TORONTO — Josef Ebner, regional vice-president – Canada, Langham Hospitality Group & managing director, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, was awarded the W.H. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Agents’ Choice Awards Gala on June 16.
The W.H. Baxter Lifetime Achievement Award was named after Baxter Publications’ founder, William Baxter (1919–2004) and honours a travel industry leader who has made a significant contribution domestically and/or internationally to the travel and tourism industry; improved professional standards in the industry; demonstrated successful innovation and entrepreneurial initiative; and enhanced the industry’s standing with the general public. Ebner is only the fifth recipient of this award since its inception in 2005.
Ebner’s global work experience began with an apprenticeship from 1963 to 1966 in Austria. He has since worked in several cities in Europe and North America before returning to Toronto in 1992.
For the past 30 years, Ebner has made countless trips to Asia, Europe, the U.K., Middle East and the U.S. on sales missions, including ITB in Berlin, CTC ‘Showcase’ events in Japan, Korea, China and India, as well as WTM in London.
“These missions provide me with an opportunity to make a positive impact and ultimately contribute to the promotion and support of the tourism industry in Canada,” says Ebner. “The personal connections make all the difference.”
Ebner has also been very involved in various voluntary organizations including board membership and/or executive-committee membership with Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, Greater Toronto Hotel Association, Tourism Toronto and SKAL Toronto, among others. He also contributes to several tourism-related student/youth programs and his encouragement of internships within many of the hotel’s departments has created strong partnerships with the local and European colleges.
The ability to give back to the community has always been an important philosophy of his. Under his direction, the Chelsea Hotel has conducted fundraising efforts to benefit a number of local charities, such as Canadian Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity Toronto and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Today, the hotel supports SickKids Foundation and has committed to raise $1 million over a period of ten years in support of the SickKids VS Limits campaign.