NEWS BRIEFS Jan. 28, 2020

Wyndham responds to Coronavirus

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts issued the following statement regarding Coronavirus today.

“The safety of our guests, owners, team members and partners around the world is a top priority. We are currently recommending that our hotels in China follow the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and their local health departments – and to report any suspected cases to the proper authorities as soon as possible. 

“We are sending supplies to our hotels in China for distribution to workers, guests, and members of the community. Additionally, guests traveling to or from China with direct bookings for stays in any of our hotels from January 22nd through February 29th will have their cancellation or change penalties waived. We continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Destination Canada publishes visitor spending reports

Each quarter, Destination Canada will publish new data on international tourism spend in Canada by 10 key markets and the rest of the world. 

These indicators, developed by Statistics Canada for the tourism sector, provide spending of international visitors in Canada by region and six key tourism spending categories: accommodation, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, clothing and gifts, and transportation.

Spend data is estimated by Statistics Canada by combining the Visitor Travel Survey data and anonymized, aggregated data from the financial sector. 

Key highlights from third quarter 2019 early indicators

1. Over the third quarter (July – September) of 2019, visitors from the US represented 50 per cent ($4.8 billion) of all spending by international visitors. Over the same period, Canada welcomed 6.1 million overnight visitors from the US.

2. Consistent with previous quarters, the top three provinces for total international visitor expenditures were Ontario ($3 billion, 31%), British Columbia ($2.9 billion, 30 per cent) and Quebec ($1.5 billion, 16 per cent).  Collectively they represented around 77 50 per cent of total spending by international travellers.

3. Chinese visitors represented 7 per cent ($666 million) of all spending by international travellers with 2 per cent (302,936) of all same day and overnight visitors, which was slightly higher than British spending of $640 million with 3 per cent (406,767) of all same day and overnight visitors.

4. In both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, American visitors contributed a much higher proportion of the international visitor spending, at 76 per cent of total spend in those two provinces, compared to 50 per cent in Canada.

5. Indian travellers are spending a much greater proportion (19 per cent) of their total spend in Ottawa region when compared to visitors from other countries (3 per cent). It is their second largest spend region and they are second only to the US in Ottawa.

6. French visitors continued their deep connection with Quebec. They spent 65 per cent ($312 million) of their total spending in Canada in Quebec. All other countries combined spent 13 per cent of their total spending in Quebec.

7. Chinese visitors continued spending much higher proportion of their spend shopping in Canada when compared with other international visitors to Canada. They spent 22 per cent ($149 million) of their total spending on clothes and gifts compared to 9 per cent ($816 million) by visitors from other countries combined.

8. Niagara Falls and Wine Country region saw much higher proportionate spend in Recreation and Entertainment (1 per cent) when compared with other regions in the country (9 per cent)

Detailed information about third quarter 2019 Early Indicator visitor spend is also represented in three dimensional form. With this data it is possible to combine spend by visitors from a market in a particular region on goods and services in a particular category. For example:  how much Germans spent on Accommodation in Greater Toronto Area. 

Hilton launches 18th brand in upscale space

MCLEAN, Va. — Virgina-based Hilton Worldwide Holdings recently announced the launch of a new hotel brand called Tempo in the upscale space. The new chain of hotels will put wellness, sustainability and design front and centre, a move that will help it align with younger travellers keen on more mindful and eco-friendly travel.

This will be Hilton’s 18th brand behind recent launches of Motto, a micro-hotel chain and Signia, a meeting and events brand launched last year.

Though Hilton hasn’t announced when and where the first hotel will open, it boasts commitments to build properties across a wide range of domestic destinations including New York, Maui, Boston, Los Angeles, Lexington, Nashville, San Diego, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston and Atlanta with an addition 30 deals in the works.

To meet its standard, Tempo has a variety of wellness and sustainability initiatives baked into its foundation. In partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Tempo will host “Power-Up” and “Power-Down” content on its in-room TVs to help guests get ready for the day or prepare for a good night of sleep. In the restaurants, efforts will be taken to curb food waste, source responsible food and encourage travelers to use reusable water bottles instead of single-use plastics.

International arrivals for Canada in October

The international arrival numbers for October were released by Statistics Canada in late December. Based on this information, TIAC is confident that we are on track for another record year for arrivals.

Overall, inbound visits are up 5 per cent over last year, with the most growth coming from overseas residents. Europe, India (+17.6 per cent) and Mexico (+27.8 per cent) continue to have the best overall growth. Growth from China is fairly stagnant (+0.5 per cent), which TIAC will continue to monitor.

International visitation is key to industry growth. Visitors from overseas stay longer, and spend more on their trips than domestic visitors. This also leads to better tourism jobs and contributes to tourism as Canada’s largest service export.

Accor eliminating single use plastics

Accor has announced it is eliminating single-use plastics in guest experience by 2022.

The world-leading augmented hospitality group has more than 5,000 hotels and residences across 110 destinations with a portfolio of 39 hotel brands, from luxury to economy (including Fairmont, Sofitel, Swissotel, Raffles, Novotel, MGallery, 21c Museum Hotels, and more).

As it advances its role as a responsible tourism provider locally and globally, Accor has committed to join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

In addition to their previous commitment to eliminate all plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, today’s new commitment includes:

— The removal of individual plastic toiletry amenities and cups by the end of 2020. 

— The elimination of all remaining single-use plastic items in guestrooms, meeting areas, restaurants and all leisure activities areas (spas, fitness centres, etc.) by the end of 2022.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Ryerson scholarship honours Bill Pallett

TORONTO — Ryerson and the Ted Rogers school of Hospitality and Tourism Management were saddened by the news of the loss of one of their treasured alumni and supporters, William (Bill) Pallett. 

Over the course of Bill’s career in human resources and consulting in the hospitality industry, he was the architect of a highly engaged corporate culture that always put people first.

Bill was dedicated to improving his community and supported with his time and expertise the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Mount Sinai Health System in Patient Care, Kinark (Ontario's largest agency dealing with youth and mental health), Tourism HR Canada, and the TRSHTM Advisory Council for six years. He was the recipient of the 2017 HTM Industry Award in recognition for his dedication to Ryerson. 

Bill touched the lives of many, and his impact on our Industry will be felt for years to come. A student scholarship in his memory will be established at the school. Click here to donate.

Bill's celebration of life will be held Feb. 10 at Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto, 75 Lower Simcoe Street, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Winter wellness retreat on Fogo Island

Photo courtesy of Hé Photographes.

Photo courtesy of Hé Photographes.

JOE BATT'S ARM, N.L. — When was the last time you listened? To the wind, to the rain, to your body, to your breath? Carefully tucked away from the storms of modernity and protectively moated by the North Atlantic, Fogo Island is an ideal place to stop, be still, and listen.

Fogo Island Inn is offering a new kind of Wellness Retreat Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, to start the new year off right. Lulled by the hypnotic soundtrack of crashing ocean waves and enchanted by the inherently artistic landscape of ice and snow, guests can find stability between sea and sky as they embark on a guided program of yoga, meditation, reiki, and self-discovery led by certified coach Jennifer Thompson of St. John’s, N.L.

With a flexible itinerary that invites plenty of opportunities for movement, stillness, and reflection, guests' time here will challenge, ground, and restore them. Using the spaces within the Inn as well as breathtaking surprise offsite settings, they will find centring calm alongside the delightful disorientation of Fogo Island’s still-wild world and the steady resonance of wind and waves.