Current News

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

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Current News

September 25, 2023
Hampton Inn by Hilton Opens New Property in Hamilton, Ontario

New hotel located in the heart of downtown Hamilton

Hamilton, ON—The newest addition to the Hilton family, Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton, a 12-story hotel, located in the heart of the vibrant downtown core opened today in Hamilton, Ontario. The hotel is developed and owned by Vrancor Hospitality Corporation, and features 154 modern and thoughtfully-designed guest rooms.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to open the doors of Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton,” said Fawad Khan, General Manager. “We look forward to sharing the Hamptonality culture with all of our incredible guests.”

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton is located at 7 Queen Street North, in the heart of the downtown core. The hotel is close to major businesses, McMaster University, and local attractions including Dundurn Castle, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, FirstOntario Centre, FirstOntario Concert Hall and Bayfront Park.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton is owned and operated by Hamilton 354 King West LP and managed by Vrancor Hospitality Corporation, a well-established and reputable hospitality company located in Hamilton. The company has a diverse portfolio of hotels, conference venues, food services, and more. With each new venture, including Hampton Inn's arrival in downtown Hamilton, Vrancor's displays their commitment to growing the city’s economic landscape.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton delivers the seamless experience and unique amenities that the Hampton by Hilton brand is known for. The pet-friendly hotel features modern and comfortable guest rooms, and a full complement of value-added amenities including free hot buffet breakfast featuring Hampton’s signature waffles, heated indoor swimming pool, large state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness centre, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and other facilities. In rooms we have rooms with kind and queen size beds, 55” flat screen TV with verity of channels and specially Hampton Bedding.

In addition to everything Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton is the first choice of business travelers, sports team, leisure travelers, family re-union etc. With many corporate offices nearby, the hotel provides nearly 1,700 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, most offering abundant natural lighting.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hamilton is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 18 distinct hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also enjoy popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app, where Hilton Honors members can check in, choose their room and access their room using a Digital Key.

Fawad Khan, General Manager 289 659 4257 fawad.khan@hilton.com

Land Owned By: King West Crossings Inc. (a Vrancor Group company)
Construction Company: DV Trillium Group Inc. (a Vrancor Group company)
Hotel Building Legal Name: Hamilton 354 King West LP (a Vrancor Group company)
Hotel is Managed by: Vrancor Hospitality Corporation (a Vrancor Group company)

September 19, 2023
A Glimpse Beyond: Meeting Michael Welsh, CBHA, House of MC Sourcing’s New Chief Operating Officer

Niagara Falls, ON—House of MC Sourcing (HMCS) proudly welcomes Mr. Michael Welsh as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO), HMCS is poised to elevate its standing in the Venue Sourcing profession, embarking on a transformative path towards greater success. Complementing his impressive professional credentials, Michael brings a multifaceted approach to life that transcends the typical corporate executive, rooted in a profound commitment to hospitality.

Michael's experience and exceptional track record within the hospitality industry are evident from his tenure as the Executive Director Global Sales, Meetings & Incentives at ACCOR where he consistently surpassed annual revenue targets, earning the title of Global Sales Master five times. His dedication to excellence and delivering outstanding results, sets a promising trajectory for his role at HMCS.

As COO, Michael will assume responsibility for overseeing the company's operations, driving strategic initiatives, and strengthening the customer-centric approach that defines HMCS’ culture. His industry expertise will play a crucial role in continuing to provide top-tier sourcing solutions to clients worldwide.

Michael's appointment aligns with HMCS's expansion plans in the hospitality industry, aiming to offer tailored services to clients. His deep understanding of industry dynamics and adeptness in navigating complex challenges, make him the ideal leader for guiding the company through this exciting phase of growth.

What distinguishes Michael is his unique ability to build enduring relationships, moving beyond the transactional nature of business. This capacity has not only driven business success, but also earned him respect as a trusted figure in the hospitality industry. His ability to cater to each client's unique needs will drive heightened customer satisfaction and solidify HMCS’ position as a trusted sourcing solutions partner.

Michael has a demonstrated passion for mentorship and sharing his knowledge to guide the next generation of industry professionals. This is a testament to his dedication of nurturing talent and fostering professional growth, ensuring that HMCS’ commitment to excellence remains firmly rooted in its people.

"We place immense value on our client relationships, and we hold our connections with hotels and industry partners in high regard. Michael will play a crucial role in helping us strengthen our commitment to

recognizing and reinforcing the significance of our alliances. Collaboration with our team represents a true partnership where both sides contribute equally,” emphasized Christine Andrew-Pearce, Founder & CEO of House of MC Sourcing.

Beyond the boardroom, Michael is a culinary connoisseur who enjoys crafting unique dining experiences for friends and family. His passion for cooking parallels his love for travel, as he explores diverse cultures around the globe, whether strolling through bustling city streets or cherishing quiet moments with partner Clayton and their beloved cockapoo, Olive.

Speaking of travel, Clayton and Michael's shared wanderlust frequently takes them to far-flung corners of the world, enriching their lives with unforgettable memories.

When not hosting friends and family or travelling the globe, Michael maintains a commitment to well-being with Peloton workouts, harnessing physical fitness to excel both personally and professionally.

"Michael's multifaceted approach to life is truly inspiring," remarked Matthew Delorey, Co-Founder & Chief Sales Officer at HMCS. "His exceptional journey through the hospitality industry, global perspective, and relentless commitment to delivering unparalleled customer service, are qualities that set him apart. I’m excited to have Michael join the HMCS team during this critical growth stage of the company. I also look forward to him holding me accountable to my Peloton workout schedule."

Michael Welsh's appointment as Chief Operating Officer officially begins on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, and underscores House of MC Sourcing's dedication to excellence and commitment to providing the highest level of service. His expertise in leadership development, client relationships, and hospitality align seamlessly with HMCS's values and vision.

For more information, please contact hello@mcsourcing.ca

About House of MC Sourcing: HMCS is a leading provider of sourcing solutions in the hospitality industry. With a focus on delivering exceptional service and tailored sourcing strategies, the company helps clients optimize their procurement processes and achieve cost savings. HMCS is committed to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

September 12, 2023
Four Seasons and Cisneros Real Estate Announce New Luxury Resort and Residences in the Dominican Republic

Four Seasons Resort Dominican Republic at Tropicalia to bring sustainable luxury and timeless, tropical design to Samaná Bay

TORONTO and MIAMI/CNW/—Four Seasons and Cisneros Real Estate (Cisneros) announce plans for the development of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia, a sustainable luxury destination located on a 60-acre (24 hectare) site along the pristine beachfront of Playa Esmeralda in northeastern Dominican Republic, along the southern shores of Samaná Bay. The project will combine the globally renowned hospitality and service of Four Seasons and Cisneros' decades of business and investment in the Dominican Republic, Latin America and the United States. With construction underway, the project is slated to open in early 2026.

Featuring a tropical modernist design by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia will set a new standard of natural, sustainable elegance for sophisticated travellers from around the globe. The property will include a 95-key resort and 25 Private Residences of three- and four-bedroom units, all located steps from the beach. A site of breathtaking natural beauty, Tropicalia is the private estate of the Cisneros family featuring a diverse ecosystem of white-sand beaches; crystalline, aquamarine water and coral reefs; mountains, forests, mangroves, lagoons and rivers; a working coconut plantation; and an organic farm.

Adriana Cisneros, Chief Executive Officer of Cisneros, notes that the company's nonprofit Fundación Tropicalia has dedicated more than a decade to the region's well-being through an array of educational, socioeconomic and community programs. "Tropicalia reflects our family's cultural values," Cisneros says. "More than 10 years ago, we embarked on a journey to support social sustainability through innovative projects in agriculture, gender equality, education, environment, entrepreneurship and microfinance. Our goal was to create a new kind of luxury destination that is in balance both with nature and with the local community. We're pleased that Four Seasons shares our vision, both for Tropicalia and the future of tourism."

Tropicalia is owned by Cisneros Real Estate, the development arm of Cisneros, a diversified business group with nearly 100 years of history in media, real estate, consumer products and social leadership. Cisneros is committed to long-term ownership of Tropicalia as a legacy project and is dedicated to the success of the new Four Seasons resort and residences as well as to the socioeconomic sustainability of the community, region and country.

"We are thrilled to expand Four Seasons global portfolio in the Dominican Republic, a market that we have long been focused on as a luxury travel destination," says Alejandro Reynal, President and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "We are proud to bring this project to life with our partners at Cisneros, who share our values of supporting the environments and communities in which we operate, and who we deeply admire for their work with Fundación Tropicalia. Together, we will remain focused on these values as we welcome guests and residents alike in 2026 and become stewards of this beautiful destination."

David Collado, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, says: "For Dominicans, it is a source of great pride to welcome Four Seasons to Tropicalia, which is owned by the Cisneros family; a family that has placed its trust in our country and values the love and effort that this government has put into promoting tourism." Minister Collado also added, "this project, which will have the highest standards of luxury, will further diversify the types of travellers coming to our country and reaffirms Tropicalia's commitment to the sustainable development of the country's tourism, allowing us to continue being a model destination for the world."

"Four Seasons will bring a new level of luxury hospitality to the Dominican Republic, a premier Caribbean destination located about four hours by plane from New York and two and a half hours from Miami," William Phelan, President of Tropicalia, says. "The Dominican Republic also has excellent airlift from Europe, Latin America and other key markets. Our resort will lead the region's development of sustainable tourism by integrating innovative design, environmental management and community development into our business DNA."

About Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia
In addition to the 95 rooms and suites, the Resort will include a spa, fitness and wellness facilities including a yoga pavilion; a variety of beach activities and watersports; racquet sports such as tennis, padel and pickleball; a Kids For All Seasons children's club; and event spaces. The onsite culinary offerings will include numerous restaurants and bars including a specialty restaurant, beachside grill, poolside bar, ceviche bar, juice bar, marketplace and sundry shop, coffee shop and rum bar.

Nearby aquatic activities include scuba diving, catamaran tours, sailing, observing and helping to protect sea turtles in their natural habitat, and seasonal whale-watching excursions around Samaná Bay, a storied marine sanctuary where humpback whales and leatherback turtles return to birth new generations. Land excursions include Los Haitises National Park, an explorer's paradise with limestone hill formations (mogotes), mangrove forests, ancient caverns with Taíno pictographs and petroglyphs, and abundant wildlife. For golf lovers, Tropicalia's Tom Doak golf course is expected to open after the completion of the new Four Seasons Resort. 

Sustainable Design, Construction and Development
The design of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia is slated to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, one of the world's most respected standards for "green" buildings, and the first of its kind in the Dominican Republic. Environmental and social management systems are guiding the Resort's design, construction and operation, from biodiversity to waste and water management, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Isay Weinfeld's design for Tropicalia is innately low-impact and draws inspiration from the island's native materials and colonial-era towns. Coralina limestone, brick and stucco echo the country's history, harmonizing with the surroundings and conveying a sense of authenticity. His timeless, sophisticated modern design reflects a tropical touch. The nonlinear format encourages guests to continuously discover the Resort, as the buildings integrate with the lush landscape to give the sense of being immersed in nature.

The project's modernist design will transition easily from indoors to outdoors, inspiring guests to engage with the natural environment. The low-density Resort will feature open spaces, passive cooling, and lush landscaping using curated, non-invasive native species. Guest and residential buildings will be located along the beachfront of Playa Esmeralda with views of Samaná Bay. Guest rooms will be spacious and designed with Four Seasons guests in mind, including private terraces and state-of-the-art technology, with green space and interior gardens prioritized throughout the rooms and common spaces.  

In addition to Isay Weinfeld's architecture and interior design, luxury development firm Sinergo has been named project manager, international design firm Gensler as executive architect and Bouygues Construction of France as general contractor. The project's master planner and landscape architect is EDSA, who has been working closely with former Dominican botanical garden curator Ricardo Garcia, ensuring holistic development and landscaping with primary native species. These development and design experts are known for their expertise in bringing environmentally sound and sustainable luxury resort projects to life in remote locations. IMI Worldwide Properties, an innovative real estate firm with more than 30 years of experience, is overseeing luxury residential sales.

Social Responsibility
With a focus on socioeconomic inclusion and sustainable development practices, Tropicalia will seek to share and inspire local cultural experiences by inviting guests and residents to participate in activities that help sustain the surrounding community and environment. They include PROTORTUGA, a sustainability initiative to care for leatherback turtles in the coastal area of Miches where guests will be able to observe and participate in habitat preservation. Tropicalia also offers a range of volunteer opportunities, such as visits to after-school programs connected to the foundation's Soy niña, soy importante program, which is focused on gender equality and inclusion. Each of these initiatives gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves into the local culture and to take part in positive change. 

Tropicalia's guests and residents will also enjoy a symbiotic relationship with land and sea, working closely with the Cisneros family's sustainable organic farm, Estancia La Querencia. The farm is certified in organic cacao production, providing local farmers with year-round food and training in organic agricultural practices as well as supplying produce to local markets and food suppliers. Estancia La Querencia offers residents unique farm-to-table experiences and an in-depth look at local ingredients and gastronomy.

Adriana Cisneros drew on the legacy of her father, Gustavo, and her mother Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, to build Tropicalia on a foundation of social responsibility and leadership. In 2008, more than a decade before the first shovels would break ground at the luxury resort, Cisneros Real Estate created the nonprofit Fundación Tropicalia to build a sustainable tourism destination in partnership with the local community of Miches.

In 2010, Tropicalia committed to the United Nations Global Compact and has aligned its business strategy with fundamental concepts of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. Accordingly, Fundación Tropicalia has invested millions of dollars and sponsored a broad range of programs promoting education and addressing hunger, climate change, diversity and gender equity.

Tropicalia has been recognized globally for its innovative economic development programs, including as a finalist by the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) for Innovation by Non-Governmental Organizations. For more information on Fundación Tropicalia, please visit www.fundaciontropicalia.com.

For more images, please click here.

ABOUT CISNEROS REAL ESTATE
Cisneros Real Estate, a division of Cisneros, develops strategic, innovative and responsible tourism projects around the world. With headquarters in Miami, Cisneros Real Estate's long-view development portfolio is built on relationships with partners that share similar values and the integration of the needs and interests of the communities and environments that we impact. For more information, please visit www.cisneros.com.

Tropicalia is a sustainable luxury resort development by Cisneros Real Estate that offers sophisticated architecture in a breathtaking site of diverse natural beauty in the northeastern Dominican Republic. Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia is designed to serve as a model of sustainable luxury tourism in the Caribbean and beyond. For more information, please visit www.tropicalia.com and follow on Instagram, Facebook and X.

ABOUT FOUR SEASONS HOTELS AND RESORTS
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first hotel in 1961, and since that time has been dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 126 hotels and resorts, and 53 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit fourseasons.com. For the latest news, visit press.fourseasons.com. 

Media Contact:
Emily Borgeest
FourSeasons@kwtglobal.com

September 05, 2023
Warwick Hotels and Resorts Opens in Montréal for Its First Hotel in Canada

Montreal/CNW/—The iconic Warwick Hotels & Resorts (WHR) opens their first property in Canada with Warwick Le Crystal – Montréal, in the midst of the city's economic and cultural center. Warwick Le Crystal – Montréal features 131 rooms and suites and follows WHR's core strategy, namely, having hotels located in the center of commercial, cultural and gastronomic activities of international gateway cities.

Each hotel in the Warwick Collection reflects the spirit of the origins in the locale it inhabits, originality and personality it possesses, made exquisite by influences of its history, people and culture. Warwick Le Crystal – Montréal is conveniently located in downtown Montréal close to the city's top entertainment, sports and popular attractions, and is the closest hotel to the iconic and popular Bell Center.

"The WHR hotel collection is proud to have chosen Montreal as the premier destination within the collection in Canada," says Clare Chiu, Vice President of Development of Warwick Hotels and Resorts.  "With its prime location in the heart of Montreal's economic activity, its recognized international diversity, and its unique Franco-American culture, the Warwick Le Crystal hotel undoubtedly reflects the DNA of the Group."

"The arrival of Warwick Le Crystal in downtown Montreal, formerly known as Hotel Le Crystal, marks a new beginning alongside the esteemed Warwick family and its international reputation. Our clients seek personalized service, comfort, and authentic experiences," adds Eric Hamel, General Manager of Warwick Le Crystal – Montréal. "That is precisely what Warwick Le Crystal - Montreal will strive to deliver."

Guests visiting the hotel can now enjoy an extraordinary stay in one of the hotel's beautifully appointed suites that combine chic and urban style, specially designed for maximum comfort, with living spaces brightened by natural light and a soothing atmosphere. The suites at Warwick Le Crystal – Montréal feature kitchenettes, king sized beds and amenities made for comfortable, long term and family friendly stays. The hotel suites are generously oversized, with many of them boasting balconies and terraces - a rare commodity in the city center.

Visitors and guests can also indulge in the hotel's lifestyle and wellness center on the 12th-floor that offers moments of relaxation with a panoramic view of downtown Montréal, featuring an indoor pool, an outdoor terrace hot tub, a sauna, a fitness center, and the celebrated spa, Eléments Maison de Beauté.

WHR immerses guests in a truly unique experience rich in local history and prestige. Having built a strong presence in the hearts of international cities such as Paris, New York, London, Geneva, Dallas, Chicago and San Francisco, WHR is thrilled to expand its geographical reach into Canada with Warwick Le Crystal - Montréal.

WHR was founded over 35 years ago starting with its first hotel - the iconic Warwick New York, acquired in 1980. An emblematic establishment of the Big Apple since 1926, The Warwick Hotel New York was commissioned by William Randolph Hearst with inspiration from his love, actress Marion Davis, and was built next to the Ziegfeld Theatre to host their Hollywood friends. Since then, the hotel continues to host celebrities and is synonymous with New York glamour and understated elegance.

Inspired by the heritage of this hotel, Warwick has developed a collection of luxury hotels and resorts worldwide derived from its identity. Each Warwick hotel is bound by its individuality along with its own remarkable and unique story to tell. Warwick Le Crystal – Montréal welcomed its first guests in May this year.

About Warwick Hotels and Resorts
Warwick Hotels and Resorts was founded in 1980 with the purchase of the Warwick New York, a hotel originally built by William Randolph Hearst for his Hollywood friends. WHR now includes more than 40 prestigious hotels, resorts and spas worldwide. The 20 or so hotels located in the Americas, Europe and the South Pacific are wholly owned and operated by WHR. Another 20 or so hotels are either affiliates which participate in sales and marketing activities of the Group or operated under management contracts.

Further details can be found at www.warwickhotels.com.
Images can be found here.

SOURCE Warwick Hotels & Resorts (WHR)

August 29, 2023
E.L. Productions Ltd. to acquire The Farm, expanding services and setting a new standard in the events industry

Toronto, ON—E.L. Productions Ltd., a Toronto-based productions firm, announced today its acquisition of The Farm, a leading events, communications, and design firm also based in Toronto. The strategic acquisition will further enhance E.L. Productions' capabilities, solidifying its position as a premier provider of comprehensive production, event, and reward and recognition solutions.

With over 30 years of industry experience, both E.L. Productions and The Farm have established themselves as trusted partners, delivering exceptional services to a diverse range of clients. The acquisition brings together two esteemed companies, who share a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and a track record of exceeding client expectations.

The combined expertise of the two firms will create a powerhouse team, enabling clients to benefit from a seamless integration of event management, recognition, incentive travel, communications, creative design, and video services.

"Our acquisition of The Farm represents a significant milestone in our growth strategy," said Eugenia Lista-Zaharchuk, Founder and President of E.L. Productions Ltd. "We are thrilled to join forces with a company that shares our unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional experiences for our clients. Together, we will provide an unmatched level of creativity, innovation, and personalized attention."

By integrating The Farm's expertise and resources, E.L. Productions will be well-equipped to offer clients a comprehensive suite of solutions, tailored to their unique needs and objectives. The expanded companies will continue to operate under their respective brands, with enhanced capabilities and an even greater commitment to creativity, quality, and greatness.

For more information about E.L. Productions and its services, please visit https://elproductionsltd.com

About E.L. Productions Ltd.
E.L. Productions Ltd. is a Toronto-based production firm specializing in event planning, production management, and creative services. E.L Productions Ltd. is known for its innovative approach, strategic expertise, and meticulous attention to project management. For more information, please visit https://elproductionsltd.com

About The Farm
The Farm is a Toronto-based event, communications, and design firm with over 30 years of industry experience. The Farm has built a reputation for delivering exceptional events and unparalleled service. For more information, please visit https://www.thefarm.ca

Media Contacts
Marci Davies
Vice President, Corporate Services
E.L. Productions Ltd.
Phone: 416-560-3781
Email: mdavies@elproductionsltd.com 

Gillian Kilpatrick
Manager, Brand & Client Care
E.L Productions Ltd.
Phone: 416-999-1787
Email: gkilpatrick@elproductionsltd.com

August 22, 2023
Dakota Dunes Resort: Honouring Traditions, Celebrating Authenticity, and Leading with 'The Original Original’ Accreditation from Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Whitecap, Saskatchewan—Dakota Dunes Resort, nestled within the breathtaking landscape of Whitecap Dakota Territory in Saskatchewan, is proud to announce its receipt of the distinguished 'The Original Original Accreditation' from the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). This prestigious mark of excellence underscores Dakota Dunes Resort's commitment to providing visitors with an authentic and exceptional Indigenous tourism experience.

Positioned as an emblem of distinction, 'The Original Original' mark signifies that businesses accredited by ITAC offer products and services that are truly authentic and aligned with Indigenous values. These businesses have undergone rigorous evaluation which assesses recommended practices in six crucial areas: 

  • Community engagement and support
  • Visitor experience
  • Health, safety, and comfort
  • Sustainable Indigenous tourism
  • Marketing and visitor services
  • Business acumen/practices

The Original Original mark ensures that they are not only at least 51% Indigenous-owned but also dedicated to delivering experiences rooted in Indigenous values. Dakota Dunes Resort proudly boasts an over 70% Indigenous team from the Whitecap community and Saskatoon region. 

Dakota Dunes Resort blends history with a contemporary setting, evoking an environment of warmth and hospitality reminiscent of the First Nations’ ancestral traditions. 

The 155-room resort stands as a tribute to its Indigenous heritage with angular window trims and exterior wood panels echoing the traditional tipi. This thoughtful nod to the Whitecap Dakota Nation culture carries through to the resort’s guest rooms by way of art and design with soothing neutral tones, rich wood furnishings, and an artistic representation of traditional Whitecap Dakota culture in every room. Moreover, each thoughtfully appointed guest room offers spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding landscape as well as ultra-comfortable beds and deluxe amenities. 

"Receiving The Original Original Accreditation underpins our steadfast commitment to delivering an authentic and unparalleled experience,” said Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Dakota First Nation.  “We are honoured to contribute to the economic independence and cultural rejuvenation of Indigenous communities through our hospitality offerings and welcome everyone to see what makes our resort and our region so special."

Discover more about Dakota Dunes Resort's dedicated pursuit of Indigenous tourism excellence by visiting https://www.dakotadunesresort.com or follow us on social media @dakotadunesresort.

ABOUT ATLIFIC HOTELS
Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 40 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Atlific Hotels has over 60 years of experience managing well-known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended stay properties. The company has built a reputation for offering comprehensive accounting reporting, information technology solutions and support, strategic revenue-generating sales and marketing plans, and award-winning revenue management programs. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties Ltd., owns and operates over 100 hotels throughout the United States. Together they make up the fifth largest privately-owned hotel management company in North America, operating independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, IHG and Hilton. For more information, please visit www.atlifichotels.com.

Media Contact: 
Mindy Cummings
mindy@aerialpr.com

August 16, 2023
GBTA Convention 2023 Showcases Positive Forecast, Trends and Learning for the Future of the Global Business Travel Industry

World’s largest gathering of the global business travel industry delivers latest growth forecast, learning and education sessions, and insights on key topics including sustainability, technology, workforce development, and DE&I initiatives

The global business travel industry and in-person events continue to build momentum as evidenced by the robust attendance, critical insights and attendee engagement that took place this week at GBTA Convention 2023 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

The industry came together to connect, learn, grow, and discover, with more than 5,200 registered attendees from 58 countries, over 1,100 travel buyers from 600+ buyer companies, and over 300 exhibitors. The evolution and state of the global business travel industry, future of work, sustainability, and diversity, equity and inclusion were just some of the prominent topics as the industry continues to move forward in a post-pandemic world.

“As is GBTA’s mission and promise, Convention is a platform where we bring together in-person the ‘many voices’ in the industry for the ‘one purpose’ of building a better future for business travel through community, learning and advocacy,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “As GBTA just revealed in our latest five-year forecast report, global business travel is expected to continue to be a resilient industry that is poised for growth while delivering value to global economies, companies and business travelers alike.”

GBTA announced newly elected volunteer leaders
GBTA unveiled the results of its 2023 elections including five newly elected Board members and other elected leadership positions who will begin to serve immediately for a two-year term.

  • President: Mark Cuschieri, Executive Director, Global Head of Travel, UBS
  • Vice President: Rosemary Maloney, Manager, Global Travel, Expense & Card, Alteryx
  • Direct Seat, Director-At-Large: Carol Fergus, Director, Global Travel Events & Ground Transportation, Fidelity International
  • Allied Seat, Director-At-Large: Mike Daly, Senior Vice President, Serko
  • Regional Director – Canada (Direct Member): Elizabeth Oliveira, Global Travel Manager, OMERS
  • Allied Leadership Council Chair: Tammy Routh, Senior Vice President, Global Sales Organization, Marriott International
  • Chapter Presidents Council (CPC) President: Ronda Dean, Travel Manager, F5 Networks

Key programming highlights from GBTA Convention 2023

  • The WINiT by GBTA Summit 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.
  • Back by popular demand, GBTA Foundation again hosted a Sustainability Pavilion and programming including creative and innovative ways to make business travel more environmentally friendly, eco-aware and sustainable.
  • Convention 2023 also hosted new and returning spaces to learn, connect and relax, including the Innovation Pavilion, Wellness Lounge, and Connect First Lounge for first-time attendees to help participants make the most of their Convention experience.

Industry conversations and evolution featured on the Main Stage

  • Convention kicked off with keynote speaker and explorer, Chris Bashinelli, who took attendees on an international adventure, aided with stunning video footage and thought-provoking content, in a session entitled “The Power of Human Connection.”
  • In the Future of the Workforce panel discussion, panelists explored the role DE&I initiatives play in fostering an environment of belonging, and how we all can support a culture of acceptance and wellbeing.
  • Attendees also learned how to Master the Chemistry of Change from Cassandra Worthy, Founder & CEO of Change Enthusiasm®, who shared a self-assessment strategy to transform emotions and redirect anxiety and fears into moments of opportunity.
  • The Industry Insights on Sustainability panel, moderated by Neufang featured Anthony Capuano, President and CEO of Marriott International and Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines who delved into how today’s top leaders are transforming their operations to drive a positive impact on a global scale in tandem with long-term shareholder value, and what differences the business travel industry can make. 
  • Sustainability keynote Paul Polman, Business Leader, Campaigner, and Co-Author of “Net Positive,” urged attendees to become courageous leaders, and use business as a force for good through principles of Net Positive leadership and the personal, company and broader system changes needed to reach a more sustainable and equitable planet.
  • Convention 2023 concluded with a 10- and 20- year Forecast in Business Travel discussion with keynote Amy Webb, Futurist Founder & CEO of the Future Today Institute, who provided a series of snapshots into the near and far future of business and society along with how organizations can achieve their preferred future and tackle tomorrow’s most pressing questions about work, relationships, and our way of living.

GBTA Convention as the platform for industry news, research and connection

  • During GBTA Media Day more than 20 industry companies announced their breaking news and industry firsts, while GBTA Broadcast Studio hosted over 40 executive interviews from some of the leading and most innovative companies in business travel over the course of the Convention.
  • GBTA unveiled the 2023 Business Travel Index ™ Outlook report* in collaboration with Visa. The report revealed that the global business travel industry is forecast to rebound at a more accelerated rate than predicted last year – with expectations to exceed pre-pandemic spending levels of $1.4 trillion in 2024 and grow to nearly $1.8 trillion by 2027. In 2022, global business travel spending rose 47% to $1.03 trillion, with strong gains continuing and 32% growth expected in 2023. (GBTA members can exclusively download a full copy of the 2023 GBTA BTI* on the GBTA Hub.)
  • Check out the full photo gallery from GBTA Convention 2023 here. And beginning next week, attendees can access replay of education sessions via the Convention mobile app and also the attendee hub.

Celebrating outstanding GBTA volunteer contributors
GBTA recognized the industry professionals who give generously of their time and talents throughout the year to serve the association, its members and the industry:

  • GBTA Direct Member of the Year AwardBenjamin Park, Executive Director, Travel and Sustainability, Parexel International
  • GBTA Allied Member of the Year AwardSamantha Bean, Corporate Director, Sales Development, LTD Hospitality Group
  • 2023 President’s AwardRita Visser, Director of Global Travel Sourcing and GPO, Oracle
  • 2023 Hilfman Leadership ScholarshipMike Daly, Senior Vice President, Serko

A look forward to future GBTA global conventions, conferences, and events
GBTA also announced that GBTA Convention 2024 will be held July 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia and in 2025 in Denver, Colorado on July 23-25. Other upcoming GBTA regional events include the GBTA APAC Conference in Singapore in September and the GBTA + VDR Europe Conference in Hamburg in November.

Source: Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

August 14, 2023
Fox World Travel Unveils Innovative Technology for the Travel Industry at 2023 GBTA Convention

Revolutionary technology improves the traveler experience while addressing the challenges of managing unprofiled/guest travelers

Dallas—Fox World Travel, one of the top travel companies in the nation, is excited to announce it has designed a revolutionary technological solution that will improve traveler experience, benefit company travel processes for travel managers and address the challenges of unprofiled/guest travelers sneaking into corporate systems. This groundbreaking solution was developed in response to the specific needs of a valued client, prompting Fox to thoroughly analyze and address the inefficiencies and challenges of the client’s existing process. 

Introducing the Innovative Solution According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly 550,000 jobs added were in the U.S. in just May and June, indicating a booming job market and an increased need for travel consultants. Due to this massive job growth, Fox World Travel saw a need to develop a solution for business travel to mitigate the increase of unprofiled/guest travelers while also offering a seamless and secure experience for both travel managers and guests. Some of the key features include:

  • Secure Portal for Guest Travel Authorization: The Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) notes cybercrime is on the rise, particularly as it relates to fraud attempts on non-profiled/guest bookings, posing a significant risk to the travel industry’s security and data privacy. Fox developed a secure self-service process for the authorization of an unprofiled traveler, mitigating these challenges in security and data privacy for the travel industry.
  • Customizable Authorization Parameters: Designated travel administrators can determine specific authorizers, including trip dates, approved airports, spend limits and payment methods.
  • Efficient Booking Process: The technology pre-populates the booking with known information and parameters, streamlining the booking process while maintaining data security.
  • PCI Compliant and Secure Payment: The system ensures Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and allows payment configuration based on reportable data criteria, such as department, cost center or purpose of the trip. Alternatively, a unique payment credit card may be included in the authorization, keeping sensitive credit card details hidden from the traveler.
  • Streamlined Communication: Travelers receive notifications via email or phone from Fox to complete the booking. They can provide any missing details and select desired flights within the authorized parameters. The authorizer (host) also receives a confirmation of the completed booking.
  • Multiple Submissions in a Single Session: The system allows authorizers to easily complete multiple submissions with pre-populated fields within the same session.

"We are thrilled to introduce this cutting-edge technology, developed in response to the evolving needs of our valued clients," said George Kalka, vice president of business travel at Fox World Travel. "Our innovative solution not only streamlines travel management for both travel managers and guests but also prioritizes data security and privacy, ensuring a seamless and secure booking experience."

This technology is now available for Fox customers to enable within their Fox Portal. Fox World Travel remains committed to driving innovation in the travel industry, providing exceptional value, and ensuring a seamless journey for all its clients. To learn more about Fox World Travel and its many innovative solutions, visit foxworldtravel.com.

About Fox World Travel 
Leveraging a culture of ingenuity, exceptional service, and commitment to care, Fox World Travel forms authentic and deep relationships with corporate and vacation clients to develop unique, tailored solutions that truly fit their needs. Fox’s philosophy of putting people first and going above and beyond for its clients and associates has earned the company a spot on the Travel Weekly Power List and a reputation as a top travel company in the country. Headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Fox World Travel has over 300 associates, with an average tenure of over seven years of exceptonal service. To learn more, visit foxworldtravel.com.

August 14, 2023
"With Love From Paris" scoops up more awards in San Antonio, Texas

A corporate Holiday event set in Paris garners 2 international event awards

Vancouver, BC, Canada—With Love From Paris, a corporate Holiday event produced by Bright Ideas Event Agency in Vancouver, BC on Saturday, December 10, 2022, was awarded two international awards last Thursday, August 10, 2023 in Texas.

The ILEA Esprit Awards Gala was held at the historic The Aztec Theatre located in San Antonio, Texas. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner at The St. Anthony Hotel prior to the ceremony and attended several after-party celebrations.

About the Event - With Love From Paris
The pandemic was ending & employees had the travel bug. Trip itineraries were top of mind and it was time to explore the world. NorLand Limited, a Familial group of specialized businesses, recognized the need to create the feeling for their employees of having travelled to a sought-after destination. This was also the first time they were able to host this annual event post-pandemic and they knew it was important to bring their employees together in a spectacular setting.

The event was held in an empty train station with 20,000 square feet of available space, that was transformed into enchanting and romantic streets of Paris during the holidays. Upon arrival, guests were transported to the heart of Paris, with the Eiffel Tower as the focal point surrounded by historic monuments such as the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and famous Parisian cafés flanking a snow-covered park. Event décor was provided by Vancouver Art Department (Grant Harasyn) who created a truly immersive experience like no other!

The streets of Paris were bustling with activity, as guests explored the iconic monuments, savoured the delicious French cuisine, and mingled around the cafés, soaking up the relaxed Parisian way of life. The event was a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the event team behind it, who never lost sight of their client’s key objective – “design an event that transports guests to an iconic destination”.

A myriad of uniquely, engaging activities were provided for guests to enjoy. A Paint-by-Numbers activation encouraged guests to work together to complete a stunning mural of Paris, which now hangs in the client's office, creating a lasting event memory of this Parisian experience.

Bright Ideas Event Agency, an event agency based in Vancouver, BC, has been producing award-winning corporate events since 1988 and has garnered 57 event nominations resulting in 44 awards. Founder Sharon Bonner has recently launched her event consulting business, Sharon Bonner Consulting, which supports the event industry during a time of labour shortage and surging requests for in-person events.

For more information or media requests, please contact:

Bright Ideas Event Agency – Sharon Bonner, Founder & CEO
604.303.7707, info@brightideasevents.com

August 10, 2023
Global business travel and events costs expected to remain elevated through 2024, reflecting ‘true new cost of travel’

Global business travel and events costs are set to climb higher through the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, albeit at a much more moderate pace than the exceptionally steep increases seen in 2022. This is according to the 2024 Global Business Travel Forecast, published today by CWT, the business travel and meetings specialist, and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel trade organization. 

Rising fuel prices, labor shortages, and supply chain challenges, coupled with red hot demand, caused travel prices to skyrocket in 2022 – far surpassing some of the increases outlined in last year’s forecast. Lingering economic uncertainty and a gradual easing of supply-side constraints are expected to result in more subdued price increases over the next 12-18 months, according to the report, which uses anonymized data generated by CWT and GBTA, with publicly available industry information, and econometric and statistical modeling developed by the Avrio Institute.

“A potent combination of demand and supply-side pressures propelled travel prices higher than expected last year,” said Patrick Andersen, CWT’s Chief Executive Officer. “Looking forward, prices seem to be levelling off with much milder increases projected over the next 12 to 18 months. We could now be looking at the true new cost of travel. Our focus remains on helping our customers find the right strategies and solutions to get the most out of their travel budgets, meet their ESG commitments, and maximize the ROI on their travel spend.”

“As this research outlines, it’s clear that rising costs and pricing pressures will likely continue to be a significant factor in business travel for the foreseeable future. And as we experienced over the past few years, we may also continue to see different pricing fluctuations across industry verticals, business sectors and global regions. While business travel continues to rebound, there will be a continuing balancing act among demand, cost, and ESG concerns. So, with a forecast ahead for more volatility, our goal is to provide insights like these to help travel buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and finance executives continue to understand, evaluate and adjust their business travel strategies,” said Suzanne Neufang, Chief Executive Officer, GBTA.  

Air
The global average ticket price (ATP) of flights booked for business travel rose dramatically in 2022, experiencing record price increases. The ATP rose by 72.2% YoY to $749 in 2022, far surpassing 2019 levels ($670). While demand has recovered strongly with passenger numbers quickly approaching pre-pandemic levels, driven primarily by pent-up leisure travel demand, airline capacity continues to be constrained by labor shortages and supply chain issues. Looking forward, ATP growth is likely to be more modest at 2.3% in 2023 and 1.8% in 2024, albeit from an already high base. Still, many corporate buyers now have less leverage to negotiate with airlines, as their travel volumes remain below pre-pandemic levels.

At $855, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region recorded the highest ATP in 2022, compared to other parts of the world. This represents a 31.5% increase from 2021. More modest price increases are expected going forward, with ATPs predicted to rise 2.9% this year and 2.2% in 2024.

However, in terms of year-over-year growth, the ATP in Asia Pacific climbed 148.7% YoY in 2022 to $567 – the biggest increase seen in any region, despite a lack of international travel demand from China. Key business travel destinations, including Australia and Japan, fully reopened to vaccinated travelers and resumed visa exemption arrangements. Average airfares rose 75.3% for Australia and 79.3% for Japan in 2022, with a sharp rise in the share of long-haul tickets. As airlines in the region – particularly the major carriers from China – continue to add more international route capacity, the increased supply should help ease price pressures in the region, with ATPs forecast to rise 4.8% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024.

Hotel
Like air travel ATPs, the global average daily rate (ADR) for hotel bookings exceeded earlier predictions, rising 29.8% YoY to $161 in 2022. Occupancy rates have been high, but so have labor, energy, and food and beverage costs. In fact, several cities across the globe including London, Miami, and Singapore, reported their highest ADRs on record in 2022. Meanwhile, hotel construction remains down from its pre-pandemic peak, creating supply constraints. With fewer properties to compete against, existing hotels can sustain their pricing power for longer, even though ADR gains are slowing. ADRs are projected to climb a further 4.3% in 2023 to $168, followed by a 3.6% increase to $174 in 2024.

North America saw the highest growth in hotel ADRs of any region in 2022, rising 33.8% YoY to $174. Occupancy in the region is expected to grow at a slower pace in the second half of 2023 and 2024 due to economic concerns, with ADRs forecast to rise 4% to $181 in 2023 and 3.3% to $187 in 2024.

ADRs in Latin America also rose sharply by 26.9% YoY in 2022, as several countries in the region experienced double digit inflation. Now, with inflation appearing to have peaked, and ADRs are expected to grow by 9.1% in 2023 and 5.6% in 2024.

Ground transportation
Car rental supply has been constricted as companies sold vehicles during the pandemic when demand collapsed. As business returned, vehicles were not replaced at pace due to supply chain issues, largely due to a worldwide shortage of vehicle semiconductors which led to inflated vehicle prices. These factors have contributed to prices rising by 9.8% YoY in 2022, with a further 6.7% increase forecast this year. Pricing growth is expected to cool to 2.1% in 2024.

Meetings and events
In-person meetings and events have rebounded more robustly than many had expected. Client acquisition and relationship building are key business goals that are not easily executed virtually. There has also been exceptionally strong demand for incentive trips, as companies seek to motivate and reward employees. In fact, CWT Meetings & Events has observed these trips becoming longer and more frequent and expects the trend to continue.

The average daily cost per attendee was $160 in 2022. This is expected to increase to $169 in 2023 and then $174 in 2024.

Lead times for events remain short in this post-pandemic world. However, organizers should now look at 2024 with a 12-month planning cycle if they want to keep prices at a reasonable level. At the same time, consolidating transient travel and M&E spend can give buyers more leverage when it comes to negotiating pricing.

About the 2024 Global Business Travel Forecast
The figures in this report are based on data from more than 70 million ticketed flights, over 125 million hotel room night bookings and more than 30 million car hires covering data from 2018 to the present. The projections are based on econometric and statistical models, specifically ARIMA models, developed by the Avrio Institute. Insight is provided by CWT personnel and market research.

August 08, 2023
When the Jays are Away, YOU can Play! Ultimate Slugger Challenge at Sportsnet Grill, Toronto Marriott City Centre!

Toronto—Are you ready to step up to the plate and take on the challenge of a lifetime? Toronto Marriott City Centre's Sportsnet Grill is thrilled to introduce The Slugger Challenge, a gastronomic feat that promises excitement, indulgence, and major-league bragging rights!

Dubbed “When the Jays Are Away, You Can Play," The #SluggerChallenge invites all baseball and food enthusiasts to showcase their appetite prowess when the home team is on the road. Here's the scoop: devour a complete 24” Slugger Dog on your own in under seven minutes, and you'll earn more than just a satisfied belly. You'll be rewarded with the Triple Play Sundae, a towering masterpiece featuring luscious chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream, adorned with Kit Kat, Ferrero Rocher, Cracker Jack, M&M’s, mini-Oreos, chocolate sauce, strawberry drizzle, candy floss, and rainbow sprinkles, all served in an adorable miniature Blue Jays cap. It's an ultimate indulgence tailor-made for both the young and the young at heart.

But that's not all – conquering the Slugger Challenge comes with a string of exciting perks. As a champion, you'll get an exclusive photo-op with the Slugger Trophy, forever enshrining your triumphant moment. Your snapshot will join the ranks of esteemed champions on the Sportsnet Grill Slugger Wall of Champions, commemorating your victory for all to see. And of course, the sweetest reward of all: major-league bragging rights that you can savour long after the last bite.

Coming up on its 5th anniversary, Sportsnet Grill, located just inside the main entrance of the Toronto Marriott City Centre, promises an unparalleled restaurant and bar experience. With live field action, multiple big screen televisions, and a menu that boasts grand slam food, including the signature 2-foot-long Slugger dog topped with gourmet toppings, the Grill is the ultimate destination for sports fans and food enthusiasts alike. What's more, Toronto Marriott City Centre proudly stands as the only hotel in North America nestled within a Major League stadium, providing unrivaled field views from its public spaces and rooms, allowing guests to catch every thrilling game moment in comfort during their stay.

For those seeking an even more exclusive experiences, the Legends Lounge offers a panoramic view of the Rogers Centre, making it the perfect setting for private events and celebrations and the hotel’s four private skyboxes are ideal options for parties up to 50 guests.

This year, Sportsnet Grill has unveiled its sensational "Big League Menu," delivering an extraordinary lineup of over-the-top eats and cocktails available not only on game days but throughout the year. From tantalizing appetizers to mouth-watering main courses and inventive cocktails, the "Big League Menu" is an out of the park home run for all. 

The Slugger Challenge is available during the MLB season when the Blue Jays are on the road. For more information or table reservations please sportsnetgrill.ca and follow them on social @SportsnetGrill.

Don't miss your chance to make history and take on the Slugger Challenge at Sportsnet Grill, Toronto Marriott City Centre. 

For more information, visit the Sportsnet Grill website or call 416-341-7100.

About Sportsnet Grill
Located within the lobby level of Toronto Marriott City Centre, and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year, Sportsnet Grill’s modern space boasts large screen televisions showcasing the best in sports action, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer unparalleled views directly into the heart of the Rogers Centre. For those hosting a corporate gathering, a special celebration, or an intimate sports-themed affair, the restaurant’s private event space, Legends Lounge, offers sports-themed luxury, boasting panoramic vistas of the stadium to create an immersive backdrop for your event. For reservations please visit sportsnetgrill.ca or call us at 416.341.5045. Follow us on social @sportsnetgrill

About Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel
Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is nestled in the heart of downtown and the only hotel in North America attached to a multi-purpose stadium and entertainment complex. The hotel is conveniently located near Scotiabank Arena, the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium and two airports. Beautifully designed rooms and suites showcase plush bedding and stylish décor with your choice of views of the Rogers Centre baseball field or the city. Start your day at the lobby Starbucks. Stay energized in their fully equipped fitness centre open 24 hours a day or enjoy a refreshing swim in the indoor pool. Watch a live game at one of Sportsnet Grill's window tables as you dig into their over-the-top big league menu items or grab one of their playful, artisanal cocktails or local craft beers at the bar. For more information, please visit www.torontomarriott.com and stay connected on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn at @TorontoMarriottCC.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Mindy Cummings or Hannah Rastrick
mindy@aerialpr.com / hannah@aerialpr.com

August 08, 2023
Canada’s Nadia Di Donato at Liberty Entertainment Group shortlisted for Designer of the Year, BestDesign Restaurant – Global, and Best Design Restaurant - the Americas in 2023 International Hotel & Property Awards

Vice president, creative director recognized by UK’s prestigious design et al magazine

Toronto, ON—Toronto designer, Nadia Di Donato, vice president and creative director at Liberty Entertainment Group has been recognized by the UK’s international industry arbiter, design et al magazine for its International Hotel & Property Awards 2023 shortlist. The prestigious awards celebrate their twelfth year and are renowned for global design excellence. This year, Ms. Di Donato has been nominated for the coveted title of Designer of the Year, one of only ten candidates globally. In addition, she has also been recognized for her work with a nomination for Best Design Restaurant – Global, and Best Design Restaurant – the Americas categories for the company’s award-winning, Michelin-starred property, Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto located in the Westin Harbour Castle hotel.

Canadians may support by casting their vote for Best Design categories beginning August 9th at https://www.thedesignawards.co.uk/voting/.

In previous years, Ms. Di Donato and her work were nominated in the Best Designer of the Decade award by design et al magazine, as well as the company’s property, BlueBlood Steakhouse was winner of the Best designed restaurant in the America’s and Caribbean category against eight competitors, while Don Alfonso 1890 was shortlisted as the Best designed restaurant globally -- the only two Canadian restaurants recognized.

“I am deeply honoured to be shortlisted for my work as Designer of the Year, as well as for my recent work at the new Don Alfonso by such a respected organization and the elite of the international design world,” said Nadia Di Donato, vice president and creative director, Liberty Entertainment Group. “Being recognized with such a prestigious worldwide design award truly reflects our mission to be leaders on the global design and hospitality arenas. Following our Michelin star awarded last year, and our recent Gambero Rosso and Top50 Italy awards, we are once again privileged to be acknowledged by the absolute best in the world, for our vision for Don Alfonso.”

Cast your vote now; open to all
Voting for Best Design categories opens August 9th online at https://www.thedesignawards.co.uk/voting/ at 12:00pm BST and runs for four weeks, closing Wednesday 6th September 2023 at 12:00pm BST. Voting is open to all industry professionals, as well as design et al readers, clients, customers and the public across the globe. Like all design et al awards, The International Hotel & Property Awards are not judged by a panel; rather, shortlisted entries are presented online; design et al has thousands of industry professionals voting on all shortlisted projects on its website. A unique part of the voting system is that votes must be cast in every single category, which gives all shortlisted projects maximum exposure from international industry professionals.

The Designer of the Year award is selected by an esteemed judging panel of industry personalities. More information on the awards and past winners are available online. The International Hotel & Property Awards 2023 will be held on Friday 8th September, at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London, UK.

Ms. Di Donato continued, “I am proud to represent Toronto, Canada for design on the world stage again this year, and want to encourage everyone to vote, to recognize our country in the competition. Please show your support!”

About The International Hotel & Property Awards
The International Hotel & Property Awards are hosted by design et al, a leading UK interior design magazine. At design et al, the firm’s aim is to commend design, recognise talent, create opportunities and quite simply to offer inspiration. The awards are a global platform for the leading designers and architects in the hospitality industry and “…provide the perfect global stage, underpinned by a strong ethos to support and develop the design sector with a robust voting process, to recognise and reward creative and design excellence.” After 12 years, the awards are renowned for bringing together an elite group of companies, only the best interior designers, architects, developers within the hospitality design industry can be shortlisted.

About Nadia Di Donato
Ms. Di Donato has been part of the Liberty Group organization since its inception in 1987. Since then, she has collaborated closely with its developers in creating the individually unique design approaches for each of the company’s venues. Formally trained in visual communications at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ms. Di Donato can create synergy between form and function and has established the facilities as the most creatively themed venues in the city. For more than three decades, Liberty Group has redefined the restaurant, nightlife and special event experience in both Toronto and Miami and is recognized as a successful and innovative leader in the hospitality and entertainment industries, appreciating a continuous growth and garnering ongoing accolades and media attention.

About Liberty Entertainment Group
For over three decades the Liberty Entertainment Group, led by Nick Di Donato, has been redefining Toronto’s restaurants, nightlife, and special event experiences. As developers and operators of landmark establishments the Liberty Entertainment Group has become recognized as one of the most successful and innovative companies in the industry. The company continues to gain success and acknowledgment for its impressive roster of unique venues, including Toronto’s premiere special event facilities, Casa Loma, and Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. The company is also responsible for the development of Toronto’s most prolific restaurants including BlueBlood Steakhouse, Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890, three Cibo Wine Bar locations (King West, Yonge St, and Yorkville), Toronto’s new, premier sports & country bar, Paris Texas, and two projects currently under development, DaNico and Blue Bovine Steak + Sushi House. With over 500,000 square feet of hospitality space, the Liberty Entertainment Group caters to a diverse clientele of upwards of 1.75 million people per year including A list celebrities, sports personalities, and industry leaders. Visit www.libertygroup.com.

For more information, additional visuals, video or to arrange an interview with Nadia Di Donato at Liberty Entertainment Group contact Susan Willemsen at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: 416-461-1567. M: 416-402-4880. Email: susan@thesirengroup.com. Or contact Corynn Goncalves at Liberty Entertainment Group. Tel: 416-542-3789.

August 04, 2023
1 Hotels Launches Certified Sustainable Gatherings

Creating Eco-Conscious Events Rooted in Respect for Nature

1 Hotels, the mission driven luxury lifestyle brand, is introducing Certified Sustainable Gatherings, a new approach that offers the opportunity to create stunning, unforgettable events that are designed to minimize environmental impact. Whether it's a corporate event, gala, meeting, wedding or private celebration, Certified Sustainable Gatherings provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring your vision to life while working in harmony with the planet.

At 1 Hotels, commitment to sustainability has always been at the forefront of event (and meeting) planning. The newly introduced Certified Sustainable Gatherings offers clients the opportunity to plan an event that is fully dedicated to eco-consciousness. 1 Hotels has partnered with Foodprint Group to offer comprehensive third-party certification, ensuring that the entire planning process is meticulously designed to assist clients in sourcing sustainable materials, minimizing single-use plastic waste, lowering carbon emissions, and diverting at least 90% of all waste generated throughout the event lifecycle.

We are thrilled to put our best practices to work as building blocks for Certified Sustainable Gatherings. Pilot events at all properties were wildly successful thanks to 1 Hotels’ highly collaborative process from planning through clean-up and the rigor of our holistic points-based standard. By launching Certified Sustainable Gatherings, 1 Hotels once again demonstrates its leadership in the sustainable hospitality movement.  Christina Grace, CEO, Foodprint Group

Certified Sustainable Gatherings is focused on customization and flexibility, which allows clients to curate their events from start to finish in adherence with’ six guiding principles. Rather than an all-or-nothing approach, the program offers a framework that allows the client to curate an event according to their specific needs. Categories include:

  1. Reduce Waste with Haste: Hone in on waste infrastructure and processing (recycling and composting).
  2. Sip & Savor, Sustainably: Get creative with locally sourced, low-waste menus.
  3. Value-Based Vendors: Choose from our vetted local vendors list or bring your own.
  4. Curate Your Do-Good Décor: Explore unique ways to bring your vision to life while considering the entire lifecycle of each element.
  5. Select Serviceware That Serves the Planet: Elevate your event and uplift the world around you by eliminating single-use plastic serviceware.
  6. Communicate Consciously: We help you communicate your low-waste mission to your guests and vendors, amplifying the positive impact of your event.
  7. Leave With Memory and Measurements: Leave your event with certified results that highlight your waste diversion efforts.

Prior to launching Certified Sustainable Gatherings, 1 Hotels piloted a wide range of test events, including dinner parties, corporate events, weddings, and private celebrations; each achieved over 90% waste diversion. The brand found that through innovation and thoughtful planning— reusable silk floral decor and candles, donating food, and printing on recyclable paper— guests can host an unforgettable, personalized event that also prioritizes the Earth.

As the first mission driven hospitality brand with a focus on environmental responsibility and conservation, 1 Hotels has been at the forefront of sustainability since its inception. “Each hotel is designed to celebrate the local area’s natural environment and offer an oasis that integrates the best of sustainable design and architecture with extraordinary comfort and unrivaled service,” said Matt Erickson, President, Food & Beverage, SH Hotels & Resorts. “Certified Sustainable Gatherings is a natural extension of this commitment, offering clients a new way to make a positive impact on the planet while enjoying an unforgettable event.”

August 01, 2023
The Hotel at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto is Now Open

A Premier Destination for Leisure and Entertainment

Toronto—Great Canadian Entertainment is pleased to announce that The Hotel at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto, the newest addition to its new $1 billion campus is now open. Blending modernity, comfort, and excitement under one roof and just minutes from Toronto Pearson International Airport, The Hotel at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto offers 400 well-appointed guest rooms, with nearly half boasting breathtaking views of the legendary Woodbine Racetrack. These spacious accommodations range from 400 square feet to 840 square feet and include several accessible rooms and suites, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of guests. 

Premium rooms and suites include:
- Premium King
- Premium Two Queen
- Premium Accessible King or Two Queen
- King Corner Suite
- Two Bedroom Suite
- Accessible King Suite

Each guest room is thoughtfully equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Guests will find a 55” Smart TV, in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi, mini fridge, and a coffee maker, providing convenience at their fingertips.

For those seeking a truly indulgent experience, prestige suites offer an array of additional features. Alongside the amenities available in the premium rooms, the suites boast a separate living room, a fully equipped bar unit including a fridge and microwave, and a spacious bathroom. Accessible suites are also available in addition to accessible rooms. 

As part of the resort experience, The Hotel at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto will soon unveil its wellness area. This dedicated space includes a state-of-the-art fitness center with cutting-edge equipment, and a wet area featuring a heated indoor pool, a hot tub, and a steam room. The wellness area is set to open in the coming weeks, offering guests the ultimate retreat to unwind. 

Reservations for The Hotel can be made by visiting Great Canadian Toronto’s website.

GREAT CANADIAN CASINO RESORT HIGHLIGHTS
Casino
Adjacent to Woodbine Racetrack, the brand-new destination is the newest and largest casino resort in Canada and one of the largest in North America. With 328,000 square feet of gaming space featuring an extensive range of options, including 4,800 slot machines, 145 live table games, VIP rooms, and sports betting kiosks. 

Poker Room 
Opening this summer, the new Poker Room at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto will offer 30 tables on a completely private floor with electronic table games and slots available for those waiting and 'No Limit' and 'Limit' stakes at varying levels, setting the stage for thrilling gameplay. The addition of larger poker tournaments will also be a main feature in the new poker room. For players seeking an elevated gaming experience, the poker room will include four tables situated in a semi-private area. This exclusive section will cater to higher stakes games and final tables, creating an intimate setting for discerning players.

Dining
Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto is a comprehensive entertainment destination, offering a variety of dining options for guests. Diverse culinary options include the elegant Copperhorn, a sophisticated steakhouse, the charming CA.SU.AL gastropub, and The Eatery, offering delectable grab-and-go salads and sandwiches. 

The Food Hall, operated by Woodbine Entertainment Group, offers variety of quick serve favourites including Tim Hortons, Big Smoke Burger, Noodlebox, MB Express and Pizzaiolo. 

Live Entertainment 
The Theatre at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto 

In the coming months, the property will unveil a state-of-the-art 5,000-person entertainment venue, providing a versatile destination for live music, comedy, sports and special events. Through an exclusive booking partnership with Live Nation, The Theatre at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto will feature world-class artists to amplify the guest experience. 

Public Art
With $5 million invested in one-of-a-kind artworks displayed prominently throughout the property, public art is evident throughout the 33-acre property. Artists were carefully selected by a jury of fellow artists and community stakeholders through public commissioning opportunities, ensuring equitable representation of diverse and underrepresented communities.

Sustainability
As a commitment to environmental sustainability, Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto showcases a stunning 250,000 square feet of green roof, the second largest in Canada. Solar panel canopies further reduce the site's carbon footprint, and electric vehicle parking spots are available for eco-conscious guests. 

Economic Impact
The resort is creating a significant economic impact, with an investment of approximately $1 billion and an estimated $500 million in economic benefit for Ontario. Moreover, nearly 2,000 team members will be employed, contributing to job growth and prosperity in the region. The City of Toronto has received more than $357 million as its share of gaming revenue since the introduction of Casino Woodbine. 

Parking 
A well-lit parkade with 3,800 covered parking spaces offers 24-hour security and multiple entrances providing easy access to the resort, ensuring convenience for all visitors.

Great Canadian Rewards
Great Canadian Rewards members can take advantage of exclusive offers, including the lowest available rates, free or discounted stays, and other valuable benefits at Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto, and across the company’s 12 properties in Ontario.

Responsible Gambling
As part of the Great Canadian Toronto's commitment to responsible gambling, the property also features two PlaySmart Centres on the gaming floor, filled with engaging interactive tools and valuable responsible gambling resources available for all players, including information on how to participate in OLG's voluntary My PlayBreak program if they choose to take a break from gambling.

About Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto
Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto, Canada’s newest and largest casino resort opened in June 2023. The $1B landmark entertainment destination features 328,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, 400-room hotel, indoor pool, wellness and fitness area, multiple dining options, private event and flexible meeting space, 5000-person live entertainment venue in association with Live Nation, which will play host to the best in live music, comedy, and special events. For more information please visit greatcandiantoronto.com or follow us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

About/ Great Canadian Entertainment
Founded in 1982, Great Canadian Entertainment is Canada’s premier gaming and hospitality company with 25 gaming, entertainment, hospitality and resort facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. 

Committed to investing in and offering opportunity to those in the communities in which it operates, Great Canadian supports over 1,400 charitable and non-profit organizations across Canada under its PROUD program; “PROUD of our people, our business, our community”. A significant portion of gross gaming revenue from Great Canadian’s gaming facilities is retained by Crown partners on behalf of their provincial governments for the purpose of supporting programs that benefit healthcare, education, and social services in Canada. To learn more, please visit www.greatcanadian.com or follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:
Naomi Strasser or Mindy Cummings
naomi@aerialpr.com / mindy@aerialpr.com

July 31, 2023
Creative Group's Manon Dicaire Awarded Top 50 Women Leaders of Toronto for 2023

Toronto/CNW/—Creative Group, Inc., a full-service meeting, incentive, and recognition company, is pleased that Manon Dicaire, Senior Vice President, Business Development Canada, was awarded The Top 50 Women Leaders of Toronto for 2023 by Women We Admire.

The women who are selected hold great power in shaping their organizations. Their contributions are pivotal in promoting teamwork and long-lasting growth and development within their teams. "We are thrilled that Manon was chosen as the recipient of this esteemed award," said Glenn Darlington, EVP, Business Development, at Creative Group. "Manon has been a guiding light in our Toronto office, committed to strong leadership and building high functioning teams that are focused on delivering amazing client experiences," he added.

"I'm very honored to be a part of such an illustrious group of women in leadership," said Dicaire. "If my life experience has taught me anything, it's that relationships are everything. If I serve someone today, they will serve the next person. Nothing surpasses the sense of fulfillment I get when those around me learn and grow, and help our clients thrive."

About Manon Dicaire
Manon Dicaire is the Canadian executive leader overseeing business development and client strategy at Creative Group in Toronto. She has deep roots in the incentive and events industry and prior to her current leadership role, she worked in global sales at Starwood Hotels, as an Account Executive at Strategic Meetings + Incentives, and managed her own consultancy business. As a leader in the industry, she has supported local chapters of SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) and MPI (Meeting Planners International). Manon is a keynote speaker and part-time Professor at George Brown College, School of Hospitality and Tourism. She speaks both French and English fluently and holds CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) and TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario) certifications.

About Creative Group
Creative Group, a Direct Travel company, is a full-service event marketing agency specializing in engagement, incentive and recognition solutions, and end-to-end meeting and event management. An industry leader, Creative Group has been honoured with multiple SITE Crystal Awards and the CMI 25 Award, which recognizes the top 25 most influential meeting and incentive management companies in the U.S.

Creative Group was founded in 1970 and serves clients in technology, financial services, life sciences, insurance, manufacturing, retail, automotive, hospitality and more. Employing over 200 people, the company is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois, and maintains offices in San Francisco (Emeryville), Detroit, Appleton, Wisconsin and Toronto, Canada. For more information about Creative Group, visit https://www.creativegroupinc.com

SOURCE Creative Group, Inc.

July 26, 2023
Destination Toronto Appoints New Board Chair Rekha Khote

Toronto—Destination Toronto today announced Rekha Khote, CEO, MK2 Hospitality, as Chair of its Board of Directors. Rekha was elected by the Board of Directors, the slate of which was approved on June 8, 2023 at the 98th Annual General Meeting at The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall. 

“Rekha’s passion for Toronto’s tourism and hospitality community combined with her business acumen make her a natural choice to fill the leadership role of Chair,” said Scott Beck, President and CEO of Destination Toronto. “On behalf of our entire destination, I’d like to express my gratitude to Rekha and the entire Board of Directors for their volunteer leadership and dedication in ensuring our organization’s focus and strategy continues to grow the impact of the visitor economy in Toronto.” 

With a distinguished tourism career that includes executive leadership at Starwood Hotels and Delta Hotels & Resorts, Rekha has board and committee experience at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Greater Toronto Hotel Association, George Brown College, and Destination Toronto, serving as Chair of its marketing committee. As the co-founder of business consultancy MK2 Hospitality, Rekha gives back to the tourism and hospitality community by mentoring senior level women in the industry to achieve their career goals.

“I’m honoured to accept the role of Chair and to serve the Toronto tourism and hospitality community as the industry continues its recovery,” said Rekha Khote, Board Chair of Destination Toronto. “Toronto is an incredibly diverse city with an inclusive culture that is tangible to our visitors. It’s what makes this city so special. I look forward to working with our members and the Toronto community to share our story and welcome visitors to our beautiful city.”

In addition to the formal business of the 98th Annual General Meeting, the 2022 Annual Report was presented by staff and attendees received a live performance of Cultures Remix, featuring Ontario's 1st Poet Laureate and Artivist Randell Adjei, and dancer and Founder of Sapphenix Movement, Kimberly Anne Beckles. 

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 Tourism, Culture and Sport, 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.

Media Contact:
Kathy Motton
Destination Toronto – Senior Communications Manager
kmotton@destinationtoronto.com 
416-721-9203 

July 25, 2023
New Innovative Platform Aims to Empower Canada’s Indigenous Tourism Industry

Introducing a Revolutionary Platform that Connects Job Seekers and Employers 

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), (Vancouver, BC)—Destination Indigenous has officially launched DiscoverIndigenousTourism.ca, an online platform that brings together Indigenous job seekers and employers across Canada’s tourism industry. Destination Indigenous thanks Tourism HR Canada for making this new website possible. 

The website will provide Indigenous job seekers with extensive job listings that are suitable for all levels of employment and cater to those who are new to the workforce, experienced professionals or individuals who are seeking a career change. Users can also explore the regularly updated database of job opportunities specifically within the tourism sector.

This platform is designed to be user-friendly and assist employers who want to work with Indigenous community members. It reduces the time spent on finding the right team member by identifying the ideal candidate for the role.

In 2019, the Indigenous tourism industry experienced rapid growth contributing an estimated $1.9 billion in revenue to Canada’s gross domestic product. During that time, it supported around 40,000 Indigenous tourism employees and 1,900 Indigenous-led businesses. 

Indigenous-owned businesses in the industry faced a disproportionate impact due to the pandemic and this new platform will play a crucial role in addressing the labour crisis. Additionally, it will offer valuable support to individuals who are in search of employment within Canada’s Indigenous tourism sector through establishing connections with genuine and authentic opportunities.

“We’re thrilled to introduce DiscoverIndigenousTourism.ca as a powerful platform that will revolutionize the way we connect passionate Indigenous community members with Canada’s Indigenous tourism industry,” says ITAC President and CEO Keith Henry. “The website opens up many opportunities for all businesses across the tourism industry and paves the way to preserving Indigenous cultures, fostering economic growth and creating strong connections.”

The new platform and labour market video were showcased at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) opening ceremonies in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sparking excitement among attendees.

To explore the array of employment opportunities and a vast network of employers who are dedicated to offering a diverse array of Indigenous-owned offerings, please visit DiscoverIndigenousTourism.ca

About Discover Indigenous Tourism
DiscoverIndigenousTourism.ca is a dedicated platform that connects passionate job seekers and employers within the Indigenous tourism industry. As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country, Indigenous tourism offers a unique opportunity to explore and celebrate the rich cultures, traditions and landscapes of Canada’s Indigenous communities. 

About Destination Indigenous
Destination Indigenous is for travellers seeking authentic Indigenous experiences in Canada. Launched in 2020 by the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), Destination Indigenous markets the best Indigenous tourism experiences from coast to coast to coast. Destination Indigenous opens doors into the living cultures of Indigenous Peoples in Canada today through Indigenous nature and wildlife tours, cultural sharing, accommodation and relaxation, culinary experiences, shopping and more.

About the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is a national non-profit Indigenous tourism industry organization established in 2015. ITAC is the lead organization tasked with growing and promoting the Indigenous tourism industry across the country. Inspired by a vision for a thriving Indigenous tourism economy sharing authentic, memorable and enriching experiences, ITAC develops relationships with groups and regions with similar mandates to enable collective support, product development, promotion and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism businesses in a respectful protocol.  

July 25, 2023
Wyndham Signs 60 New ECHO Suites Hotels Across the U.S. and Canada

New multi-unit deals with established developers expand ECHO Suites’ presence in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota while launching the brand in Canada

PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,100 hotels across more than 95 countries, today announced 60 new hotels for its rapidly expanding ECHO SuitesSM Extended Stay by Wyndham brand, including what will be the brand’s first hotels in Canada.

Continuing Wyndham’s long-term strategy of signing multi-unit deals with established and experienced developers—one of the latest being MasterBUILT Hotels, which to-date has developed more than two dozen Microtel by Wyndham® hotels across Canada—the additions grow the brand’s global pipeline to 265 hotels and approximately 33,000 rooms.

“Since announcing ECHO Suites last year, we’ve seen unprecedented interest from among the industry’s most-successful extended stay developers, helping make ECHO the fastest-growing brand launch of 2022,” said Chip Ohlsson, chief development officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “Adding MasterBUILT—one of Canada’s premier hotel development companies—to that growing list speaks to the quality of the ECHO prototype and its highly efficient, ROI-driven design, which offers among the most rentable square-footage in the industry.”

Canadian Success Story
One of Canada’s fastest growing hotel development and investment companies, MasterBUILT Hotels was founded in 2011 and has tremendous expertise in site evaluation, project design and project management—having constructed over two dozen Microtel by Wyndham hotels spanning all 10 provinces, with additional hotels currently under development.

“The success Wyndham is seeing with ECHO is not by chance—it’s a testament to the care that was put into designing the brand,” said David Donaldson, president and CEO, MasterBUILT Hotels. “From day one, Wyndham made a point of seeking the input of experienced developers and then actioning on their insights. The result is a brand that resonates as strongly with hotel developers as it will with guests. While other brands have since tried to tap into and mirror ECHO Suites’ success—Wyndham, with its unmatched scale, owner-first approach and industry-leading support—continues to lead the pack.”

Unprecedented Growth
With the addition of MasterBUILT Hotels, ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham now has a pipeline of 265 hotels across the U.S. and Canada, making it one of the largest of any extended stay hotel brand. Multiple projects have already broken ground and are in various stages of construction across Virginia, Texas and South Carolina, with over a dozen more slated to break ground in the months ahead. The Company expects to have 100 hotels open over five years, with the brand’s first locations beginning to make a meaningful contribution to Wyndham’s overall portfolio in 2024.

The purpose-built, all new-construction, 124-room ECHO Suites prototype requires under two acres of land and has a highly competitive cost per key. Coming in at approximately 50,000 square-feet, individual rooms average 300 square-feet. The rooms consist of single- and two-queen studio suites with kitchens as well as efficiently-designed public spaces—a lobby, fitness center and 24/7 guest laundry—that help to limit labor needs.

For more information on ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham, including development opportunities, visit www.wyndhamdevelopment.com.

About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) is the world’s largest hotel franchising company by the number of properties, with approximately 9,100 hotels across over 95 countries on six continents.  Through its network of approximately 845,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveler, Wyndham commands a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry.  The Company operates a portfolio of 24 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Microtel®, La Quinta®, Baymont®, Wingate®, AmericInn®, Hawthorn Suites®, Trademark Collection® and Wyndham®.  The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers approximately 101 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally.  For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com.

July 25, 2023
Four Seasons Partners with Shahid Khan to Build New Hotel and Private Residences in First Phase of Visionary Development in Downtown Jacksonville, Florida

The 170-room property will feature waterfront views alongside renowned Four Seasons service and genuine care, setting a new standard for luxury hospitality in Downtown Jacksonville

Toronto—Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world's leading luxury hospitality company, together with Shahid Khan through Iguana Investments Florida LLC (Iguana Investments), today announced plans for a new Hotel and Private Residences in Jacksonville, Florida.

Anticipated to open in 2026, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville will play an integral role in the development of the Jacksonville Shipyards while ushering in a thrilling and historic next chapter for Downtown Jacksonville.

Blending imaginative urban design on the banks of the St. Johns River, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville will be the centerpiece of the Jacksonville Shipyards, ideally located adjacent to the Sports Complex and proposed Stadium of the Future – a renovated and reimagined EverBank Stadium that will serve as home to the Jacksonville Jaguars while playing host to national and international sports and entertainment events for generations to come.

“Four Seasons is incredibly proud to bring our renowned service and hospitality offering to one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development and Portfolio Management, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “As Jacksonville continues to enhance its offerings for people to live, work and play, we look forward to working with Mr. Khan to expand our presence in Florida and extend our long-time partnership together, contributing to the city’s bright future and achieving our shared vision of building communities and creating exceptional luxury experiences.”

About Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville
Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville will offer 170 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, 26 Private Residences, and four dining and lounge outlets including a signature rooftop restaurant and bar, all-day restaurant, pool bar and grill, and lobby bar – all of which will be enjoyed by travellers and locals alike.  

Serviced by the renowned quality and genuine care for which Four Seasons is known, the Hotel will also feature a world-class spa, multiple outdoor pools with cabana service, a well-appointed gym; expansive meeting and event space; and the widely celebrated Kids For All Seasons Program with activities dedicated to younger guests. Guests, residents and locals will also have access to a redeveloped marina offering unique experiences along the St. Johns River.

Setting the stage for a new standout luxury destination in Jacksonville, the initial conceptual design for the project was created by Pininfarina America. HKS is the lead design architect, partnering with ODA for interior design and EDSA for landscape design, creating a modern yet timeless atmosphere. HKS has worked on Four Seasons projects in The Bahamas, Hawaii, Orlando, Denver and more.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville will be joining an exceptional collection of properties in the Sunshine State that currently includes OrlandoPalm BeachSurfsideMiami and Fort Lauderdale as well as an upcoming resort in Naples.

The property will be the second Four Seasons property for Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League. In September 2016, Khan purchased full ownership of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, regarded as the flagship property for the Toronto-based Four Seasons brand and universally heralded as one of the premier destinations in the luxury hotel segment anywhere in the world. The property, located in the fashionable Yorkville neighbourhood, is managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

About the Jacksonville Shipyards Development
In addition to Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville, Phase One of the Jacksonville Shipyards will comprise a six-storey office building, a revamped full-service marina, a reinvigorated Metropolitan Park, a marina services building and a public park.

The project will feature ample park space and walking paths connecting to the riverwalk, which will span from Downtown Jacksonville to Metropolitan Park. Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ business staff will move into the adjacent office building.

Phase Two of the Jacksonville Shipyards will include a five-acre (two-hectare) property slated for mixed-use development. Initial plans include a medical component, which will add to the region’s thriving medical industry. Other potential uses include retail, residential, additional parking and green space. Khan has been singularly focused in recent years on making this vision a reality to create hundreds of new jobs, generate vital tourism revenue, attract residents and spark additional opportunities for emerging local businesses – all with Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Jacksonville at center stage in Downtown Jacksonville.

“I have immense love and respect for Jacksonville and Four Seasons alike,” Khan says. “So, for me, it’s always been about connecting the two, because they have so much to offer each other."

“Four Seasons is an iconic brand that will redefine Downtown Jacksonville and provide a luxury destination that we have been unable to offer until now.  Jacksonville, in turn, will offer the new Four Seasons Hotel a spectacular setting on the banks of the St. Johns River and provide our entire community a reason to rally around the Shipyards, the Stadium of the Future and the overall future of Downtown Jacksonville. I’ve said all along that Four Seasons will be a game-changer for Jacksonville, and the change begins now.”

About Iguana Investments
Iguana Investments Florida, LLC, is a real estate development entity created by Shahid Khan to deliver on visionary projects in the greater Jacksonville area. Iguana is a part of a multi-billion dollar international business collective led by Mr. Shad Khan that includes the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League, Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League, Daily’s Place and Bold Events in Jacksonville, All Elite Wrestling and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

July 19, 2023
Sky's the Limit: First Four Seasons Private Jet Itineraries for 2025 Revealed

“Asia Unveiled” and family-friendly “African Wonders” journeys now accepting reservations, with more 2025 itineraries to come

Toronto—Today's luxury travellers are looking to see and do it all – and to do so exceptionally.  The Four Seasons Private Jet Experience is the ultimate opportunity to travel the world in luxurious style.  All-encompassing itineraries invite families, friends and individuals to discover fascinating locales and cultures, and to see the world’s most popular destinations in new and unexpected ways – all seamlessly planned by Four Seasons experts and delivered with warmth and care.

The 2025 Four Seasons Private Jet calendar begins with African Wonders (December 29, 2024 - January 10, 2025), a shorter itinerary with minimal travel across time zones perfect for families travelling with kids and equally enriching for couples and individuals. The itinerary begins in Greece and heads down the African continent with stops in Egypt, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mauritius, Zambia and South Africa, exploring ancient treasures, wildlife experiences and natural wonders along the way.  Asia Unveiled (March 3-18, 2025) offers an exhilarating mix of southeast Asia’s pulsing cities and idyllic islands, and includes immersive experiences in five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These first two itineraries for 2025 are also shorter than most other Four Seasons Private Jet Experience itineraries, at 13 and 16 days, ideal for annual vacations, school breaks and coordinating busy schedules around honeymoon, anniversary or birthday celebrations.

“Each Four Seasons Private Jet Experience has been crafted with a singular focus on our guests, building itineraries that celebrate the journey as well as the destination, and ensuring that each moment can be personalised to make the experience that much more memorable.” says Alejandro Reynal, Four Seasons President and CEO. “With Four Seasons genuine heart on display each step of the way, there is truly no travel experience quite like it.”

Later this year, Four Seasons will roll out additional Private Jet Experience itineraries on the 2025 calendar.

A Lounge in the Sky

All itineraries are now aboard the new custom-designed Four Seasons Private Jet that debuted late last year with more space to stretch out, move around and socialize, including in a Lounge in the Sky. This communal area acts as both a social gathering spot, and the stage for on-board programming led by Four Seasons craftspeople ranging from educational presentations to sommelier-led wine tastings, wellness workshops and other surprises. Additional features include spacious bathrooms, and an enhanced in-flight entertainment system, customized App for passengers, and multi-connectivity at each seat.

“So many of our past guests have talked about the friendships they made with fellow passengers and the special bonds formed with Four Seasons people,” notes Marc Speichert, Four Seasons Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “All itineraries allow for real-time customization, personalization based on guest preferences, and plenty of time to enjoy every moment. It’s why our guests love this experience and continue to book with us time and time again.”

Every Four Seasons Private Jet itinerary includes all flights aboard the fully customized, 48-seat Airbus A321neo-LR plus luggage coordination and ground transfers; an onboard Four Seasons Executive Chef who creates meals inspired by itinerary destinations and celebrates the unique flavours to be found along the journey; accommodations in Four Seasons hotels and resorts, or, in more remote locations, at establishments carefully selected by Four Seasons; all planned excursions, activities and meals; and 24/7 service by an inflight journey team that includes a concierge, journey physician as well as on-the-ground Four Seasons local experts and dedicated Private Jet Guest Services Manager.

Reservations Now Open: The First Two Four Seasons Private Jet Experiences for 2025

African Wonders – December 29, 2024 - January 10, 2025

Athens – The Pyramids – Serengeti – Mauritius – Rwanda – Victoria Falls – Johannesburg

Highlights include dinner at a  Michelin-starred restaurant on the Athenian Riviera; ringing in the new year in Cairo as an Egyptologist unlocks the mysteries of the Pyramids and Temple of the Sphinx; a bush dinner by lantern light under the watchful eye of Masai warriors that takes guests deep into Serengeti National Park; a catamaran cruise to a secluded cove for a beach barbecue in Mauritius; a hike through the lush forests of Volcanoes National Park that leads to the natural habitat of rare golden monkeys and mountain gorillas, with an introduction to the important work of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project; a special day trip to awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, the world’s largest natural waterfall; and exploration of the modern city of Johannesburg.

Asia Unveiled – March 3-18, 2025

Tokyo – Bali – Maldives – Hoi An – Bhutan – Angkor Wat – Bangkok

Explore the Meji-jingu shrine, a forest oasis of 120,000 trees followed by a visit to Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo; snorkel the crystal clear waters of the protected Baa Atoll and a turtle safari in the Maldives; sample street food while shopping the charming town of Hoi An in central Vietnam; go rafting in the rapids along Bali’s Ayung River and relax in the Sacred River Spa; a spectacular ascent to the Taktsang Palphug Monastery 10,000 feet above sea level in Bhutan; participate in a traditional Buddhist blessing and a private tour of the world’s largest temple complex of Angkor Wat; and a cruise among the stilt houses, floating kitchens and waterside temples of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

Limited Space Available on 2023-2024 Itineraries

Can’t wait until 2025 to travel with Four Seasons? Limited space is available for Uncharted Discovery (November 30 – December 20, 2023), which includes a four-night expedition aboard a chartered private polar ship to explore Antarctic wildlife and glacier-sculpted landscapes, a private concert by South America’s most prestigious orchestra, the Bogota Philharmonic, stargazing in Costa Rica, and an up-close and personal visit to Iguazú Falls. Space also remains for Ancient Explorer (August 28 – September 20, 2024), which is highlighted by stops at Easter Island, the lost city of Petra in Jordan and a visit to Taormina the picturesque backdrop for season two of the hit TV series, The White Lotus.

To find out more and begin planning a Four Seasons Private Jet Experience, click here.

The Four Seasons Private Jet Experience is operated by the industry leader in private jet journeys TCS World Travel, dedicated to delivering immersive, worry-free travel experiences for the globally curious and modern luxury traveller. The aircraft is operated by Titan Airways.

About the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience
Learn more about the Four Seasons Private Jet Experience and follow the #FSJet hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and to continue exploring the Four Seasons Private Jet.

The Four Seasons Private Jet is operated by TCS World Travel, dedicated to delivering immersive, worry-free travel experiences for the globally curious and modern luxury traveller. For more information from the industry leader in private jet journeys, click here.

July 18, 2023
Marriott International and MGM Resorts International Announce Long-Term License Agreement and Creation of “MGM Collection With Marriott Bonvoy”

Additionally, Marriott International and BetMGM sign loyalty marketing agreement to make Marriott Bonvoy the exclusive hospitality loyalty program partner of BetMGM

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) announced today an exclusive long-term strategic licensing agreement and the creation of MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, which will launch in October 2023, and encompass 17 of MGM’s unrivaled resorts, representing more than 40,000 rooms in Las Vegas and other cities across the U.S.

Beginning in October, several MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts will be available for booking on Marriott’s robust digital platforms, including Marriott.com and the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app, with all properties expected to be available by the end of the year. These resorts will continue to be available on MGM Resorts’ channels, including MGMRewards.com and the MGM Resorts mobile app.

This historic, long-term agreement brings together two of the most trusted and iconic brands in hospitality and entertainment. We’ve seen first-hand the strong demand from Marriott International customers through our existing relationship at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and this new agreement will enable us to further optimize our overall profitability. We’re thrilled to now scale the relationship and offer Marriott Bonvoy members greater distribution access to our award-winning resorts – as well as exclusive event and entertainment opportunities - in Las Vegas and across the U.S. Bill Hornbuckle, President and Chief Executive Officer, MGM Resorts

We are excited to make MGM Resorts’ incredible properties available on Marriott channels, allowing our members to enjoy Marriott Bonvoy benefits when they stay at MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts. We look forward to increasing our global rooms distribution by 2.4 percent as we grow our presence on the Las Vegas Strip and in other compelling destinations across the U.S. Anthony Capuano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International

The agreement between MGM Resorts and Marriott will also benefit members of both companies’ loyalty programs. Members of MGM Rewards, MGM Resorts’ acclaimed loyalty platform with more than 40 million members globally, will be eligible to link accounts with Marriott Bonvoy and receive select member benefits. Members of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott’s award-winning loyalty platform with over 180 million members globally, will be able to earn and redeem points for stays at all MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy properties.

Familiar Brands on a New Stage

Of the 17 MGM resorts that will join MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, four properties will also be affiliated with existing Marriott collection brands: Bellagio Resort & Casino will join The Luxury Collection, ARIA Resort & Casino will join Autograph Collection, Park MGM will become part of Tribute Portfolio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will continue its affiliation with Autograph Collection.

Eight MGM resorts in Las Vegas will join MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy: Vdara Hotel & Spa, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, NoMad Las Vegas, The Signature at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel and Casino, and Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

Five MGM Resorts in other U.S. locations will also join MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy: Borgata (Atlantic City, New Jersey), Beau Rivage (Biloxi, Mississippi), MGM Grand Detroit (Michigan), MGM National Harbor (Maryland), and MGM Springfield (Massachusetts).

Marriott and MGM Give Loyalty Members Access to a New and Inspiring Level of Experiences

Travelers visit Las Vegas for everything from food and wine to sports, music, gaming, and more. Marriott Bonvoy and MGM Rewards will unlock significant benefits and experiences for members of both programs. Marriott Bonvoy members will enjoy benefits at MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy resorts and MGM Rewards members will receive certain benefits at Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio of more than 8,500 properties, while members of both programs will also be able to exchange MGM Rewards points for Marriott Bonvoy points and vice versa. Marriott Bonvoy Moments, the program providing members access to unparalleled experiences that fuel personal passions, will be enhanced by MGM’s unmatched culinary, entertainment and sports offerings. More information about linking loyalty accounts, new experiences and other loyalty program benefits will be provided to members of both programs in the coming months.

BetMGM and Marriott Bonvoy Further Enhance Member Benefits

Marriott International has also entered into a loyalty marketing agreement with BetMGM, MGM Resorts International’s online gaming and sports betting joint venture, for Marriott Bonvoy to become BetMGM’s exclusive hospitality loyalty program partner in the U.S. and Canada. Under this agreement, Marriott and BetMGM will collaborate to provide Marriott Bonvoy members opportunities to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on certain BetMGM transactions, and participate in exclusive games, experiences, and offers on the BetMGM platform. In addition, BetMGM Rewards members will have the opportunity to exchange BetMGM Rewards points into Marriott Bonvoy points. More information about the collaboration will be available this fall.

We couldn’t be more excited to be able to offer Marriott Bonvoy Members and our players another suite of incredible perks only found on BetMGM. Our new agreement with Marriott International will create a truly robust rewards program that connects our players and Marriott guests to the full BetMGM omnichannel experience. Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM, Chief Executive Officer

For more information, please visit https://www.marriott.com/marriott-brands/mgm-collection.mi or https://www.mgmresorts.com/marriott.

About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 31 unique hotel and gaming destinations globally, including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. The Company’s 50/50 venture, BetMGM, LLC, offers U.S. sports betting and online gaming through market-leading brands, including BetMGM and partypoker, and the Company’s subsidiary LeoVegas AB offers sports betting and online gaming through market-leading brands in several jurisdictions throughout Europe. The Company is currently pursuing targeted expansion in Asia through the integrated resort opportunity in Japan. Through its "Focused on What Matters: Embracing Humanity and Protecting the Planet" philosophy, MGM Resorts commits to creating a more sustainable future, while striving to make a bigger difference in the lives of its employees, guests, and in the communities where it operates. The global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®. For more information, please visit us at www.mgmresorts.com. Please also connect with us @MGMResortsIntl on Twitter as well as Facebook and Instagram.

About BetMGM
BetMGM is a market-leading sports betting and gaming entertainment company, pioneering the online gaming industry. Born out of a partnership between MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and Entain Plc (LSE: ENT), BetMGM has exclusive access to all of MGM’s U.S. land-based and online sports betting, major tournament poker, and online gaming businesses. Utilizing Entain’s US-licensed, state of the art technology, BetMGM offers sports betting and online gaming via market-leading brands including BetMGM, Borgata Casino, Party Casino and Party Poker. Founded in 2018, BetMGM is headquartered in New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.betmgminc.com/.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 8,100 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. Connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

July 18, 2023
LOUIX LOUIS, The St. Regis Toronto’s acclaimed 31st Floor Restaurant wins Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence”

Toronto—The St. Regis Toronto is pleased to announce that LOUIX LOUIS, has been recognized for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectators 2023 Restaurant Awards. The award-winning restaurant has received the Best of Award of Excellence which is bestowed on establishments displaying excellent breadth across multiple wine growing regions and significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation. LOUIX LOUIS is one of just three Toronto hotel restaurants to earn this distinction.

“The LOUIX LOUIS team is honoured to have its work in maintaining a thoughtful, best in class, wine program acknowledged with this prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence” said Hiren Prabhakar, General Manager, The St. Regis Toronto. 'Our team is always on a mission to present our guests with a robust wine list showcasing truly unique offerings. This accolade is a testament to upholding those efforts.”

A destination for connoisseurs, LOUIX LOUIS's list offers nearly 600 sommelier selected wines from around the world including everything from classics in the ‘big six’ categories to rare selections and vintages highlighting local, small producers and independent vineyards utilizing organic, biodynamic farming methods. LOUIX LOUIS also stands out from the pack as it offers well-known quality wines by the glass that transcend generic labels. All selections spanning the wine program perfectly complement the restaurant’s American French cuisine.

n addition to LOUIX LOUIS’s extensive wine offerings, its coveted TOP SHELF tasting dinner series invites wine and spirit connoisseurs to embark on an exquisite journey uncorking some of the rarest and most highly sought after wines and spirits from around the globe. TOP SHELF is hosted in the restaurant's intimate 2nd floor LOFT space, where guests indulge in the culinary creations of LOUIX LOUIS through prix fixe pairing menus co-hosted with the world’s rarest and most intriguing wine and spirits partners.

“In a time of technological innovation, restaurants offer the human experience diners are hungry for—listening to their customers and offering personalized experience,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “This annual issue celebrates the places where wine is at the top of that conversation. I’m pleased to congratulate all 3,505 restaurants for their dedication to wine and wine-loving diners.”

About The St. Regis Toronto
Trendsetting and boundary-breaking, The St. Regis Toronto is the city's most coveted address. Rising 65 stories in the heart of downtown, the hotel offers a remarkably central location, steps from Toronto’s most preeminent landmarks and the city’s premier shopping, theatre and entertainment. Modern elegance and bespoke butler service unite amongst 258 of the city's largest guest rooms including 124 suites, setting a new standard for luxury in Canada. Escape from the illustrious cityscape to the 31st-floor LOUIX LOUIS grand bar and restaurant, inspired by the iconic cocktail parlours of New York and Paris, housing one of the largest dark spirits collections in North America. Indulge at Canada’s highest luxury spa, The Spa at St. Regis, an urban oasis on the 31st floor, boasting sweeping views of downtown Toronto, or witness St. Regis' iconic champagne sabering ritual each evening in Astor Lounge, the hotel’s lobby bar, welcoming guests with modern elegance and a relaxed atmosphere. www.stregistoronto.com

About Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aerial Communications Group
Mindy Cummings or Hannah Rastrick
mindy@aerialpr.com  / hannah@aerialpr.com

July 17, 2023
Hosting International Association Events: Montreal Takes Top Spot in the Americas for the Sixth Year Running

Montreal—Montreal continues to hold the top spot in hosting international association events in the Americas. For the sixth consecutive year, the International Meetings Statistics Report published by the Union of International Associations (UIA) has named Montréal one of the world’s leading business destinations.

This prestigious honour, which Montréal has won 11 times in the last 12 years, acknowledges Montréal’s position as a preferred destination for world-class conventions, conferences and association events.

With 90 events of the kind held in Montreal by 2022, mostly at the Palais des congrès but also at certain hotels and universities, the city has taken 12th spot in a global ranking led by Brussels, confirming that its appeal is undiminished despite the pandemic.

International standing doubly confirmed

Thanks to its sound infrastructure, dynamic research network in such key industries (including life sciences, cleantech and AI) and rich innovation ecosystem, Montréal continues to attract the most influential international organizations.

This distinction strengthens Montréal’s position as a catalyst for the convention and events industry in the Americas. In addition to generating significant economic spinoffs for the city, international events help expand Montréal’s intellectual wealth and establish its reputation on the world stage.

This result comes a month after Montréal also confirmed its status as North America’s leading destination for international association events, according to an annual ranking prepared by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

Quotes

« This distinction bears witness to the ongoing commitment of Montréal and the Palais to roll out an unparalleled welcome for all the events we host. The Palais is proud to play a key role in bringing these events to Montréal and in the city’s standing as a destination of choice. I am delighted to see that, in addition to the economic spinoffs generated, the know-how and sophistication of our innovative, multicultural metropolis continue to be recognized on the international stage. »  Emmanuelle Legault, présidente-directrice générale du Palais des congrès de Montréal

« Tourisme Montréal plays an active role in attracting business events to Montreal, and this honour acknowledges those efforts. In addition to its high-quality infrastructure, the city benefits from a strategic location and unparalleled cultural and gourmet offerings, making it a popular destination for business travelers from all over the world! »  Yves Lalumière, président-directeur général de Tourisme Montréal

Source: Palais des congrès de Montréal

July 11, 2023
Director X Shares His Toronto in You Gotta See What We See

Following the successful 2022 campaign featuring Simu Liu, the newest iteration from Destination Toronto shares a new perspective on Toronto

Toronto/CNW/—Destination Toronto today shared its newest collaboration in the You Gotta See What We See series. The series engages passionate Toronto creators in sharing their takes on the city, through their unique creative lens. Toronto-born Julien Christian Lutz, an iconic music video director best known as Director X who has worked with Drake, Rihanna, Rosalia, and Kendrick Lamar, conceptualized and directed the video. Mustafa, a Juno Award-winning singer and songwriter from Toronto's Regent Park neighbourhood, lent his distinctive voice and penned the prose in Director X' split-screen POV of the city.

"To really get Toronto, you need to see it through the eyes of the people who make this city what it is," said Paula Port, Vice President of Global Marketing at Destination Toronto. "Toronto is a reflection of its people. Their diverse perspectives and identities infuse the city's culture, festivals, and food. It's what makes Toronto unique and special and worthy of a visit. We're excited to collaborate with our local creative community in sharing these stories with potential visitors through the You Gotta See What We See series."

The campaign launched in late May, continuing with the docu-style series developed in 2022, featuring Simu Liu, Santee Siouxx, Sonia Mangat, Nick Liu and Mariah Amber.  Director X' and Mustafa's video perspective is in-market now with additional collaborations launching later this summer and into the fall.  The media plan is focused in New York City, San Francisco/San Jose, Chicago, and Washington DC. Viewers are directed to DestinationToronto.com to find other Toronto insiders and discover their Toronto stories.

In 2022, the You Gotta See What We See campaign resulted in 39 million video views and 1.2 million website visits. Before the pandemic in 2019, almost 2 million American travellers visited the city bringing $1.36 billion in spending to the visitor economy.

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 Tourism, Culture and Sport, Destination Toronto markets and promotes the city to locals and visitors, attracts and supports major meetings and events, and supports local businesses to maximize the opportunities of visitor spending. For more information, please visit DestinationToronto.com.

July 06, 2023
Liberty Entertainment Group earns coveted 2023 Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards

Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, BlueBlood Steakhouse and Cibo Wine Bar named among the world’s best restaurants for wine

Toronto, ON—Liberty Entertainment Group is proud to announce that all its restaurant properties have been honored for their outstanding wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2023 Restaurant Awards, which celebrate the world’s best restaurants for wine. Launched in 1981, the Restaurant Awards represent the world’s only program focused exclusively on restaurant wine service. They are assigned on three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,001; 1,411; and 93 winners this year in each respective category.

Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, the Michelin-starred fine dining jewel in Liberty Group’s crown, has won the Best of Award of Excellence, in addition to the company’s award-winning BlueBlood Steakhouse, offering a modern twist in the classic steakhouse, located in Toronto’s historic landmark, Casa Loma.  Best of Award of Excellence recipients are noted for displaying excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation. The company’s three locations of Cibo Wine Bar (Yonge Street, Yorkville and King Street West) featuring handmade, rustic Italian cuisine in a relaxed, modern setting were named with the Award of Excellence, recognizing restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu, in both price and style.

“In a time of technological innovation, restaurants offer the human experience diners are hungry for—listening to their customers and offering personalized experience,” said Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher, Wine Spectator. “Our annual issue celebrates the places where wine is at the top of that conversation. I’m pleased to congratulate the restaurants for their dedication to wine and wine-loving diners.”

“We are honoured to be recognized across all of our properties for our comprehensive wine programs by Wine Spectator, the world’s leading authority on wine,” said Nick Di Donato, president and CEO, Liberty Entertainment Group. “It’s thrilling to be celebrated internationally for our commitment to offering the very best pairings for our different menus, and these prestigious awards once again underscore our dedication to continuing to provide exceptional world-class dining experiences in Toronto.”

An award-winning legacy
Earlier this month, Don Alfonso was awarded the coveted Tre Forchette (“Three Forks”) designation in the 2023 Top Italian Restaurants Awards  by Gambero Rosso – the singularly most  important international multimedia brand in Italian food and wine, and the leading platform for content, training, promotion and consultancy in the Italian wine, travel and food sector. Don Alfonso was the single restaurant named in Toronto; and the only one of two recognized in Canada. Since its opening in 2018, the restaurant has been recognized with multiple national and international awards and honours, including Best Italian Restaurant in the World - 50 Top Italy, Best New Restaurant in the World & Tre Forchette (3 Forks) - Gambero Rosso, Best Italian Restaurant in Canada & Top Ten of All Restaurants in Canada - La Liste, International Hotel and Property Awards, Distinguished Restaurants of North America – DiRoNA, OpenTable, and Wine Spectator.

Wine Spectator’s special Restaurant Awards issue becomes available to readers July 11. Follow the Restaurant Awards onInstagram (@wsrestaurantawards), with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward, and at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com, where all winners can be searched by location and sorted by attributes including name, proximity, award level, cuisine and pricing. Winners are also profiled in the free Restaurant Awards app, available for iPhone and iPad users. 

About Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter

About Liberty Entertainment Group
For over three decades the Liberty Entertainment Group, led by Nick Di Donato, has been redefining Toronto’s restaurants, nightlife, and special event experiences. As developers and operators of landmark establishments the Liberty Entertainment Group has become recognized as one of the most successful and innovative companies in the industry. The company continues to gain success and acknowledgment for its impressive roster of unique venues, including Toronto’s premiere special event facilities, Casa Loma, and Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. The company is also responsible for the development of Toronto’s most prolific restaurants including BlueBlood Steakhouse, Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890, three Cibo Wine Bar locations (King West, Yonge St, and Yorkville) and two projects currently under development, DaNico and Blue Bovine Steak + Sushi House. With over 500,000 square feet of hospitality space, the Liberty Entertainment Group caters to a diverse clientele of upwards of 1.75 million people per year including A list celebrities, sports personalities, and industry leaders. Visit www.libertygroup.com.