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Rossland, BC (November 20, 2020): The Josie Hotel is proud to announce that they have been awarded Canada’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel for 2020 from the World Ski Awards. Additionally, USA Today has released its2020 10BestReaders’ Choice Travel Awards and The Josie Hotel has finished inside the top three Best Ski Hotels in North America for the second consecutive year.

Launched in 2013, the World Ski Awards aim to increase standards within the ski industry by awarding industry leaders. Votes are cast by professionals working within the industry as well as the general public. A record number of 2.1 million voters took part in ski tourism’s only global awards programme.

The USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards highlight the best operators in categories such as destinations, food and drink, hotels and things to do. Nominees for each category are chosen by an editorial panel of industry experts and voting is open to the public for a four week period.

 
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Calgary, AB – November 24, 2020 – WebRezPro cloud property management system (PMS) by World Web Technologies Inc. (WWT) is pleased to announce direct integration with leading global vacation rental distribution network BookingPal for effortless management of inventory, rates and reservations across distribution channels, saving lodging operators time and increasing property exposure.

Connecting vacation rental operators to over 40 of the most important distribution channels—including VRBO, Google Hotel Ads and Homes & Villas by Marriott—and more than 200 million monthly visitors, the BookingPal channel manager helps properties reach more guests through a single easy-to-use platform. Integration with WebRezPro automates the transfer of property and reservation data between the PMS and BookingPal, improving workflow and accuracy.

"We are thrilled about our new partnership with WebRezPro. This integration will offer connections for short-term rental managers to popular channels, including VRBO, Homes & Villas by Marriott, Google's new vacation rental program, and many more popular distribution websites. Boutique hotel operators, inns, and bed & breakfasts will now also have connectivity to channels like VRBO. Our connectivity solution is proven to drive significant revenue for our users, and we are eager to be able to partner with companies using WebRezPro," said Matt Gurley, Director of Sales & Customer Service at BookingPal.

The two-way integration imports rate and availability updates and pertinent property data from the PMS into BookingPal, and sends reservations coming through BookingPal channels directly to WebRezPro, eliminating the need for property managers to manually duplicate data between systems, and reducing double bookings. 

“Our partnership with BookingPal expands our distribution network and connects short-term rental operators to particularly relevant channels, including VRBO, the Marriott system and Google Hotel Ads, making it easier for property managers to manage online inventory across channels at a time when efficiency and visibility are key to recovery from the pandemic,” said Frank Verhagen, President at WWT.

 
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November 24, 2020

What:  The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association(TOTA) have joined forces and created a dynamic two day event which focuses on how the tourism industry can work together on a future that is stronger, more resilient and regenerative than its past.  

Inspired by the theme: Moving Forward Better- Recovery, Resiliency and Regeneration, the two regional destination management organizations have built a fully virtual, online program around 50 provocative, world-renowned speakers and industry experts from around the globe.  

Registration is free for all attendees, and includes networking opportunities, live Q&A sessions, a virtual silent auction, discussions around the latest developments in tourism, climate action and community building, as well as the chance to explore industry and community resources while interacting with live representatives within virtual booths. All from your home or work office.    

When:   

Wednesday, November 25 - Summit officially opens 12:30 p.m. PST- 5:45 p.m. PST

Thursday, November 26 - 8:00 a.m. programming begins again and wraps at 5:30 p.m. PST 

Who:  With over 50 tourism experts attending, and bringing with them global, regional and local expertise, The Summit 2020 speakers include: 

Anna Pollock -  Based on an extensive career as a researcher, strategist and change catalyst serving the international tourism and hospitality sector, Anna is passionate about its capacity to generate well-being, wealth and welfare for people and places provided that it is managed properly i.e. with respect for the interdependence and connectedness of all life and in harmony with the laws of nature. A sought after tourism consultant, Anna is also the founder of Conscious Travel

 

Bill Reed - Bill is a principal in Integrative Design, Inc. and Regenesis – organizations working to lift green building and community planning into full integration and evolution with living systems. He is a founding Board of Director of the US Green Building Council and one of the co-founders of the LEED Green Building Rating System.

Geoffrey Lipman - Currently co-founder of SUNx Strong Universal Network, Geoffrey is the former Executive Director of International Air Transport Association (IATA); past President of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); and was the Assistant Secretary-General, UN World Tourism Organization. Geoffrey has played a key role globally in the development of tourism as a significant socio-economic sector.

Jeremy Sampson - Jeremy is the CEO of the Travel Foundation, a leading NGO in the travel and tourism sector. Under Jeremy's leadership the Travel Foundation is working with travel companies and destinations to better understand the impacts of tourism and maximise its benefits for local people and the environment. He has also been instrumental in spearheading the launch of the Future of Tourism Coalition. 

Rochelle Turner - Rochelle is the Head of Research & Insight at MaCher, a sustainable design firm, a B Corp. and a signatory and participant in the United Nations Global Compact. Rochelle has spent her whole career conducting consumer, economic, market and policy research within the tourism sector. 

Michael Shellenberger -Michael Shellenberger is a global thinker on energy, technology and the environment, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress.He is a long-time advocate of clean energy innovation and environmental progress as part of a paradigm shift in how we think about and deal with environmental problems. He writes for publications including Scientific American, The New York Times, & the Washington Post. His 2015 TEDx talk was on "How Humans Save Nature." He has appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," in a feature-length documentary about pro-nuclear environmentalists, "Pandora's Promise," and has debated nuclear on CNN "Crossfire" & at UCLA (2016). His 2007 book with Ted Nordhaus, Break Through, was called "prescient" by Time and "the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring" by Wired.

Along with inspiring keynote sessions, panel discussions will tackle topics ranging from Regenerative Best Practices, Legal Implications of COVID-19 on Your BusinessNational & Provincial Recovery EffortsClimate Action and Stories of Resiliency.  

A full program and bios of speakers are available here  and up to date information on TOTA’s website.

 

 
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Victoria, BC (November 23, 2020) - Accent Inns and Hotel Zed are proud to announce that at last night’s RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Virtual Awards Gala, CEO Mandy Farmer was awarded the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Excellence Award. 

For 28 years the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards has been the premier national awards program celebrating the achievements of the most successful and impactful women who have demonstrated excellence across multiple sectors. This year there were 8,600 nominations across the country. Farmer’s win speaks to her unwavering commitment to her community, employees and business during what has been a difficult year for many. 

“For me, this award reflects the work of my whole team who have been heroes during this pandemic,” said Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns and Hotel Zed. “They service cancer patients who stay with us, frontline service workers that need to self-isolate away from their families and essential workers that need to travel to work on important projects around the province. I am so proud of them.” 

Farmer’s approach to an award-winning business starts with her employees. In a recent employee survey that saw participation from 93 percent of staff, 98 percent of employees said they were happy or extremely happy in their jobs. Farmer’s approach, however, isn’t just about company culture, it’s about truly caring for her employees. 

When COVID-19 hit, Farmer sent $250 grocery gift certificates to all her employees - including employees that were temporarily laid off - because she didn’t want anyone to worry about how they were going to put food on their table during a global pandemic.

Showing that happy employees make for a successful business, Farmer’s businesses consistently outperform their competitors and they have more than doubled profits in the past five years, with a 52 percent increase in revenue.  

However, Farmer’s work extends beyond just her businesses, as she is also instrumental in helping local communities. 

When COVID-19 hit, all Accent Inns hotels across BC kept their doors open to health care staff and essential workers. Additionally, they partnered with United Way to create the Hotels for Frontline Workers Fund that allowed donors to help cover the costs of accommodations for essential service workers. This allowed frontline workers to have a safe and comfortable place to stay without the worry of covering large costs. 

You can find out more information about the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards at womenofinfluence.ca.

 
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COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) – November 23, 2020 -- With the continued impacts of COVID-19 ravaging the global tourism Industry, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has put out an urgent call to the federal government for a new dedication of financial funding in the amount of $18.5M to support Indigenous tourism businesses or risk watching the industry irrevocably collapse.

With international borders still closed and health units across the country once again limiting domestic travel to prevent further spread of COVID-19, the Indigenous tourism industry has been especially affected. To date, based on research conducted with the Conference Board of Canada, ITAC is reporting a 65.9% decline in Canada’s direct gross domestic product (GDP) and an anticipated loss of over 1,000 Indigenous tourism businesses, affecting over 21,000 people and their families. 

“With many local businesses relying on tourism to survive, the initial funding provided by both the federal government and from ITAC directly has been paramount in keeping businesses afloat and keeping food on the table for many families until now,” said Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “This second wave is well ongoing and will continue to lead to the closure of even more of our establishments and institutions. These losses are not just another number; these are 1,000 Indigenous owned and operated businesses that support communities -- including rural and remote areas. On top of the financial loss, there is also a loss of heritage and culture, traditional languages, history and storytelling, and the awareness around reconciliation that we have fought so hard to preserve. It is imperative we do everything we can to protect these already at-risk communities from further impoverishment and save the industry, which is not only a significant driver in the Canadian economy as a whole but equally important, a portal into Canada’s culture and heritage. We implore the federal government to do everything they can to keep these communities and business alive and help us stabilize the progress we have made since the creation of ITAC.”

And while the federal government did provide initial COVID-relief funding in June in the sum of $16M, which supported over 600 Indigenous businesses across the country, those funds were only able to address the immediate needs of businesses to keep them open and cover expenses for the loss of the summer season. In order for the industry to withstand and build resiliency in the second wave, further funding is necessary. Therefore, on behalf of the industry, ITAC is working hard to help salvage the livelihoods of Canada’s Indigenous populations, whose businesses showcase the cultural experiences and diversity of the nation. 

ITAC is recommending another emergency investment of $18,535,000 in additional financial support to further stabilize the industry from more infrastructure and economic losses brought on by the second wave of the pandemic. These funds are to be distributed to Indigenous tourism businesses to be invested in tools (creating or updating online platforms, advertising, etc.) that will allow them to market their businesses, generate revenue and increase consumer traffic directly rather than relying on the Association’s support of the industry overall. It is crucial these funds be distributed immediately and dispersed through ITAC, which has a proven track record in administering multi-million dollar projects simultaneously and achievement in advancing Indigenous tourism in Canada through an Indigenous-led strategy.

The breakdown of ITAC’s second wave emergency response plan is as follows:

$6,000,000 in innovative domestic marketing to:

  • Create a new Indigenous travel incentive program
  • Launch domestic marketing campaigns to encourage Canadians to visit Indigenous tourism experiences close to home
  • Be a resource in coaching and training tourism operators to build out sales and marketing materials and virtual experiences

$12,075,000 in Wave 2 stimulus grants for:

  • Emergency stimulus access for Indigenous tourism businesses that did not access funds from the current program (approximately 150 businesses) and secondary funding for the 683 recipients of Wave 1 grants

$460,000 for the Indigenous Tourism Business Crisis Call Centre to:

  • Provide members with one-on-one help for businesses to identify and access federal relief initiatives and offer supports for mental health and industry relief
  • Provide emergency capacity support for provincial and territorial partners
  • Provide support to consumers and operators participating in the travel incentive program
  • Provide members with easy access to resources for marketing and business development

ITAC has been tireless in advocating for Indigenous-led solutions and stimulus grants and insists the only way the industry will survive is with additional federal investments. Earlier this year, ITAC also launched a four-year, $50 million strategic recovery planwith the goal to respond, recover and rebuild the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada to levels experienced in 2019 by 2024. The new call for federal funding is for additional funds above the $50M ask currently tabled and ITAC is still hoping to also receive funding from the Federal government for its Recovery Plan.

“We hope the government understands that the situation is more than serious, businesses are shutting down, operators are in distress. We need to support our operators from mental breakdown and help them access some of the federal programs, as they often fall through the cracks of the system,” says Henry. “Our Industry is resilient but there is a limit to what it can take. Our goal is to partner with the federal government and work together to the survival of our industry by having solutions to sustain businesses immediately and through the winter“

To view an infographic of ITAC’s Second Wave Response, click here

For more information on the ITAC’s COVID-19 Development Stimulus Fund, clickhere.

To view all of ITAC’s communications around COVID-19 and the resources available, click here.

 

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