It’s summer, and the living is easy. Or is it? With summer in full swing, there’s plenty of activity to keep the hotel industry abuzz. In Toronto, the Pan Am Games (July 10 to 26) and Parapan Am Games (August 7 to 15) promise to bring an influx of tourists into Canada’s major hub, and will test the city’s mettle, and the hotel industry’s ability to ensure the safety and security of its guests (see story on p. 35).
Throughout the country, activity abounds. The installation of David Goldstein as president of the Vancouver-based Canadian Tourism Commission last winter, followed by the announcement of its rebranding as Destination Canada at the annual Rendez-vous Canada marketplace, held in Niagara Falls, Ont. certainly promises to usher in a new era for the association. And, of course, the federal government’s plan to invest $30 million over three years to the Connecting America tourism campaign, means there will be funds available to Destination Canada and its partners to finally start promoting this country as it should. As Goldstein said, “We will be looking to use innovative approaches to entice increasing numbers of Americans to travel to Canada.” Certainly, it’s just what the doctor ordered for this great, vast country.
Additionally, there are a host of other changes being made that should help solidify Canada’s global tourism position. For example, the Canadian government recently announced changes to the country’s visa policies, including the rollout of the Electronic Travel Authorization project in 2016, following which the visa requirement will be partially lifted for Mexican, Brazilian, Romanian and Bulgarian travellers. Later this summer, a new visa office will also be opened in Guangzhou, China.
The greater influx of tourists bodes well for Canada’s dynamic hotel industry. And, not surprisingly, there’s plenty of news on the hotel development side as well. Mergers and acquisitions continue to alter the hotel landscape in Canada. For example, Marriott International’s acquisition of Delta Hotels and Resorts should stimulate synergies between the two brands, fuelling continued growth in Canada while also creating opportunities for expansion of the Canadian brand into new, international markets (see story on p. 11). Certainly, these days, it’s all about growth.
And what better time to talk about growth than in this current issue, which features our signature “Top 50 Report” (see story on p. 8). As always, the report is a barometer of success in the industry. As the industry’s best jockey for position, one-upping each other with strategic mergers and acquisitions, new brands, and a slew of product innovations, it’s clear that it’s all in a day’s work, no matter what the season.