Current News

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

Current News

January 14, 2022
Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable Encourages Federal Government to Redeploy On-Arrival PCR Tests to address Urgent Needs in Canadian Communities

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—Today, the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable released the following statement:

The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable") today called on the federal government to redeploy PCR tests used for on-arrival testing of fully-vaccinated, asymptomatic and previously negative travellers into Canada for community use and for a return to randomized on-arrival testing for surveillance purposes.

On December 17, the federal government announced additional measures to contain the spread of the Omicron variant. This included the increase of on-arrival PCR testing for travellers arriving from destinations other than the United States and isolation until test results are received, despite all travellers being fully vaccinated, asymptomatic and having just received a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours. The redundant testing requirement was introduced at a time of a shortage of such tests for use in community testing.

These measures were designed to keep Omicron out of Canada. Now that Omicron has made its way into Canadian communities, it is important we shift policies to reflect the realities of the current COVID-19 situation. Canada's international peers, like the United Kingdom and Israel, have already done so.  The government should consider shifting back to arrival testing on a random basis for surveillance purposes, which was recommended by the Expert Panel.

The positivity rate of fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada on a relative basis is extremely low when contrasted against the significantly higher positive rate in the community. This is because the arrivals test effectively re-tests COVID-negative travellers.  

Canada is currently facing a COVID-19 testing crisis. On-arrival COVID-19 PCR tests waste valuable, scarce testing resources that could be redeployed to protect our frontline workers and support a return to school for children. Shifting from double testing at the border will allow these COVID-19 PCR tests to be deployed to communities where they are most needed.

Canada's travel and tourism sector continues to partner with decision-makers to blunt the impact of the variant on our communities. The Roundtable understands the severity and complexity of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. We encourage the federal government to update these temporary measures and return to a program of randomized testing of travellers which will continue to provide data on COVID-19.

SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable

January 14, 2022
Events Industry Council Announces 2022 Board of Directors

The Events Industry Council (EIC), the voice of the global business events today announced the election of its 2022 Board of Directors.

Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events)  and Chief Executive Officer of CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) transitions to Chair of the EIC, having held the role of Chair-Elect in 2021. In her new position, Breden will be a key representative of the association and support EIC’s CEO, Amy Calvert, and EIC’s standing committees and taskforces as they create and implement new research and products to support the global events industry in its recovery. Cathy will also be responsible ensuring that EIC progresses towards its Vision 2025 and will have a key focus on growing EIC’s membership internationally where there is an opportunity to implement its education, certification, and accreditation programmes.

Commenting on her appointment to Chair of the EIC, Breden said: “Over the past year, I have seen firsthand how the guidance and information published by the EIC has benefited the global events sector in its recovery. I would personally like to thank the entire 2021 board, in particular Mark Cooper and Paul Van Deventer, for their dedication in what has been a tremendously challenging time for us all.

I am incredibly excited for the year ahead and alongside the Board of Directors, Amy and committee and taskforces members, will continue to drive and develop EIC’s reach and offering to further support the industry in its recovery.” 

Breden will be supported by incoming Chair-Elect, Sherrif Karamat, President and Chief Executive Officer at PCMA. Sherrif has a wealth of knowledge of the global business and events sector and is a respected voice in the industry. Under his leadership, PCMA has become a key player in positioning the industry as a driver for socio-economic change.

Also nominated to the 2022 Board of Directors are:
Jason Dunn Sr, Immediate Past Chairman, NCBMP (National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals)
Jennifer Glynn, CIS, CITP – SITE 2020 President (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence)
Stephanie Harris, President, The Incentive Research Foundation
Brad Mayne, CVE – President and CE, IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers)

Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council said: “I would like to thank the 2021 Board of Directors for their tireless efforts in supporting and guiding the EIC through what has been another uncertain year for the industry. In 2021, we had a number of significant successes, launching valuable resources and programmes to further develop and support our industry in its recovery.

“As we move into a new year, I am looking forward to working with our new and returning board members, partners and volunteer leaders as we continue to build on the momentum and achievements of 2021, with the introduction of some impactful and innovative projects focused on supporting our sector, building capabilities and resilience with an emphasis on people, planet and purpose.”

The Events Industry Council board is comprised of nominated members of the overall Events Industry Council that consists of more than 30 organisations in the events industry. These leaders are the governing body for the overall council with fiscal responsibility and strategic direction for all Events Industry Council programmes.

The full list of 2022 board members is listed below.

2022 Board of Directors Officers:
 Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM – EVP & COO, IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) and CEO - CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research)
Chair-Elect: Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO - PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association)

2022 Board of Directors:
Jason Dunn Sr, Immediate Past Chairman, NCBMP (National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals)
Jennifer Glynn, CIS, CITP – SITE 2020 President (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence)
Stephanie Harris, President, The Incentive Research Foundation
Brad Mayne, CVE – President and CE, IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers)

Continuing their terms on the Board of Directors
Mark Cooper
, CEO – IACC (International Association of Conference Centres)
Senthil Gopinath, CEO - ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association)
Ana María Viscasillas, MBA, CDME, DES - Vice President, Board of Directors, COCAL (Federación de Entidades Organizadoras de Congresos y Afines de Latino América)

The Board of Directors listing can be found on the EIC website here.

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

January 10, 2022
Destination DC Previews Year Ahead and Discusses What’s New in DC During PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2022

Washington, DC—Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, today provided an update on the citywide outlook for 2022 and the organization’s convention sales and services strategies to attract meetings and conventions to Washington, DC. 

“We recognize that the pandemic continues to cause uncertainty, but we remain committed to strong in-person meetings and we’re happy to be at PCMA where we all feel the value of meeting face-to-face,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “DC is dedicated to getting back to business with all of the necessary health measures in place, and as a tourism bureau, our staff is committed to helping customers navigate the current guidelines to hold a successful event. With 20 citywides scheduled this year, I remain optimistic about recovery, and the positive economic impact and local jobs that come with meetings and events.”

Washington, DC begins the new year by welcoming two citywide conventions at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Modern Language Association’s Annual Convention is Jan. 6-9, followed by Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting from Jan. 9-12. The estimated economic impact is $18.4 million across the two conventions. In total, DC anticipates 20 citywides in 2022 with 390,086 room nights. The Convention Center has implemented numerous mitigation strategies and was recently honored by Exhibitor Magazine as one of the best convention centers in America, in part for prioritizing health and safety protocols. Currently, masks are required indoors and customers must provide proof of vaccination at most indoor locations starting Jan. 15, 2022. 

Over the past year, DDC has reinforced its “Connected” positioning, an umbrella marketing strategy that includes “Connected Capital,” “Connected Campus” and “Connected Community.” The campaign is about what sets DC apart and the assets that make meetings and events successful. A staple is DC’s intellectual capital and thriving industries that help attract conferences. The sectors include technology, biotech and pharma, medical, education, sustainability, transportation and government advocacy.

“Focusing DC as a ‘Connected Capital’ works because of the resources only available in the nation’s capital,” said Melissa Riley, vice president, convention sales and services. “One example is the inaugural Quantum World Congress next fall. Connected DMV, MCI USA and regional partners see the region’s potential and have teamed up to establish Greater Washington as the go-to destination and meeting place for quantum technology visionaries, policymakers, researchers, business and investment leaders and students.”

Recognized as the 1st LEED Platinum City in the World and considered one of the most sustainable cities in the United States, DC continues to create and enhance green spaces helping push the city into the top three percent of the country for renewable energy. Thirty-five associations, policy groups and advocacy organizations in the metro area focus on sustainability. Meeting planners and event strategists can learn more about incorporating sustainability, from green hotels and eco-friendly attractions to climate and energy experts into their events at

Taking sustainability a step further, the “Connected Community” platform presents meeting planners with the potential for conferences to drive social change. By connecting to communities through DDC’s partnership with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office on Volunteerism and Partnerships, Serve DC, event attendees are enriched with meaningful experiences that align with their association’s mission, while benefiting locals.

New in DC
Washington, DC has $10.3 billion in development underway. Ronald Reagan National Airport’s Project Journey opened with a 50,000 square-foot connector building that provides greater access to new and improved amenities and an easier transfer to connecting gates for travelers after being screened. The new Silver Line Metro will soon connect Washington Dulles International Airport to downtown DC. Phase II of the Wharf development is nearly complete, adding a Pendry Hotel with 131 guestrooms and 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a 1.5-acre park, and restaurants and retail to its mixed-use development along the Southwest Waterfront.

The city has 29 new hotels and 5,700 additional guest rooms in the pipeline including new brands in neighborhoods throughout the city. Openings include the Holiday Inn Express, less than one mile from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Capital One Arena. The hotel’s top-floor meeting space offers views of the U.S. Capitol Building. Washington DC NoMa District Curio by Hilton features outdoor and rooftop event spaces in the vibrant, fast-growing NoMa neighborhood east of Union Station, the hub for Amtrak’s East Coast rail service. A new citizenM opens in NoMa this April. AC Hotel Capitol Riverfront joins DC’s vibrant waterfront area along the Anacostia River this summer.

Arts and cultural milestones in 2022 include the opening of Picasso: Painting the Blue Period at the Phillips Collection, the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial celebration, the 175th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution and the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Center. Signature events planned in person include the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Passport DC and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall. The National Park Service will complete a $25-million renovation of the Lincoln Memorial in time for the memorial’s centennial celebration this year.   

About Destination DC: 
Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

Danielle Davis, director of communications
202-603-2093 (c);

Susan O’Keefe, media relations manager, trade

January 10, 2022
Easton's Group of Hotels Announces Plans to Build First Full-Service Hotel in Toronto's Historic Distillery District as Canada's only Curio by Hilton

New Toronto hotel will offer accommodations on the edge of this iconic tourist destination and mark the last remaining heritage building to be restored and integrated into the district

Toronto/CNW/—Easton's Group of Hotels, a renowned name in Canada's hospitality industry with a comprehensive portfolio spanning premium, branded and upscale hotel properties across Canada, announces it will build Canada's only Curio by Hilton, the first hotel within 1km of Toronto's historic Distillery District. Located at 60 Mill St, the project will be perched at the entrance of the historic community and mark the last remaining heritage building to be re-purposed in the district.

Rising 31 storeys, the full-service hotel will preserve the heritage building's exteriors as the base three floors. It will span 288,000 sq. ft. gross floor area and feature 392 guest rooms, Hotealong with first-class amenities including a rooftop bar and restaurant with spectacular views. Led by a talented team including IBI Architects, ERA Heritage Architects, and Studio Munge, the project will pay homage to the building's rich history as a rack house built in 1890. This previously stored up to 15,000 barrels of alcohol as part of the liquor manufacturing operations of the Distillery District, until its closure in 1990. While the tower emerges from the top of the heritage building, it will feature "reveal floors," which will be significantly set back to allow for a distinct visual separation between the old and the new. The entire volume of the existing heritage building will be publicly accessible to highlight the past use of the building to all visitors.

"We're thrilled to bring Curio by Hilton to Canada, supporting the Distillery District as a vibrant community and tourist destination that is highly in need of hotel accommodations," says Dr. Steve Gupta, Founder & Chairman of The Gupta Group. "Working with an immensely talented team of architects and designers, Easton's Group of Hotels will restore this historic building and transform it into a cherished landmark, celebrating its prolific history while leaving a legacy for decades to come."

Additional Heritage and Architecture Details:
Part of the reason this building has not yet been restored or in use for over 30 years is because the original architecture was extremely complicated. While the building was technically six storeys, it had no floors because it was designed for storing thousands of barrels of alcohol along wooden racks. In fact, the barrel storage racks forming the middle of the building are currently supporting the building itself, so any adaptation will require significant efforts to ensure that it is sufficiently supported once they are removed.

Easton's Group of Hotels will convert these six storeys into only three levels for Curio by Hilton in order to maintain the long windows, expose the original heavy brickwork, and give visitors a glimpse into the past.

Key Features and Amenities:

  • Ballrooms and conference spaces within the existing heritage building volume
  • World-class spa and gym
  • Rooftop bar, restaurant, and outdoor patio
  • Main floor lobby, lounge, and restaurant
  • Five underground levels, including four reserved for parking
  • Innovative loading dock to reduce community disruption and traffic - turning table for trucks inside the building so they may drive in, turn 180 degrees, unload, and drive out without needing to reverse

With construction anticipated to begin mid-2022, Easton's Group of Hotels will continue to release project updates, including further details on exciting amenities and features.

The company, recently rebranded under The Gupta Group umbrella, is spearheaded by visionary leadership of entrepreneur Steve Gupta. The Easton's Group of Hotels has grown into a major force in the hospitality and service industry across Ontario. The Easton's Group of Hotels' flagship hotel properties include the industry's renowned brands such as the Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn in diverse locations -- from downtown Toronto to Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Montréal and Peterborough. With a dynamic leadership team and an abiding passion for excellence, Easton's Group of Hotels is aggressively expanding to new locations with diverse offerings for the demanding business and leisure traveller. In the highly competitive hotel industry, the Easton's Group of Hotels' core advantages are prime locations, premium quality and superb service. Every Easton's Group of Hotels' hotel is located to cater to the needs of its clientele while being on the cutting edge of offering the best advantages to its guests.

For further information, please contact: Victoria Baker, 416.726.8002,; Cydoney Curran, 604.313.8059,

SOURCE The Gupta Group

December 17, 2021
Events Industry Council Launches Global Business Events Barometer

Q3 2021 demonstrates increased demand for business travel and events

The Events Industry Council (EIC), the voice of the global business events industry, has launched its new quarterly Global Business Events Barometer which monitors the changes within the market relative to pre-pandemic (2019) levels.

As part of the 2021 EIC Economic Significance Study, which is currently underway, the first deliverable of the report is created by Oxford Economics on behalf of EIC and explores two key areas, hotel group room nights and request for proposal (RFP) activity.

According to the Barometer, there was a significant increase in global group demand during Q3 2021, with RFP activity and hotel group room nights increasing 124.4% and 68.8%, respectively. A majority (57%) of companies reported conducting domestic business travel, more than twice as many as a year ago. International travel is also improving, with one-in-five companies continuing or resuming international travel, three times as many as a year ago.

With recent gains, overall business meetings and events activity has recovered to approximately half of its pre-pandemic levels. RFP activity has recovered to 50% of Q3 2019 levels, and hotel group room nights recovered to 53% of Q3 2019 levels.

The strongest RFP activity was reported in North America, Latin American and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. RFP activity for smaller events and those taking place within 12 months is showing stronger recovery over larger and more complex events with longer timescales (+12 months).

The strongest hotel group room demand was reported in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America.

Adam Sacks, Managing Director, Oxford Economics said: “The latest data show that business events, which collapsed during the early stages of the pandemic, are substantially resuming. Global activity is still far short of pre-pandemic levels, but this first leg of recovery underscores the importance of business meetings and events to individual and corporate performance.”

Speaking on the results of report, the Events Industry Council’s CEO, Amy Calvert, said: “It is encouraging to see that the global business events sector is showing continuous signs of growth, with the results indicating a strong demand for the return of face-to-face events, over virtual and hybrid options.

“As an industry we have made fantastic progress in our recovery. As we move into 2022, we face the inevitable ebb and flow caused by emerging variants. We must continue to listen to the facts and scientific data and use this to help us make the necessary decisions and implement the appropriate measures to enable our industry to push forward with its recovery.. While we focus on building trust and confidence, we have remarkable examples from across the global of business events not only happening safely but offering tremendous value and impact.”

The Global Business Events Barometer was created by Oxford Economics using data provided by Amadeus' MeetingBroker distribution platform, Cvent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global.

The report has also been generously supported and sponsored by a number of leading organisations including AHLA, ASAE, Freeman, IACC, IAEE, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Maritz Global Events, Meetings Mean Business, MGM Resorts International, MPI, Northstar Meetings Group, NYC and Co, PCMA, RCMA, SISO and USTA.

You can download a copy of the report here –

For more information on the Events Industry Council, visit:

For all media enquiries, additional comment and request for interview please contact.

Becca Krug or Hollie Luxford at Davies Tanner:

Tel: +44 (0)1892 619100 / Email:

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

December 15, 2021
The WestJet Group opposes re-introduction of blanket air travel advisory

Pathway for safe and fully-vaccinated international air travel must be preserved

Calgary, AB/CNW/—The WestJet Group today is expressing its strong opposition to the travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada. The targeted advice outlined today is not based on science and data and significantly undermines aviation's proven safety record in response to COVID-19. These measures are a setback in Canada's progress and its successful transition from relying on blanket advisories and policies.  

"Air travel is the most tested and protected consumer activity in Canada, every person travelling internationally is tested on average twice throughout their travel journey," said Harry Taylor, WestJet President and CEO. "As the only fully-vaccinated air travel sector in the world, WestJet is calling on the government to publicly share the travel related COVID-19 data that has been used to re-impose the advisory and advice targeted towards fully-vaccinated Canadians and the travel and tourism industry."

International travel standards and policies should be harmonized, yet Canada's travel measures remain firmly out of step with border policies enacted across the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The advisory announced today, contradicts WHO's guidance that states blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of COVID-19 and adversely affect lives and livelihoods. The Government of Canada should continue to focus on vaccinations and testing, as the pathway for safe and fully-vaccinated international air travel must be preserved.

"Since the onset of the pandemic, we have safely flown more than seven million guests and air travel has been commended for its commitment to safety. Fully-vaccinated Canadians should not be singled-out for choosing to take part in a safe activity," continued Taylor. "Travel bans, restrictions and blanket advisories are devastating to the continued economic recovery of our country and place tens of thousands of recently recalled Canadian travel and tourism jobs at risk. We are very concerned today's announcement will create unnecessary disruption and chaos in advance of the holiday travel season."

Since the onset of the pandemic, The WestJet Group has responded to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all. The airline has implemented its own measures in response to the pandemic including a zero-tolerance mask policy, enhancing health and safety measures, suspending sun flights and implementing the airline's mandatory vaccination policy for employees and air travellers.

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

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

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

December 14, 2021
The Palais des congrès de Montréal welcomes its new service provider, TKNL

Montréal—The Palais des congrès de Montréal is pleased to announce the selection of the Quebec firm TKNL, Experience Makers as its official partners for audiovisual production as well as for simultaneous translation/interpretation, following a rigorous bidding process. This partnership will begin serving our clients on January 1, 2022, and will run for the next five years. 

Aligning with the Palais’ vision for the future, TKNL will provide a wide range of new services that combine creative spark with leading-edge expertise in both virtual and hybrid events. TKNL’s addition to our roster will enable the Palais to offer its clients a new and fresh product vision.

Created in 1989, TKNL has established a solid reputation in events management locally, nationally and internationally, producing larger-than-life events for clients in both the business and voluntary sectors. The firm, originally known as Techni-Logique, has focused on developing its creative strengths and its production expertise, doing business most notably under the Chaos création brand, and acquiring Équinoxe Production and Idées au Cube along the way. TKNL has also made a name for itself through its unique virtual and hybrid offerings, creating broadcast-quality television productions for business clients at its studios.

With more than 14,000 events, 750 permanent installations and 10 immersive experiences under its belt, TKNL is praised around the world for its team of seasoned professionals, its strategic accompaniment of clients, its highly creative event design, and its expertise in digital solutions. Working alongside the Palais’ team, TKNL will develop customized products tailored to the changing needs of local, national and international clients, as well as providing an exceptional pipeline to Quebec’s creative ecosystem.  

TKNL joins us as an experienced partner and an outstanding team player that will make a difference. As producer of the Palais’ Ambassadors Gala since 1994, TKNL already has plenty of know-how when it comes to organizing major events in our space. This new shift in direction will firmly establish the Palais as the place to be for events that inspire. It brings the Palais into the vanguard of the new movement that is transforming the way events are produced.

With the completion of the bidding phase, a pre-established process complying with government standards, we proudly add TKNL to the Palais’ group of service providers. With a core focus in innovation and experiential events, this new partner will help position Montréal and the Palais as indispensable allies for organizers of conventions, exhibitions and business meetings. TKNL’s vision of the future and range of services are in total alignment with those of the Palais, and we welcome them with great enthusiasm to our roster of teams. I also want to thank and applaud our colleagues at Encore, with whom we’ve collaborated so successfully for these many years."
Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO, Palais des congrès de Montréal

This is an historic moment for our whole team. Ever since I started in the industry, becoming an official partner of the Palais des congrès has been a dream of mine, and now it has become a reality. It’s like winning the Stanley Cup! We are very eager to get this adventure going and bring new ideas to life along with the Palais’ team. After all that our industry has gone through over the last several months, it’s high time to turn toward the future and push forward with new innovations. As Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story would say: To infinity and beyond!"
Marc L’Heureux, President and CEO of TKNL

About the Palais des congrès
The Palais des congrès, located in the heart of Montréal, holds the event industry’s highest level of quality certification and is frequently praised for its excellent client satisfaction rates. The Palais hosts over 350 events each year. As a major hub of activity in Montréal, it generates significant economic, social and cultural benefits for the tourism, business and research industries. The Palais is a trailblazer in the industry and works hand in hand with local strategic partners as well as young, highly innovative start-ups gathered under the name Events Lab. As a leader in sustainability and social practices, it was one of the first convention centres in the world to operate a carbon-neutral building. The Palais is widely known as a proud supporter of emerging talent, the arts and community-based initiatives and is an innovative and resolutely forward-looking partner. Visit    

About TKNL
We are experience makers, a process that begins by crafting an exceptional experience for our clients. The first experience we design is the customer experience. That’s the foundation for creative success. Our expertise lies is in the creative direction and the project management of complex live events and installations. We bring together the best creative talent and bespoke technical teams, to ensure our clients vision, objectives, and message are brought to life. Our approach is informed by our own experience. For more than 30 years we have been working with major brands to create immersive environments and events. Nearly three decades of industry experience gives us unique insight into what creates meaning and resonance with audiences. Successful events don’t just happen. They are the product of methodology. They are equal parts of professional rigor and fearless creative vision. At TKNL we’ve been bringing these elements together to the delight of audiences for 30 years. That’s our avocation, our passion and our profession. TKNL | Experience Makers.

December 14, 2021
Aruba pioneers high-tech COVID-19 entry process

Instant clearance for travellers booking PCR tests with approved labs

Aruba continues to be a leader in travel technology innovation, launching a new service that has eliminated the need to make travellers wait for their PCR test results to be manually verified and the need to upload test certificates. Now, in partnership with OK2Roam, travellers can authorize an approved laboratory to send their negative test result directly to Aruba’s Embarkation-Disembarkation card entry platform and be confident that it will be instantly accepted.

As part of the entry process to Aruba, the ED card registration is mandatory for all travellers, including minors and infants. Proof of a negative PCR test, within 72 hours prior to entering the country, is also required of all travellers over the age of 11, including those already vaccinated.   

The new service is being provided by VFS Global, which has built an international network of government-approved COVID-19 testing laboratories, and OK2Roam, which is providing a secure data connection between the lab network and Aruba’s online ED entry platform. Initially, it will be available in Canada and the US, from Stage Zero Life Sciences and from Same Day Health. Travellers will have the choice of taking a video-supervised saliva test in the comfort of their own home or going to a test centre in more than 50 locations across the US.

Currently, the biggest challenge for many departments of health and border-security forces - as they are responsible for physically inspecting PCR tests prior to granting access – is that they must manage the trade-off between a rigorous review and swift response time for travelers. However, with this new approach, with travellers’ consent, PCR test results can be fed directly from a trusted laboratory to the Aruban Immigration Authority, via OK2Roam’s secure technical platform.

Danguillaume Oduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism and Public Health, said: “Throughout the pandemic, and even before, Aruba has been keen to embrace the latest technology to make our destination more welcoming and people’s travel experience more seamless. This excellent idea, which we are delighted to pioneer with OK2Roam and VFS Global, also has the advantage that it will likely save us time, money and administrative complexity too.”

Chris Dix, Head of Business Development, VFS Global, said: “We are eager to see our project with OK2Roam and Aruba succeed. Once it is successfully launched and delivers the projected benefits, we are confident of being able to help many of our client governments make their borders more efficient and more bio-secure.”

David Tarsh, CEO & Co-Founder, OK2Roam concluded: “Recent research from IATA* validates our approach: passengers loath queuing; and 73% of them would willingly share their biometric data to receive a better travel experience. With Aruba, we are taking the world one step closer to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s vision of a seamless traveller journey, enabled by the latest technology.”   

 The island of Aruba, with its year-round sunny skies and award-winning white sand beaches, offers the perfect backdrop for travellers seeking relaxation, adventure or romance, promising an unforgettable vacation and an escape from daily stress. Throughout the pandemic Aruba has done exceptionally well at maintaining inbound tourism while simultaneously mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among locals. The island’s enthusiasm for innovative technology, such as that deployed by its online ED Card platform, is one of the primary reasons for its success. 

VFS Global is the world’s largest visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. It is trusted by 63 governments, including Australia, Canada, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, and most EU and Schengen member states. Early in the pandemic, VFS Global acted swiftly to build a global network of government-approved testing laboratories, in order to provide a comprehensive service for those of its customers who needed to travel during the pandemic. Currently, VFS Global’s lab network covers multiple collection points in 271 cities, in 46 countries and growing.

Details of the service are provided on Aruba’s official visitor website,; and travellers can book their test by visiting The new service is not limited to any particular airline or airport. All travellers can use it, provided they can test with a participating lab.

About VFS Global
VFS Global is the world's largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide.  With more than 3,500 Application Centres, operations in 143 countries across five continents and over 234 million applications processed (since inception in 2001) as on 31 October 2021, VFS Global is the trusted partner of 63 client governments. The company manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications or visa, passport and consular services for its client governments, enabling them to focus entirely on the critical task of assessment.

About OK2Roam
OK2Roam is on a mission to revive travel by developing IT solutions that improve biosecurity, reduce hassle and ensure compliance with complex pandemic regulations. It has two main offerings – Verified Clear and Pandemic Management. Verified Clear involves feeding a traveller’s negative COVID-19 test result directly from an approved laboratory to a government, travel provider or event organiser so that there’s no need to wait in line for a certificate to be checked. Pandemic Management is a system to enable the creation and management of reduced risk bubbles, where social distancing is not necessary. For more information, please visit

About Aruba
As one of the most revisited Caribbean destinations, Aruba – One happy island – offers breathtaking beaches, diverse culinary delights, a sprawling and unforgettable Arikok National Park, and award-winning hotels and villas. A leader in innovation, the country was awarded a top spot on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2020 list due to their ambitious sustainability efforts. In today’s ever-changing world, Aruba’s ‘Health and Happiness Code’ safety protocols provide peace of mind, while still delivering a relaxing on-island experience. Located outside the hurricane belt, explore all Aruba has to offer, from romantic beach getaways, unique wellness experiences and more, on

This material is distributed by Zeno Group, Inc. on behalf of Aruba Tourism Authority. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

IATA Research*

Contact Information:
Zeno Group 

David Tarsh 
+44 7770 816 070 

December 13, 2021
Autograph Collection Hotels Embraces Nova Scotia’s Captivating Culture with the Opening of Muir, Autograph Collection

Autograph Collection Hotels Embraces Nova Scotia’s Captivating Culture with the Opening of Muir, Autograph Collection

Inspired by the enduring spirit, culture, and character of Nova Scotia and its people, Muir, Autograph Collection has officially opened its doors, debuting on the Halifax Waterfront in the new Queen’s Marque district. The new lifestyle hotel joins Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott Bonvoy’s diverse and dynamic portfolio of independent hotels championing individuality.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Muir, Autograph Collection to our growing portfolio of distinct independent hotels,” said Jennifer Connell, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Autograph Collection Hotels. “From an impeccable waterfront location, carefully appointed rooms, to Nova Scotian art, heartfelt design, and dynamic dining, Muir establishes an authentic sense of place – remarkably unlike anything else – that invites guests to forge a meaningful connection with the province and its people.”

Bold Architecture and Inspired Interiors
Envisioned, developed, and operated by The Armour Group Limited, and designed by celebrated Nova Scotian firm MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Muir (Scottish Gaelic for ‘sea’) is a shining example of “Born of this Place” design ­­– honoring character, materiality, and heritage through the art of place-making. Throughout the property, the forms portray a contemporary marine, wharf-like design while materiality makes a connection to place – from local materials, including salt-and-pepper granite and sandstone, to Muntz metal, a copper alloy prominently used in shipbuilding. Together, these elements provide an indelible sense of place, resulting in a design that simply could not exist anywhere else.

Muir’s interiors and furnishings are the work of internationally-recognized designer Alessandro Munge of Canada’s Studio Munge. Throughout the hotel, custom furniture, and lighting – designed and crafted in Canada – reflect a modern interpretation of East Coast design. The 109 rooms and suites are richly textured with curved white oak walls and plank flooring – a subtle nod to ocean voyages, while gathering spaces are anchored by soft cove lighting and lively fireplaces. Statement pieces from local artists are proudly displayed throughout the property, including commissioned landscape paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, and tapestries.

Elevated Cuisine and Cocktails
Inspired by this region’s natural bounty, Drift is a culinary love letter to Nova Scotia’s land, people, and history. Featuring modern, elevated takes on classic Atlantic Canadian dishes, Drift’s culinary vision is driven by celebrated Canadian Chef, Anthony Walsh, and Chef de Cuisine, James MacAulay. As distinct as Muir itself, Drift is thoughtfully designed for entertaining colleagues or quiet work at the spacious bar. The dining room is expansive yet comfortable, with detailed craftsmanship and premium materiality complemented by an outdoor patio with stunning waterfront views. Floor to ceiling marble fluted fireplaces, leather wrapped walls, bespoke furnishings, and soft lighting invite guests to linger and connect.

BKS, Muir’s speakeasy lounge, is an enclave of curved wooden walls, muted marble, and luxurious banquettes. Open to guests and for private events, BKS offers a discreet setting for historically-inspired premium cocktails and unique small plates, that are best savoured on the harbourside private terrace, with the most desirable views in the city.

Distinct Amenities and Experiences
Muir’s curated collection of amenities includes the ultra-premium wellness centre, Windward Wellness, where high-performance fitness equipment, vitality spa pool and halotherapy salt room encourage guests to rest and rejuvenate. Little Wing, a 36-foot Morris yacht and Reach, Muir’s high-speed motorboat are available for guests to charter and explore the harbour and take in the views of this much-loved city.

Memorable Meetings and Gatherings
The hotel offers one-of-kind settings for business events, celebrations, and gatherings. In addition to conversation-starting art, the 1,200-square-foot True Colours Art Gallery offers a dramatic harbour-facing backdrop for exclusive gatherings. The Wardroom – complimentary for Muir guests – is a fully-appointed, private executive meeting space that can hold up to six guests. The Watch, embraced by the sea on three sides, is a 2,100-square-foot event space featuring bespoke furniture, an art collection, two private bars, and a private tasting room.

The Heart of Halifax
Muir is part of the Queen’s Marque district, a cultural and community destination for locals and visitors to Atlantic Canada. The bustling district encompasses vibrant restaurants, shops, nightlife, offices, and luxury residences, all set against a striking harbour backdrop.

“Muir, Autograph Collection is a one-of-a-kind destination and a cultural beacon for visitors to Nova Scotia,” said Eugénie Jason, General Manager. “We are excited to welcome guests to an elevated hospitality experience that is truly born of this place.”

Autograph Collection Hotels participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the award-winning travel program from Marriott International. Marriott Bonvoy members will earn points for their stay at Muir, Autograph Collection, and at other hotels and resorts across Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind.

To reserve or for more information, visit Follow Muir on InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn for hotel updates.

About Autograph Collection® Hotels
Autograph Collection Hotels advocates for the original, championing the individuality of each of its over 240 independent hotels located in the most desirable destinations across 41 countries and territories. Each hotel is a product of passion, inspired by a clear vision, soul, and story that makes it individual and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else. Hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality, Autograph Collection properties offer rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint. For more information, please visit, and explore on social via InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to be inspired by immersive moments that are #ExactlyLikeNothingElse. Autograph Collection Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit

About Marriott Bonvoy®
Marriott Bonvoy’s extraordinary portfolio offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world, with 30 brands that are tailored to every type of journey. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, and through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit

December 06, 2021
WestJet makes travel wishes come true

Canadians surprised with meaningful and emotional reunions through WestJet Christmas Miracle

Calgary, AB/CNW/—WestJet today released the airline's 10th holiday video, WestJet Christmas Miracle: A Wish Come True. This year's theme focuses on the emotional and sentimental moments that guests missed celebrating last year due to the pandemic.

"The pandemic impacted everyone's ability to connect with families and friends for far too long and we've truly missed celebrating those moments with our guests," said Richard Bartrem, WestJet Vice-President, Brand, Communications and Community Investment. "Hearing Canadians' wishes, we knew we could do something meaningful given how important travel is to Canadians from coast-to-coast."

Over the course of two weeks, undercover and operating as a documentary film crew, WestJet interviewed Canadians in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver asking them how the pandemic impacted their Christmas traditions and what they wished for the most this holiday season.  

The spot features surprises ranging from round-trip tickets and all-inclusive vacation packages to a global reunion between mother and daughter.

"Unsuspecting Canadians authentically divulged so many relatable missed moments from flights home for the holidays, to family reunions and planned vacations that were postponed," continued Bartrem. "We truly hope this year's Christmas Miracle brings joy and the personal connection we've all been wishing for the most. As the skies open once again, we look forward to doing what we've been doing so well for 25 years – connecting our guests with their loved ones."

Additional Christmas Miracle content including a WestJet's Christmas Miracle surprise for the airline's WestJet Cares for Kids partner, Make A Wish, will be available in the coming days.

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

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

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit

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

Recent recognition includes: 

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

2019/2018/2017 Best Airline in Canada (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 
2019 Winner Among Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines) 

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

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

December 03, 2021
The Drake Hotel’s Modern Wing is Now Open!

The new building marks the evolution of The Drake with 32 additional guest rooms, a bold new art collection, an intimate Queen Street West facing bar and a stunningly appointed lobby 

Toronto—The Drake Hotel re-opened seventeen years ago, transforming the historic 19th century building into a contemporary art and culture destination that has contributed to the re-invigoration of West Queen St West. Today, the legendary property continues its evolution, unveiling the brand-new Modern Wing – capturing the essence and sensibility of The Drake - while heightening the thought-provoking art, design and cultural elements the property is renowned for. 

The Drake Hotel’s Modern Wing is a vibrant 5-story contemporary building adjoining the original hotel. It offers 32 additional guest rooms, an intimate street facing bar, meeting and event spaces and a new hotel lobby, capped with a polished steel, cantilevered rooftop level suite. Born from the creativity of The Drake's in-house design and art curation teams in collaboration with Diamond Schmitt Architects and DesignAgency for interior design, the Modern Wing’s welcoming spaces are unique to themselves, awash in warm tones, patterns and local artistry. CompanyCompany re-imagined the popular Sky Yard and original Classic Wing Lobby, bringing an inventive and sophisticated update to the original hotel side.

Upon entering the lobby through a revolving door complete with brass grill details in the tradition of historic hotels, you are transported to a welcoming, timeless, and textured living room, where plush fabrics, a hand-woven rug and mixed media art counterpoint the flowing forms of the custom reception desk and furniture. The impressive brick clad fireplace is the perfect backdrop to enjoy a pre-dinner signature Drake cocktail from the new street facing lobby bar, prior to ambling into the connected Drake Lounge for dinner while seated in a cozy green leather booth.

In signature style, the new guest rooms are welcoming, whimsically sophisticated and calm.  Cleverly placed windows offer modern figures that swath the rooms in light. The rooms are decorated in rich colours with warm woods, textured fabrics, custom carpets, in house designed blankets and curated wallpaper complementing the original art pieces that adorn each space. Entries feature handcrafted, locally designed sconces. The comfortable accommodations are populated with luxe amenities: in-room tablets for contactless access to concierge services and amenities, plenty of USB charging ports, stay cast-enabled large screen televisions, Frette linens, hand steamers, custom Drake robes, Malin + Goetz bath products and locally sourced mini-bar treats. 

Atop the Modern Wing sits the Rooftop Terrace Suite, with its oversized outdoor terrace and enviable views of the Toronto Cityscape. This apartment in the sky, comprising two bedrooms, two full washrooms, kitchenette with bar, large living room and enviable patio, was designed to harness elements of a boxcar while creating a sophisticated retreat that is equal parts residence and private social space. Designed for touring musicians, luminaries or special occasions, the large, well appointed living room, with its timber terrazzo topped bar, hand picked furnishings, generous seating and commanding views from its floor to ceiling windows is the jewel atop the new building. The two washrooms are clothed in marble art-deco wall tiles, and the inviting soaking tub and oversized shower in the principal bathroom are adorned with luxury fixtures.  The exterior is clad in polished stainless steel, creating a living canvas as nature’s panorama reflects onto its veneer. The patio, which spans the length of the building is the ideal outdoor living space for an intimate event, cocktail party or simply an open-air respite from the hustle and bustle of the city below. 

Throughout the hotel, guests will experience a variety of exceptional artworks by a diverse group of local and international artists intended to spark conversation and inspire understanding. Behind the reception desk is Toronto-based Stephanie Temma Hier’s Evening Shadows and a Skittish Whisper, a multi-dimensional mixed medium artwork of linen, oil paint and sculpture. In the lobby, Ajax-Ontario’s Malik McCoy presents a 3-D generated animated video titled Botanist. From Iqaluit, Saimaiyu Akesuk’s bright illustration adorns the entire back wall of the lobby’s RM111. Micah Lexier’s Newspaper was commissioned to commemorate the opening of the Modern Wing. Artworks can be found in stairwells, hallways, public spaces and guestrooms representing a plethora of mediums and artists.

According to Shaileen Shah, General Manager, The Drake Hotel, "It has always been our hope to create a neighbourhood hub rooted in our local community and to bridge art of the moment with intentional hospitality. At its core, we want to ignite curiosity within both the modern traveller and our friends - and our new spaces are designed for exactly that. We are excited to, at long last, open the doors of the Modern Wing and we certainly aspire to continue our longstanding tradition of welcoming, world-class hospitality.”

Amenities include 24-hour front desk with full concierge service, room service, front of the line reservations for dining and access to on-property cultural events + programming.  

Built in 1890 as Small's Hotel, the property was frequented by passengers of the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1949 it was expanded and renamed the Drake, but the hotel eventually waned with the closure of the local railway station. In the 1970s it became a flophouse, and through the 1980s and 1990s served as a punk bar and a rave venue. In 2004 the property was reinvented as one of Toronto’s first, stylish boutique hotels, and an internationally recognized bastion of art, culture and design.

Bookings are now open

For more information or high-res imagery, please contact:
Rachelle Stark or Mindy Cummings /

About Drake Hotel Properties (DHP) 
Drake Hotel Properties is a growing Canadian hospitality brand focused on lifestyle hotels, food + drink and special events. We wholeheartedly believe that culture and community matter and are passionate about revitalizing character properties as inclusive hubs for unique and diverse experiences through art, culture and hospitality. The Drake Hotel (Toronto), Drake Devonshire Inn (Wellington, Prince Edward County), and Drake Motor Inn (Wellington, Prince Edward County) are each reflective of their respective neighbourhoods and invite guests to experience a special blend of bespoke hotel, classic general store, and vibrant local culture, while enjoying great seasonal menus, a robust cocktail list, carefully curated curiosities, and genuine hospitality excellence for all.
Instagram @thedrakehotel
Facebook @thedrakehoteltoronto

About DesignAgency   
DesignAgency is an award-winning international design studio that draws on over two decades of expertise in interior design, architectural and landscape concepting, strategic branding, and visual communications. With studios in Toronto, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Barcelona, and projects in 37 cities and 16 countries, DesignAgency has developed a global reputation for creating exceptional environments that people experience deeply and fully. Key to our success is the strength of collaboration. Our talented design teams are informed by curiosity, international perspectives, and a drive for innovation. Working across hospitality, residential, commercial, and retail sectors, we work with our clients and with local and international artists, craftspeople, and suppliers to realize extraordinary experiences and lasting value. For more information, please visit:

About Diamond Schmitt Architects
Diamond Schmitt is a global architecture firm delivering design that empowers people, communities, and organizations to harness change for the greater public good. The firm employs a collaborative working process to create architecture known for its high performance and careful craftsmanship. The firm’s designs include innovative, highly sustainable civic, residential, cultural, public assembly, performance halls. The work includes Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works, Daniels Spectrum in Toronto’s Regent Park; Smart Centres Place in Vaughan the new Canada Senate Building and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa; and Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg, Russia. Each has received widespread recognition, while advancing community interests within the public realm. With offices in Toronto, New York, and Vancouver, Diamond Schmitt is currently leading the net zero design for the Ottawa Public Library–Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, and David Geffen Hall in New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  For more information, please visit:

December 01, 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 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.,
Dillon Shaver, rock-it promotions, inc.,

November 29, 2021
The Post Hotel & Spa is now part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts Family of Companies

Calgary, AB—Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR) is pleased to announce that they will be adding a fourth hotel to their collection of rustic mountain lodges in the Canadian Rockies with the acquisition of the Relais & Chateaux Post Hotel & Spa in Lake Louise. In a parallel fashion to the Schwarz brothers, CRMR has taken on the lead investor role and the management contract for this unique property alongside other local Alberta investors. 

CRMR also owns Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff, Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, and Emerald Lake Lodge on Emerald Lake as well as Urban Butcher and The Lake House in Calgary.

“We are extremely excited to carry on the incredible legacy of the Schwarz brothers and welcome The Post Hotel and Spa into our family of companies,” says Larkin O’Connor, President of CRMR. “Building upon the foundations that have been created by André and George, we look forward to continuing the traditions of the Post Hotel & Spa and honouring its renowned Schwarz hospitality.”

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for us,” says André, Co-Owner of The Post Hotel & Spa. “We are happy that CRMR, who is also a family-owned company, will be the new owners. They share with us a commitment to rocky mountain culture, excellent service and family values.”

“We view this sale and transition more as a passing of the torch, from a pair of brothers (André and me) to another pair of brothers (Ryan and Larkin), who are committed to carrying on the traditions of The Post Hotel & Spa that have led to creating great friends and lasting memories with all our guests and staff,” says George, Co-Owner of The Post Hotel & Spa. “We wish them every success with the Post Hotel & Spa and know our guests and staff will be treated as part of their family.”

In order to maintain consistency and uphold our commitment to the Schwarz legacy, the CRMR team will be retaining the current management team (Michael and Carol Schwarz) as well as all the staff at The Post Hotel & Spa and will work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition.

“Given the nature of this transaction, the major benefit is that we are able to retain all the staff in order to preserve the legacy, culture and atmosphere created by the Schwarz brothers,” says O’Connor. “The staff are what makes this property what it is, and we look forward to working, learning and growing with them.”

Matt Rachiele with Colliers International acted as financial advisor to CRMR on the acquisition. Rachiele’s hard work and shared passion helped match Ryan and Larkin O’Connor up with an equally passionate group of local Albertans. This once in a generation sale was completed in such a positive, collaborative and passionate way, it could have only happened between individuals with a shared love of the Rockies and unmatched boutique hospitality experiences.

CRMR looks forward to welcoming The Post Hotel and Spa’s guests and staff into our family, as we continue to celebrate rocky mountain culture, Swiss-Canadian hospitality and strong family values.

Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts is a family of companies consisting of Emerald Lake Lodge in Field, British Columbia, Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, Alberta, Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff, Alberta. CRMR also owns The Lake House, Urban Butcher and The Canadian Rocky Mountain Ranch.

Originally built in 1942, The Post Hotel resonates with the spirit of its colourful founder, Sir Norman Watson – and the dedication of its current owners. Born in Switzerland, brothers André and George Schwarz were raised to appreciate good food, good wine and good company. For more than 43 years, their shared passion has been to welcome guests to this world-class Canadian Rocky Mountain resort. The Post Hotel & Spa is both the ideal accommodation for relaxation and the perfect starting point for most Canadian Rockies tours.

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 and

North America Media Contact:
Haley Luther
Communications Manager
+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

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 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: and

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.  


"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


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

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 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 Indy
Visit Orlando
Visit Phoenix
Visit Salt Lake
Visit San Antonio
Visit Seattle

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

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.

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. 

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, or follow Accor on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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

Casey Bachand
Communications Manager
Fairmont Banff Springs

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.

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

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

For further information, please contact: Alexandra Soltis at 212-316-0052 or

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

"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