Current News

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

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Current News

May 28, 2024
Montréal Still Number 1 Destination for International Association Meetings in North America

Montreal/CNW/—Montréal has been crowned the best destination for international association meetings in North America for an eighth consecutive year, according to the prestigious rankings of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which includes some 10,000 events held around the world in 2023.

Montréal is confirming its place as a leading figure in North America based on the total number of events held. Indeed, the city tops the list in the northern hemisphere, ahead of major destinations such as Toronto, Boston, Chicago and Miami, in terms of association delegations welcomed. The city comes second behind Buenos Aires, for the Americas, and 25th in the world, surpassing cities like Sydney, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Kyoto and Munich.

This resounding success is the result of the close collaboration between Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès de Montréal as well as the common vision shared by all of the city's stakeholders. Thanks to their dynamism, their know-how and their dedication to service excellence, these teams have contributed to hosting around thirty major events such as the Annual Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis with 5,300 delegates, the International Council of Nurses World Congress with 4,900 delegates and the InCyber Forum with 2,500 delegates.

When considering the full picture of business tourists in the city, more than 870,000 Canadian and international visitors and delegates were welcomed at the Palais des congrès, in universities and in hotels in 2023. In total, 475 business events took place in Montréal, including 288 at the Palais des congrès alone, contributing to economic impacts of around $425 million for Montréal and Quebec.

"The fact that Montréal is at the top of the list for the eighth consecutive year testifies to the vigor and dedication of the teams at the Palais des congrès and Tourisme Montréal. Business travels is greatly beneficial for the city and the province from an economic point of view, but also in terms of the cross-pollination of scientific knowledge that it allows between our institutions and researchers around the world. I am honored by this recognition, and I congratulate the teams who have allowed us to distinguish ourselves this year again. " – Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

" This recognition not only reflects the expertise of all the players in the Montreal tourism sector but also highlights the commitment of professionals from the scientific, academic, and research sectors with whom we closely collaborate in hosting international association events. By taking place here, these events allow our key industries and their specialists to shine on a global scale. I thank our Ambassadors for their valuable involvement, which helps generate significant economic, intellectual, and social benefits for Montreal and Quebec." – Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
A creative solutions centre and a showcase for the city's spirit and expertise, the Palais des congrès de Montréal has been promoting and hosting large-scale events since 1983. Generating significant economic, social and intellectual benefits, it encourages innovation and acts as a force for progress for both Montréal and Québec. The Palais is firmly committed to sustainability and takes numerous innovative, concrete steps to make it a central component of its business development. With one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, the Palais actively contributes to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city for international events in America for six years in a row. congresmtl.com

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

May 27, 2024
Calgary's new hospitality frontier: PBA Group of Companies begins construction on Element Hotel by the Westin through office conversion project

The new hotel aims to enhance the city's Downtown West, setting a benchmark for urban revitalization

Calgary, AB/CNW/—PBA Group of Companies (PBA) and its partner Concord Hospitality have officially started converting the former 12-storey office building, Canadian Centre (833 4th Ave. SW) into an Element Hotel by Westin. PBA saw an opportunity to satisfy the growing demand for additional room capacity in Downtown Calgary and to drive economic impact. As a 226-suite hotel, with fully furnished extended stay units, and a sophisticated design aesthetic, the Element Hotel will offer guests a warm and hospitable experience infused with cultural touches and elevated details. 

"We're honoured to help take one of the first steps in transforming our downtown into a differentiated residential and recreational district that serves as a symbol of progressive inner city planning with this conversion," says James Scott, Senior Vice President, Planning and Development, PBA Group of Companies. "We're proud of our trusted partnership with Concord Hospitality and look forward to continuing the momentum with this novel conversion project which will have a notable impact in the community."

Announced in November as one of the City of Calgary's downtown office conversion partners, the Element Hotel is the first hospitality project as part of the Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program. It will remove 170,000 square feet of unused office space from the city's core. This conversion project exemplifies the pivotal role that repurposing buildings plays in advancing sustainability principles within real estate, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and urban revitalization – two key priorities in building resiliency in Calgary's downtown community.

By offering extended-stay hotel units, PBA is adding to a range of choices within the hospitality sector, while supporting Calgary's greater economic transition and welcoming a diverse mix of people to the downtown core. This development is expected to introduce a best-in-class model of flexible hospitality into the downtown market. Embracing a sustainable, nature-inspired aesthetic, the hotel offers expansive studios and one-bedroom suites, which are outfitted with fully equipped in-room kitchens, spa-inspired bathrooms and the Priority Bicycles program, where hotel guests can borrow bikes free of charge during their stay.  

Infusing flexibility and convenience for groups, the Element brand pioneers a unique communal space known as Studio Commons. Centred around four guest rooms, this innovative concept promotes community by allowing guests to cook, gather and unwind together within shared kitchen and living room areas, fostering a sense of togetherness and relaxation.

"Coming off the success of our first hotel development, The Dorian, this project brings a particular level of excitement for us at PBA as we look to create another dynamic, Calgary-centric property, but this time, in the west end of downtown, where our company began its nearly 60-year history," says Scott. "Projects like this will help inject vitality into the community and contribute to Calgary's reputation as a global city."

Element Hotel by Westin Development Profile 

Building Overview: The building is a 12-floor, 170,000-square-foot office building constructed in 1982. PBA is converting the building's existing office space and common areas into 226 fully appointed hotel suites, dining facilities and hotel guest amenities. 

Location: As a gateway to Calgary's city centre, the Element Hotel is located on the west edge of Calgary's downtown core. Earmarked as an emerging hub, it offers convenient accessibility via transit, car, walking or biking. Its optimal location provides immediate proximity to the picturesque Bow River, versatile multi-use pathways and the West Eau Claire Park, the 8th Street urban improvement corridor and stunning views overlooking the iconic Louise Bridge and Kensington Village area. 

Amenities: 

  • An elevated lobby lounge and café: Featuring a clean, modern aesthetic where hotel guests and passersby will feel welcome to settle in and capture the character of Calgary's downtown while enjoying high-quality, specialty coffee using local and artisanal ingredients.
  • An upscale casual dining experience on the 12th floor: Located just blocks away from the Bow River, the rooftop restaurant boasts a striking view and promises a distinctive ambiance that seamlessly blends urban innovation with nature's beauty. The menu showcases the finest ingredients from Alberta, featuring an elevated twist on dry-aged elements, delicious shareables and bites, craft cocktails and a selection of local beers.
  • Common areas: Promoting a sense of community, guests will have access to various shared spaces to cook, gather and unwind within shared kitchen and living room areas.
  • Meeting rooms: Guests can access meeting rooms for all their business and work needs to promote flexibility and convenience.
  • State-of-the-art Fitness Centre: Embracing the spirit of Calgary's active lifestyle, guests can access premium fitness equipment and movement space to make the most of their stay.

Sustainability and Value-add Features: 

  • Use of recycled materials in design and construction
  • The project has diverted 572,000kg of demolition waste from the landfill, which equates to 65 percent of the project's total demolition waste.
  • Water conservation through low-flow fixtures
  • Vehicle charging stations
  • Motion Fitness Centre
  • Bikes to borrow

With Tourism Calgary forecasting to welcome 8.7 million visitors in 2024 and $3.2 billion in tourism revenue for the local economy, new hospitality options like the Element Hotel will help cater to the increase in tourism and the diverse preferences of travellers. PBA continues to honour its mission of building possibility and community by offering a range of hospitality options that meaningfully contribute to the transformation of Calgary's downtown and the sustained growth and prosperity of the city's tourism industry.

Demolition is completed, with construction now underway, and project completion slated for the summer of 2025.

To learn more about PBA's latest development, visit: https://www.pbaland.com/developments/

About PBA Group of Companies
PBA Group of Companies (PBA) is a full-spectrum real estate company based in Calgary, Alberta, providing integrated commercial real estate solutions. PBA envisions a world in which their partners connect through shared values and inspire a new sense of discovery and identity in the communities they touch. PBA's mission is to connect people every day to make space for dreams. Celebrating over six decades in operation, PBA takes pride in being women-owned and led. In 2021, PBA expanded its offerings by introducing a hospitality portfolio with the unveiling of The Dorian, a $110 million, 27-storey, dual-brand Marriott Autograph Collection and Courtyard Marriott hotel. Recognized globally as one of North America's premier hotels by Fodor's Travel, The Dorian has received numerous accolades for its exceptional design, culinary offerings and guest experience. Looking ahead, PBA remains committed to creating vibrant communities that both its partners and tenants take pride in calling home.

SOURCE PBA Group of Companies

May 24, 2024
New IRF Attendee Preference Study Reports Most Motivating Destinations and Program Design Elements

According to a recent IRF survey of North American employees, the appeal of group incentive travel remains strong. A group incentive travel experience to an appealing destination was rated ‘very’ or ‘extremely motivating’ by 91% of respondents for the third year in a row. 2024 Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel explores trends in attendee preferences, factors in destination selection, and how incentive travel program design can impact employee motivation.

“The motivational impact of incentive award travel remains high, and attendees find appeal in a broad array of destinations, program attributes, and trip features,” said Stephanie Harris, IRF President. “The insights provided by attendees will ensure incentive planners can feel confident in designing programs that capture the interest and enthusiasm of their attendees while balancing their budgetary and business realities.”

2024 Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel looks at destinations and program design to determine the elements that provide maximum inspiration to earn the award. Key insights include:

  • Motivational appeal of group travel continues to be extremely high, especially among Gen Z and Millennials, and signals the continued relevance of incentive travel programs.
  • 2024’s top North American destinations preferred by qualified employees include past favorites such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Florida.
  • Preferred international locations include countries in Western Europe and Central America.
  • Incentive travel attendees want free time to relax, opportunities for unique experiences, and luxury accommodations and experiences.
  • Previously visited destinations that qualified employees recommend returning to for incentive award travel include Hawaii, The Caribbean, Central America, and Western Europe.
  • Attendees are excited about cruising, with 75% indicating a cruise experience is desirable regardless of the destination.
  • Cvent booking data illustrates Mexico and The Caribbean are still trending high for incentive destinations with nine out of the top ten booking destinations being in those regions.

To download the full study and white paper, visit the 2024 Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel webpage

Source: Incentive Research Foundation

May 24, 2024
Bingemans Catering Becomes First Canadian Caterer to Join Elite Catering & Event Professionals

Kitchener, ON—Bingemans Catering, is the first Canadian caterer to be accepted into the membership of Elite Catering & Event Professionals (ECEP), a remarkable achievement in culinary excellence to be included as peers alongside these titans of the catering hospitality world.

Elite Catering & Event Professionals (ECEP) is a by-invitation, international organization that recognizes caterers and industry leaders with exceptional standards of quality and service.

With stringent criteria and a rigorous selection process, ECEP membership is reserved for the best of the best in the hospitality industry worldwide.

"We are thrilled and honoured to be the first Canadian catering company welcomed into Elite Catering & Event Professionals," said Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans. "This achievement is a testament to the dedication of our team and our unwavering commitment to excellence in every aspect of our service.” 

As a member of Elite Catering & Event Professionals, Bingemans Catering gains access to a global network of top-tier catering professionals, industry resources, and cutting-edge insights to further elevate its offerings and set new standards of excellence while utilizing these resources for the benefit of our clients here in Ontario and beyond.

Sales Director Laurie Schell states, “Joining ECEP opens up exciting opportunities for us to collaborate with industry leaders and continue raising the bar for catering excellence nationally and beyond.”

For more information about Elite Catering & Event Professionals, please visit ECEP's official website.

About Bingemans
Waterloo Region’s leader in hospitality and tourism, Bingemans is the entertainment destination, multi-use amusement park, camping resort, full-service caterer, and conference centre located in Kitchener, Ontario. With so many year-round entertainment options for the whole family, you are guaranteed to create memories to last a lifetime. Make a splash at our Big Splash waterpark, featuring a heated wave pool, Spray “n” Play for kids and huge waterslides. Explore FunworX all year long with a three-level indoor playground for children of all ages, an arcade, a suspended ropes course and more. The camping resort features campsites for tents, trailers and RVs, seasonal camping, log cabins, container cabins and a new luxury container cabin. Bingemans is also home to Canada’s largest Boston Pizza, 28 lanes of 10-pin bowling at Kingpin Bowling, Ontario’s only augmented reality bowling experience and state-of-the-art arcade games. Get competitive with a round of mini golf or try your luck with Axe Throwing or EscapeworX escape rooms. Celebrate North America’s largest Bavarian celebration at Bingemans’ Oktoberfest and experience Canada’s most terrifying attraction, Screampark. Create memories with a team of event professionals by your side and host your next social or corporate event at one of our featured venues or catered by our exceptional culinary team. With over 80 years in operation, we are your destination for a grand experience.

About Elite Catering & Event Professionals (ECEP)
Elite Catering + Event Professionals (ECEP) was founded in 2021 by industry experts and leaders from the world's top catering and hospitality organizations, united by a common goal of propelling the global catering and events industry forward through innovation and bold new ideas. The collaborative global network represents a powerful voice in the market with more than $615 million in annual revenue among them.

 For more information on ECEP and its members, please visit www.ecep.org

May 23, 2024
VIA Rail Unveils its Plan to Transform Passenger Rail in Canada

Montreal/CNW/—Mario Péloquin, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail), unveiled today the Corporation's strategic plan: VIAction 2030. Through this ambitious plan based on concrete objectives, VIA Rail aims to become a best-in-class operator in North America and a leader in integrated mobility at the heart of the passenger journey in Canada.

Among its 2030 objectives, VIA Rail is committed to:

  • Generating savings equivalent to 15% of its operating deficit;
  • Reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2005;
  • Increasing its capacity by 18%.

"Canada was built by rail, and I fundamentally believe in the transformative potential of this industry," said Mario Péloquin. "I have the ambition to act now to create meaningful change for our passengers, and this plan gives us a clear roadmap which allows us to aim higher and transform the way we operate."

The train is the way to the future to, among other things, meet the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Over the past five years, the Government of Canada has invested more than $3 billion in the modernization of VIA Rail, including the replacement of its Québec City – Windsor corridor fleet to offer a more modern, comfortable, and accessible travel experience. This strategic plan is the logical next step of this major modernization effort and will allow VIA Rail to open the next chapter of its history.

"The five pillars of this plan will enable us, among other things, to improve our operations through innovation and continuous improvement and to collaborate with the various players of the transportation industry to better serve Canadians from coast to coast. Thanks to this five-year strategy, we are convinced that even more people will choose the train as the comfortable, sustainable and accessible transportation solution," said Vanessa Cherenfant, Chief Strategy Officer.

PROJECTS ALREADY UNDERWAY
VIA Rail has already initiated efforts on several central aspects of this plan and is well positioned to meet its objectives.

  • New trains from coast to coast: the federal government's latest budget confirmed support for VIA Rail to replace its long-distance, regional, and remote trains across the country. Over the coming years, our passengers from coast to coast will be able to enjoy new modern and comfortable trains meeting the highest accessibility standards.
  • Integrated mobility at the heart of our vision: VIA Rail aims to position itself as a unifying force for integrated mobility in the country, particularly by contributing to the integration of its stations with the cities' various transportation networks and by helping densify surrounding neighbourhoods.
  • Always improving the customer journey: As part of this plan, VIA Rail wants to improve its service and offer the best passenger experience by, for example, meeting the diverse accessibility needs of its customers and offering one of the first zero-waste experiences on board a train in the world.

To learn more about our strategic plan, we invite you to visit our website: 
https://corpo.viarail.ca/en/company/strategic-plan

About VIA Rail
VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to operate the national passenger rail service on behalf of the Government of Canada, and to provide a safe, accessible, efficient, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally responsible service that meets the needs of Canadian passengers. VIA Rail operates intercity trains connecting over 400 communities across Canada and ensuring rail transportation services to regional and remote communities. The Corporation safely transported over four million passengers in 2023 and has been awarded nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada. For more, visit our website: https://corpo.viarail.ca/en.  

Follow VIA Rail
Twitter @VIA_rail
Facebook: viarailcanada
Instagram: @viarailcanada
VIA: the blog

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

May 23, 2024
Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority Takes Steps to Develop a Headquarters Hotel

New Orleans—The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (the Authority) has approved two resolutions critical to moving forward with the development of a 1,000-room headquarters hotel for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC). In addition to accepting a formal letter of intent (LOI) with Omni Hotels & Resorts (Omni) to own and operate the headquarters hotel, today the Authority voted to approve a purchase and sale agreement for property at Convention Center Boulevard and Andrew Higgins Boulevard. The site, currently operated as the Sugar Mill event venue, is immediately across the street from the Convention Center and is the preferred site for the new headquarters hotel.  

“In case anyone needed another reason to travel to New Orleans, this is it. I am ecstatic that the Authority has taken the next step to develop a new hotel for the New Orleans Convention Center. My sincere thanks goes to Omni Hotels & Resorts, the Authority, and all who worked to make this a reality. This hotel will bring more people and events to our State, and it gives us greater opportunity to showcase all that New Orleans has to offer,” said Governor Jeff Landry.

The hotel will be strategically positioned to help attract events that have previously passed on New Orleans because the city lacks a modern, upscale headquarters hotel adjacent to the Convention Center. Having a new headquarters hotel will increase New Orleans' destination appeal nationally and regionally, bringing opportunities for continued growth and success for the city, region and state. This important asset will help meet a growing demand in the contemporary meetings market and strengthen New Orleans’ position as a top-tier meeting and events destination – one that is Built to Host.

“Today’s votes signal the Authority’s approval to move forward with a plan that will finally give New Orleans the new, dedicated headquarters hotel it deserves. This is the right time, at the right place and with the right partner,” said Russell Allen, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority President. “Partnering with Omni Hotels & Resorts will help us transform this visionary concept into a reality and seize a unique opportunity to propel our community forward while making a lasting impact on our economic landscape.”

Consideration of a headquarters hotel began several years ago and has been closely evaluated for nearly a decade.

“The Authority’s actions take us one step closer to attracting the trade shows, conventions and events that only an adjacent headquarters hotel can,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President and CEO. “It will introduce a new market and mean more events, bring more jobs, generate new demand for rooms for other hotels in the market and more spending at local restaurants and other businesses. Building a headquarters hotel will be transformative for New Orleans tourism and realize a vision many years in the making.”

Omni has been the Authority’s selected partner since 2018 and a leading expert in convention center headquarters hotels, having seven similar properties it has developed in other cities, all exceeding expectations. Omni demonstrates its commitment to deliver the hotel by investing $500 million to finance the project.

“We are excited to begin negotiations with the Authority, as we work together to develop the new Convention Center headquarter hotel in New Orleans. Omni Hotels & Resorts is a recognized leader in the convention center hotel market, and we excel at developing hotels that reflect the dynamic local culture of a destination. The City of New Orleans is a premier destination and an American treasure, so we are thrilled at the prospect of creating a hotel that embodies its character and culture,” said Kurt Alexander, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  “Our vision is to create memorable experiences inspired by the heart and soul of a destination, and we look forward to collaborating with the Authority as well as the government and business leaders of New Orleans toward this end and to further cement New Orleans’ position as a world-class convention and major-event destination,” added Alexander.

With today’s actions, the Authority clears the way for a project that will support approximately 1,100 permanent jobs, generate roughly $282 million in annual impact on the local economy and add a combined $24 million in annual tax revenue for the city and the state.

Walter J. Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, the official destination sales and marketing organization for the New Orleans tourism industry added, “Today’s action will make New Orleans’ an even more competitive destination for meetings and conventions.  New Orleans is Built to Host, but it’s critical that we develop new product offerings to remain competitive, especially when cities such as Las Vegas, Dallas, Nashville, Austin Orlando and others are making significant investments in new hotels, convention centers and major tourist attractions.  We are grateful for Omni Hotels & Resorts’ investment in New Orleans. This new hotel will generate jobs for our residents, strengthen Louisiana’s economy, create more business for existing hotels and companies across the community that thrive when we have a robust convention calendar.”

Negotiations will continue and conclude with final agreements being ready for the Authority to review and consider at the end of 2024. Design and construction will begin in 2025, with an expected opening in 2028-2029.  

About the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority
The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s (Authority) exclusive mission is to finance, construct and operate facilities in order to attract and conduct conventions, trade shows and other events that support and expand the economy of both the State of Louisiana and New Orleans Region. The Authority is composed of a 13-member board of commissioners, ten appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, and three appointed by the Mayor of New Orleans. Since 1985, event activity at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.

About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC)
New Orleans is Built to Host! With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space on one level, all under one roof, NOENMCC is the sixth largest Convention Center in the United States and provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. NOENMCC is a 2023 IAVM Venue Excellence recipient and is consistently named a regional top workplace by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Our recent LEED Gold certification makes NOENMCC the largest LEED-certified project in Louisiana and the largest convention center project in the U.S. certified under LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance, as well as the first convention center in the world to be awarded initial certification under LEED Gold v4.1 O+M. A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, NOENMCC event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts:
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct hotels and resorts in the most popular leisure and business destinations across the United States, as well as in Canada. With 26 iconic golf courses, including multiple short courses, 25 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination.  Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA of America. For information or to book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

May 22, 2024
Driving a sustainable future: a Journey to Tomorrow

IHG Hotels & Resorts calls for collaboration across the hospitality industry, as it reiterates commitment to doing business responsibly

Responsible for one in 10 jobs and contributing more than $7.7 trillion to the world’s GDP, the travel and hospitality industry supports economies across the globe by helping local communities to thrive. And it’s growing, with more than one billion international travellers last year and even more forecast to follow.

Of all hospitality’s long-term drivers, perhaps the greatest is people’s fundamental desire to travel – whether it’s for leisure, business, or both (“blended” travellers are also on the up). It’s what makes us human; travelling to meet family and friends in person, and creating memories, together.

The scale of our industry provides us with an important opportunity to make a positive impact on our world. But it comes with a challenge – the need to adapt our existing infrastructure to be more sustainable and ensure that, as we continue to grow, we do so in the right way.

At IHG Hotels & Resorts, that’s what we’re focused on. After all, caring for our people, communities and planet has been at the heart of what we do for many years; it’s how we operate and it’s what we’re known for. And it’s why we’re a proud partner of Vision 2045.

With more than 6,300 hotels across the globe, we value our opportunity to positively impact the lives of millions every day, supporting local economies, helping build prosperity and acting as a force for good in those communities. All while understanding the heightened expectations of our hotel owners, guests, colleagues and investors when it comes to the relationship between business and the ESG agenda.

At the centre of our actions is Journey to Tomorrow – IHG’s 2030 responsible business plan, aligned to our purpose of True Hospitality for Good and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Within it are wide-ranging commitments to champion a diverse culture where everyone can thrive, improve the lives of 30 million people, and help protect our planet through the reduction of carbon, waste and water usage.

We’re proud of the progress we’re making – as depicted in our annual Responsible Business Report – but recognise that one company can’t do it alone. It requires a collective effort to make a net positive impact at scale, so we’re collaborating to achieve long-term change – such as with our hotel owners, who we’re supporting in many ways, including with guidance and tools to measure sustainability metrics.

When it comes to our guests, we’re just as committed, offering them more sustainable choices when they stay in our hotels. Collaboration with expert organisations is also vital, and we’re supporting those responding to natural disasters, delivering skills training and tackling food poverty across the globe.

But if we want to drive large scale change, it’s vital that businesses, trade bodies and governments also work together. So we’re playing an active role here, too, such as by co-ordinating our efforts with the World Travel & Tourism Council, and supporting the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

As IHG and our industry continue to grow, so does the opportunity in front of us. By working together in the right way, we’ll make a sustainable difference for generations to come.

About IHG
IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

With a family of 19 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,300 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a development pipeline of over 2,000 properties.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 375,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit us online for more about our hotels and reservations and IHG One Rewards. To download the IHG One Rewards app, visit the Apple App or Google Play stores.

For our latest news, visit our Newsroom and follow us on LinkedIn.

May 14, 2024
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in Yorkville Elevates Luxury Experience with Newly Redesigned Rooms and Suites

Toronto, CanadaFour Seasons Hotel Toronto announces the completion of an extensive, multimillion dollar guest room renovation, enhancing the luxury experience for its guests from around the world. With a focus on elevating comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, the redesign encompasses all 259 guest rooms including 42 suites within the Hotel.

“We have an unwavering commitment to providing guests and residents with the best luxury experience in Toronto, and this fresh, holistic update has surpassed all expectations,” states Shahid Khan, owner of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. “We ensured that every detail was considered, and refined many iterations of the model room until it was absolutely perfect. It is important to reinvest in Four Seasons Hotel Toronto through the elevation of our guest room product and experience, and this organic and warm update underscores our promise to offering the preeminent Hotel in the market.”

The importance of maintaining the Hotel's distinct architectural character was paramount, and the refresh introduced many enhancements while respecting the existing design framework. Every aspect of the rooms and suites has been meticulously reconsidered, from carpets to furnishings, lighting to artwork. All furniture has been designed and manufactured in Canada, utilizing local artisans and fabrics throughout the rooms.

Patrick Pollak, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, expresses his enthusiasm for the new rooms and suites, stating, "We are thrilled to unveil our newly renovated rooms and suites, which reflect our unwavering commitment to excellence and providing guests a luxurious experience with genuine heart. This revitalization represents a significant investment in enhancing the guest stay, ensuring that every moment at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is nothing short of exceptional."

The design inspiration behind the remodel draws from Toronto's unique juxtaposition of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Colours and textures celebrate the distinctly Canadian surrounding landscape, while furniture designs and surface patterns bring forth the energizing asymmetry found in the natural world. Local artists play a pivotal role in the aesthetic narrative of the renovated rooms and suites. Works by Canadian artists such as Emma Enright, Dahae Song, Deborah Moss, and Andrea Soos adorn the walls, adding a distinctive touch of regional flair to the guest experience.

DesignAgency led the design and creative vision, infusing the rooms with a sense of timeless elegance and contemporary sophistication. The aim was to create an environment that seamlessly blends the urban vibrancy of Toronto with the tranquil beauty of its natural surroundings. Every design element was carefully considered to evoke a sense of harmony and sophistication, providing guests with an elevated experience that resonates with the spirit of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

Adding to the allure of the newly redesigned spaces are several thoughtful additions. Guests now enjoy programmable temperature control kettles by Corvo, Nespresso machines, press steamers in every room, and exclusive wine labels sourced from the nearby Niagara wine region. Technological upgrades include a new dimmable, LED and energy efficient Lutron lighting system, automated drapes, and increased power outlets throughout the rooms. Wireless chargers are available at each nightstand, ensuring convenience and connectivity for modern travellers.

The bespoke private bar, aptly named "MyBar," has been thoughtfully curated to include a selection of local products, showcasing the best of Canadian craftsmanship and culinary delights. Guests may indulge in artisanal SOMA chocolate crafted in Toronto, Covered Bridge potato chips from New Brunswick, and organic, Nos Cananes pure maple syrup from Quebec, offering a taste of Canada to take home and enjoy. Additionally, guests can choose from a variety of wellness beverages, including Sap Sucker maple sap sparkling water, hibiscus and rose hips Rise Kombucha brewed in Montreal, and Nom Nom nitro cold brew coffee from a local Toronto coffee roastery. In the suites, guests may enjoy a seasonally updated Manhattan cocktail kit featuring house made ingredients including infused Canadian rye, vermouth and bitters curated by Four Seasons mixologists with the flavours of the season.  

In addition to the guest rooms and suites, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto has previously renovated public spaces ensuring a cohesive and seamlessly updated guest experience throughout the property. With the completion of this renovation project, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto reaffirms its commitment to providing unparalleled luxury and hospitality, inviting guests to indulge in a refined retreat amid the vibrant heart of Toronto.

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is offering up to CAD 400 per day in Hotel credit with the Experience More package. For more information or to make a reservation, click here.

Source: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

May 14, 2024
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism Proudly Announces New Hotel and Restaurant Openings

Toronto, ON—The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is delighted to announce exciting new Grand Cayman hotel and restaurant openings including luxury eco-adventure resort, VIDA Cayman Islands, the all-new Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman, as well as newly renovated guest rooms at the beloved Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. The new properties and renovations are complemented by several recent restaurant openings and a recent increase in non-stop airlift from Toronto to Grand Cayman. With so many new experiences in the Caribbean hotpot, there’s no better time to visit than 2024. Newly opened and renovated hotels include:

VIDA Cayman

Opened on April 1, 2024 , VIDA Cayman is a luxury, boutique hotel where eco-adventure and wellness meet elegant accommodations, warm hospitality and world-class facilities. Located off-the-beaten-path on Grand Cayman’s western tip, the 12-suite property is immersed in the natural beauty of Barkers National Park where guests have the chance to explore secluded wilderness, adrenaline-fueled adventure and the opportunity to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. VIDA sets itself apart with its genuine commitment to sustainability as evidenced by its environmental practices, socially responsible programming and economic support of the local community. 

VIDA's sanctuary-like suites offer large, sea view, decks and patios as well as the possibility to unwind with in-room spa treatments. The property is a playground equipped with best in class amenities including a pool set amongst tranquil local foliage, stillness and movement decks, a modern gym, private chef services, push bikes and e-bikes, outdoor hot tub and outdoor fire pit. Rounding out VIDA's amenities is its onsite eatery, Nourishshowcasing the local flavours and ingredients that capture the essence of the Cayman Islands. Nourish offers daily breakfast (included in room rates) and  lunch. Come dinner, guests can book special food experiences such as farm-to-fork dinners or holistic cooking classes led by locally loved Chef Maureen Cubbon. With a full range of weekly scheduled movement sessions ranging from meditations to yoga, to kite surfing to cycling trails, nature guided runs and sunrise kitesurfing sessions there is truly something for everyone to at VIDA. Rooms at VIDA start from $550.00USD per night.

Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman

Now accepting reservations for June 1, 2024, Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman is the first Hotel Indigo in the Caribbean and the newest property along the celebrated Seven Mile Beach strip. A unique oasis enhanced by local elements, bohemian design, and attentive service, the property will feature 282 guest rooms and suites, a multi-concept epicurean hub for dining, outdoor deck with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, over 7,500 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as the island's first rooftop lounge, which will feature innovative cocktails and Latin-inspired fare.

The hotel’s design incorporates Grand Cayman's unique culture, embodying the island's lush topography through warm and cool color palettes. Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman’s art and design pay tribute to the island's natural landscapes, historical figures, and cultural traditions, featuring hand-made pottery vessels and curated artwork by local Caymanian and Caribbean artists. This vision has already garnered accolades, winning the Cayman Islands Hotel Architecture Award and the Cayman Islands New Hotel Construction & Design Award for 2023-2024. 

The hotel’s culinary hub offers five new dining concepts, each catering to different occasions. Cafe Aula is the ideal breakfast spot with a selection of fresh coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and snacks while those seeking cold poolside refreshments, fresh, locally sourced seafood and craft cocktails and dinner plates will enjoy Pom Pom rooftop bar. Catalina's seasonal menu showcases the island’s freshest ingredients throughout its clean, vibrant cuisine inspired by the tastes of California while Milkberry is the place for fresh sushi rolls and Asian-inspired small plates. Rasa caps the dining collection with its one-of-a-kind exhibition kitchen exploring the richest international culinary traditions throughout its global fare enjoyed through tasting menus. Rooms start from $474.00USD per night.

Grand Cayman Marriott Resort

Due for completion during summer 2024, Grand Cayman Marriott Resort has embarked on an exciting journey of re-imagining its beloved facilities which have captured the hearts of so many over the years. The hotel's 301 guestrooms are nearing completion of top-to-bottom renovations that will seamlessly bring accommodations into harmony with the endless summer vibes of the property's beloved front of house. Inspired by Grand Cayman’s natural environment of clear waters and white sandy beaches, guestrooms rooms will be infused with sea blue, sand, and wood tones capped with plush Kings and double Queen beds. The breathtaking landscape inspired palette will be rounded out with bespoke, high-quality furnishings and upgraded technology and lighting. In addition to standard guestrooms, the property includes 15 Junior Suites upgraded to include a residential feel with defined sitting areas. The resort has also added four all-new Family Suites, furnished with bunk beds and a King bed for families looking for a fun and unique stay. Two new, one-bedroom Ocean Suites round out the accommodation offerings. The renovations will ensure a holistic summer house setting throughout the entire property and that Grand Cayman Marriott Resort continues to serve as a place where guests can relax, unwind, and reconnect. Room rates start from $304.00USD per night.

“The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is thrilled to see so many new hotel and dining options come to fruition which feels like the true sign of fully emerging from the effects of the pandemic,” said Raymond Mathias, Business Development Manager for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “We saw Canadians return to the destination in droves in 2023 and we’re excited to offer even more product that will serve their keen interest in sun, sand and sea fueled by beauty, adventure, sustainability and luxury.”

In addition to the healthy fare at VIDA's Nourish and the new dining concepts at Hotel Indigo, Grand Cayman's local and seasonal restaurant scene has grown to include newcomers Fresca and Island Naturals The Grove. Travellers visiting Cayman and looking for lighter fare will enjoy the all-new Fresca which prides itself on simplicity, fresh ingredients, great vibes and good food spanning smoothies, bowls and plates traversing Caymanian and global culinary traditions. The Island Naturals brand is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the recent opening of its new location at The Grove, a trendy new residential and retail complex along Seven Mile Beach. Island Naturals is locally loved for its colourful menu filled with nourishing smoothies, bowls, baked goods and plates that defy expectations of what “health” looks like. While the original location focuses on vegetarian and vegan fare, Island Naturals The Grove has introduced some healthful fish, meat and even cocktails and mocktails to its menu. 

For more information please visit https://www.visitcaymanislands.com

About the Cayman Islands
A quick, 4-hour, nonstop from Toronto, and 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 call your local travel agent.

Media inquiries:
Mindy Cummings or Hannah Rastrick
mindy@aerialpr.com / hannah@aerialpr.com

May 14, 2024
IRF and SITE, along with research partner Oxford Economics, launch 2024 edition of incentive travel survey

Long acknowledged as the industry’s most comprehensive and globally extensive survey, ITI is back in the field to capture the state of the incentive travel nation for 2024 and beyond

Frankfurt—Incentive Research Foundation IRF) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), along with research partner Oxford Economics, are proud to announce the 2024 edition of their joint survey of the global incentive travel market.

Now in its seventh year, the Incentive Travel Index (ITI) is the business event industry’s most authoritative study of the global incentive travel market and its impact on corporations, agencies and the supply chain in destinations.

"The Incentive Travel Index is our industry’s flagship global survey, providing insights from both source markets and destinations. The ITI is an important roadmap for our rapidly evolving industry, disclosing the threats and opportunities that lie ahead and providing indispensable direction as we navigate our way to the future," said Stephanie Harris, President, Incentive Research Foundation. "We are thrilled to once again collaborate with SITE on the ITI, and look forward to presenting this year’s results to the industry at IMEX America in October 2024." 

Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, CEO of SITE, further commented, "This year, with vital input at the design stage from our global community, we’re going deeper with some lines of enquiry, providing more detail and clarity in the survey questions. While the survey will continue to pose the perennial questions around who, how, where and why, it will also focus on today’s emerging themes and the impact for incentive travel now, and in the future, of AI and technology; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as sustainability; geo-political instability; workplace changes; and inflation.”

The ITI survey is live between May 14 and July 25 and is available in English and Spanish.

Further details may be found on the ITI website and on the IRF and SITE homepages.

For further information, please contact:

Stephanie Harris
President, IRF
Stephanie.harris@theirf.org

Aran Ryan
Director, Oxford Economics
Aran.ryan@oxfordeconomics.com

Pádraic Gilligan 
Head of Marketing, SITE 
pgilligan@@siteglobal.com 

About Incentive Travel
Incentive travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the business events industry, with 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 (2023) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $112 billion globally.

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

About SITE
Founded in 1973, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is a professional association of 2,750 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain.

May 14, 2024
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Welcomes Susan Richardson as Vice President of Sales

Toronto, ON—The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Richardson to the role of Vice President of Sales, effective June 10th. Richardson joins the MTCC after serving as Vice President of Meeting and Conventions at Visit Detroit.

During her tenure at Visit Detroit, Susan led innovative sales initiatives that successfully helped reintroduce Detroit to the meetings and conventions market. Prior to this, she was the Director of Sales and Marketing Solutions at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, where she played a pivotal role in formulating the sales and marketing strategy for the Javits Center’s expansion in 2021.

Richardson has demonstrated strong experience managing international group sales initiatives, showcasing her robust ability to operate on a global scale. With a proven track record of success in sales and the hospitality industry spanning almost three decades, Richardson is poised to be a valuable leader at the MTCC.

“We are thrilled to welcome Susan Richardson to the MTCC team,” said Ron Pellerine, Interim President & CEO at the Metro Convention Centre. “Her wealth of knowledge and extensive sales leadership experience will propel the success of our sales team even further.”

About the Metro Toronto Convention Centre:
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Canada’s number one convention and trade show facility. Over the past 40 years, the Centre has hosted over 22,000 events and has added over $9.2 billion in direct spending economic impact to the community. For further information, please visit www.mtccc.com.

Media contact: Melanie Wade, Social Media and Communications Specialist: mwade@mtccc.com

May 13, 2024
Meet the 2024 Canadian Event Awards Recipients

We're Proud to Announce the Recipients of the 27th Annual Canadian Event Awards 

The 2024 award recipients were announced on May 8 at the spectacular Gala presented by Chair-man Mills and hosted by La Primavera Event Space.  The evening was filled with incredible performances produced by Cirque Revolution, stunning aesthetics by Stardust Events, production, staging and audio visual by Spotlight AV, augmented reality and interactive media by Awe-Nest, production by Eclectic Events and many more wonderful moments provided by our partners. 

A special thanks to hosts Shirley Happening and Rayn, the 2024 awards jury and everyone who contributed to this year's awards.  A gallery of event images will be posted online shortly.

2024 Award Recipients

The Gala, presented by Chair-man Mills, was held on May 8 at the beautiful La Primavera Event Space. Four hundred event professionals from across Canada attended this fabulous and chic affair. Thank you to all our amazing event partners, our sponsors, performers, team, and the venue for their support in making this community celebration a success. Please watch our social pages and magazine website, canadianspecialevents.com, for all the coverage.

Best Event By An In-House Team (Venue, Corporate or NFP)
♦ Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Toronto, ON, Toronto Maple Leafs Outdoor Practice

Best Event by an Association Board or Committee
♦ TIAO – Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Ontario Tourism Summit 2023

Best Conference – Social and Community Impact
TIE
♦ Bob, Montreal, QC, Dream the Impossible 2023
AND
♦ CanPlan Event & Conference Services Inc., Richmond Hill, ON, 18th Deafblind International World Conference

Best Conference – Innovation in Industry
♦ Charlie & Sprocket Inc., Toronto, ON, Ripple Swell Global

Best Brand or Product Launch
♦ Bond Brand Loyalty, Toronto, ON, Mr. Porter’s House Party

Best Private Experiential Marketing Event
TIE
♦ YBIMC Inc., Toronto, ON, Kenada: Barbie Movie Fan Event
AND
♦ prspktvMEDIA, Toronto, ON and Tania Pollack Design, Vaughan, ON, Snapchat FASHION HAUS at the CAFA Gala

Best Public Experiential Marketing Event
♦ Citizen Experiential and Citizen Relations, Toronto, ON, Vizzybility Booth Experience

Best Event for a Community-Based Non-Profit
♦ hala inc., Toronto, ON, Reconnect 2023: Community Foundations Conference Kick-Off Event

Best Event for a High Profile Non-Profit
♦ Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, Toronto, ON, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Gala – Teddy Bear Affair

Best Small-Scale Fundraising Event
♦ Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Ice Crystal Gala 2023

Best Large-Scale Fundraising Event
♦ OneWest Event Design & Production, Calgary, AB, L23K

Best Technical Support for an Event
♦ AV-CANADA INC., Mississauga, ON, and CanPlan Event & Conference Services Inc., Richmond Hill, ON, Deafblind International World Conference

Best Audio Visual for an Event
♦ bb Blanc, Vaughan, ON, Honda of Canada Manufacturing 2023 Holiday Party

Best Private Social Event
♦ Fab Fête Event Planning Boutique and Rock Paper Events, Thornhill, ON, Josh’s Bar Mitzvah

Best Cultural Event
TIE
♦ Niagara Casinos, Niagara Falls, ON, Fallsview Casino Resort Lunar New Year – Year of the Rabbit
AND
♦ Reveal Events Group Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC, and GO2 Productions, Vancouver, BC, Aurora Spirits

Best Event For a City or Municipality – Community Impact
♦ City of Surrey and MRG Events Ltd., Vancouver, BC, Surrey Fusion Festival

Best Event For a City or Municipality – Cultural & Heritage
♦ Moore Carlyle Consulting and MCC Destination Management, Toronto, ON, 2023 Carbon Neutral City Alliance Annual Meeting in Toronto

Best Market, Fair or Festival
♦ Brandlive, Vancouver, BC and Squamish Nation, Squamish, BC, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation 100th Amalgamation Day Festival 2023

Best Event By an Academic Institution
♦ McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, McMaster Welcome

Best Corporate Team Building Event
♦ Sénik The Event Agency, Montréal, QC, 2023 MAXI Chef’s Challenge

Best Trade Show Booth, Display or Pavilion Design
♦ TK Events, Oakville, ON, Dell Technologies at Siggraph

Most Creative Floral Design
♦ Flower Artistry and Lynn Fletcher Weddings, Calgary, AB, A Dance in the Clouds

Most Creative Table Design
♦ Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, White Rock, BC, Alice – Curiouser & Curiouser – The Peace Arch Hospital Gala

Best Event Design/Decor Under $50,000
♦ Nulink Events, Ancaster, ON, BayBiebs World

Best Event Design/ Decor $50,000 – $150,000
♦ Fête Chinoise (PALETTERA INC.), Markham, ON, Fête Chinoise 2023 Lunar New Year Signature Gala + Showcase

Best Event Design/ Decor $150,000 +
♦ Decor and More, Oakville, ON, and Fluid Events, Toronto, ON, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Gala – Teddy Bear Affair 2023

Best Corporate Event Under $150,000
♦ Vocation Events Inc. Westmount, QC, 70s Roller Disco – Corporate Holiday Party

Best Corporate Event $150,000 – $450,000
♦ The Concierge Club, Toronto, ON, and SCA ( Sinclair Creative Agency Inc)., Collingwood, ON, Canadian Women Entrepreneur Industry Gala (CWE’s )

Best Corporate Event $450,000 – $750,000
♦ Citizen Experiential and Citoyen, Toronto, ON, Groupe Touchette- 2023 Innovation Summit

Best Corporate Event $750,000 – $1M
♦ OPC Événements, Montréal, QC, SNC-Lavalin rebranding to AtkinsRéalis : Employee Reveal

Best Corporate Event $1M+
♦ Debonair Corporate Events, The Creative Connoisseur and Events by Dionne, Toronto, ON, Multifamily Conference

Best Wedding Creative
♦ Fab Fête Event Planning Boutique, Thornhill, ON and R5 Event Design, Toronto, ON, A + G’s Italian Inspired Vineyard Wedding

Best Wedding Under $100,000
♦ Lynn Fletcher Weddings, Calgary, AB, Surrounded By Love

Best Wedding $100,000 to $300,000
♦ The Good Party, Victoria, BC, Aly & Julianne: A Wedding Story of Love, Logistics, and Creativity

Best Wedding $300,000 +
♦ Cava Rose, Montreal, QC, Dream Wedding in Santorini, Greece

Best Virtual Corporate Event
♦ TK Events, Oakville, ON, Race to Attach

Best Virtual Conference
♦ Reveal Events Group Ltd., Port Coquitlam, BC, CSHP Together: Live From Banff

Best Entertainment Production for a Public Event
♦ e=mc² events, Calgary, AB and Jeffrey Latimer, Toronto, ON, Canada’s Walk of Fame presents Canada’s Rock of Fame

Best Entertainment Production for a Private Event
♦ DeAngelis Entertainment Inc., Toronto, ON, bb Blanc, & ARB Productions, Toronto, ON, John’s 80th Birthday Celebration

Best Entertainment Production for a Corporate Event
♦ BADANG inc., Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC, Beyond 100

Outstanding Logistical Achievement
♦ Event Strategy Partners (ESP) Inc., and Chair-man Mills, Toronto, ON, Bloor Street Entertains

Most Outstanding Event Under $450,000
♦ Cantrav Services Inc., Vancouver, BC, Québec Gold De Lys

Most Outstanding Event Over $450,000 +
♦ e=mc² events, Calgary, AB, and Jeffrey Latimer, Toronto, ON, Canada’s Walk of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration

Most Outstanding Spectacle
♦ BADANG Inc., Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC, Beyond 100

Event Industry Volunteer of the Year
♦ Jessilyn Forigo,  Vuepointe Group, Calgary, AB

Emerging Leader Award
♦ Luisa Alvarez, Reveal Events Group, Port Coquitlam, BC

Leslee Bell Spirit of the Industry Award
♦ Bob DeAngelis, DeAngelis Entertainment

Entertainer of the Year
♦ Lorie Hamel, Lorie Hamel Maquillage Artistique, Montréal, QC

Caterer of the Year
♦ Chef de la Mesa Inc., Thornhill, ON

Wedding Professional of the Year
♦ Saaraa Premji Virani, Blush & Co. Weddings and Events, Calgary, AB

Event Professional of the Year
♦ Dustin Westling, OneWest Event Design & Production, Calgary, AB

Congratulations to the Following Companies Awarded Best in Their Respective Categories:

Best Event Photography
♦ Magnolia Studio, Montreal, QC, Santorini Destination Wedding

Most Creative Food Presentation
♦ Chef de la Mesa Inc, Thornhill, ON

Best Video or Filmmaking for an Event
♦ Encore Canada, Mississauga, ON, PCMA CIC 2023 Wrap Video 

Source: Canadian Special Events Magazine

May 10, 2024
ITA Airways expands into Canadian market with new Toronto – Rome nonstop flight

Toronto/Rome—ITA Airways has made its debut in the Canadian market with the launch of its new nonstop connection between Toronto and Rome. The inaugural flight took off today from Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport at 4:40 pm.

To celebrate the launch of the new intercontinental route, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the departure gate of Terminal 1 in Toronto Airport in the presence of Emiliana Limosani, Chief Commercial Officer ITA Airways and CEO of Volare, Luca Zelioli, Consul General of Italy, Ivana Jelinic, CEO of the Italian National Tourist Board ENIT, Gianluca Caramanna, Member of Italian Parliament and Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Kurush Minocher, Executive Director, Customer Experience and Airline Relations, GTAA, Vincent Crisanti, Councillor, City of Toronto, Pierfrancesco Carino, VP International Sales ITA Airways and Massimo Allegri, Regional Manager Americas ITA Airways.

“The launch of ITA Airways' flights between Canada and Italy comes in response to the significant demand for travel between the two nations, driven in part by the substantial Italian Canadian population – stated Emiliana Limosani, Chief Commercial Officer ITA Airways and CEO of Volare. - With our direct flight, we plan to transport to up to 2 million of Italian Canadian passengers who travel between Italy and Canada annually. Toronto, in particular, serves as a pivotal gateway for our airline, facilitating not only point-to-point travel but also connections to various destinations within both countries, thereby catering to both leisure and business travelers - added the CCO - This underscores ITA Airways' commitment to delivering optimal travel solutions to our Clients. The new route has already garnered impressive results in terms of bookings, with over 30,000 passengers booked between May and September."

“The inauguration marks another milestone for bilateral relations between Canada and Italy, partners and allies – said Luca Zelioli, Consul General of Italy - The new flight will increase opportunities for tourists to and from Italy; business and cultural exchanges will as well greatly  profit from this additional connection. ITA Airways is bringing closer two great countries and two great cities, Toronto and Rome”.

“This inaugural flight represents an exciting and eagerly anticipated addition in filling a much-needed gap.” – said Vincent Crisanti, Councillor, City of Toronto. “ITA Airways is addressing a longstanding void in the travel market, strengthening our economic and cultural ties with Italy that will pave the way for enhanced collaboration between the City of Toronto and Rome, Italy.”

“We know demand for travel between Toronto and Rome is strong,” said Khalil Lamrabet, Chief Commercial Officer and interim Chief Operations Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “Last year more than 50,000 passengers flew indirect to Rome from Toronto, which is why ITA’s new service from Toronto Pearson is a welcome addition and one we are excited to see take-off today.”

"An important link that allows us to strengthen our collaboration with a strategic market. Canada is one of the countries with the highest presence of Italians abroad in the world, and therefore has a weight in the development of return tourism.  The new ITA flight Toronto-Rome therefore represents a further step in the development of tourism in Italy, offering a unique opportunity to increase and diversify tourist flows to our country. Thanks to direct flights to new destinations, we will be able to welcome an increasingly diverse and international audience and promote our rich cultural, food and wine and landscape offer effectively and on a global scale. This new air service not only facilitates access to Italian territory, but also contributes to strengthening our competitive position in the international tourism scene, positioning Italy as a destination of first choice for travelers from all over the world," said Ivana Jelinic, CEO of ENIT.

The new Toronto – Rome Fiumicino flight is operating six weekly frequencies, with daily flights from June to September and five weekly roundtrip flights in October. In May, the schedule includes departure from Toronto at 4:40 pm and arrival in Rome Fiumicino at 7:15 am (local time). Return from Rome Fiumicino is at 10:15 am (local time) with landing in Toronto at 2:05 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, plus Wednesday from June.

ITA Airways will present its new nonstop Toronto - Rome flight to local media representatives and stakeholders during a press event that will take place at the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto.

The inaugural flight was operated with the new Airbus A330-900 aircraft, which features the most recent breakthroughs in aviation technology. To ensure an exceptional travel experience, the A330-900 offers a three-class configuration with 30 seats in Business Class, which are fully reclinable to a full flat bed, 24 seats in Premium Economy Class and 237 seats in Economy Class including 36 seats dedicated to Comfort Economy – all promising a comfortable and enjoyable journey to our passengers.

The opening of the new Toronto – Rome flight represents an important product for the Company, as it increases connections to and from North America, the first market for ITA Airways after Italy. On 7 April, the new direct Rome Fiumicino - Chicago flight was also inaugurated and with the new North American routes launched in Summer 2024, the number of destinations that ITA Airways operates in the USA and Canada rises to 8.

On 2 June 2024 the direct Rome Fiumicino – Riyad direct flight will be inaugurated, followed by Accra, Dakar, Kuwait City and Jeddah for a total of 57 destinations operated in Summer 2024, of which 16 domestic, 26 international and 15 intercontinental. In addition, in the summer peak, the Company will fly to 11 additional seasonal destinations, selected from the most popular Mediterranean tourist destinations, including Greece, Spain, Croatia and the Italian islands, reachable with direct flights from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate.

ITA Airways started its operations on 15th October 2021 with a fleet of 52 aircraft. At the heart of the Company's strategy is its ambition to be an ambassador of Made in Italy by offering personalized services and ensuring a completely Italian in-flight experience at every stage of the journey. This goal is achieved thanks to important partnerships with renowned Italian brands, such as Brunello Cucinelli, who designed the uniforms of the crew and ground staff, Walter De Silva, who created the interiors of ITA Airways' new aircraft, and starred Italian chefs, who are signing the on-board gastronomic offerings. One of the Company's strategic pillars is also its commitment to sustainability, achieved through a continuous fleet renewal with technologically advanced and efficient aircraft.

Tickets for all the new flights can be purchased through the ITA Airways sales channels, on the official ita-airways.com website and via the Company's Customer Center, travel agencies and airport ticket offices.

For press information:
Pietro Caldaroni, Head of Communication and Institutional Relations
Mail: media@ita-airways.com

About ITA Airways
ITA Airways is a company totally owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance for the exercise of business in the air transport sector. ITA Airways aims at creating an efficient and innovative air carrier that will become a reference point in providing Italy with quality connectivity both in terms of international destinations, thus boosting tourism and foreign trade, and within the Country, also taking advantage of the train-air integrated mobility. ITA Airways will place the best customer service at the center of its strategy (through a strong digitization of processes that ensure a best-in-class experience and personalized services), combined with sustainability, in its environmental (new green and technologically advanced aircraft, use of sustainable fuels), social (equality and inclusion for a gender-neutral company) and governance (integration of sustainability into internal strategies and processes) aspects. ITA Airways is a member of SkyTeam alliance as of October 2021.

May 08, 2024
Marriott International Supports Increased Leisure Demand in Canada

Marriott International’s presence in the Canadian market strengthened, as the company celebrated a 36 percent year over year increase in hotel-level leisure revenue in 2023. With 274 hotels currently open and 90 in the pipeline, several factors, including a dedicated focus on lifestyle, upper midscale and extended stay brands; as well as market-specific loyalty program offerings and partnerships, continue to drive the company’s success in Canada.

Lifestyle Brands Driving Success
In an effort to meet the increased demand for leisure travel, Marriott continues to focus on the lifestyle sector with conversion-friendly collection brands such as Autograph Collection and Tribute Portfolio. These “soft brands” offer design flexibility and can provide excellent opportunities for developers and hotel owners wishing to target leisure guests seeking distinctive and unique experiences in stunning locations. One notable example is the HONEYROSE Hotel, Montreal, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel with its art-deco-inspired design and blend of vintage and modern amenities, ideally situated in the heart of downtown Montreal.

“In addition to development teams in Eastern and Western Canada, Marriott International has dedicated sales and marketing teams across Canada,” says Paul Cahill, Senior Vice President, Canada Operations, Marriott International. “Our Canadian-based team engages with owners, developers, customers and guests to truly understand what’s important to these stakeholders in this market. We’re focused on growing our presence in Canada with new openings, localized Marriott Bonvoy partnerships and programming.”

Marriott recently enhanced its leisure offerings in Canada with the introduction of Moxy Hotels, launching its first two properties with the opening of Moxy Halifax Downtown in January 2024 and Moxy Banff which debuted this spring. Moxy Hotels are also planned for various gateway cities throughout Canada including Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa over the next three years.

Strategic Focus on Upper Midscale and Extended Stay Brands
With a full operating team and development team for both managed and franchised hotels in Canada, the company is well-positioned to address underserved segments in the Canadian hotel market, including extended stay, upper midscale and midscale properties. Two of the marquee brands in these segments, Fairfield by Marriott (31 hotels open in Canada) and TownePlace Suites by Marriott (21 hotels open in Canada), are amongst the fastest-growing brands in the country, with 24 and 25 properties in Marriott’s pipeline, respectively.

“Marriott International has experienced strong momentum in Canada due to our dedicated focus on conversions and upper midscale and extended stay brands,” says Noah Silverman, Global Development Officer, U.S. & Canada at Marriott International. “We’re expecting leisure demand in Canada to remain strong throughout 2024, particularly in destinations like Vancouver Island, the Okanagan Valley, Atlantic Canada and the Niagara Region.”

Loyalty Enrollment Contributing to Increased Growth
Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott's highly awarded travel program with around 203 million members worldwide, offers guests access to more than 30 hotel brands and 10,000 destinations, an unparalleled array of experiences, and robust benefits. There are numerous ways for members to maximize their membership through everyday activities, such as credit card purchases and dining out, that will lead to more rewarding travel. Marriott Bonvoy offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the best in entertainment, sports, arts, culture, culinary and wellness from Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Members can redeem these experiences by using points accumulated from travel and other activities.

With a deep understanding of the market-specific needs of guests, Marriott Bonvoy has developed a loyal following among Canadians. Through localized marketing efforts and strategic relationships with Live Nation Canada, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens and others, engagement with Canadian members is strong. Canadian members can also benefit from global offerings such as the opportunity to bid on access to the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team during the Montreal race weekend or experiences with Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour including the opportunity to win a trip to Vancouver including air travel, hotel accommodations, two (2) concert tickets, and a Marriott Bonvoy welcome gift.

For additional information, visit https://www.hotel-development.marriott.com/.

Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of United States federal securities laws, including statements related to expected future project openings and portfolio growth; our development pipeline; brand debuts in certain markets; demand trends and expectations; and similar statements concerning anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous evolving risks and uncertainties that we may not be able to accurately predict or assess, including the risk factors that we identify in our U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K or Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release and undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of nearly 8,900 properties across more than 30 leading brands in 141 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on X and Instagram.

Media Contact
Kimberly Mannino
Senior Manager, Public Relations, U.S. & Canada
Marriott International
Kimberly.a.Mannino@marriott.com

May 07, 2024
ILEA International Announces 2024-2025 Board of Governors and Regional Vice Presidents

McLean, VA—The International Live Events Association (ILEA) is excited to introduce its lineup of volunteer leaders for the 2024-2025 term, including officers and directors of the ILEA International Board of Governors and the Regional Vice Presidents. The term begins on July 1, and these leaders will be officially welcomed during the 2024 Annual General Meeting at the ILEA annual conference, I-24, in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday, August 13, 2024.

Dustin Westling, CSEP, Chair of the Nominating Committee, commented, "We're thrilled to announce such a talented and dedicated group of individuals who will guide ILEA in the coming year. Their passion and expertise will undoubtedly drive our organization forward."

ILEA INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF GOVERNORS: OFFICERS
Melissa Jurcan, CSEP, President | Compass Group at Amazon
Cecilia Lavin, President-Elect | Evessio
Liz Nutting, CSEP, Secretary | TK Events
India Rhodes, CSEP, Treasurer | Wilkinson Rhodes
Gwendolyn McNutt, CSEP, Immediate Past President | Comcast 

ILEA INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF GOVERNORS: DIRECTORS
Meltem Tepeler | KM Events
Matt Bonavita | Rhythm in Motion
Dona Liston | Lambermont Events
Steve Moore | Affairs to Remember
Armando Seledon, CSEP | Visit San Antonio
Melis Feingold | CSI DMC
Jennifer Matthews | Artisan Oddities Entertainment
Jaclyn Zendrian | Zen Global Events and Management

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS
Tom Kura, RVP US East | Your Love in Lights
Lauren Chumbley, RVP US West | Eclipse Event Co.
Ryan Harmon, RVP US Midwest | Lasting Impressions Event Rentals
Kimberly Beaune, CMP, CSEP, 2023/24 Affiliate Chair - Canada (election in progress) | Creative Twist

ABOUT ILEA
The International Live Events Association (ILEA) is a global community of creative event professionals whose skills, expertise, and experience power some of the most recognized and respected live events worldwide. ILEA advances the live events industry by creating an inclusive global community dedicated to personal and business development and inspiration to elevate all professionals engaged in live events. ILEA’s events, education resources, and certification program provide members with exclusive opportunities for collaboration, thought leadership, and idea-sharing. For more information, visit ileahub.com 

ABOUT I-24
I-24 is not just another conference; it's an immersive experience designed to elevate your creative genius and propel the event industry forward. Featuring thought-provoking speakers and exploring topics ranging from creative cultivation to the future of events, I-24 promises an atmosphere where imagination thrives. Set against the backdrop of one of the most innovative and vibrant cities, I-24 offers an awe-inspiring environment where energy is contagious. Research shows that creating space fosters ideation, and I-24 is dedicated to providing that space for attendees to go beyond. Join us as we charter new territories, blasting off on August 12. For more information, visit ileahub.com/conferences. 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Contact: Beth Knight, CAE, Executive Director
Email: beth.knight@ileahub.com
Phone: (703) 651-8204

April 26, 2024
Destination Toronto Announces Andrew Weir as President & CEO

Toronto—Destination Toronto today announced the appointment of Andrew Weir as President & CEO, effective May 1. Weir has been an integral member of the leadership team at Destination Toronto for the past 18 years, most recently as Executive Vice President.

A proven leader in Toronto’s tourism industry, Weir has served on numerous boards across the industry, including Destination International’s DMAP Board and as Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) from 2021-2023.

“Having conducted a thorough North American search, we are thrilled to announce Andrew Weir as Destination Toronto’s new President & CEO,” said Rekha Khote, Chair of the Board of Directors at Destination Toronto. “Andrew is the right leader for our organization, bringing a deep understanding of Toronto’s visitor economy, a vision for the business, and the ability to bring people together. We are confident that his established strong community connections will act as a catalyst for driving innovation and growth in critical areas of the business.” 

Weir is recognized as a passionate advocate and prominent voice within the industry. In his most recent role as Executive Vice President, he led strategic partnerships between the tourism industry, broader business leadership and government, laying the foundation for the continued growth of the visitor economy and its contribution to the region. Prior to that, as Chief Marketing Officer, Weir championed an organizational transformation to align sales and marketing through powerful brand storytelling. 

“I’m deeply honoured and excited to lead Destination Toronto at this critical time,” said Andrew Weir. “Toronto is Canada’s most-visited destination, and for good reason. The genuine diversity and vibrancy of our arts, food, festivals and neighbourhoods, against one of the world’s truly spectacular skylines, continue to excite and attract visitors from around the world. The opportunity of tourism and meetings in Toronto is immense and we have seen the power of visitor spending to elevate our economy and community.”

“Congratulations to Andrew Weir on his appointment as President & CEO of Destination Toronto,” said Councillor Shelley Carroll, Budget Chief & Mayor’s Economic Development & Culture Champion. “This announcement comes at a pivotal time in our efforts to elevate the impact of the visitor economy, creating new pathways for growth that benefit our entire community.”

Toronto welcomed nearly 9 million overnight visitors in 2023, generating more than $7 billion in visitor spending. As global travel has continued to recover, Toronto remains positioned as a top urban destination for major meetings, business travel and leisure travel throughout the year. 

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 and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, 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 – Senior Communications Manager
kmotton@destinationtoronto.com 
416-721-9203

April 24, 2024
GBTA joins Net Zero Carbon Events initiative as a supporter

Brussels—The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organisation and the voice of the industry, has joined Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE), the worldwide events industry initiative to address climate change as a supporter of the campaign.

Since its launch at Cop 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2021, Net Zero Carbon Events has developed a wealth of resources to support events industry organisations on their journeys to net zero carbon emissions. These include a Roadmap and advisory reports on Venue Energy; Smart Production and Waste Management; Logistics; Travel and Accommodation; Food and Food Waste; Offsetting and Measurement.

With the campaign now focused on implementation in each of these areas, GBTA and NZCE will be working together with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on implementing the Travel and Accommodation element.

James Rees, President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), which is driving the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative for the industry said: “We could not be happier than to have GBTA as a supporter. GBTA has unparallelled expertise and experience in the technical aspects of business travel and sustainability, especially through the Sustainability Initiative of the GBTA Foundation. We are delighted to be working with both GBTA and ICCA on this and looking forward to aligning our work and developing common ground for all stakeholders in future.

“It is also a tremendous testimonial to the framework that NZCE has developed that GBTA will be using this for their own events in future.”

“For our members, industry and for the work we do as an association, GBTA is deeply committed and active in helping to create a more sustainable future for global business travel. We are pleased to be part of the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative and working with the JMIC and other key organisations to bring the power of our collective efforts to ensure more net zero-focused approaches to the very significant sector of meetings and events,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA.

Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA said: “ICCA is proud to be a founding member of Net Zero Carbon Events, and we're thrilled to have the Global Business Travel Association on board with this incredibly important initiative. One of our pillars as an organisation is sustainability, and ICCA is committed to working with our partners in the industry to promote the overall goal of reducing carbon emissions. It's crucial that the meetings and events community as a whole joins forces to advance sustainable practices and policies around the globe, and as more organisations come on board, we get closer to our goal of Net Zero by the year 2050."

Net Zero Carbon Events is open to all organisations involved in events. Registration is free of charge, but financial contributions are crucial to developing the campaign. Please visitwww.netzerocarbonevents.org/funding-opportunities

For further information.www.netzerocarbonevents.org

For further media information please contact:

ChrisLewis@clareville.co.uk or AlisonLedger@clareville.co.uk

About Net Zero Carbon Events
After the launch of the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge at Cop26, the Net Zero Carbon Event Roadmap was published at Cop27 in November 2022 as a helpful resource. It is available as a Full Report with comprehensive information on how to implement action to achieve Net Zero, and as an Executive Summary. The documents now published are providing the necessary guidance for businesses to apply the roadmap successfully.

More than 30 major meetings and events industry organisations from across the world are now financial contributors to Net Zero Carbon Events, the industry’s global initiative to address climate change that was launched at Cop26 in Glasgow in 2021.

More than 600 organisations have now signed the Pledge or support the initiative which is being led by the Joint Meetings Industry Council – JMIC.

About GBTA:
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the leading organization in the business travel and meetings sector, headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. With over 8,000 members representing the $1.357 trillion global industry, GBTA advocates for stakeholders across six continents. The organization, along with its affiliate, the GBTA Foundation, provides education, events, research, advocacy, and media to over 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts worldwide. For more information, please visit GBTA.org and GBTAFoundation.org.

About GBTA’s Sustainability Initiative
The GBTA Foundation’s Sustainability Initiative aims to drive cross-industry collaboration among the users and providers of corporate travel services to deploy solutions that help manage and reduce carbon emissions from travel. Our work includes capacity-building, harmonization and advocacy efforts to empower business travel professionals to advance climate-conscious business travel programs.

GBTA’s Sustainability initiative was made possible by the corporate donations and support from the Foundation’s sustainability partners. For more information or to help support the GBTA Foundation and our Sustainability Initiative, reach out to sustainability@gbta.org

April 24, 2024
Introducing TOOR Hotel: An urban boutique hotel curated for the modern traveler

This design-forward property in downtown Toronto will offer bespoke stays and premium rental residences with unparalleled lake and city views

Toronto/CNW/—Visionary Canadian hotelier, Sukhdev Toor announces the first TOOR Hotel: a distinct lifestyle hotel and residences located in downtown Toronto. This boutique property will offer 232 guest rooms and suites, as well as 181 premium residential rental units. The project will feature a modern French-inspired bistro and bar set over two floors, valet parking, a 1,500 square foot fitness centre and yoga studio, a 3,000 square foot terrace, and an additional 1,100 square feet of meeting and event space. The 33-story development will offer guests and residents unobstructed views of Toronto and Lake Ontario.

This remarkable new property is a gateway to Toronto from the east end of the city, creating a strong marker on Jarvis Street, just north of Moss Park. The Arcadis IBI-designed tower offers a dramatic and distinct design unlike any others in the city. The interplay of forms, architectural elements, materials, finishes, and textures make for a unique and memorable structure in Toronto's skyline.

Curated to offer a distinctive and inspired experience for the modern traveler, TOOR Hotel provides easy access to the best of Toronto. Centrally located in the Garden District in downtown Toronto, TOOR Hotel is the perfect hub to access the financial district, historic sites, green spaces, world-class shopping, dining, arts, and theatre. It is also steps away from the new Moss Park subway station, providing seamless accessibility across the city.

Over the years, TOOR Hotel President and CEO, Sukhdev Toor, has developed dozens of hotels across Canada and the United States under Manga Hotel Group. He brings almost four decades of experience in operational excellence to this new property. Mr. Toor is enthusiastic about the future of hospitality in Toronto: "As Toronto continues to grow, this prime location makes it a perfect retreat for travelers. The TOOR Hotel epitomizes the essence of a true urban lifestyle hotel, bringing a new offering to Toronto," says Mr. Toor. "From the downtown positioning to our thoughtfully designed spaces and architecture, no detail has been spared in providing our guests a unique and memorable experience."

TOOR Hotel is proudly Canadian and represents the values its citizens are known for globally – hospitality and approachability. With a commitment to supporting Toronto, TOOR Hotel highlights the best of the city with personalized touches including locally sourced amenities and offerings. TOOR Hotel crafts a unique stay for guests that evokes sophistication, style, and character. Guests can experience a truly Canadian stay with the country's largest city at TOOR Hotel Toronto.

A Vibrant and Celebratory Architectural Design
TOOR Hotel is an architectural triumph. The Arcadis IBI-designed hotel evokes sophistication with its modern design and character that is representative of Toronto and its continued growth. "We embodied a sense of playfulness when creating this building, introducing organic elements of the natural environment of the Garden District, and using a juxtaposition of articulated boxes, one floating above the other to embody distinct programmatic functions. This interplay of forms alongside the unique combination of luxury hotel suites, rental residences and a shared amenities floor and restaurant make this unlike any other location in the city," says Mansoor Kazerouni, Global Director of Buildings at Arcadis IBI Group.

Design-Forward Rooms Provide Urban Escape in the Heart of Downtown Toronto
TOOR Hotel's guest rooms and suites feature the best in Canadian design inspired by Toronto's vibrant parks and green spaces. Guest rooms and suites welcome relaxation with contemporary interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and modern amenities including 55" televisions and Nespresso machines. The washrooms have been designed with custom artwork and soothing colours, pulling the room's atmosphere into additional spaces. All guest rooms have Lutron lighting to create a custom atmosphere with its range of smart controls. 

The TOOR Hotel rooms were designed by DesignAgency, a Toronto based award-winning international design studio. "We wanted this property to really celebrate the vibrant heart of the city, in a space that was unlike any other. We drew inspiration by incorporating elements from the city grid forms and Victorian architecture like arches and round towers, reflecting themes of geometry, connectivity, and interlaced layers," says Matt Davis, Founding Partner of DesignAgency.

Inspired Gathering at Muse Bistro + Bar
TOOR Hotel offers destination dining and gathering spaces with the Muse Bistro + Bar. Designed by Mackaywong, Muse Bistro + Bar is a sophisticated dining hub with European-designed interiors and modern French-inspired cuisine. The two-story restaurant, which is over 2,500 square feet, features a ground floor with space for meetings, working and for those grabbing a quick bite on-the-go. The second floor will offer a more refined dining experience alongside an additional 1,100 square feet of meeting and event space. With a custom menu designed by The Fifteen Group, North America's leading restaurant consulting agency, Muse Bistro + Bar promises exceptional food, drink and ambiance for visitors and locals alike.

TOOR Hotel and Residences
TOOR Hotel will open in 2024 and will be the first of four boutique TOOR Hotel Collection properties scheduled to open in downtown Toronto locations over the next five years. The collection will range from lifestyle to luxury 5-star hotels, with each property curated to be a unique reflection of its neighbourhood's aesthetic and atmosphere.

Elevated above the TOOR Hotel, premium rental units comprise the top 15 floors of the building. The 203 Residences will be the first of its kind to offer multi-family residential rentals situated above an upscale hotel. Residents can enjoy hotel-inspired services and conveniences, while engaging in a warm and inviting community. Occupancy begins early summer 2024.

Stay with style in the city at TOOR Hotel. Visit www.toorhotel.com for more.

About TOOR Hotel
TOOR Hotel is an urban boutique hotel that offers a distinctive and inspired experience curated for the modern traveler. Backed by a history of excellence in hotel operations, TOOR Hotel is proudly Canadian and represents the values its citizens are known for globally – hospitality and approachability. Design-forward, comfortable, and memorable, TOOR Hotel features destination dining, valet parking, a 1,500 square foot fitness centre and yoga studio, a 3,000 square foot southern terrace on the 14th floor, and an additional 1,100 square feet of meeting and event space. The 33-story development will offer guests and residents unobstructed views of Toronto and Lake Ontario. Transforming Toronto's skyline, this upscale property provides the perfect setting for immersing in the vibrant and diverse experiences the city has to offer. Stay with style in the city at TOOR Hotel.

About Manga Hotel Group
Manga Hotel Group is a leading Canadian hospitality investment, development, and management group. As a privately held owner and operator, Manga Hotels focuses on the development and management of high-quality residences, independent hotels, and hotels affiliated with prestigious brands such as Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and the InterContinental Hotels Group. The organization's combined portfolio consists of 28 hotels, 15 food and beverage outlets, 5 high-rise residential rental developments, 9 airport parking sites, and more than 12 projects in progress.

About Arcadis IBI Group
Arcadis is the leading global design and consultancy organization for natural and built assets. We maximize impact for our clients and the communities they serve by providing effective solutions through sustainable outcomes, focus and scale, and digitalization. We are 36,000 people, active in more than 30 countries that generate €4.0 billion in gross revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

About DesignAgency
DesignAgency is an award-winning international design studio with 25 years of experience in interior design, architectural and landscape concepting, strategic branding, and visual communications. With studios in Toronto, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Barcelona, DesignAgency has a global reputation for creating exceptional environments and brands.

SOURCE The TOOR Hotel

April 23, 2024
Delta Hotels Orlando Celebration culminates $35 million renovation with meeting space completion

Newly designed meeting space offers ideal indoor and outdoor options for groups up to 150

Kissimmee, Fla.—Marking the completion of a $35 million renovation, Delta Hotels Orlando Celebration has unveiled a fully redesigned convention center, complete with attractive indoor and outdoor options. 

The convention center offers 10,000 sq. ft of indoor and outdoor space revamped with new carpeting, lighting, stylish furniture and other visual enhancements which showcase the hotel’s fresh new modern feel. The centerpiece, the Preserve Ballroom, boasts almost 5,800 sq. ft of space with 6 breakout rooms. Groups seeking to enjoy the warm Florida weather can take advantage of two expansive outdoor areas, a nearly 2,400 sq. ft. social lawn and the recently redesigned casual dining Rum Shack, located poolside.  

Groups can easily transition into a lunch or dinner restaurant buyout in the signature restaurant, the Pointe, adjacent to the convention center, or wind down at the Waves Bar and Grille, perfectly positioned against the backdrop of 20 tranquil acres of lush, tropical gardens near the lobby.

Located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World Resort, and an official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor hotel, guests also have access to complimentary scheduled transportation to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort.

When the meetings business is done, attendees can enjoy two pools, a waterfall and slide, two tennis courts, a fitness area, bars and restaurants ranging from grab-and-go to full-service.  

“The culmination of the convention center meeting space design provides us the ability to offer groups an entire fresh new hotel to enjoy,” said General Manager Carl Rodgers. “We look forward to welcoming groups to our newly designed tropical oasis,” he added. 

“Our convention center offers groups the convenience of contiguous accessibility to all indoor space and immediate access to our lush outdoor options,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Biljana Djokovic. “We are excited to present these attractive options to groups looking for an intimate meeting experience in a stylish, new venue,” she concluded.

For more information, please visit www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/mcodk-delta-hotels-orlando-celebration/ or call 407-396-7000.

About Delta Hotels Orlando Celebration
The Delta Hotels Orlando Celebration is located just 1.5 miles from Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida, bordering the charming town of Celebration. Situated on 20 tranquil acres of lush, tropical landscaping, the hotel is just minutes from the theme parks, golf, business hubs, major highways, and a brief, 20-minute transfer to Orlando International Airport. Recently completing a $35 million renovation, the hotel boasts 718 newly designed guestrooms and a refreshed convention center, featuring 10,000 sq. ft of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including the centerpiece Preserve Ballroom, with 6 breakout rooms, and two outdoor areas, including a 2,400 sq. ft. social lawn.  When the meetings business is done, attendees can enjoy two pools, a waterfall and slide, two tennis courts, a fitness area, four restaurants and bars ranging from grab-and-go to full-service.  For more information, please visit www.marriott.com/mcodk.

Media contacts:
DeltaHotels@tjmcommunications.com 
TJM Communications, Inc.
(407) 977-5004

April 22, 2024
WestJet adds six additional Asian destinations to its network through enhanced Korean Air codeshare agreement

Calgary/CNW/—Beginning May 17, 2024, WestJet guests will gain access to six additional cities across four Asian countries from Incheon International Airport (ICN) through an expansion of WestJet's codeshare agreement with Korean Air, one of the world's only 5-star airlines as awarded by Skytrax.

Through the agreement, guests will have more opportunity to explore unique transpacific Asian destinations beyond Seoul with a seamless single connection at ICN and the convenience of booking their entire journey with one ticket, baggage transfers, and earning WestJet Dollars throughout.

New WestJet Codeshare Destinations

  • Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
  • Da Nang, Vietnam (DAD)
  • Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN)
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (SGN)
  • Hong Kong, China (HKG)
  • Singapore (SIN)

"As we prepare for WestJet's inaugural flights between Calgary and Incheon, the timing of this codeshare expansion is ideal.  We are enhancing connectivity to more destinations in Asia for our guests and WestJet Rewards members from one of the world's busiest cities, and Korean Air's global hub" said Jeff Hagen, WestJet Vice-President of Commercial Development and Strategic Partnerships. "Our longstanding reciprocal partnership with Korean Air opens up exciting opportunities for leisure and business travellers to more locations in the Asian continent and offers new guests in Asia access to all of Canada through our global hub in Calgary."

Following the success of WestJet's entry into Asia, the airline recently introduced seasonal service between YYC and ICN. The new route launches on May 17, 2023, and will fly on WestJet's 787 Dreamliner up to three days per week during peak travel periods.

"We are excited to announce an expanded codeshare with our longstanding partner WestJet, offering our valued customers access to a wide range of transpacific destinations," said Tae Joon Kim, Korean Air Senior Vice President and Head of International Affairs & Alliance. "The launch of WestJet's Calgary - Seoul Incheon route will bolster connectivity between Korea and Canada, while our strengthened partnership will seamlessly connect customers to an expanded array of Asian and Canadian cities through our hubs in Incheon and Calgary, respectively."

All WestJet codeshare destinations are now available through WestJet's website, the WestJet app, and travel agent partners, where WestJet Rewards members can earn and redeem WestJet Dollars on their entire journey. Visit WestJet.com for further details.

About WestJet
In 28 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 26 countries. 

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com. 

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership 

April 17, 2024
The Palais des congrès de Montréal showcases nature in Québec to business travellers

Montréal/CNW/—The Palais des congrès de Montréal, in collaboration with Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec as part of its mandate from the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec to promote the destination under the Bonjour Québec brand, unveils a new space for business travellers and convention-goers to gather and network. Called LE PANORAMA, it showcases flagship nature tourism adventures in Québec.

LE PANORAMA completes a series of spaces dedicated to relaxation and informal exchanges in a setting evocative of some of Québec's flagship experiences. These spaces reflect the Palais' desire to build bridges between business tourism and leisure tourism. Boldly innovative, this project is aligned with an expanding trend in tourism: to offer visitors, in search of meaning, unique and authentic moments while in Québec attending an event.

Designed and realized in collaboration with Vannoote Design and Cossette, this new area offers an immersion into the immense playground created by Québec's abundant and diverse natural landscape. A renowned tourism attraction, fall is highlighted here, beckoning business travellers to explore Québec's colourful and flamboyant landscapes that offer an infinite array of outdoor activities. LE PANORAMA features a bicycle path crisscrossing Québec's roadways, an invitation to enjoy responsible hiking, or real-life decors inspired by thrill-seeking adventures, such as via ferratas and ziplines.

In March 2023, the project's two partners announced their plan to create three informal gathering spaces that will showcase the diversity of Québec's tourism offer. Evoking an après-ski ambience, LA STATION was the first space to be introduced, followed a few weeks later by the inauguration of LE SAINT-LAURENT, offering an immersion into the emblematic river's marine life. In just a few months, these spaces became an integral part of the client experience at the Palais.

A fun getaway and a reminder of the importance of safeguarding our biodiversity
LE PANORAMA is designed to be an activity-filled nature outing, with each installation offering its own version of fun, and featuring awareness-raising panels on ecoresponsible practices and biodiversity protection.

On entering the space, visitors discover seven Québec- and Canadian-designed bicycles, manufactured by Cycles Marinoni, Opus Bike, Louis Garneau and Devinci. A screen positioned opposite the bicycles allows business travellers and convention-goers to pedal while watching a video, produced in collaboration Grands Prix Cyclistes of Montréal and Québec City and Freeride Québec, featuring some 12 000 km of mountain biking trails crisscrossing Québec's fall landscapes, including the Route verte, named the most beautiful cycling route in the world by National Geographic.

Further along, five suspended cocoon tents offer an intimate space for relaxation and an opportunity to experience this unusual nature adventure accommodation.

Other surprising installations, equipment evocative of via ferratas and ziplines, immerse visitors in the heart of a picturesque and vibrant environment, faithfully representing Québec's outdoor experiences.

In addition to the relaxing environment and change of scenery, picnic tables scattered here and there make LE PANORAMA an ideal working and meeting space.

Lastly, the serious commitment of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, the Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec and the Ministère du Tourisme to safeguarding biodiversity resonates throughout the space with educational panels explaining the role each of us can play in protecting our natural spaces. Limiting our ecological and noise footprint, protecting wild flora and fauna, fire prevention…a variety of subjects are addressed to remind visitors of responsible conduct when exploring nature.

In keeping with the other thematic spaces in the Palais des congrès, LE PANORAMA combines interactive decors and useful facilities for business travellers, offering them a space that is recreational, unique and relaxing. LE PANORAMA was developed with support from Vélo Québec and Aventure Écotourisme Québec as well as Québec companies Projet vertical, Ébénisterie Maurice Dupuis Inc. and DeVille.

Quotes
"LE PANORAMA showcases our flamboyant fall, a venue for a wide variety of outdoor activities. It's another excellent way to promote the best of Québec while raising awareness of eco-responsible practices and the importance of preserving biodiversity. Bravo to the designers of this magnificent space that will contribute to giving business tourists the desire to explore Québec and to increasing tourism's economic spinoffs!" – Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region

"The third and final space created in collaboration with Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec, LE PANORAMA is a magnificent representation of the outdoor activities Québec nature has to offer. This partnership had two objectives: to open up Québec's rich tourism offer to our international convention-goers and inspire them to extend their stay with us, while providing unique and informal meeting spaces. With the creation of LA STATION, LE SAINT-LAURENT and LE PANORAMA, we can say 'mission accomplished!'" – Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal

"The third stage in this partnership seeks once again to give business travellers from around the world an opportunity to experience Québec in a singular fashion. The quality of the immersive experiences in LE PANORAMA illustrates the capacity of the tourism industry to get off the beaten track and enhance the profile of the Bonjour Québec brand. Alliance is proud to contribute to a process that highlights flagship experiences across the province and, with its touch of audacity, creates magic for visitors by pushing the limits of destination marketing." – Frédéric Dubé, Interim CEO of the Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
A creative solutions centre and a showcase for the city's spirit and expertise, the Palais des congrès de Montréal has been promoting and hosting large-scale events since 1983. Generating significant economic, social and intellectual benefits, it encourages innovation and acts as a force for progress for both Montréal and Québec. The Palais is firmly committed to sustainability and takes numerous innovative, concrete steps to make it a central component of its business development. With one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world, the Palais actively contributes to the international reputation of Montréal, the top host city for international events in America for six years in a row. congresmtl.com

About the Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec
The Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec (Alliance), which represents more than 10,000 businesses and 50 regional and sector-based tourism associations, is the largest provincial business federation in Canada specializing in tourism. It works with private businesses and associations to highlight tourism's crucial contribution to regional vitality, while acting as a spokesperson for its members. The Alliance also carries out mandates from the Ministry of Tourism, including its mandate to promote the province under the Bonjour Québec brand, as part of a unique partnership with the industry. The Alliance's ultimate goal is to help turn Québec into a thriving, sustainable and responsible world-class tourism destination. For more information, visit alliancetouristique.com.

SOURCE Palais des congrès de Montréal

For further information:
Marie-Claude Lizée, Director, Marketing and Communications, Palais des congrès de Montréal, 514 871-5849, medias@congresmtl.com; Flore Bouchon, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Alliance de l'industrie touristique du Québec, 514 264-1202, fbouchon@alliancetouristique.com//////

April 16, 2024
Grand Opening of The Scotsman Hotel

A 5-Star Retreat in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada

Niagara-on-the-Lake/CNW/—The Scotsman Hotel, the newest addition to Niagara-on-the-Lakes's (NOTL) prestigious hospitality scene, proudly announced its grand opening on February 16th, 2024. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of one of Canada's most cherished wine regions, this upscale country inn is set to redefine luxury and elegance for travelers seeking an unparalleled experience.

Behind The Scotsman Hotel are owners Brenda and Blair McArthur, whose vision was deeply inspired by their time spent in Scotland. Embracing an old-world, classic rural vibe, their hotel offers an exquisite blend of sophistication and charm, with amenities designed to cater to the discerning tastes of its guests. Each of the hotel's five lavishly appointed suites, designed by Lori Morris, is a testament to the art of fine living.

"The Scotsman Hotel is a tribute to all of the love and fond memories we have made in this beautiful town," said Brenda McArthur, Owner of The Scotsman Hotel. "We hope that all who visit experience the enchanting feeling that is woven through the beautiful town of Niagara-on-the-Lake."

Guests can indulge in a culinary journey every morning, crafted by Chef Chris, who highlights local flavors and ingredients. The hotel's commitment to excellence extends to its retreat spaces, making the hotel an ideal destination for hosting a luxe wedding party, executive retreat, and other high-end group getaways. With its elegant lounges, culinary offerings and cozy outdoor patio, The Scotsman Hotel promises to make every occasion memorable.

NOTL, a charming locale in Canada, is renowned for its exquisite wineries, making it a haven for wine enthusiasts. Just a short 20-minute drive from the Lewiston Queenston Bridge, connecting Canada to the United States, luxury and refinement await, beckoning travelers to indulge in the region's delights.

For reservations and more information, visit thescotsmanhotel.ca or contact The Scotsman Hotel at info@thescotsmanhotel.ca or 905-468-9991.

About The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel is a 5-star country inn located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. Offering an unmatched blend of luxury, comfort, and scenic beauty, The Scotsman Hotel provides guests with an extraordinary stay through its exceptional accommodations, gourmet dining, and personalized service. Set against the backdrop of one of Canada's most picturesque regions, The Scotsman Hotel is the ultimate destination for travelers seeking a unique and indulgent experience.

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grand-opening-of-the-scotsman-hotel-302117342.html

April 15, 2024
Marriott International Appoints New Senior Leaders to Canadian Team

Bethesda, MD—Marriott International announced today that two new members have been appointed to its Canadian senior leadership team. Susie Grynol will join Marriott International as Market Vice President, Eastern Canada. She most recently served as Chief Executive Officer at the Hotel Association of Canada. Keri Robinson will assume the position of Area Vice President, U.S. Western Mountain Pacific and Western Canada, expanding her current responsibilities. Both positions will report to Paul Cahill, Senior Vice President, Canada Operations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Susie and Keri to our Canadian leadership team. As this region continues to grow, their leadership and expertise will be critical to increasing our presence in the market, as well as driving topline revenue and profit goals for our hotels across Canada,” said Paul Cahill, Senior Vice President, Canada Operations.

Susie Grynol, Market Vice President, Eastern Canada
Susie joins Marriott from the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) where she served as Chief Executive Officer since 2016. In her new role, Susie will be a key member of the Canadian leadership team supporting Managed by Marriott hotels, Select and Premium brands in Canada. Susie will ensure market-wide program implementation and drive key initiatives, working closely with Area General Managers and property General Managers to positively impact hotel performance in Eastern Canada.

During her tenure at HAC, Susie drove a successful turn-around strategy, building the association’s profile, influence and membership to record levels. Susie also led a crucial lobbying effort for the industry during COVID which yielded $23B in government support. Under her leadership, HAC membership grew by nearly 3000 percent. 

Previously, Susie served as Vice President of Federal Government Relations, head of the Ottawa office and lead spokesperson for the Retail Council of Canada, one of the largest trade associations in Canada.

Susie will begin her role with Marriott on June 3, 2024.

Keri Robinson, Area Vice President, U.S. Western Mountain Pacific and Western Canada
Keri has been with Marriott International for more than 35 years. In 2020, she was promoted to Area Vice President following roles as Area General Manager in the Seattle and San Diego markets for Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. During her time as Area General Manager with Starwood based in Seattle, Keri had responsibility for the managed, full service properties in Western Canada. 

As part of her expanded role, Keri will be responsible for delivering full P&L accountability and supporting efforts to drive an exceptional customer experience for Managed by Marriott hotels within the region. Keri brings prior experience in the market having previously served as the leader for full service, managed properties in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton with Starwood.

Keri’s expanded role will be effective May 18, 2024.

“Susie brings deep knowledge of the hospitality industry, strong leadership skills, and award-winning government relations experience to Marriott, while Keri has demonstrated results in the U.S. Western Mountain Pacific region and is set-up for success based on her previous experience as a leader in the Western Canada region,” Cahill said.

About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of nearly 8,800 properties across more than 30 leading brands in 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy®, its highly awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.  In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on X and Instagram.

Media Contacts:

Marriott International 
Kimberly Mannino 
Senior Manager, Public Relations, U.S. & Canada 
kimberly.a.mannino@marriott.com  

tartanbond 
Melanie Greco 
PR agency of record for Marriott Canada 
melanie.greco@tartanbond.com 

April 15, 2024
Hilton Accelerates Multi Brand, Multi Destination Expansion in Canada

With 180 hotels open and nearly 90 hotels in the pipeline, Hilton is on track to expand its portfolio of hotels by 50% over the next 5 years

Mclean, Va. and Toronto, On.—Leading global hospitality company, Hilton (NYSE: HLT), continues to accelerate its development efforts in Canada. Following a year of rapid multi brand, multi destination growth with 10 new hotel openings, including the first Canopy by Hilton in Canada, Hilton ended 2023 with 180 open hotels in the country spanning more than 28,000 rooms across 11 brands. With nearly 20 deals signed in 2023, Hilton’s Canada pipeline consists of approximately 90 hotels and more than 11,000 rooms and will introduce Spark by Hilton and Motto by Hilton into Canada in 2024.  Hilton will soon surpass 200 hotels in Canada, and plans to increase its portfolio of hotels by 50% over the next several years.

“We are excited about our continued momentum in Canada, as a result of our organic multi-brand, country-wide growth strategy,” said Jeff Cury, senior director of development, Canada, Hilton. “We remain focused on expanding our portfolio to every province across the country with both existing and new-to-market brands and are committed to offering business and leisure travelers robust options in the destinations they want to visit.” 

Lifestyle Brands Flourish

In 2023, Hilton opened Canopy by Hilton Toronto - Yorkville, marking the debut of the Canopy by Hilton brand in Canada and demonstrating developer affinity for lifestyle brands that deliver elevated, boutique hotel experiences. The company also signed five new deals including Motto by Hilton Montreal Downtown, the first Motto by Hilton hotel in Canada that will give travelers the opportunity to live like a local in Montreal’s downtown. In 2024, Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton will be the second Curio Collection by Hilton branded property in Canada. In the next five years, Hilton plans to triple its presence in the lifestyle category with new hotels planned in highly desired destinations including Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Niagara Falls and more.

Spark by Hilton Readies for Launch

In 2023, Hilton signed six new deals under its premium economy hotel brand Spark by Hilton, which provides a reliable and comfortable stay with friendly service for every guest, all at an accessible price. The brand plans to ignite growth in Canada in 2024 with the opening of four new properties including Spark by Hilton Toronto Markham, Spark by Hilton Oshawa, Spark by Hilton Woodstock, and Spark by Hilton Owen Sound

Focused-Service Fuels Expansion

Focused-service brands continue to fuel Hilton’s growth in Canada, representing more than 60% of the company’s pipeline in the country. In 2023, Hilton opened five focused-service hotels including Tru by Hilton Toronto Airport West and four properties under the Hampton by Hilton flag in downtown Toronto, Cornwall, Hamilton, and Midland. Tru, the game-changing brand that reimagined the category, is driving growth with a footprint set to expand from three hotels to more than 15. Additionally, with 70 open hotels and upwards of 25 in design or construction, Hampton is on track to reach the 100th hotel milestone in the next five years, strengthening its position as a premier focused-service brand in the country and further underscoring its status as a global powerhouse.

Extended-Stay Delivers Long-Term Growth

In Canada, Hilton currently welcomes guests at more than 30 extended-stay properties, with another 20 hotels in the pipeline. The category’s momentum is led by the Home2 Suites by Hilton brand, which has witnessed rapid growth and robust owner interest across the country. In 2023, Hilton opened Home2 Suites by Hilton Huntsville, Home2 Suites by Hilton Quebec City, QC and Home2 Suites by Hilton Thunder Bay and signed five new deals.  In 2024, Home2 Suites by Hilton Kingston and Home2 Suites by Hilton Kitchener will open continuing the accelerated expansion of the brand.

Full-Service driven by DoubleTree by Hilton

With over 20 DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in operation and more than seven in the pipeline, DoubleTree by Hilton continues to be the driver of growth in the full-service category in Canada. In 2023, Hilton signed DoubleTree by Hilton Brome Missisquoi Resort in Quebec and in 2024 DoubleTree by Hilton Kingston and DoubleTree by Hilton West Kelowna are expected to open their doors, expanding the brand’s presence in Ontario and British Columbia.

Throughout Canada, Hilton has more than 180 hotels and over 28,000 rooms, spanning 11 brands, in nearly 90 cities, 10 provinces and three territories with a multi-brand presence from Vancouver and Montreal to Quebec, Toronto and Winnipeg.

For more Hilton development news, please visit stories.hilton.com

About Hilton
Hilton is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 22 world-class brands comprising more than 7,500 properties and nearly 1.2 million rooms, in 126 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed over 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune and has been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for seven consecutive years. Hilton has introduced industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 180 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube

April 11, 2024
Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) Celebrates the Global Meetings Industry Day, Highlighting the Power of Collaboration

Brussels—JMIC, the Joint Meetings Industry Council, is pleased to be part of the worldwide celebration of Global Meetings Industry Day, a day that marks the importance of the meetings industry globally.

The meetings industry is a vibrant and varied environment, providing a space for human progress and development. Today, as we celebrate the meetings industry, we acknowledge the essential role of in-person interactions in creating innovation, promoting cooperation, and tackling the urgent issues of our time. Humans have a natural need to gather, exchange ideas, and cooperate for shared purposes, and the meetings industry enables these powerful exchanges.

"The importance of Global Meetings Industry Day is that it recognises the significant role of meetings in changing our world for the better," says James Rees, President of JMIC. "At JMIC, we are dedicated to promoting the meetings industry and demonstrating its benefits, from local community legacy to the widest global perspective. Through advocacy and collaboration, we will continue to strengthen the voice of the meetings industry and showcase its lasting benefits and outcomes."

We mark Global Meetings Industry Day by acknowledging the meetings industry's ability to overcome barriers and cater to all fields around the world. Meetings are essential for enhancing economic development, stimulating innovation, and advancing social change. They help to determine the future of communities across the globe.

As we celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day, JMIC invites participants from all sectors of the meetings industry to renew their dedication to working together, innovating, and delivering high-quality results. Together, we can use the power of meetings to build a more equitable, sustainable, and thriving future for ourselves and next generations.

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.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Chris Lewis
chrislewis@clareville.co.uk