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13 May 2021

A total of 71 deals (comprising mergers & acquisitions (M&A), private equity, and venture financing) were announced in the global travel and tourism sector during April, which is a decline of 34.3% over 108 deals announced in March, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The travel and tourism sector is still reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the rebound in deal activity in March brought in some cheers, it could not be sustained for long with April again reversing the trend.”

The announcement of private equity, venture financing, and M&A deals decreased by 64.7%, 34.6%, and 26.2% during April compared to the previous month, respectively.

Bose continues: “Deal activity decreased in key markets such as the UK, China, India, Australia, and the US compared to the previous month, while countries such as the Netherlands and South Korea witnessed improvement in deal activity.”

 
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CONGRATULATIONS to Sean Oliver, General Manager of the Fuller Lake Motel in Chemainus, BC for winning the April prize package (value of over $500) for simply signing up to our free semimonthly E-NEWSLETTER! Visit www.westernhotelier.com now to sign up for our free E-Newsletter and your chance to win next month’s $500 prize package!

 
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APRIL 15, 2021 – CALGARY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Superior Lodging Corporation is thrilled to announce that thirty-two Super 8 by Wyndham Canadian properties have been named as 2020 “Pride of Super 8” Award Winners at the Wyndham Virtual Conference.

The “Pride of Super 8” award recognizes properties and their staff for outstanding guest reviews, consistently achieving high quality scores, and their strong commitment to the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program. This recognition is even more notable given the many challenges presented throughout the ongoing pandemic during the past year.

“Congratulations to all of the winning properties for delivering an outstanding guest experience.” Said Marc Staniloff, President & CEO, Superior Lodging Corp. “It’s fantastic to see the incredible number of Canadian properties that have once again been acknowledged among the best Super 8 by Wyndham properties across North America.”

Please join all of us at Superior Lodging Corporation in congratulating the winning properties listed below:

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM THREE HILLS

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM WINNIPEG EAST

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM KENORA

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM PORT ELGIN

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM GRANDE PRAIRIE

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM BRANDON

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM EDMONTON WEST

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM WINNIPEG WEST

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM DAWSON CREEK

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM PRINCE ALBERT

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM TIMMINS

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM FORT FRANCES

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM HIGH RIVER

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM HIGH LEVEL

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM AMHERST

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM ST JOHNS

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM CARAQUET

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM TROIS-RIVIERES

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM MIDLAND

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM WINDSOR

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM PETERBOROUGH

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM LACHENAIE/TERREBONNE

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM KAPUSKASING

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM SHERWOOD PARK/EDMONTON AREA

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM COCHRANE

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM MONT LAURIER

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM CANMORE

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM FORT MCMURRAY

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM SPRUCE GROVE

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM SASKATOON NEAR SASKATOON AIRPORT

SUPER 8 BY WYNDHAM SAULT STE MARIE

 
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Price-conscious travelers may be lured by the reboot of loyalty programs across the tourism sector. Various travel companies are now repositioning loyalty programs as value-orientated, rather than solely price focused in post-pandemic travel as they seek to tap into individuals’ desires for budget experiences, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s survey found that the main obstacles facing travel’s recovery are quarantine requirements (57%), travel restrictions (55%) and fear of contracting COVID-19 (51%). The fourth barrier was financial concerns (29%) and GlobalData’s Q1 2021 consumer survey found that 32% of global respondents were ‘extremely’ concerned about their personal financial situation. This suggests that economic constraints are going to be a key consideration for many when planning future travel

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This year will likely see more partnerships form across the sector in loyalty programs, not only displaying increased collaboration in travel’s recovery, but offering a wider range of services to customers. This will help to drive revenue and recovery, while increasing value for end users.”

An effective loyalty program adds value for the end-user, drives return on investment (ROI) and increases revenues for the respective company. Cash conservation is one of the primary objectives of travel and tourism companies in their attempts to survive the pandemic, but it is also part of travelers’ plans going forward. This is where an effective loyalty program, making customers feel valued, may pay dividends in restoring customer confidence in travel’s recovery.

Bonhill-Smith continues: “Loyalty programs are not new, but it is clear companies across the travel and tourism supply chain now see them as key to keeping customers engaged throughout the pandemic. The more value the offering can provide, the higher incentive to book or stay with a particular brand.”

Travel intermediaries such as TripAdvisor and Expedia Group have recently relaunched loyalty programs to encourage more bookings on both stays and experiences. The lodging industry has also seen leading companies such as Marriott, under its Marriott Bonvoy program, partner with Uber giving more opportunity for free through points to be collected.

Bonhill-Smith adds: “The success of these loyalty programs is yet to be seen, but each strategy has the potential to provide extra value for the end user when using these companies.

“With leading companies across the travel sector now investing in loyalty programs, it suggests that there is a heightened focus on ROI and value for money experiences in post-pandemic travel.”

 
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COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) - April 27, 2021 - Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, released last week, suggests that there has been federal investments allocated for rebuilding and recovering the tourism industry as well as for Indigenous communities, yet it remains unclear how the Indigenous tourism sector is specifically being supported, during a critical time for its survival.

“There’s a discrepancy with the government saying that they are investing into Indigenous tourism versus funding solutions that we and the industry actually have access to,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). “Separate from ITAC’s operational budget, we need to see another line item in the federal budget that recognizes Indigenous tourism as a separate sector within the overall tourism industry, where dedicated financial support for recovery is allocated to the industry and business owners and managed through an Indigenous-led solution. This is the most effective way to provide direct support to Indigenous tourism operators who are barely hanging on as they wait for tourism’s recovery.”

Currently, it remains extremely vague whether the proposed budget allotments will be further broken down to provide previously promised direct support for Indigenous tourism businesses. What is clear is that past national efforts through government-led relief programs or mainstream banking institutions have not been effective and not accessible to the Indigenous tourism businesses, and that government officials are not listening to the needs of the Indigenous tourism industry.

ITAC shared their Strategic Recovery Plan ($50M), which asked for a four-year commitment to ensure the stability of the sector, as well as their COVID-19 Second Wave Response ($18.3M for emergency relief) proposals with their federal liaisons multiple times during the past months. The organization was shocked to find that despite their efforts and positive conversations with Indigenous Services Canada, the agency only recommended that $2.4M be allocated to ITAC – a 20% reduction in core funding year-over-year – and only committed to one year of support. Without this directed funding of $68.3M and the reduction in the operating budget, ITAC will be incapable of meeting its contractual obligations to directly support its members, provincial and territorial partners as well as national programs and will not be able to help lead the industry toward recovery. The organization’s plea is for the federal government to commit to longer-term funding and solutions that will protect Indigenous jobs and businesses in the long run.

Already several elected members of Parliament have come out in support of ITAC, raising concerns in the House of Commons that Indigenous tourism businesses have been abandoned in Budget 2021: 

“Are they (the Government) going to watch thousands of Indigenous jobs that are critical… and fund this organization adequately so they can be a part of the critical recovery in the tourism sector, the hardest hit sector in our country?” asked Gord Johns, NDP Member of Parliament in this video.

“They’ve (Indigenous tourism businesses) been begging this government for over a year for some kind of a plan to get a sense of when they’re going to be able to do that (welcomes back visitors) and how they’re going to be able to do that and this government has ignored them for over a year. The prime minister promised them over a year ago that there would be a plan for them, and that promise has not been kept,” shared Blake Richards, PC Member of Parliament in this video.

“ITAC’s programs are much more effective than government-led programs because we know and understand the community’s reality, we speak the same language and we connect with members where they are comfortable. ITAC offers a more human approach without barriers and with a timeliness and urgency that’s missing from traditional approaches,” shares Henry.

Henry also points out a seeming lack of cultural understanding from public servants. The applications for relief programs are lengthy, rife with corporate jargon and complicated business processes, and are very challenging to navigate even for Indigenous tourism experts; not to mention that millions of Canadians are trying to access the same supports at once. Also, many Indigenous business operators only speak either English or French as a second language, making it even more complicated to understand the applications, and they often have poor phone and internet connections due to the lack of infrastructure in their communities. That’s where having an Indigenous-led organization like ITAC becomes essential. ITAC provides administrative, marketing, training and financial support. They identify existing gaps and offer specialized services at a much higher success rate and at a much lower cost than traditional government bodies, saving taxpayer dollars.

“It’s so shocking to me that governments in New Zealand, Australia and the United States are all increasing investment into their Indigenous Tourism yet our government is decreasing ours. Previously, Canada led the world in our development of Indigenous tourism experiences; we not only raised the bar but set it. It’s a shame and a pity that we’re falling behind. It will be nearly impossible to get back on top after this giant step back, which is the equivalent of losing 30 years of progress and development,” says Henry.

 

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