Text by Stacey Sellars. Photos by Alison Boulier.
WHISTLER, B.C. — On April 22-24, 2018, the BC Hotel
Association and ABLE BC hosted the third annual BC Hospitality Summit at the
Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The conference was attended by over 200 hoteliers,
liquor store and pub owners and operators, and hospitality industry vendors.
New seminar topics, speakers, and keynote
presentations were added to this year’s program to offer delegates a unique,
insightful, and informative conference experience. The packed program, coupled
with the stellar mountainside location resulted in a conference to remember as
delegates found time to enjoy the great weather, get some skiing in and pop
into visit the village.
This year’s program stood out above
previous events, packed with industry-leading speakers. Stephen Barth’s opening
keynote on Emotionally Intelligent Leadership kicked the event off on an
inspired note as we headed into sessions on everything from Navigating Cannabis
sales, integrating Food and Wine tourism into your guest experience, to the
2018 Accommodation Outlook from CBRE’s David Ferguson and strategies for
engaging immigration labour programs for staffing and ultimately retention.
The Hotel Association of Canada’s Alana
Baker joined James Chase and others, including Check In Canada’s Jordan McKay,
for the BCHA Industry Update. Alana provided insight into the accomplishments
of HAC in the past year on a federal level while James Chase gave an overview
of the Association’s advocacy work, in particular work with the new BC
Day one completed with the BC Hospitality
Industry Awards Gala. It was a lively night with the return of the Industry
Awards for Publican of the Year and Liquor Retailer of the Year awarded by ABLE
BC. Ingrid Jarret of the Watermark Beach
Resort received the Hotelier of the Year award, presented by BCHA Chairman,
John Kearns. Ingrid’s contributions to the hospitality industry in the province
are undisputed, and furthermore her recent recognition as one of Canada’s Most
Powerful Women and her profile in BC Business just go to show what an
incredible force she is.
A new addition to the awards evening, the
BC Hotel Association Housekeeping Awards were a hit. With a number of
housekeeping teams in attendance, the award recipients were brought on stage
for a group photo, with the remaining awards being sent out to the properties
following the conference.
“I want to pass along my enthusiastic congratulations
to the well-deserving teams that received the inaugural British Columbia Hotel
Association Housekeeping Award,” said James Chase, president and CEO of the BCHA. “These properties demonstrated excellence in
cleanliness, and we are proud that they are members of our association and
representing the very best that our province has to offer.”
“Our membership has
long wanted an opportunity to recognize the incredible work of their staff.
Housekeeping staff are an integral part of the guest experience and we are
thrilled to present this award as an opportunity to recognize these essential
team members.” Look forward to more information as the BC Hotel Association
works to further develop this award program, with an even greater celebration
planned for 2019.
Day two started with an exciting
presentation by Destination Canada’s David Goldstein as he provided delegates
with clear insights into the global tourism interest in Canada, BC’s integral
role in the Canadian tourism market, and how businesses can support the growing
number of visitors.
The morning was packed with breakout sessions including an
Immigration and Labour panel sponsored by Go2Hr and a session on the Nightlife
Economy sponsored by WorkSafe BC. Day two concluded with a rousing keynote by
David Sax on the Revenge of Analog, as we all left with new ideas on how to
increase creativity, outsmart competition and boost the bottom line.
Preparations have already begun for the
2019 event, and the conference team are looking forward to finalizing and
announcing next year’s location.