Royal Roads University Named Winner of the 2017 Winning Pitch Competition


Victoria, BC – The team from Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of International Hotel Management Program was announced as the winner of this year’s provincial Winning Pitch competition with their “Connect to Adventure” business plan at the BC Tourism Industry Conference today.


The Winning Pitch, hosted by go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association, is a post-secondary student case competition. This year, student teams from post-secondary institutions around BC developed a proposal and business plan for a new activity-based tourism business or service that would align with the regional and provincial destination development strategies.


Royal Roads University’s team, made up of students Annie Luke, Lindsay Henderson, and Darya Nikulenkova, took home gold and a prize of $1,000 with their proposal of “Connect to Adventure”, a mobile app that allows potential visitors to connect with agri-tourism businesses on Vancouver Island.


Fourteen teams from nine post-secondary schools presented their solutions to an industry judging panel at regional competitions held in the Thompson Okanagan, Vancouver Island, and Vancouver Coast and Mountains. The winner from each regional competition competed at the provincial finals, held at the BC Tourism Industry Conference yesterday.


The finalists, which included Okanagan College, BCIT School of Business, and Royal Roads University, presented their refined business plans, which was further adapted to align with the provincial Accessibility 2024 strategy, to the conference delegates and a panel of judges including James Terry from Tourism Industry Partners, JJ Belanger from Crystal Cove Beach Resort, and Wendy Magnes from Destination British Columbia.


The Okanagan College team took Silver with their proposal of “Pioneer Adventure Company”, a premium cycle tour based out of the South Okanagan. Bronze went to BCIT for their proposal of “Visit the Valley”, a bus tour connecting people in urban centres with a series of farm-based activities in the Fraser Valley.


The judges noted that the quality of all of the proposals was outstanding and declared that the future of the industry is in good hands.


Pine Bungalows Wins Green Key Environment Award of Excellence 




OTTAWA, ON, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 - Green Key Global,  a leading, international, GSTC Recognized, environmental lodging certification body, is pleased to announce Pine Bungalows as the 2016 Green Key Environment Award of Excellence Winner.

The Green Key Environment Award of Excellence recognizes lodging properties that have developed a culture towards integrating environmental management practices that improve everyday operations and the bottom line, while maintaining quality service and meeting guest expectations.


Nestled in the heart of Jasper National Park for the past 80 years Pine Bungalows is surrounded by a Spruce, Pine & Douglas Fir forest, located on the banks of the World Heritage Athabasca River where wildlife abounds. Pine Bungalows is recognized as one the Parks' leaders in environmental stewardship and continually explores opportunities to trim its 'waste' line without reducing guests' comfort and expecations. Responsibility to the environment, the community and economy in which the company operates is at the very heart of the business.

"We are thrilled to award Pine Bungalows with the 2016 Green Key Environment Award of Excellence," said Susie Grynol, Managing Director, Green Key Global. "Pine Bungalows raises the bar in promoting and practicing environmental stewardship to staff and guests while implementing initiatives that contribute to the long-term sustainability of the property and its surroundings."

The award was presented to Michal Wasuita, Owner and Operator, at the Hotel Association of Canada's Annual Conference on February 16, 2017.



Top Performing Days Inn Hotels Receive Brand Award

TORONTO, ON (February 16, 2017) – Realstar Hospitality announced the winners of its prestigious Chairman’s Award of Excellence for 2016. Presented annually, the award recognizes an elite group of Days Inns and Hotels that meet the highest level of quality and guest service.

Criteria is based on an algorithm that combines metrics of brand standards, guest feedback and operational requirements. recipients are recognized for going above and beyond set standards in daily operations and customer service requirements.

2016 Chairman’s Award of Excellence Recipients:

Days Inn & Suites - Langley, BC

Days Inn - Edmonton Airport Leduc, AB

Days Inn - Edmonton South, AB

Days Inn - Calgary Airport, AB

Days Inn - Calgary Northwest, AB

Days Inn - Medicine Hat, AB

Days Inn - Red Deer, AB

Days Inn & Suites - Sherwood Park, AB

Days Inn - Regina Airport West, SK

Days Inn - Regina, SK

Days Inn - Saskatoon, SK

Days Inn & Suites - Yorkton, SK

Days Inn & Suites - Collingwood, ON

Days Inn & Suites - Lindsay, ON

Days Inn - Orillia, ON

Days Inn & Suites - Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Days Inn & Suites - Thunder Bay, ON

Days Inn - Thunder Bay North, ON

Days Inn - Berthierville, QC

Days Inn - Miramichi, NB

Days Inn - Stephenville, NL

"All 2016 winners continue to set the standard in our industry by providing a quality product combined with a top-notch guest experience," said Irwin Prince, president & coo, Realstar Hospitality. "It is a pleasure to recognize those who provide a benchmark for our franchisees and represent excellence in hotel lodging."





VANCOUVER, February 17, 2017: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts <>  is pleased to welcome Peter L.J. Finamore as Regional Vice President, Pacific Northwest and General Manager of Fairmont Pacific Rim <>  in Vancouver, BC.



An international globe-trotter, Finamore brings over 35 years of hospitality experience and has worked with acclaimed properties around the world in the United Kingdom, Philippines, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and locations across the United States.



Born and raised in Canada, the 'hotelier life' seems to be genetic. He grew up in the business and followed in his father's - Louis Finamore - footsteps. The senior Finamore was a hotel icon and oversaw operations for Hilton International and Canadian Pacific Hotels. Peter says, "I lived in The Empress Hotel in Victoria for five years when I attended high school. At the time, my father held the same regional position with Canadian Pacific Hotels that I now hold with Fairmont <> ."



In 1985, he left Canada for international destinations and opportunities. Working his way up the hotel ladder, Finamore held a variety of progressive roles with iconic brands such as Hilton International, The Peninsula Hotel Group, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels & Resorts, and MGM. His most recent position was Chief Operating Officer Hospitality for MGM China Holdings Limited, based in Macau.



A seasoned hotelier, Finamore has specialized in luxury brands and has successfully opened, rebranded and launched a variety of hotels and resorts. Under his leadership, "his" properties have been recipients of prestigious accolades including the AAA Mobile Five-Star award at The Peninsula Chicago, Forbes Five-Star at MGM China, and the Saudi Arabia Leading Luxury Hotel award at Rosewood Al Faishalia Hotel and Hotel Al Khozama.



Known for his hands-on management style, he explains his philosophy is, "to surround himself with others whose strengths outshine his." He takes great pride in attracting, developing and mentoring the best talent in the hotel at every level, and makes a conscious effort to stay connected throughout their careers.



It's a full circle with his return to Canada, and in his new role Finamore will oversee the six properties in Fairmont Hotels' Pacific Northwest portfolio and manage Fairmont Pacific Rim


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