Current News

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Current News

June 05, 2024
BMO Centre at Stampede Park Welcomes the World to Western Canada's Largest Convention Centre

$500M expansion officially opens its doors and puts Calgary on the map as a world-class convention destination

Calgary, AB/CNW/—Today, Calgary's BMO Centre at Stampede Park is ready to welcome the world, officially becoming Western Canada's largest convention centre with the grand opening of its 565,000 sq. ft. expansion. Following decades of planning and four years of construction, the over 1M sq. ft. Tier 1 convention facility opens its doors for the first time, not only creating an architectural landmark for Calgary, but making gatherings even greater with the ability to host a scale of convention the city hasn't been able to previously accommodate.  

"For four years, we have been promising that the expanded BMO Centre will offer Calgarians, southern Albertans and visitors to our city a greater way to gather. Today, it is with immeasurable pride that we open the doors to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park," said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede.  "The BMO Centre expansion was built for Calgary and southern Alberta, with the vision of creating a world-class facility both in terms of design and the ability to provide exceptional guest experiences through our signature western hospitality. With the interest we've seen from the meetings and conventions industry before the doors have even opened, we know that this facility is going to have a positive impact on Calgary's economy by bolstering the tourism and hospitality sectors. We built this for our future, and we look forward to realizing the success of the expansion in the decades to come."

The expansion's first major event, the Global Energy Show, is already loading into the expansion's exhibition halls in preparation for their June 11 event, and there are another 500 conventions and events booked into the expansion post-opening to date. This also translates to filling restaurants, shops, rideshares and other attractions that make Calgary unique. The economic impact to Calgary will equate to approximately upwards of $100 million a year and provide thousands of jobs.

"We are proud to celebrate the grand opening of this remarkable expansion – brought to life by collaboration, partnership, and true dedication," said George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. "A milestone for Calgary, the BMO Centre will be a beacon of community pride, offering new spaces for gatherings, exhibitions, and experiences, while making the city a destination for national and international meetings and events. We are excited to see the countless opportunities it will bring to Calgary."

"In recent years, we've been seeing Canada and the world choose Alberta more and more as the place to live, work, invest, and raise a family. The new BMO Centre is going to help keep that trend going by bringing more business and industry events to the heart of Calgary where they'll experience so many things that make this city great," said the Honourable Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta. "This project is a testament to what we can accomplish when every level of government comes together. With its first major event just around the corner, I'm excited to see how the BMO Centre – now Western Canada's largest convention centre – shows the world all the reasons Calgary is the prime destination to host their events."

"With an increased ability to compete for world-class conventions and meetings thanks to the expanded BMO Centre, Calgary's reputation on the global stage cannot be understated," said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. "The expanded BMO Centre is unique to Calgary, unique to the Calgary Stampede and unique to the industry. This is an architectural icon as well as a community gathering place, and Calgarians can be proud that we built this second-to-none facility right here in the heart of The Culture + Entertainment District."

The building, designed by leading design team Stantec, Populous and S2, represents the next generation of convention facilities, one that promises best-in-class guest experience, boasts precedent-setting design architecture, and serves as a gathering place for convention attendees and the local community alike.

"When we began design with our partners in 2019, we asked ourselves how we could design a facility that pushes the boundaries of convention centre design and experience, and every decision we made from that point on was with that goal in mind," said Kate Thompson, President and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Development Manager for the project. "CMLC is incredibly proud to have delivered this project on time and on budget, and to have delivered on the world-class promise we and our partners set out to achieve. With the completion of this catalyst project, we have set the tone for the coming years of development in The Culture + Entertainment District, and we are looking eagerly ahead to building on this momentum as we continue to transform this district together."

Cowley continued, "The Calgary Stampede is grateful to our partners at CMLC for their expert delivery of the project, and to our generous funding partners – the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary – for their $500M investment in this world-class facility. We are also grateful to BMO for their 10-year extension of the naming rights for this beautiful building as well as their partnership with the Calgary Stampede that dates back more than a century."

After more than 124 years of working together, the Calgary Stampede and BMO have renewed their partnership for another 10 years, through until the end of 2033. As a part of this agreement, BMO has extended the naming rights of the BMO Centre to the BMO Centre expansion, which will welcome guests from our community and around the world.

BMO has been a long-time supporter of the Calgary Stampede. In 1899 BMO became the official bank of the Calgary Exhibition, predecessor to the Stampede, and has been an official sponsor since 1914. From sponsoring prizes like a $5 bank account for best dressed and best window decorations in downtown Calgary during the 1923 Stampede, to hosting square dancing and street entertainment outside of their Stephen Avenue location in the early days, to hosting Stampede historical displays in BMO bank branches across the city in 2018 and 2019, BMO has always been a champion of the Calgary Stampede and community spirit.

"Developing strong partnerships within our communities is at the heart of what BMO does to boldly grow the good in business and life," said Mike Bonner, Head, Distribution, Canadian Personal and Business Banking, BMO. "It's an honour to be the naming sponsor of BMO Centre and to celebrate our partnership dating back to 1884 as the oldest business relationship in Western Canada. This landmark facility will serve as a gathering place the community and have a strong impact on the economy, further showcasing BMO's commitment to driving progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society for Calgary and beyond."

Calgarians are invited to tour the expanded BMO Centre for the first time on Saturday, June 8, during the Calgary Stampede's Community Round Up, presented by ENMAX, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join us for FREE pancakes, FREE parking and FREE family fair fun!

For More Information:

Emma Stevens
Director, Communications & External Relations
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

Christine Thompson
Corporate Communications Manager
Calgary Stampede

About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme, We're Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

About CMLC
Created and owned by the City of Calgary, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) exists to achieve the City's objectives for urban densification and community renewal, infrastructure investment and placemaking. An entrepreneurial group of hands-on doers and placemakers, CMLC's approach is rooted in community participation and designed to strengthen the connections between places, experiences and people. As the master developer behind Calgary's East Village and new Culture + Entertainment District, CMLC is leading over $1 billion in city-building projects and is the project lead on pillar projects in Calgary including the Arts Commons Transformation and the BMO Centre expansion. CMLC is delivering the 17th Ave SE Extension and Victoria Park/Stampede LRT Station Rebuild project on behalf of their partners at Calgary Transit and the Calgary Stampede.

About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.4 trillion as of April 30, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

June 05, 2024
Sphere Names Chandra Allison Executive Vice President, Sales & Service

Las Vegas—Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) today announced that Chandra Allison, a sales and marketing leader with 30 years of diverse experience in the hospitality and events industries, has joined the Company as Executive Vice President, Sales and Service for Sphere – a next-generation entertainment medium in Las Vegas that is redefining the future of entertainment.

In this new role, Ms. Allison will be responsible for driving Sphere’s sales strategies and ensuring exceptional customer experiences at Sphere. Working with executive leadership, Ms. Allison will develop and implement sales and service strategies aligned with the Company’s overall business objectives and strategic direction, including developing a corporate conference business for product launches and other events. As part of her role, she will oversee the sales and service teams to achieve continued revenue growth, market expansion, and outstanding customer satisfaction. She will also work to develop and execute comprehensive sales plans, optimize service delivery, and build strong relationships with key clients and stakeholders in the Las Vegas market and beyond.

“Sphere has established itself as a destination for immersive experiences unlike anywhere else, but we’re just scratching the surface of what this new medium can offer,” said Jennifer Koester, President, Sphere Business Operations. “Chandra has been working with our team as a consultant, and we are excited to make her an official part of our Sphere family as we continue raising an already high bar for what artists, brands, and customers experience at Sphere.”

“Throughout my career I have focused on delivering major events and exceptional hospitality experiences in Las Vegas,” said Ms. Allison. “Sphere is a game-changer in this dynamic market, and this is a tremendous opportunity to continue working with the team to develop one-of-a-kind experiences that enhance Sphere’s presence in Las Vegas across a range of event categories and guest experiences.”

Ms. Allison brings extensive experience in developing exceptional meetings, conventions, exhibitions, and entertainment events, with a focus on the Las Vegas market. Most recently, Ms. Allison served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Growth at Oak View Group (OVG). In this role she was responsible for overseeing strategy and growth across the OVG360 portfolio, including the design and development of meetings spaces, business strategy and programming for OVG's planned Las Vegas hotel and casino project. Prior to joining OVG, Ms. Allison served in roles of increasing responsibility over nearly 25 years with The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. In her last role as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ms. Allison led sales and marketing efforts for group, convention, tradeshow, and leisure sales. Ms. Allison’s experience prior to The Venetian Resort includes events and sales roles at Las Vegas hotel and casino properties.

Ms. Allison is an active member of several industry trade organizations, including Meetings Professional International and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

About Sphere Entertainment Co.
Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) is a premier live entertainment and media company. The Company includes Sphere, a next-generation entertainment medium powered by cutting-edge technologies to redefine the future of entertainment. The first Sphere venue opened in Las Vegas in September 2023. In addition, the Company includes MSG Networks, which operates two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG Sportsnet, as well as a direct-to-consumer and authenticated streaming product, MSG+, delivering a wide range of live sports content and other programming. More information is available at

Sphere Entertainment –

June 04, 2024
Philadelphia welcomes Québec City travellers with the launch of a direct seasonal American Airlines flight starting June 5th before changing to twice daily flights as of August 6th

Québec City, QC—Québec City travellers will now have an easier time to get to Philadelphia as the destination is pleased to share that American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, will be offering daily nonstop seasonal service from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) starting June 5th, 2024. Flights can be booked through American Airlines

Running through October 26th, 2024, the flight will switch from a daily flight to a twice daily flight as of August 6th, which will is convenient for French Canadians to have more flexibility in their planning options to maximize their time in the City of Firsts.

“Philadelphia shares a number of similarities to Québec City, from our historical and cultural attractions to our award-winning culinary experiences to the charm of the locals,” said Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This seasonal flight will help us continue to increase Philadelphia’s visibility as an accessible and welcoming destination for Canadians, who are our strongest international market.”

“We are excited to continue expanding our footprint from Québec City with our upcoming flights to Philadelphia,” added José A. Freig, VP of International Operations, American Airlines. “Our daily service to the City of Firsts further provides customers the opportunity to explore everything that this popular metropolitan city has to offer – from the culinary treats to the rich arts and cultural scene to the historical significance.”

Whether visitors are interested in discovering iconic exhibits rich in history and culture or looking to indulge in world-class dining, there is something for everyone when visiting Philadelphia. Recently named ‘one of the best cities to visit for 2024’ by Lonely Planet AFAR, it is no surprise that Philadelphia is on the top of the bucket list for Canadian travellers.

Philadelphia is particularly rich in history and culture that showcase America’s beginnings. For visitors who are curious about American history there’s no better place than “America’s most historic square mile.” In the Old City historical district, visitors can walk the same streets and enter the same buildings as America’s Founders. At Carpenters’ Hall, visitors can step into the site of the First Continental Congress, where the Founders met to debate independence. Nearby, is Independence Hall — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. And, of course, see the iconic Liberty Bell, an international symbol of American freedom, just a few steps away from Independence Mall.

For foodies and culinary connoisseurs, Philadelphia is also recognized for winning a number of annual James Beard awards, which recognizes talented top chefs and restaurateurs.

Additionally, the city was named the 2023 Most Walkable City in the U.S. by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and consistently ranks among the nation’s most walkable cities. From museums and street art to beer gardens and riverfront views, Philadelphia’s immersive experiences are just footsteps away from each other.

“We are very pleased with the return of this seasonal daily flight to the beautiful and historic city of Philadelphia,” said Stéphane Poirier, President and CEO of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). “This direct service offered by American Airlines, the world's largest air carrier, is in line with our mission to offer more options to local travellers, as well as to facilitate accessibility for American tourists to the magnificent Québec City region.”

For more information about the twice daily flights from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport to Philadelphia International Airport, visit

For further information about Philadelphia and everything there is to discover, visit

About the PHLCVB:
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. The PHLCVB’s work engages our partners, the local Philadelphia community as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers. The PHLCVB is also the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally and is responsible for growing the number of overseas leisure visitors who come to the region each year. To learn more, visit

June 04, 2024
Iberostar to Open its First Hotel in Aruba

Iberostar Beachfront Resorts will open on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world 

Palma de Mallorca, SpainIberostar, a leading family-owned Spanish hotel chain renowned for its commitment to responsible tourism, unveils plans for its first hotel in Aruba – JOIA Aruba by Iberostar. Nestled on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the property is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Queen Beatrix International Airport, 10 minutes from downtown Oranjestad, and six minutes from the shopping area of Palm Beach. This exclusive luxury resort aims to redefine the island experience with its premium service, quality and commitment to sustainability

“We are delighted to introduce Iberostar’s inaugural resort in Aruba, a stunning destination that shares our passion for quality and commitment to a model of responsible tourism,” said Phil Mc Aveety, CEO, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. "JOIA Aruba by Iberostar is a testament to our promise of providing guests with exceptional experiences. We are very pleased to expand Iberostar's presence in the Americas, aiming to contribute positively within the local community with a shared sense of prosperity and commitment to sustainability."

Set to welcome guests late 2024, the JOIA Aruba by Iberostar stands as a five-star haven featuring 240 suites with breathtaking views as the U-shaped architectural jewel was strategically designed to showcase Eagle Beach.

The property is designed to appeal to guests of all ages and intends to serve as an attractive option for weddings, honeymoons, special occasions and family getaways. Guests at the JOIA Aruba by Iberostar will be able to indulge, concierge service, as well as butler service and select rooms with swim-up features and jacuzzis in the terrace. The property also features a state-of-the-art 10K+ square foot Convention Center, a spacious spa, a casino, and a fully equipped Fit & Fun gym. Moreover, golf enthusiasts can enjoy Iberostar’s Tierra del Sol championship Golf Course, featuring 18 holes and breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea and recently recognized with USA Today’s 2024 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Caribbean Golf Course. 

True to Iberostar's culinary reputation, the resort will offer three main dining options, including a buffet-style restaurant and two themed restaurants specializing in Caribbean cuisine and open fire cooking for meats and seafood. Furthermore, the hotel features a terrace bar where guests can enjoy the spectacular sunsets of Aruba.

The hotel, which will open as 100% electric, was developed using passive design principles to enhance energy efficiency, collaborating with international and local construction teams to reduce environmental impact. Following Iberostar's commitment to sustainability, the hotel will also implement lower-impact operations, progressive waste management techniques, with efficient energy management to minimize emissions, aligning towards its decarbonization goal.

The contemporary coastal interior design and the striking exteriors are inspired by the vibrant colors of Aruba´s marine life and Iberostar´s passion for the oceans. Hues of greens, turquoise and earthy tones have been expertly combined to convey a feeling of luxurious island living. The interior of the property features many locally inspired design elements, including a Divi-Divi tree sculpture in the main lobby, manta ray skin design in the swimming pool, and custom artwork and installations. The exterior of the building was inspired by the scales of the parrotfish, the hero of the coral reef that cleans away the algae. Reflecting Iberostar’s commitment to responsible tourism, the resort has integrated lower-impact features and sustainable elements into its design and operations. 

About Iberostar Group
Iberostar Group is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company with a rich history of over 67 years in the tourism industry and business origins dating back to 1877. It currently has two divisions: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, its hotel division and largest business unit, whose portfolio totals 100 4- and 5-star hotels in 14 countries; and World2Meet, its travel division, a vertically structured tourism group comprising 17 brands specialising in the entire tourism value chain. 

The Group has earned recognition for its efforts in promoting a responsible tourism model that prioritizes the well-being of both people and the environment. With quality and sustainability embedded throughout the business, the company positions the circular economy as the cornerstone of its strategy. Pursuing its own 2030 Agenda, goals include becoming waste-free by 2025, attaining carbon neutrality by 2030, ensuring complete responsibility in its seafood supply chain by 2025, and enhancing the health of the ecosystems that surround its hotels, among other objectives.

Iberostar Group has a global team of over 35,000 people from 95 different nationalities. Their unwavering commitment to quality serves as a key differentiator, driving continuous improvement, innovative products, and exceptional customer service.

Find out more about us at

June 04, 2024
Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton Debuts in the Entertainment District

Owned and operated by Easton's Group of Hotels and The Gupta Group, Revery marks the premiere of Curio Collection by Hilton in Toronto

Toronto and McLEAN, Va./CNW/—Hilton,Easton's Group of Hotels, andThe Gupta Group announced the opening of the Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton. Each hotel in the Curio Collection portfolio is handpicked for its distinctive design, world-class food and beverage, and curated experiences in exciting global destinations. Revery officially invited guests into its theatrically themed, 224-room hotel on June 4th, 2024, at 92 Peter Street, Toronto, Ontario.

"We're delighted to launch Ontario's first Curio Collection by Hilton property in Toronto. Revery will bring a bespoke blend of sophistication, design, and hospitality," said Reetu Gupta, author of Auspicious and ambassadress, The Gupta Group and Easton's Group of Hotels. "With its prime  location, Revery is more than a destination; it's an alluring and captivating experience."

With its fast-growing portfolio of over 160 properties in top destinations, each Curio Collection by Hilton is celebrated for its remarkable character and one-of-a-kind experiences," said Jenna Hackett, senior vice president, Hilton Lifestyle Brands. "As the first Curio Collection hotel in Ontario, Revery's guests will soon enjoy immersive, remarkable stays in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District." 

Design Takes Centre Stage
Revery's design acts as a discovery that reflects the lights, drama, and sociability of the neighbourhood. Muse Lobby Bar is full of mystique and fashioned in bold ruby-red textures with white statement lighting. With its entrance on bustling Peter Street, Muse is a modern "concession stand" where hotel guests and neighbours meet for social exchanges over bespoke cocktails, coffee and small bites.

Behind the velvet curtains, guests will step into the "Box Office" under the marquis lights and monochromatic checkerboard concrete tiles. There, they can explore the modern check-in pods, with big screen backdrops playing classic black-and-white movies and historic images of Toronto's landmarks.

Revery's nod to the theatre continues in its guestrooms with curved full-length mirrors and clever lighting applications which create a glamourous "dressing room" look. Guestrooms are sleek with ultra-high-gloss lacquered finishes, marble accents, and automated touches to suit the needs of sophisticated travellers.

"Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton is where guests can daydream and indulge in meditative relaxation, whether in our glamorous guest rooms or in our captivating restaurants," said Dr. Steve Gupta, founder & executive chairman of The Gupta Group. "Revery highlights vivid theatre and crafted film concepts, reflecting unique nuances from backstage to dressing room themes, inspiring our guests to experience their own state of "reverie." Curated moments of celebration will become our guests' lasting memories."

Star Studded Food & Beverage
Continuing the cinematic theme and Hollywood glamour, anticipation awaits at Deauville Club, Revery's French-inspired restaurant. The hues are subtle and refined, with oak herringbone floors and violet-infused marble accents. Chef Tom Chlebek's cuisine brings unique expertise and authenticity to every dish. With a keen understanding that mood is paramount, he has crafted culinary experiences that evoke a sense of wonder and delight.

Adjacent to Deauville Club, heavy velvet drapes lead you to the Gupta Room—a private space for meeting and entertaining. Rich in texture and accessories, the mood is set with deep eggplant and dark purple accents. For intimate meetings and events, Revery has two thoughtfully curated spaces to engage and exchange: the Cinema Room and Easton's Boardroom. Additionally, for larger private parties, Deauville Club is the perfect stage to welcome up to 100 guests.

Situated just a quick walk from the renowned TIFF Lightbox and The Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office, Revery invites guests to take in the bustling energy of one of Canada's most vibrant cultural hubs featuring countless dining, nightlife, shopping and cultural experiences along its way.

Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton will participate in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's world-class portfolio of distinct hotel brands which boasts over 180 million members. Members who book directly will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, exclusive member discounts, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app.

For more information about Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton, visit their website or contact Pamela Valerio at 

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 22 world-class brands comprising more than 7,100 properties and more than 1.1 million rooms, in 123 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for six consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several 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 150 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 for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About Curio Collection by Hilton
Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 145 individually remarkable hotels hand-picked to immerse guests in one-of-a kind moments in the world's most sought-after destinations. Each hotel in the Curio Collection evokes a bespoke story through distinctive architecture and design, world-class food & beverage and curated experiences, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors—Experience Curio Collection by Hilton by booking at or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app.

About The Gupta Group
The Gupta Group is a beacon of innovation and excellence in the global investment landscape, spearheaded by visionary entrepreneur Steve Gupta. At the heart lies Easton's Group of Hotels. With 22 hotels and four under development in prime locations spanning Ontario and Quebec, the flagship properties, including renowned brands like Hilton, Marriott, and IHG, redefine the standards of hotel experiences. Under The Gupta Group's unified banner, they continue to redefine the hospitality landscape, real estate development, and beyond. With a legacy built on vision, passion, and integrity, we embark on exciting new ventures propelled by our unwavering commitment to excellence. Every endeavour, from lifestyle hotels to transformative residential developments, reflects our dedication to delivering unparalleled quality and service. With over 1500 residential units completed between Dundas Square Gardens and Rosedale on Bloor, Yonge City Square, at the corner of York Mills and Yonge, is now on the market. Being the first condominium built in the neighbourhood in over 20 years, with direct subway access, it will be the primary head office of The Gupta Group. Visit and connect with us on Facebook,Instagram, andLinkedIn.

SOURCE Revery Toronto Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton

For further information:
Media contact: Pamela Valerio, and Hotel Contact:

May 30, 2024
Colombia, The Country of Beauty, is among the top 10 countries that host the most international events in Latin America

In the list published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the country ranked 34th in the world. Colombia occupies the third place in the South American ranking, only behind Brazil and Argentina.

Bogotá—The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has published its latest ranking of countries that organized the most international events in 2023, highlighting Colombia's performance. Globally, Colombia ranks 34th, establishing itself as an attractive destination for meetings and events tourism.

As for the South American ranking, Colombia is in third place, with a total of 103 events, only behind Brazil and Argentina, while in the Latin American context, it is within the top 10 countries in the region.

“We are very proud of Colombia's performance in the ICCA ranking. This recognition is the result of joint efforts between ProColombia, the National Network of Bureaus, and the promotion offices of each city, which work tirelessly to position the country and its regions as top-tier destinations for international events. We are confident that Colombia, the Country of Beauty, will continue to be a preferred destination for the meetings and events industry”, said Carmen Caballero, President of ProColombia, the promotion agency of the country.

Colombian cities have also stood out in the ICCA ranking. Bogotá ranks as the third city in Latin America, hosting a total of 46 events. Cartagena, in turn, ranks 9th regionally with 25 events. Meanwhile, Medellín occupies the 11th position in the Latin American context with a total of 15 events.

To be considered in the ICCA ranking, events must meet specific criteria: have more than 50 attendees, rotate between at least three countries, have a defined periodicity, be organized by non-governmental or corporate associations, and have held more than one edition, with the third edition confirmed.

These criteria ensure that the events included in the ranking have a significant impact and international relevance. It is important to note that many more events are held in Colombia than those recorded by ICCA, but only those that meet these strict requirements are included in the ranking.

Colombia is trending!
The year 2023 saw a significant increase in the arrival of travelers for meetings, with over 220,000 people, 32% more than in 2022. The United States, Mexico, and Brazil are the main sources of these travelers, representing more than a third of the total. Additionally, countries such as China, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile, and Mexico showed notable growth in the number of travelers to Colombia.

The most visited cities for meetings are Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Cali, and Barranquilla. Meanwhile, in the first two months of 2024, more than 36,900 foreign visitors have arrived for this purpose, which is 22.3% more than in the same period of 2023.

Why Colombia is an ideal destination for hosting events, meetings, and conventions?

Colombia offers multiple reasons to be chosen as an event destination:

1.          International Air Connectivity: With 29 international airlines connecting 11 Colombian cities to 51 cities in 28 countries, in May the country has more than 1,300 weekly frequencies and 242,000 available seats.

2.          Competitive Prices: According to a study by ProColombia and STA Consultores, the cost of organizing an event in Colombia is considerably lower, being 60% more cost effective than in Mexico and 75% more than in the United States.

3.          Event Infrastructure: Colombia has 27 convention centers and 455 hotels with meeting rooms, suitable for large-scale events.

4.          Hosting Experience: The Country of Beauty has hosted important international events such as the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, One Young World, and the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, among others.

5.          Non-Traditional Venues: With 117 unconventional spaces, Colombia offers unique locations for events, ranging from public spaces to historic sites.

6.          High-Quality Accommodations: The hotel infrastructure includes over nine thousand hotels and more than 228,900 available rooms, featuring international brands such as Accor, Hilton, and Marriott.

7.          High-Quality Service: The friendliness and professionalism of Colombians ensure the successful development of events, with unique attention and experience in the meetings industry.

8.          Unique Experiences: Colombia offers transformative, sustainable, and meaningful travel experiences, including but not limited to sensory activities with coffee, fruit tastings, and unique cultural events.

9.          Investment Destination: Colombia stands out for its ability to attract foreign direct investment. There are key sectors such as agribusiness, technology, tourism, manufacturing, and services, among others, that offer a wide range of opportunities for international investors.

For more information, visit:

May 29, 2024
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Reaches Key Milestone Toward Delivery of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance

Toronto—As the latest step in a more connected Toronto, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is pleased to announce the selection of Pomerleau as the construction management firm and Alstef Canada as the baggage handling system provider for facilities work associated with the introduction of United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) Preclearance in late 2025. Executives from the airport, Pomerleau, and Alstef Canada were at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to make the announcement at a media event earlier today.

“We are pleased to welcome Pomerleau and Alstef Canada to the implementation team, and recognize this important milestone in bringing US Preclearance to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in late 2025. As the 5th-busiest Canadian airport serving the US, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is ideally positioned to offer US Preclearance and anticipates significant enhancements to passenger experience, destination offering, and economic impact as a result of the introduction of this service,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO, PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “I would like to once again thank the Federal Government for its commitment to the long-term future of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and its investment of $30 million in capital funding to make US Preclearance a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration with all levels of government to ensure Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport remains a vital piece of transportation infrastructure and an economic driver for Toronto and the surrounding region well into the future.”

“The benefits of Preclearance have been demonstrated at 15 airports around the world, and recent research by York Aviation indicates that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has the potential to deliver $5.3 billion in economic output through the increased aviation activity that Preclearance will bring about,” said Neil Pakey, President and CEO, Nieuport Aviation, owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “Set to open ahead of FIFA 2026, Preclearance fulfils our promise of continually enhancing the passenger experience, and will allow Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to be the front door to Toronto for even more visitors in the years to come.”

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a critical hub for those traveling for business or pleasure throughout North America,” said Sean Smithson, Toronto Regional Vice President at Pomerleau. “Pomerleau is pleased to be delivering this project with our partner Alstef Canada, who will implement the baggage handling system, with mobilization plans well underway. Construction will start mid-July and we look forward to this best-in-class facility going live by fall 2025.”

“We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on this important project,” said Steven Tanguy, Managing Director at Alstef Canada. “Our expertise in completing baggage handling upgrades in operational airports, as demonstrated by the successful completion of 50+ baggage handling projects across Canada, will help ensure seamless integration of US CBP Preclearance processing.”

Beyond increased efficiency and choice for US-bound passengers, US CBP Preclearance drives visitor spend through increased tourism and business activities, boosts employment, and strengthens ties between the United States and Canada. Below are supplementary quotations from stakeholders across Toronto and beyond that highlight the transformative impact that Preclearance will have on the city and the region.

Supplementary quotations:

“Toronto’s downtown airport is an outstanding feature of the value proposition we offer to businesses, visitors, and travellers alike. Having Preclearance to the United States just adds to the convenience and efficiency offered to North American companies looking to access the business, financial, and tech capital of Canada. Congratulations to our colleagues at PortsToronto and Nieuport Aviation for all you do to sell our city to the world.”

  • Stephen Lund, President & CEO, Toronto Global

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport connects our city to key North American markets, international investment, and tourism, currently generating $2.1 billion in GDP. It is a vital part of this city’s transportation infrastructure, one that will only grow in importance as we welcome FIFA, the WNBA and other new opportunities in the coming years. Today’s news demonstrates exciting progress in delivering this much-needed Preclearance facility—another step forward to support the airport’s continued success and downtown’s ongoing economic recovery.”

  • Giles Gherson, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a competitive advantage for Ontario—a critical link between our largest city and communities across Ontario as well as North American business destinations. That’s why the Ontario Chamber of Commerce welcomes today’s announcement to boost the airport’s capacity and capabilities for US preclearance. We have three OCC members to congratulate today: Nieuport Aviation and PortsToronto for their leadership, and Pomerleau for its selection as the construction management firm for this project.”

  • Daniel Tisch, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“As a global destination for major meetings, business, and leisure travelers, Toronto’s air access is a vital competitive advantage. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides strategic connectivity from high-volume U.S. markets, and Preclearance is an important step that will help attract more visitors and the powerful economic impact their visits bring to our community.”

  • Andrew Weir, President and CEO, Destination Toronto

About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)
Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 100 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway that will offer US Preclearance in 2025. The airport is a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output and supporting 4,450 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport’s operations. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has served its community for 85 years from its iconic location on the Toronto waterfront, where it facilitates healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is committed to achieving its vision of cleaner, greener and quieter operations, and is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency, and customer service, having won a host of passenger-driven and environmental achievement awards. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto. To learn more, visit

About PortsToronto
For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $28 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government. To learn more, visit

About Nieuport Aviation
Nieuport Aviation is the owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Backed by Canadian and international pension funds and supported by significant international expertise in managing aviation operations, we are committed to world-class customer service for the millions of customers using the airport. In addition to managing the passenger terminal, Nieuport Aviation offers passengers a free bus shuttle service between the airport and downtown Toronto, helping to provide a seamless travel experience. For more information, please visit Since acquiring the airport terminal, Nieuport has invested $60 million in upgrades, recently opening the Aspire Business Lounge for Canadian travellers. Nieuport is further investing in the development of the US Customs pre-clearance facility, to be opened in 2025. For more information, please visit

About Pomerleau
Pomerleau is one of Canada’s largest construction companies, with over $4.8 billion in revenues in 2023. The company delivers buildings, civil and infrastructure works, and major projects using alternative models. With its research and development lab, Pomerleau integrates innovation into more than 70% of its projects and constructs sustainably to build the living environments of tomorrow. Its subsidiary, Borea, executes 50% of the country’s renewable construction projects, and ITC Construction Group, acquired by Pomerleau in 2022, is the largest residential construction company in the West. Pomerleau also owns Pomerleau Capital, a subsidiary specializing in private infrastructure investment and financing. Founded over 60 years ago, Pomerleau has approximately 5,000 employees on over 200 sites from coast to coast. The company has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers since 2020 and one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies.

About Alstef Canada
Alstef Group designs, integrates and supports automated turnkey solutions for the airport, intralogistics and parcel markets. Its mission is to create intelligent solutions that not only meet the needs of its customers, but also provide them with the long-term benefits of a tailor-made automated system that is eco-designed, efficient, scalable and innovative. Alstef Group emphasizes building lasting relationships through collaborative efforts with customers and proactively promotes ongoing support services and maintenance to ensure sustained efficiency and performance of their solutions. With a local presence in sixteen countries and a wide range of systems installed in 93 countries, Alstef Group has 950 employees. The group generated revenue over €220 million in 2023.

Jessica Pellerin, Senior Manager, Communications, PortsToronto

Ryan White, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affair

Source: Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

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.

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

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. 


  • 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:

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

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.

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:

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:  

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 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

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 or call your local travel agent.

Media inquiries:
Mindy Cummings or Hannah Rastrick /

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

Aran Ryan
Director, Oxford Economics

Pádraic Gilligan 
Head of Marketing, SITE 

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 ( 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

Media contact: Melanie Wade, Social Media and Communications Specialist:

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,, 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
♦ Bob, Montreal, QC, Dream the Impossible 2023
♦ 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
♦ YBIMC Inc., Toronto, ON, Kenada: Barbie Movie Fan Event
♦ 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
♦ Niagara Casinos, Niagara Falls, ON, Fallsview Casino Resort Lunar New Year – Year of the Rabbit
♦ 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 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

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

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 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

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."

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 

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

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

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 

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 

Contact: Beth Knight, CAE, Executive Director
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

Media Contact:
Kathy Motton
Destination Toronto – Senior Communications Manager 

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

For further

For further media information please contact: or

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 and

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

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 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.