Vancouver, BC (November 22, 2022): Following an official announcement at the organization’s Annual General Meeting on November 15, the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) is pleased to announce its 2022 board of directors—including the appointment of David McQuinn as Chair—and share that it has fulfilled commitments to the 50-30 Challenge, achieving the most significant level of board diversity in the organization’s 105-year history.

The 2022 BCHA board welcomes five new Board Directors and comprises a team of industry leaders from regions across the province. They are:

Angie Eccleston – Crest Hotel, Prince Rupert (Executive Director)

Bryan Pilbeam – Delta by Marriott Hotels, Kamloops (Past Chair & Governance)

Christine Louden – Granville Island Hotel, Vancouver

David MacKenzie – Pemberton Valley Lodge, Pemberton (Treasurer)

David McQuinn – Coast Bastion Hotel, Nanaimo (Chair)

Eda Koot, Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria

Eleanor Ryan – Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Center, Fort St. John

Erin Cassels, Huntingdon Manor, Victoria

Estreya Gosalbez, Four Seasons Resort, Whistler

Jean-Francois Vary, Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver

Jessica Dolan – Ramada Penticton, Penticton

Jonas Melin – Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel, Vancouver (Executive Director)

Leo Saad – Best Western Plus Chateau, Fort St. John

Madone Pelan, Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Victoria

Samantha Hackett – Long Beach Lodge, Tofino

Tanya Stroinig – Prestige Hotels & Resorts, Kelowna (Vice Chair)

The BCHA Board of Directors is pleased to also announce the appointments of its officers including David McQuinn, General Manager of Coast Bastion Hotel, who will serve as Chair; Tanya Stroinig, Chief Operating Officer at Prestige Hotels and Resorts, who will serve as Vice Chair; David MacKenzie, Owner and General Manager at Pemberton Valley Lodge, who will serve as Treasurer; along with Angie Eccleston, General Manager of Crest Hotel, and Jonas Melin, General Manager at Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel, who will each serve as Executive Directors. Bryan Pilbeam, Vice President of Invictus Properties, will move to Past Chair and Governance Chair.

 “I am honoured to take on the role of Chair and to work alongside this brilliant group of new and returning board directors as we carve a positive path forward, not just as industry leaders, but as global citizens,” said David McQuinn, BCHA Chair. “We each hold a unique position to steward our accommodation and tourism sector in the right direction and we intend to carry out that commitment in a sustainable way that will support all voices for generations to come.”

In February of 2021, the BCHA joined the 50-30 Challenge—an initiative between the Government of Canada, businesses, and diversity organizations to improve access for historically under-represented individuals to positions of influence. The BCHA Board of Directors committed to meet criteria by 2024, with board representation that involves gender parity and significant representation—at least 30 percent—of racialized persons, persons living with disabilities, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+2, as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

“Diversity in leadership not only creates an opportunity for the next generation of leaders but also fosters understanding and innovation as we are pushed to look at things from different perspectives,” said Bryan Pilbeam, BCHA Past Chair and Governance Chair. “We are delighted to have met our 50-30 Challenge goal ahead of schedule and to welcome a group of exceptional leaders that more accurately reflect the make-up of our industry. We also share our thanks to the former board members who selflessly volunteered to step down from their positions for this goal to be met”

The BCHA Board of Directors and staff recently completed SuperHost® Service for All, an equity, diversity, and inclusion training course offered through go2HR and an Indigenous culture training session with Moccasin Trails. The board will continue to take part in educational training to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and reconciliation.


OTTAWA, Nov. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New research released today from Destination Canada may indicate the full recovery of Canada’s travel economy by as early as 2024, led by the continued strength of the domestic market and the quickly rebounding US market.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) says its own ambitious goals of a full recovery will take considerable work to achieve. Speaking today at the organization’s annual Tourism Congress, a two-day event taking place this year at The Westin Ottawa, TIAC’s Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs Marc Seguin emphasized to an audience of over 400 delegates that the sector was still a very long way from a full recovery.

In its recent submission to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Randy Boissonnault, TIAC set sector goals to be achieved by 2030; which include total tourism spending in Canada at $134 billion, a total tourism labour workforce of 2.5 million workers, and 30 million total annual international overnight visitors, among other key goals.

“We know that there are four key areas where a host of policy actions are needed,” he said, during his Leadership Report that kicked off the Congress’ first day. “TIAC and the member-businesses and organizations we represent are confident our proposed goals are achievable by 2030 if adequate financial resources are earmarked in support of the new (federal tourism growth) strategy… but to get us there, a number of other things need to happen.”

Specifically, Seguin emphasized that the government of Canada should focus redevelopment of the strategy to include policy changes in four key areas:

     i) Attracting and retaining a sustainable tourism workforce,
     ii) Improving access for visitors to and within Canada,
     iii) Developing and promoting tourism assets, and
     iv) Building a regenerative and inclusive tourism industry.

These “pillars of action” undergird the Association’s submission to the government to guide its redeveloped strategy; and in drafting it, Seguin said TIAC consulted extensively with its members, other industry leaders and organizations across Canada. “Our submission is a well-thought-out plan for how best to help us get to our sector goals by 2030,” he added.

Among other bold ideas proposed to recover the sector, Seguin recommended the creation of a Tourism Policy Council of Ministers, led by the Minister of Tourism himself. “The strategy’s success rests in all tourism partners rowing in the same direction and never losing sight of our destination,” said Seguin. “But all of the 24 federal departments and agencies now playing a role in tourism must place (these) tourism goals as a top priority. We all need to embrace and reimagine Canada’s tourism industry.”


Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ territories | November 22, 2022 – As of November 2022, Accent Inns Inc. is proud to announce that all nine affiliated properties are officially Rainbow Registered with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. First launched in June 2021, the Rainbow Registered Accreditation Program was created to better identify 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses across Canada and move the needle on 2SLGBTQI+ rights.

Rainbow Registration is a national Canadian accreditation for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses and organizations. Seeing a Rainbow Registered symbol indicates to consumers that the business meets a stringent set of standards to ensure 2SLGBTQI+ visitors feel safe, welcomed, and accepted.

“I can’t begin to describe what it means to be the first hotel chain to have all of their properties be Rainbow Registered,” says Mandy Farmer, CEO at Accent Inns Inc. “Goosebumps, swelling heart, misty eyes and so fiercely proud of my amazing team for making this happen.”

Establishing a Deadname Standard Operating Procedure was a key priority for Accent Inns Inc. this year. A deadname reflects the name given to a transgender person at birth which they no longer identify with and can be extremely invalidating for transgendered folks, potentially subjecting that person to harassment and discrimination. In order to enact this revolutionary policy, Accent Inns Inc. worked with their providers to develop unique customization of their booking engine specifically to alleviate anxiety among folks whose names do not match the name on their government-issued identification.

Fulsome, mandatory training is also required for managers. Included in this training are components of proper pronoun usage and education on terms associated with gender and human identities. As a commitment to all staff, Accent Inns Inc. benefits package covers hormone therapy so that staff members who chose a medical transition can show up at work and in their lives as their authentic selves.

“Regardless of whether you are a guest or employee, our intention at Accent Inns, Hotel Zed and ROAR is to make our properties a space where you can show up as your true authentic self every day,” says Matt Schmitt, Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Accent Inns Inc. and driver of this initiative. “For me, this is more than flying a flag or putting a sticker on our window. It’s about genuinely welcoming and celebrating everyone who walks into our hotel, regardless of gender identity, expression, or sexual orientation. Being a good human and doing the right thing is embedded in who we are, and it feels damn good!”

As a commitment to the 2SLGBTQI+ community, Accent Inns Inc. dedicates significant resources to support local queer-friendly community groups and organizations. For the month of February in 2022, the properties unveiled unique, multimedia Progress Pride Flags in their lobbies and provided queer-friendly Valentine’s Day cards to include the queer community in a holiday that has traditionally overlooked the 2SLGBTQI+ community.

“The global LGBT+ travel market is estimated at $22 billion USD. As businesses become increasingly aware of the potential of this growing market, they have realized the unique needs of this diverse community,” said Darrell Schuurman, CEO of Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. “In response, the CLGCC created the Rainbow Registered accreditation program, Canada’s first national standard for safe and inclusive spaces for the LGBT+ community. This program, in addition to a number of our development and training resources for the LGBT+ community, are available to help create a lasting legacy of inclusivity for LGBT+ visitors, customers and employees throughout the country.”

In 2021, released survey results revealing that half of 2SLGBTQI+ travelers experienced some form of discrimination when traveling. In addition:

One in five (20%) 2SLGBTQI+ travelers have had staff assume they would need separate rooms or beds when checking in as a couple

20% have felt the need to change their behaviour to avoid judgement with accommodation staff (16% reported feeling the need to change their appearance)

17% have felt uncomfortable to ask for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly local tips or recommendations

Accommodation staff or owners have mistaken or incorrectly assumed pronouns or gender for 13% of travelers in correspondence ahead of arrival and for 12% of those when arriving at the desk

For more information about the Rainbow Registered 2SLGBTQI+ Friendly Accreditation Program, please visit online.


November 18, 2022 (Whistler, BC) – Pan Pacific Whistler Hotels came out on top at this year’s World Ski Awards. Coinciding with its 25th anniversary, Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside was named Canada’s Best Ski Hotel for the 10th year in a row and for the first time, Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre scooped up the award for Canada’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel.

Considered the most prestigious accolade in ski tourism, the World Ski Awards involves hundreds of thousands of travel professionals, skiers, hotel guests and media casting votes for their favourite worldwide ski destinations and brands. National categories for each of the world’s top 25 ski tourism regions include Best Ski Resort, Best Ski Hotel, Best Ski Boutique Hotel and Best Ski Chalet.

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside – which celebrates 25 years of welcoming guests this December – is located in Whistler Village, mere steps from the gondolas to both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The all-suite property offers an idyllic combination of village buzz, inspiring views of snow-capped peaks, and a heated outdoor pool and hot tubs surrounded by mountain scenery. Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre features spacious suites, an outdoor patio with saltwater lap pool and hot tubs, and convenient slope side valet ski storage, among other amenities.

“We are incredibly honoured to accept awards for both Pan Pacific Whistler hotels in this year’s World Ski Awards,” said Julie Lanteigne, dual property general manager, Pan Pacific Whistler Hotels. “Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside has established a strong legacy over the past 25 years, and we are thrilled that, for the past decade, the world has viewed the property as Canada’s best ski hotel. We are also proud that Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre has elevated its reputation globally as the premiere ski boutique hotel in our country. We are grateful to everyone who voted, and we look forward to welcoming new and returning guests this ski season.”

Whistler Blackcomb will open the 2022-23 ski season on November 24. Boasting one of the longest ski and ride seasons anywhere, the resort plans to remain open through May 2023, conditions permitting.

To plan or book your ski holiday at Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside or Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, call 1.888.905.9995 or visit the Pan Pacific Whistler website.


Treaty 6, Métis Region 4, (Edmonton, Alberta) November 17, 2022 –Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) is proud to announce the return of its fourth annual conference bringing together the people, stories and ideas that are building Indigenous tourism into a key component of the visitor economy, the reconciliation journey of all Canadians and an inspiring part of Indigenous lives.

This year’s Indigenous Tourism Alberta Gathering will be held on Treaty 6 Territory and Métis Region 4 hosted on Enoch Cree Nation at the River Cree Resort and Casino from December 5-7, 2022. To better reflect the renewed energy and spirit of the industry, the event has rebranded from the Alberta Indigenous Tourism Summit to the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Gathering. Most importantly, the 2022 theme of Kindness shines a spotlight on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, working together to enrich the tourism economy through sharing of culture, understanding and true allyship.

“Over the last year, we have seen a significant interest of industry partners looking to further expand their knowledge of Indigenous cultures through authentic learning experiences,” said Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta. “This year’s conference brings a lineup of members who are not only committed to excellence in their own respective businesses, but are also passionate about educating partners, allies and the industry as a whole.”

The event provides an opportunity for attendees to commit to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, specifically action 92, which addresses business and reconciliation. It’s also a way to walk alongside ITA to build meaningful relationships with more than 300 delegates. These include Indigenous tourism leaders, tourism operators, travel trade, media, and other key organizations to share their collective knowledge and contribute to the success of Alberta’s rapidly growing Indigenous tourism industry.

ITA invites delegates to participate in keynote presentations, panel discussions, and inspiring sessions with Indigenous thought-leaders, community Elders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous industry experts, economic development officers and other visionary voices to help stakeholders develop more economic opportunities in the industry sector.

Keynote speakers include Susan Aglukark, Juno Award winning Inuit music recording artist; Theresa Ryder, Director of Partnerships for Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada; David Goldstein, CEO of Travel Alberta; Marilyn Jensen, Indigenous artist, advocate, speaker, educator and consultant; and Lance Cardinal ᐊᐧᒐᐢᐠ, First Nations artist, designer and entrepreneur will emcee for the event.  

ITA Gathering participants will celebrate the growth of the industry and each individual operation over the last year during the fourth annual awards gala. The CITE Awards Gala allows the opportunity to recognize Indigenous tourism excellency and honour the trailblazers in the industry including awards for the following: Most Improved Business, Most Improved Marketing Initiatives, the Leadership Award and the Allyship Award.

For more information on the Indigenous Tourism Alberta Gathering visit:


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