TORONTO, ON (February 13, 2018) – Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing (2004 Bay Lake Road, Bancroft, Ontario) founder Madeleine Marentette has joined the newly created Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) as a member of the board of directors. Launched this month, the WTA was created by a group of seasoned wellness industry executives who have joined forces to form this not-for-profit, privately-held organization established and designed to serve the booming $563 billion wellness travel sector.

The new association will be a network of and for qualifying members of the wellness tourism industry. Its objectives will help to define the industry, as well as educate consumers to recognize legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators. 

“I’m delighted to be included in this group of industry leaders who are dedicated to helping travellers locate the best destinations to nourish their mind, body and spirit,” says Grail Springs Retreat Centre founder and recipient of Canada's Best Wellness Retreat 2016 and 2017, Madeleine Marentette.

“Our mission is clear and concise,” says Co-Founder and Chairman Andrew Gibson, VP Wellbeing, Accor Hotels, “We plan to support and further the growth and development of the wellness tourism industry through networking, education, communication and marketing.” 

Co-Founding member Tom Klein, President & COO of Canyon Ranch stated, “The WTA will fill a gap in this  global industry by providing a credible and unified voice.” Klein added, “As with all associations, the goals and objectives will be determined by the members.” 

According to the Global Wellness Institute’s 2017 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, the Wellness Tourism segment is a $563 billion industry – growing faster than the tourism industry itself. “It makes perfect sense to have our own association,” says Co-Founder and President, Anne Dimon, Founder/CEO of “Especially since there is some confusion with consumers and travel agents as to what constitutes legitimate ‘wellness travel’.”

Wellness Tourism is not a new industry, as people have traveled both nationally and internationally with health or wellness the primary focus since the time of the Roman Baths. Today, the commitment to “health as your wealth” transcends borders, cultures and ages, with many new companies flocking to the sector. 

Membership will be open to qualifying destination marketing organizations, hotels and resorts, destination spas, tour operators, travel advisors, wellness educators and others with an interest in supporting the industry and helping shape its future and sustainability. Dimon adds that, “while ‘wellness’ is often thought to be a luxury category of travel, we also want to ensure we represent a diverse range of members across consumer segments.”  


Markham, Ontario – February 7, 2018 – When hotel and resort group operators combine multiple properties on one centralized database, the result is optimum operating efficiency, improved staff productivity, and increased revenue generating opportunities.

“The advantages of a scalable and dynamic one-system property management software strategy are clear,” said Maestro PMS President Warren Dehan. “Executives oversee multi-property operations remotely from one central location for hands-on property management and rate strategies. Staff are more productive and flexible since they are skilled on one property software system across integrated modules for seamless cross property booking and guest management. Centralized marketing and a single reservation office can execute more effective marketing strategies and seamlessly cross-sell rooms for higher occupancy.”

When a multi-property group’s guest profiles are on a central database each hotel can access preferences and guest activity for highly personalized service. With Maestro, guests receive a single itinerary to optimize their stay. The itinerary may combine room, restaurant and activity reservations regardless of which property provides the services.

Maestro PMS offers a true multi-property management system with over 20 integrated modules. “Maestro Multi-Property is not just a multi-building system,” Dehan said. “Our system offers multiple building management within one or more properties and takes management of mixed-use operations to the granular level. It supports highly complex hotel company operations and is scalable to optimize management of independent luxury full service hotels and resorts.”

Maestro provides resort group centralization of guest reservations across a mix of guest rooms and/or condo ownership units on the same system and allows multiple corporate financial entities.  The system delivers a seamless guest experience at all property points of contact. Maestro’s single-image multi-property database also supports flexible financial reporting and charge posting. This makes it possible for guests to move between rooms and use services across the hotel group’s portfolio while retaining one accurate consolidated guest folio, with appropriate revenue distribution on the backend.

“We installed Maestro Multi-Property in 2012. In 2015 a new owner acquired two of our four resorts,” said Sands Controller Jeff Dresch. “Today, Maestro Multi-Property operates as two ownership groups with the four resorts and multiple buildings on one Maestro Multi-Property platform. Thanks to Maestro’s single-image database, our resorts deliver a seamless guest experience. We leverage a unified marketing strategy at Sands Resorts to provide a wide variety of guest experiences and activities. We also operate one call center for all four resorts and use Maestro’s ResWave direct online booking on the Maestro database. This makes our sales and marketing strategy more effective, lowers our expenses, and simplifies guest charge posting.”

Sands Resorts represents four unique family resorts featuring nearly 900 accommodations of one, two, three and four-bedroom condos, suites and townhomes all located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jeff Dresch serves as Sands Resorts Controller with over 35 years of experience with the Sands Resort organization.

Maestro Multi-Property enables all Sands Resorts’ outlets to provide cross-property posting. Guests move between resorts for activities and dining with fully-integrated posting for accurate folios and reporting. All Sands staff are trained on one Maestro system for cross-property flexibility. Sands Resorts operates the Ocean Dunes Resort and Conference Center, Sand Dunes Resort and Villas, Sands Ocean Club, Sands Beach Club, with properties that include 17 buildings that use the fully-integrated Maestro Condo Owner Management system.  

Visit for more information about Sands Resorts and their oceanfront resorts.

Maestro PMS delivers revenue-generating property software tools and services that increase profitability. Maestro property software drives direct bookings, centralizes operations, and provides personalized guest service to keep guests coming back. Click here for more information on how to reserve, engage and socialize with Maestro PMS. 


February 9, 2018

For the third year in a row, Hilton is the world’s most valuable hotel brand, with a brand value of US$6.3 billion. However, recording a 24% fall from last year, Hilton has seen their lead at the top over Marriott shrink from more than US$3.3 billion to just US$865 million, a staggering 74% reduction.

As Hilton’s brand value decreased, Marriott improved its brand value 8% to just under US$5.5 billion on the back of growing group revenues. A driving force behind the increase can be traced to Marriott’s 2016 acquisition of Starwood – their largest ever – which boosted the company’s number of properties by 40%. As part of the restructuring of their Starwood portfolio, the company moved rooms from Sheraton to Marriott, maximising the profitability of their flagship brand. This has however also impacted Sheraton’s brand value, which decreased by 50% to US$1.9 billion this year.

Marriott’s success is prevalent throughout the 2018 table when comparing its portfolio to Hilton’s. Only five hotel brands from Hilton’s portfolio made the table, compared to 15 from Marriott’s. Additionally, the total value of Hilton’s hotel brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 league table fell by 23%, while the total value of Marriott’s portfolio in the ranking rose by 3%.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“The trends in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 league table reflect the success of Marriott’s expansion strategy, which is likely to continue exerting a positive impact on brand value in the future. It will be interesting to see if Marriott overtakes Hilton to claim the top spot for most valuable hotel brand next year.”

Premier Inn remains the strongest hotel brand this year with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.7 and a brand rating of AAA, while UK competitor Holiday Inn managed to hold on to its place in second with a score of 85.0, also receiving an AAA brand rating. The results of the top two strongest hotel brands reflect their mass-market appeal, as well as customer appreciation of value for money, which supports higher scores for preference and satisfaction. As these brands continue to maintain brand equity and perform well with their stakeholders, their brand strength can only stand to gain.

Perhaps the biggest threat to the hotels industry is the growth of online community accommodation sites, like Airbnb. Though the brand is not included in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 league table by virtue of not owning properties themselves, Airbnb’s brand value rose by more than 51% to over US$5.5 billion this year. This marks the first time in which Airbnb’s brand value exceeds that of all but one hotel brand valued in the Hotels 50 - Hilton. Given Hilton’s downward trend, it would not be surprising to see Airbnb surpass all hotel brands in the 2019 table. What is more, Airbnb may soon come into much more direct competition with hotels as it begins to target business travellers through their Airbnb for Business program, which launched in the second half of 2017. Time will show if hotels move to collaborate with Airbnb in the future or try to compete by providing authentic personalised services to consumers, raising the game for guest experience.

View the Brand Finance Hotels 50 report here


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