NEWS BRIEFS update as of Sept. 24, 2019

Skål Hamilton rebrands. Airbnb news: Corporate, Calgary and Saskatchewan. Duetto and Sandman. Holiday Inn back to school promo. Lead Like Walt book released. Canadian Tourism Employment Snapshot.

Skål Hamilton rebrands as Skål Hamilton-Niagara

Skål Hamilton-Niagara Board of Directors from left: Paul Durand – president, Skål Canada; Simon Deek; Frank Vismeg – president, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Mark Iker – vice-president, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Michael Paralovos – treasurer, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Grady Liddle – secretary, SKAL Hamilton-Niagara Club; Rolf Schwartje – director, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Radu Arvatescu – director, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club.

Skål Hamilton-Niagara Board of Directors from left: Paul Durand – president, Skål Canada; Simon Deek; Frank Vismeg – president, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Mark Iker – vice-president, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Michael Paralovos – treasurer, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Grady Liddle – secretary, SKAL Hamilton-Niagara Club; Rolf Schwartje – director, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club; Radu Arvatescu – director, Skål Hamilton-Niagara Club.

BURLINGTON, Ont. — Skål Hamilton Club, in consultation with Skal Canada has gained approval from Skål International for the club to officially change their name to Skål Hamilton-Niagara. 

This will allow leaders of the tourism and hospitality industry in the Niagara region to be globally recognized as members of the association and further enjoy the benefits of Skål Membership. 

Skål is represented in all of Canada’s major tourism sectors and although anyone in the Golden Horseshoe region has had the ability to become a Skal Hamilton member, having the important tourism area of Niagara included in the club name firms up Skal’s commitment to the Niagara area.

 “We are very pleased to be able to be inclusive of those tourism individuals who reside in and around the Niagara area, being one of the largest attractions in the world. Having worked in the area and representing Niagara during my presidency for Skål Toronto North, I am proud to now include them in our official name,” said Frank Vismeg, president, Skål Hamilton-Niagara.

“Welcoming the important tourism region of Niagara into Skål is a historic event for Skål Canada”, said Paul Durand, president Skål Canada.  

On September 10th, Skål Hamilton-Niagara hosted a dinner at the Burlington Convention Centre to celebrate this historic event. Several VIP guests were in attendance including Paul Durand, Skål Canada president, who presides over the national board representing 17 Skal clubs and over 700 members in Canada. 

Skål Canada is the sixth largest national membership of the 83 countries representing Skal International. 

To become a Skål member visit www.skalcanada.org. Membership is exclusively for senior management of tourism, hospitality and travel companies. The Young Skål program is ideal for young professionals in the tourism hospitality industry. Skål promotes “Doing business with Friends”. 

The organization founded in 1934, is the largest organization of professional travel and tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, industry managers and executives, meet at local, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest in the Travel and Tourism Sectors. There are over 15,000 members in almost 400 clubs located 83 nations. 

Airbnb news: Corporate, Calgary and Saskatchewan

CALGARY, REGINA — Airbnb said earlier this month that it intends to go public in 2020, ending much speculation about the timing of one of the most-anticipated IPOs in travel.

The news came after Airbnb said it generated revenue of more than $1 billion in the second quarter of its 2019 financial year — the second time in its history it has passed the figure.

The company is preparing to launch a new multi-media advertising campaign featuring a number of its hosts across the United States.

Essentially, Airbnb is harking back to its roots as a homesharing platform, something it seems keen to do especially in the face of mounting criticism about its impact on cities across the world.

Jim Bence, SHHA.

Jim Bence, SHHA.

SASKATCHEWAN: Some of that criticism is coming from Saskatchewan, where Airbnb is booming and the provincial government wants its share of tax revenue. Since early this year, the province and the SHHA have been trying to get Airbnb to comply with new legislation that is meant to include PST collection on what the government refers to as “accommodation sharing services.”

SHHA president and CEO Jim Bence estimates hotel business in Regina is down two to three per cent due to Airbnb. He admitted that doesn’t sound like much, but when you look at the number of hotel rooms available, that has an impact. Bence also pointed to the effect that reduction in business has on jobs in the industry.

The problem the association has with the short-term rental industry, according to Bence, is that they’re not taxed or regulated like a business. “If we’re going to play in the same field, then we just want to make sure that the rules are all fair, and that they apply to everybody equally,” said Bence.

Amendments made to the Provincial Sales Tax Act were given assent on May 30, 2018.

“The legislation is in place and we have contacted the various online accommodations sharing services about compliance and getting them to collect and remit PST,” said Brian Miller, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.

The change to the act’s language that is meant to rope in Airbnb states that a retail sale in the province includes a sale of “tangible personal property or of a taxable service by a person who does not otherwise carry on business in Saskatchewan, if the tangible personal property or the taxable service is acquired for use or consumption in or relating to Saskatchewan.”

CALGARY: In Calgary, Airbnb hosts earned $18 million this summer, the company says. But CBC News noted that Calgarians who run short-term rentals could be subject to new licensing fees, safety rules and up to $1,000 fines if bylaw changes being discussed by a council committee get approved.

Councillor Druh Farrell says Airbnbs and the home-sharing economy are growing in popularity, and it's time for the city to step in to ensure the safety of guests and property owners.

The city committee is considering a two-tiered licence system, with the first tier covering dwellings with one to four bedrooms for a $100 annual fee, and the second tier covering five or more bedrooms for $191 plus the cost of a fire inspection.

Sandman Hotel Group partners with Duetto

Sandman Signature Plano-Frisco, Texas, the company's first U.S. property, is the company's newest hotel.

Sandman Signature Plano-Frisco, Texas, the company's first U.S. property, is the company's newest hotel.

SAN FRANCISCO — Sandman Hotel Group, Canada’s fastest growing hospitality company, has officially partnered with Duetto, a hospitality revenue platform with a best-in-class pricing application, to maximize profitability across its entire portfolio of hotels, resorts, and inns.

Sandman, which operates The Sutton Place Hotels, Sandman Signature Hotels & Resorts, and Sandman Hotels, Inns & Suites, is implementing the technology firm’s pricing application, GameChanger; its solution for intelligent reporting, ScoreBoard; and its groups business application, BlockBuster.

With more than 50 Hotels, Resorts, Inns, and Suites, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, the US, and the UK, and with several properties under development, Sandman is Canada’s fastest-growing, privately-owned hospitality company.

Duetto’s revenue strategy platform brings together core technologies and data to make them accessible through multi-tenant cloud architecture, powering a suite of applications delivering a holistic revenue strategy that increases organizational efficiency, revenue and profitability.

“We were looking for a modern application to enable innovative strategies throughout the organization,” says Michael McNames, director of revenue at Sandman Hotel Group. “We are confident in Duetto's best-in-class technology, but perhaps more importantly, it was a cultural fit for an agile company proving to be cutting-edge market leaders.”

“Sandman Hotel Group is an innovative industry leader eager to empower their teams with the right resources,” says Patrick Bosworth, CEO and co-founder at Duetto. “We're excited to help them along a journey of making more informed decisions to maximize opportunities.”

In addition to the newly opened Sandman Signature Plano – Frisco Hotel, U.S. (Sandman’s first hotel in Texas and the United States); Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel, U.K. (Sandman’s first hotel in Scotland and third in the U.K.); Sandman Signature St. John’s Hotel, N.L.; Sandman Signature Calgary Airport Hotel, Alta.; and Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport Hotel, Ont. Sandman has also announced new Canadian hotels in Sherwood Park, Alta.; Saskatoon, Sask.; and Winnipeg, Man.

Holiday Inn back to school promo

ATLANTA — On August 22, the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands started offering a special Back to School Sale, which allows guests to save at least 20 per cent on the Best Flexible Rate on stays beginning August 23, 2019 through March 31, 2020. Stays must be booked three days in advance and before September 26. 

Travel brings people together for life’s most important moments, and Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are there for people who are travelling to see their loved ones, friends and family during this peak back to school time. 

Whether it’s seeing a family member off to college or taking one last trip of the summer to connect with friends before the back to school routine starts, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express know it’s important to be there, together, in real life for moments that matter. With nearly 4,000 locations worldwide, the Holiday Inn brand has hotels anywhere so guests can be there in person with their friends, family and colleagues.

Lead Like Walt book now out

“When you wish upon a star” is as American [or Canadian] as apple pie and one of the first motivational messages many people learned growing up with Disney.

Pat Williams, a leading motivational speaker, author, best known for his affiliation with NBA's Orlando Magic, has studied Walt Disney for years as one of his greatest role models. Williams has extracted Disney's key leadership traits for us to emulate ourselves in his new book, Lead Like Walt: Discover Walt Disney's Magical Approach to Building Successful Organizations, co-authored with Jim Denney.

Delegates to provincial association conferences such as AHLA have had a chance to hear about Disney leadership philosophies from various keynote speakers.

Whether you are building a small business from the ground up or managing a multi-national company, you can learn the 7 key traits for leadership success from one of the greatest business innovators and creative thinkers of the 20th century: Walt Disney. 

Whether you know him as the first to produce cartoons in Technicolor, the mastermind behind the theme park Disneyland, or the founder of the largest entertainment conglomerate, Walt's story of creativity, perseverance in spite of obstacles, and achieving goals resonates and inspires as much today as it ever has.

Canadian Tourism Employment Snapshot for August

In August 2019, the unemployment rate in the tourism sector was at 4.9 per cent, which is 0.2 percentage points lower than the rate reported in August 2018, but higher than the previous month (July 2019), when the unemployment rate stood at 4.7 per cent.

At 4.9 per cent, tourism’s unemployment rate was well below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent.

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 0.0 per cent in Prince Edward Island to 6.5 per cent in Alberta.

Tourism employment comprised 11.4 per cent of the total Canadian labour force for the month of August.