain Region 
Lynn.Henderson@Fairmont.com

Casey Bachand
Communications Manager
Fairmont Banff Springs
Casey.Bachand@Fairmont.com

November 09, 2021
Business events community shows strength & solidarity at launch of IMEX America

The global business events community has shown strength in numbers, gathering at IMEX America, which opened today in Las Vegas. Over 3,300  global buyers and over 2,250 exhibiting companies registered to attend the show, taking place November 9 – 11 at Mandalay Bay, and are set to pave the way for the regeneration of the industry.

This year’s IMEX America, the first show in over two years, is a milestone for the sector as the very first international event to open after the lifting of the U.S. travel ban. The show also has a new home, Mandalay Bay, and is celebrating its 10th edition, making the next few days in Las Vegas a very special occasion.

Doing business sits at the heart of the show and this year is no exception with two thirds of existing appointments made for the purpose of researching or to discuss a specific event – a clear sign that buyers are planning ahead with the intention of kickstarting business and an eye on 2022 and beyond.

In another sign of confidence for the sector, the 2,250+ exhibiting companies have a truly global reach, spanning over 200 countries with representation from Europe, Latin America and Asia sitting alongside North America across the show floor (all 400,000 sq ft of it!).

Of the returning exhibitors, 16% have invested in a larger presence at the show - some, including Baltimore, EventsAir, Boise and St Louis, have increased their stand space by 100% or more compared to the previous show in 2019.

This year the show welcomes new exhibitors from across the destination, hotel and tech sectors from A to (almost) Z including: Amadeus River Cruises, Hopin, Louisiana, MeetingPlay, Minneapolis, Iberostar Hotel & Resorts and VenuIQ. The dedicated Tech Area of the show is the largest ever, reflecting the sector’s growing demand for, and investment in, event technology.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “We last held the show over two years ago and we launch today with a global roster of exhibitors and buyers, over 200 education sessions, plus a new venue. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

“After 10 years Las Vegas really is like a second home, and I know that’s a sentiment that will be shared by thousands of people in our community here this week. For those of us who live and breathe meetings, events and incentive travel it’s remarkable to see our industry burst back into life.

“Numbers, appointments and business deals aside, I’m confident we’ll look back on this 10th edition of IMEX America as a tipping point for the industry. Digital and hybrid clearly have their place, but nothing beats that visceral feeling of being on the show floor meeting partners, buyers and suppliers from all over the globe and knowing that leads directly to job creation, professional development, industry advancement and most important of all, positive economic impact the world over.”

IMEX America continues until November 11. www.imexamerica.com

November 05, 2021
McVeigh Global Meetings and Events Announces Expansion into Canada

MGME acquires PRIME Event Partners

New York, NY—McVeigh Global Meetings and Events (MGME), award-winning corporate meetings and events company, is pleased to announce the acquisition of PRIME Event Partners, a leading Canadian full-service event management company. This move expands on MGME’s global presence, with offices in Toronto and Vancouver, bringing new growth opportunities and enhanced service capabilities to clients across North America and around the world.

“We are very excited to welcome the PRIME team to our family,” says Jeff Guberman, CEO of MGME. “The acquisition of PRIME builds on our global business strategy with an incredible team that brings depth of experience in life sciences, financial services, IT/telecom and automotive sectors along with a history of award-winning incentive and conference programs.”

PRIME Event Partners has earned numerous industry awards throughout its 30-year history, including the prestigious SITE Crystal and ICE awards. The company, now a wholly owned subsidiary of McVeigh Global Meetings and Events, will continue to operate as PRIME Event Partners. MGME plans to expand on PRIME’s existing operations starting with a new Toronto office.

“Our alignment with MGME enables us to bring more resources, creativity and innovation for the continued benefit of our clients,” says Jonathan Buchwald, President and CEO of PRIME. “Our team members are eager to be joining forces with MGME and establishing more impactful ways of serving our combined customer base.”

MGME also recently announced the addition of industry veteran Alissa Hurley to their management team. Alissa will be responsible for the overall management of the Canadian entity as Vice President, Canada. Jonathan Buchwald will continue as an advisor to the organization.

About McVeigh Global Meetings and Events
McVeigh Global Meetings and Events, LLC (MGME) is an award-winning, top 25 provider of innovative meeting management, creative services and event production solutions serving a full spectrum of industries. Our team of event strategists, designers, producers and project managers are passionate about creating human connections. For over 30 years, we have been creating human connections in over 70 nations across the globe. For more information visit https://www.mcveigh.com/.

About PRIME Event Partners
Established in 1991, PRIME Event Partners is an award-winning event management company specializing in creating ‘Best-Ever’ business events and ‘Amazing’ group travel for medium-to-large companies and governments. PRIME brings people together to energize them with creative learning and growth initiatives that inform, build culture, relationships, and celebrate accomplishments. For more information, visit https://primeeventpartners.com/.

For further information, please contact: Alexandra Soltis at 212-316-0052 or asoltis@mcveigh.com

November 05, 2021
Pivot Airlines announces service to Ottawa and Montreal from the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)

Toronto/CNW/—Pivot Airlines is pleased to announce the launch of scheduled air service between Waterloo Region and Ottawa beginning February 19, 2022, and between Waterloo Region and Montreal beginning March 21, 2022.

Advanced tickets go on sale midnight November 5, 2021 at www.flypivot.com.

"Pivot your travel  embodies our core belief that our launch markets reflect the global trend in regional travel," explained Eric Edmondson, CEO of Pivot Airlines. "We believe that while Toronto Pearson is a world-class global hub, regional airports like the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) offer a better, more seamless, and hassle-free alternative for regional travel."

Pivot Airlines is a value carrier operating the world's most popular series of regional jets, the Mitsubishi Canadair Regional Jet. Advanced booking sales will continue throughout the pre-sale period leading up to the launch with no fees on changes or cancellations; some conditions apply.

"We welcome Pivot Airlines to the Region of Waterloo. Many residents will benefit from this new service to Ottawa and Montreal," said Regional Chair Karen Redman. "We believe this service will encourage investment and create jobs in our community. Every seat bought out of YKF strengthens our local economy. Construction is currently underway on a terminal expansion that will accommodate further growth and investment in the region."

Headquartered in Toronto Pearson Airport, Pivot Airlines launched in June of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, where they focused on providing essential air service connecting healthcare and resource sector workers as well as supply chains across Canada and into South America. Pivot Airlines will continue to provide group charter flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport and the Region of Waterloo International Airport.   

About Pivot Airlines
Pivot Airlines focuses on providing regional airline solutions to a variety of community partners and mainline carriers. Pivot also specializes in delivering complex and multijurisdictional charters to corporate and leisure clients, the resource sector, sports teams and governmental agencies. Pivot Airlines is headquartered at the Toronto Pearson International Airport and led by a management team with over 25 years of experience providing regional airline service and complex charter solutions.

About the Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF)
The Region of Waterloo International Airport (YKF) is a full-service facility which supports commercial, corporate and general aviation. The airport is home to 25 businesses that employ 300+ people that together contribute over $90 million annually to the Region of Waterloo's economy.  YKF is owned and operated by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario (Canada).

SOURCE Pivot Airlines

 

November 04, 2021
Drake and Live Nation’s Music Venue History opens its doors in Toronto November 7

Bleachers to headline the venue’s inaugural show with sold-out performance

Toronto—Live Nation Canada today announced that Toronto’s newest venue, History, will officially open its doors on November 7, 2021, after restrictions around general admission capacity were lifted last week. A collaboration between Live Nation Canada and Global Icon Drake, the live entertainment venue will be home to hundreds of premier concerts and events each year.

Located at 1663 Queen Street East in Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood, the 2,500-capacity world-class venue is quickly establishing itself as a must-play destination for local and international acts touring Canada. With a state-of-the-art audiovisual system and an incredibly intimate feel, guests will enjoy up-close entertainment with their favourite artists that is unrivalled in Toronto. The site will also add a significant contribution to the east end’s vibrant culture and community, delivering a wide array of eclectic music and arts programming, with plans to host 200 events annually.

We are thrilled to bring History to life in Toronto with live entertainment that we know will elevate the city’s concert-going experience,” said Riley O’Connor, Chairman, Live Nation Canada. “We can’t wait for both fans and artists alike to experience our newest destination music venue.”

History’s lineup of upcoming concerts and events is available now at TicketMaster.ca.

History Concert Lineup
Sunday, November 7 - Bleachers
Thursday, November 11 - Thundercat
Friday, November 12 - Deadbeats with Zeds Dead and Guests
Saturday, November 13 - Deadbeats with Zeds Dead and Guests
Tuesday, November 16 - Jack Harlow Crème de la Crème Tour with Babyface Ray and Mavi
Thursday, November 18 - Teyana Taylor: The Last Rose Petal...Farewell Tour
Wednesday, November 24 - CHVRCHES
Saturday, December 4 - Big Wreck & Monster Truck
Wednesday, December 8 – INDIE88’s 8th Birthday Party with Glorious Sons & JJ Wilde
Thursday, December 9 - July Talk: Live At Last
Friday, December 10 - July Talk: Live At Last
Sunday, December 12 - Silverstein: 20 Year Anniversary Tour
Friday, December 17 - USS - Final Freakquency Tour
Saturday, December 18 - USS - Final Freakquency Tour
Wednesday, December 22 - BADBADNOTGOOD Talk Memory Tour
Tuesday, December 28 - Duke Dumont
Wednesday, December 29 - Kaytranada - Autumn '21 Tour
Thursday, December 30 - Kaytranada - Autumn '21 Tour
Thursday, January 20 - WizKid: Made In Lagos Tour
Friday, January 21 - WizKid: Made In Lagos Tour
Tickets available HERE.

History combines the lasting elements of the past with the brightest visions of the future to bring top-tier acts that set a new standard for the live experience in the city. The building includes a convertible general admission area and reserved seating configurations for all types of functions – from concerts, live entertainment, and galas to community programs and events. With a multi-level layout and modern amenities, History is also the perfect venue for corporate events, private functions, receptions and more.

VIP Experiences are also available with a selection of floor and box suites. A premium side-stage reservation could begin at the doors with a private entrance to the exclusive space, equipped with a personal bar and private washrooms just steps away from the stage.

Committed to supporting arts and culture, History will launch a community arts program aimed at supporting local youth’s artistic aspirations through both exposure and financial support. Art students in the area will have the opportunity to submit a portfolio that showcases their style and skill to be considered for a commissioned opportunity to create band artwork for an upcoming show. Multiple recipients will be chosen annually and awarded with a generous bursary in addition to having their creations promoted at the venue, online and in-print.

Live Nation Canada is the country’s leading live entertainment producer and promoter, offering the best of Canadian and International talent at stadiums, arenas, theatres, and club venues across the country. Live Nation continues to be a true leader in the live industry in Canada helping to elevate homegrown artists to the world stage.

History has partnered with The Food Dudes to bring guests an extraordinary and modern culinary experience. General admission fans can grab the brand’s staple Blondies Pizza, while a curated premium food menu of shareables is available for those in the Box and Mezzanine space.

The venue has also partnered with Nobis, a brand entrenched in community and the cross section between fashion and culture. Truly embracing the shared values of celebrating a performance driven lifestyle, Nobis customers will receive free access to the Nobis Coat Checks found onsite on both the main level as well as the Mezzanine.

For more information visit LiveNation.com.
Twitter – @HistoryToronto
Instagram – @Historytoronto
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HistoryToronto

About Live Nation Entertainment
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world's leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com.

For more information, high-res images or interviews, please contact:
Dillon Shaver, rock-it promotions, inc. at dillon@rockitpromo.com
Tonisha Bath, rock-it promotions, inc. at tonisha@rockitpromo.com

November 03, 2021
Events Industry Council launches CMP Fellows designation

The Events Industry Council (EIC), the global voice of the business events industry on advocacy, research, professional recognition, and standards, has launched its new CMP Fellows Programme, one of a number of new initiatives designed to enhance the association’s highly regarded CMP programme both in terms of the depth of its offer, as well as its global reach.

The CMP Fellows programme will recognise and reward CMPs and/or Emeritus who continue to make a significant investment towards the betterment of the events industry and the community of people working within it. Fellowship is open to those with at least 10 years’ tenure as a CMP or Emeritus who can provide robust evidence of engagement and experience within the events industry.

A new class of Fellows will be inducted annually, with benefits including access to exclusive networking opportunities, peer-to-peer collaborations and opportunities at EIC and other industry events.

As part of the EIC’s commitment to supporting education and advancement in the industry, the organisation’s CMP Governance Commission has created the CMP One-time Reinstatement Programme. The initiative provides eligible meeting professionals an opportunity to reinstate expired certification through continuing education without having to retake the CMP certification exam, meaning that they can still benefit from the industry’s most recognised ‘stamp of approval’. 

Amy Calvert, CEO of the EIC, said: “Ensuring event professionals can benefit from the opportunities afforded by continued high quality education is critical to the future growth of our industry. Our CMP credential has long been regarded as the badge of excellence in the global events industry and these new initiatives ensure that as many event professionals as possible have ready access to and can benefit from accreditation.”

Amy continued: “I am a great believer in recognising and rewarding achievement, as often this acts as a catalyst for deeper engagement with the industry and serves to inspire and motivate peers. Our new CMP Fellows programme aims to celebrate those who continue to strive to grow and improve our industry and I am very much looking forward to reading the applications for our inaugural Class.”

Events Industry Council CMP Governance Commission Chair Alisa Peters, CMP, CMM said: “The Fellows programme is a special invitation to those thought leaders who we need to be a part of this critical juncture in our industry. We cannot wait to see the ongoing contribution of so many of the most tenured and experienced in our industry, recognised and celebrated – and to provide an ongoing pipeline of mentors to the next amazing generation of meeting professionals, who will continue the legacy for many years to come.”

“The CMP designation has been the gold standard within the event planning industry for nearly 40 years.  To further emphasize the commitment, hard work and tenure of those who embrace this field of expertise, the advanced recognition of CMP Fellow has been developed”, said Barbara Connell, CMP, CAE, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. “This credential recognizes those who are dedicated and thrive within this impactful industry.  We are delighted to bestow this designation to those who have earned it and value its significance.”

For more information on qualification criteria, benefits of CMP Fellows designation and the submission process, visit: https://www.eventscouncil.org/CMP/CMP-Fellows-Programme. The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2022. 

About the Events Industry Council
The Events Industry Council’s more than 30 member organisations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the events industry. The Events Industry Council’s vision is to be the global champion for event professionals and event industry excellence. It promotes high standards and professionalism in the events industry with the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) programme and signature programme activities. The CMP credential is recognised globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education and a rigorous exam. The four signature programmes – Sustainability and Social Impact, Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), Knowledge, and Leadership – represent the key initiatives, assets, services and products for the Events Industry Council. Learn more online at www.eventscouncil.org.

November 01, 2021
AV-CANADA Starts Multi-Year Partnership with Blue Mountain Resort as the Official AV Supplier

Toronto—AV-CANADA Inc. announces a multiple-year partnership with Blue Mountain Resort, as the Official Supplier for Audio Visual Services. Danny Dobriansky, CEO and Co-President at AV-CANADA shared today, “In accordance with our mid to long term growth strategy we felt this was the perfect fit. Our tireless efforts to provide the best service, using the latest technology at a fair price, gave us the winning edge. I would like to thank my entire team of associates and partners who have worked so hard to elevate our brand in the industry and community, as it reflects today. I would also like to thank the team at Blue Mountain Resort who were ready for change and put their trust in us to make that change!

This is a great opportunity for AV-CANADA and Blue Mountain Resorts to collaborate. Together we will focus on executing successful meetings and events to enhance the overall presenter and delegate experience. The resort offers all year round activities and services for conventions, conferences, events, meetings and trade-shows. The Blue Mountain Resort has 5 meeting spaces available which include Grand Central Lodge, Blue Mountain Inn Conference Center, Blue Mountain Village Conference Center, The West Trillium House and custom outdoor spaces, altogether offering over 150,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space! The team at Blue Mountain Resort said, “We are excited about what the future holds and quite frankly the decision was made easy by our history of experiencing your (AV-CANADA) events over the years.”

As the biggest public ski area in Ontario, the Blue Mountain Resort has over 365 skiable acres of property and also offers night skiing with custom lighting. Other winter activities include snow trails, snow shoeing, skating and multiple seasonal festivals. Spring and summer include adventure packages with various activities such as the ridge runner mountain coaster, blue mountain beach, parks, golf, gondola rides, wall climbing, ziplining and the aquatic center. With over 50 unique bars, restaurants, shops and spas, there is something great to do for everyone, every time.

Dobriansky further shared, “We look forward to provide our award winning services to all of those who choose Blue Mountain Resort as your next meeting destination! It was time for a change and we are happy to be on the forefront of that change. Are you ready for change?”

About AV-CANADA:
With over 30 years of specializing in live events, virtual events and hybrid events, AV-CANADA has proven their innovative expertise through the ongoing success of our clients.

We provide creative and turn-key solutions that help you customize your event, your way. Our solutions are cost-effective and deliver on value for our clients. More than simply audio-visual support, we also offer a variety of leading edge presentation technologies, large inventories of in-house equipment and highly committed personnel.

We are proud to invest in a team of highly skilled, experienced professionals that work closely with you from inception to execution, to help your event exceed your expectations. We invest in mandatory training for all our personnel to ensure that we offer you the highest level of service, unparalleled by the events industry. Our success and commitment to service and value, has proven our leadership in growth and education for the events industry.

AV-CANADA Information:
1655 The Queensway East, Unit 2
Mississauga ON L4X 2Z5
Tel: (905) 566-5500
1(866) 667-2345
www.av-canada.com

Media contact:
Maria Syed
marketing@av-canada.com

November 01, 2021
Vancouver Convention Centre earns third 'Center of Excellence' recognition from EXHIBITOR Magazine

Vancouver, BC—The Vancouver Convention Centre has been selected as a 2022 Center of Excellence by EXHIBITOR Magazine, recognizing North America’s best convention centres for trade shows and events. This is the third consecutive year that the facility, owned and operated by B.C. Pavilion Corporation, has made the Centers of Excellence list.

The Convention Centre was awarded based on evaluation in five categories of criteria: Facility & Functionality, Location & Accommodations, Service & Execution, Expansions & Upgrades, and Honors & Awards. The evaluation process also included a survey of event planners, show organizers and exhibit managers who have recently hosted events at the considered facilities.

We are so proud to be recognized once again as one of EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Centers of Excellence, and amongst such an incredible group of facilities,” said Craig Lehto, General Manager, Vancouver Convention Centre. “This is a crucial time for our industry, at every level. As we move forward towards recovery and the gradual return of meetings and events, it is vital that we evolve how facilities can serve their clients, guests and staff and continue to function safely and effectively to create successful events."

Situated centrally on Vancouver’s downtown waterfront, the venue’s connected East and West buildings offer a combined total of 466,500 ft2 (43,340 m2) of flexible meeting, exhibition and plenary space. The facility is designed to accommodate events of varying size, scope and complexity, ensuring that even large-scale trade and consumer shows are provided with a seamless experience from move-in to move-out.

Throughout the qualifying period, the Convention Centre implemented a number of new features and technologies that will expand facility functionality as well as further its ability to operate sustainably. This includes the addition of two Bio Composters that reduce the amount of organic waste requiring transport off-site, an Exhibitor Services Office to support clients and exhibitors in real time, as well as various technology enhancements such as extensive boardroom conference system upgrades.

After extensive consultation with health authorities and other partners, the Convention Centre has implemented a comprehensive safety plan to inform the execution of business activity held at the facility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a wide range of protective measures, including set-up designed to adhere to physical distancing; enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures; use of protective barriers where necessary; specialized training for Convention Centre staff; availability of hand sanitizers throughout the facility; educational signage throughout the facility and more.

Media Contact:
Michael Gleboff
Communications Specialist
Vancouver Convention Centre
communications@vancouverconventioncentre.com

About the Vancouver Convention Centre
Located on Vancouver’s downtown waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the world’s first double LEED® Platinum certified convention centre offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre features two connected buildings with a combined total of 466,500 ft2 (43,340 m2) of flexible meeting, exhibition, ballroom and plenary space. The facility is committed to environmental sustainability as well as unparalleled service, technology offerings and culinary excellence. www.vancouverconventioncentre.com

October 27, 2021
Destinations International Announces Toronto as the 2022 Annual Convention Destination

Event to be held in-person.

Washington, D.C.—Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), today announced Toronto, Ontario, Canada as the 2022 Annual Convention destination during its Advocacy Summit in Houston, TX. Registration will open in 2022.

“Every year our association offers educational opportunities for destination organization professionals around the world with an Annual Convention and discipline-focused summits,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “2022 will be the first year we have hosted our Annual Convention in Toronto and we are excited to work with Scott Beck with Destination Toronto and his very talented team to create a convention experience like no other.”

“As North America’s 4th largest city, and the world’s most diverse city, it's fitting that Toronto, Canada will be welcoming destination professionals from around the globe for Destinations International’s 2022 Annual Convention,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO, Destination Toronto. “The global pandemic has shown to the world the impact visitors have in every destination around the globe. There has never been a more critical time to come together as an industry, share ideas and engage in conversations about the important work we do for our communities. We can’t wait to welcome Destinations International to Toronto!”

“We are thrilled to bring together the greatest minds in the travel and tourism industry throughout 2022 to engage, connect and learn from one another through the Annual Convention,” said Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and Destinations International board chair. “The impact of our industry has never been more important and through educational opportunities like the Annual Convention, Destinations International will be able to equip its members with the tools needed to continue to recover from the challenges brought on as a result of the global pandemic.”

Please check www.destinationsinternational.org for the most up-to-date information on all of Destinations International’s events.

About Destinations International:
Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International) is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with more than 4,700 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 15 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit www.destinationsinternational.org

October 25, 2021
Air Transat announces direct service between Quebec City and London

The airline also continues to enhance its overall offering out of Jean Lesage International Airport

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Air Transat, (TSX: TRZ) voted World's Best Leisure Airline, is pleased to announce that it will offer an exclusive non-stop service between Quebec City and London. From May 11 to September 28, 2022, travellers from the province of Quebec's Capitale-Nationale region will be able to benefit from weekly direct flights to London's Gatwick airport, making it easier than ever to discover this must-see European destination. At the same time, British tourists will now have direct access to magnificent Quebec City.

"We are proud to have been serving Quebec City since our very beginnings more than 30 years ago, and to be the leading international carrier departing from Jean Lesage Airport, with an array of exclusive routes that is constantly being enhanced," said Joseph Adamo, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Transat. "London is the world's number one international market, and this route's strong tourism potential is undeniable, both for Quebec travellers and for Britons who want to visit our beautiful province. The addition of this city-pair is an integral part of our strategic plan and our ambitions for developing our offering out of the Capitale-Nationale region."

Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), noted: "The addition of a flight to a destination as important as London is a dream come true for us at YQB, but also for many people in the Greater Quebec City area. Although our industry has been severely weakened by the global pandemic, Air Transat has chosen to invest in our market by offering the public a second direct connection to Europe, after Paris. It is essential that passengers return if we are to prove to Air Transat that it was right to place its trust in us."

Geneviève Guilbault, Quebec Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Security and minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, stated: "The pandemic has impacted the travel industry around the world. This announcement is a breath of fresh air for our airport, for the tourism industry of our beautiful Capitale-Nationale region and for our citizens who are eager to rediscover the pleasure of travelling comfortably and safely." She added: "I hope that this announcement is just the first of many that will help strengthen Québec City Jean Lesage's standing as an international airport."

For her part, Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism and minister responsible for the Lanaudière and Bas-Saint-Laurent regions, said: "With this excellent news, Air Transat and Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport are sending a strong signal that the tourism recovery is well underway, and that the province of Quebec and its Capital-Nationale region remain at the top of the list of popular destinations for European tourists. The creation of a new Quebec City-London route illustrates the success of the efforts made by all the partners in the tourism industry and by your government to maintain our charming Capitale-Nationale's ability to welcome visitors, as well as its attractiveness throughout the pandemic. The entire tourism industry and the wonderful Capitale-Nationale region will undoubtedly benefit from this new traffic."

Robert Mercure, General Manager of the Destination Québec cité tourism development organization, stated: "This new Quebec City-London route serve as an important lever for our tourism recovery. Attractions, restaurants, businesses and hotels have been hard hit by the pandemic and the absence of international tourists over the past 18 months. The provincial capital's flight offering must be diversified if our destination is to remain competitive and we can only welcome this addition, which broadens our market development opportunities."

London-bound passengers will travel on the new-generation Airbus A321neoLR aircraft, which are perfectly aligned with the company's ongoing efforts in responsible tourism, including a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. They consume 15% less fuel, and reduce both noise and NOx greenhouse gas emissions by half.

The route will operate on Wednesdays from Quebec City and Thursdays from London-Gatwick.

Enhanced service from Quebec City for summer 2022
Air Transat is continuing to expand its international service out of Quebec City by offering direct flights to six other destinations for the summer of 2022.

In addition to serving London, Air Transat also plans to restart its service between Quebec City and Paris, enabling travellers to enjoy exclusive service to two of Europe's major metropolises. Sun-lovers are also sure to find something to their liking thanks to direct flights to Fort Lauderdale, now offered year-round, as well as connections to Cancún in Mexico and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Full details of Air Transat's 2022 summer flight schedule will be announced shortly. 

About Air Transat
Founded in Montreal 35 years ago, Air Transat is a leading leisure travel brand. Voted World's Best Leisure Airline by passengers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, it flies to international and Canadian destinations, striving to serve its customers with enthusiasm and friendliness at every stage of their trip or stay, and emphasizing safety throughout. It is renewing its fleet with the greenest aircraft in their category as part of a commitment to a healthier environment, knowing that this is essential to its operations and the magnificent destinations it offers. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a world-renowned holiday travel provider that has achieved Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its sustainability commitments.

SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.

October 25, 2021
WestJet to return to 95 destinations this winter

Airline continues to restore sun, transborder and domestic routes as Canadians confidence in travel grows

Calgary, AB/CNW/—This winter, WestJet is set to restore service and connectivity to more than 95 destinations across the airline's domestic, transborder, sun and international network as of December.

"As Canadians confidence in travel grows, the return of service to 95 destinations marks a major milestone in rebuilding our network to pre-pandemic levels," said John Weatherill, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. "We have our sights set on restoring our global network to reach more than 100 destinations and continue to focus on alleviating the current travel barriers in place for our guests."

"These investments demonstrate our commitment to restoring routes and connectivity to communities across Canada," continued Weatherill. "Travel advisories are evolving in real-time and it is critical that policies implemented prior to the widespread availability of vaccines are recalibrated to accelerate Canada's economic recovery and to reflect the new fully-vaccinated travel journey."

Strengthening sun service and transborder flights from Toronto
With the addition of seven returning flights from Toronto, WestJet will offer non-stop service to 55 destinations including 26 international, 17 domestic and 12 transborder this winter from Toronto.

  • Toronto – Boston
  • Toronto – Miami
  • Toronto - Grand Cayman
  • Toronto – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Toronto – San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Toronto – Roatan
  • Toronto – Kelowna*

Increasing sun flights and non-stop options to Hawaii from Calgary
As the airline with the most flights this winter from Calgary, WestJet is set to offer non-stop service to 61 destinations from Calgary including 30 domestic, 19 transborder and 12 international destinations from YYC with the addition of the following non-stop flights.

  • Calgary - Fort Lauderdale
  • Calgary - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Calgary - Lihue
  • Calgary - Kona

WestJet continues to be the Canadian carrier that offers the most flights to Hawaii to the four major islands from Western Canada.

New non-stop sun flights for Winnipeg and Regina connectivity
WestJet is adding non-stop options to Cancun and Orlando with the return of international flights to Winnipeg. The airline will also restore four-times weekly non-stop service between Regina and Winnipeg.

  • Winnipeg – Cancun
  • Winnipeg – Orlando
  • Winnipeg - Regina

Connecting Edmonton and Honolulu non-stop
WestJet will connect guests between Edmonton and Honolulu beginning December 18, 2021. This winter the airline will serve 24 domestic, international and transborder destinations non-stop from Alberta's capital city.

  • Edmonton – Honolulu, Hawaii

Service between Kelowna and Toronto to return for peak holiday travel
WestJet is increasing Kelowna's non-stop options with the return of three-times weekly service between Toronto and Kelowna from December 17 to January 5, 2022.

  • Kelowna – Toronto*

Full schedule details are available online here.

Frequency and start dates of returning service added to WestJet's winter schedule:

Route 

Frequency 

Start Date  

Toronto – Boston 

4x weekly 

 December 17

Toronto – Miami 

4x weekly 

 December 16

Toronto - Grand Cayman 

1x weekly 

 December 16

Toronto – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 

2x weekly 

 December 17

Toronto – Roatan  

1x weekly 

 December 19

Toronto – San Juan, Puerto Rico 

1x weekly 

 December 18

Toronto – Kelowna* 

3x weekly 

 December 17 –
January 5, 2022

Calgary - Fort Lauderdale  

1x weekly 

 December 18

Calgary - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 

1x weekly 

 December 18

Calgary - Lihue 

1x weekly 

 December 19

Calgary - Kona 

1x weekly 

 December 19

Winnipeg – Cancun 

Up to 3x weekly 

 December 17

Winnipeg – Orlando 

1x weekly 

 December 18

Winnipeg - Regina 

4x weekly 

 December 16

Edmonton – Honolulu, Hawaii  

1x weekly 

 December 18

Kelowna – Toronto*   

3x weekly 

 December 17 –
January 5, 2022

To ensure guests are equipped and prepared with the information they need to enjoy a smooth and safe return to travel the airline has created its Travel Ready Series. 

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

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

October 25, 2021
Air Canada Offers Industry's Most Comprehensive Travel Testing Options in Partnership with Switch Health, Including Self-Administered Tests

Montreal/CNW/—Air Canada today announced the introduction of new testing products, including portable self-administered COVID-19 molecular and antigen test kits, through a partnership with Switch Health, a Canadian-based healthcare company. Using the Switch Health COVID-19 RT-LAMP Kit, customers can test themselves while travelling abroad prior to their flight to Canada to meet Government of Canada testing entry requirements without the need to visit a foreign COVID-19 testing clinic. These tests are conducted under the remote supervision of a Telehealth professional from Switch Health and include an electronic report suitable for travel.

"Air Canada is a leader in adopting and implementing science-based safety measures to simplify our customers' journey," said Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products Marketing & eCommerce at Air Canada. "Together with Switch Health, we are pleased to offer our customers the most comprehensive range of travel testing options that will make travelling abroad easier and more predictable. Switch Health also seamlessly integrates into Air Canada's digital tool allowing customers to securely submit their COVID-19 test results and records of vaccination, further simplifying the travel experience."

"At Switch Health, we pride ourselves on keeping Canadians safe and empowering them to make decisions concerning their health at their convenience through cutting edge, decentralized diagnostics and patient-focused digital solutions," said Dilian Stoyanov, Chief Executive Officer at Switch Health. "Offering these COVID-19 tests will help get Canadians back to their favourite activities - like global air travel with Air Canada - safely, reliably and at their convenience."

Testing for travel
Customers flying to Canada are currently required by the Government of Canada to present a negative molecular test taken within 72 hours of their flight. Switch Health's new portable self-administered test kit, officially called the Switch Health RT-LAMP Test Kit, can be taken by customers on their trips and used to satisfy this requirement without the need to visit a foreign testing facility. Air Canada is Switch Health's launch partner for these new tests, with limited quantities initially available for Aeroplan Members.

The RT-LAMP test is one of several ways Air Canada is offering practical solutions to ease customer experience and reduce the inconvenience related to the current pre-departure testing requirements. Other COVID-19 testing options include travel testing clinics, a self-administered RT-PCR collection kit and a portable self-administered antigen kit containing two tests which is accepted by many countries such as the United States.

These solutions are designed to ease the travel experience until the mandatory pre-departure test requirement evolves for fully vaccinated travellers. The Government's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommends the removal of pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travellers, acknowledging that testing at both departure and arrival is excessive.

Preferred pricing for Aeroplan Members
Aeroplan Members have exclusive access to preferred pricing on all Switch Health testing products. Aeroplan preferred pricing for the portable antigen test kit start at $79 plus applicable taxes (one kit includes two tests), and the portable RT-LAMP test kit start at $149 plus applicable taxes. Members also earn 1,000 Aeroplan points on RT-PCR tests and 500 Aeroplan points on RT-LAMP test kits and antigen tests. Members can also redeem their Aeroplan points through the Aeroplan eStore to cover the cost of the test kits. Not an Aeroplan Member? Anyone can join for free.

Customers can visit aircanada.com/switchhealth for all the details or order a test kit at switchhealth.ca/aeroplan or redeem at aircanada.com/estore.

Travelling internationally? Visit our Travel Ready Hub to easily and conveniently obtain such information as necessary travel documentation, COVID-19 test requirements and country travel restrictions for any global destination.

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.

About Switch Health
Switch Health Holdings Inc. (Switch Health) is an industry leader that is transforming how healthcare is delivered in Canada through cutting edge decentralized next generation diagnostics and patient-focused digital solutions. Switch Health developed an end-to-end, innovative, and accessible testing-solution in Canada's fight against COVID-19, with its at-home and mobile collection kits to test Canadians safely, rapidly, and reliably for COVID-19. Switch Health's services are driven by its secure, proprietary patient portal, ASMO. Switch Health offers services in over 200 languages from the comfort peoples' homes or workplaces, with the guidance of trusted Telehealth professionals and the delivery of results through and some of Canada's top laboratories. 

October 25, 2021
Safety Above All includes mandatory vaccinations for travellers and employees at the WestJet Group

Calgary, AB/CNW/—Today, the WestJet Group shared the evolution of its Safety Above All program to reflect mandatory employee vaccination and mandatory traveller vaccination, in line with the Government of Canada mandate. 

Effective October 30, 2021, The WestJet Group will implement the federal government's mandatory vaccination policy for air travellers and will operate as a fully vaccinated airline, managing minimal accommodations pursuant to human rights law.

"The implementation of these policies mark a major confidence milestone for our industry as Canadians can fly knowing that they are travelling within a fully-vaccinated ecosystem," said Ed Sims, WestJet Group, President and CEO. "We are taking all necessary steps to ensure our guests are advised of the new requirements for travel prior to taking their next flight."

Mandatory vaccination policy for travellers
For travel on or after October 30, 2021, the implementation of the federal government's mandatory vaccination policy for travellers marks a major change to the Canadian travel journey.

For Phase I, for travel between October 30 and November 29, 2021, in order to travel with The WestJet Group, guests must prepare to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a valid PCR test to demonstrate the requirements for travel. 

For Phase II, for travel on or after November 30, 2021, only proof of vaccination for guests 12 years or older, with narrow exceptions, will be acceptable for travel on the WestJet Group.

As this is a Government of Canada mandate, guests are advised to visit https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying for the most up-to-date information, including the limited options for exceptions to this new policy.

The WestJet Group will be actively communicating this expectation for travel through a variety of notifications including: notification emails; check-in declaration; validation requirements; in addition to changes to WestJet.com and flyswoop.com.

"As we transition to a fully vaccinated company and Canadian airline industry, we will continue to advocate for the recalibration of travel guidance and policies that were implemented prior to the widespread availability of vaccines," continued Sims.

The WestJet Group mandatory employee vaccination policy
As announced, effective October 30, 2021, WestJet and Swoop will transition to fully vaccinated airlines with the implementation of the company's mandatory employee vaccination policy.

"Vaccination is our best way out of this pandemic, and more than 98 per cent of our workforce self-declared their full-vaccination intent prior to the implementation of these policies," said Sims. "We continue to work together with our employee, labour and contractor groups to ensure the successful implementation of our corporate policy."

All WestJet Group employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and full vaccination status is a requirement of employment for all future employees hired by the WestJet Group, with accommodations managed pursuant to human rights law.

Employees who failed to achieve full vaccination status by October 30, 2021, face unpaid leave and termination of employment.

International travel vaccination passport
The WestJet Group welcomes a standardized and digital proof of vaccination that will enable Canadians to securely and quickly demonstrate their vaccination status in order to travel abroad and is awaiting additional details on timelines, nationwide availability and global acceptance.

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

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

October 22, 2021
MMBC Applauds Targeted Industry Support Measures

The federal Liberals have made good on an election promise to support Canada’s visitor economy with new government measures specifically targeting our hardest-hit businesses and designed to boost job creation and stimulate economic recovery.

“Canada’s visitor economy is facing a tough winter after travel and mass gathering restrictions hampered our businesses through most of 2021,” says MMBC chair, Clark Grue. “As a member and supporter of the Coalition for Hardest Hit Businesses, Meetings Mean Business Canada has worked tirelessly alongside our coalition partners to advocate for continued support measures, including tailored programs for hardest-hit businesses. We applaud the new initiatives, as well as the new standardized Canadian proof of vaccination to help streamline both domestic and international business travel.”

The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75%.

The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program would provide support to other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50%

Businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.

These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13, 2022. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

In announcing the new programs, Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, said the new measures will cost $7.4 billion between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022, and moves government support programs away from the very broad-based support that was appropriate at the height of lockdowns to more targeted measures that will provide help where it is needed.

Learn more about the programs

Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) is the advocacy voice of the meetings and business events industry in Canada. Working in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Destination Canada Business Events, our key focus and mission is to communicate the important social and economic impact of our industry to stakeholders and elected officials at all levels of government.

October 21, 2021
Canada's Travel and Tourism Industry Welcomes Standardized Canadian COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination for Travel

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable") welcomes the federal government's announcement that Canada will introduce a standardized proof of vaccination for domestic and international travel in the coming months. Today's announcement is a critical step forward in establishing vaccine certificate interoperability between Canada and international destinations, and certainty for the travel and tourism industry.

Canadians, domestic travellers, and international visitors alike require consistency regarding where they can go, what they can do, and the required documentation they need to participate in public activities. One clear system will help to facilitate travel and border openings around the world.

The Roundtable encourages the government to continue working with provinces to create a seamless and consistent vaccine certification system and to ensure that each province and territory that has yet to make their vaccine certification program compatible across the country work quickly to standardize their proof of vaccination with the federal government's certification for domestic and international travel.

Further, the Roundtable continues to advocate for the use of science-based measures to remove obstacles to travel, including the removal of cost-prohibitive, pre-departure PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers and blanket travel advisories. In addition, the Roundtable is calling for an amendment to the discriminatory child policy for travelling of minors which effectively requires them to quarantine from school or daycare for two weeks. These policies were intended to be temporary and are counter to the federal government's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel Report and stifle the re-building of the travel and tourism sector across this country which the government recognizes has been the hardest hit.

Travel is now one of the safest activities in Canada as the transportation sector has become one of the few sectors requiring fully vaccinated employees and customers. Current policies must consider improvements made in managing the pandemic through robust health and safety protocols, as well as the fully vaccinated population in Canada and around the world.

About the Canadian Tourism Roundtable
The Canadian Tourism Roundtable is a cross-Canadian coalition of leaders in the tourism and travel sector – including representatives from airports, airlines, hotels, and chambers of commerce across the country – committed to working together to restart the sector smoothly and safely. Travel and Tourism is a $102 billion sector, employing millions of Canadians across the country and accounting for 2.1% of the country's gross domestic product. It advocates for a safe and prosperous tourism and travel sector across Canada. 

SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable

October 21, 2021
VoX Welcomes New Client Trees4Travel

Toronto, ON—VoX International, in an ongoing commitment to sustainability and to adopting responsible business practices, will be representing Trees4Travel in North America effective immediately.  

The appointment will see VoX managing media relations, sales and marketing, providing orientations, presentations, trainings, and other related projects - increasing Trees4Travels’ profile and resulting in a year-round presence in the North American market.

“Travel companies must act now to prevent climate catastrophe” remarked Susan Webb, President of VoX International. “Trees4Travel has created a simple, tangible and inexpensive way for companies to ensure they are helping to reverse the effects of climate change. We are excited to join Trees4Travel on this journey to bring about a more positive climate future”. 

Trees4Travel Ltd was created based on the belief that the travel industry could be a significant force for positive action in the battle against climate change. The company facilitates the planting of trees across the globe to assist in offsetting the impact of travel, support impoverished communities and supply forests from which crops of fruits and medicines can be harvested. In the meantime, the trees are left to grow, absorb CO2, prevent soil erosion, and create natural habitat. 

The goal is for planet and people positive action. When a tree is planted, it is assumed that it will absorb 164kgs of CO2 in its first ten years, but Trees4Travel goes the extra mile, always backing up their claim by also investing into certified renewable energy projects, in effect doubling their promise.

Trees4Travels’ energy projects are key to the ‘double lock’ of their promise; Planet & People Positive Travel. This is not ‘offset’ this is climate positive activity.

Trees4Travel also provides travel companies with a free to use API, seamlessly integrating with their systems to allow tour operators, travel agents and DMO’s to calculate the number of trees that need to be planted to make any journey climate positive. 

Trees4Travel also makes a point to work closely with verified tree planting organizations from around the world to ensure that the trees planted are indigenous to a region and restore natural ecosystems. They prioritize reforestation projects that have the highest environmental and social impact.

CEO Nico Nicholas is looking forward to this partnership with VoX International and remarked “We are thrilled to be working with VoX. We know their ‘voice of experience’, and unrivalled connections to the North American tourism community will ensure Trees4Travel quickly becomes recognized as the go-to choice for creating cleaner, better more mindful travel in the USA and Canada.”

VoX previously announced a collaboration with Travelife, an internationally recognized training, management & certification program for sustainability in tourism. Through regular training, volunteering opportunities, awareness raising among staff and suppliers, and the implementation of sustainable policies and practices, VoX aims to become Travelife Certified by early 2022.

For more information, please email trees4travel@voxinternational.com

VoX International:
VoX International is a Canadian-owned destination marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada with teams in Vancouver, Edmonton, Montreal, and Philadelphia providing representation nationally. VoX is a full-service sales, marketing, event planning and public relations agency led by a team of high profile, knowledgeable industry executives. Recognized as a marketplace leader, VoX offers a wide range of support within the North American meeting, incentive, events, hospitality, and leisure tourism sectors. VoX’s passion for providing personal, innovative and results driven solutions are key factors for driving the company’s reputation for success.

About Trees4Travel:
Trees4Travel enables travel to be Planet & People Positive (www.trees4travel.com). This is a UK based company working across the globe to create climate positive programs. Trees4Travel is rewilding the world and transforming the lives of island communities, bringing them green, inexpensive energy. The company works with future-minded travel brands in the business and leisure sectors, calculating the impact of journeys and creating climate positivity through sustainable reduction projects. All calculations use GHG and DEFRA protocols. Trees4Travel is part of the United Nations Environment Program; One Trillion Trees campaign. Trees4Travel was co-founded by Nico and Elkie Nicholas in 2020 and is a proudly equal opportunities employer with teams in seven countries and counting.

Contact: Susan Webb 
President, VoX International
Susan@VoXInternational.com
416.935.1896 ext. 222
Mobile: 416-727-5468