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Current News

August 11, 2022
The Government of Canada and industry partners taking action to reduce wait times at Canadian airports

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, issued this update today on the continued action and progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times and delays across Canadian airports.

Continued action to advance the rights of travellers
No traveller should have to sleep on the floor of an airport or feel unsafe as a result of a flight that is delayed or cancelled. This is unacceptable.

The Government of Canada strongly encourages Canadians to know their rights when they travel by air under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations – these rules cover compensation requirements for all flight incidents that are considered within an air carrier's control, including flights delayed or cancelled as a result of crew shortages. Through each part of their travel journey, passengers should document any incidents that occur as they may be eligible for compensation.

Additionally, as of September 8, 2022, amendments to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations will come into force to ensure passengers are compensated for flight delays, cancellations, and other incidents that may be out of an air carrier's control. This will ensure Canadian travellers are protected in nearly every circumstance.

Travellers have rights, and these must be respected by airlines and airports through each step of the travelling experience.

Latest data
Flight completions

  • For the week of August 1-7, 97 percent of flights planned for Canada's top four airports were not cancelled, compared to 88 percent over the same period in July.

On-time performance

  • From August 1-7, over 85 percent of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure. This is an improvement from under 75 percent for the first week of July.

Holding of aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport 

  • The number of aircraft being held on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson International Airport has decreased dramatically since early May.
  • Over the last week of July, only 1%, or 19 aircraft, were held on the tarmac, as compared to the peak of 373 the week of May 23- 29, 2022.

Passenger security screening wait times 

  • From August 1-7, 88 percent of passengers at the four largest airports were screened within 15 minutes by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), an improvement from 84 percent the previous week (July 25-31).
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport: 88 percent for August 1-7.
  • Vancouver International Airport: 84 percent for August 1-7.
  • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport: 87 percent for August 1-7.
  • Calgary International Airport: 89 percent for August 1-7. 

Associated Link

Government and industry actions

The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to take action to increase resources and streamline processes across the air system to ease airport congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

Collaborating with air industry partners

  • In recent weeks, Minister Alghabra has met with senior leadership of numerous airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration and continued action that will help reduce delays and ensure travellers can efficiently get to their destination. Similar meetings will continue to be scheduled in the following weeks.
  • Transport Canada continues to meet regularly with airports and airlines alongside the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and NAV CANADA to find solutions and address congestion issues affecting travel.

Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing

  • Since April, more than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada.
  • Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue, including at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • To further facilitate entry and expedite traveller processing, there are now 12 eGates and 30 new primary inspection kiosks (PIKs) at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Improving ArriveCAN

  • ArriveCAN is mandatory for all travellers entering Canada, with limited exceptions. If it is not completed, travellers can expect added delays and may be subject to fines under the Quarantine Act.
  • The Government of Canada continues to make improvements to ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier for travellers to use.
  • Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver or Montréal-Trudeau international airports can save time by using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival:
  • In the coming months, the optional feature will also become available to travellers arriving at the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City and Halifax international airports.
  • Early usage data from Toronto Pearson and Vancouver airports indicates that using the optional Advance CBSA Declaration cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third. With the thousands of travellers arriving in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal airports each day, the use of the optional Advance CBSA Declaration has the potential to save hours in wait time. 

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

 This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Transport Canada

August 10, 2022
Business travelers set to see air fares rise by 8.4%, hotel rates by 8.2%, and car rental charges by 6.8% in 2023

This is on top of a predicted full year 2022 increase in air fares of 48.5%, hotel rates of 18.5%, and car rental charges of 7.3%

Minneapolis/CNW/—Global travel prices are predicted to continue to increase in the remaining months of 2022 and throughout 2023, according to the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast, published today by CWT, the B2B4E travel management platform, and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry. 

Rising fuel prices, labor shortages, and inflationary pressures in raw material costs are the primary drivers of the expected price growth, according to the report, which uses anonymized data generated by CWT and GBTA, with publicly available industry information, and econometric and statistical modeling developed by the Avrio Institute. 

Year-on-year changes in travel pricing

 

(actual)

2020

(actual)

2021

(estimated)

2022

(estimated)

2023

Air fares

(12 %)

(26 %)

48.5 %

8.45 %

Ground transportation  

(4.9 %)

5.1 %

7.3 %

6.8 %

Hotel rates

(13.3 %)

(9.5 %)

18.5 %

8.2 %

Source: 2023 Annual Global Business Travel Forecast


"Demand for business travel and meetings is back with a vengeance, of that there is absolutely no doubt," said Patrick Andersen, CWT's Chief Executive Officer. "Labor shortages across the travel and hospitality industry, rising raw material prices, and greater awareness for responsible travel are all having an impact on services, but predicted pricing is, on the whole, on par with 2019."

"What we are seeing now are multiple factors coming into play when corporate travel buyers and procurement officers model their travel programs. This eighth joint annual forecast marries statistical travel data and trend analysis with macroeconomic influences to provide a cornerstone reference point for their corporate business travel planning ahead," said Suzanne Neufang, Chief Executive Officer of GBTA

Macroeconomic influences
The world economy shrank 3.4% in 2020 in one of the worst declines since World War II. Service sectors, including travel and hospitality, were hit especially hard, but the global economy recovered briskly, rising off the lows of 2020 and increasing 5.8% in 2021. Economic growth is moderating as the recovery lengthens, although another recession is a growing concern. The current base case scenario for 2022 is for 3% growth, followed by 2.8% growth in 2023.

Cautionary notes also highlighted in the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast, highlight the three main forces exerting pressure on the economy and the business travel industry. These include Russia's invasion of Ukraine coupled with other geopolitical uncertainties, inflationary pressures that are pushing costs higher, and the risk of further COVID outbreaks that could restrict business travel.

Conversely, with businesses ranking sustainability among their top priorities and reflecting the accelerated importance of combating climate change, the report highlights greater visibility at the point of sale for greener travel options, as well as carbon foot-printing, and environmental impact assessment is an opportunity for the travel industry to actively assist in responsible choice-making.

Meetings and Events
Prices have increased in all regions across most categories of spend, fueled by pent-up demand, a desire to build company culture and an uncertain economic outlook. The cost-per-attendee for meetings and events in 2022 is expected to be around 25% higher than in 2019, and it's forecast to rise a further 7% in 2023.

Alongside pent-up demand, corporate events are now competing with many other types of events that were cancelled in 2020. And, with many companies having given up office space during the pandemic in favor of remote working, they are now booking meeting spaces when staff gather in person, further fueling demand.

Shorter lead times for events, varying from one to three months versus six to 12 months, are also contributing to this perfect storm, perhaps underscored by corporate concerns that the situation they face today could change very rapidly. This is particularly noticeable within Asia Pacific, which has been slower than other regions to re-open post-pandemic, with ongoing restrictions in China prompting clients to make sure their events can go ahead, and as quickly as possible.

Air
Business travel airfares fell over 12% in 2020 from 2019 followed by an additional 26% decline in 2021. Economy ticket prices fell over 24% from 2019 to 2021, while premium tickets fell 33%. Prices are expected to rise 48.5% in 2022, but even with this steep price increase, prices are expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels until 2023. Following an increase of 48.5% in 2022, prices are expected to rise 8.4% in 2023.

Rising demand and continued price rises on jet fuel, which have seen prices more than double in some markets to over $160/barrel according to S&P Global, are putting upward pressure on ticket prices.

Premium class tickets comprised over 7% of all tickets purchased in 2019. The share of premium class tickets fell to 6.5% in 2020 and to 4.5% in 2021 but have started to rise in 2022. Through the first half of the year, premium tickets made up 6.2% of all tickets purchased. A rising share of premium class tickets will result in higher average fares as average ticket price comprises economy and premium.

International and cross border bookings are recovering across most regions which will result in a higher share of international ticket bookings and a corresponding higher average ticket price despite uncertainties caused by the war in Ukraine. Following two years of minimal to no expenditure, business travelers are likely to be willing to spend more on tickets, especially as availability reduces due to labor shortages. This upward trend is largely due to widespread vaccine rollouts and border re-openings.

Hotel
Hotel prices fell 13.3% in 2020 from 2019 and a further 9.5% in 2021, however the report expects them to rise 18.5% in 2022 followed by an 8.2% lift in 2023. Hotel prices have already eclipsed 2019 levels in some areas such as Europe, the Middle East & Africa and North America and are expected do so globally by 2023.

Hotel rates have risen sharply in parts of the world including a 22% rise in North America - and a forecast 31.8% across Europe, the Middle East & Africa - driven by an accelerated recovery coupled with continued capacity constraints.

Hotel rate increases were initially driven by strong leisure travel in 2021 but group travel for corporate meetings and events is improving and transient business travel is similarly gaining healthy pace, putting further pressure on average daily hotel rates.

Ground transportation
Global car rental prices fell 2.5% in 2020 from 2019, before rising 5.1% in 2021. Prices are expected to increase 7.3% in 2022, hitting new highs, and rise a further 6.8% in 2023.

The vehicle industry remains capacity constrained and rental agencies which reduced fleet sizes in the wake of the pandemic, have not yet fully recovered - due in part to component shortages and supply chain disruptions that have reduced global auto production.

Rental agencies have reverted to buying used vehicles to increase fleet sizes and are keeping their vehicles longer. Some agencies are also buying vehicles from auto-makers outside of their historically supported brands.

Skyrocketing prices, vehicle shortages and the need for visibility into carbon emissions from door-to-door are driving corporate travel managers to factor ground transport into full trip planning from the beginning. This is especially true when factoring in the inclusion of electric vehicles, and while widespread adoption may still be a few years away, personal preference should not be underrated.

For more detailed information, including geographic breakdowns and greater in-depth insights into trends and analysis, please visit the report online here, where you can also download a PDF version of the 35-page report.

About the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast
Projections in the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast involved:

  • Statistical models developed by GBTA
  • Evaluation of historical price behavior and forecasts on air, hotel and ground categories by research, strategy and market and economic research firm, Avrio Institute
  • The market-specific expertise and travel industry knowledge of CWT
  • Information sourced from the International Monetary Fund Research Department, IATA, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the United Nations, and other leading organizations

Projections are based on anonymized transaction data from CWT's global client portfolio, including anonymized client travel patterns, over the past ten years. Key macroeconomic and per-country indicators, such as current and expected GDP growth, the consumer price index, unemployment rates and crude oil prices, were used in the statistical model, as well as key supply-side drivers sourced from OAG and STR Global. All air statistics represent point of origin and include all trip types.

Learn more about the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast and the price projects and trends that lie ahead in 2023 during an education session at GBTA Convention 2022 (room 20D) on Monday, 15 August 2022 at 10:00hrs hours (PST).

About GBTA
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world's largest business travel and meetings trade organization representing the $1.4 trillion business travel industry. With operations across four continents, GBTA's members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, professional development, events, research, advocacy, and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. Visit www.gbta.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

About CWT
CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees (B2B4E) travel management platform. Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow – and, across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe, and secure travel experience. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About Avrio Institute
Avrio Institute is a trendcasting and research firm that helps clients navigate technological shifts, differentiate from competitors and identify new markets and opportunities. Derived from the Greek Αύριο meaning, "tomorrow," Avrio helps leaders from Fortune 100 and Global 1000 companies, scrappy start-ups, government agencies, and non-profit organizations prepare for uncertain, divergent futures.

SOURCE CWT; Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

August 02, 2022
IMEX sets sustainability sights high: IMEX America 2021 sustainability report released ahead of October show

Record high temperatures, wildfires and flooding – recent weeks have delivered a stark reminder of the increasing impact of climate change. As environmental factors take their place alongside budget and resource restrictions for event professionals, IMEX America is due to shine a stronger light than usual on sustainable event practices.

Each year IMEX America, which takes place next October 10 – 13 2022, is improved by the findings and recommendations of an independently verified annual sustainability impact report. The report makes public the show’s energy use, F&B, materials consumption and reuse, community impact and more.

Prepared by sustainability partners, MeetGreen, the report also benchmarks each edition of IMEX America against industry best practice such as EIC’s Sustainable Event Standards. Following Earth Overshoot Day on 28th July, the sustainability report for IMEX America 2021 has been released.

Achievements detailed in the report include:

• The show achieved its highest landfill diversion rate to-date of 95%. This along with recycling, composting and donation efforts meant the show achieved the industry threshold for a ‘zero-waste event’

• 100% of carbon emissions from host venue MGM convention center were offset 

• Waterwise, carbon emissions menu coding and expanded plant-based options helped reduce carbon impact and water usage

• Efficiencies gained in carpet management meant only 1% of carpet was sent to landfill; the rest was either returned to inventory or recycled

• The IMEX team experimented with new materials in some areas of the show such as Neenah conVerd paperboard and 100% polypropylene carpets

These achievements have been recognised by the industry - IMEX America has been awarded MeetGreen’s Visionary award for sustainability. The award recognises organisations that “lead within their own industry, prioritise measurement and work to move the sustainability dial. Research and develop new initiatives to improve environmental performance and use their buying power to drive change with venues and vendors.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “At IMEX, we’ve always set our sustainability sights high - for everything we do, we look at ways we could do it more sustainably and more regeneratively. This can only be achieved by robust measurement, and we’ve partnered with MeetGreen since the launch of IMEX America to evaluate our efforts and challenge ourselves to do better each year. We’re also proudly committed to the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative and will publish our pathway to net zero by the end of 2023.

“Our show is designed to recognise and champion all areas of sustainability - we know that event professionals are keen to learn more about how they can implement planet-friendly practices into their own events. They’re also mindful of their own carbon ‘spend’ both personally and professionally. IMEX America this October has been designed to address those needs head-on as well as providing a high-level, high-value business experience.”

• The IMEX America 2021 Sustainability Report is free to download and available here.

• More information on how the IMEX Group approaches sustainability can be found here.

IMEX America 2022 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 10, followed by the three-day trade show October 11-13.

www.imexamerica.com

July 27, 2022
The Government of Canada and industry continue efforts to reduce traveller wait times and congestion at Canadian airports

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, and the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, issued this update today on progress being made by the Government of Canada and industry partners to reduce traveller wait times and congestion at Canadian airports.

The Government of Canada and air industry partners continue to make efforts to increase resources and streamline processes across the air system to ease airport congestion and help keep travellers moving, including:

Collaborating with air industry partners

Minister Alghabra continues to meet with senior leadership at airports and airlines of all sizes across the country to ensure ongoing collaboration that will help reduce delays and keep travellers moving. This week, the Minister met with the leadership of the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport to discuss the recovery of the sector. The Minister also had similar meetings last week with senior officials from the Edmonton, Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George airports.

Transport Canada continues to meet regularly with airports and airlines alongside the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and NAV CANADA to find solutions to address bottlenecks affecting travel.

Increasing staffing for security screening and customs processing

Since April, more than 1,600 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada. The number of screening officers at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are now over 100 percent of summer target levels. Efforts to increase screening officer staff levels at all airports continue.

CBSA is making more border services officers available at the most congested airports, has temporarily re-hired retired officers and has hired additional student border services officers.

Streamlining customs processing at Toronto Pearson International Airport

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the CBSA are adding 10 new eGates and 30 more primary inspection kiosks at Toronto Pearson International Airport by the end of this week. CBSA continues to monitor and prepare for peak arrival times to maximize efficiencies.  

Improving ArriveCAN

Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport, and later this month at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, can save time by using the Advance CBSA Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival. This feature will also be expanded to other international airports in the coming months.

Information resource for passengers experiencing flight delays, cancellations and lost or delayed baggage

The Canadian Transportation Agency developed an information resource to help passengers who are experiencing issues during their travel. This guide provides answers to many frequently asked travel questions and advises passengers of their rights under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations should their flights be delayed or cancelled, or in the event their baggage is lost, damaged or delayed.

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Transport Canada

July 27, 2022
Easton's Group of Hotels Celebrates the Structural Framework Completion for Canada's First Canopy by Hilton Hotel

Toronto/CNW/—Easton's Group of Hotels announced the "topping off" of its upcoming Canopy by Hilton Toronto Yorkville Hotel, marking the completion of its structural framework. To celebrate this milestone, the group held a ceremony at the construction site, 387 Bloor Street East, on Thursday, July 21. This was attended by members of Easton's Group of Hotels, Gupta Group Developments, and SkyGrid Construction Inc. The 184-room hotel marks the Canadian debut of Canopy by Hilton, Hilton's luxurious lifestyle hotel brand. This is slated to open in November 2022, steps away from the heart of Yorkville, one of Toronto's most desirable neighbourhoods and shopping destinations.

"Today is a significant milestone for the construction of this property and a testament to the skill and diligence of all parties involved," says Reetu Gupta, Chairwoman and Ambassadress of The Gupta Group and Easton's Group of Hotels. "We're excited to bring Canada's very first Canopy by Hilton Hotel to Toronto. The hotel with its premium location will bring a unique blend of luxury, convenience, and urban living, offering a new way for guests near and far to experience the city."

Upon completion, Canopy by Hilton Toronto Yorkville, owned and managed by Easton's Group of Hotels, will feature a modern café with retail offerings from local businesses on the main floor, a highly-anticipated restaurant with impressive views of Bloor St. and the Rosedale Valley, a sleek indoor heated pool, yoga and fitness rooms featuring state-of-the-art equipment, and comfortable meeting spaces. The hotel rooms can be found from the second to ninth floors, while the remainder of the building rising 55 floors comprises of Gupta Group Developments' Rosedale on Bloor residential units.

Studio Munge led the hotel's unique design with layered interiors defined by curved edges and organic motifs. This will be complemented by an impressive local art collection, which illustrates the intricate connection between nature, people, and urbanism. As part of the experience, guest rooms will be called "Just-Right Rooms" because they provide intuitive comfort with a place for everything.

Canopy by Hilton Toronto Yorkville is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton's 18 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can't be found anywhere else and free standard WiFi. Members also have access to contactless technology exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check in, choose their room and access their room using Digital Key.

Easton's Group of Hotels will continue to reveal key information about the hotel in lead up to its grand opening in November 2022. This includes anticipated information about local attractions such as the restaurant and street-facing cafe with a retail boutique.

Read more about Canopy by Hilton at stories.hilton.com.

About Canopy by Hilton
Canopy by Hilton, Hilton's first lifestyle brand, is a place in the neighbourhood to relax and recharge, offering simple guest-directed service, comfortable spaces and thoughtfully local choices. Each hotel is designed as a natural extension of its neighbourhood and delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience. The Canopy portfolio includes more than 35 open properties around the globe, with 26 under development across 16 countries and territories. Experience a positive stay at Canopy by Hilton by booking at canopybyhilton.com or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about Canopy by Hilton at stories.hilton.com/canopybyhilton, and follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

About The Easton's Group of Hotels
The Easton Group of Hotels has grown into a significant force in Canada's hospitality and service industry, which develops and manages a portfolio of 20 hotels across Canada. Its flagship hotels include industry-renowned brands like Hilton, Marriott/Starwood, and IHG. With a dynamic leadership team and an abiding passion for excellence, the company is actively expanding to new locations with diverse offerings for demanding business and leisure travellers. Our core values work together to ensure total satisfaction for every guest we have the pleasure of serving during their stay. Visit www.eastonsgroup.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

SOURCE Canopy by Hilton

July 26, 2022
The Ritz-Carlton Debuts an Oasis of Modern Luxury in the Heart of Manhattan

The Newly Constructed Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad Melds Contemporary Design and Legendary Service with Sky-High Culinary Offerings by Chef José Andrés

The Ritz-Carlton, part of Marriott Bonvoy®’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announced the opening of The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, debuting a new oasis of modern luxury in the heart of Manhattan. Soaring 50 stories above the dynamic North of Madison Square Park neighborhood, the newly constructed hotel and residences developed by New York-based Flag Luxury Group brings the brand’s unparalleled service and refined elegance to one of the city’s most vibrant and emerging districts.

“The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad represents a milestone moment in the evolution of The Ritz-Carlton brand,” said Donna McNamara, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “With an exquisite design that blends the best of the brand and the destination, combined with the finest amenities, culinary offerings, and highly personalized service, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad delivers an experience tailored to today’s luxury guest. I know that travelers and locals alike will enjoy settling into Nubeluz, our rooftop bar, for spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.”

Rising 500 feet above New York’s streets, the hotel takes its place within the city skyline as one of the tallest buildings in NoMad, the birthplace of American popular music at Tin Pan Alley and today a nexus of art, entertainment, fashion, and technology. World-renowned design teams, including Rafael Viñoly Architects, Rockwell Group, Lazaro Rosa-Violan Studio, Martin Brudnizki, and SUSSURUS International, deliver a bold, contemporary design that pays homage to the hotel’s location in the city’s vibrant Flower District. An impressive art collection by art curator, Culture Corps and Founding Partner Yvonne Force Villareal includes local artists Pat Steir, Ross Bleckner, and Donald Baechler. Seasonal floral installations throughout the hotel create a unique welcome experience for guests visiting the blossoming neighborhood.

“For our fifth hotel under The Ritz-Carlton brand, we were inspired by the brand’s rich history and legacy of unwavering commitment to excellence. We married the genuine refined service that The Ritz-Carlton is known for with the kitchen of humanitarian and Michelin-starred Chef José Andrés for the next generation of a hotel luxury experience,” said Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, President of Flag Luxury Group.

The hotel’s 250 guestrooms include 19 suites, with an additional 16 one- and two-bedroom penthouse residences. The guestrooms and public spaces all showcase elegant floral expressions such as natural elements and textures, that reflect the soft curvature of petals alongside sleek accents and lines, which echo New York City’s verticality and city grid. Inspired by residential-style living, guestrooms feature bespoke furnishings and a neutral color palette that allow the expansive, light-filled living spaces and stunning city views to take center stage. The 2,100-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Suite, located on the hotel’s 37th floor, features breathtaking views of Manhattan, a private wellness room complete with a Peloton® bike, separate living and dining areas, media room and 194-square-foot walk-in closet, and service entrance. All guestrooms include bathroom amenities by Diptyque, featuring the scent Philosykos – an ode to the fig tree.

The hotel’s food and beverage partnership is truly unique, with all culinary venues and in-room dining helmed by Michelin-starred chef and global citizen José Andrés. Situated on the ground floor of the hotel, Zaytinya, a play on the Turkish word for olive oil, offers an innovative mezze menu and creative cocktails inspired by Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisines. Designed by Rockwell Group, the 140-seat restaurant is saturated with a palette of bronze metals and white oak wood, with distinctive pops of blue and soft curves to channel the natural beauty of the Mediterranean.

An exciting addition to New York’s nightlife scene, Nubeluz is located on the hotel’s rooftop. It offers sweeping 270 degree views across Manhattan, complemented by an expansive menu of classic and signature cocktails, light bites, and an array of Tablas, where guests can build boards of jamon, queso, and embutidos hailing from Andrés' native Spain. Designed by Martin Brudnizki, the space acts as a glittering jewel box, with interiors that are a modern age reinterpretation of New York’s glamorous past, including a combination of reflective surfaces, indulgent textiles, and modern materiality.

Located on the first floor of The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, The Lobby Lounge and Bar is an oasis where guests can enjoy a morning pastry and coffee, an afternoon glass of champagne, or nightcap in the evening.

The Bazaar by José Andrés will make its New York debut in late 2022. This high-end avant-garde dining destination is a wild sensory adventure born of Andrés’ Spanish roots where sophisticated cuisine, artful service, and playful theatrics come together. Each location has its own vision and promises both an inspiring both its culinary experience and dynamic aesthetic. The Bazaar, designed by Barcelona-based studio Lázaro Rosa-Viola, uses painted and natural wood, texturized glass, ceramic tiling, and drapery to create an atmosphere that is warm and distinct.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad offers a wide range of thoughtfully curated amenities designed to complement a highly personalized guest experience. Guests staying on the Club Level can enjoy access to the signature Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, where they can relax or work while experiencing dedicated concierge service and a variety of culinary offerings throughout the day. The hotel also features a 6,800-square-foot signature Ritz-Carlton Spa and Fitness Center, including eight treatment rooms as well as separate sauna and steam rooms. Luxury skincare brand Augustinus Bader is bringing its signature facial, The Method, to The Ritz-Carlton Spa, offering a bespoke interpretation with the use of exclusive scents and oils inspired by the New York Flower District. For intimate gatherings, celebrations, or corporate functions, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad also features 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including a vast, private outdoor terrace, with all banquet and catering culinary offerings also overseen by Andrés.

“I am honored to be leading a talented team of Ladies & Gentlemen as we open our doors to guests and locals alike in this everchanging and dynamic community,” said Bastian Germer, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad. “We are excited to bring Manhattan a quintessential, yet freshly re-imagined, New York experience.”

For further information and bookings, please visit www.ritzcarlton.com/nomad

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC currently operates more than 100 hotels in 34 countries and territories. For more information or reservations, visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com and to join the live conversation, use #RCMemories and follow along on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR). The Ritz-Carlton 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 complimentary nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit marriottbonvoy.com.

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. From The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis to W Hotels and more, Marriott Bonvoy has more luxury offerings than any other travel program. 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 marriottbonvoy.com.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. For more information, please visit www.marriott.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contacts
Katie Donald, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad
Katie.donald@ritzcarlton.com

Alexis Chernoff, Magrino PR
Alexis.chernoff@magrinopr.com

Bailey Outerbridge, Magrino PR
Bailey.outerbridge@magrinopr.com

July 25, 2022
The St. Regis Toronto Appoints Hiren Prabhakar as General Manager

Toronto—The St. Regis Toronto is delighted to announce the appointment of Hiren Prabhakar as General Manager effective July 18, 2022. Hiren brings 29 years of hospitality experience in luxury and full-service hotels to his new role at the property. Hiren’s illustrious career has seen him in roles across India, Dubai, Poland,Spain, Germany, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Canada. A member of the Marriott team for the past eight years, he most recently opened the Toronto Marriott Markham, the first newly built, re-designed Marriott in Canada. Previously, he led the first global re-branding for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts at The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya in Russia. Hiren completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Mumbai, India before starting his hospitality career with Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.

Hiren’s time with Marriott has included the coveted Hotel of the Year, Marriott Luxury Brands Europe award in 2017 at The St. Regis Moscow. He also was awarded General Manager of the Year for his leadership at the Toronto Marriott Markham in 2019. "Exquisite service has long been my passion and I’m thrilled and honoured to join the impeccable St. Regis Toronto team," said Hiren Prabhakar, General Manager, The St. Regis Toronto. “I am very much looking forward to guiding the hotel’s unparalleled experience from the city’s best address.”

In a volunteer capacity he has devoted his generous spirit to serve as Chair of the Marriott Business Council for Central Canada, as well as the Advisory Board for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. He has also lent his time to the Board of Directors for the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, Destination Markham Corporation and the Markham Board of Trade.

About The St. Regis Toronto
Trendsetting and boundary-breaking, The St. Regis Toronto is the city's most coveted address. Rising 65 stories in the heart of downtown, the hotel offers a remarkably central location, steps from Toronto’s most preeminent landmarks including the CN Tower, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre, Toronto International Film Festival and the city’s premier shopping, theatre and entertainment. Modern elegance and bespoke butler service unite amongst 258 of the city's largest guest rooms including 124 suites, setting a new standard for luxury in Canada. Escape from the illustrious cityscape at the 31st-floor LOUIX LOUIS grand bar and restaurant, 31st-floor Spa, or witness St. Regis' iconic champagne sabering ritual each evening in Astor Lounge. Website: www.stregistoronto.com

Social Media:
@stregistoronto #stregistoronto #liveexquisite 
@louixlouis #louixlouis

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aerial Communications Group
Mindy Cummings or Rachelle Stark
mindy@aerialpr.com rachelle@aerialpr.com

July 22, 2022
Air Canada and United Airlines Expand Relationship to Make Transborder Travel Easier, With More Choice

Expanded relationship to bring more flights, improved schedule coordination and shared reward benefits between the MileagePlus and Aeroplan loyalty programs

Montreal/CNW Telbec/—Air Canada and United Airlines today announced a joint business agreement for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on their long-standing alliance, that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Customers will be able to connect to 38 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and eight of the most popular cities in Canada — all while enjoying the benefits of the carriers' MileagePlus® and Aeroplan loyalty programs. The agreement will also strengthen and grow both carriers' networks and help accelerate their COVID-19 recovery.

"United is a world-class airline and we are pleased to significantly expand our well-established partnership to further enhance the customer journey between Canada and the U.S. by offering more choice, greater convenience and an improved airport experience," said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. "This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers. It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market."

"With this new agreement, we are further strengthening our long-standing partnership with Air Canada," said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United. "As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel."

Customers who search for flights between the U.S. and Canada on United's or Air Canada's websites and apps will find more flight options scheduled at more convenient times. Codeshare between the two carriers will also be expanded and members of both the MileagePlus and Aeroplan programs will have more accrual and redemption options.

In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats.

Air Canada and United already cooperate in the transborder market, according to the terms of their existing U.S. antitrust immunity. Under the joint business agreement, subject to compliance with U.S. and Canadian regulatory and antitrust requirements, the two airlines will now be able to:

  • Coordinate their networks and schedules, enabling the carriers to offer customers more choice, including more flights throughout the day and more access to each airline's seat inventory.
  • Enhance codeshare on transborder flights, excluding certain U.S. leisure markets and territories. The carriers anticipate customers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022 – with opportunities to add more codeshare destinations for domestic routes within Canada and the U.S.
  • Sell seats on each other's transborder flights and share revenue on flights between hub markets (where regulatory authorities and antitrust requirements allow), allowing the carriers to grow their overall capacities.
  • Align customer policies for greater consistency and enable the seamless provision of onboard products, establish airport co-locations where available and provide extra value to each carriers' frequent flyer programs.
  • Allow the two carriers to work closer together to advance their sustainability objectives.

The implementation of an expanded partnership builds on the existing close cooperation of the two carriers and previously acquired regulatory approvals. United and Air Canada are also founding members of Star Alliance and a transatlantic joint business agreement with the Lufthansa Group.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network celebrating its 25thanniversary in 2022. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 86 internationally. It is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax, which in 2021 gave Air Canada awards for the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, and an excellence award for managing COVID-19. Through its leading travel loyalty Aeroplan program, Air Canada offers the ability to earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. 

About United
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers' favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world's best airline. For more about how to join the United team, please visit www.united.com/careers and more information about the company is at www.united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

SOURCE Air Canada

July 21, 2022
Destination Toronto Announces Paula Port as Vice President of Global Marketing

Toronto—Following a strategic search, Destination Toronto has announced Paula Port as its new Vice President of Global Marketing. With over twenty years of experience and expertise at Destination Toronto, Paula will lead the strategic development and implementation of marketing and communications for the destination. 

In her most recent role as Director, Brand & Content, Paula established content marketing as a core function of the organization, launching the re-imagined content hub DestinationToronto.com that prioritizes diversified content and editorial contributors; and, developed a regionally-focused content and marketing strategy during the pandemic that provided urgently needed local support and direct value to the tourism and hospitality community.

“I’m beyond thrilled to announce Paula Port as the VP of Global Marketing at Destination Toronto,” said Scott Beck, CEO & President of Destination Toronto. “Paula’s leadership and passion for this city has been instrumental in helping us reflect the authentic voices that make Toronto such a vibrant global destination. I know her enthusiasm and commitment to authentically sharing the depth and diversity of Toronto will support the city’s economic recovery and help us grow the impact of travel in the years to come.”

In her new role, Paula will continue to support and shape the organization’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) action, which is rooted in a commitment to reflect the diversity of Toronto. Paula is also passionate about deepening employee engagement and growing the organization’s corporate social responsibility strategy.

“I love Toronto - the unique people, the diversity of cultures and neighbourhoods, the rich food scene, the vast assortment of things to see and do,” said Paula Port, Vice President of Global Marketing. “I’m incredibly excited to continue to collaborate with and lead one of the best teams in the industry, promoting one of the best cities in the world, during this very exciting time as travel rebounds and grows.”

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

July 21, 2022
W Hotels Infuses a New Wave of Energy into Canada’s Biggest City with the Opening of W Toronto

Urban Oasis Features the First ‘W Sound Suite’ in Canada,Alongside Three Distinct Cocktail and Culinary Venues

Toronto, ON—Sound on. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announces the opening of W Toronto. Rising 11 stories in the vibrant, creatively charged neighbourhood of Yorkville, the hotel is a celebration of Toronto’s storied art scene, diversity of culture and legacy of non-conformity. Destined to bring a new energy and sophistication to the city’s luxury lifestyle hospitality scene, W Toronto gives locals a new playground and travellers an authentic, socially charged retreat.  

“From its street art scene and ongoing musical legacy, Toronto is a natural fit for W Hotels,” says Benoit Racle, Vice President, Brand Management, W Hotels Worldwide. “Our unassuming, playful interpretation of luxury is poised to make W Toronto a regular stop for those living and working in Toronto as well as the perfect place for an out-of-town guest to revel in the city like a local.”

A Culture Clash of Design
Designed by global creative agency Sid Lee, W Toronto is a juxtaposition of the city’s biophilia, man-made city grid and brutalist architecture. The contrast begins with the exterior, where the brutalist facade has been transformed through warm, LED lighting that illuminates the night sky, including a glowing, opaque orange lift to take guests to the rooftop bar and restaurant. The journey begins on the 6th Floor, where the Welcome Desk and Living Room (the W brand’s signature lobby/lounge) drips in jewel tones of ruby, amethyst, and topaz - with curved lines and velvet furniture reminiscent of Toronto’s late 60s and early 70s counterculture movement. Other highlights of the 5,000 square foot space include a communal “fire” pit, a circular destination bar featuring cascading amber lighting and access to The Yard, an outdoor terrace surrounded by a three-story atrium of guest room windows - creating a voyeuristic tension between public and private. 

W Toronto features 254 guest rooms - including 30 suites - two of which are Extreme Wow (Presidential) Suites. Drawing inspiration from Toronto’s illustrious theater district, guest room beds are flanked by stage-inspired pendant lights and situated in front of a sapphire velvet curtain that can be automatically drawn open or shut. Design touches include curved banquettes, dressing room-style vanity mirrors, “record”-like tables in honor of Toronto’s musical legacy and nods to nature like the abstract floral wallpaper and mushroom-shaped accent lights. As a playful wink to personal artistic interpretation, Double Queen Rooms are adorned with wall art that reads “Not everything has to mean something. Some things just are.” by Canadian writer and musician, Charles de Lint. 

Art + Soul: The Art Collection and Sound Suite of W Toronto 
Music and creative artistry take centre stage at W Toronto, boasting Canada’s first W Sound Suite, the brand’s signature recording studio experience. Situated off the Living Room, behind a nondescript, one-way, tinted window, W Toronto’s W Sound Suite is outfitted with professional equipment where accomplished and novice musicians, podcasters and other creatives can draw inspiration from the city and hotel scene.

From the psychedelic rock of the 60s and the hip hop of today, to the street art of Graffiti Alley, Toronto is known for its multidisciplinary artistic legacy. W Toronto honours and adds to this cannon with a collection of original work beginning with the W Monument on Bloor Street. Created by Sid Lee, it reflects biophilia and hippie culture through the use of natural crystal rock patterns and the bold palette of psychedelia. The journey continues with three murals by Dutch-born artist Mikael B. At the driveway is “Below The Surface”, a mesmerizing interpretation of undersea volcanic eruptions; “Hidden Gem” - located at Lift Level G - inspired by Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock and Peter Saul with an array of colors and geometric shapes; and “Clear Vision”, an abstract experimentation of color in the meeting and event space. 

In the Living Room is “Self-Care” by contemporary American painter Sage Barnes, depicting a woman holding garden shears as her head overgrows with 3-dimensional flowers – a reminder that self-care is continuous work. “Forms of Joyful Engagement” by Kirsten McCrae brings vibrancy and life to the brutalist, monochromatic canvases of two of the hotel’s lower rooftops. Visible only from guest floors above, the two unexpected murals are made of colorful rocks arranged in various shapes and patterns, reflective of Toronto’s diversity.

Coffee. Cocktail. Cuisine Scene. 
Leading the creative culinary charge at W Toronto is Executive Chef Keith Pears, who is well-known to culinary enthusiasts. His enviable resume – B.C. Chef of the Year, Gold Metal Plates, Bocuse d’Or National Selection, and appearing on Chopped Canada – brings star quality to W Toronto’s three distinct beverage and food venues, taking guests on a progressive journey from morning to late night. It begins with PUBLIC SCHOOL, the rebellious, ground floor coffee house, kitchen and bar driven by barista culture by day and new school tonics, elixirs and low or no alcohol beverages by night. The playful, unpretentious, plant-forward menu is served across two sweeping levels, accentuated by inviting, late 60s/early 70s seating in a palette of soothing earth tones as well as “Toronto Gush”, an original mural by Costa Rican-born artist Alan Ganev, inspired by Toronto’s Graffiti Alley. 

Ideal for a solo coffee, casual working lunch, after work cocktail or late-night revelry, the Living Room pays homage to Toronto’s standing as the most multicultural city in the world. Featuring “Toronto Tapas” - light, shareable bites representing the city’s diverse neighbourhoods - the menu includes: Barbacoa Tacos (Kensington Market); Jerk Chicken Skewers (Little Jamaica); and Fogo Island Cod Cheeks (Little India). “Sparkling” is the theme of the Living Room beverage program, with Champagne, rare bottles and a Perlini corking system allowing for unique flight experiences, bubbly by the glass as well as sparkling cocktails such as the Celery Sour and the Green Goddess Bloody Mary.

As the sun sets, SKYLIGHT, the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant, casts a spell on the city’s late-night scene with alluring curated cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The indoor-outdoor boho oasis overlooks Toronto’s iconic Bloor Street, celebrating the provocative and artistic spirit of the 60s Yorkville hippie revolution. In addition to the bazaar-inspired main room - with its nightly DJ booth and performance stage - SKYLIGHT features The Loft (for semi-private events); The Den(an intimate seating, people-watching nook); and The Terrace (with birdcage-style seating). The menu includes familial-style mezze, salatas and freshly made maneesh served with tagines as well as an over-the-top Seafood Tower with oysters, clams, shrimp cocktail, escabeche, tuna and scallop crudos, king crab legs, lobster, and caviar. SKYLIGHT’s cocktail program is Vermouth and Amaro-centric with a selection of upscale curated cocktails, seasonal spritzes and adult slushes.

Business is a Pleasure
With five event spaces encompassing 4,679 square feet, W Toronto is the ideal location for conducting business or celebrating a milestone. Industry, at 1,980 square feet, features botanical-inspired wallpaper decorated with elliptical lighting, reminiscent of floral seedlings, and can be divided into three intimate spaces. Studios 1 and 2, off the Living Room, as well as Strategy 1 and 2, offer more casual working session settings. Prior to that big presentation or wedding day, W Toronto’s 3,300 square foot FIT gym is the perfect place for guests to focus and recharge.   

“W Toronto is a microcosm of the people, culture and history of this incredible city,” says Craig Reaume, General Manager, W Toronto. “From the intentional design of each guest room and the authentically diverse menus to the music and vibe of each public space, W Toronto offers a long overdue alternative to the luxury hotel scene. We cannot wait to welcome guests time and again.”

About W Hotels Worldwide
Born from the bold, 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels has redefined hospitality for over two decades, breaking the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. With nearly 60 hotels around the globe, the detail-driven design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing, signature Living Rooms create an experience that is often imitated but never matched. Dynamic and invigorating, the brand celebrates each travellers’ desire to uncover the destination through a lens that is distinctly W. For more information on W Hotels, visit whotels.com/theangle or follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. W Hotels Worldwide 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 complimentary nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com

Media Contacts:
Naomi Strasser or Rachelle Stark
Aerial Communications Group for W Toronto
naomi@aerialpr.com / rachelle@aerialpr.com

July 20, 2022
Nature, the Beating Heart of a New Global Tourism Business Strategy as World Leaders Gather in London for RESET 2022 September 16th.

High-level commitment meets practical, tactical tools to reset tourism sustainably.

Second annual forum set to accelerate a new, planet-positive position for the world’s rebounding travel and hospitality sector.  

London, UK—Empowered and equipped to reverse the negative impact of tourism and hospitality development and operations, world leaders in business and government are shaping a bold agenda for RESET 2022. The second annual global sustainability, tourism, and hospitality summit is a day-long in-person and online event on 16 September 2022 at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. Executives to academics, operators to suppliers are welcome and encouraged to register today.

Book here. 

“We look forward to hosting a powerful, eclectic party of innovators and authorities responding to HRH Prince Charles’ plea to put a real business value on nature and maximise it now,” says organiser TLC Harmony Co-founder Nicki Page. 

“Let's be clear. Sustainable tourism practice is no longer a choice. To ensure the future of the travel and tourism industry and more importantly, the planet that we call home, we need to create sustainable destinations within a new paradigm that protects and regenerates nature, so it is good for people, planet and prosperity.”

The event sparks meaningful discussion of the global crisis and solutions from pivotal angles, led by:

  • El Salvador’s Vice President Dr. Felix Ulloa Jr.
  • Former UNWTO Secretary General Dr Taleb Rifai
  • Red Sea Development Company Deputy Chief Environmental Sustainability Officer Dr Omar Al-Attas
  • UAE Green Building Council Chair HE Ali Al Jassim
  • Sustainable Hospitality Alliance CEO Glen Mandziuk
  • SmartLedger Chief Commercial Officer Meike Krauscheid
  • DSE (Design For Sustainable Excellence) Studio Co-Founder & CEO Somayeh Rokhgireh

Panel and presentation sessions cover topics ranging from why and how to build and operate sustainable hotels and destinations to the growing power and influence of women consumers making sustainable tourism and wellness in hospitality decisions.

Voices include PKF Hospitality Senior Managing Director and Head of UK & Ireland

Adam Maclennon, Professor Willy Le Grande and Lamington Group Managing Director Robert Godwin, Travwell Creative Director Phil Clark, and Zen Bali owner Mahendra Shah.

TLC Harmony Executive Director and Co-Founder Leo Downer lays out new, free measures and systems for businesses that empower their customers to turn their footprints green as they travel.

RESET 2022 taps into the strength and energy of organisations like the World Travel and Tourism Council, Birdlife International, the Green Building Council (Central America) and SalvaNATURA and also an online broadcast to ensure inclusivity and speed in delivering important information around the world. 

Good for business, the planet and people, RESET 2022 is a day of unmissable panels, captivating discussions, hard talk and news covering sustainability in travel and tourism globally, and how real change is possible to run business sustainability.

ABOUT TLC HARMONY
TLC Harmony is a global sustainable tourism solutions company, specialising in sustainably led tourism development, policy and commercial marketing services for governments and the private sector since 1998.

ABOUT RESET
RESET is an annual global summit that supports the tourism sector’s recovery and ambitions to put nature at the heart of hospitality and tourism policy and business. In addition to sparking global conversations on a packed day-long agenda, the event inspires the adoption of TLC's sustainable development programmes to help businesses to achieve sustainability goals. RESET 2022 is held on 16 September 2022 at the Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill.

MEDIA CONTACT FOR QUERIES & EVENT ACCREDITATION
Heather Kirk
Immedia PR
heather@immediapr.com
+1 416 500 1752

July 20, 2022
Ottawa unveils 76 new museums in one day

Celebrating culture and creativity, Ottawa Tourism launches “Unofficial Museums” 

Ottawa Tourism granted special museum status last month to dozens of Ottawa festivals, restaurants, concert venues, and attractions as a way to shine a light on some of the city’s cultural hidden gems, many of which make the perfect addition to a conference or incentive programme.

The Unofficial Museums campaign aims to attract organisers and travellers to Ottawa by celebrating culture and creativity in Canada’s capital, all year long. To (re)discover the 76 new museums—as well as Ottawa’s already famous institutions—visit heretoinspire.ca

“Seven of Canada’s nine national museums are found in Ottawa, along with dozens of other notable museums and galleries,” said Glenn Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from Ottawa Tourism. “We’re proud of our museums—they’re among the best in the world. By granting museum status to 76 grassroots institutions this summer, we’re showing the world the range of cultural experiences that Canada’s capital has to offer and signalling to the world that Ottawa is an incredible place to host events.”

The newly anointed museums include the Unofficial Museum of Croffles (First Bite Treats), where you can experience Ottawa’s first-ever union of waffle and croissant, and the Unofficial Museum of Second-Hand Treasures (Highjinx), an antiques and vintage social enterprise shop where proceeds go towards providing food, clothing, and support to those in need within the community.

“Opening 76 museums in a day was an ambitious undertaking but we’re an ambitious city,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “Business events and tourism are critical economic drivers for Ottawa, and after a two-year disruption for conferences, events, restaurants, the arts, and live concerts, this is a big step towards recovery in our community.

“Ottawa has so much to offer in the way of arts, food, and music — this is our way of celebrating and giving back to those who work in the event and tourism industries and bring vibrancy to our amazing city,” said Mayor Watson. 

“We never expected our café to become a museum—let alone the Unofficial Museum of Croffles,” said Elias Ali, co-owner of First Bite Treats. “We’re delighted to participate in this celebration of Ottawa’s people and businesses. We’re ready for a great summer.” 

Watch the Unofficial Museums campaign here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG3cHOndpBg

For further press information about Ottawa Tourism, please contact Adam Baggs via 07970 507151or adam@soaringww.com 

Adam Baggs
Creative Director & Founder
Soaring Worldwide
Mob. 07970 507151
adam@soaringww.com
www.soaringww.com 

July 19, 2022
Marriott International Hosts THE EXCHANGE Customer Conference in New York City With a Powerful Community of Industry Leaders to Celebrate the Continued Return of in-person Meetings and Events

Association Masters & Corporate Customer Conference Showcased Innovation and Emerging Trends Rejuvenating Demand for Meetings and Events

Marriott International’s annual association and corporate customer conference, THE EXCHANGE, marked an optimistic milestone for the return of in-person meetings and events, one of the hardest hit segments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Held from July 13 -16, 2022, in the heart of New York City’s Times Square at the recently renovated New York Marriott Marquis, THE EXCHANGE brought together (approximately) 1,072 customers, hoteliers and industry leaders to engage and rally around new approaches to doing business; discuss topics of importance to today’s customers such as sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion, technology innovation, and the state of the industry; and reinforce the importance and value of in-person connections and coming together again.

THE EXCHANGE offered ample opportunity for customers to rejuvenate connections with hotel leaders and sales professionals, showcasing property openings, renovations and updates that have happened over the last two years across Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Customers also participated in New York City hotel immersion experiences designed to highlight the unique moments that pay tribute to various brands within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. These included holistic well-being sessions at the Lily Kwong-designed JW Garden at JW Marriott Essex House New York, complete with an immersion into the installation and a lesson on the mindfulness benefits of handwritten notes of gratitude that Marriott founder J. Willard Marriott knew so well; “Au Soleil Rose cocktail hour” on the hotel rooftop overlooking Central Park at Le Meridien New York, Central Park, inclusive of classic games, rosé and petit plates; and the opportunity to take part in a rich celebration of St. Regis history with a Champagne sabering and afternoon tea at The St. Regis New York.

Anthony Capuano, Marriott International’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We consistently hear from our association and corporate clients how important face-to-face connections are to doing business – and how difficult those connections are to replicate virtually. The collaboration, innovation, and energy our customers and hoteliers experienced at this year’s EXCHANGE, while addressing some of today’s most important issues for meeting planners, was as inspiring as it was productive. Working together, we are continuing to refine and shape what tomorrow’s meetings and events will look like.”

The three-day event showcased Marriott’s innovative approaches to food and beverage, event design, and how to quickly implement various levels of well-being protocols into face-to-face environments. This year’s event also introduced short, 18-minute EXCHANGE TALKS designed to educate, inform, and inspire. Marriott speakers included Anthony Capuano, Chief Executive Officer; Liam Brown, Group President, U.S. & Canada; Erika Alexander, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations; Drew Pinto, Global Officer, Global Sales, Distribution and Revenue Management; Julius Robinson, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, U.S. & Canada; Tammy Routh, Senior Vice President, Global Sales Organization; Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity; and Brian Gilligan, Senior Vice President Sales & Distribution, U.S. & Canada.

Tammy Routh, Senior Vice President, Global Sales Organization, said, “We are passionate about providing resources, creative solutions and innovative practices to help meeting professionals navigate a successful return to in-person meetings and events. The meetings and events industry is resilient, and this was a large-scale demonstration of the inventive solutions and experiences that can come from being together. With well-being remaining front and center, THE EXCHANGE marked a pivotal moment for the industry – and we’re optimistic for what’s ahead.”

“Marriott works with me to understand my needs when it comes to planning an event, with direct access to senior leaders and property management to help determine how to pivot if needed,” said Pamela Prince-Easton, President & CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. “It’s my job to ensure the decisions we make will benefit our attendees and, over the last few years, Marriott has been by our side every step of the way to revise and adjust where necessary. For us, It’s imperative that we partner with a company that listens to the challenges we face and provide detail-oriented solutions.”

Marriott customers can continue to leverage best practices and resources through Marriott Bonvoy® Events, which provides solutions aimed at educating and empowering meetings professionals to host successful meetings in today’s environment.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. For more information, please visit www.marriott.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Media Contact
Kimberly Mannino
Kimberly.A.Mannino@marriott.com

July 19, 2022
24 Destinations Receive DMAP Designation at Destinations International’s Annual Convention

Washington, D.C.—Destinations International announced that 24 destination organizations received a Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) designation in recognition of their destination organization’s commitment to industry excellence and meeting the industry standard for performance and accountability of destination marketing organizations around the world. The announcement was made at Destinations International’s Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada.

The accreditation program requires a destination organization to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas to gain this momentous achievement. The standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of destination organizations including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research.

Several organizations achieved accreditation with distinction, an honor reserved for those destination organizations that go beyond meeting the required standards of accreditation to truly showcase the breadth of their operation and their commitment to advancing the destination they serve.

“We are pleased to have these organizations join our distinguished group of DMAP destination organizations,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “The industry distinction defines quality and performance standards for destination organizations, and I look forward to welcoming them to the DMAP community. Thank you to the DMAP Board of Directors for their commitment to our industry and this important program.”

“Never before has destination organization relevance been so critical to the economy of the destinations that Destinations International members represent,” said Karen Fisher, MBA, CDME, chief financial officer of VisitPITTSBURGH and chair of the DMAP Board of Directors. “Destination organizations are the destination’s brand owners and participation in DMAP demonstrates a destination organization’s commitment to operating within a set of strict standards that sends a strong message to stakeholders that the organization entrusted with the destination brand has the infrastructure and expertise to positively impact the visitor economy for the benefit visitors and residents alike.”

The following accreditations and re-accreditations were announced at Destinations International’s Annual Convention:

New Accreditations:

  • Discover Long Island
  • Houma Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Visit Bastrop*

4-Year Renewals:

  • Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau
  • Cobb Travel & Tourism
  • Coastal Mississippi
  • Destination Augusta
  • Discover Green Bay
  • Discover the Palm Beaches
  • Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission
  • Louisville Tourism
  • Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Springfield Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau
  • Visit Spokane

8-Year Reaccreditations:

  • Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau*
  • Meet Chicago Northwest
  • Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority
  • Visit Baltimore
  • Visit Huntington Beach*

*Designates DMAP With Distinction

For more information about DMAP, visit www.destinationsinternational.org.

About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. 

Media Contact:
Caitlyn Blizzard
cblizzard@destinationsinternational.org
1.202.835.4202

July 19, 2022
Destinations International Announces 23 CDME Recipients

Washington, D.C.—Destinations International announced that 23 industry leaders earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation in 2022.  They were recognized at association’s Annual Convention which takes place July 19-21, 2022 in Toronto, Canada.

“Congratulations to those who have earned their CDME credential, the tourism industry's highest individual achievement." said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “These leaders have invested in their education and are now equipped with the knowledge needed to adapt to and manage the increasing change and competition facing our industry.”

“As the industry’s highest professional achievement, the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) program pushes destination leaders to think differently in this constantly changing environment,” said Gary Sherwin, CDME, president and CEO of Newport Beach and Company and chair of the CDME Board of Directors. “It is more important than ever for senior executives to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to serve their communities in the greatest capacity.”

The CDME program is the only industry certification program specifically designed for destination management professionals and is the tourism industry’s highest individual educational achievement. The program is designed to prepare destination organization professionals to leverage their experience and to apply their knowledge with a focus on vision, leadership, productivity and implementing business strategies.

2022 CDME recipients:

  • Vanessa Bechtol, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Visit Tucson
  • Kelli Brown, Interactive Producer, Miles Partnership
  • Kelli Carter, Director of Marketing, Walton County Tourism Department
  • Emily Cassell, Director, Arlington Convention and Visitors Service
  • Jennifer R. Chance, VP Finance and Operations, Visit Jackson
  • Victoria Clarke, CEO, Tourism Mississauga
  • Brady J. Closson, Deputy Executive Director, Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Sondra Corbitt, Executive Director, Houma Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Sean Dixon, President, Visit Topeka
  • Andi Dzilums, Tourism Investment Manager, Travel Alberta
  • Rebecca Engum, CEO, Great Falls Montana Tourism
  • Nichole Farley, Director of Public Policy and Economic Opportunity, Visit Salt Lake
  • Mandy Grant, Director, Finance & Administration, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
  • Nathan Hermiston, Senior Vice-President, Convention Sales & Services, Visit KC
  • Jon Hunsberger, Executive Director, Elkhart County, IN CVB
  • Nancy Jackson, Manager, Destination Development, Explore Edmonton
  • Alex Michaels, President and CEO, Discover Lehigh Valley
  • Heather Savoie, Sr. Vice President of Finance, Visit Lake Charles
  • Andrew Schmidt, President and CEO, Visit Greenville, NC
  • Susan M. Smith, President/CEO, Visit Bastrop
  • Tina Valdecanas, President and COO, Clarity of Place
  • Ashley S. Woitena, Senior Vice President, Sales, VisitColumbusGA
  • Rachel Wood, Chief Marketing Officer, Explore Branson

For more information about CDME or Destinations International, visit www.destinationsinternational.org.

About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. 

Media Contact:
Caitlyn Blizzard
cblizzard@destinationsinternational.org
1.202.835.4202

July 15, 2022
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Debuts Ultra Luxe Guest Experience at the Privado Villas

The completely reimagined enclave of the hotel will feature new private, bespoke offerings

Scottsdale, Arizona—The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona’s largest and longest running AAA Five Diamond hotel is opening a new ultra luxe boutique hotel within a hotel. The Privado Villas will replace the Casitas with 119 residential style suites situated in 14 pods on the west end of the 65 acre property, set apart in an exclusive and private area.

“Over the past year, we have seen a rise in demand for luxury suites, villas and services. We are committed to continually evolve our property and services to maintain our position as an iconic destination resort,” says Jack Miller, regional vice president and general manager of the Princess. “It is with that goal that we are excited to introduce Privado Villas this fall. Our most discerning guests will enjoy their best vacation ever as our team provide a thoughtfully planned and personalized experience, from booking to departure in our spacious, luxurious villas.”

The Privado Villas will have a private entrance and reception which will take place at Casa Grande, a private reception villa, featuring a personalized check in by an Experience Concierge and a private lounge for Privado guests. Along with the fully renovated rooms and new check in experience, the previous Casita Pool will be completely updated and renamed the Privado Relaxation Pool. The Privado Relaxation pool will feature a bar, and is exclusive to Privado guests.

“We specifically designed the Privado Villas with a specific guest profile in mind: c-suite executives, celebrities, athletes and other affluent travelers with a refined taste in service, design and amenities,” says Pam Gilbert, director of sales and marketing at the Princess. “Guests seeking a private escape, bespoke service, unparalleled amenities with that something special that makes the Princess what it is, will truly enjoy the Privado experience.”

The Privado Villas will feature two room types: 50 one bedroom villas and 69 signature studios, which will be 850 square feet and 700 square feet respectively. All rooms will feature a large walk in closet, spacious bathroom with two vanities and a walk in shower; 31 rooms will feature full sized bathtubs. As with all design at the Princess, special attention is paid to honor the Sonoran Desert and blend seamlessly with the surrounding tranquil space. The rooms will feature interesting and unique textures, thoughtful layout and modern desert design. First floor rooms will feature hard surface flooring, while second floor rooms will feature plush carpeting.

The Privado experience will feature a pre arrival phone call from a dedicated Privado concierge to assist with planning transportation, dining and spa reservations, and destination experiences. Guests will enjoy an in room coffee café, featuring a high end Nespresso machine that includes a frother for specialty drinks. A refrigerator is stocked upon arrival with complimentary champagne, cold brew coffee, sparkling and still water and fresh seasonal fruit. Guests will have the option to stock additional items from a menu prior to their arrival and during stay, to further personalize their experience.

Other complimentary amenities will include:

 Morning delivery of fresh pressed seasonal juice and guest’s selection of milk along with fresh baked pastries

 A mini bar with gourmet goods readily available

 Complimentary access to Well & Being Spa

 Complimentary valet parking and chauffer service within a 3 mile radius, including to and from Scottsdale Municipal Airport

 Complimentary laundry service

The grounds of Privado will feature lush landscaping, private courtyards and communal space – for guests who wish to socialize while enjoying the scenery.

During construction, which began in May and will be complete in the fall, guests will not be housed in any of the 14 villa pods that make up the 119 rooms. Further efforts to mitigate the effect construction has on the guest experience will include closing the area around Privado with fencing and scrim around the site; guests will not be housed in adjacent rooms in neighboring buildings; and work ends by 6 PM daily.

“At Privado, we believe a life well lived is one in which you can pursue your passions. To help guests realize their best life while visiting the Valley, we have carefully selected and trained our Experience Concierges as experts on all that Arizona and the Princess have to offer. Our staff looks forward to assisting the most discerning travelers with curated experiences that will become treasured memories,” adds Miller.

Source: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

July 14, 2022
The MICHELIN Guide sets its sights on Vancouver

Vancouver, BC—Michelin and Destination Vancouver today announced the MICHELIN® Guide Vancouver, the latest expansion of the MICHELIN Guide.

Vancouver is home to a thriving culinary community, with both established chefs and young professionals ready to polish their skills. The city’s restaurant teams are committed to using a wide range of high-quality products, such as produce, meat and seafood sourced locally and sustainably.

The first MICHELIN Guide Vancouver selection will be revealed in the fall, and it will showcase outstanding restaurants and professionals receiving Michelin distinctions. The famously anonymous inspectors of the Guide award the iconic MICHELIN Stars – One, Two or Three – to unparalleled cuisine. The Guide is also renowned for its Bib Gourmand selection, highlighting restaurants that offer great quality food at good prices. The MICHELIN Green Star is given to restaurants that are leaders in sustainable gastronomy.

“We’re thrilled to bring the MICHELIN Guide to Canada’s west coast and shine a spotlight on all that Vancouver has to offer,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “Our inspectors are already exploring Vancouver. They are eagerly diving into its wide variety of cuisines, prepared with high-quality products and served in warm, casual atmospheres. Vancouver is celebrated by international travelers for its artistic vibe and multifaceted identity – from impressive buildings to outdoor spaces – and we’re pleased to focus on its very promising culinary potential.”

Meticulous in maintaining their confidentiality, Michelin inspectors are already in the field, making dining reservations anonymously and paying for all their meals to ensure they are treated the same as any other customer.

“The fusion of flavors and cultures, influences from the Pacific Rim threaded through, and the abundance of the freshest ingredients from the ocean and land make the dining experience in Vancouver something very special,” said Royce Chwin, President & CEO, Destination Vancouver. “We have long enjoyed tremendous acclaim for our culinary scene and the MICHELIN Guide Vancouver further elevates the city’s reputation as a global dining destination. And we’re so delighted that Vancouver is now a culinary destination for aspiring young chefs who want to train under the guidance of a MICHELIN-Starred team.”

The upcoming Vancouver restaurant selection will follow Michelin’s historical methodology, based on five universal criteria, to ensure each destination’s selection equity: 1) quality products; 2) the harmony of flavors; 3) the mastery of cooking techniques; 4) the personality of the chef in the cuisine; 5) consistency between each visit (each restaurant is inspected several times a year).

The MICHELIN Guide is constantly observing the evolution of culinary destinations around the world. Michelin works with Destination Marketing Organizations, or tourism boards, to promote the travel industry in the respective locations; however, the MICHELIN Guide selections process remains completely independent. While selections remain fully independently determined by Michelin inspectors, Michelin is working with Destination Vancouver on marketing and promotion activities only.

The 2022 Vancouver restaurant selection will join the MICHELIN Guide selection of hotels, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay in Vancouver and around the world. Visit the MICHELIN Guide website, or download the free app for iOS and Android, to book unforgettable hotels and make restaurant reservations through partners OpenTable, Resy and SevenRooms.

Michelin in Canada
Michelin opened its first North American tire production facilities in Canada in 1971 in Bridgewater and Pictou County, Nova Scotia. It’s now a major contributor to the Canadian economy in the field of sustainable mobility, with activities in the tire sector but also around and beyond tires. The company currently employs around 4,000 people in Canada. In May, the MICHELIN Guide announced Toronto as its first Canadian destination.

About Michelin North America, Inc.
Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide a variety of industries—from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (michelinman.com)

About Destination Vancouver
Destination Vancouver is the official destination marketing and management organization for the spectacular city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and represents more than 800 members in the city’s visitor economy. Destination Vancouver’s mandate is to support Vancouver's tourism industry in developing compelling experiences and offerings for the city’s visitors and promoting Vancouver to target Canadian, U.S., and international markets. The purpose of the dedicated group of approximately 32 full-time team members (and growing), along with close to 200 visitor services volunteers, is to transform Vancouver’s communities and visitors through the power of travel. (destinationvancouver.com)

For more information, contact:
Andrew Festa
Michelin North America – External Communications
andrew.festa@michelin.com

Suzanne Walters
Destination Vancouver – Director, Communications
swalters@destinationvancouver.com

July 14, 2022
Government of Canada is re-establishing mandatory random testing offsite of airports for air travellers

Ottawa, ON/CNW Telbec/—Public Health Agency of Canada 

Keeping Canadians safe has been our number one priority since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada set up entry restrictions, testing, and quarantine requirements to manage risks at the border. Testing was and remains an important part of our surveillance program to track the importation of COVID-19 virus into Canada and identify new variants of concern.

The Government of Canada had paused mandatory random testing for those entering Canada by air on June 11, 2022, as part of a broader strategy to transition testing for air travellers outside of the airports.

Mandatory random testing will resume as of July 19, 2022, for travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated, arriving in Canada by air to the four major Canadian airports—Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to Canada, travellers must have been vaccinated with a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel at least 14 calendar days before entering Canada.

All testing for air travellers, for both those who qualify as fully vaccinated and partially or unvaccinated people, will be completed outside of airports, either via an in-person appointment at select testing provider locations and pharmacies, or a virtual appointment for a self-swab test. Travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, unless exempt, must continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Moving testing outside of airports will  support testing for travellers arriving by air while still being able to monitor and quickly respond to new variants of concern, or changes to the epidemiological situation. Mandatory random testing continues at land border points of entry, with no changes.

Border testing is an important tool in Canada's detection and surveillance of COVID-19 and has been essential in helping us slow the spread of the virus. Data from the testing program are used to understand the current level and trends of importation of COVID-19 into Canada. In addition, these data have and continue to inform the Government of Canada's safe easing of border measures.

Air travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated and who are selected for mandatory random testing, as well as air travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, will receive an email notification within 15 minutes of completing their customs declaration. The email will contain information to help them arrange for their test with a testing provider in their region. Unvaccinated travellers can complete their tests by a virtual appointment or an in-person appointment with the test provider at their store or at select pharmacies and still respect their quarantine requirements.

All travellers must continue to use ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada, and/or before boarding a cruise ship destined for Canada, with few exceptions. It is the fastest, easiest and most secure way for travellers to show they meet public health requirements. Additional efforts are being undertaken to enhance compliance with ArriveCAN, which is already over 95% for travellers arriving by land and air combined. 

All vaccinated travellers who are randomly selected for the border testing surveillance program must complete arrival mandatory testing requirements.

If your arrival test result is positive, you must go into isolation and follow the federal requirement to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test result. Your 10-day isolation is required, even if the isolation requirement is shorter in your province or territory.

Mandatory random testing and information in the ArriveCAN app are necessary tools that help inform public health advice to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Quotes

"As we have said all along, Canada's border measures will remain flexible and adaptable, guided by science and prudence. We need to keep border testing measures in place because that is how we track importation of the COVID-19 virus, and of new variants of concern. We will keep adapting our border measures to balance the need to protect Canadians while supporting our economic recovery."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"As demand for travel increases across the world, today's announcement marks an important step in our progress to streamline testing processes outside our airports while preventing the further spread of COVID-19. The Government of Canada will continue to protect travellers and employees and ensure our transportation system is safe, reliable, and resilient for the long term."

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"The safety and security of Canadians remains our top priority. As more people continue to travel again, we're working hard and adding resources to keep things moving. The CBSA is hiring new people - including retired officers and student border services officers - making additional kiosks available and improving ArriveCAN so it is faster and easier to use. As the situation evolves, we'll continue to make adjustments and enhancements at the border because that's what Canadians expect."

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Safety

Quick Facts:

  • Pausing mandatory random (MRT) testing for air travellers was a temporary measure and part of a broader strategy to transition traveller testing for air travellers into the community. MRT continued during this period at land points of entry.
  • Mandatory random testing for travellers who qualify as full vaccinated remains a critical part of the Government of Canada's ability to monitor the level of COVID-19 importation associated with international travel. It is also a cornerstone of Canada's ability to monitor for new COVID-19 variants of concern that could pose a risk to the health and safety of people in Canada and to Canada's ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Arrival, Day 8 and mandatory random COVID-19 molecular tests must be completed with a Public Health Agency of Canada approved test provider. Test providers vary based on where travellers enter the country.
  • Travellers selected for mandatory random testing or who are required to take a test on arrival should complete their test by the end of the next calendar day.
  • Travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport can save time by using the Canada Border Services Agency Advance Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN to submit their customs declaration. Early usage data shows that it is 30 percent faster at the kiosk when travellers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance, instead of paper – saving approximately 40 seconds off a 2-minute transaction.
  • Frequent travellers can take advantage of the "saved traveller" feature in ArriveCAN which allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information so that they can reuse it on future trips. The information is pre-populated in ArriveCAN the next time the traveller completes a submission, which makes it faster and more convenient.

Associated Links

SOURCE Health Canada  

July 13, 2022
The Ritz-Carlton Named Top Luxury Brand in the J.D. Power 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study

Bethesda, MD—The Ritz-Carlton is proud to announce it has been named the top luxury brand by the J.D. Power 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study for a second consecutive year, representing the highest guest satisfaction rating among travelers in the study’s luxury segment. The Ritz-Carlton has achieved first place for 7 out of the last 8 years.

“We are thrilled to once again receive this coveted recognition, which shows that through continued innovation and exceptional service we are delivering a memorable experience and exceeding the expectations of our guests,” said Donna McNamara, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “This achievement is also a reflection of the hard work and genuine care provided by our Ladies and Gentlemen at our hotels around the world, as their commitment to our guests is at the heart of every stay.”

The North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study, now in its 26th year, measures customer satisfaction from approximately 34,000 hotel guests for stays in North America between May 2020 and May 2021. J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics, and has delivered incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC currently operates more than 100 hotels in 34 countries and territories. For more information or reservations, visit www.ritzcarlton.com, and to join the live conversation, use #RCMemories and follow along on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR). The Ritz-Carlton 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 complimentary nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit www.marriottbonvoy.com.

Source: Marriott International

July 13, 2022
Toronto Pearson launches education campaign focused on how passengers and stakeholders can work together to improve processes that take place at the airport

Toronto/CNW Telbec/—Toronto Pearson Airport has launched an education campaign on how passengers and stakeholders can work together to improve wait times at the airport.

With 400+ organizations operating at Toronto Pearson, all partners are working hard every day to improve the passenger experience when travelling through the airport.

"A better trip through Pearson" walks passengers through Pearson airport, providing simple tips and tricks to help smooth passenger journeys along the way by equipping them with more information about what to expect.

"Solving for congestion at Pearson" walks through the steps airport partners and government stakeholders have taken to improve passenger flow through Pearson, and what's next as industry works collaboratively to improve the travel experience. The infographic, which will be updated later in the summer to reflect continued improvements, highlights arriving and departing airport processes, identifies how the airport and its partners can help ease passenger flow and provides passengers with a roadmap to understand what is being done to restore reliability across all segments of the air travel system.

"The challenges facing Canada's largest airport are various and complex, with numerous parties operating their own systems across the airport footprint. Progress has been made but there is more to do to restore the Canadian Aviation System. All partners – airport, airlines, the Canadian Government, NAV CANADA and US border control – together must expeditiously implement reforms that will make smoother journeys for the remainder of summer and beyond," said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

"COVID-19 turned Canada's travel economy and infrastructure upside down. Pandemic recovery has demonstrated that turning off a highly networked industry like the air sector is much less complicated than turning it back on. The air sector is important to Canadians for their own travel, and for the role it plays in the economy and the perception of our country. We can leverage this moment to propel faster change in processes and digital tools, and to place the passenger and worker at the forefront. The recovery challenge is our call to innovate, rethink and build the airport of the future," added Ms. Flint.  

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada's largest airport and a vital connector of people, businesses and goods. Toronto Pearson has been named "Best Large Airport in North America serving more than 40 million passengers" for five years in a row by Airports Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of the world's airports. In recognition of its Healthy Airport program, ACI has also awarded Toronto Pearson the "Best hygiene measures in North America" award for two years running, and Toronto Pearson was the first Canadian airport to receive ACI's global health accreditation for its response to COVID-19.

For our corporate twitter channel, please visit @PearsonComms. For operational updates and passenger information, please visit @TorontoPearson/@AeroportPearson on Twitter. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

SOURCE Greater Toronto Airports Authority

July 11, 2022
Hyatt Zilara Riviera Maya Officially Available for Booking Future All-Inclusive Experience

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./CNW/—Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. (NASDAQ: PLYA) announced today that the all new Hyatt Zilara Riviera Maya are now available for booking across both Hyatt.com and PlayaResorts.com. The latest addition to Hyatt's award winning all-inclusive adult experience, Hyatt Zilara Rivera Maya is set to welcome guests beginning December 1, 2022.

Hyatt Zilara Riviera Maya is nestled in the secluded region of Riviera Maya, surrounded by lush mangroves, with easy access to the Cancun International Airport and only six miles from Playa del Carmen. This sophisticated all-inclusive resort with 291-suites radiates romance, with modern hacienda charm, sitting on a long stretch of pure white sand beach. Combining state-of-the-art amenities with heartfelt service and luxe accommodations, this all-inclusive resort is an unparalleled tropical paradise.

"The Hyatt Zilara brand redefined the adults-only all-inclusive experience more than a decade ago and set a new standard for the category," said Dean Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Playa Hotels & Resorts. "And for a limited time, we are pleased to offer an incredible introductory rate to guests and travel advisors booking on Hyatt.com and PlayaResorts.com."

Hyatt Zilara Riviera Maya's debut is expected to increase the total number of Hyatt Zilara resorts to four across Mexico and the Caribbean. Considered an expert in this space, Playa Hotels & Resorts will operate the resort, delivering the level of sophistication and service that is synonymous with the Hyatt Zilara brand experience to the destination's all-inclusive market.

Hyatt Zilara Riviera Maya is located at Bahia de Petempich, SM 12, MZ 31, Lote 14-02, Puerto Morelos, Mexico, 77580.

For a limited time, guests can take advantage of special grand opening rates as low as $149 per person per night.

For more information about Hyatt Zilara Rivera Maya or to book a stay, please visit www.resortsbyhyatt.com/comingsoon

About Hyatt Zilara
Hyatt Zilara resorts offer guests a luxury adults-only all-inclusive experience to recharge, reconnect and pamper themselves. Through service from the heart, guests will experience an inviting and rejuvenating stay with state-of-the-art pampering to relax and unwind. Meanwhile, a variety of local and global culinary offerings and effortless activities on the property's surroundings invite each guest to take time away from their busy lives. For more information on Hyatt Zilara luxury all-inclusive resorts or to make a reservation, visit allinclusive.hyatt.com, call +1-800-760 0944 or contact a preferred travel agent. Join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram, and tag photos with #HyattAllIn.

About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of March 31, 2022, the Company's portfolio included more than 1,150 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 71 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Alila®, Andaz®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, Caption by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt™, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Place®, UrCove, and Hyatt Residence Club® brands, as well as resort and hotel brands under the AMR™ Collection, including Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

About Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. 
Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. (NASDAQ: PLYA, "Playa") is a leading owner, operator and developer of all-inclusive resorts in prime beachfront locations in popular vacation destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Playa owns and/or manages a total portfolio consisting of 20 resorts (7,867 rooms) located in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. In Mexico, Playa owns and manages Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Panama Jack Resorts Cancun, Panama Jack Resorts Playa del Carmen, Hilton Playa del Carmen an All-Inclusive Resort, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. In Jamaica, Playa owns and manages Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa and Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa. In the Dominican Republic, Playa owns and manages Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana, Hilton La Romana an All-Inclusive Family Resort and Hilton La Romana an All-Inclusive Adult Resort. Playa also owns two resorts in the Dominican Republic that are managed by a third party, manages Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic and owns one additional property in Mexico. For more information, please visit www.playaresorts.com.

June 30, 2022
Calgary Stampede to make full-scale come-back with major funding from the Government of Canada; four other tourism experiences in southern Alberta to benefit from federal investments

PrairiesCan Minister Daniel Vandal announced nearly $12 million to support the return of a full-scale 2022 Calgary Stampede and new or enhanced tourism experiences that attract visitors and support quality jobs in southern Alberta

Calgary, AB/CNW/—Calgary is a globally renowned tourism destination that supports a resilient Alberta economy. In addition to its outstanding urban experiences and attractions, the city is a launching point for domestic and international visitors wanting to explore the southern ranges of Canada's Rocky Mountains, Alberta's Badlands, the Cowboy Trail, and enjoy western hospitality at other southern Alberta attractions. The city is also home to the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", the Calgary Stampede; the famed summer rodeo, exhibition and festival that takes place across Calgary for 10 days every July.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a federal investment of more than $10.1 million to support a full-scale Stampede in delivering authentic western experiences, while representing Calgary's unique community spirit, and attracting visitors from Canada and abroad to the region to experience Western hospitality.

PrairiesCan is delivering $10 million through the Government of Canada's Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative to help the 2022 Calgary Stampede bounce back stronger after a scaled-down 2021 event. An additional $150,000 through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will support adaptions to the BMO Centre and training for staff that enables the facility to exceed health and safety protocols. The total federal investment of $10.15 million through PrairiesCan will enable this year's Stampede to reignite Alberta's visitor economy, attract visitors to explore southern Alberta, and spur economic benefits for the region.  

In addition, PrairiesCan is providing $1,832,500 through the Tourism Relief Fund to support four tourism projects in southern Alberta. This funding will help tourism organizations and attractions to create new experiences, or reimagine existing ones that draw visitors and position Alberta's tourism economy for long-term growth.

In total, PrairiesCan is investing more than $11.98 million to support a strong recovery for southern Alberta's tourism industry. This investment is expected to help create or maintain more than 1,600 jobs and attract more than 1.13 million domestic and international visitors to Alberta over the next several years.

Quotes
"Festivals large and small were hard hit during the pandemic. They are events where families and friends come together, and take in the exciting atmosphere. The tourism industry is facing a strong comeback providing quality jobs across the country, showcasing stunning landscapes and offering exciting experiences right here in Alberta. Through today's investments in the Calgary Stampede and attractions in southern Alberta, our government is helping tourism operators to reimagine existing experiences and create new ones attracting more visitors from Canada and abroad to experience what Alberta has to offer."

-     The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan 

"The hospitality of Albertans is world famous. Our tourism partners are at the heart of Canada's economic recovery, and today's announcement will welcome back tourists for the summer season with engaging tourism experiences in Calgary including another incredible Stampede celebration."

-     The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

"The Calgary Stampede is a proud reflection of our city's community spirit and resiliency. Today's funding will help ensure the Stampede remains at the heart of our city's tourism sector by supporting the return to a full-scale event that draws tourists to our city and generates economic activity for local businesses."

-     George Chahal, MP for Calgary Skyview

"A year-round district which not only hosts the greatest outdoor show on earth, but also serves as a cultural and economic venue 365 days a year, the Stampede plays a critical role in our city's travel and tourism sector. The investment announced today supports the vision of continuing to build a best-in-class venue that adeptly hosts visitors and residents alike as we continue on our path of economic recovery." 

-     Jyoti Gondek, Mayor, City of Calgary

"We are grateful to the Government of Canada for recognizing the cultural importance of the Calgary Stampede and our positive economic impact on the tourism industry in the Calgary region. As we emerge from a challenging two years to be Together Again, Stampede 2022 will help contribute to the economic recovery by creating jobs and filling restaurants, hotel rooms, taxis and rideshares. We look forward to using today's investment to further enhance our experience offerings for guests coming from here and around the world as we continue to put on The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth."  

-     Steve McDonough, President & Chairman of the Board, Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd.

"We're grateful for funding that recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and helps as we build back from the impacts of the pandemic. It will be an immense help as we grow tourism-related experiences and create an amazing digital library of photos and videos to showcase Calgary and all it has to offer. This funding also provides resources that will help us elevate and expand Chinook Blast - a new anchor festival for the city."  

-     Cindy Ady, CEO, Tourism Calgary

"Innovation Crossing is an opportunity for guests to discover how the history of energy can help us navigate the present and future of energy. Today's announcement supports our vision to use immersive experiences to spark a connection to Alberta's energy history in context of today's society. By doing so we can broaden the possibilities of what Alberta's story will be."

-      Lindsey Galloway, President and CEO of Heritage Park

Quick facts
The Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative funds major Canadian festivals and events hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to adapt and enhance their activities as the economy recovers.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) helps tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services facilitating their future growth.
  • The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides assistance to businesses and communities that may require additional support to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Today's announcement complements the $17.5 million in federal funding announced May 24, 2022 to support tourism initiatives in Alberta.

Backgrounder
Funding includes more than $10.1 million to support a full-scale 2022 Calgary Stampede and more than $1.8 million to enhance tourism experiences to attract more visitors to Alberta

The Government of Canada is providing $10.15 million to Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited to support a full-scale 2022 Calgary Stampede that delivers authentic western experiences and attracts visitors from Canada and abroad to Alberta. In addition, PrairiesCan is investing more than $1.8 million to support four tourism organizations and attractions in southern Alberta to launch new or enhanced experiences. Combined, this investment of nearly $12 million will help drive Alberta's economy forward, support tourism businesses, and ensure a resilient Alberta tourism sector.

Funding for these projects is through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI), the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) and the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative
The MFESI supports major Canadian festivals and events hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19, to adapt and enhance their activities as the economy recovers. One Alberta MFESI recipient receiving funding through PrairiesCan announced today is:

  • Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited ($10,000,000)
    Support activities for the continued operations and enhancement of the Calgary Stampede, including COVID-19 adaptation measures, website upgrades, and reconstruction of the grandstand.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

As part of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the RRRF is assisting businesses and organizations across Canada to mitigate financial pressures caused by the pandemic. Through the RRRF, the Government of Canada is providing over $2 billion to help keep people employed, and to sustain employers for recovery. One quarter of the RRRF is targeted to support the tourism sector. One Alberta RRRF recipient receiving funding through PrairiesCan announced today is:

  • Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited ($150,000)
    Support COVID-19 adaptations to the BMO Centre and administer training that enables the facility to meet and exceed health and safety protocols, including the adoption of touchless technology and bio-risk cleaning management accreditation.

Tourism Relief Fund
Launched in July 2021, the TRF helps organizations and businesses in the tourism sector adapt their operations to meet public health requirements and offer new or enhanced innovative products and services to help the sector attract more domestic and international visitors and prepare for future growth. Four Alberta TRF projects receiving funding through PrairiesCan announced today are:

  • Charmed Resorts Inc., Charmed Playhouses Inc., Charmed Brands Inc. ($500,000)
    Introduce eight fairy tale themed ''glamping'' cottages in Crowsnest Pass to expand the region's unique accommodation offerings and attract more visitors to the area.
  • Cochrane Tourism Association ($32,500)
    Deliver a Tourism Product Mentorship Program to a maximum of 12 local businesses within the Town of Cochrane to guide and mentor them through the process of developing and implementing new tourism product offerings.
  • Heritage Park Society ($500,000)
    Create two new digital exhibits that highlight the history of Alberta's energy sector at Innovation Crossing, the new natural resources building within Heritage Park.
  • Tourism Calgary - Calgary Convention & Visitors Bureau ($800,000)
    Enhance Calgary's tourism recovery by supporting the 2022 Chinook Blast winter festival and the creation of a digital asset library that is accessible to tourism operators promoting tourism experiences in the Calgary area.

Associated links

Stay connected
Follow PrairiesCan on Twitter and LinkedIn
Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-9378
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 
1-877-303-3388

SOURCE Prairies Economic Development Canada

June 29, 2022
Companies Should Be Rethinking Their Business Travel Programs For A New Era, According to New Research

Ground transportation, sustainability, bleisure travel and meal options are just a few of the considerations, according to a new study from Uber for Business and GBTA

Alexandria, VA—Business travelers are taking to the roads and the skies again, but are corporate travel programs and policies keeping up with the way business travel happens now? With corporate travel and in-person meetings increasingly returning, businesses need to be thoughtful about how they’re implementing – or re-implementing – their travel programs, especially when it comes to their ground transportation.

That’s the premise behind a first-ever ground transportation report – “The Corporate Travel Comeback: The Evolution of Ground Transportation and Other Trending Business Travel Topics” – which is based on a quantitative survey of corporate travel managers across the U.S. and Canada. From Uber for Business, Uber’s enterprise arm, and the Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest association representing the pre-pandemic $1.4 trillion global business travel industry, the report uncovers pressing concerns and considerations from travel managers at some of the world’s biggest companies.

“Corporate travel is on the rise. Uber saw airport rides represent 13% of Mobility Gross Bookings in Q1 2022, growing 166% from the past year,” said Susan Anderson, Global Head of Uber for Business. “As more and more companies shift to in-person and hybrid work flows, it’s important that businesses reimagine their travel programs and policies, so that they’re tailored to this new era of business that we’re operating in. Our hope is that this report’s findings can provide travel managers and others in the business travel space with the insights and data they need in order to roll out seamless and efficient travel programs that outpace the requirements of a changing world.”

The report finds that travel managers emerging from the pandemic are laser-focused on a few key considerations when it comes to evolving business travel programs at their companies: traveler safety, policy compliance, and sustainability. Compared to two years ago, 75% of employers are more focused on traveler safety/well-being, 55% are more focused on sustainability/social responsibility, and 53% are more focused on travel policy compliance/enforcement.

“As we’ve moved through the pandemic, business travel and travelers have changed and therefore company travel programs must evolve accordingly. This research puts a spotlight on some of the important and thoughtful considerations happening across companies and corporate travel departments when it comes to serving employees traveling for business moving forward,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO of GBTA.

Getting business travelers from Point A to B and everywhere in between

When thinking about their company’s current approach to managing ground transportation, survey respondents identified some of the top strengths of their travel programs – as well as notable areas for improvement.

  • Rideshare and rental cars top the list. Most travel managers say their company’s employees “frequently” use rental cars (82%) and rideshare apps (70%) on work trips, but fewer than half (48%) say employees frequently use taxis.
  • Going premium. Most travel policies at least sometimes allow chauffeured transportation/black car service (74%), premium ridesharing (68%), and premium/luxury rental cars (51%). Roughly one-third say their company’s employees “sometimes” or frequently” use chauffeured transportation (36%) or premium ridesharing (30%).
  • Half of travel programs (49%) currently have a business account with a rideshare platform and one-third (35%) would consider it. The most important features cited by travel managers were reporting (76%), integration with expense platforms (69%), and ability to apply company policies (62%).

Evolving business travel for people and the planet – despite the cost

  • Making sustainability a priority. An overwhelming majority (84%) say sustainability is at least somewhat important in the design of their company’s travel program, with 50% saying it is very or extremely important.
  • Of the companies surveyed, 73% are tracking or considering setting up tracking ground transportation sustainability efforts.
  • Even though travel programs prioritize sustainability, not all are willing to incur significant additional cost in order to achieve more sustainable outcomes. Only 6% of respondents say their company currently allows employees to spend more on sustainable travel options, and an additional one-quarter (26%) are considering allowing employees to spend more.

Work meets play, but how does travel policy follow?

  • Business and leisure, better together. Ninety percent of respondents say employees are more (30%) or equally as interested (60%) in bleisure travel – adding vacation days to their work trips – compared to pre-pandemic times. And although 36% say their company’s travel policy expressly allows bleisure trips, 49% their policy does not, but employees are often allowed to take these trips in practice.

A business traveler has to eat – but what are the rules now?

  • Inflation’s impact on meals. Meal prices are rising because of high inflation. While almost one-third of respondents (29%) say their company has raised its spending limit or per diem for meals, a larger number (56%) say these are unchanged from last fiscal or calendar year.
  • Food delivery is here to stay. More than half (55%) of travel managers say their company’s employees at least sometimes use food delivery apps on business trips and 32% expect employees to use them more than they do today.
  • Most travel programs (52%) already have or would consider having a business account with a food delivery platform. Features important to travel managers are integration with expense software (74%), reporting (72%), ability to order group meals (66%), and ability to apply company policies (64%).

The Uber For Business/GBTA survey was fielded April 18-27, 2022, among GBTA members and industry stakeholders in the U.S. and Canada who are involved with managing or procuring travel on behalf of their company and resulted in 202 responses. GBTA members can download a full copy of the research report on the GBTA Hub or visit the Uber for Business website.

Source: GBTA

June 28, 2022
Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable Calls on Federal Government to Cease Mandatory Random Testing and the Removal of Remaining COVID-19 Restrictions

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable") is calling on the federal government to avoid reintroducing testing at airports and lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on travel.

Three weeks ago, to aid the flow of passengers at 'Canada's airports, the federal government announced a pause on Mandatory Random Testing through to June 30, 2022. Removing the entire testing process from airports will ease the passenger experience, particularly once staffing issues with third-party agencies have been dealt with. Later this week, the federal government's "pause" of several COVID-19 restrictions relating to testing expires; it is critical that the government not allow these restrictions to come back into force and push the sector backwards. The Roundtable calls on the federal government to follow the overwhelming science and evidence and further lift COVID-19 restrictions plaguing Canada's tourism sector and negatively impacting Canadian and international passengers.

Specifically, the Roundtable is advocating for:

  1. Removing COVID-19 testing out of the travel environment and consider other ways to assess community spread, such as community wastewater testing for tracking future variants;
  2. Permanently lift the vaccine requirement for travel for both domestic and international travellers in addition to workers in the sector; and
  3. Streamline the ArriveCan application and use it solely as a pre-entry declaration system to digitize border processing.

As a measure of good faith, the Roundtable requests that the federal government meet with the Roundtable members in July to discuss government and industry jointly developing a contingency response plan for the fall. Working together, we can ensure that future measures are rooted in science and can be implemented without unnecessarily impacting Canadians, workers and our sector.

Leftover COVID-19 measures negatively impact the passenger experience at Canada's border and limit the sector's ability to recover after more than two years of shutdowns and restrictions. As the government looks to rebuild the Canadian economy and protect the health and safety of Canadians, there are no scientific reasons that the travel economy should be treated differently than any other sector, as confirmed by officials at the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Canada's travel and tourism sector is facing major challenges caused in part by the significant underperformance of government and third-party service providers and labour shortages; Canadians cannot access passports, the wait time for NEXUS applications is unmanageable, CATSA, CBSA, and NAV Canada staffing is insufficient, and the sector is plagued with untenable policies that are not rooted in science. The Roundtable acknowledges the government's recent establishment of the Cabinet Task Force on Government Services to review some of these issues. We would like service level standards and timelines communicated to industry and the travelling public to ensure swift action and improvements to the travel process.

"Our industry calls on the federal government to support Canadians looking to travel after two years of a pandemic. This means permanently lifting the remaining COVID-19 restrictions hindering our sector's recovery," said Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

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 $105 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

Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable Logo (CNW Group/Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable)

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Connor Whitworth, connor.whitworth@teneo.com

June 28, 2022
Lynx Air's Inaugural Flight From St. John's Takes Off

Canada's new ultra-affordable airline is celebrating its arrival in St. John's with a seat sale

St. John’s, NB/CNW/—Lynx Air's (Lynx) first flight from St. John's International Airport will take to the skies today, marking the commencement of twice-weekly return service between St. John's and Toronto Pearson International Airport. As of July 14, 2022, the St. John's-Toronto service will increase to daily and will add Edmonton and Calgary to its network.

Starting July 14, the airline will be flying 14 flights a week in and out of St. John's, equating to 2,646 seats per week. The Edmonton and Calgary services will operate as through-flight services to St. John's via Toronto, providing a seamless service with a single boarding pass, no deplaning in Toronto and the ability to check bags through to St. John's. 

To celebrate Lynx's inaugural flight to St. John's, the airline has launched a limited-time seat sale, offering up to 50 per cent off all base fares to and from St. John's. The sale will start on June 28, 2022 and end at 11:59p.m. NDT on June 30, 2022. For complete sale details and to book an ultra-affordable fare, please visit FlyLynx.com.

"It's been a busy couple of months for Canada's newest airline, and with today's addition of St. John's, Lynx is proud to make air travel accessible across Canada," said Merren McArthur, CEO of Lynx Air.  "Whether you are travelling to connect with friends and family or to explore the dramatic fjords and pristine marine reserves of Newfoundland and Labrador, Lynx ensures a great flying experience at an ultra-affordable price."

"We are delighted to have Lynx Air as our newest airline partner," said Peter Avery, Chief Executive Officer of St. John's International Airport Authority. "This added capacity to Ontario and the through-flights to Alberta, a province deeply connected to Newfoundland and Labrador, is arriving at the perfect time as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians celebrate the Come Home Year."

Canada's new ultra-affordable airline is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all Canadians, and in keeping with that mission, Lynx is offering fares to St. John's from as low as $109* one-way. Lynx's network spans 10 destinations across Canada, including Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto Pearson, Hamilton, Halifax and St. John's. The airline operates a fleet of brand-new, fuel-efficient Boeing 737 aircraft and plans to grow its fleet to more than 46 aircraft over the next five to seven years.

Lynx's full flight schedule includes:

Round Trip Market

Service Starts

Weekly Frequencies

Calgary, AB to Vancouver, BC

April 7, 2022

14x

Calgary, AB to Toronto, ON

April 11, 2022


12x

Vancouver, BC to Kelowna, BC

April 15, 2022

2x

Calgary, AB to Kelowna, BC

April 15, 2022

2x
3x (from June 29)

Calgary, AB to Winnipeg, MB

April 19, 2022

4x

Vancouver, BC to Winnipeg, MB

April 19, 2022

2x

Vancouver, BC to Toronto, ON

April 28, 2022

7x

Toronto, ON to Winnipeg, MB

May 5, 2022

2x

Calgary, AB to Victoria, BC

May 12, 2022

2x
3x (from June 29)

Toronto, ON to St. John's, NL

June 28, 2022

2x
7x (from July 14)

Calgary, AB to Hamilton, ON

June 29, 2022

2x
4x (from July 29)

Hamilton, ON to Halifax, NS

June 29, 2022

2x

Toronto, ON to Halifax, NS

June 30, 2022

3x
5x (from July 30)

Edmonton, AB to Toronto, ON

July 14, 2022

5x

7x (from July 30)

Edmonton, AB to St John's, NL**

July 14, 2022

5x

Calgary, AB to Halifax, NS **

July 14, 2022

5x

Calgary, AB to St John's, NL**

July 16, 2022

2x

Edmonton, AB to Halifax, NS**

July 30, 2022

2x

Please note that dates are subject to change. Visit the website for full schedule details.

* Available for a limited time; fares are accurate at the time of release and include taxes and fees; fares vary by destination and date
** Denotes a one-stop through-flight via Toronto, single boarding pass, bags checked through to destination and no deplaning in Toronto

   

 

Tickets are on sale now at FlyLynx.com

About Lynx Air 
Lynx Air (Lynx) is Canada's leading ultra-affordable airline and is on a mission to make air travel accessible to all with ultra-affordable fares, a fleet of brand-new state-of-the-art Boeing 737 aircraft and a great flying experience. Lynx is a privately owned Canadian airline with the financial backing and industry expertise required to transform the Canadian aviation landscape. To learn more visit FlyLynx.com or connect with Lynx on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Ultra-reliable and energy-efficient, Lynx Air's fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft are serviced and operated by one of the most experienced teams in the business. The aircraft offers advanced aerodynamics and highly efficient engines, which result in significant fuel savings that cut the airline's CO2 emissions by an estimated 14 per cent over even the most efficient single-aisle planes. These are vital improvements that decrease Lynx's carbon footprint and help make it one of Canada's greenest and most sustainable airlines. All Lynx aircraft meet the highest internationally certified safety standards and are certified by Transport Canada.

SOURCE Lynx Air