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Current News

September 27, 2022
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Celebrates a Decade of Luxury

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto celebrates its ten-year anniversary with special offers, activations and festivities throughout the flagship property, Café Boulud, d|bar by Chef Daniel Boulud and the Spa at Four Seasons Toronto

Toronto/CNW/—A decade of award-winning service, unparalleled accommodations, authentic French cuisine and wellness marks the tenth anniversary of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. Since opening the doors to its Yorkville location in 2012, the global flagship property remains an innovative leader and trendsetter in the luxury hospitality space. To celebrate the milestone, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto will honour its history by unveiling month-long programming consisting of exclusive offers, dining experiences, a commemorative black-tie affair and its largest sweepstakes yet. 

The 2012 opening introduced the city of Toronto to renowned Chef Daniel Boulud's modern French brasserie Café Boulud and the lively street-level bar and lounge d|bar by Chef Daniel Boulud. Toasting to ten years of gastronomy, on Tuesday, October 11, Café Boulud will host a one-night-only collaboration dinner helmed by Chef Daniel and three global culinary masters. Accompanying Chef Daniel is Yoric Tièche, Executive Chef of Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant Le Cap inside of Four Seasons Hotel Cap-Ferrat, Massimo Mantarro, award-winning Executive Chef of Sicilian fine-dining restaurant Principe Cerami at San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel, as well as Yudith Bustos, the talented Executive Pastry Chef of LAW at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. These renowned talents will come together to present a feast for the senses with flavours and aromas dreamt up for this coveted collaboration. Downstairs in d|bar, Sous Chef Maru Cacho has created a limited-edition menu, A Decade of d|bar, highlighting ten beloved menu items. From Tuesday, October 11, to Saturday, October 15, guests can indulge in signature dishes from past and present while savouring every sip of Head of Mixology Mike Birdsey's anniversary cocktails.

Come Wednesday, October 12, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto will host THE FOUR SEASONS, an invitation-only black-tie celebration. Cleverly playing on the city's four seasons, the extravagant event will nod to spring, summer, autumn and winter through breathtaking decor, floral installations, entertainment and seasonally-inspired culinary masterpieces. Chef Daniel and the visiting masters will each create a show-stopping station where they will present guests with an immersive and engaging feature dish. The city's most notable business leaders, public figures, media moguls and creators will embark on an experiential journey in true Four Seasons fashion.

"Toronto is where Four Seasons was born, and this Hotel, as we see it, is at the heart of the brand's continued innovation and success," says Isadore Sharp, Founder and Chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "I am proud to call this property home and it's an honour to both witness and be part of the unique magic the team here continues to create, that I know will carry on into the next decade and beyond."

Throughout the month, guests can enjoy Four Seasons in true grandeur with two all-encompassing packages, A Decade of Luxury and A Decade of Tranquility. Guests will experience all facets of the property with A Decade of Luxury, inclusive of a two-night stay in a perfectly appointed suite, champagne, a three-course dining experience with accompanying wine pairings at Café Boulud, a trip to the Spa at Four Seasons Toronto, monogrammed bathrobes and more. Those looking to unwind can book A Decade of Tranquility, a dedicated Spa package designed with serenity in mind. Guests will enjoy a range of services including a Rose Gold facial, Gold Body Scrub, Reviving Foot Therapy treatment, and a Yorkville Manicure, in addition to an exclusive Spa luncheon. The pampering continues as guests will receive additional take-home amenities and products to ensure the relaxation continues all month long.

As the festivities draw to a close, the flagship will host its 10 Days of Giveaways via Instagram. Beginning Saturday, October 22, and ending Monday, October 31, 2022, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto will give back to the surrounding community and those who aid in the success of the property by giving away the pinnacle of luxury prizes. With a combined approximate retail value of CAD 40,000, prizes range from private dining experiences and trips to the spa to overnight stays in Dubai, London, New York, Orlando, Maui, Paris, Montreal and Whistler. Concluding the giveaway is the ultimate grand prize, a Four Seasons Signature Sleep Set with a mattress and mattress topper, a sheet set, duvet, duvet cover set and down feather pillows.

"Milestones as significant as this are best celebrated with the people dedicated to our growth and achievements from day one, and we organized these month-long festivities to do just that," says Patrick Pollak, General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. "This property is special to many, not just our employees but Torontonians and guests around the world. It was our goal to ensure everyone, no matter how near or far, feels they are a part of the ten-year anniversary celebrations."

To stay up to date with Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and learn more about the 10 Days of Giveaways, click here to follow the property's official Instagram.

Please click here to secure a reservation at Café Boulud and here to secure a reservation at d|bar. Those looking to book A Decade of Luxury or, A Decade of Tranquility can call Four Seasons Hotel Toronto directly at (416) 964-0411.

About Four Seasons Hotel Toronto 
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is Canada's first hotel to receive AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ratings. Since opening in 2012, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto has provided a preferred address for business and leisure travellers and the highly personalized, anticipatory service Four Seasons guests expect and value. For more information on the global flagship, visit the property's Press Room.

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/four-seasons-hotel-toronto-celebrates-a-decade-of-luxury-301634570.html

SOURCE Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

September 26, 2022
Canada's Travel and Tourism Industry Welcomes the Science-Based Removal of Canada's COVID-19 Border Measures

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable") welcomes the announcement made today by the federal government to remove all remaining COVID-19 border restrictions, including mandatory random testing, mandatory masking in airports, airplanes and trains, quarantine requirements, and the mandatory use of the ArriveCan app for health declarations.

Ensuring the safety of travellers has always been a priority for the travel and tourism industry. The Roundtable has long advocated for the removal of these measures as they were not rooted in science and were inconsistent with rules governing all other community activities Today's announcement is aligned with the findings Evaluating Canada's Pandemic Border and Travel Policies: Lessons Learned authored by four esteemed infectious diseases doctors. The findings were clear: the federal government's border measures should not be re-deployed for future Variants of Concerns. As such, the Roundtable continues to encourage the federal government to follow the science and avoid using these tactics in the future.

About the Canadian Travel and 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 and accounting for 2.1% of the country's gross domestic product. The CTTR advocates for safe and prosperous tourism and travel sector across Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable

September 26, 2022
K2 Group acquires Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel in Niagara Falls, NY

Acquisition marks the fifth in K2's growing hospitality portfolio in Niagara Region

K2 Group, a leading Canadian investment firm, today announced the acquisition of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites hotel at 10111 Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls, New York. The deal marks the fifth Niagara Region hotel property, and first US hotel, for K2 Group's growing hospitality portfolio.

"We are confident in the strength and continued growth of the Niagara Falls region as a popular, dynamic vacation and business-travel destination. We are excited to have found a great value-add hotel opportunity on the American side of Niagara Falls. This property is already one of the best performing hotels in the area and we expect to improve its performance even further with renovations, expected to be completed in Q4 of 2023," said Kailash Kasal, President, K2 Group.

K2 Group plans to spend three million dollars (USD) to improve the four-story property by renovating both the exterior and interior of the hotel, as well as upgrading all guestrooms to InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) latest formula blue PIP standards.

"This acquisition is a testament to the success of K2 Group's core hospitality investment strategy of purchasing and then developing and repositioning well-situated hotels in high-growth markets," added Kasal.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel is located across the street from Niagara Falls International Airport, just six miles from downtown Niagara Falls. Situated near several local tourist attractions, the hotel provides guests close access to Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Aerospace Museum, the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, and Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Station. Several dining, retail and entertainment establishments are also located within a short distance of the property.

The hotel features a host of amenities that accommodate business and leisure travelers, including an onsite business center, heated indoor pool, fitness center, laundry facilities, 500 square feet of meeting space, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.

"For more than three decades Holiday Inn Express has emphasized the power of simple, smart travel and a consistent and memorable experience that removes barriers for guests," said Anto Vrdoljak, Regional Director, Franchise Sales & Development - Canada at IHG Hotels & Resorts. "We are very excited to welcome K2 Group to the IHG Family and look forward to working with their team on this project and more to come in the future."

"Our city is pleased to welcome K2 Group to our business and hospitality communities. As one of Canada's top investment groups, their proven track record and development plans for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites will further enhance the visitor experience in Niagara Falls, USA," said Robert Restaino, Mayor, Niagara Falls, New York.

K2 Group continues to pursue opportunities in North America to grow its hospitality portfolio, with an emphasis on targeting strategic, value-add hotel deals that offer potential for above-market returns through investment in property upgrades and efficient management.

With investments under the umbrellas of hospitality, petroleum and senior living, K2 Group was recently recognized both as one of Canada's Top Growing Companies in 2022 by Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine and an Innovation Leader on the 2022 list highlighting Canada's Top 50 most progressive companies by Canadian Business.

September 26, 2022
Government of Canada to remove COVID-19 border and travel measures effective October 1

Ottawa, ON/CNW/—Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken a layered approach to border management to protect the health and safety of Canadians. As the pandemic situation has continued to evolve, adjustments to border measures have been informed by the latest evidence, available data, operational considerations, and the epidemiological situation, both in Canada and internationally. Today the Government of Canada announced the removal of all COVID-19 entry restrictions, as well as testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements for anyone entering Canada, effective October 1, 2022.

The removal of border measures has been facilitated by a number of factors, including modelling that indicates that Canada has largely passed the peak of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 fuelled wave, Canada's high vaccination rates, lower hospitalization and death rates, as well as the availability and use of vaccine boosters (including new bivalent formulation), rapid tests, and treatments for COVID-19.

Effective October 1, 2022, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • provide proof of vaccination;
  • undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.

Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements. As of October 1, 2022, travellers will no longer be required to: 

  • undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
  • wear masks on planes and trains.

Although the masking requirement is being lifted, all travellers are strongly recommended to wear high quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys.

Cruise measures are also being lifted, and travellers will no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN. A set of guidelines will remain to protect passengers and crew, which will align with the approach used in the United States. 

Individuals are reminded that they should not travel if they have symptoms of COVID-19. If travellers become sick while travelling, and are still sick when they arrive in Canada, they should inform a flight attendant, cruise staff, or a border services officer upon arrival. They may then be referred to a quarantine officer who will decide whether the traveller needs further medical assessment as COVID-19 remains one of many communicable diseases listed in the Quarantine Act.

The Government of Canada also reminds travellers to make informed decisions when considering travel outside of Canada to protect their health and safety. They are encouraged to review the travel health notices at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for more information on safe travel.

Canadians can continue do their part to protect themselves and others, and reduce the spread of COVID-19, by getting vaccinated and boosted, using high quality and well-fitted masks where appropriate, self-isolating if they have symptoms and self-testing if they can.

Quotes

"Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border. However, we expect COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses will continue to circulate over the cold months, so I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including booster doses and exercise individual public health measures. I also thank the dedicated public health officers and frontline staff at our land borders and airports who have worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of people in Canada for the last two years."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"Canada's travel measures successfully mitigated the full impact of COVID-19 for travellers and workers in the transportation sector, and helped keep communities safe. Thanks to Canadians who rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated, we are able to take this great step towards easing measures and returning to normal."

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"Since the start, our Government has taken the necessary steps to keep Canadians safe in the face of a global pandemic. COVID-19 border measures were always meant to be temporary and we are making adjustments based on the current situation because that's what Canadians expect. I want to thank CBSA officers who are at the front line facilitating travel, supporting our economy, and ensuring the safety and security of our communities."

The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Public Safety

Quick Facts:

  • Travellers must follow any provincial or territorial COVID-19 requirements as applicable. Foreign nationals must still meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation as necessary.
  • Air carriers will no longer need to validate that travellers have entered information in ArriveCan before boarding.
  • As of October 1, 2022, travellers who entered Canada in the 14 days prior to October 1, 2022, will not be required to complete the remainder of their quarantine or isolatation, or complete their testing requirements.
  • While travellers will no longer have to submit their quarantine and vaccination information through ArriveCAN, they can continue to use the optional Advance Declaration feature in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website) to save time at the airport by submitting their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival.
  • This feature is currently available to travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, or Montréal-Trudeau international airports and will expand to the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ottawa, Québec City, and Halifax international airports in the coming months.
  • Early data shows that using the Advance CBSA Declaration in ArriveCAN cuts the amount of time a traveller spends at a kiosk by roughly one third, and over 30% of travellers arriving at the airports are already using it.
  • The CBSA will continue to make technology available at the border to speed up traveller entry and enhance the safety and security of Canadians. For example, CBSA is exploring other optional ArriveCAN features to provide travellers with easy access to information such as border wait times, and other self-serve functions. This will be expanded to travellers by land so they can make use of available technology to expedite and facilitate their travel.

Associated Links

SOURCE Health Canada

September 23, 2022
Recovery of Business Events Gains Momentum in 2022 Q2

- Group hotel room nights and business event RFPs increase strongly -

RFP activity and hotel group room nights showed a significant increase in 2022 Q2, with both indexes reaching over 80% of 2019 levels, according to the 2022 Q2 Global Business Events Barometer released today by the Events Industry Council (EIC), the voice of the global business events industry.

According to this research, which monitors the changes within the market relative to pre-pandemic (2019) levels, the RFP activity index increased to 81, equivalent to 81% of 2019 levels. The hotel group room nights index matched the gain, rising to 83, representing stays during the quarter equivalent to 83% of 2019 levels.

The Barometer points to the fact that RFP activity for events with short lead times has recovered further than requests for events with greater lead times and that both indexes improved in all global regions in Q2. The recovery of event activity has been strongest in the Middle East and North America.

Longer-term forecasts in the Barometer anticipate a cautious economic outlook. Several countries, particularly in Europe but also the US and Canada, face risks of short, mild recessions in coming quarters. Such economic headwinds are anticipated to slow but not upend a sustained travel recovery.

EIC CEO, Amy Calvert commented: “It is incredibly heartening to witness the significant momentum in the second quarter of the year. However, with rising inflation rates, the impact of the energy crisis and ongoing socio-political events, we must remain confident in our capacity and yet prepared for all possibilities, continuing to build upon the momentum and celebrating what we have achieved thus far.”

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

The report has been generously supported and sponsored by leading organisations including AHLA, ASAE, Freeman, IACC, IAEE, IRF, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Maritz Global Events, MGM Resorts International, MPI, Northstar Meetings Group, NYC and Co, PCMA, RCMA, SISO, SITE and the US Travel Association.

You can download a copy of the report here.

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

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

September 22, 2022
Canada Jetlines Celebrates Inaugural Flight from Toronto Pearson Airport to Calgary

Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd. (NEO: CJET) (“Canada Jetlines”) the new, all-Canadian, leisure airline, successfully celebrated its inaugural flight event on Thursday, September 22, 2022 as the carrier’s first route. Canada Jetlines commenced operations out of its travel hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) with its first scheduled route into Calgary International Airport (YYC) on September 22, 2022.

The inaugural flight departed out of Toronto Pearson International Airport with key media outlets and dignitaries, including the honorable Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, along with Canada Jetlines board of directors and members of the executive team. Once arrived at Calgary International Airport, the gate event kicked-off with speeches and a ribbon cutting followed by celebrations before departing back to Toronto.

Canada Jetlines commenced biweekly flights following the event, operating Thursdays and Sundays out of Toronto (YYZ) to Calgary (YYC) from 07:55am -- EST 10:10am MST and returns from Calgary (YYC) to Toronto (YYZ) 11:40am MST – 17:20 EST. Frequency will increase to three flights per week, Thursdays through Sundays, in time for the holidays.

“Canada Jetlines is excited to offer service on our inaugural day out of our Toronto travel hub to the vibrant destination of Calgary,” shared Eddy Doyle, CEO of Canada Jetlines. “With a focus on leisure travel, we’ve selected Calgary as our first destination for its dynamic touristic options, expansive natural splendor, and reach to a key segment of Canadians. We’re thankful to the airport and the community for their support in allowing us to take to the skies with our inaugural flight.”

The carrier elected Calgary for its appeal as a unique destination which balances the modern and the traditional with rustic allure. With year-round touristic offerings, shopping, exploration dining, and nightlife, all a short ride from renowned national parks.

Visit Jetlines.com to view the flight schedule and to learn more. Travellers can book reservations and vacation packages with preferred travel agents who can earn up to 10% commission on all base fares when contracted directly with the airline. Follow Canada Jetlines on all social media platforms and follow #CanadaJetlines for the latest news.

About Canada Jetlines
Canada Jetlines is a leisure focused air carrier, which will utilize a growing fleet of Airbus 320 aircraft to provide Canadians with value vacation choices and convenient travel options. Canada Jetlines will provide exciting vacation packages to iconic Canadian destinations and beyond via strong partnerships with airports, CVB’s, tourism entities, hotels, hospitality brands, and attractions. With a projected growth of 15 aircrafts by 2025, Canada Jetlines aims to offer the best-in-class operating economics, customer comfort and fly-by-wire technology, providing an elevated guest centric experience from the first touchpoint. To learn more, please visit www.jetlines.com and follow on all social media platforms for news and updates.  
Connect With Us!
Instagram: @ca_jetlines
Twitter: @ca_jetlines
Facebook: @CAJetlines
LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/company/jetlines

September 22, 2022
Métis Crossing Celebrates Grand Opening as Canada’s First Métis Cultural Destination

On Sunday, September 25, Métis Crossing, Canada’s First Métis Cultural Destination, will celebrate its official grand opening alongside community partners, funding partners, and project champions

Treaty 6, Métis Region 4, (Smoky Lake, Alberta)—On September 25, 2022, Métis Crossing will celebrate the grand opening of the completion of the 688-acre Métis cultural destination that is home to a state-of-the-art Cultural Gathering Centre, boutique lodge, campground, heritage species wildlife park, a historical Métis Riverlot farmyard and a Métis veterans’ memorial. The center provides an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Alberta to become more familiar with Métis people, stories and shared history.

The cultural destination, which has been in development for nearly two decades, has been a dream of the Métis Nation of Alberta for much longer and serves as a distinctly Métis destination, welcoming all. The grand opening event is an opportunity to acknowledge the incredible contributions of community champions, funding partners, and the Métis Nation of Alberta.

“After planning the initial grand opening event in 2020 and having to reschedule because of the pandemic, we are grateful to finally be able to gather with our friends and valued supporters. The grand opening event is all about thanking and acknowledging everyone who has contributed towards making this dream a reality,” says Juanita Marois, CEO, Métis Crossing. “Métis Crossing is more than a lodge or an event space. This is an authentic Métis destination, which is unique across the country. Métis Crossing has been dreamed of, planned, designed, built, and operated by Métis people to share our distinct Indigenous culture.”

Exactly one year after the opening of the Visions, Hopes, and Dreams at Métis Crossing Wildlife Park, the event will highlight the Cultural Gathering Centre and the recently completed Lodge at Métis Crossing, a 40-room boutique accomodation overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. The event will also look to the future, showcasing upcoming developments including sky watching pods, a solar farm, and additional programming and offerings.

“This place was chosen purposefully,” continues Marois, “This traditional Métis Riverlot is a place where guests find themselves imagining the squeaking of red river carts along Victoria Trail and seeing images in their mind of the excitement of our ancestors as they arrived at this place where they built their homes, and we now stand on the banks of history.”

Métis Crossing has been made possible through a combined $24 million investment in the destination. The development of Métis Crossing began in 2005 with a $3.2 million investment into the historic areas of the property. In 2019 a $9.5 million investment was made to develop the Cultural Gathering Centre at Métis Crossing. In 2021 an additional $11 million investment was made to build The Lodge at Métis Crossing.

As a member of Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA), Métis Crossing aims to encourage Albertans to embark on authentic Indigenous tourism experiences to further their understanding of the unique Indigenous cultures that are found across the province.

The grand opening event on Sunday, September 25 is open to the general public, running from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It will include the arrival of horse-drawn wagons from the east along the Victoria Trail and voyageur canoes arriving from the west on the North Saskatchewan River. After a formal program of acknowledgments, guests will share in Indigenous cuisine and the destination will come to life with traditional Métis experiences and Métis jigging performances.

About Métis Crossing
Métis Crossing is a major initiative of the Métis Nation of Alberta. It is the premier destination for Alberta Métis cultural interpretation, education, gatherings, and business development. Our 688 acres site is designed to engage and excite visitors. Our programming encourages active participation of visitors in activities promoting an appreciation of our people, customs, and celebrations. To learn more about Métis Crossing, please visit www.metiscrossing.com

About Indigenous Tourism Alberta
Driven by the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Strategy 2020-2024, Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) encourages and promotes authentic Indigenous tourism that showcases the unique and immersive experiences offered by its members throughout Alberta. This strategy is industry-driven, industry-lead and directed by Indigenous People. Through a unified industry voice, Indigenous Tourism Alberta focuses on creating and nurturing partnerships between associations, organizations, governments and industry leaders from across Alberta to support the stability and growth of Indigenous tourism. Further to this, ITA’s goal is to create a resilient Indigenous tourism industry that can weather future economic instability while also enhancing economic viability and further supporting Indigenous people throughout the province by sharing stories, culture and experiences with a global audience. To learn more, visit www.indigenoustourismalberta.ca. Indigenous Tourism Alberta Media Kit here.

Shevaun Boddez
CIPR Communications
403.999.2219
shevaun@ciprcommunications.com

September 22, 2022
BLACK PEARL, The newest concept by Scale Hospitality Launches today at 5pm

Toronto—Scale Hospitality, led by hospitality visionaries Hanif Harji and Terry Tsianos, is bringing an imaginatively elevated yet enticingly casual bar experience, like no other in the country, to the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. Black Pearl, opening today at 5pm, is part after-work hangout, part late night cocktail emporium, part live band and DJ show destination, part street art gallery, pool hall – and so much more. 

Hidden in plain sight at 184 Pearl Street, with virtually no signage, Black Pearl gives new meaning to #IYKYK. The neighboring locals, downtown office crowd, and the city’s creative movers and shakers will enter through the signature black dot-marked door to find a deep craft whisky offering, exceptionally executed classic cocktails available by the glass and in large format bottles for sharing (such as the Orange-Spiced Old Fashioned, the Barrel Aged Negroni and the Tobacco Manhattan) and icy cold draft. Bottle service minimums have no place here. The fun starts at 5pm Monday through Saturday with the everyday ‘5 O’clock Free For All’ specials where house rail/beer/wine drinks will be $5 from 5pm, $6 from 6pm, $7 from 7-8pm. Guests can also dine into the wee hours with a food menu that includes smash burgers (classic cheese, Nashville fried chicken, veggie and more), onion rings and fries with signature dips, salads, plus a variety of New York style pizza by the XL slice.

With a 600-person capacity, Black Pearl has been thoughtfully designed to seat 160 guests and will be the ultimate big show/small venue performance space. The bar is open six nights a week so that on theseventh day “God can save the scene,” with live programming starting later in the evening on select nights. The resident show lineup will include a mix of Old School House and Disco on SUPERFLY Wednesdays, Soul R&B, Retro Hip Hop on JUMP AROUND Thursdays, Retro 80s, 90s and 2000s Rock/Pop/Hip Hop on BE KIND REWIND Fridays and Old School Rock and Roll / Hip Hop on BRING THE NOISE Saturdays. The bar will also host surprise one-night-only events and shows including international DJs and bands. Artist talent will enjoy access to a throwback green room fitted with vinyl tables, an old school record player and a vintage 70s TV playing iconic VHS flicks.

“It’s whatever you want it to be,” describes Terry Tsianos, Co-Founder of Scale Hospitality. “This is a bar where you can curate your own experiences depending on your mood, the time of day and of course who and how many you roll in with.”

Designed by Block Plan Studios, Black Pearl’s interior oozes street-cool-meets-designer-comfort via its living room feel and an allover rock and roll vibe. The subtle but vibrant red doorway with dark metal paneling leads entrants into a foyer of dramatic red velvet drapery. Giving a sense of the unexpected, the eclectic look is captured using oversized vintage furniture and high texture fabrics, with a mix of antique lamps, candles, and flea market finds. Unique, curated art installations in every room, pre-loved pool tables, and custom wallpaper featuring hundreds of iconic musician faces add to the lived-in style of the brick space.

In line with its relaxed vibe, Black Pearl is a walk-in only bar (no reservations). For inquiries about event bookings for eight guests or more, full buyouts or film/photoshoot bookings, please email info@blackpearlto.com or call 647.689.6869. Follow along on Instagram and view the “the next 4” calendar of shows at www.blackpearlto.com.

The bar’s dress code policy: Come As You Are.

About Scale Hospitality
Founded by industry veterans and long-term business partners Hanif Harji and Terry Tsianos (Byblos, Patria and FIGO), Scale Hospitality brings world-class restaurants, enduring hospitality concepts and memorable experiences to Canada’s dining scene including neo-bistro and wine bar, Lapinou, Toronto’s oldest bar and performance venue, The Wheatsheaf Tavern, the legendary Miller Tavern locations, Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant, Shook, Coastal Mediterranean-inspired Toronto Beach Club, GG’s Burgers, Toronto’s beloved Parisian-style restaurant, Le Sélect Bistro, east-coast inspired seafood joint, Pink Sky and haute Caribbean-inspired Miss Likklemore’s.

For more information:
Rachelle Stark or Mindy Cummings 
Aerial Communications Group
rachelle@aerialpr.com|mindy@aerialpr.com

September 21, 2022
Survey of Business Travel Leaders Spotlights Issues Driven by Hybrid Workforces as Corporate Travel’s Return Accelerates; 44 Percent “Don’t Know” How Co-Working Spaces are Contracted

Research from GBTA and HRS focuses on business travel’s recovery, the need for traveler service expertise, and challenges of sourcing co-working meeting spaces 

Cologne, Germany & Alexandria, VA—HRS, the leading global corporate travel and payment technology platform, and GBTA, the the world’s largest business travel association, announced the results of a comprehensive survey of travel and procurement leaders from Europe and North America. The results from the June survey illuminate the fact that changes in workforce realities meshed with a faster-than-expected return to travel are transforming managed travel. 

According to the research, 54 percent of those surveyed say business travel has rebounded faster than expected, while 77 percent report they are spending more time troubleshooting traveler issues. 

Remote Workers, Downsized Urban Office Footprints Reshaping the Workplace Reality 

Survey respondents, with 74 percent from the U.S. and Canada, provided insightful metrics behind trends many in Human Resources and Managed Travel departments find themselves currently navigating. Noteworthy highlights: 

  • Two-thirds (67 percent) believe that once all their offices are open, hybrid work scenarios will dominate. Only nine percent anticipate that all their colleagues will return to the office full time. 
  • Two in five respondents (40 percent) report that their companies have reduced their office space. 
  • Nearly two in five respondents (39 percent) say their company is hiring more remote workers than they did prior to the pandemic. 
  • Almost four of five travel managers responding (79 percent) say remote working policies boost employee morale, while 72 percent believe these policies help with talent recruitment. 

These trends have given rise to a new topic in many procurement departments: the sourcing of co-working spaces for staff to meet. Results from the survey showcase multiple challenges for corporations as they seek to manage the costs of all workspaces in a consolidated manner. Most telling: 

  • Only 17 percent say the procurement and management of co-working spaces is fully-managed. 
  • A stunning 44 percent “don’t know” how their company procures co-working spaces. 
  • More than seven in ten (71 percent) say they would gain from having the consolidated data from hotel, meeting and co-working bookings, with 67 percent noting it would be easier for employees to use validated corporate payment tools via a singular booking source. 
  • Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) say it would be easier for employees to book both hotels and co-working spaces at the same time in the same shopping/booking technology. 

“The intersection of employee workplace trends and travel management is quite frenetic these days. These realities spur opportunities for forward-thinking finance, human resource, procurement and travel leaders,” said Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO. “Technologies addressing these trends are being launched and refined, with friction-reducing automation improving the everyday experience for employees. How quickly are you examining which solution best works for your workforce while also maximizing your operational budgets? This is the issue we see more frequently in our corporate engagements this year.” 

Travel’s Accelerating Comeback and the Evolving Composition of Travel Departments 

Results of the survey tied to the pace of business travel’s return are aligned with the travel challenges experienced in recent months. They also point to the growing need for data expertise within corporate travel and procurement departments, as they increasingly look to data analysis to steer travel management policy and investments.  

  • More than half (54 percent) say the acceleration of business travel’s return has occurred “more quickly” or “much more quickly” than they expected at the beginning of the year. 
     
  • The allocation of time and tasks in travel departments is noteworthy. Nearly four in five (77%) say that they spend “more time” or “much more time” troubleshooting traveler issues. More than half (52 percent) reporting taking “more time” or “much more time” analyzing data. 
     
  • When asked what skill set they would seek if they could add a new team member, the convergence between customer service and data expertise is evident. Four in ten (40 percent) said customer service skills are in demand, while 35 percent seek data management expertise. 

“Companies are leaning on automation to drive more efficiencies during this period of pandemic recovery,” said Mr. Ragge. “Having a dedicated data analyst or outsourced option makes more sense than ever, both to drive future strategy and free up resources to address customer service issues.” 

“It’s great to see that business travel is coming back. The vast majority of suppliers and travel management companies continue reporting booking increases each month. But as outlined by the survey, the evolution we’ve seen since the pandemic is driving tremendous change across the business travel ecosystem,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “Travel management teams now have a broader range of issues to address beyond negotiating supplier deals.The C-suite is more likely to promote the digitizing of more processes, implemention of sustainability initiatives, and steps to enhance satisfaction and security. Leaders are adjusting and taking steps to manage programs accordingly.” 

The complete survey report is available via HRS at this page. GBTA members can download a copy of the report via the GBTA Hub

METHODOLOGY 

This online survey of Canadian, European and U.S.-based travel managers and procurement leaders took place from June 15-29, 2022. GBTA members and non-members were invited to participate. A total of 187 respondents completed the survey; 74 percent from North America, 26 percent from Europe. 

About HRS 
HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise

About GBTA 
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, 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 LinkedInYouTubeTwitter and Facebook.  

September 15, 2022
Fairmont Pacific Rim Announces the Elimination of Non-Essential Single-Use Plastic from Guest Journey

-Luxury Vancouver Hotel Becomes First Hotel in North America to Receive GreenStep Solutions Inc. Single-Use Plastic Free Certification-

Vancouver, BC/CNW/—Today, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver's definitive luxury hotel, announces the elimination of non-essential single-use plastics from its guest journey, including throughout its public spaces, guestrooms, dining venues and spa. The milestone was verified by British Columbia-based GreenStep Solutions Inc., a Certified B Corporation dedicated to providing organizations with environmental impact performance assessments, technology and certifications to measure and improve sustainability performance. 

In 2018, Fairmont Pacific Rim and GreenStep Solutions Inc. began the journey to elimination through an extensive audit process of all single-use plastics within the hotel operation. The assessment included reviewing the purpose and frequency of single-use plastic practices, followed by the development of a comprehensive road-map towards the reduction of single-use plastics by removing items entirely, identifying reusable alternatives, and/or introducing sustainable materials in their place. Fairmont Pacific Rim has worked with suppliers, partners and vendors to eliminate plastics within the guest journey while continuing to provide the high level of services and amenities the hotel has become renowned for. As of August 2022, GreenStep awarded Fairmont Pacific Rim the third-party verifier's first Single-Use Plastic Free Certification within the North American hospitality sector.

"This certification is a major milestone for our hotel and one we hope to inspire continued sustainability efforts across our industry," said Jens Moesker, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Fairmont Pacific Rim. "Changing long-held industry practices required creative solutions from all of our staff and this achievement is a testament to their commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship demonstrated by all."

Fairmont Pacific Rim is committed to reducing its environmental impacts; examples of the significant updates the hotel has undertaken include:

  • 36,000 plastic key cards used annually have been replaced by reusable FSC Certified cherry wood. 
  • Approximately 1,600 kilograms (198,700) of small bath amenity bottles used annually have been replaced with large format refillable bottles.
  • 600 kilograms of plastic water bottles consumed per year have been removed from the guest experience and replaced with recyclable alternatives.
  • 12,500 plastic laundry bags used per year have been replaced with a re-usable cloth alternative. 
  • In-room amenities such as razors, toothbrushes, cotton buds and shower caps have been replaced with environmentally friendly versions.
  • All food and beverage take-away containers and cutlery have been replaced with fiber-based solutions.

"We congratulate Fairmont Pacific Rim on this challenging but important certification," said Angela Nagy, President & CEO of GreenStep Solutions Inc. "Since 2008, we have worked with thousands of businesses across various sectors to help them on their sustainability journey and we are beyond pleased to award the first hotel this impressive certification. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Fairmont Pacific Rim to serve as a beacon of progress in the tourism and hospitality sector."

"Our guest experience drives all that we do and we are delighted to offer an experience that serves the eco-conscious desires of our visitors and locals alike," said Moesker. "While this is a momentous step forward, we will continue to drive sustainability deeper into our business practices for the betterment of our guests, staff, community and planet. I look forward to working with GreenStep Solutions Inc. on continued sustainability measures throughout our hotel and region."

Fairmont Pacific Rim was named a Five-Star Hotel for the fourth consecutive year in a row by Forbes Travel Guide – as well as maintaining the coveted AAA Five Diamond Rating since 2018. The hotel is also the first Fairmont property in North America to reach this milestone as part of a larger initiative from parent company Accor, to remove all single-use plastics in the guest experience, in accordance with the UN Global Tourism Plastic Initiative. Accor was also the first international hotel group to make a long-term commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Other Fairmont hotels in the Pacific Northwest region, along with Accor properties across North America and around the globe, are expected to reach a similar single-use plastic-free designation in the guest experience by the end of 2022.

In celebration of this milestone, Fairmont Pacific Rim invites guests to help combat ocean plastic pollution with a $20.00 CAD add-on per night to their booking. One hundred percent of the value of the add-on will be donated to Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian based non-profit organization that aims to end ocean plastic waste. As a thank you for their donation, guests will receive a $20.00 CAD food & beverage credit for use on property. To follow along on Fairmont Pacific Rim's sustainability journey, visit fairmontpacificrim.com/sustainability.

The Methodology of Single-Use Plastic Certification: For the purpose of GreenStep Solutions Inc Plastic-Free Certification, single-use plastic free is defined as zero use of non-essential single-use plastic products. Single-use plastics are plastic items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled, such as bags, food packaging, product packaging, beverage bottles, containers, cups, lids, cutlery, coffee stirrers and straws. Expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, single-use products are also included in the definition of single-use plastics. "Plastic" is defined as a hydrocarbon-based material, including recycled plastic. Essential single-use plastic items are those that are necessary, such as for medical purposes, and/or for which no non-plastic alternative exists. A comprehensive appendix of items is available upon request.

High resolution images are available here.  

About Fairmont Pacific Rim:
Fairmont Pacific Rim - Vancouver's definitive luxury hotel - was rated the World's Best Business Hotel by Condé Nast Traveler readers and awarded the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Ratings. One of the leading hotels in Canada, the downtown hotel offers panoramic unobstructed mountain and harbour views, combining the best of the Pacific Rim in its architecture and décor. The hotel features two eclectic dining destinations, resort-style Willow Stream Spa, rooftop and pool sundeck, beautifully designed guestrooms and suites. | fairmontpacificrim.com

About Fairmont 
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is where the intimate equally coexist with the infinite – an unrivaled portfolio of more than 80 extraordinary hotels where grand moments of life, heartfelt pleasures and personal milestones are celebrated and remembered long after any visit. Since 1907, Fairmont has created magnificent, meaningful and unforgettable hotels, rich with character and deeply connected to the history, culture and community of its destinations – places such as The Plaza in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs in Canada, Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, and Fairmont The Palm in Dubai. Famous for its engaging service, awe-inspiring public spaces, locally inspired cuisine, and iconic bars and lounges, Fairmont also takes great pride in its pioneering approach to hospitality and leadership in sustainability and responsible tourism practices. Fairmont is part of Accor, a world-leading hospitality group consisting of 5,300 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. fairmont.com | all.accor.com | group.accor.com

About GreenStep Solutions Inc.
GreenStep was founded in 2008 to help small to medium-sized enterprises measure and improve their sustainability performance. The organization has worked with over 3000 businesses and organizations of all sizes in various industries such as tourism and hospitality, retail, professional services, and manufacturing In addition, GreenStep provides assessments, training, strategy, and certifications to tourism businesses and destinations through the Sustainable Tourism Division. For more information, visit www.greenstep.ca.

SOURCE Fairmont Pacific Rim

September 15, 2022
Andaz West Hollywood Unveils Renovated Rooftop Pool

Andaz West Hollywood’s just completed a half-million-dollar renovation of their rooftop pool. Andaz West Hollywood is home to the highest hotel rooftop pool in Los Angeles that offers views of the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Hills. The renovation incorporated a new all-wood grain porcelain paver system for the deck space, cabanas, Teak Wood line furniture and fixtures and an FX Luminaire lighting system. Changes to the pool and sundeck help create a contemporary LA style. The upgraded cabanas have cool features, including an electronic louver system at the touch of the finger, the versatility of semi-privacy panels with curtains and LED lighting throughout, and individual speaker-controlled modules to complete the high-end look and feel. Guests are invited to try some of the new pool menu items including watermelon salad, ahi poke and shrimp ceviche. These light and refreshing summer menu items are the perfect complements to the assortment of beer, wine and cocktails offered at the Riot House rooftop bar. 

Source: Eleven Six PR elevensixpr.com

September 13, 2022
First MICHELIN Guide selection in Canada shines spotlight on 74 Toronto restaurants

Toronto/CNW/—The MICHELIN Guide today announced that 74 restaurants made the inaugural Toronto selection, including 1 Two-Star restaurant, 12 One-Star restaurants, 17 Bib Gourmand restaurants, and 44 recommended restaurants. The full list of restaurants included can be found in the MICHELIN Guide Toronto.

Toronto was announced as the first Canadian MICHELIN Guide destination in May and the sixth in North America. The country's inaugural selection brings global attention to Toronto's diverse culinary scene. With 53 per cent of all Torontonians born outside of this country, the city is renowned for its multicultural neighbourhoods and global influences. The selection includes 27 cuisine types.

The selection comes at a key time in recovery for the visitor economy. The pandemic resulted in an economic loss of $12.5 billion through unrealized visitor spending in Toronto in 2020 and 2021. The food service industry is the largest employer among tourism businesses in Canada, accounting for over half of tourism jobs, and Canada's agriculture regions provide the foundation that feeds Toronto's culinary community. From wine regions to quality local produce and farm-raised animals, Ontario farmers grow more than 200 different agricultural products on 49,600 farms across the province.

The MICHELIN Guide selection follows Michelin's historical methodology, based on five universal criteria, to ensure each destination's selection equity: 1) quality products; 2) the harmony of flavours; 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).

Recognized globally for excellence and quality, the MICHELIN Guide offers a selection of world-class restaurants.

  • The famous One, Two and Three Stars identify establishments serving exceptional cuisine rich in flavour and infused with the personality of a talented chef.
  • The Bib Gourmand is a designation given to select restaurants that offer good quality food for good value – often known as personal favourites among the MICHELIN Guide's anonymous inspectors when dining on their own time.
  • The MICHELIN Green Star honours restaurants at the forefront of practices committed to a more sustainable gastronomy.
  • Recommended restaurants and special awards are also highlighted by MICHELIN Guide inspectors.

The MICHELIN Guide is constantly observing the evolution of culinary destinations around the world, and the discovery process began in Toronto four years ago. 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 independently determined by Michelin inspectors, Michelin is working with Destination Toronto on marketing and promotional activities. Destination Toronto partnered with Destination Ontario and Destination Canada to support the marketing and promotional activities that made bringing the guide to Toronto possible.

The Toronto restaurant selections will join the MICHELIN Guide selection of hotels, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay in Toronto and throughout the world. Every hotel in the Guide is chosen for its extraordinary style, service, and personality — with options for all budgets — and each hotel can be booked directly through the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The selection for Toronto currently features the city's most spectacular hotels, including sustainability pioneers like 1 Hotel Toronto, standouts from the "Plus" collection like the Soho Hotel, and design-forward boutiques like The Drake.          

Visit the MICHELIN Guide website, or download the free app for iOS and Android, to discover every restaurant in the selection and book an unforgettable hotel.

Quotes:

"As a city, we are proud to offer a very diverse and unique culinary scene. That has been made possible from all of the people who come from all over the world to call this city home. Now, with this new Michelin Guide in Toronto – the first in Canada – we are able to showcase our city's remarkable food scene. With 74 restaurants selected for MICHELIN Guide Toronto, we hope more of the world will discover the city's culinary excellence and will consider a visit to our great city. Thank you to everyone for working together to make this possible."

-       John Tory, Mayor of Toronto

"With the release of the first Canadian MICHELIN Guide, Toronto's restaurants have an exciting opportunity to showcase homegrown, made-in-Ontario cuisines – from every culture at any price. Our government knows how important a strong tourism sector is for our economy and for workers in our communities. This guide will encourage culinary tourism and while visiting our province's capital, I encourage Ontarians to claim up to 20 per cent of travel accommodation expenses through our Ontario Staycation Tax Credit."

-       Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

"This recognition is a landmark achievement that ushers in a new era of restaurant dining in Canada. Toronto is the first Canadian city to join the MICHELIN fold, ranking it among the world's top culinary destinations. Through this strategic partnership, our government is supporting tourism and economic development by attracting new culinary talent and visitors to Canada. Congratulations to the establishments announced today, and we look forward to the addition of more in the future."

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

"Congratulations to the 74 restaurants selected for MICHELIN Guide Toronto. The first Canadian selection brings well deserved international recognition to Toronto's talented culinary community, highlighting the depth and diversity of the city's food scene. From neighbourhood gems to fine dining establishments, the guide provides a new platform to talk about the scope and scale of Toronto's food scene with visitors from around the world, delivering a positive impact to the entire culinary ecosystem."

-       Scott Beck, CEO & President of Destination Toronto

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.

About Destination Ontario
Destination Ontario is an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport with a vision to position Ontario as a preferred global destination. Destination Ontario's marketing activities and programs aim to generate increased visitation by Ontario, Canadian and international tourists, enhance tourism expenditures in Ontario, and contribute to provincial economic prosperity through impactful marketing and results oriented investment partnerships. For more information, please visit DestinationOntario.com.

About Destination Canada
At Destination Canada, we believe that tourism enhances the wealth and wellbeing of Canadians and enriches the lives of visitors. Our mission is to influence supply and build demand for the benefit of locals, communities and visitors through leading research, alignment with public and private sectors, and marketing Canada nationally and abroad. Knowing that diversity is our greatest asset, we promote Canada as a premier four-season leisure and business tourism destination around the country and world in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, our Business Events team leverage in-depth global market analysis to target international clusters aligned with Canada's priority economic sectors. Destination Canada is a Crown corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada. For more information, please visit destinationcanada.com.

SOURCE Destination Toronto

For further information: Media contact: Kathy Motton, Destination Toronto - Senior Communications Manager, kmotton@destinationtoronto.com, 416-721-9203

September 08, 2022
Gift A Trip is NOW LIVE!

Travel Industry veterans fill a void in the incentive travel landscape by launching Gift A Trip, the first e-commerce site for turnkey, individual travel certificates direct from the leading resorts, cruise lines and hotels.

Orlando, FL—A rise in demand from award winners to travel independently over group travel, as well as escalating costs and operational challenges involved in planning and executing group events are just a few of the factors that have led companies to increase the use of individual travel rewards for their incentive programs. Fulfilling these requests however, has proven to be both time-consuming and resource-draining for reward & recognition buyers - until now.

30-year hospitality veterans Lori Cassidy and Pam Kressley, who have held top positions at Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, have launched Gift A Trip, a ‘one-stop-shop’ for both corporate buyers and consumers to source, purchase and deliver turnkey individual travel certificates from the biggest resort and cruise brands with just a click. 

There are no purchase minimums, no sourcing or booking fees, no expiration dates, year-round validity with limited blackout dates - all at pre-negotiated rates. Unlike dollar-denominated gift certificates or gift cards, these travel certificates are fully inclusive of accommodations, taxes, fees and gratuities.  Since all certificates are priced at the exact amount for the chosen length of stay, no trip is ever underfunded or overfunded, which takes out the guessing when it comes to travel gifting.

Certificates come in a variety of lengths-of-stay, price points, and destination options.  All certificates are redeemed directly with the resort, hotel or cruise line, offer the ability to upgrade, and are delivered digitally (or via a personalized gift box for those who’d prefer an actual gifting experience). All of this provides unparalleled choice and flexibility for both the purchaser and the recipient, making them the most simple, flexible and hassle-free travel certificates on the market today.

Gift A Trip also provides corporate buyers with next-level customization opportunities, including:

  • Airline Credit Voucher Add-Ons
  • Customized White Label Sites
  • Flex Trip Collections
  • Corporate Branded Gift Packaging

As Cassidy explains, “The level of support from our supplier partners has been overwhelming, as they recognize the value in and need for such a widely accessible reward and gifting solution.  We’re now able to bring this portfolio of diverse products direct to the public from one centralized source.  These certificates can be used in countless ways - to increase sales, reward performance, to celebrate life’s many milestones, and so much more.” 

Individual travel certificates provide a solution to another trend: The desire for the younger generations of travelers, Millennials and Gen Z, to travel where, when and with whom they want, vs. traveling with their co-workers in a group setting.“It’s important for organizations to recognize the needs and desires of the employees they’re seeking to motivate, reward and inspire,” notes Cassidy.“It also provides a way to address the need for personalization without having to do so within a group setting.”

Most recently, employee retention and recruitment has become a hot topic.

The gift of travel is one of the most highly desirable and memorable ways to motivate, surprise and reward. Individual travel certificates are an ideal option for:

• BUSINESSES: Reward and recognition programs; service milestones and employee engagement; retention and recruitment; big-ticket incentives, and rebate alternatives. 

• NON-PROFITS, ASSOCIATIONS AND CHARITIES: Fundraisers, raffles and auctions.

• PERSONAL GIFTING:  Anniversaries, landmark birthdays and holidays. 

To view rates, available certificate options and benefits, visit: www.giftatrip.com.

About Gift A Trip: Headquartered in Orlando, FL, www.giftatrip.com is a dedicated e-commerce platform for B2B and B2C purchases of fully pre-paid travel certificates directly from the world’s leading cruise lines and resorts. For further information, please contact: Lori Cassidy: (305) 496-3335 or Pam Kressley, (407) 497-9386. Email inquiries can be sent to info@giftatrip.com.

September 08, 2022
JW Marriott Parq Vancouver named British Columbia’s Leading Business Hotel for third consecutive year

Unparalleled luxury and business hotel adds accolade to collection ahead of fall season

Vancouver, B.C.—JW Marriott Parq Vancouver took its third consecutive win as British Columbia’s Leading Business Hotel. The World Travel Awards announced the results of its annual awards programme, recognizing the most prestigious travel, tourism, and hospitality industries in the world.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards acknowledges and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of travel. Every year, travel professionals, media and consumers are invited to vote for their favourite travel brands. Categories cover the travel and tourism industry, and range from hotels, resorts and destinations to airlines and tour operators.

“We’re honored to be named British Columbia’s Leading Business Hotel three years in a row”, says Graeme Benn, dual property general manager, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection. “Whether groups are gathering for large-scale meetings or sophisticated events, we’re proud to offer amenities to accommodate the needs of both the business and leisure traveler. As Vancouver’s business destination in the heart of the entertainment district, we look forward to continuing to offer guests 5-star luxury and comfort at JW Marriott Parq Vancouver.”

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is known as downtown Vancouver’s preferred luxury meetings and events destination. The hotel boasts more than 60,000 square feet of well-appointed indoor and outdoor urban event space. With 13 separate event rooms, 22 breakout rooms, and the largest-capacity space, the Parq Grand Ballroom, can hold up to 1,144 guests. Showcasing 23-foot ceilings and stunning chandeliers, the ballroom displays modern simplicity while reflecting luxury expected of the JW Marriott brand. Totalling 15,604 square feet, this event space is the largest hotel ballroom in Vancouver.

JW Marriott is part of the cultural hub of Parq Vancouver, which is also home to the DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection, six discerning restaurants and lounges, an elevated sixth-floor park, Spa by JW and a casino.

For more information about the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, or to arrange an interview with Graeme Benn, please contact Nicole Kennedy at Nicole.Kennedy@tartanbond.com.

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver: www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/yvrjw-jw-marriott-parq-vancouver/overview.

About JW Marriott Parq Vancouver:
Rising to greet the majestic mountains of Canada’s Pacific coast, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver delivers guests a luxury hotel with enriching experiences and anticipatory service within masterfully designed, modern interiors by acclaimed Studio Munge. The hotel offers 329 rooms and suites, a tranquil spa, modern fitness studio, and over 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Additionally, an enviable location within the cultural hub of Parq Vancouver allows guests effortless access to eight discerning restaurants and lounges, an elevated sixth floor park, and built-in nightlife.

September 08, 2022
Two Canadian initiatives announced as Recipients of the 2022 Global Awards by Events Industry Council: Sandy Biback, Founder, Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking and the team at The Sustainable Events Forum

Events Industry Council announces Recipients of 2022 Global Awards

The Events Industry Council (EIC), the global voice of the business events industry, has today announced the Recipients of its annual Global Awards, which celebrate and honour exemplary achievements and focus on leadership at all levels and areas of focus within the global business events industry.

This year’s Recipients are:

EIC Hall of Leaders inductees:

  1. Larry Alexander, President and CEO (retired), Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau; Sandy Biback, CMP Emeritus, CMM, Founder, Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking; Dr. Krzysztof Celuch, CEO, Celuch Consulting; Noor Ahmad Hamid, COO, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau; Bob McClintock, Executive Vice President Convention Centers, ASM Global and Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. They join 143 previous recipients, each of whom has had a significant legacy impact on the global business events sector

Pacesetter Award:

  1. David Hidalgo, Show Director, IBTM Americas – RX, and Katharina Path, Marketing Manager Conventions, Frankfurt Convention Bureau. The Award recognises emerging leaders whose forward thinking and innovative approach has led to ground-breaking changes that are advancing the industry today

Social Impact Award:

  1. Melva LaJoy Legrand, CMP, DES, CEO, LaJoy Plans and Dr. Joan Su, Ph.D., CHE, CHIA, CEM, Director of Graduate Education in Event Management / Associate Professor, Iowa State University and The Sustainable Events Forum. The Award recognises extraordinary effort in the areas of people, planet and prosperity

Adaptation and Innovation Award:

  1. Manolita Moore, MBA, CEM, COO, Simulocity, LLC; Terry Tsao, Chief Marketing Officer & President of Taiwan, SEMI and Yulita Osuba, Director of Sales, Marketing, Event Management and Exhibitor Services (retired), Orange County Convention Center. The Award recognises the extraordinary effort on the part of an individual or organisation in the areas of adaptation and innovation to ensure our industry’s relevance now and into the future

The Recipients will be honoured at the Global Awards Celebration at ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada on the evening of 10 October 2022. Registration for the awards is open, tickets can be purchased here.

Speaking on behalf of ARIA Resorts & Casino Stephanie Glanzer, Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer of MGM Resorts International said: “MGM Resorts is honoured to once again partner with EIC to host The Global Recognition Awards Celebration. Not only are we proud to be a part of celebrating the industry’s most deserving recipients but to also be aligned with the EIC on the importance of focusing on what matters; protecting our planet and embracing mankind.”

Cathy Breden, CMP Fellow, CAE, CEM, 2022 Chair, Events Industry Council, said: “The quality of entries for 2022 has been incredibly high. I have personally enjoyed reading through all the submissions, all of which showcase tremendous talent and passion for our industry. A huge congratulations to all the award recipients and Hall of Leaders inductees on their achievements, and I look forward to celebrating and honouring you all at the Global Recognition Awards Celebration in October.”

Commenting on the announcement, Amy Calvert, CEO of the EIC, said: “This year we received a fantastic number of nominations for the Global Awards, all of which show remarkable personal accomplishments and achievements on behalf of our industry. Recognising, rewarding and celebrating the incredible leadership and innovation in our sector is one of the personal highlights of my year and also for EIC, and I offer my warmest congratulations to each of our Recipients and inductees into our esteemed Hall of Leaders.”

The Global Awards is supported by strategic partners MGM Resorts International, IMEX and Encore. It is also supported by Official Event Technology Partner Cvent and Official Event Partner, CNTV.

For more information on EIC’s Awards programme, visit:  https://www.eventscouncil.org/Events/2022-Global-Awards

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

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

September 06, 2022
Travelport and American Express Global Business Travel Agree to Travelport+ Technology Upgrade

As part of their renewed multi-year agreement, American Express Global Business Travel will move to Travelport+

Langley, UK—Travelport, a global technology company that powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide, and American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world’s leading B2B travel platform, today announced they have renewed their strategic relationship with a multi-year agreement which includes the use of Travelport’s next generation selling platform, Travelport+. Enhancements in Travelport+ are targeted to improve access to content, providing more retailing capabilities and enhancing productivity for travel counselors. 

“We value our relationship with Amex GBT which has lasted more than 40 years.  Deepening our collaboration by using Travelport+ will benefit both Amex GBT and its business customers,” said Jason Toothman, Chief Commercial Officer - Agency at Travelport. “Combining Amex GBT’s expertise with our modern travel retailing tools will ultimately improve how corporate travel is managed. The introduction of Travelport+ servicing capabilities and retailing improvements will ensure continued focus on delivering customer, traveler and supplier value to Amex GBT’s marketplace.”

“Our agreement with Travelport remains focused on innovation and ensuring our customers have access to the broadest set of content while continuing to deliver best-in-class servicing,” said John Bukowski, Vice President, Content and Strategic Sourcing. “Our planned upgrade to Travelport+ and shared vision to advance travel retailing with modern technology and process simplification will help the Amex GBT marketplace deliver on its promise and fuel our mission to drive progress through travel.”

About Travelport
Travelport is a global technology company that powers bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide. Buyers and sellers of travel are connected by the company’s next generation marketplace, Travelport+, which simplifies how brands connect, upgrades how travel is sold, and enables modern digital retailing. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom and operating in more than 180 countries around the world, Travelport is focused on driving innovation that simplifies the complex travel ecosystem.

September 01, 2022
IRF Hosts Incentive Professional Roundtables, Releases Findings In "Decision Drivers 2022: Elevating The Experience"

Washington, DC—As incentive travel programs rebound to meet pent-up demand, expectations are higher than ever. With the goal of retaining top performers and attracting new talent, incentive travel programs are expected to deliver unique, memorable experiences. The IRF’s new report, Decision Drivers 2022: Elevating the Experience, explores incentive buyers’ current priorities, considerations, and challenges in designing incentive travel programs that meet the changing demands of today’s workforce.

In August, the IRF in conjunction with Destination Canada Business Events gathered a group of corporate incentive program owners and third-party incentive house executives from across the country who met in person in at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta Canada. The group participated in roundtable discussions and shared their insights on the program elements, desired outcomes, and top considerations when selecting incentive travel destinations. 

“Experience, authenticity, and wellness are driving the decisions for today’s incentive program owners,” said Stephanie Harris, IRF President. “Hotels, DMOs, and CVBs who bring together critical program elements in a way that is seamless for the planner, and can demonstrate their ability to execute as promised, will come out ahead.”

Insights shared by incentive travel buyers in Decision Drivers 2022: Elevating the Experience include:

  • Incentive travel buyers expect hotels to honor the destination by both embracing the unique elements of their surroundings within the experience they offer, but also delivering incentive-level service.
  • Consistency in delivery and staffing is an area of significant concern. This uncertainty means increased need for transparent conversations between suppliers and program owners.
  • Thoughtful use of the environment, creative and authentic education about the area, and meaningful immersion into local culture are drawing in program owners and decision-makers.
  • Tapping into the expertise of DMOs and CVBs can result in exciting new experiences and additional resources to support programs.
  • Program winners want free time to explore on their own. Planners are choosing destinations that have a variety of experiences nearby for participants to take in on their own time.
  • Many US companies continue to prefer keeping participants close to home, and are reconsidering destinations that offer immersive and different experiences without creating uncertainty.
  • While some companies are open to emerging destinations, they are not willing to compromise service or luxury when considering a new, off-the-beaten path destination.

To view or download a copy of the full report, please visit The IRF’s Buyer Decision Drivers 2022 webpage.

Buyer Decision Drivers 2022 was supported by Destination Canada Business Events.

CONTACT:  Andy Schwarz, IRF Media Relations | 703-651-8189 | andy.schwarz@theirf.org

About the IRF
The Incentive Research Foundation funds and promotes research to advance the science and enhance the awareness and appropriate application of motivation and incentives in business and industry globally. The goal is to increase the understanding, effective use, and resultant benefits of incentives to businesses that currently use incentives, as well as businesses interested in improved performance. www.theirf.org

August 31, 2022
Destinations International Announces TIAC Partnership

Washington, D.C.—Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) announce a partnership to elevate awareness of the role and impact of destination organizations in Canada, to advise Destinations International members of emerging issues affecting Canadian destination organizations, and to support development of resources that empower destination organizations to become more effective advocates within their own communities.  

“Destinations International has 48 destination members in Canada and is continuing to grow throughout the country,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “This partnership will significantly bolster Destinations International’s advocacy programs in Canada and will ensure that the collective voice of destination organizations is represented in Ottawa and the regions.”

In May of 2022, Destinations International announced Canadian Destinations Leadership Council, an industry group consisting of chief executives from nearly 50 Canadian destination organizations that meets three times a year. The council serves as a forum for executives from Canada’s destination organizations to collaboratively elevate the voice of Canadian destinations and organize to tackle key issues affecting the destination organization industry.

Founded in 1930 to encourage the development of tourism in Canada, TIAC serves today as the national private-sector advocate for this once $105 billion sector. Based in Ottawa, TIAC takes action on behalf of Canadian tourism businesses and promotes positive measures that help the industry grow and prosper. TIAC is responsible for representing tourism interests at the national level, and its advocacy work involves promoting and supporting policies, programs and activities that will benefit the sector's growth and development.

“As the only Canadian organization representing the full cross-section of the tourism industry in Canada, we are delighted to enter into this new partnership with Destinations International, the leader in professional development for destination management organizations,” says Beth Potter, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). “We are aligned in our goal of making our respective members as successful as they can be, and this partnership enables us to work together to achieve just that. We look forward to the greater collaboration between our organizations that will ultimately drive job growth, economic impact, and the prosperity of all our members.”

“As the stewards of tourism in their communities, destination organizations in Canada need a voice that represents their specific interests at the national level,” said Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Bringing together the expertise of two powerful organizations—Destinations International and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada—ensures that Canada’s destination organizations will have that national advocacy voice in their corner. This agreement emerges from the key view that tourism is a shared community value and a significant economic contributor, from coast to coast to coast.”

For more information, 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. Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit www.destinationsinternational.org

August 31, 2022
Introducing "OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino"

OLG and MGE Reveal Name for New Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre

Toronto/CNW/—Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and MGE Niagara Entertainment Inc. (Mohegan), service provider for Niagara Casinos, are proud and excited to announce OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino, as the name of the new entertainment centre in Niagara Falls, which will open its doors to music and live entertainment enthusiasts this coming Fall.

The $130 million entertainment centre enriches the destination experience in Niagara with naming rights secured by OLG as part of an agreement in principle.

"OLG is thrilled to have partnered with Mohegan on this agreement, to enhance the entertainment experience for residents and the growing number of visitors to the Niagara region," says Duncan Hannay, OLG's President and CEO. "The team at OLG is very proud to have provided leadership on the development of this spectacular new facility and we believe OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino is another great demonstration of OLG's purpose to 'Play for Ontario'".

"The gaming and entertainment sector has a proud history in the Niagara region and plays an essential role in Ontario's economy," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario's Minister of Finance. "I want to congratulate OLG and Mohegan on this exciting new partnership, and I look forward to continuing to work with the sector to bring a world-class entertainment experience to Niagara Falls that will benefit the city, help create jobs and generate growth for businesses across the region."

This world-class 5,000-seat entertainment centre is essential in a competitive, tourism-driven centre like Niagara Falls. The OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino will host big name shows and artists which will draw even more visitors to this exciting destination.

"We are excited about this new phase of our partnership with the OLG," says Richard Taylor, President, Niagara Casinos. "The OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino will increase visitation to Niagara, extend hotel stays and enhance our customer experience.  We have a fabulous lineup of acts in store for Niagara Falls and look forward to announcing the official grand opening performance in the coming weeks."

"Niagara Casinos has always had amazing performances and this partnership with OLG will continue to raise the bar," says Cathy Price, Vice President of Marketing, Niagara Casinos. "From old time rock 'n roll to new-age acts and gut-busting comics, the OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino is going to be the jewel of Niagara's entertainment scene."

As OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino prepares for its grand opening later in the Fall, audiences will get to preview some of the great amenities of this incredible new facility when shows and artists take to the stage in the weeks ahead. The new entertainment centre boasts state of the art sound and lighting systems, along with unobstructed views from every seat which will provide a truly immersive experience for every audience member. The OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino will also offer food and beverage options and is directly connected to Fallsview Casino Resort through a new glass enclosed corridor to allow for easy access for all attending the exciting shows.

OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino will quickly become a new landmark in Niagara Falls.

OLG is a crown agency that contributes to a better Ontario by delivering great entertainment experiences for our customers. Acting in a socially responsible way, OLG conducts and manages land-based gaming facilities; the sale of province-wide lottery games; Internet gaming; and the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres. OLG is also helping support the horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided approximately $55 billion to the people and Province of Ontario to support key government priorities like health care; the treatment and prevention of problem gambling; and support for amateur athletes. Each year proceeds from OLG's operations also support host communities, Ontario First Nations, lottery retailers and local charities across the province.

Play for Ontario
100 per cent of OLG's proceeds are invested in Ontario
OLG.ca
PlaySmart.ca 
Knowledge you can bet on.
Follow on Twitter @PlaySmartOLG
ConnexOntario – Problem Gambling Support: 1-866-531-2600

About Fallsview Casino Resort
Overlooking the world-famous Horseshoe Falls, Fallsview Casino Resort is an award-winning resort that has been offering premier entertainment and superior guest service since 2004. Featuring a CAA Four-Diamond Hotel with 372 luxury rooms and suites, Fallsview Casino Resort houses a large and impressive gaming floor with more than 3,500 slot machines and 130 gaming tables. Winner of the Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence and CAA's Four-Diamond Award for its two signature restaurants, Ponte Vecchio and 21 Club Steak & Seafood, this vibrant resort property also features a full-service spa and fitness center, a state-of-the-art 1,500-seat theatre, dozens of dining and shopping options and more than 30,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara have been recognized as a "Hamilton-Niagara Top Employer" for ten years. For more information, visit fallsviewcasinoresort.com, join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @fallsviewcasino, or call 1-888-325-5788.

About Mohegan
Mohegan is the owner, developer and manager of premier entertainment resorts in the United States, Canada, and Northern Asia. Mohegan's U.S. operations include resorts in Connecticut, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada; Canadian operations are based in Niagara Falls; and Mohegan Inspire is located in Incheon, South Korea. The brand's iGaming division, Mohegan Digital, provides cutting-edge online gaming solutions to Mohegan's loyal fan base and meets the digital needs of customers on a global scale.  Mohegan is owner and operator of Connecticut Sun, a professional basketball team in the WNBA. For more information on Mohegan and its properties, please visit www.mohegangaming.com.

SOURCE OLG Winners

August 26, 2022
New Incentive Trips, Options for Executive Retreats Inspired by the Nordic Way From Sustainable Luxury Travel Curator Up Norway

Journeys Inspire & Enrich Teams on Bucket List Experiences from Oslo to the Lofoten Islands 

Oslo, Norway—Ideal for incentives and executive retreats, sustainable luxury travel curator Up Norway announces a new journey inspired by the Nordic Way. The economic system of the Nordic Model makes for a trust-based community, the foundation for creativity and technological innovation. On top of that, the Norwegian connection to nature paves the path toward a healthy ecological lifestyle for any corporate structure. A unique and creative alternative for companies to acknowledge and reward employees, the eight-day adventure explores three diverse regions of Norway.

From Oslo to the Western Fjords and then on to the northern Lofoten Islands, Up Norway’s seamless, end-to-end incentive journeys inspire and enrich teams by showcasing Nordic living through encounters with Norwegian nature and culture. Combining high technology with human touch, Up Norway’s journeys are ideal for corporate clients looking to bring their employees closer together and heighten the overall value of their company.

Trip highlights for the journey include:

  • Private guided tour to the new Munch Museum;
  • Foraging and meal among the dramatic contrasting landscapes of the Arctic;
  • Sea Wildlife Safari;
  • Private concert at the Trevarefabrikken, once an abandoned factory – now a meeting place of cultural expressions;
  • Introduction to the Henningsvær craftspeople and exclusive visit to the KaviarFactory, an international venue for contemporary art;
  • Farm-to-table traditional gourmet meals with locals;
  • Private tour of The Plus - the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory designed by renowned Norwegian manufacturer of urban furniture Vestre;
  • Exclusive site visit to the Women’s Museum in Kongsvinger to see why Norway scores so high on equality on United Nations Sustainability Goals; and,
  • Luxury accommodations throughout the trip, including in a historic boutique hotel built in the original headquarters of the shipping company that took thousands of Norwegians to America from 1919 onwards in their search for a more prosperous life.

Pricing starts at $7,200 per person for an eight-day trip based on eight people traveling together. Lodging and all local transfers from arrival to departure are included as well as various privately guided tours, select meals and experiences.  The journey can be tailored to company needs and preferences as desired.  For more information, please contact Naina Gupta, Corporate Travel Curator, at travel@upnorway.com or visit https://upnorway.com/corporate-travel-solutions.

About Up Norway:
Established in 2016, Up Norway’s vision is to introduce quality conscious international travelers to truly unique Norwegian experiences. Its local expertise, sustainable approach, digital itineraries and passion for Norway open up new perspectives. Named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s 2021 Top Travel Specialists and the first and only Norwegian travel company to be Travelife and B Corporation™ certified, Up Norway commits to operate in a way that has a significant positive impact on its community and environment and has sourced partners who share these core values. Native Norwegians take pride in serving local cuisine, showing off their vibrant culture, and breathtaking nature. Up Norway’s trips focus not on standard city tours but on getting people out into the country’s stunning landscapes and in contact with the local people. Curated accommodations include not only boutique hotels but also stilted log cabins, lakeside yurts, tent igloos, and a renovated lighthouse: cozy places where you’re hosted by the owners and introduced to the local culture and traditions. The company takes pride in offering experiences off the tourist trail and offers access to sites and stories that would be a challenge to discover otherwise. With a Digital Travel Guide provided to their guests, Up Norway uses technology to enhance its personalized service, not to replace it.  

August 23, 2022
An Icon Reinvented: New York Marriott Marquis Takes Centerstage With the Unveiling of a Reimagined Guest Experience as Travel to New York City Grows

New York Marriott Marquis, part of Marriott Hotels – the signature flag of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands – is delighted to announce the completion of an extensive renovation. Situated at the epicenter of Times Square, the comprehensive transformation includes newly designed guestrooms, restaurants, public spaces, as well as meeting and events spaces, that offer respite from, but are also inspired by, the electric energy of the city.

“New York Marriott Marquis is the heartbeat of our Marriott Hotels brand, inclusive of more than 600 properties around the world,” said Drew Iddings, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Marriott Hotels. “With the completion of this captivating redesign, we continue to build momentum for the brand’s evolution and modern appeal that is tailormade for our renowned, wonderful hospitality to empower guests’ every pursuit.”

Opened in 1985 amid the rejuvenation of Times Square, New York Marriott Marquis’ vibrant location provided inspiration for architecture and interior design firms Stonehill Taylor, which oversaw the redesign of the hotel’s public and event spaces, and Sawyer & Company, which led the design of the guestrooms and suites. Both firms drew from the 360 degrees of billboard lights experienced by visitors to Times Square, in addition to Stonehill Taylor centering the hotel’s renovation design concept on the theme of “Kaleidoscope of Energy”.

“The reflections, flow of energy, and vivacity that encapsulate Times Square were central references for this project,” said Sara Duffy, Principal at Stonehill Taylor. “We fed off the spirit of the hotel’s surroundings while simultaneously constructing a comfortable, rejuvenating stay for guests. The end result was a design that perfectly balances elegant playfulness and interactive experiences with flexible and varied seating, strategically open yet distinctive zones, and an artful New York theme that carries throughout the hotel.”

Awe-Inspiring Welcome
Upon arrival to the eighth-floor lobby, visitors will find a reoriented space designed for a seamless and energizing arrival experience. The hotel’s reception desks have been moved from the south side to the north side of the hotel, opening the northernmost wall to natural light with installed prismatic waved glass, and adding to the whimsical motifs throughout the space. Reception desks are now separated by archways made of playful wood paneling, and a lit acrylic 3-D sculpture by Parachilna sits on a plinth along with Kaleidoscope-inspired New York City artwork by Kalisher.

Spacious Guestrooms with a Sense of Place
Each of the hotel’s 1,971 spacious guest rooms have been completely updated with a modern, thoughtful design complemented by locally inspired accents to draw in the energy of the city. New features include mounted, high-definition televisions; expanded closets, deluxe walk-in showers with spa-like lighting, and ultra-comfortable platform beds. The plethora of storage and sizable floor space sets these rooms apart from standard city accommodations, and a calm, neutral color palette joined by bright accents centers guests among the hotel’s iconic views. Additionally, through the first-of-its-kind, longstanding global partnership with Marriott Hotels and TED, guests will continue to have access to thoughtfully curated in-room TED content to enjoy during their stay.

Elevated Food & Beverage Experiences
In addition to the hotel’s redesign, New York Marriott Marquis has now partnered with the renowned Union Square Hospitality Group and Union Square Events on the food and beverage concepts at three updated restaurants, as well as the catering for hotel events.

Featuring spectacular, two-story wall-to-ceiling windows overlooking Times Square and the Great White Way’s dazzling lights, Broadway Lounge offers an unmatched experience in the center of it all. A small taste of a big New York experience, the restaurant’s menu centers around bold flavors and features wood fired pizzas, gourmet snacks, and handcrafted cocktails. To either side of Broadway Lounge is Perch, the venue’s intimate outdoor terrace where guests can soak in the energy of Times Square.

Tucked away under the ninth floor is Revel & Rye Bar and Restaurant. Reminiscent of an old-school whiskey bar, Revel & Rye provides a sophisticated atmosphere for guests to indulge in over 20 wines by the glass, an extensive American whiskey list, and a New York-themed dining menu. Inspired by theatre marquees, the bar is fitted with linear piped lighting that flows from the bar back onto a metallic gold ceiling, creating an ambient and cozy atmosphere. The bright lights of Times Square have also been brought indoors with two large LED “billboards” positioned on either side of the restaurant, inviting guests to gather to watch the latest sporting events, movies, and more.

The newly redesigned M Club – a brand signature across Marriott Hotels globally – creates an elevated experience made to feel like a chic New York City-style living room. Reserved for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite members and paying guests, the stately double doors welcome guests to the generously large lounge, which seats close to 200. The lounge features a library, business support center, and ample seating such as communal worktables and banquettes, and feature plenty of charging stations for electronic devices. A complimentary full buffet breakfast is offered, along with a “Grab & Go” station for members to enjoy a coffee or pastry.

The hotel also features an expansive Atrium Greatroom lobby – a stylish hub of the hotel that serves as a great social gathering place for both day and night. The contemporary décor and layout provide guests with a space to relax, collaborate with colleagues or grab a night cap. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s breakfast buffet as well as seamless connectivity with free Wi-Fi.

Next Gen Meeting Spaces
On the hotel’s ninth floor, The Terrace – a dramatic open event space under a soaring atrium, connecting the Marquis Ballroom to the Jolson, Cantor, and Barrymore Rooms – was expanded to serve as an additional functional event space, complete with streetlamp-inspired lighting. Meeting spaces and pre-function event spaces on floors three through seven, including the Broadway Ballroom and Marquis Theatre foyer, feature newly designed carpets and wall coverings. Milliken carpet patterns are reminiscent of overlapping starbursts and kaleidoscopes, tying the hotel’s theme together neatly. The largest ballroom stage in the city, The Broadway Ballroom, now also has a state-of the-art sound system, which extends to the balconies and wings, providing smooth continuous audio with exceptional sound quality.

“We are thrilled to unveil the reimagined New York Marriott Marquis, which both honors the hotel’s history and celebrates its place in modern New York City,” said Dan Nadeau, Area General Manager and General Manager of New York Marriott Marquis. “This marks a new milestone where we have always been an iconic fixture. Now we’re welcoming travelers back to New York with a fresh and exciting slate of events, facilities, and design to help turn the page on our newest chapter.”

New York Marriott Marquis participates in Marriott Bonvoy – the award-winning travel program from Marriott International – allowing members to earn and redeem points for their stay at the new hotel, and at other hotels and resorts across Marriott Bonvoy’s extraordinary portfolio of brands. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and a contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind.

To commemorate the electric, reimagined New York Marriott Marquis, the hotel is offering Times Square View rooms for a limited time, with rates starting at $544. Regular guest room rates start at $429. To learn more and make reservations, please visitwww.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/nycmq-new-york-marriott-marquis/overview/ or call +1 (212) 398-1900.

For hi-resolution images, please visit the hotel’s image library.

About New York Marriott Marquis
An iconic hotel in Times Square, New York Marriott Marquis captures the vibrant energy and spirit of Manhattan, with its West 46th Street and Broadway location placing guests near some of New York City’s most exciting attractions including Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the Theater District. Featuring spacious accommodations, a 24-hour fitness center, Fresh Bites in-room dining and the 5,000 square foot M Club, the hotel is a central respite for New York travelers. With 1,971 newly renovated guest rooms, public areas, restaurants, and meeting and events spaces, the New York Marriott Marquis invites guests to celebrate the vibrancy of the city as the world enters a new era of travel.

About Marriott Hotels®
With more than 600 hotels and resorts in over 65 countries and territories around the world, Marriott Hotels continues to elevate the art of hosting – placing people first is the brand’s living legacy – ensuring guests always feel deeply cared for throughout their stay. Marriott Hotels raises the bar by consistently delivering heartfelt service, with modern, comfortable spaces, and by providing experiences elevated beyond the everyday. As global travelers needs and expectations evolve, so does Marriott Hotels, leading the industry with innovations including the Greatroom lobby and Mobile Guest Services that elevate style and design, and technology. For more information, please visit www.marriotthotels.com, and stay connected on Facebook, @marriott on Twitter, and @marriotthotels on Instagram. Marriott Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit www.marriottbonvoy.com.

Media Contacts
James Bardwell
Global Communications, Premium Brands
James.Bardwell@marriott.com

Kathleen Duffy
Market Public Relations, New York City
Kathleen.Duffy@marriott.com

Lorena Bonner
MMGY NJF
PR Agency of Record, New York Marriott Marquis
nymarquis@njfpr.com

August 22, 2022
Scale Hospitality Set to Launch Haute Caribbean-Inspired Restaurant Miss Likklemore’s

Toronto—Scale Hospitality is unveiling a taste of the Caribbean unlike anything Toronto has seen before with the launch of its newest upscale restaurant, Miss Likklemore’s, opening tomorrow, August 23, 2022. Originally founded by Darren Hinds (of The Good Son) and Lonie Murdock as a pop-up on Queen West, the concept is destined to leave an indelible mark on Toronto’s dining scene with a highly elevated menu that takes inspiration from all regions and influences of Caribbean cuisine.  From countrysides to seasides, the evolution of Miss Likklemore’s tells a unique, Caribbean-influenced culinary story merging beloved, traditional staples with global flavours and ingredients. Combined with reimagined riffs on classic cocktails and the city’s largest collection of 100+ premium rums from Barbados to Montserrat and beyond, Miss Likklemore’s, located at 433 King Street West, is a not-to-be-missed addition to Toronto’s dining scene.

After experiencing the original Miss Likklemore’s location in 2018, restaurateur Hanif Harji and partners Darren and Lonie came away with a dream of exploring a permanent home and heightened execution for the concept that would keep the traditional soul of its unique flavours.

“Our mission was to honour and shine a bright light on the beauty of the Caribbean food and culture that we love and admire through fine fare, eclectic music, and an inviting room with relaxed but thoughtful service,” explained Hanif Harji, CEO and Founder of Scale Hospitality.

“My passion for Caribbean cuisine and culture has always driven me to find a way to express it in the most unique way possible, while paying homage to its culture, flavours, and regions. I’ve always believed that an upscale interpretation of these favourite foods that I grew up on would benefit Toronto’s culinary landscape,” said Darren Hinds on Likklemore’s new, permanent home.

Developed by Head Chef and partner Lonie Murdock in collaboration with Corporate Executive Chef Ted Corrado and Corporate Chef Zach Albertson, the menu will take guests on a gastronomic adventure through the Caribbean.

“I’m so excited to be able to take our families’ recipes and showcase them through our interpretation of thoughtful Caribbean cuisine. This is exemplified by dishes such as Miss Edna’s jerk chicken and Darren’s mother’s carrot cake,” said Lonie Murdock, Partner, Miss Likklemore’s. “We’re not trying to be traditional, but we’re always mindful of tradition as we pay homage to the glorious flavours of our roots.”

Comprised of shareable appetizers, family-style plates and sides, menu standouts include starters such as Sea Bream Crudo with charred pineapple, ponzu, sesame seeds and olive oil, and Likkle Patties with braised oxtail, spicy beef and fermented mango hot sauce. Family Style plates range from Crab XO with Carolina gold rice, snow crab, toasted coconut and cilantro to Miss Edna’s Whole Smoked Jerk Chicken with jerk chicken jus. The entire menu is complemented by Miss Likklemore’s collection of hot sauces made in-house.

No visit to Miss Likklemore’s is complete without a sampling of some of the Caribbean’s finest rums as the restaurant stocks a menu of 100 varietals. Whether an aficionado or beginner, guests will enjoy pouring over different blends, spice and fragrance notes on the rum menu which is organized according to region akin to a wine menu. Cocktail lovers will enjoy a robust selection of crave-worthy sips like the Mr. Frontin’ inspired by and named after the favourite tipple of Trinidadian-born Regional Director Of Operations, Sean Baillie’s, grandfather. Another standout is the Night Nurse, a blend of Appleton rum, Pierre Ferrand Curuçao, Kahlúa and Jamaican cold brew coffee.

Designed by Block Plan Studios, the interior exudes boutique Caribbean elegance, showcasing a rustic, fun, and vibrant feel. Weathered herringbone wood flooring and antique lighting fixtures cast against a pallet of rich forest green wood paneling add to the ambiance. Amber, copper, and burnt reds play off of natural materials including brass hardware, quartzite countertops, and locally-sourced artisan tiles. Leathers, velvets and lush patterned fabrics create a sense of comfort. Every element is tied together with a fabulous collection of art sourced directly from the islands.

The 65-seat restaurant includes an intimate 12 seat private dining room, an open concept kitchen, and an outdoor patio.

Miss Likklemore’s will be open daily for dinner from 5:00 pm until late. There will be a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights. Likklemore’s premium remix of Sunday brunch will launch later this fall.

To reserve your table, please call 647.484.8789 or visit www.misslikklemores.com. Follow along on Instagram.

Hi-res images may be downloaded here. Photo Credit: Paula Wilson

About Scale Hospitality
Founded by industry veterans and long-term business partners Hanif Harji and Terry Tsianos (Byblos, Patria and FIGO), Scale Hospitality brings world-class restaurants, enduring hospitality concepts and memorable experiences to Canada’s dining scene including neo-bistro and wine bar, Lapinou, Toronto’s oldest bar and performance venue, The Wheatsheaf Tavern, the legendary Miller Tavern locations, Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant, Shook, Coastal Mediterranean-inspired Toronto Beach Club, GG’s Burgers, Toronto’s beloved Parisian-style restaurant, Le Sélect Bistro and east-coast inspired seafood joint, Pink Sky.

For more information:
Mindy Cummings or Rachelle Stark
Aerial Communications Group
mindy@aerialpr.com | rachelle@aerialpr.com 

August 18, 2022
GBTA Convention 2022 Sets The Scene For The Future Of Global Business Travel

Largest gathering of the global business travel industry tackles what’s next with a focus on continued recovery, transformation, sustainability, future of work and DEI

San Diego, CA—The global business travel industry is back and continues to move through recovery as evidenced by the robust attendance and levels of interest and insights at GBTA Convention 2022, held this week at the San Diego Convention Center.

The industry came together to “(Re)connect, (Re)Imagine, and (Re)Create,” with more than 4,600 registered attendees including 1,020 travel buyers from more than 50 countries, 550 buyer companies and 250+ exhibitors. Fueled by a return to business travel, the event attracted significant numbers of first-ever attendees and new companies attending the convention. The evolution of the global business travel industry, future of work, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion were prominent topics as the industry moves forward post-pandemic.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to bring the industry together at Convention to celebrate achievements, recognize our members and volunteers and build momentum for the future of business travel. Our industry is back after a few challenging years and the value of the networking, collaboration and learnings gained from being together in-person cannot be underestimated,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “And there’s more to look forward to with our other GBTA events coming up around the globe including in Mexico City in October, Brussels in November and Bangkok in December.”

There’s still an opportunity to access the best of the GBTA Convention 2022 on-demand. Non-attendees can sign up for GBTA Convention Plus for on-demand viewing of the five Main Stage sessions, five Collaboratory Spotlights, and 15 education sessions.

Key highlights from GBTA Convention 2022:

  • GBTA unveiled its new brand on the Main Stage, including a new look and logo to represent the changes and future focus of the association. The new logo and tagline “Many Voices, One Purpose” represents the collective, global and diverse voices of GBTA’s members coming together to shape the future of the industry.
  • GBTA hosted its first-ever Sustainability Pavilion and presented engaging Green Talks on key sustainability topics and featured sustainability experts in the Green Village exhibition space. A dozen chief sustainability officers from the industry’s largest supplier companies were among those educating, debating and networking. In addition to other “going greener” efforts, GBTA offset all carbon emissions from the Convention event and related staff travel for an estimated 835 metric tons.
  • The event featured 300 speakers including 90 educational sessions to provide attendees with information, insights and learnings across a wide-ranging number of topics including “Managing Travel’s Carbon Footprint,” “The Workforce Revolution,” and “Accounting for Inclusion: DEI and Cultural Fit.”
  • The WINiT by GBTA Summit, was a standing-room-only event which engaged, inspired and challenged industry professionals of all levels with the sole mission to positively ignite the careers and lives of women in travel-related industries.

Main Stage Sessions:

  • National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones, shared his vision of “celebrating what’s right with the world,” inspiring the audience with his photos and words to be open to possibilities and reframing problems into opportunities.
  • The Future of Work session kicked off with keynote speaker and workforce strategist, Seth Mattison, exploring the war for talent and the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining talent. This was followed by a CEO panel including, Bob Jordan, CEO Southwest Airlines, Chrissy Taylor CEO and President, Enterprise Holdings and Scott Wayne, CEO Envoy, for a deeper discussion around changes and trends that are influencing how the travel industry supports employees and customers, and the opportunities projected for the future.
  • Neufang reported on the newly released key data from the GBTA Business Travel Index™ and the 2023 Pricing Forecast along with key trends to watch. This was followed by a fireside chat with Robert Isom, CEO, American Airlines.
  • Cynthia Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks, took to the stage for an engaging session – “Leading with Heart” – about her life and role as Senior Vice President of HR and Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T, her move to the Mavericks, her strategy for values-based leadership, and why putting people first matters the most.
  • Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, sat down with Gehan Colliander, Global Head of Travel, Boston Consulting Group, for a discussion on his leadership in transforming Uber’s financial strategy, corporate culture, social initiatives, vision for sustainability, and his priorities in future innovation.
  • Sustainability keynote, Ryan Panchadsaram, Technical Advisor to the Chairman, Kleiner Perkins and co-author of Speed & Scale, discussed climate change and efforts to improve sustainability practices for the business travel industry focusing on what’s happening today and what’s on the horizon.
  • JoeBen Bevirt, CEO, Joby Aviation explored the rapid advances in transportation innovation and how advances in aerial ridesharing could benefit the future of business travel and clean air travel. This was followed by insights from the latest McKinsey research in a discussion with senior travel buyers from Cisco, Bank of America, and MGM (now an Amazon company) as they shared their views on industry-specific travel recovery, changing travel needs in an increasingly hybrid environment, and the latest on new technology and tools in the return to travel.

Industry forecasts, data and insights

  • GBTA released its latest GBTA Business Travel Index™ 2022-2026 (made possible by MasterCard) which revealed that although the global business travel industry continues its progress towards getting back to pre-pandemic spending levels of USD $1.4 trillion, recovery has hit some headwinds. Changes to macroeconomic conditions are impacting the timing, trajectory and pace of business travel’s recovery, both globally and by region, pushing the forecast for full recovery into 2026 instead of 2024 as previously forecasted. GBTA members can download the 2022 GBTA BTI* on the GBTA members-only hub. (The report is also available for purchase – reach out to info@gbta.org for more details.)
  • The GBTA-CWT Global Business Travel Forecast 2023 showed global travel pricing increases are set to continue in 2022 and throughout 2023. 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.
  • A new study “The Evolution of Travel Program Technology” from GBTA and FCM revealed the latest tech trends and  how technology has impacted the travel manager’s role, the traveler experience, and the TMC business.
  • During GBTA Media Day, 16 industry companies announced news and industry firsts, while the GBTA Broadcast Studio and Podcast Booth hosted 70 executive interviews from some of the leading and most innovative companies in business travel and beyond. (You can also view Convention photos here.)

Recognizing outstanding GBTA contributors

GBTA named its annual award winners:

  • Direct Member of the Year Award: Holly McTague, Senior Manager North America Travel, Halliburton
  • Allied Member of the Year Award: Hank Benedetti, Global Head of Corporate Sales, American Airlines
  • President’s Award: Jenny Sabineu, Manager of Travel Services, Salesforce
  • Dave Hilfman Leadership Scholarship: Colleen Kearney, Global Corporate Travel Leader, Raytheon Technologies

GBTA announces election results

Association bylaws up for review were approved and three newly elected Board members who will begin to serve immediately for a two-year term are:

  • Direct Seat, Director-At-Large: Barbara Rose, Americas Travel, M&E Lead, Ernst and Young
  • Direct Seat, Director-At-Large: Sue Spear, Travel and Fleet Manager, Cengage Learning
  • Allied Seat, Director-At-Large: Kevin Sullivan, Senior Director of Sales, Southwest Airlines

Upcoming GBTA global conferences and events

GBTA Convention 2023 will be held August 13-16 in Dallas, Texas, and upcoming regional events in 2022 include:

About the Global Business Travel Association  

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy, and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. Visit http://gbta.org and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

August 16, 2022
Three of Canada's major airports join with SITA to improve guest experience

Toronto/CNW/—Passengers moving through three of Canada's largest airports will have a faster and easier experience under a new arrangement that will adopt a common technology platform.

The collaboration between airports in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary is one of North America's largest airport groups to support a better passenger experience, putting the country at the leading edge of innovative passenger check-in solutions. Working together, the airports are supporting the recovery of Canada's broader aviation industry by creating a common experience to simplify.

The three airports have joined with SITA, a leading technology provider to the air transport industry, to modernize the passenger experience with SITA's flagship common-use check-in and gate system.

The over 700 new-generation check-in kiosks and boarding technology will ease the journey for the majority of all guests travelling to, from, and within Canada. The new touchpoints will make it easier to incorporate both contactless and biometric capabilities that will enable airports and airlines to evolve as processes modernize.

The new touchpoints meet and exceed Canadian accessibility requirements and aviation security standards like text-to-speech hardware, navigational keypads, height controls designed for passengers using wheelchairs, tap and chip and pin payment technology for in-flight upgrades and biometric camera capability for future use.

SITA will also provide operational teams at each airport to monitor for any potential bottlenecks in the terminals. This will improve operational performance, provide efficiencies, and streamline processes, ultimately resulting in a more effortless guest experience.

The new systems are on track to start being installed at all three airports early next year.

QUOTES

"This announcement is the result of a unique collaboration among three major Canadian airports. This new platform will allow us to offer a harmonized digital airport experience for passengers and a unique technology integration approach for airlines operating in Canada. We are also delighted to collaborate once again with SITA, a long-standing partner with a significant presence in Montréal that has made our city its centre of excellence in innovation," said Aymeric Dussart, Vice President, Technology and Innovation - ADM Aéroports de Montréal.

"Our combined vision is to offer the best passenger experience in Canada and highest-quality services to our airlines and industry partners," said Megan Gupton, Chief Technology Officer & Senior Director, IT for The Calgary Airport Authority. "As air traffic rebounds, we see several benefits to our guests in furthering technological solutions like facial recognition boarding—getting us closer to our goal of being a contactless airport." 

"This important relationship is pivotal in providing our passengers with the airport experience of the future," said Ian Clarke, Chief Financial Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. "As travel continues to ramp up, we are committed to cultivating a smoother process for our passengers, and this new technology represents a key element of achieving this objective."

"We know that passengers want more control of their journey with automated solutions that make travel fast and convenient. We are pleased to bring this experience to three of Canada's busiest airports and build on our long-standing partnerships," said Matthys Serfontein, President for the Americas at SITA.

ABOUT THE CALGARY AIRPORT AUTHORITY
The Calgary Airport Authority is a not-for-profit organization incorporated under the Regional Airports Authorities Act of Alberta and is responsible for the management, operation and development of YYC Calgary International Airport and Springbank Airport (YBW). The Authority's commitment to safety remains a top priority and our #FlyHealthyYYC program has received the Airport Health Accreditation by Airports Council International. Our airports are important economic generators for the city, region and province, supporting thousands of jobs and generating billions in GDP through associated economic activity. The Authority was also recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers for 2021.

ABOUT THE GREATER TORONTO AIRPORTS AUTHORITY
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is the operator of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ), 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 YYZ's corporate twitter channel, please visit @PearsonComms. For operational updates and passenger information, please visit @TorontoPearson/@AeroportPearson on Twitter. You can also follow YYZ on Facebook or Instagram.

ABOUT ADM AÉROPORTS DE MONTRÉAL
ADM Aéroports de Montréal is the airport authority for the Greater Montreal area responsible for the management, operation and development of YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, which is certified 4 stars under the Skytrax World Airport Star Rating program, and YMX International Aerocity of Mirabel.

ABOUT SITA
SITA is the air transport industry's IT provider, delivering solutions for airlines, airports, aircraft and governments. Its technology powers more seamless, safe and sustainable air travel.

With around 2,500 customers, SITA's solutions drive operational efficiencies at more than 1,000 airports while delivering the promise of the connected aircraft to customers of 17,000 aircraft globally. SITA also provides technology solutions that help more than 70 governments strike the balance of secure borders and seamless travel. SITA's communications network connects every corner of the globe and bridges 60% of the air transport community's data exchange.

SOURCE Toronto Pearson, Aéroports de Montréal, Calgary Airport Authority

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