OTTAWA, VANCOUVER — The Canadian Vacation Ownership Association and Hotel Association have announced an alliance that will help them promote common issues such as short-term rentals and labour shortages. The new agreement aligns two important industries that have the common goal of delivering hospitality and memorable hotel experiences to the travelling public.
HAC is an industry-based association focused on enhancing the prosperity of the hotel industry through strong member engagement, effective advocacy and the provision of value-added programs and services. CVOA is an industry-based association dedicated to furthering vacation ownership in Canada and throughout the world.
“Jon [Zwickel, president and CEO of CVOA] reached out to me a few months ago,” said Alana Baker, director of government relations at HAC. “After seeing our work on public relations and member communications, he wondered whether there would be alignment between the two organizations. As we discussed things, we found that we do share industry knowledge that can benefit both associations.”
The collaboration between the two associations would include sharing industry knowledge, defining issues that may be or are currently regulated by government, building public awareness and support, internal and external communications, media and public relations initiatives, lobbying and any other activities that support both mandates, said Baker.
Zwickel told CLN that he had a mandate from the CVOA board of directors to become more deeply engaged in advocacy and government relations. He came up with the idea of aligning with another association and “what finer association than HAC.”
“I always believed that the differences between vacation owners and the hotel industry were not very deep at all. Stakeholders [of both groups] provide hospitality to travelling guests — that's the reason for the two industries to exist. I approached Susie and Alana, suggesting we support each other's initiatives and advocacy. It made sense to them and to my board of directors.”
Zwickel said, “We are thrilled to be working alongside our colleagues at HAC as we both see this move as providing greater alignment, political strength and public visibility to our organizations.”
The two big common issues continue to be — no surprise — short-term rentals and labour shortages, but there are other instances in which the associations can support each other.
Zwickel said that recently there was a bill put before the Quebec legislature relating to vacation ownership and timeshare, and the CVOA needed to take a stand. “My first call was to Alana, even though it did not directly impact her membership. She steered us towards resources in the province and provided help for us on our initiative.”
Asked if HAC will look at MOUs with other organizations, Baker said that this is one great example of growing presence and profile of two associations. If there are other opportunities out there, HAC would explore them.
“This partnership will increase our reach and ensure collaboration on key issues,” added Susie Grynol, HAC president. “One of HAC's goals is to unify the industry around common objectives, and this partnership helps to serve that purpose.”