TORONTO, ON (August 2021) – Realstar Hospitality today announced that three Days Inn by Wyndham locations in Canada received Priceline Agoda's 2021 Customer Review Award. This recognition is given to hotels with a customer review above 8.0 (with the overall maximum score of 10) that consistently deliver excellent service, safety and cleanliness measures, and excellent value, with great pricing and high availability via the Agoda Platform.

"It's a great honour for our hotels to receive the Customer Review Award and be recognized for their exceptional achievements," said Irwin Prince, president & COO, Realstar Hospitality. "An accolade like this is further validation that hard work and commitment to hospitality excellence translates into positive review scores."

2021 Priceline Agoda's 2021 Customer Review Award Recipients: 

  • Days Inn by Wyndham Golden, British Columbia (8.6 score)
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Collingwood, Ontario (8.9 score)
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Kingston, Ontario (8.8 score)

With the unprecedented challenges the tourism industry continues to face, winning this award not only speaks about the exceptional service but is also a testament to the diligence, passion and dedication these hotels have for providing guests with an experience they truly value. 

Priceline and Agoda customers take pride in their accommodation choices and share their views through informative and verified reviews on a stay's key elements, including cleanliness, service, amenities, location, and value for money. Their ratings and reviews guide fellow travellers in booking accommodations. 

All Days Inn locations across Canada are committed to the health and safety of guests and team members. To learn more, please visit


Toronto (August 19, 2021) – Atlific Hotels proudly announces that its managed property, Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District, is launching an on-site artists in residence program. Set to coincide with Alberta’s Month of the Artist the Artist Inn Residence Inn (AIRI) program will invite two artists to live full-time in the hotel’s suites while having a dedicated space to work on and create their art for up to 6 months. AIRI is now accepting applications through September 30, 2021. The first two artists will be selected by October 15, 2021.

“Here at Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown we believe that arts and culture are the lifeblood of a vibrant and thriving city, and a vital ingredient in what makes the Beltline District a fantastic place to stay” said Tim Ostrem, Area Director, Atlific Hotels & General Manager at the Residence Inn Calgary Downtown. “It is our goal to be the premier arts, culture and entertainment hotel in Calgary, and this is one of the ways in which we are proud to support and nurture the local arts community and better the lives of Calgarians and travellers alike.”

The AIRI program will invite two artists, one visual and one performance artist, to live full-time in the hotel’s guest suites for up to 6 months. During their time as resident artist, those selected will have access to all guest amenities; including daily complimentary breakfast, housekeeping, and a 24-hour fitness facility. The visual artist will receive dedicated gallery and workspace while the performing artist will receive access to rehearsal and performance space. As well, both will have their biographies featured in the hotel lobby to increase exposure. As the program is intended to enhance the hotel experience for anyone finding themselves within the space, the artists will be encouraged to create performances, workshops or artwork for display in the hotel's public spaces. In turn, the artists will be rewarded with a stipend.

Interested candidates can submit an application directly via Submissions for the first residency beginning in November are due by September 30th while the first two artists will be selected by October 15th. Submissions are open to Canadian residents and the application process will seek to uncover the artist’s biography, project overview and a description of planned activities during the residency.

Built on the site of Calgary’s historic Alberta Boot Company, Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District pays homage to the city’s cowboy roots. Ideally located in the vibrant Beltline District, the hotel allows guests to make the most of their stay with proximity to top attractions, including the Calgary Tower and the Scotiabank Saddledome. Walk to local downtown spots or hop on the CTrain, just one block away, and explore nearby restaurants and shops. Offering a full kitchen in each suite, complimentary breakfast and grocery delivery, free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour, two-story fitness centre, a stay at the property makes each day in Calgary feel effortless. For more information and to book a stay, please visit the hotel website.


EDMONTON, AB, CANADA –  Aug. 18, 2021 – Today, Hotel Equities (“HE”) announced their partnership with Utah-based commercial real estate leader PEG Companies (“PEG”) and Petroglyph Development Group to manage the 172-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel currently under construction in downtown Nanaimo, British Columbia.

We are thrilled to welcome this highly anticipated hotel into our Canadian property portfolio”, said Ryan McRae, Sr. Vice President of Business Development, Canada, for HE. “Our team is excited to contribute to the positive impact this hotel will have on the Nanaimo community through the creation of jobs, enhancement of Nanaimo’s downtown spirit, and increased competitiveness among the city’s tourism.”

The new Marriott hotel will offer industry-leading amenities including a charming street-level café, large pool and all-inclusive fitness center. Design features include angular windows with street side views, stone panels, and a façade of exterior colors allowing it to blend well within the environment and existing buildings in the area. Vancouver-based sustainable construction firm Nexii is expected to generate efficiencies in completing the buildout by utilizing its innovative construction methodology, saving both money and time. As part of PEG’s design plan, the Courtyard will pay homage to Nanaimo’s cultural heritage through Snuneymuxw-inspired décor and serve as a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the Snuneymuxw people.

"Since the beginning when PEG was selected to develop this special site, it was extremely important to us that we worked collaboratively with the Snuneymuxw First Nation," said Cameron Gunter, CEO of PEG. "Our goal with this project was to preserve the rich cultural traditions of the past while spurring economic growth for the future."

The Courtyard Marriott Nanaimo hotel is slated to open Q2 2022 and will provide the long awaited opportunity to celebrate the opening of this 10-plus year project with the Nanaimo community. PEG has been committed to seeing this project through despite challenges during the construction process. They have been deliberate and strategic with their actions, providing creative solutions and unique approaches that add value.

“We are well positioned to positively impact the performance of this hotel,” said Martin Stitt, Sr. Vice President of Operations, Canada, for HE. “Our alignment with PEG’s mission to create opportunities through grit, ingenuity and expertise gives us confidence that this partnership with PEG will result in opening the Courtyard with a new level of guest experience in Nanaimo, adding significant value to the local, downtown community. Hotel Equities’ continued investment into Canada, both on the people and infrastructure side of our business, produces immediate and long-term value for our development partners.”

The nine-story hotel is conveniently situated adjacent the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, and between Casino Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Museum. Nanaimo is well-positioned for further growth with its easy access to Vancouver and growing tourism industry.

City officials have maintained that the hotel is crucial for the downtown revitalization and success of the neighboring conference center. The Marriott is expected to spur economic growth as the first major hotel brand in the area.


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the iconic world-leading hotel group known for its historic luxury and unparalleled service, has announced the appointment of Jacco van Teeffelen as General Manager of Fairmont Winnipeg in Winnipeg, MB.

In his new position, van Teeffelen will lead the overall operations, performance, and strategic direction for Fairmont Winnipeg. Joining the Fairmont Winnipeg team following his most recent role as the Hotel Manager of Fairmont San Francisco, van Teeffelen brings over 15 years of progressive executive leadership experience within the hospitality industry to this role.

Between 2005 and 2011, van Teeffelen held several Executive positions at Sandals International in the Caribbean, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort in Antigua, and Soneva Gilli, a Six Senses Resort in the Maldives. In 2011 he relocated to London, England, when he joined Accor as Director of Food & Beverage, at The Savoy. van Teeffelen transferred to Fairmont Grand Del Mar in 2015, where he was promoted to Director of Operation and subsequently to Hotel Manager. Shortly after, in 2018, he relocated to Fairmont San Francisco as Hotel Manager.

van Teeffelen holds a BA in Hotel Management from Hotel Management School Maastricht and several certificates from Cornell University, including Hotel Real Estate Investment & Asset Management and Advance Hospitality Revenue Management.


A desire to reconnect with family and friends after a year of stringent lockdown measures due to COVID-19 is likely greater than a leisure getaway in 2021, and therefore its power should not be underestimated in travel’s recovery, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: GlobalData’s forecasts suggest that visiting friends and relatives (VFR) travel will experience higher growth, with a 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2021-25, compared to leisure, growing at a 16.4% increase between the same time period.  While VFR will not surpass the number of international leisure getaways, it will play a vital role in travel’s recovery with 242 million international departures expected to be taken for this purpose by 2025.”

VFR was the second most typically taken holiday in 2019 by global respondents (46%) in GlobalData’s Q3 2019 consumer survey*. It was second only to ‘sun and beach getaways’ (58%). Even though a year of travel restrictions and more time at home may mean the desire for typical sun, sea and sand holiday will be strong, visiting family and friends is likely to be a greater priority for many people right now. In certain source markets it is also the most popular reason for travel, with 53% of travelers in the US prioritising this type of trip, followed by Australia (52%), Canada (49%), India (64%) and Saudi Arabia (60%).  

Bonhill-Smith continues: “A more recent GlobalData survey revealed that 83% of global respondents were ‘extremely’, ‘quite’ or ‘slightly’ concerned about restrictions on socialising with friends and family**. Platforms such as Zoom, Facebook and WhatsApp have given consumers an opportunity to meet virtually, but this still isn’t quite the same as embracing a family member or properly sitting down together.”

During this pandemic, travel and tourism bodies worldwide have called for the sector to ‘reunite’ in its recovery. The aim for both destinations and tourism businesses right now should be to reunite families after over a year of international travel restrictions.

Bonhill-Smith adds: “Destinations can issue special visas or requirements that will make it easier for families to reunite. Airlines can ensure popular VFR routes are some of the first to be restored, hospitality businesses and attraction operators could offer incentives and discounts for families. All industries across the travel sector could be better informed to have a greater understanding of this tourism market.”


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