Current News

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Current News

February 27, 2024
SITE celebrates excellence in incentive travel with annual Crystal Awards program


Supported by IMEX Group, this year’s SITE Crystal Awards recognized nine companies' incentive travel achievements 

Istanbul—The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) honored nine companies with Crystal Awards Tuesday evening during the association’s Global Conference, celebrating an immense range of skills and triumphs related to incentive travel.

This year’s Awards attracted a record number of entries, elevating the achievements of this year’s winning organizations.

“I’m so proud at the growth and success on display tonight,” said SITE CEO Annette Gregg. “This is truly a chance to celebrate the very top of our profession, with leaders here who set the stage and prove the amazing power and potential incentive travel uniquely delivers.”

Reflecting a range of geographies, clients, and program features, their collective accomplishments signal a strong, confident future in the continued use of incentive travel as a highly effective and inspirational reward and motivation strategy.

“This is always an immensely special evening to be part of,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group (the sponsor of the Crystal Awards). “The bar truly is raised higher and higher each year, with nominees pushing themselves and their teams to create impactful programs and long-lasting memories that will drive performance for months and years to come. It’s always a thrill to be part of recognizing these efforts alongside industry friends and colleagues.”

Crystal Awards Committee Chair Ellie MacPherson was also recognized during the ceremony for re-imagining the Crystal Awards program as the incentive travel industry’s Oscars, indisputable validation for excellence in incentive travel design, programming and delivery.

“I pass the baton to my friend and fellow Canadian, Cate Banfield, following four years as Chair of this extraordinary program,” said MacPerson. “Throughout my career as an incentive travel professional I’ve always strived for excellence in designing and delivering incentive travel experiences. I passionately believe that travel experiences, more than any other corporate reward or recognition, truly transform individuals, companies and the destinations they choose. SITE’s Crystal Awards program recognizes that, and honors it appropriately.”

Receiving Crystal Awards this year are:

Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives & Events, for Excellence in Incentive Travel: Africa & Middle East

Haute, for Excellence in Incentive Travel: North America

MFactor Meetings, for Excellence in Incentive Travel: Europe

Next Level Performance, for Most Impactful Effort Toward Corporate Social Responsibility as Part of an Incentive Travel Program

PHP Event Services, for Excellence in Incentive Travel: Asia-Pacific

Portugal Travel Team, for Best Destination-Based Experiential Incentive Travel Program 

Spectra DMC, for Most Creative Solution Deployed to Overcome Adversity

streamlinevents, for Excellence in Incentive Travel: Latin America and the Caribbean

Synergy Effect, for Excellence in Incentive Travel: Asia-Pacific 

Special congratulations were extended to MFactor Meetings again as the inaugural recipient of the “Par Excellence” award, a new prize introduced at this year’s ceremony that recognizes outstanding overall incentive travel accomplishments.

More information about all winning entries will be available soon on the SITE website, and applications for the next Crystal Awards program will open in June 2024.

For further information, please contact Padraic Gilligan, Chief Marketing Officer, SITE pgilligan@siteglobal.com

About Incentive Travel & SITE
Incentive travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the business events industry, has the highest per capita spend, and the widest supply chain. Accounting for about 7% of all business events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2018) estimated the incentive travel industry to be worth around $75 billion globally.

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only business events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. We bring value to our members at both the global and local chapter level through networking, online resources, education, certification and advocacy.

February 27, 2024
GBTA Welcomes Janette Acosta Sanchez as the New Country Director for GBTA Canada

GBTA is excited to announce that Janette Acosta Sanchez has been named to lead GBTA Canada, effective immediately. Reporting to Cristina Scott, SVP Americas, Janette will have responsibility for the continued growth and success of GBTA’s membership, advocacy and volunteer programs in Canada. As Country Director-Canada, she now oversees the bringing together of constituents and focus areas at multiple Canadian events throughout each year, culminating in the annual GBTA Canada Conference, which Janette and GBTA are hosting this year at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, April 22-24.  

About Janette Acosta Sanchez:
Janette was born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and ventured away from home at age 18 to the picturesque island of Cozumel, Mexico. It was there that her love affair with the travel industry began, setting her on a path that spanned the next 25 years.

Throughout her career, she has immersed herself in various facets of hospitality and tourism, representing esteemed international hotel brands. However, her true passion lies in business travel. As a result of the pandemic, she transitioned into the Travel Management Company (TMC) sector, giving her a chance to gain comprehensive insights into the industry and to collaborate closely with numerous corporate clients across the United States and Canada. Janette’s expertise encompasses rate negotiations, travel policy implementation, cost-saving strategies, duty of care, and beyond.

Please join us in welcoming Janette to GBTA Canada!

February 27, 2024
Now Accepting Reservations: Newest Four Seasons Resort in Mexico Will Welcome Guests to Cabo's Famous Golden Corridor Beginning May 1, 2024

Tucked into a Riviera-style village, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol embodies the essence of Mexican charm while embracing the glamour of modern luxury

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol is open for reservations and will begin welcoming guests as of May 1, 2024. Ideally located on the stunning southern coast of the Baja in the heart of the Los Cabos Golden Corridor, the luxury resort community of Cabo Del Sol is home to a vibrant, Riviera-style village that includes the new Four Seasons Resort and Residences.

“As we expand our portfolio in the most sought-after vacation destinations around the world, Cabo San Lucas has long been on our list, and we are thrilled to be opening a brand new Four Seasons experience that beautifully complements our existing resort on the more remote East Cape of Los Cabos,” says Antoine Chahwan, President, Hotel Operations - Americas.  “With this project, guests will enjoy all that this thriving scene has to offer, paired with Four Seasons hospitality and heart that they have come to love in Mexico and beyond.”

Designed to welcome guests with the warm embrace of a long-awaited homecoming, the modern hacienda is inspired by Pueblos Mágicos - Mexican towns known for their enchanting qualities – in bringing together local craftsmanship, art, music and food.  The Resort offers 96 expansive guest rooms, casitas, suites, and villas plus 61 residences, villas, and estates ranging from 79 square metres (847 square feet) to 590 square metres (6374 square feet) – all with sparkling views of the Sea of Cortez, where whales visit annually November to April. With clean lines and open, airy spaces, the architecture and design seamlessly blend traditional Mexican influences with contemporary luxury. All accommodations feature retractable glass doors that bring the outdoors in, as well as private terraces. Many suites also include private plunge pools and outdoor showers.  

Just 30 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) and 15 minutes from Cabo San Lucas International Airport (CSL), Four Seasons Resort Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol is mere minutes away from Cabo’s famous shopping, dining, nightlife and sightseeing. 

On property, guests will enjoy a swimmable beach ideal for snorkelling and water activities, three pools, three restaurant and five bar options, the on-site El Taller Artisan Art Studio, the full-service Tierra Mar Spa with fitness centre designed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, Baja 360° Adventure centre, Papalote Kids For All Seasons, locally-driven retail experiences, a clubhouse-style wedding and event facility, and access to the award-winning Cabo Del Sol golf course.

The Modern Hacienda Lifestyle

The heartbeat of the property, La Casona, is a lively gathering place that welcomes guests and visitors alike. Anchored by a large fireplace, local artwork and sweeping ocean views, guests are greeted into the living room of La Casona in lieu of the conventional lobby experience. Traditional front desks are replaced with oversized sofas and employees forgo uniforms in exchange for chic employee fashion by Mexico City-based designer Kris Goyri.

It is here that comfort and connection build the foundation for La Buena Vida – the good life - where vibrant colours, rhythmic music, artistic expressions, and exquisite flavours converge to create an unforgettable Mexican experience.

At La Casona Bar, mixology goes modern, with inventive takes on the classics and curated tequila tastings. Epic cocktail and dining culture continues throughout the Resort’s three restaurants and five lounges. Palmerio is a love letter from the Mediterranean to the Baja Riviera, with French and Italian-inspired menus from an open-air kitchen.  Coraluz is a barefoot beach club, while Cayao, by global pioneer of contemporary Latin cuisine Richard Sandoval, is a temple of Peruvian Nikkei cuisine, including “suviche” – a fusion of Latin American ceviche and Japanese sushi traditions, with a full bar pouring a wide range of pisco, tequila and mezcal.

The new Four Seasons will also feature Sora, an oceanfront rooftop lounge and the ultimate place to see and be seen for sunset cocktails. 

“The Golden Corridor of Los Cabos is one of the most incredible luxury resort destinations in the entire world,” says Richard Raab, General Manager, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol. “From our stunning location and best-in-class accommodations to our immersive design, culturally-inspired programming, and epicurean adventures – all under the thoughtful care of our unrivalled Four Seasons team - Cabo Del Sol brings an entirely singular experience to the destination with our modern approach to a traditional hacienda-style resort.”

Be among the first to experience the all-new Four Seasons Resort Cabo San Luas at Cabo Del Sol:  Four Seasons is currently confirming arrivals starting May 1, 2024. For reservations, call 1 800-332-3442, email reservations.cabosanlucas@fourseasons.com or book online.

Coming Soon: Four Seasons Private Retreats
Selected villa accommodations at Four Seasons Resort Cabo San Lucas will soon be added to the renowned Four Seasons Private Retreats collection, offering residential-style living in multi-bedroom homes complete with indoor/outdoor living areas, fully equipped kitchens and private pools.  Ideal for families or friends travelling together as well as extended work/play stays, guests of Private Retreats enjoy the services of a dedicated Villa Host who can arrange myriad customized experiences including in-villa spa treatments or a private dinner with wine pairings freshly prepared in the ensuite kitchen.

Four Seasons in Mexico
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol is the company’s second resort on the Baja Peninsula, joining sister property Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas on the secluded East Cape.  Four Seasons also recently opened Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, located within a 3,000-acre (1,200 hectare) nature reserve on the Pacific Coast, and, adjacent to longstanding favourite Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, a new adults-only tented camp at Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort.  The company is also located in the capital on historic Paseo de la Reforma avenue at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City.

Source: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

February 26, 2024
Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) Expands Global Reach with the Addition of AFIDA and IELA

Brussels—The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), the international umbrella organisation that represents the collective voice of the global meetings and events industry, is excited to announce the addition of two respected organisations, Asociación Internacional de Ferias de América (AFIDA) and International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA), as its latest members.

This development marks a significant step for JMIC as it not only broadens its geographical footprint but also further enhances its expertise across key sectors of the meetings and events industry.

James Rees, President of JMIC, says "We are delighted to welcome AFIDA and IELA into the JMIC family. Their inclusion reflects the continued growth of our organisation, both in terms of global representation and the diverse range of activities we cover. JMIC is committed to being the true voice of the meetings and events industry on the global stage, and the addition of these two esteemed organisations further solidifies our core mandate of advocacy on behalf of our industry.”

The newly established partnerships will further deepen the significance of the recently revised JMIC Global Manifesto. This manifesto serves as a comprehensive industry rationale that events professionals can utilise in their advocacy efforts with policymakers, reinforcing the industry's position on a global scale.

“Furthermore, the commitment to Net Zero Carbon Events will continue to gain momentum, bolstered by the expertise and dedication of AFIDA and IELA” says Rees.

Fernando Gorbarán, AFIDA President, says “By joining JMIC, we reaffirm our commitment to the continued growth of our industry, adding tangible value to our members interests. We are the voice of the Exhibition Industry in Latin America & the Iberian Peninsula, and we’ll keep on working on behalf of our industry’s needs on a global scale.”

Sandi Trotter, Chairperson at IELA says “JMIC provides our industry with a critical service to ensure that our efforts are recognised and realised.  Recently, IELA has been a proud, leading contributor to the NZCE initiative. Net Zero Carbon Events is a critical endeavour for our sector and JMIC membership is the next logical step in our partnership and evolution.  We are pleased and honoured to join this respected group and believe that we can make a valued contribution to the organisation.”

About JMIC: The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) is a global organisation that represents the combined interests of major international industry associations in the meetings and events sector. JMIC advocates for the industry's impact, value, and sustainability on a global level.

About AFIDA: The International Exhibition Association of the Americas - AFIDA, have been empowering the exchange of experiences between Exhibition Venues, Professional Organisers and Suppliers of the Exhibition Industry in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, for more than 50 years. AFIDA promote the role of exhibitions as one of the most efficient business marketing strategies, encouraging networking between our members and allies, supporting professionalisation, enhancing the standards of quality for better practices and collective work.

About IELA: The International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA) is the global industry network that provides top quality performance and expertise for exhibition logistics needs.

IELA is a worldwide trade association dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of the transportation logistics and freight handling segments of the exhibition & event industry.

The organisation’s strict entry requirements focusing on exhibition & event expertise assure the highest level of quality service. Its members are recognised as the industry leaders and niche providers in their own communities or regions as well as around the globe.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Chris Lewis
Clareville PR
chrislewis@clareville.co.uk  

February 22, 2024
2nd Annual Caribbean ConnEX2024 Canada is coming to Toronto this September!

Toronto, ON—VoX International in collaboration with several Caribbean tourist boards and hotel groups is returning to Toronto on September 25th, 2024 with the second annual Caribbean ConnEX Canada event.

The event is intended to connect representatives and suppliers from the Caribbean with qualified Canadian Meeting and Incentive Planners. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to meet planners one-on-one during scheduled meetings and showcase their Caribbean destination and product.

The day will start off with a marketplace of scheduled one-on-one meetings, followed by a Caribbean themed networking lunch, expert panel discussions and speakers providing valuable information on news and trends in the Caribbean.

“After a very successful event in 2023, we are very excited that Caribbean ConnEX Canada 2024 will be back offering a full day of education, networking, and Caribbean style entertainment,” said Susan Webb, President Vox International. “We received some great feedback from our Canadian suppliers and meeting planners from our last year’s event.” said Webb.

“A wonderful opportunity to connect directly with the region’s experts and gain valuable insight into the best their islands have to offer,” commented Thomas M. Radó Group Chief Executive, The Gibraltar & Palme Group Limited

“I really enjoyed your initial Caribbean Connex as it was great to reconnect with past suppliers and meet new ones. We were in the midst of sourcing for a new client for a 2024 Mexico or Caribbean program, so I got a start on the RFP process. The Group landed in St. Lucia, so the information I received from the island was invaluable. We were also able to secure preferred pricing from the participating airline,” said Anita Carlyle, MCC Events.

For registration and sponsorship information please email events@voxinternational.com

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

Contact
Gerlinde Perera, Special Projects Manager
VoX International
Email: events@voxinternational.com

February 20, 2024
Streampoint Welcomes Chad Blaise as New Chief Executive Officer to Propel Expansion and Innovation

Toronto—Streampoint, an innovative marketing technology company specializing in events, proudly announces the appointment of Chad Blaise as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

With over ten years of unparalleled expertise spearheading event technology ventures for industry giants, Chad Blaise’s illustrious career spans pivotal roles at Microsoft, Event Farm, Bizzabo, and Stova. Renowned as a visionary leader, Chads brings a wealth of experience to Streampoint, poised to ignite a new chapter of growth and advancement.

“The board unanimously agrees that Chad embodies the quintessential qualities to steer Streampoint towards unprecedented growth and prosperity,” stated Dharmesh Dayabhai, Board Member of Streampoint Inc. “His remarkable track record of innovation, execution, and team development amid technological disruptions and industry shifts solidifies him as a global leader. Chad's leadership promises to deliver exceptional experiences, and we eagerly welcome him to Streampoint.”

Strategic Growth
"Innovation is the lifeblood of our industry, and I am thrilled to work alongside a dedicated team that possesses profound knowledge of event technology, from registration to onsite management and housing," remarked Chad Blaise, Streampoint's newly appointed CEO. "Together, we will leverage this expertise to drive strategic growth and deliver unparalleled value to our clients."

Chad Blaise also expressed his excitement about the future of Streampoint, stating, "I am excited to bring innovation not only to our existing brands but also to pave the way for new brands. Our approach emphasizes data-driven decision-making for everyone involved in events, ensuring maximum impact and efficiency."

Thought Leadership
"Events are not just events; they are supercharged with data," noted Chad Blaise. "They are sophisticated marketing campaigns with deep data insights, elevating event leaders and organizers to positions of influence. This shift transforms their roles from mere cost center management to becoming strategic revenue drivers within the marketing organization. Our mission is to empower these event professionals, enabling them to harness the wealth of data across our brands and seamlessly integrate with other platforms."

Under Chad's leadership, Streampoint is committed to driving innovation and thought leadership in the event industry. "We are dedicated to helping our clients do more with data," Chad emphasized. "Our platforms and solutions are designed to provide actionable insights and drive success in an increasingly data-driven world."

About Streampoint:
Streampoint stands as a trailblazer in the event industry, offering cutting-edge event marketing technology solutions meticulously crafted to empower event professionals worldwide. Fueled by an unwavering commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, Streampoint delivers comprehensive event management software that seamlessly orchestrates every facet of event planning, from registration and ticketing to onsite management and post-event analytics. Our robust suite of solutions equips event organizers and marketeers with scalable and customizable platforms, guaranteeing flawless execution and exceptional outcomes for events of all scales.

As an integral part of the Streampoint family, Resiada enhances the event experience with its premier SaaS housing platform, simplifying accommodation management while delivering a delightful user experience for event managers, housing management companies, corporate entities, conventions, and visitor bureaus alike.

Bolstered by a team of seasoned industry experts and an unwavering dedication to driving innovation, Streampoint is at the forefront of shaping the future of events. Our mission is to empower professionals to elevate their events and leave a lasting impression on attendees and stakeholders alike, setting new standards of excellence in the industry.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Dharmesh Dayabhai
dharmesh@streampoint.com
streampoint.com

February 16, 2024
Bingemans and Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering Garner Global Recognition with 2024 CATIE Award

Kitchener, ON—Bingemans Catering, in partnership with its division, Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering, is thrilled to announce its prestigious win of the 2024 Catered Arts Through Innovative Excellence (CATIE) Award for Best Small Plate from the International Catering Association. This esteemed recognition celebrates the exceptional culinary craftsmanship displayed in the creation of their Aaniin Tasting Plate, a testament to the company's commitment to culinary excellence and originality.

The announcement occurred during the 2024 Catersource + Special Events Conference held in Austin, Texas this past week. The event, attended by industry professionals, provided the ideal platform to recognize and celebrate culinary excellence around the world.

“We are thrilled for the recognition of our Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering initiative. The enthusiasm and support we've received speak volumes about the importance of celebrating Indigenous cuisine,” explains Director of Sales for Bingemans, Laurie Schell,

“We’ve seen a major increase in demand for informed and engaging dining opportunities. Cedar Spoon has become popular amongst our clients seeking team-building and educational experiences.”

The Aaniin Tasting Plate, named for the Ojibwe word meaning "hello," was the culinary centrepiece and evening's introductory course at a Summer Solstice event held riverside at Bingemans this past summer. As a symphony of Indigenous flavours, the plate featured a harmonious blend of authentically Canadian ingredients, symbolizing a celebration of culture and heritage.

Crafted with bites like petite fire-roasted Bannock and Northern bean and sumac dip, the Aaniin Tasting Plate epitomized the event's goal of celebrating authentically Indigenous cuisine. Each element contributed to the showcase of harmony between plate and land while introducing guests to the evening’s flavour profiles through a plated landscape of small bites. The Aaniin Tasting Plate serves as a culinary expression of Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering's mission to educate, heal, and foster community through the power of food. This CATIE Award win not only recognizes their culinary excellence but also underscores the importance of preserving and promoting Indigenous culinary traditions on a global scale. Chef Destiny from Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering shared her excitement about the win, stating, "Winning the CATIE

Award is a huge honour for us. It recognizes our commitment to Indigenous culinary innovation and shines a spotlight on a cuisine that's often overlooked. We're thrilled to see it receive such prestigious recognition."

Distinguished as one of only two non-US caterers selected across all categories, Bingemans Catering's win underscores its commitment to culinary distinction on the international stage. Moreover, it is worth noting that the judging process for the CATIE Award was conducted blindly, further emphasizing the merit behind those selected as winners.

For more information about Bingemans Catering and Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering, please visit www.bingemans.com and www.cedarspoon.ca.

About Cedar Spoon Indigenous Catering
Established in 2022, Cedar Spoon is an Indigenous Catering Company aimed at bringing awareness to authentic Indigenous cuisine, while honouring Canada’s roots from a food perspective. While Cedar Spoon is the collaborative brainchild of seasoned Chef Destiny Moser and Bingemans Catering, it operates as its own entity and strives to connect clients with a traditional, and regional pantry of ingredients through experiential dining. To learn more about us and our menus, visit cedarspoon.ca and be sure to follow us on Instagram at @cedarspoon.ca.

About Bingemans
Waterloo Region’s leader in entertainment and hospitality, Bingemans is a multi-use amusement park, campground, conference and event centre, and catering service located in Kitchener, Ontario. With a heated wave pool, Spray “n” Play for kids and huge waterslides, Big Splash Waterpark is a great spot to cool down in summer’s heat. Explore FunworX all year long, a three-level indoor playground for children of all ages, boasting an arcade, climbing wall, and more. The Camping Resort features tent, trailer / RV, seasonal camping, glamping and cabin sites and is situated along the Grand River. Bingemans is also home to Canada’s largest Boston Pizza, 28 lanes of 10-pin bowling at Kingpin Bowling, Ontario's first augmented reality bowling, outdoor beach volleyball, and outstanding banquet and catering facilities for your business or wedding needs. Celebrate Oktoberfest at The Region's largest Festhallen, Bingemans’ KoolHaus, experience terror like never before at Bingemans haunted attraction, Screampark, or find that festive spirit at Bingemans holiday attraction Gift of Light and Jingle Bell Rock.

Stephen Murdoch
Vice President, Public Relations
289.241.3997 
enterprisecanada.com

February 13, 2024
Liberty Entertainment Group goes bullish on Bay with Kevin O’Leary and Mitch Marner to open Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House

Hospitality icon and celebrity investors announce new fine-dining destination in downtown Toronto’s iconic Union Station

Toronto, ON—Canada’s hospitality leader, Nick Di Donato, CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group in partnership with investors, Canadian financial guru and media personality, Kevin O’Leary and Canadian professional ice hockey right winger of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mitch Marner, are pleased to jointly announce the grand opening of Toronto’s newest fine-dining destination in the city’s historic Union Station. Located at the intersection of business, sport and entertainment at Front and Bay Streets in the downtown core, Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House riffs on the classic fine steakhouse offerings as seen in its internationally lauded property, BlueBlood Steakhouse in Casa Loma, but with a twist – introducing a stunning, fresh daily seafood and ultra premium sushi program helmed by an award-winning sushi master, and one of the few steakhouses to carry the certified seal of Japanese Kobe. Reservations are available now online for dinner service commencing February 20th, with a lunch service added as of February 26th.

Done in “a deal over dinner” … the dream team triumvirate are bringing the worlds of luxe hospitality, ne plus ultra design, fine dining, bespoke cocktails and wines of the world together with the titans of Canadian business, the elites in the world of sports and entertainment, and more, to collide in an exciting new venture for Toronto. Located at the northeast corner of the building, Blue Bovine patrons will delight in striking city views seven days a week from the expansive windows on the world. There, a dramatic, bespoke bronze bull weighing 1,500 pounds proudly stands its ground at the entrance of its new home.

“Our majestic sculpture is poised to become an enduring symbol, not only for our Bay Street establishment, but also for Toronto’s iconic Union Station and the community,” said Nick Di Donato, president and CEO, Liberty Entertainment Group. “Serving as Toronto’s own rendition of Manhattan’s famed Wall Street bull, our hand-carved masterpiece represents Liberty Group’s ongoing mission to bring world-class restaurants and unequaled hospitality to our city, and onto the global stage. We are grateful to our friends, partners and investors, Kevin O’Leary and Mitch Marner, for sharing our vision, and we all look forward to an exciting venture.”

Meet me at The Bull:  history & heritage reborn
Sexy and modern in design, the large, windowed venue juxtaposes the iconic history of the original train station’s heritage building with a contemporary design. The elegantly comfortable venue seats two hundred guests for lunch through dinner seatings from 11 AM – 2 AM, as well as offering a premium bar experience, and clubby, private dining spaces for special events. Honouring the integrity of local and natural elements, the restaurant's ethos is expressed through the commitment to local menu ingredients on the plate, and local and natural material honesty in the design.

Rustic steakhouse meets Japanese chic: a distinctive difference
Typical to Liberty Group venues, the open kitchen design allows executive chef Sean Blomeley and his team to showcase their skills, creativity, and knowledge. The steak and sushi kitchen combines the best of both worlds, offering a diverse range of premium grade meats and seafood, expertly grilled. The ultra premium beef inventory is on display in a salt-rock aging room. A variety of traditional and innovative sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri from the highest-quality seafood created under sushi chef, Yi-Joo Na’s watchful eye, is on offer. The Omakase sushi bar and table offer traditional Japanese dining, entrusting Chef Na to serve a series of sushi and sashimi, based on the freshest and best ingredients available daily. The emphasis of both steak and sushi menus is on quality ingredients, expert preparation, and a fusion of flavors to create a unique dining experience.

“We have created Blue Bovine to compliment the lifestyle of Toronto,” continued Mr. Di Donato. “Here, we’re bringing many worlds together, and welcome all including the corporate world for lunches and meetings, the after-work crowd ready to unwind, travelers coming in and out of the city, and pre- and post-game and show fans and their teams’ heroes, to join us to celebrate.”

Visionary creative and timeless design
Distinguished with the prestigious design-et-al’s International Hotel and Property Awards, Liberty Group’s VP and creative director, Nadia Di Donato has again unleashed her celebrated creative juices in the destination’s modern décor. Her vision is a fusion of inspirations, blending sleek modernism with classic industrial design elements -- testament to the unique narrative within Union Station’s Beaux-Arts landmark architectural fabric. The symmetrical design of the bold sculptural detailing on the ceiling panels, the marble-clad grand entrance, classical crown moulding, rich woods, and natural stone all create an atmosphere that resonate with character and distinction. 

The destination décor is the journey itself
Mirroring the restaurant’s culinary narrative, Ms. Di Donato incorporates rich browns and blues complemented by a striking red accent, evoking the timeless ambiance of a traditional steakhouse, with vibrant Japanese chic influences. A tactile symphony of textiles unfolds with cotton tweed reminiscent of Bay Street attire, distressed leather, soft wool bouclé, and natural cowhide, reminiscent of rustic steakhouse charm. The marriage of natural walnut wood with traditional oak grain infuses a sense of modernity and warmth. Stone columns adorned with intricately carved bovine motifs inspired by Indigenous art serve as both structural supports and artistic expressions. Furniture boasts sleek, modern lines to create a captivating juxtaposition against ornately treated ceilings, walls, and bar areas, adding depth and intrigue to the destination’s overall ambiance.

Sexy streetstyle meets bustling Bay St. at The Bull
Blue Bovine’s curated art pieces bring a funky street-style to the space. Commissioned works by Mr Brainwash, Mr Pinkbrush, Peter Tunney, and local artist, Peter Triantos all add colour and character to the monochromatic space and reflect modern culture and vibrancy of the restaurant’s downtown neighborhood. The signature bull sculpture becomes the city’s reference point for all things Toronto -- history, industry, entertainment, sports, art and culture -- to ultimately define the destination.

“Blue Bovine’s design subtly weaves a story of the history of the building, the journey of the cuisine, and a narrative of the city, adding depth and intrigue to the unparalleled dining experience,” said Ms. Di Donato. “Our goal is always to create a space that is memorable, immersive, and reflective of each restaurant’s unique identity and vision.”

A mission to Michelin
Liberty Group most recently opened fine-dining destination, DaNico on College Street last year, already garnering international awards, following the opening of Michelin-starred Don Alfonso Toronto in the Westin Harbour Castle. Their properties have been lauded with multiple honours including Best Italian Restaurant in the World 2024 by the 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 – Restaurant Design Global, Distinguished Restaurants of North America – DiRoNA, Top 100 Restaurants in Canada – OpenTable, Best of Award of Excellence - Wine Spectator, and Best Restaurants in Canada - Canada's 100 Best, among others.

About Liberty Entertainment Group
For over three decades the Liberty Entertainment Group -- led by Nick Di Donato -- has redefined Toronto’s restaurant, nightlife and special event experience. As developers and operators of numerous landmark establishments, the company is recognized as one of the most successful and innovative in the industry. It continues to achieve success for its impressive roster of venues including Toronto’s premier special event facilities, Casa Loma and Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. Liberty Entertainment Group is also responsible for the development of Toronto’s most prolific restaurants including BlueBlood Steakhouse, Don Alfonso 1890, DaNico, three Cibo Wine Bar locations (King West, Yonge St and Yorkville) and Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House at Union Station. With over 500,000 square feet of hospitality space, the company 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 and on social media @libertygroup #libertygroup.

Media: To visit, for more information or to arrange an interview or on-location segment with Nick or 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. Email: corynn@libertygroup.com.

February 08, 2024
Moxy Hotels Debuts in Canada’s Coastal City

Style, industrial design, and vibrant communal spaces come together at Moxy Halifax Downtown

Moxy Hotels, part of Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of over 30 extraordinary hotel brands, announced the opening of Moxy Halifax Downtown, marking the brand’s debut in Canada. True to the brand’s experiential voice, the hotel boldly reinvents the traditional hotel stay with vibrant guest experiences and lively, sociable service.

Located in Halifax, the rapidly growing coastal city in Atlantic Canada, the new 160-room hotel is easily accessible to Halifax’s vibrant downtown scene and just steps away from a lively mix of great shopping, spas, galleries, parks, concert venues, and sporting attractions.

“As we continue to grow our global portfolio, introducing the spirited Moxy brand to Canada with the opening of Moxy Halifax Downtown is a milestone we are excited to celebrate,” said Matthew Boettcher, Vice President of Distinctive Select Brand Portfolio, Marriott International. “Halifax is a city full of energy, culture, and diversity, making it the perfect destination for a brand like Moxy.”

Architecture, Design + Amenities
The design of the main lobby pays homage to industrial Halifax, with steel bridge columns flanking the bar area, exposed brick, and an original cannon. It also features a custom-built DJ booth and an installation of vintage luggage as a nod to the city’s global influences. Among the hotel’s notable details is a stately steel lion sculpture, a reference to the Nova Scotia flag, installed at the hotel entrance and created by local firm, Ballast Design Studios. A hidden room, the ‘Lion’s Den’, is a modern dedication to the Trinty Anglican Church on the original site and features stained glass replicas and pipes from the original organ suspended from the ceiling.

The perfect combination of function and fun, the hotel features smart and unique guestroom layouts, including 18 suites with an open kitchen. The industrial-chic bedrooms combine functionality and flexibility with edgy detail. Cleverly designed to maximize space, the rooms feature modular furniture including Moxy’s signature Stellar Works foldable workspace desks and chairs, as well as smart features like peg walls to allow guests the flexibility to adapt the room to their needs. Tech-savvy touches include motion-activated LED lights, keyless entry, 55-inch flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi help, in addition to a retro phone where guests can listen to a themed bedtime story to doze off in style. For fitness, guests can access a boxing bag, gym equipment, and a full-circuit gym, available 24/7.

Eat, Drink + Play
Staking a place in Halifax’s iconic food and beverage community, Moxy Halifax Downtown’s new drinking and small plate dining concepts are unpretentious and laid-back yet still modern and stylish - creating a new destination for Halifax’s vibrant social scene. Bar Moxy is a haven for working and connecting during the day and transforms into a social hub in the evening. Partnering with local brands including rotating taps and a wine-o-matic to feature local wineries, guests can choose from an extensive list of cocktails, wines, and local brews. For guests looking for quality and convenience, Moxy Pick-Ups offers 24/7 grab-and-go snacks and drinks.

Meetings + Events
For events and corporate gatherings, the hotel will offer 1,520 square feet of open, airy meeting space as well as a boardroom and several private meeting rooms. There are also plenty of stylish communal spaces where guests can relax and recharge.

About Moxy Hotels®
Moxy offers a playful hotel experience for the young at heart. With over 125 properties open across 25 countries and territories, Moxy boldly breaks the rules of a conventional hotel stay across the globe. The nontraditional experience starts with check-in at Bar Moxy and comes to life throughout its social public spaces, like the Lounge and Library, and the small but smart bedrooms. Moxy provides stylish, industrial design and sociable service at an attractive price point, so that guests can splurge on the experiences that matter most to them during their travels. Moxy celebrates nonconformity, open-mindedness, and originality above all – forever giving its guests permission to Play On #atthemoxy. For more information, visit www.moxyhotels.com and join the fun #atthemoxy on Instagram. Moxy is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit marriottbonvoy.com.

About Marriott Bonvoy®
Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s award-winning travel program and marketplace, gives members access to transformative, eye-opening experiences around the corner and across the globe. Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of over 30 extraordinary brands offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments™, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques®. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit marriottbonvoy.com. To download the Marriott app, go here. Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy on FacebookTwitterInstagram and TikTok.

Media Contact
Shannon Bodo
PR Manager, Global Brand PR, Select Brands
Marriott International
Shannon.Bodo@marriott.com

February 07, 2024
The St. Regis Toronto Maintaining Excellence with Coveted Double Five-Star Ratings in Forbes Travel Guide's 2024 Awards for both Hotel & Spa

Toronto/CNW/—The St. Regis Toronto proudly announces that Forbes Travel Guide, the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, and spas, has recognized the property as a leader in luxury for a second year in a row with coveted Five-Star Hotel and Five-Star Spa ratings for 2024.

"We are honoured to receive these accolades from Forbes for a second time, proving The St. Regis Toronto's dedication to maintaining excellence in luxury hospitality. Our commitment to bespoke service at every level is what sets The St. Regis Toronto apart and earns us the distinction of being a top luxury hotel in Canada," said Hiren Prabhakar, General Manager, The St. Regis Toronto.

In addition to earning two Five-Star ratings for the hotel and spa respectively, the hotel's restaurant LOUIX LOUIS also received a rating as a Forbes Officially Recommended Restaurant. LOUIX LOUIS is located on the 31st floor of The St. Regis Toronto and serves incomparable American cuisine, blended with French cooking techniques, as well as featuring one of the largest dark spirits collections in North America.

Trendsetting and boundary breaking, The St. Regis Toronto made its debut in November 2018 as the first and only St. Regis Hotel in Canada. Rising 65 stories in the heart of downtown Toronto, the hotel offers a remarkably central location and modern elegance, along with 258 of the city's largest guest rooms and suites that set the standard for luxury in Canada. From St. Regis' iconic champagne sabering ritual each evening in the elegant Astor Lounge, to signature butler services such as garment pressing, packing and unpacking, and morning beverage service and the twice awarded Forbes Five Star The Spa, The St. Regis Toronto offers the city's most distinguished experiences.

"We are thrilled to once again be celebrating this tremendous distinction for The St. Regis Toronto and The Spa at The St. Regis Toronto. We could not ask for a more exquisite expression of the brand's legacy of delivering indelible service, bespoke offerings and modern glamour." Said Amanda Nichols, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts.

To view the new Star Award winners, visit ForbesTravelGuide.com.

For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star Ratings, click here.

About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. Our anonymous professional inspectors evaluate based hundreds of exacting standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, to help discerning travelers select the world's best experiences. The only way to get a Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended rating is by earning it through our independent inspection process. For more information about Forbes Travel Guide, please visit ForbesTravelGuide.com.

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. stregistoronto.com

February 07, 2024
Rob Palmer joins Porter Airlines as Chief Financial Officer

Toronto—Porter Airlines is announcing that Rob Palmer has joined the company as its new executive vice president and chief financial officer. 

Palmer has a robust industry background, most recently with The Calgary Airport Authority as its vice president, commercial, strategy and chief financial officer. His responsibilities included long-term planning, capital requirements, budgeting, internal controls, treasury and reporting. This experience complements previous time spent at WestJet as vice president and controller. 

"Rob has a clear understanding of airport operations and airline finances, and we expect to benefit from his knowledge in these areas," said Michael Deluce, CEO, Porter Airlines. "His time at WestJet came during a period when it was quickly expanding, similar to today's situation at Porter as we develop into a North American carrier. We welcome Rob as a new and valued member of our team."

Palmer has more than 20 years of public company, capital markets, financial and strategic management experience across numerous industries that include the chief financial officer with Northview Residential REIT and senior leadership roles with Molson and BCE Emergis.

"The opportunity to join Porter at a moment when it is reshaping airline competition is incredibly exciting," said Palmer. "I truly enjoy working in the aviation industry and with the people who choose to make their careers in it. My goal is to contribute to making Porter one of the strongest and best airlines in North America."

Porter currently flies to over 30 destinations in Canada and the U.S., and will be announcing numerous new destinations and routes in 2024.

About Porter
Since 2006, Porter Airlines has been elevating the experience of economy air travel for every passenger, providing genuine hospitality with style, care and charm. Porter's fleet of Embraer E195-E2 and De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft serves a North American network from Eastern Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®. Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. 

Source Porter Airlines Inc.

February 07, 2024
Four Seasons Celebrates Continued Leadership in Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards

Luxury hospitality brand dominates for ninth consecutive year with the most Five Stars of any company globally

Toronto/CNW—Building on its steadfast position leading the luxury hospitality industry, Four Seasons continues to hold the most Forbes Travel Guide Five-Stars of any company worldwide. With a total of 64 Five-Star designations awarded to 45 Four Seasons hotels, 15 spas, and 4 restaurants across its global portfolio, the company is building on its legacy of strength while embarking on its next chapter of growth and continued service excellence.

"I'm incredibly proud to celebrate Four Seasons achievements in this year's Forbes Travel Guide Awards, a recognition that reaffirms our industry leadership and motivates us on our ambitious path forward as we build from strength to strength," says Alejandro Reynal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons. "This achievement would not be possible without the dedication of our teams around the globe and their commitment to delivering genuine care and personalized service, which is at the heart of the Four Seasons experience and the key to our success."

For nine consecutive years, Four Seasons has maintained its undisputed leadership in the Forbes Travel Guide Awards, this year welcoming the urban beachfront retreat Four Seasons Hotel Doha as the latest property to achieve the coveted Five-Star status. This year also marks exceptional milestones for Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Four Seasons Hotel Boston, and Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, which each celebrate more than 20 impressive years of maintaining their Five-Stars.

Four Seasons renowned legacy of unscripted care, spectacular craftsmanship and personalized service is brought to life each day by more than 50,000 employees worldwide. The fourth annual Employee of the Year Awards by Forbes Travel Guide honours the remarkable staff who displayed standout performance towards not only guests but to their fellow coworkers as well. This year, Kerson Francois, Engineer at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, was recognized as a finalist for Forbes Travel Guide's Employee of the Year.

"Our longstanding leadership in the Forbes Travel Guide Awards is a direct reflection of Four Seasons unwavering commitment to raising the bar, elevating our product, and providing outstanding service to consistently meet the evolving needs of today's luxury traveller," says Rainer Stampfer, President, Global Operations, Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons. "A heartfelt congratulations to Kerson Francois, and all Four Seasons teams around the globe who are celebrating their achievements and this exceptional industry recognition. We look forward to many more years of success as we continue to grow, with an exciting future ahead."

"The results from Four Seasons in the annual Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards is a testament to the dynamism and excellence of its hotels, resorts, restaurants, and spas around the world, and its ability to deliver the very highest standards of service across every touchpoint," says Amanda Frasier, President, Ratings, Forbes Travel Guide. "I am pleased to congratulate the teams across the globe for a ninth year of well-deserved success and ongoing leadership in these awards."

In addition to success in the annual Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards, Four Seasons is growing with intention and solidifying its steadfast commitment to excellence. With a vision to be the most aspirational luxury hospitality and residential brand through genuine and unparalleled service experiences, the company is enhancing and growing its core business of hotels and resorts, expanding its residential portfolio, harnessing the strength of immersive luxury experiences across Four Seasons Jet, Drive, and upcoming Yacht journeys, and showcasing decades of gastronomic excellence across more than 600 original-concept culinary experiences for all to enjoy.

The 45 Four Seasons properties that hold a Five-Star Rating are:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island
  • Four Seasons Hotel Amman
  • Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
  • Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
  • Four Seasons Hotel Boston
  • Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva
  • Four Seasons Hotel Doha
  • Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
  • Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
  • Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest
  • Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
  • Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
  • Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus
  • Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya
  • Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
  • Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square
  • Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip
  • Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
  • Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
  • Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston
  • Four Seasons Hotel Prague
  • Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
  • Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre
  • Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
  • Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
  • Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
  • Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla
  • Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
  • Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley
  • Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
  • Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
  • Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
  • Four Seasons Resort Lanai
  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
  • Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
  • Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita
  • Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
  • Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
  • Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico
  • Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An
  • Grand Suites at Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip
  • Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

The 15 Four Seasons spas that hold a Five-Star Rating are:

  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
  • The Spa at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
  • Palm Beach Spa at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
  • Ritz Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
  • Guerlain Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Montreal
  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
  • Spa Mont Blanc at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva
  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip
  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
  • Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center
  • The Wellness Floor at One Dalton Street, Boston
  • Spa and Wellness Centre at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait Burj Alshaya
  • The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

The four Four Seasons restaurants that hold a Five-Star Rating are:

  • Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
  • Caprice, Hong Kong
  • Zi Yat Heen, Macau
  • Jean-Georges Philadelphia

To view more images, click here

To view a complete list of Four Seasons awards and accolades, click here.

Methodology
Star ratings are awarded by a team of anonymous professional inspectors who travel the world to assess hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruise ships based on up to 900 objective standards. Star ratings ultimately emphasize quality of service. Five-star properties are defined as "outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities."

About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruise ships. Anonymous professional inspectors evaluate based on up to 900 objective standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, to help discerning travellers select the world's best luxury experiences. The only way to get a Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended rating is by earning it through this independent inspection process. 

About Four Seasons
Four Seasons 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 128 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

February 01, 2024
Hosts Global Welcomes XPTO Events and DMC as Newest Member to the Hosts Global Alliance

Las Vegas, NV—Hosts Global, the leading global consortium of Destination Management Companies (DMCs), proudly announces the addition of XPTO Events and DMC to its esteemed Hosts Global Alliance. With this expansion, Hosts Global further solidifies its position as the premier DMC of choice in 300+ captivating destinations worldwide, now including the beautiful country of Portugal.

"We continue to expand our Global Alliance, and the addition of Portugal to our portfolio will provide our customers with a top-tier option that serves as the gateway to Western Europe,” said Robert Lee, Vice President of Global Sales and Alliance Engagement at Hosts Global. From the majestic beauty of Lisbon and Sintra to the architectural and gastronomic treasures of Porto, not to mention the paradisiac beaches of the Algarve, Portugal is a sensory feast and a must-visit destination for meeting and incentive planners worldwide.”

Hosts Global is on an unstoppable trajectory in the DMC space, and 2024 promises to be a year where we shine even brighter.

At Hosts Global, we pride ourselves on being an industry leader that consistently delivers exceptional experiences to our clients,” said Hosts Global’s CEO, Kurt Paben. “The addition of XPTO Events and DMC to our Alliance not only reaffirms our commitment to providing unmatched access to global destinations and local expertise but also opens the gateway to Portugal's enchanting beauty and vibrant culture. Our relentless pursuit of excellence makes Hosts Global a true force to be reckoned with, and we are excited to continue setting new standards in destination management services, now with the addition of this remarkable European gem.”

XPTO Events and DMC is renowned for delivering innovation, creativity, and unparalleled success to its clients. With a team of seasoned professionals boasting extensive experience in event organization across all business sectors, XPTO Events and DMC consistently exceed client expectations by offering outstanding events.

"At XPTO Events and DMC, we are thrilled to join the Hosts Global Alliance,” said Anabela Freitas, Partner at XPTO Events and DMC. “We trust that this partnership will be the beginning of an exciting journey. As we join forces, our shared commitment to delivering unparalleled experiences takes center stage, ensuring that every event becomes an extraordinary journey for our clients, leaving a lasting imprint of success.”

Hosts Global's expansion into Portugal represents another milestone in its mission to create legendary moments for meeting and event planners across the globe. As the company continues to grow, its dedication to innovation and sophistication remains unwavering.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Jennifer Carlisle, Senior Director of Marketing
Jennifer.Carlisle@hosts-global.com

About Hosts Global
Hosts Global is an award-winning, full-service destination management company (DMC) with over 65 years of experience. With a presence in more than 300 captivating destinations worldwide, Hosts Global provides unparalleled access to local knowledge and creates legendary moments for meeting and event planners. #LETUSBEYOURHOSTS and discover sophistication and innovation in the world of Destination Management.

For more information about Hosts Global, please visit hosts-global.com.

About XPTO Events and DMC, A Hosts Global Member
At XPTO Events and DMC we deliver innovation, creativity and success to our clients. Our goal is to exceed the expectations of every client by offering Outstanding Events. We count on a team of professionals with extensive experience in the organisation of events in all business sectors.

For more information about Hosts Global, please visit xptoevents.com.

February 01, 2024
Niagara College’s four-day Career Fair begins February 5

More than 100 organizations participating

Local job seekers can explore exciting job opportunities and network with potential employers at Niagara College’s Career Fair this February. 

The College’s largest career event of the year will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 5 and 6 at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake and on Feb. 7 and 8 at the Welland Campus. 

Hosted by the College’s Career and Co-op Services department and Community Employment Services, Career Fair is open to NC students, alumni and community members who can meet a wide variety of employers from the Niagara region and beyond. Registration is not required for job seekers to attend Career Fair.

This year, employer registration is sold out for all four days of the event, as the College will welcome 117 organizations looking to recruit for full-time, part-time, graduate, contract, seasonal and co-op positions.

“We have received a tremendous response from employers from a variety of sectors, all of which align with the programs of study which we offer our students at Niagara College,” said Dina Fox, NC’s Director, Academic Advising and Career Services, Daniel J. Patterson Campus. 

“We are confident there are exciting opportunities for students to explore and pursue, no matter which stage they are at in their academic journey,” added Fox, who noted that in addition to the employers who are attending the event, employers are posting job opportunities via NC’s MyCareer portal daily. 

For a list of participating employers, the positions they are hiring for and the date(s) and campus location(s) they will be attending, visit:careerfair.niagaracollege.ca/employerlist/

“NC’s Career Fair is a chance for employers to recruit for talent from a pool of candidates that, along with NC students and graduates, includes community members who are searching for work,” said Gary Bruce, Manager, Community Employment Services. “Job seekers are encouraged to attend the event to network with potential employers, explore the opportunities available to them and learn about the current job market in Niagara.”

For full event details, including FAQs and campus directions, visit the Career Fair website.

Throughout the year, NC’s Career and Co-op Services department offers students a full suite of employment services, including job search resources and coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, interview practice, and workshops. The department also supports NC alumni and helps to connect employers with students seeking part-time, seasonal, or co-op work experiences, or new graduates seeking employment. Employers are encouraged to visit mycareer.niagaracollege.ca for information on how to post an opportunity or to find out more about how the Career Services team can support their hiring needs.

Funded through the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, NC’s Community Employment Services (43 Church St., St. Catharines) delivers the full suite of Employment Ontario’s Employment Services program and services. Community Employment Services supports job seekers in their journey towards employment or training, offering employment related workshops, job postings and job search resources, and also provides assistance to employers to meet their hiring needs. Visit niagaracollege.ca/ces for more information. 

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of close to 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.

January 29, 2024
Coming Soon: Cineplex Announces New Playdium Location at CF Fairview Mall

Adjacent to Cineplex Cinemas Fairview Mall, Playdium will feature Mini Golf, Bowling, Interactive Games, Attractions and Fun Food Options

Toronto (TSX: CGX)—Cineplex, a leading entertainment and media company, announced plans to open its latest Playdium location in Toronto, Ontario. Construction of the new Playdium at CF Fairview Mall is scheduled to begin next month, with opening targeted for late 2024. Designed for kids of all ages, the new premium entertainment complex will be tech-infused, offering classic and state-of-the-art games and interactive experiences like high-tech mini golf, bowling, and a variety of tasty and playful food options. This new Playdium location will be situated next to the entrance of Cineplex Cinemas Fairview Mall.

“We’re combining the best in entertainment and fast-casual dining by opening a Playdium alongside our Cineplex Cinemas at CF Fairview Mall. Family and friends can come together for movies, gaming and delicious food, in a one stop shop for fun,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “Leveraging our industry-leading expertise in entertainment, amusement gaming and food service, this newly announced Playdium location is sure to become a go-to destination for everyday fun, casual dining and special occasions.”

“In addition to a compelling retail mix, a key component of our shopping centre offering is providing engaging and entertaining experiences. We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Cineplex to bring immersive premium entertainment options to CF Fairview Mall,” commented Rory MacLeod, Executive Vice President, Operations, Cadillac Fairview.

Spanning approximately 20,000 square feet, the complex will be dedicated to games and attractions for all skill levels, while also offering a range of food and beverage options, including chef-inspired burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, nachos, tacos and a selection of sweet treats. Designed to accommodate large groups, Playdium will be the perfect spot for parties, events and team building, with private rooms for birthday parties and special gatherings.

Cineplex first announced the expansion of the Playdium concept in 2017, with locations now open in Whitby and Brampton, Ontario, and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Playdium complexes are part of Cineplex’s Location Based Entertainment venues, including The Rec Room with over 10 locations across the country.

About Cineplex
Cineplex (TSX: CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the Film Entertainment and Content, Amusement and Leisure, and Media sectors. Cineplex offers a unique escape from the everyday to millions of guests through its circuit of over 170 movie theatres and location-based entertainment venues. In addition to being Canada’s largest and most innovative film exhibitor, the company operates Canada’s favourite destination for ‘Eats & Entertainment’ (The Rec Room), complexes specially designed for teens and families (Playdium), and a newly launched entertainment concept that brings movies, amusement gaming, dining, and live performances together under one roof (Cineplex Junxion). It also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), alternative programming (Cineplex Events), motion picture distribution (Cineplex Pictures), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media) and amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group). Providing even more value for its guests, Cineplex is a partner in Scene+, Canada’s largest entertainment and lifestyle loyalty program.

Proudly recognized as having one of the country’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Cineplex employs over 10,000 people in its offices and venues across Canada and the United States. To learn more, visit Cineplex.com.

About Cadillac Fairview
Cadillac Fairview (CF) is one of the largest owners, operators, investors and developers of best-in-class office, retail, multi-family residential, industrial and mixed-use properties in North America.

Wholly owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, with assets under management of more than $30 billion, CF manages over 35 million square feet of leasable space at 68 landmark properties across Canada, including Toronto-Dominion Centre, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Tour Deloitte, CF Carrefour Laval, CF Chinook Centre and CF Pacific Centre.

Driven by its purpose of Transforming Communities for a Vibrant Tomorrow, CF is continually striving to make a positive impact in communities where it operates by promoting social connection, growth, and a sustainable future. Visit cadillacfairview.com for more information.

Cineplex Media Relations:
Michelle Saba
VP Communications, Cineplex
PressRoom@Cineplex.com

Cadillac Fairview Media Relations:
Anna Ng
Cadillac Fairview
ang@cadillacfairview.com

SOURCE Cineplex

January 29, 2024
The Future of ILEA Toronto - Event Industry Town Hall Meeting

Toronto—Join us on Wednesday, February 7th from 3pm to 5pm for an important conversation about the future of the ILEA Toronto Chapter. The chapter has been struggling in since COVID, and it has become clear that if we don't get a handle on it and right the ship, we may need to make the hard decision to fold the chapter. 

ILEA Canada is asking the Toronto Events Community to attend a special Town Hall Meeting to discuss this critical situation and help us determine if there is a path forward. It would be very sad to let the 30+ year legacy of this chapter end.

To save the chapter, we will need a team of volunteer leaders on the ground in the GTA who have the passion and bandwidth to lean in and help to rebuild.   This is your chance to help re-envision what ILEA Toronto can be to you, your business and the industry.

Our friends at Hotel X and The Food Dudes have generously offered to host this important conversation.  We hope to see you there!

Please RSVP at https://form.jotform.com/240145540943048

About ILEA Toronto
ILEA Toronto is a Chartered Chapter of ILEA Canada, which is an Affiliate of ILEA International (formerly International Special Events Society). The International Live Events Association was founded in 1987 to foster enlightened performance through education while promoting ethical conduct. ILEA works to join professionals to focus on the “event as a whole” rather than its individual parts.

Canada had its first Chapter – the fourth Chapter of ILEA, in Toronto the following year: ILEA Toronto was chartered by ILEA International in 1988. ILEA is the association dedicated to the evolution of the Special Event industry and the people who work there.

ILEA’s worldwide membership has grown to involve over 5,000 members active in 35 countries throughout the world. Membership brings together professionals from a variety of special events disciplines including caterers, meeting planners, decorators, event planners, audio-visual technicians, party and convention coordinators, educators, journalists, hotel sales managers and many more professional disciplines. 

ILEA Canada provides a forum for event professionals in all disciplines across the country to network, learn, and exchange best practices with other event industry leaders from around the world. Learn more.

January 26, 2024
GES Announces Paul Burke as General Manager, GES Toronto

Toronto—We are delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Burke as the new General Manager of GES in Toronto.  Paul will assume his new role on February 20, 2024.

With an exceptional career and remarkable service expertise, Paul brings along a wealth of experience and strategic leadership to our team. With over 10 years at Air Canada, he held various positions, ranging from Customer Service to Scheduling and Facility Planning as well as Managing Resource Systems where he successfully implemented new practices and procedures.

Subsequently, Paul transitioned into a role as Director of Business Development in the B2B environment, demonstrating outstanding skills in fostering strategic partnerships and driving business growth.

Since 2019, Paul has made significant contributions as Senior Manager of Customer Service and Operations and more recently as Director of Service and Delivery at Gate Gourmet; the world’s largest independent provider of aviation catering and logistics. 

His operational knowledge, experience and commitment to high-quality customer service will strengthen our position within the Toronto market.

Paul will report directly to Alain Canuel, [VP Canada]. The close working relationship between Paul and Alain will be essential to supporting our GES vision and ensuring continuity in ongoing strategic initiatives.

With his start date on February 20, 2024, we are confident that Paul will play a key role in achieving our goals and further enhancing GES’s position as an industry leader.

Please join the entire GES team in warmly congratulating Paul on his appointment and wishing him great success in his new role as GM of Toronto.

Alain Canuel
Vice President GES Canada

About GES
GES, Global Experience Specialists, is a global exhibition services company with a legacy spanning over 90 years and teams throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. We create some of the most influential exhibitions in the world – think international medical symposiums, industry leading exhibitions for technology, and manufacturing that help communities meet, educate, and move their mission forward. From initial strategy to show-stopping audio visuals, accommodations to award-winning creative – and every detail in between – our shows propel commerce, education, and community. Our mission is to deliver extraordinary exhibition experiences through simple, user-friendly services and best-in-class execution. 

January 25, 2024
Taiwan to Incentivize Canadian Travel Trade with Inauguration of Taiwan Tourism School

Vancouver, BC/CNW/—In an initiative to enhance the knowledge of travel agencies across Canada about Taiwan's rich and diverse travel offerings, the Taiwan Tourism Administration (TTA) has announced the launch of its online Taiwan Tourism School. This e-learning platform is specifically designed to acquaint Canadian travel professionals with the unique allure of Taiwan as a premier tourist destination.

The first course offered, "Taiwan Tourism 101," is now available and serves as an essential primer for travel agencies keen to expand their horizons and deepen their understanding of Taiwan. Covering a wide array of topics, it ensures a comprehensive educational experience, including:

  • An Introduction to Taiwan: Orientate yourself to Taiwan's geography, culture and people.
  • Tourist Attractions and Activities: Taiwan's mainstream and hidden treasures.
  • Transportation: Discover the ease of travel across Taiwan.
  • Food: Dive into the world of fresh, delicious, and affordable Taiwanese cuisine.
  • Accommodation: Learn about Taiwan's diverse lodging options, ensuring every traveler finds their home away from home.
  • Festivals and Events: Experience the blend of tradition and modernity in Taiwanese celebrations.
  • Adventure and Outdoor Activities: Uncover epic natural landscapes that make Taiwan an adventure lover's paradise.
  • Business and MICE: Find out how Taiwan melds world-class venues with unique experiences, perfect for business and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions).

Taiwan Tourism School is available for free, reflecting TTA's dedication to accessible, high-quality education for the travel trade community and its commitment to fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Taiwan as a dynamic travel destination.

Travel trade professionals across Canada are invited to sign up and begin learning about Taiwan's tourism offerings. Incentives are available for the first 20 Canadian travel trade that complete the course and for the first 20 companies that subsequently sell more Taiwan packages to Canadians. Find out more at TaiwanTourismSchool.com.

ABOUT TAIWAN TOURISM ADMINISTRATION
The Taiwan Tourism Administration is the official government agency of Taiwan (R.O.C.) responsible for domestic and international tourism policy development and execution. The Canada market is managed by the San Francisco office of TTA. The marketing slogans currently in use for Taiwan are "Time for Taiwan" and "The Heart of Asia", while the official mascot of the TTA is OhBear, a cartoon Formosan Black Bear, the national animal of Taiwan.

SOURCE Taiwan Tourism Administration

January 25, 2024
The Cayman Islands Recognized on Two Venerable ‘Best Of’ Lists

Forbes Travel Guide lists the Cayman Islands #1 on its Top 24 Destinations for 2024 and 

Tripadvisor honours the destination as one of the top nature destinations in the world

George Town, Grand Cayman—The Cayman Islands proudly kicked off 2024 with two impressive honours: topping Forbes Travel Guide’s list of Top 24 Destinations for 2024 and being recognized as the #8 Nature Destination in the world according to Tripadvisor's esteemed Best of the Best 2024 Travellers’ Choice Awards, the top-ranking Caribbean destination amongst the 25 selections. 

Known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, Forbes highlighted Grand Cayman’s “foodie paradise” with nods to the Ritz-Carlton’s Blue by Eric Ripert, the only Five Diamond restaurant in the Caribbean, and the novel Library by the Sea bar at Kimpton Seafire. Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best is the highest honour bestowed by Tripadvisor, reflecting the genuine experiences and opinions of travellers who have explored the stunning land and seascapes of the Cayman Islands. They recognized the sophisticated island paradise of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman for its perfect setting, diverse marine life and ecosystems, and unique experiences. 

With a vibrant culinary and bar scene, outstanding cultural attractions and sophisticated vibe, the three islands also boast a plethora of natural wonders both on land and at sea, creating a remarkable experience for visitors. Grand Cayman, the largest of the islands, captivates with its pristine beaches from the famous Seven Mile Beach to Rum Point, and warm, crystal-clear waters. Cayman Brac offers breathtaking views from its majestic Bluff and offers outdoor adventures from rock climbing to spelunking. Little Cayman enchants with its unspoiled charm and diverse marine life – a haven for diving enthusiasts.

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year than with two extraordinary honours. To be recognized as the top destination for 2024 in Forbes Travel Guide and to be named in Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best 2024 Travellers’ Choice Awards is a testament to the natural beauty and diverse experiences that the Cayman Islands offer,” said Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism. “It gives us great pride that the opinions of travellers who have explored the wonders of the Cayman Islands has led to this honour. We invite everyone to discover the captivating treasures that make our islands a truly special destination.” 

Stunning natural experiences to discover in the Cayman Islands 
In addition to its glorious Orchid Garden, Heritage Garden, Children’s Garden and Woodland Trail, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is also home to the Blue Iguana Conservation Facility, a captive breeding facility for the endangered Blue Iguana population. The Blue Iguana is only found on the island of Grand Cayman.

Grand Cayman features one of only a handful of bioluminescent bays in the world, where microorganisms create a mesmerizing glow that is best viewed on the darkest nights of the month. 

Explore the underground wonders of Cayman Crystal Caves, featuring stalactite and stalagmite formations in breathtaking chambers formed over millions of years by the slow drip of mineral-rich water, creating an intricate subterranean landscape. 

With 365 individual dive sites, the Cayman Islands offers an unparalleled underwater paradise for divers of all levels. Each site presents a unique marine ecosystem, from vibrant coral gardens to dramatic drop-offs and underwater caves. Dive into one of the world's top-rated dive sites, Bloody Bay Wall, known for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, including rays and sharks, and discover the rich biodiversity that makes the Cayman Islands a premier destination for divers.

Little Cayman is home to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. The world-renowned facility is on the cutting edge of scientific research on coral reefs and marine life, and is dedicated to understanding, conserving, and restoring marine ecosystems in the Cayman Islands and beyond. They offer educational programs, workshops, and courses to promote marine conservation awareness.

Adventure awaits on the Cayman Brac Bluff, an ancient limestone rock formation perfect for hikers, rock climbers and cave explorers of all experience levels. 

Witness the unique limestone formations at Hell, where jagged black formations create an otherworldly landscape. You can even have a postcard stamped from Hell at the neighbouring post office. 

Take a hike along the Mastic Trail, a historic path through Grand Cayman’s native forest, offering a glimpse into its unique flora and fauna.

Birdwatchers will be delighted at the Booby Pond Nature Reserve, home to the largest breeding colony of Red-footed Boobies in the Caribbean.

The naturally occurring East End Blow Holes, where seawater shoots through openings in the ironshore, create impressive geysers from the forceful interaction of the Caribbean waves against the rocky coastline. This coastal phenomenon offers a dramatic water dance that puts mechanical fountains to shame. 

A trip to the Cayman Islands wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Stingray City. A short boat ride to the North Sound allows visitors to stand comfortably in the ocean while stingrays glide gracefully in their natural habitat. 

About the Cayman Islands
Located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquility of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is a premier destination for discriminating travellers, divers, honeymooners and families. Known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, world renowned for its idyllic beaches and recognised as a sophisticated, diverse and memorable tourist destination, the Cayman Islands offers spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to visitcaymanIslands.com or www.divecayman.ky or call your local travel agent.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Naomi Strasser or Mindy Cummings
Aerial Communications Group
On behalf of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
naomi@aerialpr.com / mindy@aerialpr.com

January 24, 2024
Luxury Italian Resort, Palazzo di Varignana, Launches Health and Wellness Retreats

Bologna, Italy—Luxury resort, Palazzo di Varignana, has launched a series of Health and Wellness Retreat packages founded on the revolutionary Acquaviva Method.

Created by Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva, a distinguished dietician, nutritionist, and pharmacist, and the Scientific Director of Palazzo di Varignana, the Acquaviva Method brings a holistic approach to wellness, sustainability, and longevity.

The scientific direction of Dr. Acquaviva is dedicated to designing a vacation primarily focused on wellness, sustainability, and longevity: restaurant menus, holistic activities, beauty treatments and "transformative" experiences are selected based on the scientific evidence that demonstrates its effectiveness.

Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva, Scientific Director of Palazzo di Varignana, said: Scientific research confirms that the human body is an extremely fascinating mechanism that functions optimally only if all parts are in balance with each other. Epigenetics, in fact, studies how environmental factors and lifestyle can influence the expression of genes, promoting health, disease or premature aging.

“Therefore, our destiny does not only depend on our genetic heritage, but above all on our lifestyle: how and what we eat, how and how much we sleep, how we manage stress, how we cultivate emotions, how much exercise we do.

“A conscious lifestyle helps to control the running of the "clock hands" dictated by unhealthy behaviours. It is therefore possible to modulate our DNA through strategies to express our full psycho-physical potential, create harmony between mind and body and promote healthy longevity.” 

Aquaviva Method: 5 Pillars of Health
The 5 Pillars of Health offers a transformational experience utilising highly performing, science-based, integrated, and customised protocols.

Scientific research highlights the intricate balance required for optimal human function. The Acquaviva Method addresses this balance through the 5 Pillars of Health, merging Western medicine with Eastern practices for a holistic vision of well-being.

The 5 Pillars of Health are: 

  • Nutrition - functional and nutritional nutrition plays a crucial role in a person's health and well-being
  • Inner harmony and balance - full well-being is achieved by virtue of a state of harmony and inner peace
  • Physical activity - an integral part of healthy habits
  • Sleep & rest - sleep is one of the fundamental pillars for psycho-physical and cognitive well-being
  • Food & cosmetic integration - nutrition is not always sufficient on its own to provide nutrients, vitamins, mineral salts, and antioxidant active ingredients. For this reason, endogenous and exogenous integration can fill this gap

The balance among these 5 factors is the successful strategy towards well-being and longevity.

Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva, Scientific Director of Palazzo di Varignana, added: "I accompany people in a "transformation", the opportunity to express their potential, to rediscover psychophysical harmony and mental energy, to shine with a new form of beauty. Through the scientific method that I have formulated, based on the 5 Pillars of Health, I will point to highly performing, science-based, integrated, and customised protocols with a holistic approach.

“Thanks to tools and strategies and subsequent follow-up, it is possible to continue this rewarding experience of getting back into shape over time.”

Palazzo di Varignana: A Haven of Wellness and History
Palazzo di Varignana stands as a testament to the convergence of age-old culture and history with the science of well-being. The Bolognese resort, centred around the 1705 Palazzo Bentivoglio country castle, embraces a contemporary village offering a sustainable model of hospitality. Guests can immerse themselves in ornamental gardens, stroll through the expansive 30 hectares of park, relax in the 4000 m2 SPA, savour on-site farm-fresh products, and marvel at artistic works.

Participants benefit from a comprehensive longevity consultancy, including bioimpedance measurement and personalised nutritional programs. Dr. Acquaviva guides guests through their transformation, providing post-stay recall activities to ensure the continued benefits of the method in daily life.

Acquaviva Method Retreats: A Range of Options
Each retreat is a path of rebirth and discovery, a true "transformative journey" that starts concretely and metaphorically inside the fascinating Royal Train: a period artistic jewel born in 1921, where the welcome wellbeing aperitif takes place with Dr. Acquaviva.

The retreats of 3-7 nights, or more, have been designed in every detail to promote maximum potential psycho-physical well-being and shine with new beauty. They are an opportunity to experience an extended vision of the concept of well-being which also touches on art, savoir-vivre and culture: what represents the "heritage of Italian lifestyle".

Retreats available to guests include:

  • Detox (2 nights): Cleanse and reset, targeting toxins and excess fluids
  • In-Form (3-7 nights): Natural awakening of well-being for those recovering from stress
  • Slim (7-14 nights): Reprogram metabolism for effective and lasting weight loss
  • Deep Sleep (3-7 nights): Address insomnia and enhance sleep quality through mindfulness
  • Golden Age (7 nights): Enhance charm in the menopause and pre-menopause phase
  • La Dolce Vita (7-14 nights): Immerse in Italian lifestyle and well-being
  • Shine Your Beauty (3-7 nights) – New for 2024: An immersive holiday dedicated to enhancing uniqueness
  • New Man (3/7 nights) – New for 2024: A retreat focused on male well-being with relaxation treatments and tastings
  • Yoga & Pilates (3/7 nights) – New for 2024: Celebrate silence in connection with nature through purification and lightness
  • Sport & Fitness (3/7 nights) – New for 2024: Revitalize life with a holiday dedicated to sport and fitness in complete relaxation

Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva, Scientific Director of Palazzo di Varignana, remarked: “The project is the sum of decades of study and profession. Not only theories and scientific research, but a lot of practice, experience, comparison with people, with the needs and desires of those who seek for themselves a different balance between body and spirit. Together with the multidisciplinary team of Palazzo di Varignana, we have designed an unforgettable holiday.”

For more information on the Palazzo di Varignana and its Health and Wellness retreats, please visit: https://www.palazzodivarignana.com/health-wellness/retreats-metodo-acquaviva/

For Media Enquiries & Interview Requests

Steve Brown: steven@influenceassociates.com

Ben Lewis: ben@influenceassociates.com

About Palazzo di Varignana
Nestled in the enchanting Bolognese hills, Palazzo di Varignana stands as a captivating luxury retreat. The heart of the resort, Palazzo Bentivoglio, is a historic country castle with four traditional towers dating back to 1705, has been meticulously renovated while preserving its captivating history.

Surrounded by a contemporary stone village, the main building harmoniously blends with the natural landscape across 30 hectares. The property features 150 rooms, multiple restaurants, event spaces, and cutting-edge conference facilities. The resort also boasts the acclaimed Varsana SPA spanning over 4,000 m2, sports fields, and outdoor paths.

Beyond the resort, a visionary restoration project has revitalized the surrounding area, converting ancient farmhouses into six luxury villas. The resort's agricultural company spans 500 hectares, producing high-quality, locally sourced products. Notably, the dedication to restoring ancient olive tree varieties across 200 hectares has led to the production of globally recognized extra virgin olive oil. https://www.palazzodivarignana.com/

About Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva
Dr. Annamaria Acquaviva, a seasoned dietitian, nutritionist, and pharmacist, leverages decades of experience in outpatient care and strategic nutrition programs. Creator of the science based Acquaviva Method, outlined in the book "Health Revolution: The Five Pillars of Health," published in Italian and English. She leads international wellness programs and serves as a health and life coach.

As the founder of Health4Children, a non-profit initiative, she spearheads the "BATMAN Project" in collaboration with the Romagna Oncology Institute (IOR). Dr. Acquaviva manages web projects like "IOR I eat healthy, with more gusto" and "Healthy, fair and with taste!" supported by IOR, the National Association of Dietitians, and the Scientific Association of Nutrition and Dietetics of Italian dietitians.

Author of the HealthRevolution blog, shared on various social media platforms, she daily narrates stories of positive change, well-being, and shares delightful recipes. With publications on children's nutrition, including "Children at the table. Almost a game!" and "Colour is health," she collaborates with numerous publications, magazines, and television networks, earning her the 2018 Oscar della Salute as part of the Italian Health Award.

January 24, 2024
Porter Airlines updates executive responsibilities, Kevin Jackson assumes newly-created president role

Michael Deluce remains as CEO

Toronto—Porter Airlines is introducing a new senior leadership structure to support its ongoing development into a carrier with greater presence across North America.

The president and CEO roles will be separated, with Michael Deluce continuing in the position of CEO. The title of president is being assumed by Kevin Jackson, currently the airline’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer. The newly-created president position reports to the CEO.

“Porter’s continuing evolution into a company that is actively competing in key markets across the continent requires leaders to be focused on achieving all of our objectives,” said Michael Deluce, CEO, Porter Airlines. “This starts with me recognizing that my energy is currently best used on initiatives that often have longer timelines. I will remain closely involved in Porter’s overall strategic direction, while Kevin oversees daily business matters and operations.”

As CEO, Deluce maintains overall responsibility for Porter, with a focus on strategic planning, maintaining a strong capital structure, managing key stakeholder relationships, and overseeing infrastructure investments like the Saint Hubert passenger terminal in Montréal.  Directly reporting to the CEO are the president, people and culture, finance, corporate development and legal. His title as president and CEO of the airline’s parent company, Porter Aviation Holdings Inc., remains unchanged. 

Jackson’s extensive airline industry experience includes the last 11 years at Porter, where he has overseen areas such as airport operations, technology, sales and marketing, communications, revenue management and customer experience. He now oversees all commercial and operational teams. Prior to joining Porter, Jackson spent over a decade at America West Airlines and US Airways in a variety of digital and marketing roles.

“What people are seeing from the outside is Porter quickly growing with many aircraft deliveries, the introduction of new routes and a level of service that is disrupting what travellers think is possible when flying in economy,” said Kevin Jackson, president, Porter Airlines. “As we continue expanding across North America, we are evolving internally by implementing a number of strategic initiatives that will ensure we compete aggressively in the marketplace and continue providing the high level of service that passengers expect from us. I’ve loved my time at Porter and this new position is an opportunity for me to support the entire Porter team in delivering the passenger experience we are all proud of.”

Porter’s fleet has doubled over the past year to 58 aircraft, currently split equally between 29 132-seat Embraer E195-E2s and the same number of 78-seat Dash 8-400s. The airline has confirmed orders for 75 E195-E2s, with purchase rights for an additional 25 E195-E2s. Over 30 destinations are currently served throughout North America.

About Porter
Since 2006, Porter Airlines has been elevating the experience of economy air travel for every passenger, providing genuine hospitality with style, care and charm. Porter’s fleet of Embraer E195-E2 and De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft serves a North American network from Eastern Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Porter is an Official 4 Star Airline® in the World Airline Star Rating®. Visit www.flyporter.com or follow @porterairlines on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Porter

January 22, 2024
Toronto welcomed nearly 9M visitors in 2023, still below 2019

Visitor spending reached $7 billion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels for first time

Toronto—Visitor spending reached a record $7 billion in 2023 but the number of visitors in Toronto remains below pre-pandemic levels, according to the year-end Toronto’s Visitor Economy: 2023 Market Performance Highlights report published today by Destination Toronto. While visitor spending surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the first time, the city is still at 93 per cent of pre-pandemic arrivals, welcoming 8.95 million visitors in 2023. Before the pandemic, Toronto welcomed 9.56 million visitors in 2019 with $6.7 billion in visitor spending and over $10 billion in economic impact. 

“Toronto has always benefited from a diversified visitor economy with strong visitation coming from within Canada as well as from the U.S. and overseas markets,” said Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President, Destination Toronto. “Up to this point some international markets have recovered more slowly, and business events and business travel are still lagging behind leisure travel. For our visitor economy to be the economic engine it has proven to be for jobs and growth, all of these vital markets and segments need to return to full steam.”

Domestic travellers, who have driven a disproportionate share of the growth, account for 71 per cent of all visitors compared to 64 per cent in 2019. International visitors to Toronto - including the vital U.S. market - have shown a slower recovery and both remain 25 per cent below 2019 levels. While Mexico surpassed 2019 visitation, and Germany and the U.K. returned to roughly 75 per cent, China - the city’s largest overseas market before the pandemic - remains at 24 per cent of prior levels. Demand for accommodations also continues to recover but remains 19 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. 

“Toronto’s visitor economy is a vitally important sector of the city’s economy, supporting restaurants, arts and culture, retail, attractions, and creating business opportunities for local industries,” said Mayor Olivia Chow. “We salute all sectors of this industry and the contribution they make to Toronto’s vibrancy and prosperity.”

Major meetings and events (multi-day events with more than 1,000 attendees) continue to be a core driver of Toronto’s visitor economy. In 2023 major meetings brought 290,000 visitors to Toronto, however both the number of meetings and total attendees remain below pre-pandemic levels, as 2019 saw 444,000 attendees in the city. Some of the major meetings and events expected to drive visitation to Toronto in 2024 include the NHL All-Star Game in February, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (2,600 attendees in April), the Pediatric Academic Societies (7,000, April), the Collision tech conference (35,000, June), the World Water Congress and Exhibition (3000, August) and the MedTech Conference (3,000, October). 

The pandemic highlighted the crucial role visitors play to the city’s economic well-being. Toronto residents recognize the key role of Toronto’s visitor economy, with 89 per cent saying that the tourism industry is important to Toronto’s economy. Residents also see themselves as active participants in the visitor economy with 62 per cent saying they are likely to attend a live performance, 61 per cent likely to host friends or family, 60 per cent likely to attend a festival, and 59 per cent likely to visit a local attraction in the next year. 

Toronto’s Visitor Economy: 2023 Market Performance Highlights report was prepared by Destination Toronto’s Business Intelligence team. Additional insights on Toronto’s visitor economy can be found in the Market Performance Dashboard at DestinationToronto.com/research.

About Destination Toronto
Toronto’s visitor economy is a vital economic engine for the city, generating $7 billion in visitor spending in 2023.  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 attract visitors and major meetings and events, and supports local businesses to maximize the opportunities of the visitor economy. For more information, please visit DestinationToronto.com.

Media contact:
Kathy Motton
Destination Toronto – Sr. Manager of Corporate Communications
kmotton@destinationtoronto.com 
(416) 721-9203

Source: Destination Toronto

January 16, 2024
Muir Hotel Appoints Allan Federer as New General Manager

Located in the absolute centre of the city, on the edge of the Halifax Waterfront, Muir hires Allan Federer as General Manager to continue its reputation for exceptional service and warm hospitality.

Halifax, NS—Muir Hotel, inspired by the enduring spirit, culture, and character of Nova Scotia, has appointed Allan Federer as General Manager. Federer brings a wealth of global experience, having served in key leadership roles at luxury properties for more than 35 years.

Most recently, Federer was general manager at the iconic 40-acre Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Maui, Hawaii. Prior to that, Federer was general manager for hotels operated by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in such locations as Moscow, Dubai, Ireland, Singapore, Istanbul, Montreal, and the United States.

Federer, originally from Canada, has returned home, bringing with him a dedication to delivering unparalleled guest experiences. This aligns with Muir's commitment to providing a personalized, one-of-a-kind stay for each guest.

"I'm honoured and thrilled to join the Muir Hotel family as general manager," said Allan Federer. "Muir has a sterling reputation for delivering exceptional service and I'm eager to contribute to the legacy of excellence that the hotel is known for."

As Muir's new leader, Allan Federer will play a pivotal role in elevating the guest experience and ensuring that Muir continues to be the preferred destination for those seeking an elevated hospitality experience that inspires a true sense of place.

About Muir Hotel: Inspired by the enduring spirit, culture and character of Nova Scotia, Muir, Autograph Collection will welcome guests to a refined, distinctly Nova Scotian hospitality experience. Located in the centre of downtown Halifax, within the new Queen's Marque district, Muir offers unprecedented waterfront views and ocean access. Each of Muir's 109 rooms promise comfort and serenity, and feature bespoke, made-in-Canada furniture and original Nova Scotia art. Muir's amenities include elevated, regional dining; an ultra-premium wellness centre with high-performance fitness equipment, vitality spa pool and halotherapy salt room; access to the Muir yacht and motorboat; and a significant regionally-curated art collection, including a private art gallery. Muir is a gracious host – a one-of-a-kind destination, and a true cultural beacon for Halifax and beyond.

SOURCE Muir hotel

Media inquiries, please contact:
Stephanie Carver
Director, Marketing & Communications, The Armour Group Limited
(902) 718-9852, scarver@armourgroup.com

January 15, 2024
Montréal Ranked Among Top Sustainable Destinations of Prestigious Travelers Choice Awards Best of the Best

Montreal/CNW/—Tourisme Montréal is thrilled to announce that Montréal has been awarded 13th position in the Sustainable Destinations section of Tripadvisor's prestigious Travelers' Choice Awards Best of the Best for the year 2024. This distinction reflects the destination's ongoing commitment towards sustainable development and its positive impact on travelers' experience.

Montréal distinguished itself thanks to its first position in North America in the Global Destination Sustainability Index 2023, a world benchmark in sustainable tourism. The Travelers' Choice Awards also describes Montréal as the cultural capital of Canada offering a myriad of attractions ranging from the charm of Old Montréal with its European buildings and cobbled streets to the Notre-Dame Basilica, to the dynamic Plateau-Mont-Royal. "The city offers an experience rich in culture and diversity," says Tripadvisor.

Travelers' Choice Awards Best of the Best are destinations that not only perform well on the GDS Index, but also those whose hotels, restaurants, and things to do received a high volume of above-and-beyond reviews and opinions from Tripadvisor's community over the past 12 months.

Montréal Topping All the Charts
Montréal was recently named in the list of the best cultural cities in the world ranking in 12th position in Time Out's World Best Cities for Culture; "No matter the time of year, there is always something happening in Montréal," says the international guide. Montréal shares this honor with cities such as Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Marrakech.

This recognition follows Travel and Leisure's which ranked Montréal in its list of the most exciting large cities for 2024. The American travel magazine points out Montréal's avant-garde infrastructures which make it one of the most eco-friendly and welcoming places to visit in North America.

About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is a 100-year-old private, non-profit organization that works to position Montréal as an international-calibre leisure and business travel destination. To this end, the organization is piloting innovative hospitality strategies with a two-fold objective: ensuring that visitors enjoy a memorable experience and maximizing tourism economic spin-offs in a sustainable way with long-term impacts for the city. Uniting nearly 1,000 businesses and organizations working directly or indirectly in tourism, Tourisme Montréal plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal's tourism business, and makes recommendations on issues surrounding the city's economic, urban and cultural development. For more information, go to www.mtl.org.

SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

For further information: Media inquiries: Aurélie de Blois, Corporate communications, public and media relations, 514 918-5290, adeblois@mtl.org

January 08, 2024
Destination DC Highlights Connected Capital, Sustainability and What’s New in DC at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024

Washington, DC—Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, provided an update on the benefits of meeting in DC and the organization’s convention sales and services strategies to attract events of all sizes to the nation’s capital.

“As we compete globally to attract meetings and events, we are investing in our marketing and sales through the Only One DC campaign. It highlights resources for meeting strategists only available in the nation’s capital to draw events of all sizes that leave a lasting impact on the local economy,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC.

Meetings and events play a critical role in bringing economic impact to Washington, DC. In 2024, there are an estimated 510,806 total room nights stemming from convention center business, with an estimated 273,178 total room nights from non-convention center business.

“Washington, DC is the only destination where planners can leverage intellectual capital and access leaders and policymakers,” said Melissa A. Riley, senior vice president, convention sales and services. “To drive growth, we're prioritizing large and small meetings, as well as international meetings that make a significant global impact in Washington, DC. We’re excited to leverage our new BestCities Global Alliance partnership and invest in new markets including the UK, Mexico and Canada.”

Washington, DC Sustainability

  • Washington, DC is the first city in the world to achieve the Platinum level LEED for Cities certification.
  • At the COP28 Local Climate Action Summit in Dubai, Mayor Bowser released Carbon Free DC, the District’s comprehensive strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.
  • Major city upgrades include modernized LED streetlights as part of DC’s Smart Cities initiative.
  • The Walter E. Washington Convention Center has achieved LEED Gold certification.
  • Sustainable transit is a focus. The city’s first electric buses have been activated and Metrorail Silver Line connects Washington Dulles International Airport to downtown DC.
  • More than 40 associations, policy groups and advocacy organizations in the metro area focus on sustainability.
    DDC Sustainability
  • In December, DDC released the 2024 DEI Business Fellows that includes businesses focused on convention services.
  • DDC launched the Sustainability District so meeting and event planners and attendees can easily find sustainability initiatives at local hotels, restaurants and convention services.
  • In September, DDC received the Innovation Award and recognized for its DEI Business Fellowship program by the Global Destination Sustainability Movement.
  • Learn more about incorporating sustainability, from green hotels and eco-friendly attractions to climate and energy experts at washington.org/meetings.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

  • In October, the convention center received the Silver Stella Award for being the best convention center in the Northeast region by Northstar Meetings Group.
  • In November, the convention center was awarded Best Customer Service by Exhibitor Magazine.
  • Exterior streetscape renovation includes new retail, and an interior redesign has added furnishings adjustable for flexible seating arrangements in the lounge area.

Adding New Hotels and Venues:
There are 19 new hotels or renovations in the pipeline, adding over 3,506 new or renovated rooms.

  • The 234-room Washington Marriott Capitol Hill is just over one mile from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and steps from Union Station, DC’s Amtrak hub. It features 13,000 sq. feet of intimate meeting space.
  • The modern, glass-façade Royal Sonesta Washington DC Capitol Hill (opened September 2023) has 274 large guest rooms, 11,000 sq. feet of event space including a penthouse conference center with a wraparound terrace, and an onsite French bistro. The hotel will be LEED Gold certified and includes a green-vegetated roof.
  • The new 445-room Arlo Hotel will incorporate a residential building constructed in the 1880s. Opening in September, the 445-room hotel will include a 12-story addition, a fitness center, a signature restaurant and bar, rooftop pool and lounge and indoor/outdoor event space.
  • Rebranded and renovated hotels include the Salamander Washington DC, the new Westin Downtown, the Marriott Metro Center and the Capital Hilton.

New Venues and Event Space:

  • The National Museum of Women in the Arts opened Oct. 21, 2023. The world’s only major museum solely dedicated to championing women artists completed a two-year, $67.5 million renovation. The building's Great Hall – a popular event venue with sweeping staircases and golden chandeliers – has been preserved.
  • The Folger Shakespeare Theater’s 1932 building is undergoing a major renovation to expand public space and improve accessibility. Opening in April, the project adds a 12,000-square-foot public pavilion under the Folger’s front lawn with two accessible entry plazas.
  • The White House Historical Association has announced plans for “The People’s House: A White House Experience,” a 33,000-square-foot, three story educational experience including a Rose Garden replica and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office. Opening fall 2024.

Vitamin DC – A wealth of health experiences in Washington, DC
Balancing meetings with wellness is easy in DC with over 40 hotels downtown that are central to green spaces on the National Mall and beyond.

  • Jogging or walking from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial is a bucket-list experience.
  • Electric and non-electric bicycles and scooters offer options for exploring the monuments and memorials or for riding along the Potomac River with views of Georgetown.
  • DC’s hotels are rethinking fitness areas and offering greater wellness amenities and activations for meeting breakouts.
  • Many of DC’s free museums are a short walk from the convention center and allow for a quick culture escape.
  • Restaurants feature locally sourced menus, plant-based dishes and mocktails.
  • DDC can help customize wellness activities like morning meditation and yoga on the National Mall.

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

Contact:
Susan O’Keefe, media relations manager, trade
202-789-7079; susan@washington.org