Vancouver, B.C. – October 6th, 2022 – Coast Hotels Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of APA Hotel Canada, Inc. and one of North America’s fastest-growing and one of Canada’s largest hotel brands, hosted the 20th annual Coast Hotels Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic in July of this year. This tournament, supported by over 20 partner vendors, a fully sold-out field of golfers and a dinner attended by over 180 guests raised valuable funds for two charities this year: the ALS Society of BC and the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.

“Giving back to the communities we live, work and operate in is woven into the fabric of Coast Hotels and aligns closely with our values,” said Mr. Jin Sasaki, President of Coast Hotels. “The opportunity to support the valuable and important work of each of these organizations is a privilege.”

Nina Krieger, Executive Director of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre noted that the donation will help fund their ongoing commitment and ability to develop and deliver Holocaust-based anti-racism education programs across British Columbia.

Coast Hotels has a very personal connection to the ALS Society of British Columbia, as Shuhachi Naito, a former executive and long-time Coast Ambassador lost his battle to ALS in 2014. “It was through Shu that we came to know of the important work that the ALS Society of British Columbia is doing to support medical advances and to assist ALS patients and families with impactful programs and services”, stated Mark Hope, Senior Vice President Development for Coast Hotels. “We know the difference that Wendy Toyer, Executive Director, and the whole ALS Society team are making in helping combat this horrible disease.”

The 20th Annual Coast Hotels Shuhachi Naito Golf Classic raised $80,000.00 this year and has well surpassed $1,000,000.00 in funds donated to charities since its inception. Next year’s tournament will be held on Thursday July 13, 2023.


Kamloops, B.C. – October 5, 2022 – Delta Hotels by Marriott Kamloops announced today the appointment of Derek Hiscoke as General Manager. Hiscoke comes to Kamloops with a wealth of experience in managing luxury properties including the Calgary Marriott Hotel (Calgary, Alberta), the Millennium Bailey Hotel (London, United Kingdom), the Sopwell House (St. Albans, United Kingdom), Arc The Hotel (Ottawa, Ontario), and the Waltham Abbey Marriott (Waltham Abbey, United Kingdom).

“We are thrilled to welcome Derek and his wife Zoe to Kamloops”, says Tristan Armstrong, President at Invictus Properties. “Derek’s focus on attention to detail, continual improvement of guest experience and overall hotel profitability complement our company’s goals. His welcoming and inclusive demeanor, paired with his inspiring leadership skillset will aid in the continued growth of our employee experience and valued corporate culture.”

“In conjunction with his progressive leadership style, Derek brings with him an accomplished background holding an MBA in International Hospitality and Service Industries Management (Glion Institute), a Diploma from Marriott International hotels, and a National Diploma in Hotel and Catering Institutional Operations (Darlington College of Technology)” says Bryan Pilbeam, Vice President at Invictus Properties. “Derek is a strategist with a strong work ethic and humility – traits of a true leader. We look forward to working alongside him as we continue building on our successes”

“I am very much looking forward to leading The Delta by Marriott Kamloops into its next chapter”, says Derek Hiscoke, the newly appointed General Manager. “I strongly support the strategic vision of Invictus Properties’ which will further enhance Kamloops businesses through new and innovative development. As General Manager, I hope to draw inspiration from my international successes as I work alongside my team to develop and deliver exciting new projects to further elevate guest experiences in the hotel, and throughout Kamloops. There is a strong sense of community here, and an incredibly diverse range of experiences and activities one can explore. I am thrilled to now call Kamloops my home and look forward to showcasing the city’s uniqueness to the world”.

Hiscoke will replace long time General Manager, Bryan Pilbeam who has overseen hotel operations since its inception as Delta Hotels by Marriott Kamloops and its previous brand, Hotel540. Pilbeam will transition out of holding both the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kamloops General Manager role and role of Vice President at Invictus Properties to focus entirely on the generation of new business and future development opportunities at Invictus Properties. “It’s an exciting time at Invictus!” adds Armstrong, “with the recent successful development and opening of The HIVE downtown, upcoming opening of Stills House and other projects in the works; we are looking forward to many exciting developments in Kamloops and the surrounding area”.


(Vancouver, BC) – October 4, 2022 – The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and Destination Canada are proud to announce a new partnership with Signature Travel Network. Signature Travel Network is a member-owned travel cooperative, and today, includes 277 member agencies with more than 600 retail locations around the world. Collectively, Signature members generate more than $11 billion in annual travel sales. This agreement represents the first global partnership between an Indigenous organization and Signature Travel Network.

“Moving Indigenous businesses into the international spotlight through the Signature Travel Network will help our industry grow,” says Keith Henry, president and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. “We know visitors are increasingly interested in experiencing Indigenous tourism while in Canada and this new partnership will help connect travellers with high quality Indigenous businesses, restaurants and attractions.” 

Henry goes on to explain that the partnership will also benefit Indigenous businesses by bringing tourism professionals out for a Signature Educational Journey, otherwise known as a FAM, “We know that not everyone knows what to expect from an Indigenous tourism experience, but by hosting travel trade on a FAM, businesses will have the opportunity to share our lands, cultures and cuisines in an authentic way, so that agents can better understand and sell the experiences to their clients.”

Chris Alestra, Signature’s Vice President of Destination and Air Partnerships says Signature is delighted to collaborate with ITAC to expand the network’s awareness of Indigenous owned travel products, “Establishing this direct relationship with ITAC gives us the ability to delve deeper to provide meaningful enhancements to our packages in Canada that meet the goals of Indigenous communities.” She goes on to explain that knowledge of ITAC’s guidelines for helping businesses become export-ready gives the network the confidence to include these Indigenous offerings in their training and marketing materials.

This important partnership will be announced at the National Signature Conference in Las Vegas November 8 - 11, 2022 and will reach 7000 travel advisors. ITAC will be recognized as a Signature Preferred Destination Association partner and will be the sponsor of the conference’s opening reception.


WASHINGTON (OCTOBER 3, 2022)Nearly all hotels are experiencing staffing shortages, according to a new member survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of survey respondents indicated they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 36% severely so. The most critical staffing need is housekeeping, with 43% ranking it as their biggest challenge.

Those numbers are slightly better than in May, when 97% of respondents to an AHLA member survey said they were short staffed, 49% severely so, with 58% ranking housekeeping as their biggest challenge.

Hotels are offering potential hires a host of incentives to fill vacancies—81% have increased wages, 64% are offering greater flexibility with hours, and 35% have expanded benefits—but 91% say they are still unable to fill open positions. Respondents are trying to fill an average of 10.3 positions per property, down from 12 vacancies in May.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August, hotel employment was down by nearly 400,000 jobs compared to February 2020. Hotels are looking to fill many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, including more than 115,000 hotel jobs currently open across the nation.

These staffing challenges are resulting in historic career opportunities for hotel employees. National average hotel wages for 2022 through June are more than $22 per hour—higher than any other year on record. Since the pandemic, average hotel wages have increased faster than average wages throughout the general economy. And hotel benefits and flexibility are better than ever.

To help hotels fill open jobs and raise awareness of the hotel industry’s 200+ career pathways, the AHLA Foundation’s “A Place to Stay” multi-channel advertising campaign is now active in 14 cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa. For more info on the campaign, visit

“Today’s tight labor market is creating unprecedented career opportunities for current and prospective hotel employees, and AHLA and the AHLA Foundation are working tirelessly to spread the word. With hotel wages, benefits, flexibility and upward mobility at historic levels, there has never been a better time to work at a hotel than the present,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers.


TORONTO, ON (September 29, 2022) Choice Hotels Canada is proud to announce the 2022 national winners of its prestigious annual Awards for Property Excellence (APEX). This year, 11 hotels and individuals across the country were recognized for performance, commitment to guest service, and operational excellence. In addition, one franchisee received the company’s Hall of Fame award – presented only on occasion – for demonstrating exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to Choice Hotels Canada and the country’s hospitality industry.

“Every year, we look forward to honouring individuals for their unique contributions and recognizing standout hotel properties – all of which set the bar for hospitality high,” says Brian Leon, CEO, Choice Hotels Canada. “It’s important to spotlight and celebrate industry leaders both nationally and locally in our Choice Hotels communities.”

The 2022 national APEX winners include:

Highest Guest Satisfaction (Top LTR): Quality Suites, Drummondville, QC

This award recognizes the property that achieved the highest Likelihood to Recommend (LTR) score in Choice Hotels’ guest survey results over the last year.

Marketing Star Award: Jordan Lanthier, director of sales and marketing, Clarion Hotel & Suites, Winnipeg, MB

This award recognizes an individual that stands out from the crowd when it comes to local marketing. The winner works in collaboration with Choice Hotels Canada’s marketing team to leverage digital resources to enhance local marketing efforts.

Choice Privileges Ambassador of the Year: Nancy Tudor, general manager, Quality Inn & Suites, Lethbridge, AB

This award recognizes a Choice Privileges Ambassador who helps to foster a strong Choice Privileges culture at the hotel, and consistently motivates the on-property team.

Sales Excellence Award: Carla Carlson, general manager, Comfort Suites, Kelowna, BC

This award recognizes an individual who demonstrated outstanding sales efforts by exploring and acting on local opportunities to capture incremental room nights and leverage tools and resources in collaboration with Choice’s sales team.

Leader of the Year Award: Dharmesh Patel, general manager, Quality Inn, Leamington, ON

This peer-based award recognizes an individual whose achievements include outstanding operational practices and team building.

Developer of the Year Award: Stephanie Giannoulis and Peter Giannoulis, owners, Halifax Tower Hotel & Conference Centre, Ascend Hotel Collection and Comfort Hotel Bayer’s Lake, Halifax, NS

This award recognizes a multi-unit hotel developer who has demonstrated excellence through development of hotels that are a strong representation of their brands.

Renovation of the Year Award: Hotel Royal William, Ascend Hotel Collection, Québec, QC

This award recognizes achievements in outstanding on-brand renovations that drove guest satisfaction increases.

Best New Entry – New Build Upper Midscale/Midscale Brands: Comfort Inn & Suites, Carleton Place, ON   

Best New Entry – Conversion Upper Midscale/Midscale Brands: Clarion Pointe Quebec Airport, Québec, QC

Best New Entry – Economy Brands: Econo Lodge, Cochrane, ON

Best New Entry – Ascend Hotel Collection: Halifax Tower Hotel & Conference Centre, Ascend Hotel Collection, Halifax, NS

The Hall of Fame Award

This award, presented only in special circumstances, acknowledges franchisees with remarkable long-term achievements both within the Choice Hotels Canada system and the industry.

The recipients, Nina and Sam Kassam, came to Canada from Tanzania in the 1970s. Although they started from humble beginnings, by the 1980s, through hard work and determination, they formed The Sterling Group. The family-owned company has owned and operated numerous Choice properties over the years, including six that they currently operate in Canada.Now in its second generation, they have a community focus, truly loyal employees and a family-oriented atmosphere. Their contribution and dedication over the years to the industry and to hospitality in general is recognized with the Hall of Fame award.

For additional information or to make your reservation at any of these award-winning hotels, visit


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