NEWS BRIEFS Update as of March 12, 2019

RLHC unveils RLabs. Accor launches Tribe brand. Tourism HR Canada Labour Issue Survey.  Expedia on Canadians and vacations. Exodus studies ethical tourism. 

RLHC unveils RLabs Technology subsidiary

Monterey Tides in Monterey, Calif., is one of the first hotels to use the Canvas Integrated Systems Technology.

Monterey Tides in Monterey, Calif., is one of the first hotels to use the Canvas Integrated Systems Technology.

DENVER — RLH Corporation has announced the creation of a new subsidiary,
RLabs, Inc. RLabs was formed to be a travel technology-based innovator that
houses and builds on the groundbreaking technology platform the company has
created, including RevPak. RLabs will focus on new revenue verticals, and on
developing unique technology and system offerings for the hospitality industry
including software, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

The first offering from RLabs is Canvas Integrated
Systems, an all-in-one cloud-based hospitality management suite featuring a
collection of seamlessly-integrated tools designed to drive revenue, secure
more revenue opportunities, automate channel management and reduce cost and
friction for independent hotel owners. 

It harnesses powerful technology not
currently accessible by most independent hotels to provide revenue management,
channel management and global sales at the fraction of the price independent
hotels (and many brands) are able to secure on their own. 

Canvas Integrated
Systems also utilizes technology to provide additional desired platforms such
as personalized loyalty programs and keyless entry. RLabs will also be able to
offer third party management companies the capability to bring brand-level
resources, pricing and technology under a white label to independent hotels
around the world.

“At RLH Corporation, we have created a formidable
platform with fantastic pricing that we are excited to now be able to offer
through Canvas Integrated Systems to independent hotel operators who don’t want
or need a brand,” said RLH Corporation president and chief executive officer
Greg Mount. 

“We see the industry moving towards being transaction-based in the
future and believe Canvas Integrated Systems can provide a savings of up to 50 per cent over what typical independent hotels are currently paying, and potentially even
more for hotels that are part of a soft brand. We believe there is a real
opportunity to use our technology platform in a more vertical way by building a
subscription-style offering of technology on a transaction-based billing
format.”

RLH Corporation has an agreement to provide services
for up to 7 hotels to Canvas Integrated Systems with the first hotel, Monterey
Tides having already converted in December 2018.

Accor launches Tribe brand and ALL

During
a news conference at the International Hotel Investment Forum in
Berlin, Accor announced the creation of a new lifestyle midscale brand, Tribe,
and shared more details about the transformation of its loyalty program into
ALL (Accor Live Limitless).

Accor has
already opened one Tribe property in Perth, Australia, has 10 in the
development pipeline and another 50 around the world under negotiation,
according to a news release. The brand is aimed at travelers around the world who “seek a
high-quality hotel experience at an affordable price.”

Described
as a lifestyle loyalty program, ALL will provide members with rewards,
services and experiences at Accor’s brands as well as a collection of bars,
restaurants, nightclubs and more, according to a news release.

“It’s a
180-degree shift, going from product-centric to client-centric,” Accor
President & CEO Sébastien Bazin said at the company’s press event
introducing the program this morning in Berlin. The new program was designed to
meet guest expectations of simplicity, immediacy, personalization and
experiences beyond the stay. “What we’re not doing is starting a new loyalty
program; we’re starting a new lifestyle loyalty program,” he said.

Tourism Outlook and Labour Issues Survey

OTTAWA — Since 2015, Tourism HR Canada has developed and released three reports on the expected demand for jobs in tourism and the ability of the Canadian workforce to fill those jobs. During these three years, tourism in Canada thrived. International tourist arrivals increased 9 per cent from 2014 to 2015; and in 2018 Canada welcomed a record 21.13 million international visitors. The legacy of Canada’s 150th birthday and the Canada-China Year of Tourism promise to lead to continued growth.

To support Canada’s tourism sector as it seeks to build on its momentum, Tourism HR Canada and the Conference Board of Canada are currently surveying tourism business owners/operators to:

• Highlight the most significant issues facing tourism businesses today and into the future

• Quantify the current and projected impact of labour issues on tourism

• Pinpoint the issues causing the sector to underperform relative to its true potential

Click here to take the ten-minute Tourism Outlook and Labour Issues Survey

Expedia says Canadians committed to vacations

Expedia, one of the
world’s largest full service online travel sites, released the results of their
2019 Expedia Family Travel report, a study looking at the travel habits of
Canadian families with children ranging from toddlers, to pre-teens to
teenagers.

Canadian families
are adventure seekers

— Seven-in-ten (71 per cent) like the idea of an
adventure destination with outdoor activities, with younger parents under 40
years of age (33 per cent vs. 27 per cent 40 years of age or older). Those with children under
six years of age (32 per cent vs. 28 per cent with children six years of age or older) slightly
more likely to choose this type of vacation.

  Canadian parents stated that the Atlantic
provinces (63 per cent) and the Rockies in the West (62 per cent) were both on their bucket
list when choosing which parts of the country to explore with their families –
both destinations highlight adventure, whether hiking in the mountains, or
whale watching off the east coast. 

The Canadian
‘musts’ for a family vacation 

  When it comes to taking a family vacation,
Canadians value family time with 75 per cent indicating that more quality time
is the main take-away from a trip.

  Canadian families indicated that having nearby
attractions (58 per cent) and access to kid’s friendly activities, such as a pool (46 per cent)
were the two most important requirements when selecting a destination.

Educational and
environmental travel are increasingly relevant for families

  Six-in-ten Canadian parents (58 per cent) said they
are always thinking about ways to share more knowledge and keep their children
engaged while on vacation.

  Dads are more likely to incorporate
educational aspects into family trips (61 per cent dads vs. 55 per cent moms)

  While Quebecers are significantly more likely
to say that vacations are for having fun only (21 per cent vs. 11 per cent rest of country),
those in the rest of the country are significantly more likely to say they’d
consider incorporating educational elements (27 per cent vs. 18 per cent Quebec).

  Four-in-ten (43 per cent) say they always think about
environmentally friendly options when planning a family trip.

Albertans &
dads have the highest plane travel threshold

  At a regional level, Albertans had the highest
plane travel threshold with almost 50 per cent of respondents indicating that they are
willing to travel over eight hours by plane with their children.

  Those from Atlantic Canada expressed the
lowest threshold at almost 30 per cent willing to take a similar trip.

  Dads ranked as having a higher threshold (43 per cent)
compared to moms (40 per cent), when asked if they would travel on a plane for eight
hours as part of a family vacation.

Exodus studies ethical tourism

TORONTO — Exodus Travels
commissioned OnePoll to survey more than 2,000 passport-carrying Americans
about their views on ethical tourism. They found that More than 79 per cent of
American travellers hope to become more ethically-conscious in their future
adventures, according to new research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Exodus Travels

As
a leading adventure tour operator that has been committed to low impact tourism
and elevating local communities for the past 45 years, Exodus decided to dig
into how much the average traveler values responsible tourism practices in
today’s world, so they commissioned OnePoll to survey 2,000 Americans (who have
been outside of North America and the Caribbean in last three years), to get to
the heart of the matter. 

“We really just wanted to
know more about how Americans are traveling,” says Robin Brooks, Exodus
Travels’ Marketing Manager. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of
indications that responsible travel was becoming more important to our
travelers, but this survey shows that it’s more than just a trend – people
really care about the impact they’re making on the planet.”

The data indicated that
ethical travel is indeed on the rise; 78 per cent of respondents consider themselves
more ethically-conscious than they were 10 years ago. And while more than 91 per cent of travellers surveyed reported that “ethical” travel was important to them, 39 per cent are still feeling “travel guilt” over their past experiences abroad,
particularly if they consisted of unethical practices such as swimming with
dolphins or posing for photographs with captive wildlife.