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By Jonathan Zettel, assistant editor
HALIFAX—The annual Travelodge Canada brand conference took
place in Halifax from Oct. 6 to 8 with delegates from across the country coming
together to share stories and learn about brand initiatives.
“This year’s event ‘Come as you are, leave different’ speaks
to the transformative power of gathering together as a group of like-minded
professionals with a common goal,” Travelodge Canada president Steven Robinson said to
more than 100 attendees. “These brand conferences have the power to enlighten,
educate, inspire, motivate and transform us as individuals.”
Over the three-day event, Travelodge operators listened to
speakers, went to breakout sessions, met with conference sponsors and venders
and experienced Halifax hospitality.
In a scripted confrontation, motivational speaker Cameron
Hughes interrupted Robinson telling him to “liven things up a bit.” Hughes then
proceeded through the crowd dancing his way up to the stage to speak about the benefits of taking chances.
Tony Pollard, president of the Hotel Association of Canada,
spoke to the group about the overall status of the industry.
“Things look very, very good for us moving forward,” Pollard
said. “Last year, for the very first time, tourism grew by five per cent and
those numbers are tracking this year as well.”
Pollard said the industry saw $16.5 billion in revenue in
2013 and employs 290,000 people.
Other speakers included Mathew Stone of Stone-Olafson who spoke
about creating brand connections; Curt Steinhorst of the Promentum Group talked
about how to get the attention of guests; and Carman Pirie of Kula Partners
discussed how to manage online reputations.
The event—hosted at the Delta Halifax—wrapped up with a
dinner and awards ceremony.
Travelodge Strathmore, AB, was named Hotel of the Year and received
the Best Housekeeping Award. Travelodge Dartmouth, NS, took home the Highest
Guest Satisfaction Score award with Glen Dowling of that location honoured as
Employee of the Year. Mary Hamilton received a Distinguished Service Award for
her work in quality assurance.
For more, see the
November issue of Canadian Lodging News.