Life's pretty good; enjoy it while it's here
TORONTO — The Greater Toronto Hotel Association has weathered a particularly challenging year with work on cannabis legislation, WSIB elimination of unfunded liability, taking the appeal re Airbnb to the Ontario Municipal Board and ensuring the organization has funding for marketing via the Municipal Accommodation Tax. So said Bonnie Strome, general manager of the Park Hyatt and chair of the association at its annual general meeting.
At the same time, Toronto tourism statistics were particularly robust with 15.5 million overnight visitors, spending $8.8 billion.
Terry Mundell, president and CEO of GTHA, looked back at the past decade and a half. “Business was tough then and we struggled dearly. The leadership decided on a way to take matters into our own hands to fund our marketing. In 2004, we got the long-term funding we sought with the Destination Marketing Fund (DMF).”
Starting in the second quarter of this year the DMF is no longer available. “But we can still be proud of what we still had until the first quarter of 2018. We had long-term, sustainable funding because of the leadership of the association and the hotel industry. No other sector stood up, but we did.
“All these years later, we have a hotel tax, that has protected a major source of funding for Toronto Tourism's budget and can only be changed by government. We have done this as a team,” he said.
Business is pretty good now, and let's enjoy it while it's here, Mundell added. “What we have now is a hell of a good industry, but it's not all about business. We have fun together and get along. Every day, our jobs are to make sure people have a good experience in our city. We are a big part of the social fabric of the community we're in.”
Carver and Associates: new staff, new offices
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Carver and Associates celebrated the grand opening of its new Canadian office at 2680 Matheson Blvd. E., Mississauga, on June 6. The company is has also expanded its Toronto staff to 16 people, said Manuela Kennedy, who leads the Toronto team.
Also on hand for the celebration was Larry Carver, president of the company. Before organizing Carver & Associates in 1983, Larry was president of Peachtree Purchasing Company with John C. Portman, architect and developer. Carver's background includes experience with real estate developers, Cushman Corporation and Jack P. DeBoer Associates. Over the years, he has worked with many elite hotel brands including InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton and Starwood Hotels.
Prior to partnering with Carver and Associates, Manuela Kennedy was director of supply chain for Westmont Hospitality Group. She has worked on various projects globally, from new construction, renovations, project management, procurement and design with brands such as Fairmont, Raffles, Swiss Hotels, Starwood, IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Delta Hotels and Choice International. Her unparalleled knowledge, and experience with over 32 brands has given her a wide network that encompasses all of the key players, from contractors, designers, architects, vendors, as well as brands.
The company has offices in Atlanta, Griffin, Las Vegas, Seoul, Sharjah, Mexico City, Riyadh, Chennai and Toronto.