NEWS BRIEFS update June 25, 2019

Business travel boosts productivity

MINNEAPOLIS —Research by CWT, the B2B4E travel management platform, shows that six in ten travellers feel more creative and productive when traveling for business. 

Millennial travelers are more likely to say that they are more creative and productive when traveling for business. Those in the Americas lead the way (77 per cent feeling more creative and productive), followed closely by those in Asia Pacific (75 per cent feeling more creative and 73 per cent more productive). European millennials rank third (58 per cent and 57 per cent respectively).

“We are proud to be in a business that helps bring out the best in people,” said Niklas Andreen, executive VP and chief traveller experience officer at CWT. “These findings are not a surprise – travel energizes people, fosters fresh thinking, creates connections – and nothing beats a face-to-face meeting.”

Overall, travelers from Asia Pacific are more likely to have increased creativity (65 per cent) and productivity (64 per cent) compared to travelers from the Americas (58 per cent and 60 per cent respectively) and Europe (53 per cent and 51 per cent respectively). 

CWT’s research also shows that six in ten travelers are most productive when working face-to-face and collaborating with colleagues as opposed to working alone (30 per cent) or remotely (14 per cent). Asia Pacific travellers’ productivity benefits the most from working face-to-face: 61 per cent versus 53 per cent for travellers from the Americas and Europe.

Canadian Industries lag on website accessibility 

Tourism and Hospitality ranks near the bottom on the accessiibility scale in Canada, at 60 per cent out of 100. Source: Google Maps.
Tourism and Hospitality ranks near the bottom on the accessiibility scale in Canada, at 60 per cent out of 100. Source: Google Maps.

TORONTO —With the Accessible Canada Act (Bill C-81) expected to become law this summer, and with websites in Ontario being required to meet strict accessibility criteria by 2021, the call for accessibility is gaining momentum. However, a newly launched Accessibility World Map website shows that Canada still has a long way to go. In terms of digital accessibility, Canada trails a number of developed nations, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia. 

Calculated using the Siteimprove Digital Certainty Index (DCI) Accessibility Score, the scores on the Accessibility World Map are rated out of 100, with 100 being the most digitally accessible, and 0 being the least digitally accessible. 

Here are the key Canadian findings:

— Canada scores 63 out of 100. Globally, the U.S. has the highest score with 65, and United Arab Emirates has the lowest score with 58. See below for the full list of country scores.

— Of the Canadian industries ranked, Education is the highest with a score of 66. Surprisingly, Retail ranks the lowest with a score of 59, meaning that Canadian retailers are missing out on a large percentage of potential customers. Tourism and Hospitality ranks slightly above that, with a score of just 60.

— Other Canadian industries are ranked as follows (from most inclusive to least inclusive): Government – 65; Healthcare – 64; Financial Services – 63; and Manufacturing – 61.

— Accessibility is no small issue — approximately one in five Canadians have a disability,” says Mike Cart, managing director, Siteimprove Canada. “Creating a Canada where everyone can participate fully without barriers is long overdue — and not just in the physical sense. We’re just starting to see companies and industries wake up to the fact that all Canadians deserve equal access to websites and digital platforms.” 

While it may come as little surprise that education and government are the most accessible sectors in Canada, it’s unfortunate to see retail [and tourism] at the bottom of the list. However, for those in the accessibility industry, the results are hardly shocking.

“We’ve been working with clients from all of these sectors over the last couple of years,” explains Cart. “And to be frank, we aren’t surprised to see retail rank the lowest, as the industry has a lot to do to catch up to some of its more digitally inclusive counterparts. Making e-commerce sites more inclusive is beneficial for many reasons, including reaching a potential 22 per cent of the customer base that’s being missed out on.”

Fake hotel scam uncovered in Manchester, England

The palm tree in the window provides one clue that The Grand Pearl hotel in Manchester, U.K. might not be for real.
The palm tree in the window provides one clue that The Grand Pearl hotel in Manchester, U.K. might not be for real.

The Manchester Evening News has uncovered a five-star hotel in Manchester that simply does not exist, and is likely a scam routing money to Nigeria.

The website claims that The Grand Pearl is ‘one of the newest 5 star hotels in the city’, operating since 2014 and has hosted thousands of guests in that time, including celebrities and politicians.

Everything is fake about the property, except for the booking engine that, the Manchester Evening News believes, routes money to Nigeria. A photo taken by the newspaper of its supposed site on the city’s Peter Street shows an empty lot, and calls it made to the telephone number listed on its website never were answered.

Even the name sounds unusual for Manchester. “That sounds more like a Chinese buffet restaurant than a five star hotel,” said a woman in an office building near the supposed address of The Grand Pearl. 

Hotel G’s cannabis delivery service

SAN FRANCISCO — Hotel G, a San Francisco’s lifestyle hotel, has partnered with ONA.life, a family-owned cannabis concierge service, to provide guests with delivery of its products from licensed Northern California vendors.

Guests can call, text, or order online at ONA.life for delivery to the hotel within a one-hour timeframe. An in-room menu curated by ONA and Hotel G features a selection of products in the categories of “Smoking + Vaping” “Edibles” “Drinkables” “Topicals” and “Intimate.” Sour watermelon sativa gummies, Garden Society pre-rolls, and Kikoko tea are just a few of the items available for purchase. For a wider selection, guests may also order from the full menu available at ONA.life. Everyone who places an order will receive a text with a link so they can monitor the delivery process. Delivery is available from 2-10 p.m.
 
“Ever since cannabis was legalized in California last year, guests have been inquiring about visiting the local dispensaries,” says Hotel G General Manager Steve Rizzo. “Hotel G is responding to that demand through our partnership with ONA which provides premium local products with a lot more convenience. Of course, guests should always err on the side of caution if they are new to the effects of cannabis.”
 
This summer, ONA will launch a series of pop-up events at Hotel G, offering guests the opportunity to try unmedicated versions of the products and meet some of the vendors. “We are delighted to announce the ONA partnership with Hotel G. We now have a like-minded hotel partner to venture into the cannabis tourism industry in San Francisco,” says Nurit Raphael, Owner & Founder of ONA.

Radisson loyalty program changes

MINNEAPOLIS — Exciting changes are coming to improve guests and members’ browsing and booking experience for Radisson Rewards. Users will soon enjoy an improved online experience, available June, and a new mobile app, available July. 

Beginning June 2019, members and guests will enjoy a faster and more intuitive browsing and booking experience, leaving more time to plan and creative memorable moments.

Features include: 

— Improved ‘My Account’ section for Radisson Rewards members.

— A faster, easier booking experience online and on mobile.

— The ability to explore any of Radisson’s more than 1,100 hotels across its seven brands in one place.

The new online experience is available in a number of languages, including English, Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Ithas been optimized for seamless use on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Vancouver Marriott partners with aquarium

The Sea Otter camera is one of the features of the Vancouver Aquarium.
The Sea Otter camera is one of the features of the Vancouver Aquarium.

VANCOUVER — The flagship Marriott hotel in Vancouver has partnered with the Vancouver Aquarium and created Vancouver in the Ocean, a package that makes it easier for guests to explore the world-class ocean center. The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown is inviting its guests to experience the aquatic world and oceans like never before with a package that includes two admission tickets to the aquarium per stay.

“Since opening in 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium has connected more than 45 million people from around the world to our oceans and all of the wonders within them,” said Karen Howe, director of visitor experience, Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative. “We are excited to be partnering with the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown and are keen on welcoming their guests so they too can discover and connect with thousands of incredible ocean species ranging from the Arctic to the Amazon.”

Located at 1128 West Hastings Street, the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown offers guests convenient access to the Vancouver Aquarium, Rogers Arena, Stanley Park, the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal. 

“We are proud and excited to be partnering with a landmark attraction in Vancouver,” said Shawn Caswell, director of sales, Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown. 

“At Marriott we take our commitment to the environment very seriously and employ a number of initiatives such as our Serve 360 program, which is our commitment to creating a positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business. As well, our Showcase restaurant features a number of the Vancouver Aquarium’s seafood program – Ocean Wise recommended menu options.”