NEWS BRIEFS as of Dec. 11, 2018

A win for AHLA as DMFs excluded from legislation

EDMONTON — Last month, the Government
of Alberta released their plan to provide funding for Edmonton and Calgary. As a
result of significant efforts by the AHLA and local associations in Edmonton and Calgary, the government
decided not to give the cities authority over the administration of DMFs. 

“After
more than a year of lobbying and attending many meetings with officials
from all levels of government, the hard work and united efforts of Alberta hotels have paid
off. Our collective voice was
heard loud and clear,” the association said in its newsletter.

“This issue was critical for Alberta's
hospitality industry as it would have set precedent for every municipality to
follow. Had Edmonton and Calgary been granted the ability to collect and
administer their own DMF funds, a new mandatory hotel tax would have been a
very real possibility — that's precisely what AHLA members prevented by working
together.”

Choice Privileges' double points promo

ROCKVILLE, Md., — Choice Privileges, the award-winning loyalty program from Choice Hotels International, Inc.  , is bringing back its popular Double Points promotion. Choice Hotels Canada is also participating. Starting Dec. 4 through February 15, 2019, members who book at participating Choice Hotels locations can earn 20 points per dollar spent at hotels, up to 30,000 bonus points. Additionally, loyalty members who book on Choice Hotels' mobile app will have the opportunity to earn even more points with the Book. Spin. Win. promotion, which awards participants with up to 3,000 additional bonus points. The Book. Spin. Win. promo is available in all Canadian provinces except Quebec.

“Our more than 39 million loyalty members want to earn rewards even faster, whether they travel for business or leisure,” said Jamie Russo, vice president, loyalty programs and customer engagement, Choice Hotels International. “We designed the Double Points and Book. Spin. Win. promotions to help travelers make their winter and holiday travel twice as rewarding, while having more fun in the process.”

Class action suit launched re Marriott security breach

TORONTO —
Rochon Genova LLP has filed a proposed national class action in Montreal,
against Marriott International, Inc., in respect of the recently announced data breach in its Starwood guest-reservation
database.

“When
customers provide personal information to a large, sophisticated business, such
as an international hotel chain, they expect that it will be carefully
safeguarded,” says Joel Rochon, managing partner at Rochon Genova LLP in
Toronto. “Businesses that demand and then fail to protect, customers’ personal
information, such as passport and payment card details, need to be held
publicly accountable. Customers are entitled to compensation when such
sensitive information is not stored and protected in a responsible manner and
is stolen by hackers.”

The
proposed class action has been brought on behalf of all Canadians who stayed at
a Starwood hotel property anywhere in the world between 2014 and 2018.

Quebec nature getaways: wolf cabin and Three Pines Tour

Winter visitors to the
Quebec Maritime region can travel through the Chic-Choc mountain range via
crawler shuttle to access a cozy mountain lodge in the heart of the Gaspé
wilderness. Auberge de Montagne des
Chic-Chocs
 offers 18
comfortable rooms and an unforgettably intimate and remote experience, far from
the rest of the world. Expert guides, a vast range of outdoor activities, tasty
cuisine, and a spa top off a stay here.

Photo credit: ParcOmega.ca

Photo credit: ParcOmega.ca

Parc Oméga has the only
accommodations in North America where visitors can spend the night in a
luxurious cabin surrounded by wolves outside. The “wolf cabin” is the most luxurious of the
park’s lodgings and offers panoramic bay windows with unrestricted views over
the wolf’s habitat outside. The log cabin can sleep up to four people and
includes a terrace, fully-equipped kitchen, and access to an observation
lookout and bridge that also allows guests to watch the animals from
above. 

Quebec’s
Eastern Townships are home to world-renowned murder mystery author Louise
Penny. Visitors can now experience a “Three Pines Tour” to discover some of the
inspiration behind Penny’s novels. The full day tour is presented in five
“chapters” and explores various sites and stops around the Townships. The
tour includes a guide (a Louise Penny expert), transportation, coffee and
snacks, and admission to various stops along the way. 

Radisson Hotel Group receives SafeHotel certification

Radisson RED Minneapolis Downtown, which is part of the Radisson Hotel Group managed portfolio.

Radisson RED Minneapolis Downtown, which is part of the Radisson Hotel Group managed portfolio.

Minneapolis, Minn. — Radisson Hotel Group recently announced that Safehotels has
certified its managed portfolio in the United States. Safehotels is the only, independent hotel safety and
security certification company with a global reach across the world. This
certification, based on the Global Hotel Security Standard®,
is recognized by hotel and travel associations, the United Nations
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and major insurance
brokers.

The criteria for the certification consists of more than
220 elements, which are organized within six sections including a hotel
property safety and security walkthrough; process, training and organization;
security equipment; fire equipment; fire training; and crisis management. 
 

Maintaining a Safehotels certification is an ongoing
process, as each property must be re-certified each year. Safehotels is
currently in over 60 countries and 160 cities. Along with receiving a
Safehotels certification for its managed portfolio in the Americas, Radisson
Hotel Group already has over 231 hotels certified globally and growing.

Smartphone addiction cure: Digital Detox Pledge

BILLINGS,
Mont. — Do we suffer from an addiction to smartphones and digital devices? The
collective answer is “YES!” And statistics back it up. Ninety percent of
all adults in America own a cell phone. In 2017, the average American adult
spent approximately 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smartphone every single
day. That’s 36 percent more time than what is spent eating and drinking.

What would
happen if we took a week’s hiatus from our phones and devices and let nature
and recreation fill the void? One leading adventure travel company aims to find
out.

This summer,
with the mountains, rivers and trails of Montana and Yellowstone National Park
providing the inspiration, Austin Adventures will ask their guests to
relinquish their digital devices, turn away from the news and embrace the
natural, technology-free world. For six ring, buzz and beep-free days, brave
souls willing to sign and adhere to a Digital Detox Pledge will enjoy
uninterrupted conversation, periods of true silence, healthy exercise and the
opportunity for real family bonding. See: https://www.austinadventures.com/tour-packages/the-most-needed-trip-of-2019-digital-detoxification/