Current News

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

Current News

July 23, 2024
Riskline partners with TripStax to enhance risk management support for travel management companies

Riskline’s travel intelligence technology will be integrated into the TripStax platform, providing real-time travel alerts to users

Canada: Global travel intelligence company, Riskline, today announced a new partnership with TripStax, a leading technology company that provides travel management companies (TMCs) and corporates with a modular stack of innovative business travel solutions.

The partnership will enrich TripStax’s duty of care and risk management support for customers by providing high-level travel risk data, including real-time human-verified intelligence. Riskline is one of the world’s leading travel risk insights companies leveraging professional analysts to process more than 100,000 data sources providing accurate and timely travel risk assessments. 

Riskline’s technology will be integrated with the TripStax Core, the central data processing engine that powers the TripStax ecosystem of ten cutting-edge modules. The Core will consume real-time risk intelligence data, alerts, and destination information and proactively determine how best to deploy that data within relevant connected TripStax modules such as Track, Approve, Docs, and Mobile. 

The unique connectivity of TripStax’s ecosystem of modules means that TMCs and corporate travel managers will receive immediate and actionable data regarding threats and incidents to traveller safety. For example, approval flows can be created and re-run within the TripStax Approve module based on immediate risk factors; accurate information can be populated within the TripStax Docs module to add status alerts to itineraries; proactive notifications can be sent to travellers via the TripStax Mobile; and vital information regarding travellers’ location can be instantly sourced within the Track module.

The global business travel market was worth approximately $986.7 billion CAD in 2020, according to data published by Allied Market Research, and is expected to grow by 188 percent by 2028. Meanwhile, travel is predicted to play a critical role in the Canadian economy, with expectations that Canada’s flight market will generate $18.1 billion CAD by 2029. As both commercial and business travel continues to expand, it is critical that TMCs can offer their customers reliable safety information and Riskline’s partnership with TripStax will help facilitate this. 

Commenting on the new partnership, Suzanne Sangiovese, Director of Travel and Technology at Riskline, said:

“We are really excited about the partnership and the new opportunities it offers us. By working with TripStax, our risk technology can be utilised by travel management companies and their customers, enabling them to travel with greater confidence.

David Chappell, Chief Product Officer at TripStax, added:

"We are absolutely delighted to have forged this new partnership with Riskline for the provision of risk information into our platforms. Considering that the provision of actionable information based on risk is at the top of many customers' agendas at the moment, the partnership comes at an important time. Ultimately, the travel industry needs more forward-thinking, open, and collaborative architectures and this agreement not only highlights our own desire to partner with the best in the industry but also is a blueprint of how two leading technologies can work together to create better experiences for our customers".

Website | Twitter  | LinkedIn  | YouTube

About Riskline
Riskline is a leading travel risk intelligence company in operation since 2007 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Riskline’s world-class information and analysis services are trusted by small businesses and Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries.  For further information please visit 

About TripStax
TripStax ( is an award-winning fully connected modular stack of proprietary business travel applications, powered by The TripStax Core, a profound central data processing architecture that consumes, enriches and manages all business traveller booking, profile and invoice data across the entire TripStax eco-system. TripStax is leading the charge for the iterative transformation that the business travel tech landscape needs, by changing how travel data is consumed, managed and utilised by TMCs and corporate travel managers. 

July 22, 2024
Global Business Travel Industry Spending Expected to Hit Record $1.48 Trillion in 2024

Boosted by economic stability, pent-up demand and recovery momentum, spending is projected to surpass $2 trillion by 2028 according to the latest GBTA Business Travel Index Report 

The business travel industry has proven itself resilient as it leaves the global pandemic behind and moves into a new era of post-pandemic stabilization. The forecast for 2024 predicts global business travel spending will reach $1.48 trillion USD by the end of the year, an increase on 2019 spending which was a previous record at $1.43 trillion. Additionally, by 2028, it is projected to exceed $2.0 trillion, highlighting a robust path ahead for the business travel sector in terms of spending. 

Relative stability in the global economy has continued to drive growth which, along with lingering pent-up demand, has provided reassurance for CEOs and CFOs to get their people back on the road for business meetings. Many top business travel markets around the world have returned to or are nearing pre-pandemic levels, reinforcing the momentum of the recovery and boosting spending. However, the outlook for economic and business travel growth presents a balance of both potential upside factors and downside risks.  

These are the top-level findings from the latest 2024 GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook – Annual Global Report and Forecast (“GBTA BTI™”) published by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and made possible by Visa

Unveiled onstage today at the GBTA Convention 2024 in Atlanta in front of more than 5,000 attendees, the 16th edition of the GBTA BTI™ is an annual exhaustive forecast of business travel spending and growth covering 72 countries and 44 industries. The GBTA BTI™ also includes survey data and analysis this year from 4,100 business travelers across five global regions, representing insights from employee travelers regarding their business travel preferences, behaviors and spending. 

“We are witnessing the expected rebound in the sector, reflecting the resilience and adaptability of businesses and the value of business travel worldwide,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO of GBTA. “With projected spending expected to continue to increase through 2028, the future of business travel looks promising. However, we must remain vigilant and adaptive to potential headwinds in this period of stabilization, as factors such as changing economic conditions, technological advancements and sustainability developments will also shape the sector ahead.” 

Global business travel spending is anticipated to increase 11.1% in 2024, after significant years in 2022 and 2023 of 30%-47% growth year over year. Growth is expected to continue to gradually moderate, resulting in an annual compound growth rate of 6.95% from 2025 to 2028. 

In 2023, the business travel industry had recovered approximately $675 billion of the $770 billion lost in 2020, according to GBTA BTI™ analysis, achieving 93% of the pre-pandemic peak of $1.43 trillion by the end of 2023. The sector experienced a significant resurgence in 2023, with spending growing by 30% compared to 2022, reaching $1.3 trillion. 

  • Global business travel spending is expected to recover to its pre-pandemic total of $1.48 trillion in 2024, fueled by more favorable economic conditions than expected in 2022 and 2023. (While recovery has been impressive, it is important to note that when adjusted for inflation, spending levels are anticipated to lag pre-pandemic highs over the coming years, implying that business travel volumes will remain below pre-pandemic levels as well.)
  • The estimated breakdown of the $1.34 trillion in 2023 business travel expenditures includes $501 billion for lodging, $282 billion for air travel, $245 billion for food and beverage, $165 billion for ground transportation and $142 billion for other travel expenses. 
  • Recovery in business travel continues to vary by region. Asia Pacific emerged as the fastest-growing region in 2023 (36%), followed by Western Europe (33%) and North America (25%). The recovery bounce back was led in 2023 by the U.S, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, all achieving 100% or more of 2019 spending numbers. For 2024, China and the U.S. are forecast to continue to lead as the top two markets, respectively, for overall business travel spending. 
  • Business travel spending also continues to differ across industries. The financial and insurance activities sector is projected to experience the most significant expansion (72%) in business travel spending through 2028. Conversely, the retail trade (41%) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (32%) sectors are anticipated to see the least growth during this period. 
  • With an optimistic outlook overall, there are factors that could impact business travel’s longer-term forecast. Persistent inflation, China’s slower recovery, geopolitical tensions, industry workforce challenges and incidence of natural disasters could result in shifts to the outlook. Increased focus on corporate sustainability also has the potential to impact the sector, demonstrating the vital importance of coordinated action across the industry for business travel’s future.  
  • Potential upside impacts for the business travel sector include ongoing economic stability, technological advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), and stronger-than-expected economic growth in key markets like the U.S. and India. 
  • GBTA’s survey of 4,100 business travelers across 28 countries and four regions (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America)revealed an increase in overall business travel, with international travel remaining below average. Sixty-four percent of business travelers globally report increased spending on business travel compared to 2023. However, over one-third (37%) say they have experienced more restrictive travel policies since pre-COVID. 
  • Business travelers globally estimate their own spending, on average, amounts to $834 per person based on their last business trip. Lodging accounts for $312, on average, and food and beverage is $153. Air travel averages $176 while ground transportation ($103) and miscellaneous expenses ($89) round out the total. 
  • A majority of survey respondents (81%) reported that their most recent business trip was very (46%) or moderately (35%) worthwhile in achieving their business objectives. When asked about their most recent business trip, the most common purpose of travel among all global business travelers is attending seminars/training followed by conventions/conferences.  
  • Compared to 2019, 76% of business travelers traveled the same or more for business travel. Those traveling more (28%) outpaced those who travel less (20%) over the same period. Although overall business travel has increased, both international and group travel remain, on average, lower than 2019 levels. Two-fifths (40%) of the trips taken are three-to-five-night stays, while two-night stays account for one-third (32%). Additionally, 58% said they extended work trips for leisure or vacation about the same (41%) or more frequently (17%) than previous. 
  • When asked about their greatest priorities while traveling for work, maximizing comfort (43%) and minimizing cost (41%) are on the same level globally, with 16% saying reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, European travelers (22%) are more likely to prioritize reducing their carbon footprint compared to other regions.  
  • When it comes to payment methods for business travel, nearly two-thirds (61%) of global business travelers across all regions are given a corporate credit card. Credit card utilization is significantly higher among North American business travelers, as nearly a third put 100% of their trip expenses on their corporate card. 
  • Three in five (59%) business travelers surveyed have uploaded their corporate credit card to a mobile wallet and approximately 87% report they use their mobile wallet for at least 10% of their business travel transactions. 

“As business travel spending continues to expand, digital payments will continue to revolutionize the travel experience, making it effortless and secure to book and manage expenses,” said Veronica Fernandez, head of Commercial Solutions for Visa. “Visa is at the forefront in enabling smooth and efficient transactions that keep business travelers moving seamlessly across borders and through cities, whether they’re negotiating deals or exploring new markets.” 

Download the Executive Summary here for the 2024 Business Travel Index Outlook report. GBTA members can exclusively access the full BTI™ report on the GBTA Hub.  

For information about GBTA Research or to inquire about historical GBTA BTI™ data for 2000-2028, reach out to 

Source: Global Business Travel Association

July 18, 2024
SITE’s Incentive Summit Americas goes to St. John’s Newfoundland

Adventures on the Edge SITE’s Incentive Summit Americas goes to St. John’s, Newfoundland

Chicago—Boutique by choice and intimate by design, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence’s (SITE) Incentive Summit Americas (ISA) drew 125 incentive travel professionals to St. John’s, Newfoundland, in Canada for four days of networking, education and destination immersion.

Hosted at the wonderful Alt Hotel St John’s, ISA built enduring relationships between incentive travel buyers and suppliers; provided thoughtful education with both personal and professional resonance; and showcased a destination that was brand-new to most attendees.

“SITE’s research has shown the top requirement for corporations and agencies utilizing incentive travel as part of their reward and recognition programs is selecting ‘destinations not used before.’ With this in mind, we identified St. John’s, Newfoundland, as a prime contender and collaborated with our partners at Destination Canada and Destination St. John’s to craft the perfect program. What unfolded at Canada’s Atlantic edge was a truly impactful travel experience that was unapologetically local and uncompromisingly authentic,” said SITE CEO Annette Gregg.

Destination St. John’s CEO Paul Buggé said, “Hosting so many talented incentive travel professionals dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences that motivate and inspire was a true pleasure. St. John's, with its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, offers the perfect setting for a transformative and memorable incentive experience."

Attendees had two mornings of education at the Signal Hill Campus of Memorial University. SITE’s CEO Annette Gregg presented “What’s in Store for ‘24” and then led a seaside chat and lively discussion on diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging with Jeffrey Fehr of Destination Canada.

On the second day, former MMA fighter turned humanitarian and philanthropist Justin Wren packed a powerful punch with his redemption story of a journey from hopelessness and despair in Mexico to meaning and purpose in the Congo.

Afternoon activities provided a range of immersive adventures on the edge, including an unforgettable helicopter flight over Newfoundland’s Irish loop, a whale and bird watching trip, an ocean safari, and two hiking options.

Delegates were left with a profound sense of the uniqueness of St. John’s and its potential as a compelling location for transformative incentive travel experiences.

Incentive Summit Americas 2025 will take place at the Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe, Vermont, from April 1–4.

For further information, including photography, please contact SITE's Head of Marketing Pádraic Gilligan, CIS, CITP, at

About the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) 
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 8% of all business event activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2023) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $116 billion globally.

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only business events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 3,000 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. We bring value to our members at both the global and local chapter level through networking, online resources, education, certification and advocacy.

About Destination St John’s
Destination St. John’s (DSJ) is a private nonprofit corporation operating under the direction of a Board of Directors on behalf of its partners. As a destination marketing organization (DMO), it is first and foremost a sales organization, selling tourism partners’ products, services, and experiences to the world. It currently targets major meetings, conventions and incentive travel, sport and cultural events, leisure travel and group tours.

As one of the five DMOs in the province, DSJ has a seat on the province-wide Tourism Industry Advisory Group. By playing an active role in the development and implementation of a long-term growth strategy for the tourism industry in the province, DSJ ensures that the views and aspirations of DSJ’s regional partners are reflected in that strategy.

For more information see
Contact: Paul Buggé, CEO, Destination St Johns,

July 17, 2024
Destinations International and TravelAbility Launch “Accessibility Playbook”

Comprehensive toolkit to make travel easier and better for people of all abilities

Washington, DC—Destinations International (DI), the world’s leading association representing destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), and TravelAbility, the leading conference and media company dedicated to making travel easier and more enjoyable for people with disabilities and the aging population, today launched the “Accessibility Playbook.” This comprehensive guide equips destinations and travel businesses to improve their accessibility and inclusion initiatives for travelers with disabilities.

Accessibility is a significant opportunity for the travel and tourism industry. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 billion people, or 16% of the global population, live with disabilities. Leisure and business travelers with disabilities continue to face many barriers related to travel, from initial travel research to visitation. Improved accessibility can make travel easier and better for people of all abilities, as well as benefit residents and local communities. 

Now available online for purchase by DI members, the Accessibility Playbook is a comprehensive resource containing technology recommendations, use-case scenarios, and data to inform accessibility strategy and decision. The Playbook includes more than 90 tips vetted by leading disability advocacy organizations, in addition to “TravelAbility Trusted” innovations, amenities, and a directory of third-party providers that can help destination organizations and travel businesses assess and scale existing accessibility efforts.

“Accessibility is a critical and growing focus for our members,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations Internation. “It’s important to visitors as well as residents, and a key component of a welcoming and thriving community. We’re delighted to have TravelAbility as our trusted partner in developing this invaluable resource to help destination organizations and travel businesses worldwide advance accessibility in their local communities.”

“This is a win-win for travel organizations and the millions of travelers who can benefit from more accessible and inclusive travel experiences,” said Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of TravelAbility. “TravelAbility is thrilled to partner with Destinations International to advance the cause of accessibility in the travel industry. What excites me the most is that this partnership opens the door to reaching more than 750 destinations worldwide to help them become more inclusive.”

For more information about this partnership or The Accessibility Playbook, contact Sophia Hyder Hock, Chief Inclusion Officer, Destinations International, at, or Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of TravelAbility, at

About Destinations International
Destinations International is the world’s largest and most trusted resource for destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. With more than 7,000 members and partners from over 750 destinations, the association represents a powerful forward-thinking and collaborative community around the world. For more information, visit

About TravelAbility
TravelAbility provides thought leadership in accessible travel to improve the lives of people at ALL abilities and ALL ages and aims to inspire and educate the travel industry to provide accessible experiences to help people with disabilities enjoy travel as much as everyone else. For more information, visit

July 16, 2024
Costa Sur Resort, Classico Collection by Sonesta Opens in Puerto Vallarta

Newton, MA—Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta) today announced the opening of Costa Sur Resort, Classico Collection by Sonesta. The 206-room, upper-upscale property is located on a private beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Banderas Bay, south of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The resort sits atop a protected lagoon and is minutes away from local attractions, including The Malecón boardwalk, The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Zona Romántica (Old Vallarta), and Rio Cuale Island.

“The opening of Costa Sur Resort, Classico Collection by Sonesta is significant for Sonesta as it is our first property in Mexico,” said Keith Pierce, Sonesta’s EVP and President Franchise & Development. “Operating as the second Classico, a soft brand launched in 2023, this hotel underscores Sonesta’s continued global expansion with a particular focus in the LATAM region and a spectacular new location at which our loyalty members can redeem Sonesta Travel Pass points.”

Classico, positioned in the upper-upscale segment, blends local authenticity with global appeal. Each Classico location has a distinct identity and offers signature local cuisine, traditional high-touch service and refined interiors. The result is a unique, inviting experience that welcomes guests to immerse themselves in each destination.

Costa Sur Resort, Classico Collection by Sonesta guests will be eligible to earn or redeem points as members of the award-winning Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program.

Sonesta is one of the fastest-growing hospitality companies in the U.S., currently ranked 8th by Smith Travel Research (STR) with 1,100 properties totaling 100,000 guest rooms across 13 brands in eight countries. You will find nearly 300 hotels under one of Sonesta’s seven brands – Royal Sonesta ; Sonesta Hotels & Resorts ; Sonesta Select ; Sonesta ES Suites ; Sonesta Simply Suites ; Sonesta Posadas del Inca ; Sonesta Cruise Collection – operating in the U.S., Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Peru, and St. Maarten.

July 16, 2024
Destination Toronto announces 2024-2025 Board of Directors

Toronto—Destination Toronto today announced its Board of Directors for the coming year. The 2024-2025 Board includes five new board members: Angela Lawrence, Chief Culture Officer, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group; Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo; Nick Di Donato, President & CEO, Liberty Entertainment Group; R.J. Steenstra, CEO, Ports Toronto; and, Tuesday Johnson-MacDonald, President, TAP Resources.

“Toronto has a highly-engaged and passionate community and it was wonderful to see the strong response to our call for board nominations,” said Rekha Khote, Board Chair of Destination Toronto. “Angela, Dolf, Nick, R.J. and Tuesday bring diversity of thought, background and experience to Destination Toronto’s Board of Directors, which has been thoughtfully assembled to represent a cross-section of tourism and hospitality businesses and a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Under the board’s guidance, Toronto’s visitor economy is well positioned for growth and full recovery.” 

Destination Toronto’s Board of Directors for 2024-2025:

  • Rekha Khote (Chair), CEO, MK2 Hospitality
  • Trevor Lui (Vice Chair), Co-founder, Quell; Principal, Highbell Hospitality Group 
  • Bonnie Strome (Secretary Treasurer), General Manager, Park Hyatt Toronto
  • Andy Loges (Past Chair), Area General Manager, Canada East & Ohio, Hilton Toronto
  • Angela Lawrence, Chief Culture Officer, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group
  • Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo
  • Don Boyle, CEO, Exhibition Place
  • Edwin Frizzell, Regional Vice-President, Accor Hotels Central Canada; General Manager, Fairmont Royal York
  • Jesse Kumagai, President & CEO, The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall
  • Marguerite Pigott, Film Commissioner & Director of Entertainment Industries, Economic Development & Culture, City of Toronto
  • Nick Di Donato, President & CEO, Liberty Entertainment Group
  • RJ Steenstra, President & CEO, PortsToronto
  • Ron Pellerine, Interim President & CEO, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • Sara Anghel, President & CEO, Greater Toronto Hotel Association
  • Shelley Carroll, Toronto’s Budget Chief & City Councillor for Ward 17 - Don Valley North | Mayor’s Economic Development & Culture Champion
  • Tim Reardon, Area General Manager, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
  • Tuesday Johnson-MacDonald, President, TAP Resources
  • Wayne Zronik, President, Business Operations, Live Nation Canada

Destination Toronto’s Annual General Meeting held this past June included a presentation of the five-year visitor economy study Economic Impact of Visitors in Toronto and a presentation of the 2023 Annual Report. In 2023, Toronto saw 26.5 million travellers spend over $8 billion and drive more than $12 billion in overall economic activity.

About Destination Toronto
Toronto’s visitor economy is a vital economic engine for the city, generating $8.4 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 

July 16, 2024
Miles Partnership and Destinations International Unveil the Wayfinder, the First Industry-Led, Evidence-Based Framework for Destination Stewardship

Destination Queenstown, LA Tourism and 4 Vancouver Island Advance Stewardship Capabilities as Prototype Destinations for the Wayfinder

Sarasota, Fla./CNW/—Leading tourism organizations, including Destination Queenstown, Los Angeles Tourism and 4 Vancouver Island (4VI) are advancing the industry's stewardship commitments and capabilities by serving as prototype destinations for the newly released Wayfinder. Launching at Destinations International's 2024 Annual Convention in Tampa, FL, the Wayfinder, powered by Miles Partnership, provides the first, industry-led, evidence-based framework for destination stewardship. This year's premier gathering of travel and tourism leaders underscores the critical role of destination organizations in fostering community engagement, resilience and stewardship.

The Wayfinder offers a clear path for destination organizations to create and advance stewardship strategies.

Built within a tried and tested SaaS platform, the Wayfinder offers a clear path for destination organizations to create and advance stewardship strategies. The purpose-built software will transform destination management, allowing tourism organizations and stewardship consultants to streamline operations and dedicate resources to the areas that matter most to destinations and the communities they serve. With a shared interest in improving community engagement and the overall well-being of destinations, the Wayfinder's strategic partnership with Destinations International will propel industry-wide efforts to adopt a unified destination stewardship approach.

"Currently, there is no common or shared definition of what destination stewardship is, where to start, or what best practices look like," says Karin Mast, Senior Vice President of Miles Partnership. "The Wayfinder will change that. It was created by the industry, for the industry to help destination organizations define where they are now and plan for where they want to be. It's grounded in collaboration and global best practices, so tourism organizations can better balance the needs of their communities and visitors alike."

The Wayfinder gives organizations the ability to self-assess against a robust framework based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Destination Criteria and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Beyond economic indicators, tourism organizations have been unable to sufficiently measure or benchmark stewardship outcomes. The Wayfinder offers a visible understanding of an organization's capability across four stewardship outcomes: (1) Economic Prosperity, (2) Environmental Preservation and Ecological Balance, (3) Social Well-Being and (4) Identification and Preservation of Culture and Heritage.

The framework was created and workshopped extensively with the Global Stewardship Innovation Lab, a group of thought leaders, stewardship practitioners and researchers across the tourism sector with a diverse mix of ethnicity, culture, gender and thinking.

"This is a transformational shift in the way we approach tourism," says Adam Burke, President and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism and a contributor to the Wayfinder's Global Stewardship Innovation Lab. "We've had in-depth discussions with travel and tourism leaders about the serious challenges we're facing, and it's clear that they can only be solved through ongoing collaboration and collective impact. By adopting an industry-wide approach to destination stewardship utilizing a common, globally accepted framework, we have the power to create lasting, positive impacts for our communities for generations to come."

"We're proud to partner with the Wayfinder and share this new technology with the industry at our Annual Convention," says Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. "Effective community engagement and understanding is critical to the work we do as tourism leaders. Whether a destination is dealing with real or perceived issues of 'over tourism' or other negative community impacts, a shift in how we engage residents and local stakeholders will protect the future of destinations. Together, we can address key systemic challenges faced by destination organizations worldwide and drive the industry forward at scale."

Since the pandemic, destinations are re-evaluating how to harness the power of tourism for the benefit of both community and visitors. Miles Partnership has supported research with more than 300 destination organizations in North America and Europe that shows most residents do not feel included or involved in how tourism is developed or managed in their community, with less than 1 in 5 destination organizations reporting the contrary. Evolving social, cultural, environmental and economic priorities are compelling tourism organizations to become more engaged advocates. This requires them to expand their role—well beyond the traditional destination promotion scope of the past—to a community-centered approach.

"A focus on economic growth only, whether it be through visitor volume or 'heads on beds' is changing to now consider the impact of that growth on the community, the environment and the culture of a place," says Sarah O'Donnell, Marketing and Communications Director of Destination Queenstown. "A true destination stewardship approach encompasses your entire community, including residents, tourism businesses and a wide range of stakeholders. We're thrilled to partner with the Wayfinder. Its tools and resources are helping us identify areas of opportunity and growth."

"There's a common saying in the tourism industry that 'a great place to live is a great place to visit,'" says Anthony Everett, President and CEO of 4VI. "Yet, unfortunately, a great place to visit is not always a great place to live. As the first destination management organization to operate as a social enterprise, Vancouver Island is on a mission to ensure that travel remains a force for good by reinvesting surplus revenue into local social impact projects. With the Wayfinder, we can ground conversations with our community and key stakeholders on shared priority areas. This helps us center the needs of communities and residents in our tourism initiatives."

Once destinations are using the Wayfinder, the first sector-wide data will show trends, gaps and opportunities for how the sector can support building vibrant and flourishing communities. The Wayfinder is another example of Miles Partnership's investment in research, strategy, innovation and technology to develop solutions that empower the tourism industry.

A special thanks to the Global Stewardship Innovation Lab.

About the Wayfinder
The Wayfinder is an industry-led, evidence-based destination management framework built around a tried and tested SaaS platform, guiding destination organizations through a continuous improvement pathway that measures, monitors and improves destination stewardship capability and outcomes. The Wayfinder is transforming destination management, allowing tourism organizations to strengthen their role in stewardship and accelerate the pace of change for destinations and the communities they represent. Learn more at

About Miles Partnership
Miles Partnership is a strategic marketing consultancy focused exclusively on travel and tourism. The company works with more than 150 destinations, hospitality businesses and other travel industry clients worldwide to develop marketing and management strategies that amplify local experiences, boost visitation, improve community relations and increase overall economic impact. Learn more at

About Destinations International
Destinations International is the world's largest and most trusted resource for destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. With more than 7,000 members and partners from over 750 destinations, the association represents a powerful forward-thinking and collaborative community around the world. For more information, visit

July 09, 2024
New SITE research reveals insider insights from corporate planners on incentive travel trends for 2024 and beyond

Chicago—The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is thrilled to announce the launch of its latest research project, aimed at providing unparalleled insights into the evolving landscape of incentive travel and motivational events.

SITE's new snapshot report, "Incentive Travel & Motivational Events," dives into the current trends, challenges, and opportunities faced by corporate planners who are at the forefront of designing impactful incentive experiences. 

This comprehensive study, supported by Hilton, reflects the perspectives of nearly 100 global corporate event organizers and promises to be a crucial resource for industry professionals.

SITE CEO Annette Gregg emphasizes the importance of this research in her statement: “In today’s dynamic and rapidly changing event landscape, staying informed through data-driven insights is more critical than ever. Our latest study offers a detailed view of what’s on the minds of industry professionals who are responsible for creating memorable and effective incentive travel programs. We are proud to partner with Hilton to bring this invaluable information to our members and industry colleagues.”

The study covers a range of topics, including destination selection criteria, planners’ educational backgrounds, and key factors influencing the success of incentive events. It also highlights preferred partnerships and collaboration strategies that lead to the best outcomes for these events.

Kim Napolitano, Executive Director, Industry Relations & Intermediary Group Sales for Hilton, shares her enthusiasm for the project: “At Hilton, we recognize the critical role that incentive travel plays in driving motivation and business success. Supporting actionable research like this is a cornerstone of our commitment to the incentive industry. We believe that informed, data-driven insights are essential for strategic decision-making and planning. This report provides a comprehensive view of current trends and challenges, and we hope it serves as a valuable resource for planners and suppliers alike.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Destination selection: safety, health, and security are now as crucial as destination appeal and infrastructure.
  • Professional development: a significant portion of planners have over a decade of experience, highlighting the depth of expertise in the industry.
  • Partnerships: DMCs and hotel representatives are seen as vital partners, more so than local affiliate offices.

The full report is available for download on, and the organization encourages feedback and discussions to continue shaping the future of the incentive travel industry.

About SITE
The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only global network dedicated to linking professionals in the incentive travel and motivational events industry with the insights and connections they need to improve their business results. With over 2,000 members in 90 countries, SITE provides research, education, and networking opportunities that help members grow their careers and their businesses.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 24 world-class brands comprising more than 7,600 properties and nearly 1.2  million rooms, in 126 countries and territories.

Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed over 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, was named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune, and has been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for seven consecutive years. Hilton has introduced industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the nearly 190 million Hilton Honors 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.   

This press release marks an exciting development in SITE's ongoing commitment to advancing the incentive travel industry through research and collaboration.

July 09, 2024
Iberostar Beachfront Resorts Unveils New Hotel Branding Approach
  • Iberostar Waves, Iberostar Selection and JOIA by Iberostar are the three new brand segments all with Iberostar's dedication to quality, service and its strong social and environmental commitment. 
  • Enables customers to select the hotels, experiences, and services that best suit their beachfront holiday aspirations.

Palma de Mallorca—Iberostar Beachfront Resorts today announces an important evolution of its brand identity and hotel portfolio segmentation. This development reinforces the company’s commitment to creating happy and memorable holiday experiences for its customers. The updated approach is embedded with five strategic pillars: Exceptional Quality, Effortless Experiences, Service with Heart, Moments that Matter and Sustainably Positive.

Three brand segments have been carefully designed to help customers find the most suitable hotel, experiences, and services for their beachfront vacation needs: 

  • Iberostar Waves: playful, open and reassuring, ideal for families and active beach-bound couples. 
  • Iberostar Selection: offering generous, relaxed and uplifting holiday experiences, ideal for premium-loving families and couples. 
  • JOIA by Iberostar: a luxurious collection of resorts offering personalized service, exquisitely delivered.

Phil Mc Aveety, CEO of Iberostar Hotels & Resorts said:  “We are excited to share this Brand evolution, reflecting our aspirations for the future. We are in the business of "Creating Happy and Memorable Holiday Experiences". This renewed promise to our guests is supported by a refreshed segmentation of our portfolio and an evolution of our brand identity. Informed by invaluable feedback from our partners, our loyal guests and employees, this realignment reflects our purpose: To Champion Positive Change through Positive Tourism”. 

The new segmentation will be rolled out across the portfolio over the next few months. Iberostar Waves Gaviotas Park (Fuerteventura) will be the first opening of the chain's Iberostar Waves segment this August; JOIA Aruba by Iberostar, the company's first resort on the Caribbean island, is scheduled to open later this year and will become the flagship of the JOIA segment. The new approach is already visible in some of the company's latest openings, such as the Iberostar Selection Creta Marine hotel on the Greek island. 

Note to editor: Link to video and images.

Source: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts 

July 09, 2024
Montréal crowned top city in the Americas for international meetings by the Union of International Associations (UIA)

Montreal/CNW/—Montréal ranks at the top again! For the seventh consecutive year, the Union of International Associations (UIA) has named Montréal the top city in the Americas for international meetings.

This recognition comes just weeks after Montréal was named the best destination for international association events in North America by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

Montréal's international standing as a premier city for organizing conferences and meetings is the result of the collaborative efforts of Tourisme Montréal, the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and all stakeholders involved in the development of business tourism.

"These accolades are a source of great pride and reflect the outstanding work done by our teams to attract and host conferences and business meetings in our city. I am confident that we will continue to excel in these rankings and develop business tourism, which represents not only an economic opportunity but also the beneficial sharing of scientific knowledge for future generations," said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

"This recognition speaks to Tourisme Montréal's and the Palais's unwavering commitment to providing an exceptional experience. Beyond the economic, intellectual, and social benefits, it is Montréal's creativity, open-mindedness, and expertise that continue to shine globally," said Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

Montréal also ranks among the top 20 cities worldwide hosting the most international association meetings. In 2023, after hosting over 8,000 meetings, the UIA placed Montréal ahead of cities such as Washington, Toronto, Buenos Aires, and Mexico.

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

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.

SOURCE Tourisme Montréal

For further information: For media inquiries: Aurélie de Blois, Corporate communications, public and media relations, Tourisme Montréal, 514 918-5290,; Sébastien Zickgraf, Advisor and Writer, Communications and Public Affairs, Palais des congrès de Montréal,

July 09, 2024
Marriott International Launches ‘Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy’ To Ease Travel Management Process for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

Marriott International today announced the launch of Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy™ (“the Program”), a comprehensive online travel booking program designed as a direct channel for small to medium-sized businesses. The Program combines an expanded booking experience with benefits and rewards available only through Marriott Bonvoy’s award-winning travel program and portfolio of brands. Starting today, Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy is available to small to medium-sized businesses based in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America and is anticipated to expand to other regions.

According to a global survey commissioned by Marriott Bonvoy® and conducted by Wakefield Research among business travelers at small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Mexico,1 75% report experiencing frustrations with their travel booking platforms. 56% say they are difficult to use, 27% are unhappy with the inability to book travel and hotels from the same place, and more than a quarter (27%) express disappointment with the platforms’ lack of integration with their travel expense programs. In fact, 58% are so unwilling to work within their current programs that they would rather ask for forgiveness than permission for booking outside their companies’ travel management platforms.

With Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy, companies have the ability to book hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio at a discounted rate, as well as flights, rail, and rental cars, within one easy-to-use multilingual tool. The Program includes additional features that satisfy business needs, such as access to live traveler data, real-time reporting, and expense management.

“We recognize the significant value small businesses provide to the hotel industry, which is why we’re excited to combine the benefits of our award-winning travel program with a comprehensive suite of tools in Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy,” said Drew Pinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue and Technology Officer, Marriott International. “Whether small to medium-sized businesses are looking for convenient online booking capabilities for their employees or better expense management solutions, the all-in-one platform, merged with our portfolio of hotel brands around the world, provides everything they need to manage their business travel needs.”

With a seamless experience at every step, companies can now take their travel to the next level and benefit from the following features:

  • Discounted Marriott Bonvoy Rates and Awards: Small to medium-sized businesses that join Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy will be eligible to select a discount at hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio around the world (subject to availability) while earning points for future stays at participating hotels, room upgrades, and more. Participating businesses can also receive Marriott Bonvoy Elite status awards after certain companywide usage thresholds are reached. These status awards can be gifted to employees, who can enjoy the benefits that each Marriott Bonvoy Elite status level provides to members.

Small businesses that have the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card from Chase are also invited to apply for Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy. All Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card Members who join the Program can continue to enjoy the benefits of their Cards.

  • Elevated Shopping Experience: The online booking tool serves as a one-stop shop for small to medium-sized business travelers to compare, book, manage, and change Marriott Bonvoy hotel, flight, rail, and car rental reservations all within one integrated platform that supports compliance with their companies’ travel policies.
  • Customizable Travel Policies: Travel managers can take control of their companies’ travel policies and ensure compliance with spending limits. From setting clear guidelines for their unique needs to managing expenses, the self-service tool makes it easy for managers to make changes.
  • Global Travel Policy Management and Reporting: Real-time analytics empower managers with detailed insights on travel spend, sustainability reporting and behavior so they can make policy adjustments.
  • Traveler Health and Safety Monitoring: The travel insights tool gives managers the ability to monitor the well-being and safety of employees on the move. Managers can view interactive maps to stay informed of potential disruptions and proactively mitigate risks, helping keep teams safe and their businesses running smoothly.
  • Expense Management Solutions: Businesses that sign up for Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy will have the option to use an expense management tool. Travelers can choose to integrate the Program with existing expense management platforms and submit payments with virtual credit card They can also automate expense reports based on set policies, making it easy for managers to approve and reconcile expenses.
  • Access to Marriott Bonvoy Benefits: Employees of small and medium-sized businesses who join Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy will have full access to the offerings of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s award-winning travel program and marketplace. Members can take advantage of benefits such as member rates, free breakfast, late checkout, mobile check-in, mobile keys, and mobile chat on the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app, free in-room Wi-Fi, room upgrades and more, subject to availability. Additionally, members can earn points at properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy globally and enjoy free stays by redeeming points or a combination of points and cash or use points to bid on Marriott Bonvoy Moments® experiences.

Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy is powered by Spotnana, a Travel-as-a-Service platform modernizing the infrastructure of the travel industry.

For more information on Business Access by Marriott Bonvoy or to apply for the Program, visit

1 The Marriott Business Travelers Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between May 22 and May 29, 2024, among 1,500 business travelers at small to medium-sized companies in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Mexico, with “business travelers” defined as those taking a business-related trip requiring an overnight stay in the past 12 months, using an email invitation and an online survey. “Small companies” are defined as those with fewer than 1,000 employees, and “midsize companies” are defined as those with 1,000-4,999 employees.

Source: Marriott International

July 09, 2024
The Parkside Hotel & Spa Now a Signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism

Leading the Way in Sustainable Tourism and Climate Action

Victoria, BC/CNW/—The Parkside Hotel & Spa announced today that it has become a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. This significant milestone marks The Parkside Hotel & Spa's unwavering commitment to aligning its operations with global scientific recommendations and international agreements to combat climate change.

The Glasgow Declaration is a unified call to action for all stakeholders within the travel and tourism sector to address the urgent need for climate action collaboratively. It encourages a shared commitment to reducing emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieving Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

By signing the Glasgow Declaration, The Parkside Hotel & Spa joins a global network of tourism leaders dedicated to a shared vision of climate action. The hotel will develop and implement climate action plans within 12 months, aligned with the five pathways of the Declaration—Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate and Finance. Additionally, the hotel will ensure transparency and accountability by publicly reporting progress annually while fostering a collaborative spirit, working with other signatories to share best practices, solutions and information to accelerate the tourism sector's response to the climate emergency.

"The Parkside Hotel & Spa is honoured to join the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism," said General Manager Trina White. "This commitment reflects our dedication to sustainable practices and our belief in the collective power of the tourism sector to drive meaningful change. We are excited to collaborate with our peers to achieve a sustainable future."

The Parkside Hotel & Spa is dedicated to promoting a sustainable urban way of life, actively seeking and implementing eco-friendly measures to improve the guest experience while striving to minimize the property's environmental footprint.

As a carbon-neutral, all-suite hotel, accommodations at The Parkside feature fully equipped kitchens and kitchenettes, washers and dryers, private balconies, gas fireplaces, separate sleeping areas and plenty of space to relax and unwind. Amenities include various meeting and event spaces, a wellness centre (featuring an onsite spa, 25-metre indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness centre), a private movie theatre, a rooftop patio with fire pits, along with Tre Fantastico Bistro. Uniquely Parkside—and fondly referred to as the hotel's heart—the atrium is home to hundreds of plant species and koi. 

The Parkside Hotel & Spa is a member of the Beyond Green collection. Learn more by visiting

Guided by a passion for embracing travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of planet Earth's most sustainable hotels. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges based on their commitment to delivering on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Travel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands, including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit  

SOURCE The Parkside Hotel & Spa Ltd.

July 08, 2024
Liberty Entertainment Group recognized with 2024 Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards across all properties

-- New awards to DaNico and Blue Bovine, repeat awards for Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, BlueBlood Steakhouse and Cibo Wine Bars --

Toronto, ON—Liberty Entertainment Group is proud to announce that all its restaurant properties have been honored for their outstanding wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2024 Restaurant Awards, which celebrate the world’s best restaurants for wine. Launched in 1981, the Restaurant Awards represent the world’s only program focused exclusively on restaurant wine service. Offering meticulously curated wine lists, deep-rooted connections with winemakers and more, each award winner shows a commitment to exceptional wine and dining experiences. 

This year, Liberty Group’s newest properties, award-winning Danico and Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House  both earned the coveted Best Of Excellence Awards. Best of Excellence Award recipients are noted for displaying excellent breadth across multiple winegrowing regions and/or significant vertical depth of top producers, along with superior presentation.

Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto, the Michelin-starred fine dining jewel in Liberty Group’s crown, has also once again received the Best of Award of Excellence, in addition to the company’s award-winning BlueBlood Steakhouse, located in Toronto’s historic landmark, Casa Loma. 

The company’s three locations of Cibo Wine Bar (Yonge Street, Yorkville and King Street West) featuring handmade, rustic Italian cuisine in a relaxed, modern setting, were again named with the Award of Excellence, recognizing restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu, in both price and style.

“We are thrilled to be celebrated for our comprehensive wine programs across all properties by Wine Spectator, the world’s leading authority on wine,” said Nick Di Donato, president and CEO, Liberty Entertainment Group. “These respected awards underscore our commitment to offering the very best in international wine pairings for our different menus, and also reinforce our ongoing dedication to providing exceptional world-class dining experiences here in Toronto.”

About Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (, mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter. Follow the Restaurant Awards onInstagram (@wsrestaurantawards), with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward, and at, where all winners can be searched by location and sorted by attributes including name, proximity, award level, cuisine and pricing. Winners are also profiled in the free Restaurant Awards app, available for iPhone and iPad users. 

About Liberty Entertainment Group
For over three decades the Liberty Entertainment Group -- led by Nick Di Donato -- has redefined Toronto’s restaurant, nightlife and special event experience. As developers and operators of numerous landmark establishments, the company is recognized as one of the most successful and innovative in the industry. It continues to achieve success for its impressive roster of venues including Toronto’s premier special event facilities, Casa Loma and Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. Liberty Entertainment Group is also responsible for the development of Toronto’s most prolific restaurants including BlueBlood Steakhouse, Don Alfonso 1890, DaNico, three Cibo Wine Bar locations (King West, Yonge St and Yorkville) and Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House at Union Station. With over 500,000 square feet of hospitality space, the company caters to a diverse clientele of upwards of 1.75 million people per year including A-list celebrities, sports personalities and industry leaders. Visit and on social media @libertygroup #libertygroup.

Media: For more information, additional visuals, video or to arrange an interview with Liberty Entertainment Group president and CEO, Nick Di Donato, contact Susan Willemsen at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: 416-461-1567. M: 416-402-4880. Email:

July 03, 2024
Introducing LANO: A New Cafe + Wine Bar Concept in the Heart of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto

Opening September 2024, LANO introduces morning to night concept in the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, establishing a new destination for hospitality in the city 

Toronto, ON—The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, the esteemed five-star luxury hotel renowned for its unparalleled hospitality, is thrilled to announce the grand opening of LANO, a captivating cafe and wine bar nestled within the elegant confines of the hotel's lobby. Set to debut in September 2024 and introducing a venue that seamlessly embodies the essence of northern Italian charm, LANO, the latest addition to The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, promises to enrich the hotel's culinary experience. This innovative concept marks a pivotal moment in The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto’s journey, symbolizing its commitment to redefining luxury experiences and hospitality for its clientele as part of an overall hotel refresh, including a newly designed lobby, that will be unveiled with the opening of LANO.

LANO, a contraction of Milano, pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of Northern Italy in a cafe and wine bar setting. An authentic Northern Italian experience will be led by the expertise of Ignatius Prinsloo, Executive Sous Chef and Alessandro Panattoni, Chef de Cuisine (who hails from the region), meticulously sourcing Italian ingredients and with a commitment to authenticity, freshness, and quality. From morning to night, guests will be transported to the bustling cafes of Milan or Turin, engaging their senses from the aroma of freshly brewed espresso to the last sip of wine.

LANO’s menu is thoughtfully crafted to evolve seamlessly throughout the day, offering a diverse array of culinary delights paired with a unique selection of 30 Italian wines, and also features traditional Italian cocktails. Whether it's a quick grab-and-go espresso and pastry, a leisurely lunch featuring salads and antipasti, or a pre-theatre rendezvous for a glass of wine, there's something to satisfy every palate at LANO.
“LANO is a testament to our team's dedication to constantly create unique and authentic experiences for our guests, inspired by storytelling and delivered through service, design and craftsmanship,” said Guillaume Benezech, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. “LANO's varied offering and inviting atmosphere will enhance our existing culinary options, meeting the expectations of both our local community and hotel guests.”

Designed by leading design firm CHAPI CHAPO DESIGN, the design inspiration for LANO was drawn from the rich cultural tapestry that defines the city of Milan. The design inspiration was also drawn from both the physical insights of the property's location and the social insights of its refined glamour. Situated in a city known for its vibrant culture and lush green spaces, the hotel's design incorporates elements that reflect Toronto's unique blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto boasts a beautiful park-like back terrace complemented by a park in the front, enhancing its ambiance as a city within a park and a hotel within a park. These natural retreats offer havens amidst the city's noise and bustling energy.

"We envisioned a chic culinary stop that seamlessly fits into the fast-paced lifestyle of the city. The design draws inspiration from European aesthetics, offering a refined atmosphere where guests can enjoy a quick yet delightful experience,” said Tatiana Sheveleva, Partner of CHAPI CHAPO DESIGN. “Every element has been carefully selected to enhance a quick dining experience,” continued Loris Ognibene, Project Director. “From the delicate lighting to the sleek furniture, our goal was to design a space that feels approachable and timeless, much like Toronto itself."

LANO is set to join The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto’s current lineup of culinary destinations including TOCA and EPOCH Bar + Kitchen Terrace, and will open in September 2024. 

For more information visit:

About The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto: In downtown Toronto, a hotel that embodies luxury with five-star amenities, attentive service and access to top attractions. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto embraces the cosmopolitan edge of the city alongside its luxury heritage to offer an elegant escape in the heart of downtown. Here, guests can explore different cuisines at TOCA and EPOCH Bar & Kitchen Terrace, or be pampered at Spa myBlend and enjoy locally inspired experiences in The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge. Toronto’s biggest attractions, shopping, restaurants, nightlife and an array of diverse neighbourhoods, await just outside. 

Media Contacts:

Nathan Marchio
Vice-President, Hospitality 

Jessica Mallett
Account Director 

Billie Thompson
Account Coordinator

July 02, 2024
Amrit Ocean Resort, Florida’s Newest Luxury Wellness Destination, Sets New Standard for Oceanfront Meetings and Event Spaces

Palm Beach, FL—Amrit Ocean Resort, the newly opened beachfront wellness resort on Palm Beach County’s Singer Island, introduces unparalleled meeting and event spaces that offer transformative experiences, thanks to a one-of-a-kind approach to wellness rooted in restorative modalities that blend Eastern philosophy with Western luxury. With 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and nearly 3.5 acres of flexible oceanfront outdoor space, including 300 feet of private shoreline, the resort is ready to host groups, special events and weddings for customized experiences, retreats and packages designed for mindful gatherings.

Spanning seven beachfront acres along the Atlantic Ocean, enhanced by sand dunes and wildlife preservation areas, this revolutionary next-generation property, managed by Highgate, anchors all offerings in five core pillars of wellness: mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, relaxation and sleep. These guiding principles inspire every aspect of the guest experience, from the transformative Amrit Wellness & Spa, 103,000 square feet of wellness and spa facilities spanning four floors, to 155 wellness-inspired guest rooms and five distinct dining concepts. The resort’s meeting and event spaces and programming also reflect this philosophy, ensuring a holistic experience for guests as they embark on a journey toward improved physical, emotional and mental well-being. Guests can choose from a variety of traditional spa and integrated wellness treatments, including ashiatsu and shiatsu massages, reiki experiences, reflexology, manual lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral therapy, myofascial release, facials, flotation therapy, acupuncture, sound wave therapy, plus color and light therapy. Amrit’s state-of-the-art fitness center features a 3,500-square-foot main cardio studio equipped with Matrix equipment, along with six additional breakout studios for group fitness and wellness classes such as yoga, meditation, mat Pilates, indoor cycling, barre, movement and cardio.

“In an effort to embrace a healthy lifestyle and conduct business from a more centered place, Amrit event attendees have full access to our resort’s state-of-the-art bespoke wellness programming,” said Reggie Cooper, general manager of Amrit Ocean Resort. “Enhance your meeting or event with our integrated health offerings, including thorough, targeted health assessments in personal wellness, nutrition, Bio-Well energy flow, metabolic fitness and more, conducted by on-site certified experts who assist guests in creating their personal wellness roadmap.”

Conceptualized by interior design firm Bilkey Llinas Design, Amrit’s event spaces are meticulously designed to evoke feelings of peace and tranquility while ensuring functionality and seamless flow. Upon entering Amrit’s lobby, guests can descend to the event spaces through designated elevators or the grand spiral staircase adorned by a stunning chandelier. At the heart of the event spaces is the Hibiscus Foyer, an inviting space abundant in natural light and embellished with “floating” glass pendants that create the illusion of being in a lantern garden. Custom-made Thai carpeting features colors and patterns reminiscent of the ocean, waves and sand, while natural wood accents and textured walls pay homage to the serene shores of Singer Island. The thoughtful design ensures exclusivity with several private rooms for breakout sessions and direct access to the meeting spaces directly from the guest rooms.

Amrit’s 10,000 square feet of indoor meeting space includes five main areas: 

  • Adjacent to the Hibiscus Foyer lies the property’s premier ballroom, Hibiscus, which is sure to be revered as the crown jewel of ballrooms in Palm Beach County. Set against the backdrop of an enchanting tropical escape, the space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, flooding the space with natural light. Spanning 4,300 square feet, Hibiscus also has direct access to a terrace, facilitating effortless transitions for guests between indoor and outdoor spaces. Hibiscus can accommodate more than 300 guests, making it an ideal choice for large corporate events and weddings.
  • The 860-square-foot Lotus Room boasts floor to ceiling windows plus direct access to TAAZA, the hotel’s beachside restaurant. This arrangement offers endless possibilities for indoor-outdoor events with seamless flow between spaces. It fits 30 guests for a theater setup and 22 for a boardroom-style setup. 
  • Jasmine Room features 800 square feet of meeting space that can hold 90 guests in a theater setup and 28 in a boardroom table. 
  • Magnolia Room is a 660-square-foot meeting room that can accommodate a theater setup for 80 guests or a boardroom-style meeting for 24. 
  • Iris Room is 485 square feet and can hold a 40-guest theater setup or an intimate 16-guest boardroom meeting. 

Aligned with Amrit’s health and wellness ethos, the resort’s culinary team, overseen by Chef Simon Apollonio, offers menus that promote health, vitality and balanced nutrition with the option for customization according to each event’s needs. Amrit also provides state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities in partnership with SNS Staging, ensuring the smooth execution of presentations and events. For organizations looking to host corporate retreats, Amrit Ocean Resort also offers a proprietary Personal Wellness Support System (PWSS), a revolutionary, one-of-a-kind patented wellness platform that provides guests with a wholly personalized wellness experience and coaching before, during and after their stay.

“We truly are a Singer Island sanctuary redefining wellness and luxury, providing a transformational journey for event, meeting and wedding attendees with a multilayered approach to wellness, work-life balance and productivity that elevates the mind, body and spirit,” continues Cooper. “Start out with morning movement, including fitness, yoga, meditation or a walk on the beach, followed by breakout sessions in nature, a healthy lunch, fresh juice and mocktails before unwinding in our world-class spa, which includes a 1,200-square-foot hammam and a 40,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor Aayush hydrotherapy circuit.”

In honor of Amrit’s recent opening, the resort is offering an incentive where group guests can receive a $100 resort credit per guest, per stay to use toward on-site dining or wellness and spa offerings. Groups must book by December 31, 2024 in order to take advantage of this offer.

Just a 20-minute drive from Palm Beach International Airport and less than 60 miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Amrit offers easy access via shared rides and other car services. Additionally, the resort is within 20 minutes of the West Palm Beach Brightline station, which serves the high-speed passenger train linking Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Aventura and Orlando to West Palm Beach. 

For more details about hosting a meeting or event at Amrit, click here, email or call 561.209.7200. For more information on Amrit Ocean Resort or to make reservations, visit or call 844.692.6748.

About Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences
Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences is a next-generation luxury wellness resort in Florida spanning seven beachfront acres of Palm Beach County’s picturesque Singer Island. Merging Eastern principles with Western luxury, Amrit’s offerings are inspired by five pillars of wellness: mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, relaxation and sleep. The resort features over 103,000 square feet of wellness and spa facilities spanning four floors, where a team of wellness coaches creates comprehensive programming to achieve an optimized, personalized wellness roadmap according to guests’ needs and goals. Highlights include the Aayush hydrothermal circuit, the only indoor-outdoor one of its kind in Florida; 25 treatment rooms; a 1,200-square-foot hammam; and the Personal Wellness Support System (PWSS), a patented wellness platform that provides personal wellness coaching before, during and after a guest’s stay. The property also features five wellness-inspired dining concepts, including AYRE, an entirely vegan and ayurvedic-focused restaurant; TULĀ, the resort’s main restaurant offering breakfast and dinner; LALA, Amrit’s lobby lounge and bar; TAAZA, the beachfront restaurant; and Jeevi, a grab-and-go lobby market and coffee shop. Amrit also features a landscaped third-level pool with cabanas, daybeds and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, plus over 10,000 square feet of event space with meeting and conference capabilities, including signature healthy events and wellness wedding programs. Amrit is part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts L.V.X. collection, representing renowned properties that feature the finest accommodations coupled with attentive, engaging and exclusive personal service. For more information, visit

About Highgate
Highgate is a leading global real estate investment and hospitality management company widely recognized as an innovator in the industry. Highgate is the dominant player in major U.S. gateway cities including New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Honolulu, with a growing footprint in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The hospitality-forward company provides expert guidance through all stages of the property cycle, from planning and development through recapitalization or disposition. Highgate has a proven record of developing its diverse portfolio of bespoke lifestyle hotel brands, legacy brands, and independent hotels and resorts with contemporary programming and digital acumen. The company utilizes industry-leading revenue management tools that efficiently identify and predict evolving market dynamics to drive outperformance and maximize asset value. With an executive team consisting of some of the most experienced hotel management leaders, the company is a trusted partner for top ownership groups and major hotel brands. Highgate maintains corporate offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Waikiki, London and Lisbon.

July 02, 2024
Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport Named Leading Airport Hotel in Canada by World Travel Awards

Toronto/CNW/—The Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport has received top accolades from the internationally recognized World Travel Awards. Located in Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson Airport, the hotel has been named Canada and Ontario's Leading Airport Hotel. The dual awards come just two years after a complete renovation for the popular hotel which features rooms and suites with breathtaking views of the runway, a dramatic art-filled lobby, a lively restaurant where the diverse flavors of Toronto are reflected in its exciting, Canadian-inspired menu and a Sheraton Club Lounge open 24 hours a day.

According to General Manager Craig Reaume, earning the award was a team effort.

"We are so honoured to be recognized in this way by the World Travel Awards," says Craig. "We want to extend our thanks to guests who appreciate the charm of gazing out from their room to see airplanes coming and going from across the globe. Secondly, to our incredible associates who provide the same warm welcome to visitors whether they arrive late or depart early. And finally, to our owners at Knightstone Capital Management who had a strong vision of what a modern airport hotel could be. They understood that a property like ours is more than just a place to sleep, it is a place where journeys begin and end."

Toronto Pearson Airport is the busiest airport in Canada and the Sheraton Gateway Hotel is the only property located in the terminal, joined to Terminal 3 by a convenient walkway. Passengers for Terminal 1 flights can take the Terminal Link Train without ever leaving the building or having to brave the elements during Canadian winter, wait for a shuttle or park miles away.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.

About Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., makes it easy for guests to feel part of something special at nearly 450 hotels in over 70 countries and territories around the world. As the most global brand within Marriott International's portfolio sitting at the center of hundreds of communities around the world, Sheraton has a rich heritage in creating a sense of belonging for guests, wherever they are in the world. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is currently undergoing a major brand transformation at properties around the world to bring its signature community experience up-to-date for the next generation of travelers. The new vision for Sheraton features intuitive design, tech-forward experiences and upgrades to everything from guest rooms to F&B. To learn more, visit Stay connected to Sheraton on Facebook, and @sheratonhotels on Twitter and Instagram. Sheraton is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit

SOURCE Sheraton Gateway in Toronto International Airport

June 27, 2024
Marketplace Events Acquires 31 Shows from Master Promotions in Largest Acquisition to Date

Brings total portfolio to 111 events: 66 US and 45 in Canada

Toronto, ON—Marketplace Events (MPE), North America’s largest business-to-consumer show producer, today announced the expansion of their Canadian business with the acquisition of 31 events from Master Promotions, Ltd. of Saint John, NB, Canada’s largest independent trade and consumer event management company. The acquisition will take MPE’s Canadian business into 15 new Canadian markets and Alaska. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled about this acquisition,” said Mark White, CEO of Marketplace Events. “It’s a monumental step for us, bringing 31 incredible shows and expanding our presence into 15 new Canadian markets and Alaska. This deal not only increases our portfolio but also strengthens our ability to deliver top-notch events across North America. We’re excited to welcome the talented teams from these shows into the MPE family. We will continue to grow these dynamic events, providing exceptional experiences for exhibitors and attendees alike, and driving success in each local market.” 

The 31-show deal which includes 14 sport/outdoor shows, 7 home shows and 10 trade events, is the largest acquisition in MPE’s history and brings the total number of events produced by the company to 111. All staff currently associated with the 31 shows will become employees of Marketplace Events and continue in their current roles.

“Same great shows, same great people. Over the last 50 years, we’ve built a strong brand across Canada with the help of our dedicated and skilled staff,” said Wendell Howes, President of Master Promotions, Ltd., one of the most recognized names in the trade show industry in Canada with a reputation for producing high quality, successful events. “I’m really happy that MPE will continue with these amazing people and I believe only great things can happen with this portfolio of events. Now is the perfect time to hand this business over to North America’s leading show producer. I’ve seen how they’ve grown their other acquisitions, and I’m confident in the future of these shows in their capable hands. Their advanced tools and processes will make doing business with easier, and I know our incredible staff will thrive in the positive MPE culture.” 

The acquisition includes seven home shows, all in new markets for the company. MPE already has a strong presence throughout Canada in the consumer home show sector operating 15 market leading home shows in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Additionally, the company’s VP of Western Canada, Jill Kivett, also serves as the Past President of CAEM (The Canadian Association of Exposition Management).   

The purchase of the 14 sport/outdoor shows, which includes 13 Canadian shows and the Great Alaska Sportsman Show in Anchorage, AK, comes just three months after MPE announced it was entering the sport/outdoor category with their acquisition of four US events in March from O’Loughlin Trade Shows (OTS), the premier consumer event producer in the Pacific Northwest.  

The deal also includes 10 trade events, in the heavy equipment, fisheries, forestry and technology sectors.  While Marketplace Events has primarily operated business-to-consumer shows, the company operated a trade show in the motorcycle category which they eventually sold. “We are excited for the opportunity to re-enter the trade show category,” said Mark White, CEO of Marketplace Events.

Jenny Adams
The Adams Agency

Marketplace Events creates vibrant expositions connecting enthusiasts with experts, products and services in dynamic face-to-face environments.  The company produces more than 100 business-to-consumer and trade shows in North America including almost 70 home and garden shows, 18 sport and outdoor shows, 16 holiday shows and 10 regional trade shows. The 100+ combined events, in 53 markets, currently attract 30,000 exhibitors, 2.5 million attendees and another 5 million unique web visitors annually.  The company produces some of the most successful and longest-running shows in North America, including market-leading shows in Seattle, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal—some of which have thrived in their markets for more than 75 years. For a full list of upcoming events visit

June 26, 2024
River Rock Casino Resort Marks 20th Anniversary with Grand Celebration

Richmond, BC/CNW/—River Rock Casino Resort ("River Rock") celebrated its 20th anniversary yesterday with a grand event, marking two decades of delivering Vancouver's most thrilling gaming, live entertainment, dining, and all-suite accommodations. Since its debut in 2004 as Metro Vancouver's premier 4-Diamond destination resort, River Rock has continued to attract discerning guests seeking a complete entertainment experience.

The anniversary celebration took place in the main atrium which is undergoing a complete reimagination to accommodate the addition of Gordon Ramsay Steak, the first of Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay's fine dining restaurants in Canada.

The event was hosted by popular emcee, voice actor, award-winning radio & TV host Kevin Lim, who kicked off the ceremony by inviting Stephen Lee, CEO, Musqueam Capital Corporation, to welcome attendees to Musqueam land. Following moments of levity including "vintage" photos of Great Canadian Entertainment leaders and Lim himself, the event featured remarks by Matthew Anfinson, CEO of Great Canadian Entertainment, and Terrance Doyle, President and Chief Development Officer, who shared stories from the property's rich 20-year history. Together, they acknowledged all the resort's dedicated team members, and offered a special champagne toast to honour the 136 "Day One" employees, many of whom were in attendance.

Anfinson spoke about Great Canadian Entertainment's $500 million investment into River Rock, and pride in being one of the largest employers in the City of Richmond with over 850 team members. He heralded the resort's impact and its innovation. The property is home to the first curved escalator in Canada, is one of the few venues in the world with a state of the art convertible seating system in its theatre, and the 'P3' project with the City of Richmond, TransLink, and the Vancouver Airport Authority led to the development of the south parkade in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics and now serves thousands of commuters in the region daily.

"We are very proud to celebrate two decades of entertainment and excellence at River Rock Casino Resort. This destination stands as a beacon of innovation, continually pushing the boundaries to provide unparalleled experiences for our guests," said Anfinson. "This success would not be possible without the unwavering dedication and hard work of our exceptional team, whose passion drives our achievement. Together, we have built more than a casino; we have created a legacy of community, opportunity, and shared success. Here's to many more years of celebrating special moments!"

Lim entertained guests with a fun trivia game, where competitors were asked to name famous artists who have performed at River Rock. Guests remembered many memorable acts including Billy Idol, Earth Wind and Fire and Boys II Men, Kenny Rogers, and Donny & Marie Osmond to name but a few, and many reminisced about the opening event two decades earlier featuring the legendary Huey Lewis. Lim also highlighted the partnership with LiveNation, which will bring even more top acts to the resort's approximately 1000 seat theatre.

Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of the City of Richmond, and Jerry Williamson, Director of Gaming Facilities & Development at BCLC, spoke about the over $280 million that the City of Richmond has received from BCLC as their share of gaming revenue generated by River Rock, and how it has been reinvested in important capital projects in the City like the Richmond Olympic Oval and Minoru Seniors' Centre, while MLA for Richmond South Centre, Henry Yao provided congratulatory greetings on behalf of the Province.

A highlight of the event was a charitable cheque presentation to Natalie Meixner, President & CEO of the Richmond Hospital Foundation by Wayne Odegard, General Manager of River Rock Casino Resort. In a special twist, Odegard offered to double the donation if a lucky roll of oversize, inflatable dice resulted in a seven or higher. Meixner did indeed hit the mark, and "won" $20,000 for the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

The event concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting, where Anfinson, Doyle, and Odegard lit sparklers to celebrate the milestone anniversary while fittingly, Huey Lewis' anthem, "The Power of Love" played nostalgically.

Earlier this year, as part of the 20th-anniversary celebration, River Rock proudly announced a series of significant upgrades which are anticipated to be completed throughout the year, aimed at enhancing the guest experience for decades to come.

 Highlights include:

  • Gordon Ramsay Steak will occupy a new space in the main atrium and feature indoor and outdoor dining.
  • KOI, the latest culinary venture from celebrated restaurateur Michael Zhang, will open later this year, offering a modern and elegant fusion dining experience.
  • The Jade Room will see an expansion with new slot machines, elevating the gaming options available to guests.
  • The resort's floor layout will be refreshed for better navigation and accessibility.
  • A new Privé Lounge will be added, with a dedicated bar on the gaming floor.
  • River Rock's conference facilities will also be expanded, providing more space for meetings, events, and gatherings.
  • The on-site marina will be dredged to reactivate the 130-slip marina fully.
  • The resort's buffet has been renovated to include à la carte offerings with panoramic views of the mountains and marina.
  • New technical upgrades that will enhance the audience's experience in the theatre.

"We're incredibly excited to introduce these enhancements at River Rock Casino Resort," said Wayne Odegard, Regional Vice President, River Rock Casino Resort. "As a pioneer in gaming and hospitality in the market, and one of the very few entertainment resorts in British Columbia, we have always been proud of our resort and its robust amenities. These dynamic upgrades will not only provide our discerning guests with expanded choices but allow our special brand of hospitality to shine even brighter."

The upgrades are scheduled to be completed throughout the year. For more information or to book your stay, visit

About River Rock Casino Resort
River Rock Casino Resort offers a perfect blend of entertainment, gaming, and relaxation along the scenic Fraser River. With thrilling casino action featuring 1,150 slots and e-tables, over 80 live table games, live racebook, poker room, nearly 400 hotel rooms, and a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, endless entertainment possibilities await at Western Canada's favourite Four-Diamond Casino Resort. 

SOURCE Great Canadian Entertainment

June 26, 2024
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Announces First Asia-Pacific Season Aboard Luminara, Its Third Luxury Superyacht to Debut

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announces its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region with Luminara, offering 10 new journeys between December 2025 and May 2026. These voyages will explore 28 ports across 10 countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, and beyond, providing unparalleled experiences for discerning travelers.

“As luxury travelers continue to seek unforgettable, personalized experiences around the world, we are thrilled to introduce voyages in the Asia-Pacific region,” commented Jim Murren, Executive Chairman and CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “These new itineraries exemplify our steadfast commitment to continually raising the bar in luxury cruising, offering innovative ways to experience our superyachts and explore vibrant local cultures across the globe.”

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is dedicated to inspiring guests by creating experiences that fuel curiosity and foster genuine connections. The 10 enchanting journeys, ranging from 10 to 15 nights in length and departing from either Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Singapore, provide guests with the opportunity to discover the ancient treasures, modern marvels, and the exotic, off-the-beaten-path locations the region has to offer. Itineraries will include stops in coveted ports such as Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam; Puerto Princesa, Philippines, and access to lively city centers such as Seoul, South Korea; Osaka, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand, and more.

“As the first luxury hotel brand to venture into the cruise space, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our yacht voyages into Asia’s most sought-after destinations. This milestone underscores our commitment to providing exclusive and immersive experiences that cater to the discerning tastes of luxury travelers,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Senior Vice President of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and Bulgari Hotels and Resorts. “Today’s sophisticated adventurers seek intimate, authentic, personalized journeys that go well beyond traditional hospitality, and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers guests unparalleled access to the world’s most exquisite destinations, all while enjoying the hallmarks of luxury and personalized service for which The Ritz-Carlton brand is renowned.”

Among the thoughtfully crafted itineraries are voyages including:

December 30, 2025 | 14-Night Singapore to Hong Kong Voyage
Toast the New Year with a celebration aboard Luminara and then relax into 2026 on the renowned beaches of Koh Samui before sailing for an overnight stay in the vibrant Thai capital of Bangkok. Vietnam tells fascinating tales of history in the subterranean Cu Chi Tunnels outside Ho Chi Minh City and in the capital of Hanoi, which you might explore during your stay in scenic Hạ Long Bay.

January 13, 2026 | 12-Night Hong Kong to Singapore Voyage
The heart of this journey explores the islands of the Philippines, including the forested mountains and white sand beaches of Busuanga, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa. Equally spectacular is the island of Borneo, where gentle waves lap at the beaches and proboscis monkeys inhabit the treetops of Bako National Park near Kuching.

March 20, 2026 | 10-Night Tokyo Round-Trip Voyage
The cultural treasures of Japan are even more impressive during cherry blossom season, when the blooms blanket the grounds of Osaka Castle and accent the views of Mount Sakurajima from Kagoshima. This voyage also calls on UNESCO World Heritage sites ranging from the floating shrine and peace memorial of Hiroshima to the remains of Christian castles and cathedrals in the Nagasaki region.

March 30, 2026 | 12-Night Tokyo to Hong Kong Voyage
Considered a food capital of the world, Osaka merits in-depth exploration, while Japan’s UNESCO-listed castles of Himeji, Nara and Kyoto are also nearby. South Korea’s dynamic capital of Seoul boasts its own UNESCO palaces along with traditional villages offering authentic cuisine and crafts. During an overnight in Shanghai, experience a performance of the ancient art of acrobatics before sailing for Hong Kong.

Opportunities for enrichment are endless when journeying with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Guests are invited to choose from Select Group Excursions, Pre-Designed Private Excursions, or Custom Private Excursions. Whether kiteboarding in the Philippines, exploring the iconic street food in Thailand, white water rafting in Malaysia, or discovering museums in Vietnam, guests are encouraged to tailor their journey, diving into their personal passions from the leisurely to the more adventurous.

The debut of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection marked the first time a luxury hospitality company expanded into the cruising category. Since its debut with Evrima in October 2022, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has welcomed travelers to embark on extraordinary journeys of discovery. With the upcoming launch of Ilma, the collection’s second luxury superyacht, slated for this September 2024, and the debut of Luminara, the third luxury superyacht, slated to set sail in July 2025, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection continues to redefine the category, delivering unforgettable explorations at sea.

Luminara will offer 226 spacious suites, accommodating up to 452 guests. The onboard experience will feature world-class dining, an extensive wine collection, a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa, and an expanded dynamic marina providing direct access to the sea. Upholding The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s commitment to enriching experiences and legendary service, Luminara ensures an intimate journey with one of the highest staff and space ratios in at sea. Luminara will also offer itineraries in the Mediterranean during its inaugural launch season.

Reservations for the Asia-Pacific itineraries are now open to the public. For more information, please visit For reservations, contact a Reservations Services Agent at (833) 999-7292 (U.S. & Canada) or contact your travel professional.

About the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Designed to combine the luxury lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton® with the casual freedom of a yachting vacation, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers bespoke voyages in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Calling on unique and distinguished destinations, voyages typically span five to ten nights with an all-inclusive onboard journey and curated excursions ashore.

Its inaugural yacht, Evrima, embarked on its maiden voyage in October 2022. Measuring 624 feet in length, Evrima features 149 airy suites across various categories, each with a private terrace, creating a relaxed and intimate ambiance for up to 298 guests. Continuing the fleet’s expansion, two new superyachts boasting among the highest space ratios per guest at sea, Ilma and Luminara, are slated to set sail in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Spanning 790 feet, Ilma will offer 224 spacious, light-filled suites of varying categories, accommodating up to 448 guests. Slated to make its 2025 debut, Luminara will join Ilma and Evrima on voyages to secluded harbors and iconic cities. Reflective of The Ritz-Carlton on land, each yacht offers personalized service, elevated dining experiences, and exclusive amenities. 

Private charter options are also available, allowing guests to craft a truly tailored journey. For more information, visit

June 26, 2024
The future of congresses - building a sustainable legacy in Helsinki

Helsinki is transforming the way congresses are organised, setting new standards for sustainability and legacy-building. The Helsinki Event Legacy Program is designed to help develop a tailored plan that not only enriches the experiences of attendees but also leaves a meaningful mark on the city. The 10th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology is being held in Helsinki from 29 June to 2 July 2024, and its Brain Health Mission challenges young people to come up with ideas, strategies or campaigns to inspire their peers to prioritise brain health as part of its Brain Health School Challenge Project. 

Helsinki's congress legacy focuses on five key areas: education, environment, equality and equity, wellbeing, and innovation. This comprehensive approach demonstrates that congresses can be more than just meetings – they can also be catalysts for change.

Empowering the next generation through education  

Education is at the heart of Helsinki's congress legacy. The city embraces “learning by doing”, inviting event professionals to share their expertise with students in unique and practical ways. The Helsinki Event Legacy Program encourages congress organisers to involve local students through public lectures, interactive workshops, and open days. This hands-on approach bridges the gap between academia and industry, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

The 10th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) will bring over 8000 neurologists to Helsinki from 29 June to 2 July 2024. Their Brain Health Mission – School Challenge Project is a great example on how legacy work is done in practice. The school challenge was organised in Finland in spring 2024. Pupils created posters, social media videos, campaigns and other creative ideas designed to inspire their peers to prioritise brain health. The best ideas were awarded and will be presented at this summer’s congress.

Environmental stewardship 

Helsinki takes environmental sustainability seriously, with a focus on preserving its natural beauty for future generations. Congress participants are encouraged to engage in urban preservation through volunteer work, cleaning campaigns, and removing invasive plant species. The city also donates leftover congress materials to workshops like Uusix, promoting a circular economy. Helsinki collaborates with the Baltic Sea Action Group to protect and restore the Baltic Sea, demonstrating its broader commitment to environmental stewardship.

Promoting equality and inclusion

Helsinki is a city that champions equality, wellbeing, and participation. The city's approach to equality includes providing work opportunities for students with special needs and supporting humanitarian efforts through collaborations with the Finnish Red Cross. A recent example is the online training provided by the Alzheimer Society of Finland (Muistiliitto), which is designed to support people with dementia in customer service. This training was shared with staff at various hotels and service providers in Helsinki, reflecting the city's commitment to inclusion and respect.

Fostering wellbeing

Helsinki has been named the world's best city for establishing a healthy life-work balance (in that order). This balance is part of Helsinki's identity, and it is reflected in the city’s congress legacy. 

Charity fun runs and walking events during congresses encourage physical activity and raise funds for charitable causes. The city's congress legacy toolkit contains ready-to-use ideas designed to create a positive impact in the short to medium term, helping congress organisers integrate health and sustainability into their events. 

Crafting a forward-thinking ecosystem

According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023, Finland ranks as the world’s 6th most innovative country. The index’s 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, from infrastructure to political environment, highlighting Finland's commitment to forward-thinking practices. Innovation is also a key pillar of Helsinki's congress legacy. The city collaborates with the Helsinki Education Hub to create an environment where education startups and innovative learning can thrive. Corporate decision-makers and investors are engaged through personalised fact-finding tours and round-table dinners, showcasing Helsinki's business ecosystem and attracting investment to support sustainable growth. Read more  Education Hub Helsinki’s Impact Report

Read more on Future of Congresses at

For more information, please contact:
Johanna Grönberg
Senior Advisor, Congresses
+358 50 351 4085

June 24, 2024
Air Canada Wins in Five Categories, the most of any Canadian carrier, at 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards

Montreal/CNW/—Air Canada has been recognized with the most awards of any Canadian airline at the 2024 Skytrax World Airline Awards, including for having the world's Best Business Class Airline Lounge Catering and also the Best Cabin Crew in Canada. The carrier was also named the Most Family Friendly Airline in North America, Best Premium Economy Class Onboard Catering in North America, and Cleanest Airline in North America.

"We are very pleased with the results of this year's Skytrax World Airline Awards due to the number of awards we won and also because they recognize Air Canada's industry leadership in delivering superior products and service across our diverse customer base. This includes our premium customers, to whom we offer the world's Best Business Class Airline Lounge Catering at our Toronto Air Canada Signature Suite and the Best Premium Economy Class catering in North America; families travelling together, who can enjoy the Most Family Friendly Airline in North America; and all customers who are served by the Best Cabin Crew in Canada while flying on the Cleanest Airline in North America," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

"These awards also recognize the dedication, professionalism and hard work of our 40,000 employees worldwide who safely transport our customers to their destinations, and for truly representing what is the best of Canada. I am particularly pleased to see the work of our flight attendants and our cabin services operations teams being recognized. And to our customers, I thank them for their loyalty to Air Canada and for expressing their support by taking part in the 2024 Skytrax awards survey, which had more than 20 million submissions globally."

Air Canada Signature Suite
Air Canada operates two Signature Suite lounges for departing international customers at Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports. The Skytrax World Airline Awards have recognized the Air Canada Signature Suite as offering the World's Best Business Class Lounge Dining experience. Eligible customers can choose from an a la carte selection of fine meals designed by Canadian chef David Hawksworth in an exclusive lounge enclave, accented with unique Canadian design elements and featuring premium amenities.

About the Skytrax World Airline Awards
The World Airline Awards are wholly independent and impartial, introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that is truly global. Travellers across the world vote in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to determine the award winners. The awards are referred to by media around the world as "the Oscars of the aviation industry". All costs of the Survey and Awards event are paid by Skytrax, and airlines do not pay any entry or registration fee. There are no charges for use of the Award logos and results. The online customer survey operated from September 2023 to May 2024, together with invitations sent to previous year respondents in the survey database. Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the 2023/2024 survey with 21.42 million eligible entries counted in the results. Survey entries are screened to identify IP and user information, with all duplicate, suspect or ineligible entries deleted.

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled service directly to more than 180 airports in Canada, the United States and Internationally on six continents. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada's Aeroplan program is Canada's premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental partners. Through Air Canada Vacations, it offers more travel choices than any other Canadian tour operator to hundreds of destinations worldwide, with a wide selection of hotels, flights, cruises, day tours, and car rentals. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger and freighter aircraft.  Air Canada aims to achieve an ambitious net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OTCQX in the US.

SOURCE Air Canada

June 20, 2024
Atlific Hotels Managed Properties Shine at Marriott International’s 2023 Global Performance Awards

Toronto, ON—Atlific Hotels proudly announces that several of its managed properties have taken top prizes in the 2023 edition of Marriott International’s 2023 Global Performance Awards. Three Atlific managed properties,  Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline DistrictResidence Inn Kingston, and Towneplace Suites Red Deer took home prestigious Circle Awards while Colleen Logan, Atlific Area Sales Manager, earned the Sales Leader of the Year award amongst all global Residence Inn branded properties for her top achievements. The awards ceremony took place on June 13, 2024.

The selection process for the Circle Awards rigorously evaluates hotels on their ability to deliver brand promises, with winning properties excelling in leadership, customer satisfaction, financial performance, and associate engagement. 

“Atlific is incredibly proud of our people who are truly dedicated to service excellence and we’re thrilled that their performance has been recognized,” said Christine Kennedy, CEO, Atlific Hotels. “Atlific prides itself on creating a positive impact on the guest experience and the local communities our hotels operate in, and these awards are a shining reflection of our teams’ outstanding efforts.” 

For its part, Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/ Beltline District won two separate Residence Inn brand awards and the hotel was one of just two Canadian hotels to earn the highly prestigious Platinum Circle performance award honouring the best of the best in the Residence Inn brand's overall guest satisfaction score in addition to Logan’s Sales Leader of the Year Award as the standout amongst the entire Residence Inn brand. There are almost 1000 Residence Inn brand hotels in the Marriott portfolio. 

Several Atlific properties took home Marriott International’s Brand Circle Awards for top ratings in overall guest satisfaction. Circle Awards are achieved via exceptional staff service, maintenance, upkeep, cleanliness, and an elite level of hospitality. 

The Residence Inn Kingston also proudly received the Gold Circle Award, placing it in the top 5% of Residence Inn properties for overall guest satisfaction. This accolade reflects its impressive score and consistent year-over-year growth in revenue per available room.

The TownePlace Suites Red Deer earned the Silver Circle Award, distinguishing it among the top 20% of hotels in overall guest satisfaction within its brand.

Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 30 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. Atlific Hotels has over 60 years of experience managing well-known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended-stay properties.

The company has built a reputation for offering comprehensive accounting reporting, information technology solutions and support, strategic revenue-generating sales and marketing plans, and award-winning revenue management programs. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties Ltd., owns and operates over 100 hotels throughout the United States. Together they make up the fifth largest privately-owned hotel management company in North America, operating independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, IHG and Hilton. For more information, please visit

Hannah Rastrick or Mindy Cummings
Aerial Communications Group
647.401.8792 / 647.280.9978 /

June 20, 2024
Accor Launches Global Leadership Council to Shape the Future of Corporate Travel

The global hospitality Group and representatives from 17 international corporations form an advisory council to design and shape a new era of corporate travel and meetings for 2025 and beyond

Paris—Accor, a world-leading hospitality group, together with executive travel managers and buyers from 17 leading international corporations, have launched the Accor Global Leadership Council (GLC), an innovative advisory board aimed at reimagining the future of corporate travel and meetings. Established to create a forward-looking vision for business travel and corporate meetings, the GLC connects business leaders responsible for corporate travel across diverse industries with senior executives from Accor. Council delegates include representatives from sectors such as financial services, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, energy, professional services and technology.  

The first session, which was hosted earlier this month in Paris by Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer at Accor, discussed shifting corporate and traveler expectations; the importance of recognition, personalization and B2B-focused loyalty; the evolving importance of sustainability; emerging traveler trends; the role and impact of distribution and pricing; and a deep-dive on the hosting hotel brand, Sofitel.  

The Council delegates, who have a combined employee base of over 2.7 million travelers, unanimously agreed the top three priorities for business travel are: 

1. Traveler experience and well-being – including corporate employee engagement, wellness, traveler security and digital efficiencies

2. Cost management and optimization – including program compliance, pricing, cost-reduction and cost avoidance

3. Sustainability – including sustainable action, carbon budgets and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) 

Sophie Hulgard, Chief Sales Officer at Accor and host of the GLC, commented: “The dynamics of corporate travel are evolving rapidly. It is essential for both our clients and hospitality businesses to adapt to new demands and priorities. The GLC is a critical forum for sharing insights and collaborating on solutions that meet the changing needs of business travelers and delegates.” 

The GLC aims to generate valuable insights and actionable strategies to drive and transform business travel, impacting the sector globally. Accor will compile the council's findings into a comprehensive report to be released later in the year. 

Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer, Premium, Midscale & Economy Division for Accor, concluded: "Corporate travel is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by an increased focus on flexibility, sustainability, and personalization. Today's business travelers seek more than just efficiency and comfort; they prioritize sustainability, personalized experiences, and seamless technology integration. Throughout our business, Accor is committed to not only meeting these needs but also anticipating them, ensuring that every journey is as enriching and impactful as the destination and travel intent itself."

Accor is a world leading hospitality group offering experiences across more than 110 countries in 5,600 properties, 10,000 food & beverage venues, wellness facilities or flexible workspaces. The Group has one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems, encompassing more than 45 hotel brands from luxury to economy, as well as Lifestyle with Ennismore. Accor is committed to taking positive action in terms of business ethics & integrity, responsible tourism, sustainable development, community outreach, and diversity & inclusion.  Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on Euronext Paris (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information, please visit or follow us on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.   

Source: Accor

June 20, 2024
A New Restaurant is Blowing the Roof Off of Toronto's Waterfront!

Toronto/CNW/—Introducing Queens Harbour, a sprawling 23,000-square-foot dining destination nestled in the heart of Toronto's vibrant waterfront area. At the heart of Queens Quay lies a historic brick building that is being reimagined into a new hospitality landmark. This project, located on Harbourfront Centre land, will be one of the largest restaurant investments in the history of the waterfront.

This concept is being introduced by experienced restaurateurs Kevin Jazexhi, Ali Badreddine, Iris Jazexhi, and Chef Robert Balint. These founders are from parts of the world where Mediterranean influences are strong, and they want to bring that ethos to Queens Harbour: cherishing family and friends over shared meals combined with hospitality that is so authentic and sincere, it feels like you've come home.

Up and coming Chef Robert Balint has collaborated with local, world-class chef Julien Laffargue to create a combination of Mediterranean and Asian flavours they affectionately term MediterrAsian cuisine. MediterrAsian food emerges when the jungles of Asia and the waters of the Mediterranean connect.

Steeped in classical cooking techniques, both chefs are curating a menu specializing in mezzes for sharing, charcoal-grilled dishes, and a full raw and sushi bar. The impressive culinary program is complimented by handcrafted cocktails aimed to surprise and delight with fun and exciting textures and flavours.

Combining the eclectic food and beverage menus with a dynamic, multifaceted experience in distinctly different spaces throughout this 800 seat restaurant oasis by the water.

With the largest restaurant retractable roof in the nation, multiple private dining spaces, an outdoor terrace, and three uniquely designed dining spaces with unparalleled views of the CN Tower, the Harbour, and Lake Ontario, this will be unlike any other dining destination in Toronto.

Join us next spring for the unveiling of Queens Harbour, located at 245 Queens Quay Way West (North Building).

SOURCE Queens Harbour

June 12, 2024
Canadian Hotel Association Join Forces to Combat Human Trafficking

In a groundbreaking initiative to combat human trafficking, the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA), Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Hospitality Saskatchewan, Manitoba Hotel Association (MHA), and Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to develop and deliver human trafficking awareness and prevention training and resources to hotels - with the goal of training every hotel employee from BC to Ontario.Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada, with thousands of victims being exploited annually. The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking estimates that over 1,400 cases were reported to law enforcement between 2011 and 2019. These numbers continue to increase, and many incidents go unreported. Hotels can become venues for traffickers, making it imperative for the hospitality industry to take a proactive stance in recognizing and preventing human trafficking.

"Since trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses—many in the tourism supply chain—to sustain their illicit and illegal operations, hoteliers are uniquely positioned to identify and disrupt this terrible practice. This MOA empowers our members to be the first line of defense against trafficking activities, reinforcing our dedication to protecting human dignity." Tracy Douglas-Blowers, President & CEO, Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association

About the Initiative
The MOA outlines a commitment by the 5 provincial hotel associations to:

• Develop training materials that raise awareness of human trafficking among hoteliers.

• Educate hotels, motels, and other accommodation providers about recognizing the signs of human trafficking.

• Equip hotel owners and managers with the tools to train their staff on preventing and responding to potential human trafficking situations.

Training Resources and Implementation
Partnering with NotInMyCity, the associations will create a "Not in Our Hotel” toolkit, which will include:

• Sample policies for hotels and guidelines for employee orientation. • Best practices for accommodation providers.

• Training materials for management and staff, including online courses that provide certificates of completion.

• Posters and quick reference guides for employees.

• Resources to help employees discuss human trafficking with their children and support staff impacted by trafficking.

Commitment to Prevention
Hotels are committed to creating safe environments for all guests and staff. By signing this MOA, the BCHA, AHLA, SHHA, MHA, and ORHMA demonstrate their dedication to combating human trafficking. This initiative not only aligns with federal and provincial efforts to eradicate human trafficking but also supports the safety and well-being of the communities’ hotels serve.

"Not In Our Hotel sends a loud and clear message: we will not tolerate human trafficking in the hotel industry. Thanks to our dedicated members and their staff, we already have a strong track record of combatting trafficking and supporting survivors. There is still much more to do, and our commitment to training and education will continue to make the difference." Jim Bence, President & CEO, Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association

Media Inquiries
Laurie Chandler
Vice President, Public Affairs
Alberta Hotel & Lodging

Source: British Columbia Hotel Association