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Quality Inn Northern Grand


  • pg 1
									                                                                           BC Hotel Association

                                                                                   Summer 2010

                                                                  Quality Inn

                                                              Northern Grand

                   Making Travel a Family Affair • Hotels and the 100-Mile Diet
                   Guest Safety • Utilizing Social Media • Olympic Momentum
Position your company
as a key supplier to the
hospitality industry
  THE PUBLICAN                ALBERTA HOSPITALITY                    INNFOCUS
The official publication of     The official magazine of         The official voice of the
the Alliance of Beverage          the Alberta Hotel &             BC Hotel Association
        Licensees                 Lodging Association



                                                           Call 1-800-667-0955
                                                           today to build your
200-948 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
T 604-681-7164 1-800-663-3153
F 604-681-7649 1-866-220-2032

BCHA Board of Directors
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region
Ross Dyck, Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver 604-681-9321
Linda Griffiths, Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, Burnaby 604-438-1881
Taj Kassam, Sandman Hotels, Vancouver 604-730-6600
Craig Norris-Jones, Coast Hotels, Vancouver 604-688-7711
Francis Parkinson, The Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver 604-691-1991
Ken Svejkovsky, Rosellen Suites @ Stanley Park, Vancouver 604-689-4807
John Sandor, Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver 604-682-5511
Bruce van Mook, Blackcomb Lodge, Whistler 604-935-1177
David Wetsch, Ramada Limited Downtown, Vancouver 604-488-1088

Vancouver Island, Victoria, and Gulf Islands Region
Rick Browning, Best Western The Westerly Hotel, Courtenay 604-932-4155
Jonathan Cross, The Hospitality Inn, Port Alberni 250-723-8111
Reid James, Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria 250-386-0450
Ian Powell, Laurel Point Inn, Victoria 250-386-8721
Kurt Pyrch, Best Western Cowichan Valley, Duncan 250-748-2722
Kevin Walker, Oak Bay Beach Hotel & Marine Resort, Victoria 250-598-4556
David Rooper, Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites, Victoria 250-385-2405
Earl Wilde, Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Victoria 250-386-2211

Thompson Okanagan Region                                                                      Up Front Quality Inn Northern Grand, page 16
John Douglas, Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge, Sun Peaks 250-578-7454
Don Brogan, Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos 250-495-5400
Ingrid Jarrett, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos 250-495-5500
Gavin Parry, Coast Capri Hotel - Kelowna 250-860-6060
Tim Rodgers, Kamloops Towne Lodge 250-828-6660

Kootenay Rockies Region
Sebastian Hofstetter, Prestige Mountainside Resort, Golden 250-344-7990
Allan Brander, St. Eugene Resort, Cranbrook 250-420-2000
Patricia Kilback, Radium Hot Springs Lodge, Radium Hot Springs 250-347-9341
Don Lutzak, Elkford Motor Inn, Elkford 250-865-2211

Cariboo Chilcotin Region
Pat Corbett, The Hills Health and Guest Ranch, 100 Mile House 250-791-5225                           Summer 2010
Northern BC Region
Sam Mangalji, Inn on the Creek, Dawson Creek 250-782-8136

                                                                                       Features                                                         Columns
Al McCreary, Hudson Bay Lodge, Smithers 250-847-4325
Steve Smith, Crest Hotel, Prince Rupert 250-624-6771

Executive Committee                                                               6     Making Travel a Family Affair                                   4     President’s Message
President, Kurt Pyrch, Best Western Cowichan Valley, Duncan
Past President, Earl Wilde, Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Victoria
                                                                                  10 Hotels and the 100-Mile Diet                                       5     CEO’s Report
Treasurer, Linda Griffiths, Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, Burnaby
Vice President, Kevin Walker, Oak Bay Beach Hotel & Marine Resort, Victoria       16 Featured Hotel -                                                   9     From the Front Line
Vice President, Al McCreary, Hudson Bay Lodge, Smithers                              Quality Inn Northern Grand                                         14 VANOC Report
Vice President, Gavin Parry, Coast Capri Hotel, Kelowna
Vice President, Tim Rodgers, Kamloops Town Lodge, Kamloops                        18 The Shifting Priorities of Guest Safety
Vice President, Jonathan Cross, The Hospitality Inn, Port Alberni                                                                                       21 Marketing Trends
Vice President, David Wetsch, Ramada Limited Downtown, Vancouver                  22 Utilizing Social Media
Vice President, Ingrid Jarrett, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos                                                                                         25 BC Hospitality Foundation
                                                                                  26 Olympic Momentum
                                                                                  28 Card Fraud Liability Shifts to Merchant                            29 Human Resources
BCHA Staff
                                                                                  30 COTA Progress Report                                               31 Names in the News
James Chase, Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver 604-443-4750
Cailey Murphy, Communications Coordinator, Vancouver 604-443-4751

Website: www.bchotelassociation.com

                                                                                  InnFocus is published quarterly by EMC Publications - a division of EMC Executive Marketing Consultants Inc.
                                                                                  19073 63 Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3S 8G7 t 604-574-4577 1-800-667-0955 f 604-574-2196
                                                                                  info@emcmarketing.com www.emcmarketing.com
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SURREY BC V3S 8G7                                                                 Design & Layout: Krysta Furioso
email: info@emcmarketing.com                                                      Copy Editor: Debbie Minke
                               President’s Message                                        by Kurt Pyrch

                               Giving Back to the Industry
                                The BCHA has been involved as a founding                      Not only does the Foundation offer significant financial contributions
                                member of the BC Hospitality Foundation                       to support individuals within the hospitality community coping with
                                (BCHF) since its inception back in 2006,                      extraordinary costs arising from a serious health crisis, but the Foundation
                                when the Foundation was inspired by the                       will also match up to $5,000 of your own fundraising efforts for a
desire to financially assist longtime wine agent Michael Willingham, who                      hospitality professional in need. If your business is hosting a fundraiser of
required a costly surgery. The Foundation has grown into an industry-                         this kind, maximize your efforts by engaging the BCHF; it’s an effortless
wide charity aimed at providing assistance for individuals, who work in                       way to turn $8,000 into $13,000 in order to help an employee or colleague
hospitality professions, in times of critical medical need.                                   in need.
The BCHA firmly believes in the importance of the Foundation’s vision of                      If you believe in helping your own and would like to support the BCHF,
“working together to help our own”, and in the spring of 2009 the BCHA                        there are a number of ways to get involved. The Foundation is always
decided to offer exclusive support to the BCHF as its charity of choice,                      looking for third party events to support the Foundation. Consider making
when the Foundation agreed to incorporate a scholarship program as part                       the BCHF the beneficiary of your charity event to do your part to help
of its mandate. This scholarship program is an invaluable new component                       our own. To date there is much fragmentation in the industry regarding
of the BCHF; as we look ahead, it is critical that we make investments now                    charitable organizations, but by focusing our efforts and resources to
in our future workforce.                                                                      support the BCHF we can work together towards a common cause that
At the BC Hospitality Industry Conference last November, the BCHF                             will pay lasting dividends into our industry.
presented scholarships to 10 outstanding hospitality students from across                     The Annual BCHF Golf Tournament on July 19th at Westwood Plateau is
the province, and additional scholarships will be presented this year at                      another great way to show your support for the Foundation while enjoying
the conference in November.                                                                   a day of golf with other industry leaders. This event sold out early last year,
In order to continue to help those in need, however, the Foundation                           so I encourage you to register now.
requires your engagement. Many individuals in need are unaware there                          Visit www.bchospitalityfoundation.com for more information on how the
is an organization that is available to help. If you know of an employee,                     Foundation can help, upcoming events, and how to get involved.
colleague or friend that has a medical need, I encourage you to contact
the Foundation to see how they can help.

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                                                                                                        Visit our website for details.

                         Funding Provided Through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement

 4 InnFocus
                                 CEO’s Report                       by James Chase

                               New Committees & Association Activities
                             It has been another busy quarter for              Another new initiative the Association has been involved with is the Tap
                             the Association. We have established              Water Campaign led by Metro Vancouver, in partnership with ETHOS.
                             new committees, partnered up with                 This is the first hospitality industry tap water campaign of its kind in
                             sustainability programs, and we are               BC and is aimed at reducing the number of single-use plastic bottles
currently redeveloping the website, while continuing to be engaged with        in Vancouver. It provides a practical and sustainable solution through
industry stakeholders and government.                                          offering guests the option to purchase co-branded reusable water bottles
Since the new year, the BCHA Board of Directors has established a              in the guestroom, mini-bar, fitness facilities, and other convenient
handful of new committees to look into ways to improve some of the             locations. The launch of the program, which generated positive feedback
existing Association activities, while also trying to identify new ways to     and substantial media coverage, was at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the
provide value to our membership.                                               first hotel to commit to the new initiative, just in time for the Winter
                                                                               Olympic Games.
The Editorial Committee was formed in order to solicit input and
direction from hoteliers and industry leaders on how to continue to            The Association has also been working hard on the complete
ensure that InnFocus is an informative and relevant industry magazine.         redevelopment of the BCHA website. The new website will be launched
I am pleased to note that some of the committee recommendations                in the upcoming weeks, after being subjected to a comprehensive
have been included in this issue of InnFocus, such as the new “From            redesign aimed at updating the site with new features to make it more
the Front Line” column.                                                        user-friendly for members.

The Technology Committee was called together to examine new software           The Buy & Sell feature on the website will be enhanced to become more
and applications that may be a source of value for our membership.             efficient and user-friendly. I encourage you to take advantage of this tool
                                                                               for selling “experienced” furniture and equipment, or likewise advertising
The Governance Committee, struck at the May board meeting, was                 for lightly used products that you need.
established to look at the current BCHA protocols to see how they can
be improved to allow for greater efficiency and accountability in our          Additionally, there is a new Buyer’s Guide feature on the website, which
operations and to ensure that the interests of the membership are being        will provide current information on BCHA preferred suppliers and
well represented in all of our endeavours.                                     associates as well as special offers exclusive to BCHA members. Another
                                                                               new feature is the Industry Events Calendar that will keep you up-to-date
Should you have any feedback or information that would be pertinent            with what’s going on in your community.
to these committees, please contact your local director to forward your
comments onto the committee members; all information and insight               The new website will be found at www.bchotelassociation.com. I hope
is welcomed.                                                                   you find it an informative and useful tool. Updates to the site will be
                                                                               ongoing, so please check back often for the latest news and events in
                                                                               the hotel industry.

                                                                                                                                              InnFocus 5
      Making Travel a Family Affair
                                   Trendsetting for 2010
                                                by Terri Perrin

Whether you operate an upscale hotel in a major city or a modest motel in a rural area, there is one travel
market segment that demands your attention this spring and summer, and that is families.

 6 InnFocus
Peter Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Ypartnership, an Orlando,                     Not surprisingly, when it comes to lodging and accommodations, family
Florida-based market research company that specializes in the travel,             travellers are the most value-sensitive. The research clarifies what most
leisure and entertainment business sectors, explains that over the past           of us in the hospitality industry already know: family travellers can be
couple of decades, the concept of family travel has changed. And, while           pretty demanding customers. They look for good value and affordable
business travel is not expected to rise significantly over 2009 levels,           rates. The cost of everything - from lodging, to recreational activities,
family travelers are gearing up for a busy summer in 2010. If you are             to food and beverage - is very important.
going to benefit from this growing trend, be prepared to redefine your            Although the National Travel Monitor does not record spending,
view of the stereotypical family.                                                 anecdotal evidence and years of industry experience have taught us that
While traditional families - with two parents, 1.6 kids and a dog - still         with family travellers, price and value are a big concern. We don’t need
factor into the travel equation, you now have to think in terms of “Brady         research to tell us that, in general, most family travellers spent less per
Bunch” blended families and “the Waltons” multi-generational families.            person than their childless contemporaries. You are going to have to
Grandma and Grandpa are now retired, financially secure, and eager to             work hard at providing excellent value and unique services to win their
take the grandchildren on vacations.                                              loyalty and hard-earned dollars.
Yesawich’s insight into 2010 travel trends is backed by solid research.           The most successful family marketing programs in the future will be
“Our research shows that, despite the recession - or perhaps because of           those that include some sort of food and beverage or recreational perk.
it - the family travel market is the only travel sector that has been growing     Continental breakfasts with lodging, cappuccino makers in the rooms,
in its incidence over the past couple of years,” reports Yesawich. “Today,        in-suite fridges, and microwaves are all items that will get two thumbs
we know that four out of 10 adults have taken at least one leisure trip           up from parents and grandparents alike. It goes without saying that
with children in the previous year. What is fascinating about this statistic      waterslides, gyms, and laundry facilities also score high on the value list.
is that only 32% of American households have children. At a glance,               “Develop marketing programs with activities and perks that promote
the numbers don’t make sense! But when we take into consideration                 interaction between parents or grandparents and children,” encourages
the fact that 38% of all leisure travellers are grandparents, the statistic       Yesawich. “The old model of hotels providing supervisory programs
becomes clear. Of these seniors, 3 out of 10 - representing 30% of the 38%        while the adults are out having fun on their own is passé. Programs
of senior travelers - took at least one vacation with grandchildren last          with the greatest appeal to family travellers today are those that are
year. Understanding the demographics of multi-generational travellers             participatory in nature.”
is a wonderful marketing opportunity for the hospitality industry in BC
for 2010.”                                                                        Environmental awareness is also increasingly important, not only
                                                                                  for family travellers but for all travellers. The National Travel
The headline news is that the family travel market is alive and well, and         Monitor revealed that 80% of travellers consider themselves to be
growing. This trend is consistent with what people say they want to do            environmentally conscientious. It also asked: How do your actions
in their spare time, and is a result of a very robust and growing social          match your intentions? Respondents replied that they treated their
change. As a society, we are becoming increasing less dedicated to our            travel accommodations similar to their own homes - by turning out
jobs. Ypartnership’s National Travel Monitor reported that the most               lights when they leave the room, taking shorter showers, using towels
important thing adults said they want to do in the year ahead is to “spend        more than once, and recycling.
more time with friends and family.” A whopping 78% of respondents
selected this as their first priority from a list of top 20 intentions.           But even though we have research to verify that people are increasingly
                                                                                  environmentally conscious, the question every hotelier has to ask is:
“The reason people want more leisure time is obvious,” adds Yesawich.             Will they think more highly of our establishment if we demonstrate
“Work habits in North America have become so frenetic. People feel they           that we are stewards of the environment? The short answer is, yes! But
don’t have enough down time and this has created a chasm for them                 the truth of the matter is that they are not prepared to pay a premium
about the amount of time they have to spend with friends and family.”

                                                     Complete Interior Finishing • Renovations • Maintenance • Exterior Painting & Restoration

                                                                                                                                                  InnFocus 7
             for it. Travellers view environmental responsibility as an obligation. It
             is something that is just expected.
             The most significant challenge in the coming years is that the marketing
             programs for vacation (or “staycation”) travel has to touch the kids as
             well as the parents and grandparents. Kids will influence the selection of
             the destination as well as the hotel in many family travel plans. We may
             assume it is solely a parental decision, but this is not always the case.
             The challenge is that media consumption habits of kids are dramatically
             different than their parents, so you’ll need to focus considerable attention
             on online marketing. The Internet is now considered to be the main
             source of travel information with mobile phones, not just computers,
             being used as a fundamental tool to track flights, arrange schedules, and
             respond to promotional travel alerts.
             You know things have changed when you can show your iPhone or
             Blackberry instead of a boarding pass at the airport!
             While addressing trends in family travel, we would be remiss if we didn’t
             mention that other part of the family unit - the family pet. When asked
             who they would rather bring on their vacation - a sibling or the family
             pet - a majority of kids picked Spot over sister Sally. So, in addition to
             taking Grandma and Grandpa’s needs into consideration, think about
             pet-friendly options too.

                    Next Issue Fall 2010
                    • Technology Trends
                    • Creating a Competitive Advantage
                    • The New Generation of Traveller
                    • Enhancing Your Guests’ Stay

                       Call 1-800-667-0955 to book
                             your ad by July 30.

8 InnFocus
                From the Front Line                               by Margaret Doyle

Having an HR Moment
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Gibbons, a Human               Q: What would you say are some of your “ah-ha” moments
Resources Advisor with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Laura is relatively          as a person just starting her professional career in this
new to the industry, but has a strong academic background in international       industry?
hotel management and has quickly found her career path with Fairmont
                                                                                 A: I think my biggest “ah-ha” moments in this industry would be being
Hotels and Resorts. As someone who works on the front line with both
                                                                                 a part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics at The Fairmont Waterfront. The
staff and management, I was curious to find out about trends in human
                                                                                 energy, spirit, and teamwork of the staff was something I have never seen or
resources, her experience with Fairmont Hotels, and her “ah-ha” moments,
                                                                                 felt before. The hotel came together and delivered unbelievable experiences
as Oprah loves to say. Here are some of Laura’s thoughtful responses to
                                                                                 during the entire Olympic period. Being a part of that team and that energy,
my questions.
                                                                                 when Vancouver welcomed the world, is a memory that I will never forget.

Q: How did you begin working with Fairmont Hotels?
                                                                                 Q: I understand Fairmont uses an online interview process
A: I began my career with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts as part of my              now for all of its hiring. Do you still conduct face-to-face
internship from Royal Roads University. For the last component of my             interviews?
Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Hotel Management, I was required
                                                                                 A: Yes, Fairmont now uses an online interview as part of the process,
to complete a 12-week internship, and I chose to complete mine with none
                                                                                 however, all applicants still go through a series of face-to-face interviews.
other than Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
                                                                                 The online portion was previously conducted face-to-face, but the switch
                                                                                 was made corporate-wide in the Fall of 2009.
Q: Being a Gen Y, do you see any trends in your generation
with regard to their career search?
                                                                                 Q: What stands out for you when someone is applying for
A: I see social media being a significant recruitment tool. Posting job          a position?
positions on websites such as craigslist, Facebook, and Twitter are reaching
                                                                                 A: I meet applicants on a daily basis, and if they are well dressed and
numerous job seekers, and when asking applicants where they saw the ad,
                                                                                 well presented, it says a lot about their character. If they have done their
the answer 9 times out of 10 is online (craigslist).
                                                                                 research, know what positions we are currently hiring for, and know about
                                                                                 the company and the property specifically, then this is what makes them
Q: What is it that really excites you in your job?                               stand out from the crowd.
A: The most exciting part of my job is that no two days are ever the             Sitting down with Laura made me realize how important “heart of house”
same. I have the opportunity to work with employees, managers, and               is in managing a hotel’s human capital. Having young, enthusiastic talent
potential employees in two different markets - Vancouver at The Fairmont         such as hers, bringing their generation’s insight and digital acumen to
Waterfront, and Victoria at The Fairmont Empress. The daily interactions         recruitment, is exciting to watch. I am sure Laura has great things in
with such great people are by far the most rewarding part of my job.             store for her in the coming years - and definitely more “ah-ha” moments
                                                                                 on the job!

                                                                                                                                                  InnFocus 9
                                   Chef Whittaker at The Listel Hotel

           Hotels and the 100-Mile Diet
                                      Local Fare and Global Appetites
                                                                     by Jason McRobbie

While the concept of eating locally has grown past the point of serving as a top table trend, the question
remains whether the “locavore” logic extends to larger hotel properties.

Although there is an undisputed allure to fresh, seasonal ingredients           an unequivocal “no”. Even in Vancouver, where the regionally rooted
sourced from regional fields and waters, the challenge of procuring             diet is widely and wildly celebrated across the dining spectrum, perhaps
sufficient, affordable quantities on a year-round basis is one that stymies     Raincity Grill alone takes the 100 to heart. Business is business after all.
many properties.                                                                Fortunately, local food is doing better business daily.
As to whether any particular hotel might be adhering to the more                In truth, the 100-Mile moniker marks a definitive aspiration on the
stringent particulars of the popularized “100-Mile Diet”, the answer is         part of local chefs and consumers to make the most of BC’s bountiful

10 InnFocus
backyard. In this pursuit, local restaurants have most definitely been
joined by forward-thinking hoteliers whose kitchens boast the talents
of regionally-rooted chefs eager to celebrate source.
One individual who has built a bridge to source is Biovia’s founder Kim
Fredericksen. Her praises are sung by some of the province’s top chefs,
and growers have known her as a champion ever since the company’s
launch in 2003. Since that time, Fredericksen, her dedicated team, and
an steady delivery truck have brought organic sustenance to kitchens
throughout the Vancouver, Sea-to-Sky corridor, and Whistler regions.
For Fredericksen, purchasing local is a poignant priority for both the
business at hand and the future of food security. Hotels represent a
largely untapped market for Biovia. “Hotels are massive potential clients
to have working with the growers directly. Food security is a huge issue
and so is serving up good food that tells guests a story about where they        Chef Dang at the Metropolitan Vancouver Hotel
are. People eat stories up and it makes them feel good that their consumer
dollar is making a difference,” she explains.
As to questions of quantity and price, Fredericksen maintains hoteliers       The Listel Hotel’s Executive Chef Chris Whittaker is no stranger to
and restaurateurs have only begun to tap the potential. “People               Biovia’s charms or local providence - as evidenced by even a cursory
underestimate how much product our local growers can produce. If              glance at the menu laid out in the property’s restaurant, O’Doul’s
people are going to commit to 10,000 pounds of potatoes we can have           Restaurant and Bar. The OceanWise symbol and its sustainable ethos
our farmers contract that and factor it into their growing schedule. That’s   predominates, as do local flavours, both in the warmly wooded Robson
fantastic! Otherwise, farming is a gamble.”                                   Street room and throughout the boutique hotel’s offerings.

It is only recently, with savvy chefs taking court in top properties, that    In 2008, O’Doul’s captured both Where Magazine’s inaugural Green
hotels have begun to extend greater discretionary funds towards local         Table Award as well as the visitor guide’s third annual Sustainable
farmers. However, those who have are already discovering the difference       Seafood Award. Vancouver Island mussels, Qualicum Bay scallops,
and the dividends.                                                            Dungeness Crab, Queen Charlotte Island halibut, and Pacific Shrimp

                                                                                                                                      InnFocus 11
              Cakes vie for attention alongside local cheeses, Pemberton potatoes,
              Maple Hills Farms chicken, Peace Country buffalo flat iron steaks, and
              Meadows Farm duck.
              Chef Whittaker takes no small or inordinate pride in the relations fostered
              with local suppliers in crafting the geographically enhanced menu
              offerings. It may make for a somewhat lengthier menu read through,
              but education is key to further development.
              Whether or not people come looking for local is not the point. Seeing
              how they seize upon it when it is offered up is reward enough for now.
              During the recent Winter Olympic Games, the Listel’s 129 rooms were
              filled with families of Canadian athletes, and although their minds were
              understandably focused on the Games more than the plates, the local
              fare went first on the buffets. Whittaker grins at the recollection. “They
              were definitely here for the sport, but each time we put out wild salmon
              bennies or turkey sausage from Two Rivers, they snapped them up.”
              Sought or not, local food is connecting with a larger consumer base than
              ever before as people are taking a closer look at their relationship with
              food. “Getting the freshest ingredients, knowing the farmers and helping
              them plan their plots to plan our menu is great. It gives the kitchen more
              pride in what we’re cooking and that makes for better dishes,” explains
              Chef Whittaker. “For both the customer and the chef, knowing where
              your products are coming from is rewarding. That love for the finished
              product begins right from the start of the (procurement) cycle.”
              Whittaker admits that there are inherent limitations to the local wonders
              that can be worked within any hotel, and acknowledges that the boutique
              status of the Listel has provided him with greater liberties. With 4,000
              square feet of meeting space and outside catering, there are economies
              of scale, seasonal realities, and fiscal restraints that take his offerings
              further from source than he might personally wish.
              “We can preserve as much summer fruit as we like, but part of the
              challenge is that customers still demand their pineapple and melons
              on a regular basis, regardless of the season. I can offer up a platter
              of Okanagan apples and pears on a November fruit plate, but that
              alternative is a tough sell,” he notes.
              So, too, is the additional cost attached to a cheese platter featuring local
              artisan fare versus its commoditized contender of bulk cheeses from
              further afield. Then there is the primary protein reality that prevents him
              from sourcing the entirety of the most commonly desired cuts from local
              meat purveyors. The quantities of loins, chops, racks, and ribs requested
              is simply beyond the limits of the current local supply chain.
              “There is definitely greater consumer knowledge around local food, but
              people need to understand why it is more costly to bring to the table.
              With mass producers pumping out products at lower price points, the
              expectation remains that local food needs to compete on that level,” he
              It cannot and should not. Few know this better than Executive Chef
              Quang Dang, who recently set sail from the celebrated C, founding
              restaurant partner of the OceanWise program, to moor at the
              Metropolitan Vancouver Hotel’s Diva at the Met.
              “The whole 100-Mile Diet bit is a tough go for anyone, so I think we’ll
              leave that with Raincity Grill’s hands,” says Chef Dang. “That said, the
              sense of cooking locally and bringing the OceanWise philosophy forward
              with a simplicity of ingredient sourcing provides great food.”
              Regarding taking the reins of a room long regarded as having defined
              fine dining, under the tenure of chefs such as Bocuse d’Or contenders
              chefs Michael Noble and Chris Mills, Chef Dang is encouraged. Most
              recently, Diva’s dishes have been groomed by recently departed Chef

12 InnFocus
Dino Renaerts and ex-Aurora Bistro owner
Chef Jeff Van Geest. “The challenge is to
build upon the culinary gem tradition while
maintaining the orchestration of service
for which the Met has always been known.
Global dishes inspired by local ingredients
are definitely on the menu,” he reports.
As an ex-alumnus of Diva at the Met, Chef
Dang is returning to the helm of the 120-seat
room as well as the 180 rooms and catering,
which is a challenge he relishes. Local food
certainly factors in. “Without a doubt, hotels
have a more corporate environment and
there is a different pace of change,” describes
Chef Dang. “Fortunately, Diva has always
had a food-first identity, and our hotels are
boutique, so our hands are not necessarily
as tied. That change is spreading more
widely though. Local food is not a marketing
gimmick. It is a reality. We need to know
where our food comes from.”
Regardless, local food does provide ample
marketing opportunity and Chef Dang looks
forward to further tasteful education events,
bringing suppliers to the table and guiding
guests to source. “Diva was always ahead of
its time and we’re moving ahead again. The
Pacific Northwest offers a huge diversity of
ingredients and a strong Asian influence both
within its resident and visiting populations.
People are looking for fresh.”
As for the challenges of the bleaker winter
months, Chef Dang is unperturbed and
considers hotels to be more fortunate than
most restaurants. With more labour on hand,
more production and freezer space, and a
good stock of production equipment, hotels
are ideally poised to preserve the summer
season surpluses. In addition, he points out
that hotels have more outlets for using the
various ingredients and encourages others to
explore the various price points.
“When people are thinking in terms of
quantities, I don’t think they are really aware
of what we have in our backyard. It’s really a
matter of getting a dialogue going with local
farmers and planning the future,” advises
Chef Dang.
He adds with a perpetual grin, for which he
is as renowned as his plates, “I’ve got a line
on local potatoes, as much as we’ll ever need
and they are both better AND cheaper than
anything the big box offers.”
Local food and hotels: it’s not as “out there”
as one might think. In fact, it’s right here

                                                  InnFocus 13
                VANOC Report                            by Vanessa Lenehan

18 days of world-class sport, 204 countries, 2,600 athletes, and Canada         The athletes and team officials were housed in the Vancouver Athletes
wins not only its first Olympic gold medal on home soil, but wins the           Village and the Whistler Athletes Village, and VANOC had a separate
most gold medals of any nation. Two weeks later BC does it all again and        department that focussed on this project, which balances the immediate
hosts the Paralympic Games - 10 days, 44 countries, 500 athletes with           accommodation demands of the teams with the long-term legacy of this
a disability and 7 sports. After all the celebrations and the visitors have     housing. A small number of athletes chose to stay outside of the Village
returned home, we can reflect on how the lodging industry survived the          so that they could focus on their preparation.
Games, and what does it mean for the future.
                                                                                The housing of the spectators was successfully managed by the Tourism
The VANOC accommodation team was responsible for housing the                    Consortium of Tourism BC, Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Whistler, and
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Paralympic equivalent,            Tourism Richmond.

Olympic Games                                                                   Paralympic Games
CLIENT GROUP                            VANCOUVER             WHISTLER          CLIENT GROUP                              VANCOUVER        WHISTLER
IOC                                         947                   35            IPC                                             0              121
Rights Holding Broadcasters               4,530                1,729            Rights Holding Broadcasters                     5              141
Press and Photographers                   1,318                  531            Press and Photographers                        15                7
Sponsors                                  3,711                  331            Sponsors                                       33               81
National Olympic Committees               1,141                  150            National Paralympic Committees                 89              194
International Sporting Federations          381                  183            International Paralympic Sporting Federations   9                0
TOTAL ROOMS                              12,028                2,959            TOTAL ROOMS                                   151              544

The tables do not include workforce as workforce were counted by bed and used many non-traditional sources of housing. Many client groups made
additional reservations outside of the VANOC block. VANOC had three internal client groups who had short split stays due to the nature of their client -
The Torch Relay, The Cultural Olympiad and the Opening and Closing Ceremony talent and crew rooms are not captured in the tables.

the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). They also arranged
accommodation for the rights holding broadcasters, the print and                So now that all the dust has settled and the last Games guest has left,
photographic media, the sponsors, the National Olympic Committees               what lessons have we learnt? The Vancouver Airport worked like a
and National Paralympic Committees, the International Sporting                  well-oiled machine. From the warm welcome our visitors received on
Federations, IOC Observers (future host and bid cities) and VANOC               arrival through to D-Day (March 1st), which was the airport’s busiest
workforce, which included paid staff, volunteers, and contractors.              day on record; the entire performance was worthy of a gold medal. Well
                                                                                prepared communication to clients departing on March 1st (peak day)
These tables summarize the rooms booked via VANOC on the respective             assisted in ensuring the airport operations ran smoothly.
peak nights of February 12 and March 12.
                                                                                The new Canada Line ensured that the 26 plus hotels located in
                                                                                Richmond were and are extremely accessible to downtown Vancouver.
                                                                                It’s a 25 minute trip and you can talk on your cell phone the whole way

14 InnFocus
and be in Granville Street before you know it. One could easily travel        VANOC used alternative housing to accommodate some of its workforce.
from the Richmond Olympic Oval in the morning (where the speed                1,100 staff lived on a cruise ship at Squamish. The ship came with 300
skating took place) to Canada Hockey Place in the afternoon for some          crew of its own. This included housekeeping, front office, and catering
nail-biting hockey. Who can forget the sea of Dutch orange people who         staff. The food on board was delicious and there was no menu fatigue
flooded Richmond?                                                             over the long 56 days it was in port. 500 workforce were housed at Quest
The key hotel needs of our international guests were Internet, Internet,      University in Squamish.
and Internet. It is such an important tool for keeping in touch for both      1,000 workforce were hosted in private homes where generous families
work purposes as well as for showing and telling friends and family how       opened their doors to out-of-town volunteers. Lifetime friendships were
spectacular BC is looking today. Other services that were used were           made through this community program, and VANOC wishes to thank
ATMs, laundry service, and early and late meals. An Olympic day is a          the Homestay hosts again for their support.
long day, so hotel guests typically get up early and work and play all day    The Whistler Games Service Centre located at the Whistler Racquet
and night. As the streets of Vancouver, Richmond, and Whistler were           Club housed 256 workforce in temporary, modular housing. It also had
full of smiling, celebrating people; the out-of-town guests embraced          great food and a great location in the centre of all the action. This Centre
the party spirit too.                                                         was also the home of the Whistler Accreditation Centre, the Whistler
VANOC had an Olympic decorations program where lodging facilities             Uniform Distribution Centre, the Homestay Reception Centre, and the
could purchase zap panels to decorate their lobbies and pins for their        Accommodation Service Centre.
staff to wear. As the Torch got closer to BC and the Olympic spirit started   Although the Paralympic Games was a smaller event, the sport was
to spread, hotels dressed their staff in Olympic clothing and decorated       absolutely inspiring. Skiers who are visually-impaired flying down
their lobbies and staff dining rooms. The Resort Municipality of Whistler     Whistler Creekside is an amazing feat. The sell-out crowds at the Ice
(RMOW) ran a competition to see which hotel had the best Olympic              Sledge Hockey at UBC Thunderbird Arena ensured that this event was a
decorations. The results were incredible, and the arriving guests from        success. As three of the five sports were in Whistler as well as the Closing
around the world clearly knew they had arrived at the Games.                  Ceremony, the IPC selected Whistler to be their “home” away from Bonn.
One of the key successes of the Games was the collective effort of the        The compact Village Stroll worked well for guests with accessibility
hard-working hospitality staff. Despite the long hours, staff were always     needs. The Athletes’ Parade for the Paralympic Games was through the
smiling, professional, and proud to welcome the world. The Games              Village Stroll into the Whistler Medal Plaza for the Closing Ceremony.
guest is typically a long-staying visitor, and has different needs from       This ensured these Games were available to all. The fireworks reflected
the regular corporate traveller. The staff get to know the guests and vice    over Blackcomb Mountain were a fitting end.
versa. This changes the hotel’s dynamics, and from all reports, things        It certainly helped to make the Games more exciting when Canada
went very smoothly. Due to being well prepared, there were no hiccups         won so many medals. It may have been the first “Spring Olympics,” but
on the big check-out day of March 1st, and guests were sad to leave when      everyone knows Vancouver and Whistler always look better on a sunny
the celebrations were over.                                                   day, especially to all the television viewers around the world. The “Golden
Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler had a few hotels that opened just in        Goal” by Sidney Crosby was the icing on the cake and ensured the 2010
time for the Games. The staff at these new hotels should be congratulated     Winter Olympic Games had a fairytale finish.
for working against the clock to get their doors open and facing a full       Viewers from around the world have now seen how spectacular BC really
house immediately. The fact that there was an extremely popular               is. My first post-Games visitors came when they saw how beautiful BC
cauldron next to one of them added to the excitement.                         was on television, and they wanted to see it for themselves. They booked
                                                                              six hotel room nights. They will go home and tell their friends…

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                                                                                                                                               InnFocus 15
              Quality Inn Northern Grand
              Old-School Values Work their
              Magic in the Province’s North
              by Alex Van Tol

              Ask Cheryl Erickson how she ended up as the General                move into the GM position. “I had worked closely with the
              Manager of the Quality Inn Northern Grand and she’ll tell          general manager, not exactly as an AGM but carrying the
              you, “I just showed up for work for 24 years and did my job.”      same role,” she explains. “I’ve been the one that handles
              It all started with a cup of coffee back in 1986, when the         the staff. I know all of our people.” Now, as the chief cook
              property was the Pioneer Inn. “My sister and I used to come        and bottle washer, Erickson oversees a 125-room hotel,
              in for coffee,” recounts Erickson, who moved to Fort St. John      a busy Irish-style pub and restaurant, and much-used
              with her husband and children 30 years ago. One afternoon,         conference facilities. She’s never afraid to lend a hand in
              the supervisor of the coffee shop was worrying aloud about         any department. “Up to this day, coffee still needs to be
              how she’d find enough staff to cover the shifts during the         poured,” she laughs.
              upcoming long weekend. “I said look, I don’t know anything         Erickson’s staff appreciate her for it. The Quality Inn
              about restaurant work, but if you need someone to pour             Northern Grand is an employer of choice, as much for its
              coffee and talk the leg off the locals, I can do that,” Erickson   higher-than-average union wages as for management’s
              recalls. She was looking for part-time work anyway, and the        regard for its staff. “We’ve got a great work environment,”
              opportunity fit the bill.                                          boasts Erickson. With a housekeeper who’s been with
              From there, Erickson moved into sales in the banquet               the property since before the carpets were laid and a
              department (still filling in for the coffee shop every once in     maintenance chief with 23 years in the hotel, the core of
              a while). Then it was on to working as the banquet manager.        the team is intact. “One of our owner’s most successful
              In November 1998, the opportunity arose for Erickson to            opportunities has been to offer each department head a

16 InnFocus
                              role to treat as if it was their own business,”
                              she describes. “It’s an unusual approach, but
                              it’s one that has led to a feeling of extended
                              family in the workplace,” she notes.
                                 There’s a good reason for that extended
                                 family feel. When the property first opened in
                                 1980, it was family owned and run by Jordan
                                 Enterprises, which also owns the Holiday
                                 Inn Express and the Holiday Inn Vancouver
                                 International Airport Hotel in Richmond. In
                                 1998, the name changed from Pioneer Inn
Cheryl Erickson, General Manager to the Northern Grand. The hotel took up
                                 management with Atlific Hotels and Resorts
 in 1999, and joined the Quality Inn under the Choice flag in 2000.
“Atlific is great to deal with,” remarks Erickson. Working closely with
such a well-established management company makes it easy to stay
connected with what’s going on in the hotel community. Back when the
Pioneer Inn was an independent property, Erickson found the BCHA to
be an endless source of information and guidance. Nowadays, Atlific’s
reps attend the annual BC Hospitality Industry Conference, keeping
their hoteliers in touch with what’s going on within the industry. But
Erickson acknowledges that the BCHA would be there to lend support if
ever there was a time where she was unable to find an answer within her
own management company.
“Globally, Atlific Hotels and Resorts and Choice Hotels are forever in the
loop,” she claims. A healthy professional interaction with local competitors
and the fact that Fort St. John is still a small town also helps Erickson keep
her finger on the pulse of the industry. She acknowledges, however, that
there’s so much going on within the industry at any time that it’s hard to
keep up. “There’s so much more IT knowledge required, and everything
is so formalized,” she explains. “I rely on pen and paper. I can use a
computer, but it’s not my strength. Give me a person and eye contact and
the opportunity to build a relationship,” she adds.
It’s those relationships that keep people coming back time and again.
With the advantage of being the oldest and most established hotel in the
city, the Northern Grand enjoys a competitive edge with its outstanding
housekeeping standards and its reputation as the go-to place for meetings
and conferences. “We’re resource-based - oil and gas, forestry, agriculture.
Fort St. John is not a holiday destination!” she laughs.
But like hotels everywhere, the Northern Grand has been affected by the
recession. “Like everybody in the industry, we’re trying to forecast what
this year will be like after the last quarter of 2009. With the resource
market shutting right down, it has made business a lot tougher, and
everyone is watching the dollar.” Those who used to travel for business
are now doing conference calls from the office, she notes. And where she
used to see groups of three or four, now she sees one person. It’ll be nice
to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As a woman GM in a male-dominated arena, Erickson says her largest
concern when she took the helm 12 years ago was that Fort St. John was
“the original home of the redneck.” But her years in F&B brought her
into contact with many of the most senior people in the companies the
hotel serves, and she found that once she stepped into the role of GM, she
already knew all the players. “I had already proven myself to them with
service,” she reveals. “And I have a strong belief that it doesn’t matter if
you’ve been here 20 times, you have to be looked after the twentieth time
as you did the first time.”
A focus on excellent service. A commitment to happy staff. An emphasis
on interpersonal relationships. Old fashioned values? Maybe so. Funny
thing is, they still stand the test of time.

                                                                                  InnFocus 17
                           The Shifting Priorities
                             of Guest Safety                          by Chris McBeath

Sadly, world events have changed all our perspectives when it comes to guest safety, and the more
sophisticated the traveller, the more cognizant they are of security issues.

Many travellers, particularly solo women, are willing to pay extra for           Management (IHSM), he identifies four key trends in guest safety.
specific security features, such as video controlled guest entry or a laptop     Counter terrorism tops that list, and although it may not be a main
size, in-room safe, so depending on your property profile, security might        concern in Western Canada, it continues to reshape operational
well be an area for unexpected returns on investment.                            procedures for hoteliers in most major European and American urban
When the warmth of the welcome is an hotelier’s first priority, the              centres. For example, cars arriving at the Breakers Palm Beach or the
question will always be: at what point do security measures become               Radisson Amman will encounter undercarriage checks. And at the
obtrusive or an unnecessary expense? The message of safety walks that            Leela Kempinski Hotel in Gurgaon, we’re not just talking a mirror
fine line between conveying quiet assurance and overplaying the hand             sweep. Here, the under vehicle surveillance system is comprised of four
to instill concern, but just as the courts have expanded the concept of          cameras concealed in a speed breaker, complete with LED lights for night
“reasonable protection” over the years, the level of liability has also          vision. Meanwhile, The Mandarin Oriental in New York now provides a
increased. Since small, independent properties are held to the same              flashlight in all rooms. The Garden Hotel in Guangzhou, China counts
liability standards as large, branded hotels, security must be a priority        gas masks among its room amenities, and numerous hotels include first
regardless of a hotel’s size or location. After all, these days safety isn’t     aid kits in their mini-bars.
confined to securing the hotel’s HVAC and water systems, or offering             Canada’s recent foray into Olympic security was an eye opener for many,
allergen-free environments. It involves issues such as identity theft,           and while training staff in bomb detection and emergency response
credit card skimmers, and matters relating to terrorism.                         tactics might seem extreme for smaller, rural properties, it is becoming
Security chiefs are no longer ex-policeman enjoying a second career;             the norm for city locales. Wherever a property is located, Fairweather
they’re licensed hotel specialists, Directors of Risk Management,                cites theft (identity and article), credit card fraud, and safety in parking
Security, and Technology who administer a web of technological and               areas as major and growing concerns for hoteliers.
legal complexity as part of daily operating procedures.                          “A vigilant staff goes a long way to creating a safe environment,” explains
                                                                                 Fairweather, who also looks to training, networking, and technology for
                                                                                 the solutions.
Changing Parameters
Bill Fairweather has extensive experience working on security issues
with hotel groups including Fairmont, Intercontinental, Four Seasons,            Training for Tried and True Results
and Trust House Forte. As Chairman of the Institute of Hotel Security            “Every hotel must have the capability of being locked down at night,”

18 InnFocus
Fairweather emphasizes. “It’s an essential bottom-line requirement,
which charges night management to do due diligence of every lock, door,
and window. After hours, it includes verifying that patrons are, indeed,
guests of the hotel.”                                                                 What Guests
Fairweather goes on to include other tips that help promote a culture
of guest safety. Front desk personnel set the tone, perhaps by asking
                                                                                      Look For
for photo ID, never verbalizing room numbers or their floor, ensuring               Necessities for a peaceful stay
women are placed on the first level or above, and offering guests an                •	 Electronic	guestroom	locks
escort to rooms and parked cars. An aware hotel staff then reinforces               •	 Dead	bolt	locks,	safety	chains,	
the guest safety experience through attentive operational practices.
                                                                                       and a peephole
These might include closing the door when cleaning a room; keeping
                                                                                    •	 Locks	on	windows	and	
exits visible and hallways clear of clutter (everyone should help remove
                                                                                       adjoining doors
room service trays); and dining staff who advise guests to place bags
beneath the table rather than on the back of a chair. For hotels catering           •	 Windows	that	open	no	more	than	the	recommended	100mm
to foreign speaking guests, providing a hotel address card can go a long            •	 Fire	sprinklers	and	smoke	detectors
way to ensuring they get back to the correct property, especially if there          •	 Night	lights
are several brand-name hotels in the area.                                          •	 Telephone	access	to	outside	dialing
                                                                                    •	 A	television	and/or	radio	to	make	noise	while	room	is	vacant
                                                                                    •	 In-room	electronic	safe,	big	enough	for	a	laptop
The Technology Takeover
                                                                                    •	 Public	area	guest	phones	that	connect	only	to	the	operator
Real protection starts with identifying the threat, and nowhere is this             •	 No	direct	access	between	underground	parking	and
growing more quickly than in technology. What started with closed-                     guestrooms (i.e. must stop at lobby)
circuit television and electronic card-locking systems (many travel agents
                                                                                    •	 Well-lit	hallways	and	parking	areas
will not book a hotel without this feature) has evolved into sophisticated
                                                                                    •	 CCTV	in	parkades,	lobbies,	corridors,	and	back-of-house	areas
forensic programs, firewalls, anti-spy, and anti-virus software that
counter all manner of cybercrime.
“Business centres are most vulnerable to keylogging,” Fairweather
advises. “Any and all IT technicians should be verified before they start       identity theft. The statistics are alarming. According to the Identity
any work on any system, and it must be a daily practice to check that           Theft Resource Center, a non-profit organization providing consumer
computer hardwires are free of any add-on devices, such as those used           information about data theft, more than 220 million consumer records
by keyloggers.”                                                                 were leaked last year in nearly 500 separate breaches.
Skimming credit cards and harvesting email addresses for spammers               In the US, the Federal Trade Commission tracked some 280,000
and espionage has grown so dramatically that the Canadian Government            complaints connected to identity theft last year, and even though this
introduced Bill S-4 earlier this year. Its intent is to provide a far broader   figure represented a decline in a near decade-long rise, it is still nine
scope of tools in the fight against hi-tech crime and in particular,            times the number reported in 2000.

                                                                                                                                              InnFocus 19
              Bogus credit card use is another major problem. It represents 49%
              of all dollar losses and is the largest category of credit card fraud.
              Counterfeiters have long learned how to apply embossers, encoders,
              and decoders to read, modify, and implant magnetic strip information
              on phony payment cards.
              Fairweather cautions, “There’s a real concern about software systems
              that enable a guest’s credit card to double as his room access card. When
              card information becomes a part of the room blocking and reservation
              system, it has entered into another software program. These often
              connect to international centres, such as in India, which are not always
              as secure as the originating property.”

              Technology Trumps
              That said, there are programs coming onto the market that are
              maximizing the potential of secured, branded access cards. Starwood’s
              Aloft Hotels is currently testing a new Smart Check-In Pilot Program for
              select Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members at the Aloft Lexington
              Hotel in Massachusetts.
              The leading-edge initiative employs the latest in Radio Frequency
              Identification (RFID) technology and enables guests to receive an
              enhanced SPG/Aloft-branded RFID keycard. On the day of a planned
              stay, a text message is sent directly to the guest’s mobile device, which
              provides their room number. Upon arrival, guests can skip the check-in
              desk and proceed straight to their room where their enabled keycard
              will unlock the door, thereby providing unprecedented convenience and
              ease-of-operation for hoteliers and hotel guests alike. The program will
              run for several months with an eye to expanding the branded keycard
              to cover additional services, such as purchasing cocktails and sundries
              at all restaurants and retail outlets within the Aloft group. But the
              allure of streamlined efficiency is tempered with an obvious eye to its
              practicality. Onlookers are adopting a wait and see attitude, and right
              now, the jury’s still out.
              Whether your property is large or small, located in a large urban area
              or a more rural setting, guest safety and hotel security must always be
              a priority.

                    Recent Attacks on Hotels
                     Suicide bombers; gun attacks; vehicle bombs
                     2002 Paradise Hotel, Mombasa, Kenya
                     2002 Sheraton Hotel, Karachi, Pakistan
                     2003 Marriot Hotel, Casablanca, Morocco
                     2003 Marriott Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia
                     2003 Canal Hotel, Baghdad (UN HQ)
                     2004 Pars & Star Holiday Hotels, Istanbul, Turkey
                     2004 Park Hotel, Netanya, Israel
                     2004 Hilton Taba Resort, Taba, Egypt
                     2005 Ghazala Gardens Hotel, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
                     2006 Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt & Days Inn, Amman, Jordan
                     2008 Islamabad Marriot Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan
                     2008 Serena Hotel, Kabul, Afghanistan
                     2008				Taj	Mahal	&	Trident/Oberoi	hotels,	Mumbai,	India
                     2009 Pearl-Continental Hotel, Peshawar, Pakistan
                     2009 Ritz Carlton & Marriott hotels, Jakarta, Indonesia
                     2010 Sheraton, Babylon & Hamra hotels, Baghdad, Iraq

20 InnFocus
                Marketing Trends                             by Rod Harris

The Competitive World of Tourism Marketing
It is commonly recognized that the world of tourism marketing has grown         short and long term, as compared with that of competitive jurisdictions.
increasingly complex over the past decade. As foreign countries recognize
                                                                                Given that the majority of travel in Canada is by residents, each of the
the wealth-generating benefits of their tourism industries, increasing
                                                                                different provinces competes to attract their share of visitors. A close
resources are being dedicated to the task of developing innovative product
                                                                                examination of the respective marketing campaigns of BC, Alberta, and
experiences and attracting international visitors. The resources expended
                                                                                Ontario would suggest that they all employ a similar range of tactics. Their
by these jurisdictions are critical if they hope to attract guests who will
                                                                                distinguishing features reflect not only levels of funding, but also the
contribute to the essential task of stimulating economic development
                                                                                effectiveness of execution. This latter attribute is almost entirely influenced
and job creation.
                                                                                by the talents of the responsible individuals. Attracting and motivating
Many eastern European countries have recently emerged as preferred              knowledgeable staff is often a product of the operating structure of the
travel destinations due to their exotic nature and reasonable prices, along     organization, and can be measured both by campaign results, continuity
with the advantage of having geographic proximity to large populations          of staff, or through industry stakeholder surveys.
in bordering countries.
                                                                                A comparison of the annual expenditures of those provinces would indicate
As China has opened international travel to its citizens through conferring     that their approximate investments are $55 million, $59 million, and $60
“approved destination status” to more than 130 countries, it is proving to      million for BC, Alberta, and Ontario, respectively. While this may seem
be a double-edged sword, since China itself is such an attractive destination   like similar amounts, Alberta is providing the most robust level of funding
that it is drawing large numbers of Asian visitors who would have previously    relative to the size of its tourism industry. Their funding originates from a
travelled to North America.                                                     performance-based model, consisting of a 4% hotel levy that is dedicated
                                                                                to tourism marketing. While Ontario is currently investing an amount
Not only has competition for share of market grown more intense on the
                                                                                similar to that of Alberta, plans are underway to provide an additional $65
world stage, but also competition for “share of voice” has grown. As the
                                                                                million to its tourism regions, as a consequence of the introduction of the
emerging international destinations increase their investment in tourism
                                                                                Harmonized Sales Tax in July. At current levels, BC’s funding is almost $10
marketing, the effectiveness of various marketing tactics is becoming less
                                                                                million less than was originally forecast in the fiscal 2009/10 Service Plan.
apparent. Mass fragmentation of the traditional media vehicles combined
with mercurial media habits of prospective visitors, have reduced the           Given that the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is interested in
cost efficiency of all marketing tactics. Consumers now have an array of        cooperative marketing with the provinces, the level of engagement in
information sources to draw from in planning and executing their travel,        CTC campaigns is significantly enhanced for those jurisdictions with the
ranging from broadcast media (television and radio); print (magazines and       most resources.
outdoor); electronic media (websites, booking engines, social media); and,
                                                                                Both funding levels and branding are key to the successful execution of any
utilizing the travel trade (retail agents).
                                                                                marketing campaign. Ontario has had a long standing brand identity as
The challenge for individual operators, tourism consortia, and destination      “Yours to Discover”. Alberta has indicated in its most recent strategic plan
marketing agencies is to efficiently allocate scarce resources to maximize      that they “need to develop a unifying tourism brand position and brand
returns. In addition to developing strong brands that resonate with             promise.” While BC has had the benefit of employing its Super, Natural
prospective visitors and providing compelling product offers, a variety of      brand identity for the past 32 years, it can be argued that confusion exists
tactics can be employed including media relations, social networks, search      with the government’s branding of BC as “The Best Place on Earth”.
engine optimization, user-generated content, and consumer blogs. Where
                                                                                As all jurisdictions compete for marketshare, those with the most
possible, robust tracking and measurement tools are also utilized to gauge
                                                                                solid organizational foundation, distinctive brand identity, and level of
the effectiveness of different marketing executions.
                                                                                marketing investment will be best equipped to win on the world stage.
In addition to effective branding and exciting campaign elements, often the
deciding factor is the absolute level of investment in marketing over the       Rod J. Harris is an Adjunct Professor at Royal Roads University and can be reached
                                                                                at 250-391-2600 ext 4268 or rod.1harris@royalroads.ca.

                                                                                                                                                   InnFocus 21
                           Utilizing Social Media
    Getting your message out there… and there… and there…
                                                                       by Alex Van Tol

Sick of hearing about social media yet? Maybe you are. Maybe you’ve been hoping that it’ll all just quietly
go away. Then things can go back to how they used to be, when people looked you up in the Yellow Pages,
phoned the tourism office in your town, or came to you by word-of-mouth.

But that’s just not how things are anymore. According to industry insiders         about the hotel’s upcoming launch into the Twittersphere. “We’ll be on
(you got it: staff), most hoteliers need to get their heads out of the sand.       LinkedIn soon, too,” she reports. The St. Regis blog and Facebook page
They need to embrace social media and start using it to their advantage,           have each been up and running for about a year.
because it’s not going to go away.                                                 Social media encompasses, but isn’t limited to, blogs, Facebook, Twitter,
Janet Thomas, Director of Sales for Vancouver’s St. Regis Hotel, calls             LinkedIn and YouTube. Each social media platform offers a slightly
these avoiders dinosaurs. Maybe you know one. Maybe you are one.                   different way of sharing information. For the Opus Vancouver, “the blog
Lucky for Thomas, she’s part of a nimble management team of three.                 is a little bit more of a cheeky tone, but with business content,” describes
No dinosaurs on staff at the St. Regis. In fact, the day I called for an           Chella Levesque, Opus’s National Director of Marketing. Opus was one
interview, Thomas was wrapping up a meeting with her colleagues                    of the first hotels to break ground with a well-written blog, steered by

22 InnFocus
GM-turned-mystery-novelist Daniel Craig. “With Facebook we give the
hotel more personality,” Levesque explains. “With Facebook and Twitter
we balance community with sales. We showcase what’s on in the hotel, a
new staff member, or that our partner up the street has a great Mother’s
Day Special - things like that.”
You might be asking how all this updating, tweeting and blogging fits
with a busy manager’s time. In truth, it does take a bit of time – and the
time demands are directly proportional to the number of accounts you
want to maintain. With four accounts for food and beverage outlets plus
two for the hotel, Opus earmarks a certain number of hours per week to
stay on top of all six accounts. “I have a food and beverage coordinator
and a marketing coordinator who both work on social media,” reveals
Levesque. “They spend five or six hours a week just generating content
and meeting with our agency. That’s not even going on the sites and
monitoring them!” Levesque has heard of restaurants that dedicate
up to 10 person hours a day to manage their social media outlets. Like
browsing the Internet, it’s one of those things that can take as much or
as little of your time as you allow.
You also need to consider who’s going to be the “voice” of your property.
Many hotels hire an outside agency to manage social media projects. The
Aava Whistler Hotel uses a third-party company to oversee its social
media. “They do the web marketing for a bunch of hotels in Whistler,”
explains Tony Medd, Director of Operations for the Aava, which has a
Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a blog. Hiring an outside agency
is preferable to simply assigning the job to a trend-savvy staffer; you
want to ensure your messaging is consistent, professional, and effective.
“It’s best to contract it out,” agrees Thomas. “It’s not our specialty. We’re
hotel people.” At Opus, the marketing team generates content, then lets
their outside firm handle strategic execution.

     Photo courtesy of St. Regis Hotel

Bringing your property up to speed with social media isn’t necessarily
a question of spending more. It’s a question of reallocating marketing
dollars. It’s hard to know where to get the most bang for your buck these
days, and traditional marketing channels aren’t the sure bet they used
to be. “We know for sure now that newspaper print was a waste of time
for us,” reports Aava’s Medd. “We’re not putting any more money into
newspapers. Unless it has a link attached to it, it’s pointless.” That said,
we all want to get to the bottom of exactly how social media can drive
demand. The Aava Whistler is carefully watching other companies that
use social media effectively. “We’re asking: what is a successful model of
how social media actually builds awareness?” says Medd. Some figures
have begun to roll out equating dollars for fan base. “I’ve heard $75 per

                                                                                InnFocus 23
              Facebook fan, and $100 per Twitter follower,” notes Levesque. “I’ve
              heard those numbers a couple of times.” But Twitter has hit a plateau,
              whereas Facebook is still growing (and has four times the reach of
              Twitter). Everything is still in flux.
              Social media is still fairly new, even for those who have been using it
              for years. To lean on an old cliché, the bugs still have to be worked out.
              It’s difficult with current capabilities to determine specific metrics for
              whether your presence on Facebook is actually driving demand, and if
              so, by how much. While Google analytics are a valuable tool for tracking
              visits to your website(s), the same can’t be said for Facebook. “[With
              Google analytics] we can see where everybody is coming from on the
              web,” states Medd. However, although it’s now one of the largest search
              engines, Facebook lacks such analytical capabilities. So even though
              Aava knows people are arriving at its website via Facebook, it’s tough
              to know exactly how. Is it because they find the property on Facebook
              and then come to look for the hotel? Or are they getting the Aava name
              from a third-party travel supplier like Expedia? These are the weaknesses
              that need to be addressed. And they will be, in time. It’s just that social
              media evolves leaps and bounds ahead of any system that tries to make
              sense of the data.

              Ask hoteliers why they’re pursuing social media and responses are mixed.
              “It seemed to be the latest thing to do,” admits Medd. Thomas concurs.
              “It’s the trend. It’s the way things are going. You have to move with the
              times.” Everyone agrees that social media is a key tool for connecting
              people. Some take it one step further, into the realm of what social media
              is really, really good for: building relationships. “It’s about networking
              and relationship building for us,” offers Angela Rafuse-Tahir, Director
              of Sales and Marketing for the Fairmont Empress Hotel. “It’s not hard
              For Opus, which enjoys a fan base of nearly 3,000, it’s about connecting
              with the wider community. “Our interactivity has improved [over time]
              as well as our week-over-week followers,” reports Levesque. Opus’s
              Facebook page features behind-the-scenes videos that engage visitors
              with the people who make the hotel tick. “It’s not about trying to be
              one-sided. We keep the information relevant. We keep it interactive,”
              boasts Levesque.
              Tell me social media is a bandwagon, and I’ll say you’re darned right. But
              it’s one that you can easily jump on with as little or as much investment
              as you like. Humans love trends. As symbols of convenience, luxury, and
              even escapism, hotels should show that they’re aware of these trends.
              Besides, social media is around to stay. You might as well make it a key
              part of your marketing arsenal, sooner rather than later.

24 InnFocus
                BC Hospitality Foundation Update                                         by Renee Blackstone

Get out those fancy pants, all you duffers. BC’s premier hospitality
industry golf tournament will take place July 19th at the prestigious
Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club.
While you’re having a spectacular time on one of BC’s most beautiful
courses, you’ll feel even better knowing you’re benefiting a great cause
- the work of the BC Hospitality Foundation, both in boosting budding
food, wine, and hospitality stars through scholarships, and in helping
those already working in the industry dealing with medical emergencies.
This year’s tournament - the third for the BCHF - will build on the success
of last year’s event and will again see the support of The Alliance of
Beverage Licensees, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, and
the BC Hotel Association.                                                     high levels of service and hospitality. Last year, the BCHF tournament
Golfers will have a choice of the more challenging 18-hole Country            raised more than $70,000 for the foundation’s work and this year’s goal
Club course or 18 holes on Westwood’s highly acclaimed and still              is $100,000. Early registration is recommended. To register online go
challenging Academy course that is a good test for all golfers, but a         to www.bchospitalityfoundation.com.
bit less intimidating for novices! Both tournaments will be a scramble        If you or your company wish to support the BCHF tournament through a
format that suits all levels of golfers and the start time will be 1 pm on    more high-profile sponsorship, please call BCHF business development
both courses.                                                                 manager Alan Sacks at 604-984-8649 for details.
All attendees will be invited to a casual pre-golf lunch and to the           The Foundation will match funds up to $5,000 for any group or
post-event awards dinner. Registration fees include power carts,              individual organizing a fundraising event to support an employee with
use of practice facilities, on-course food and beverage samples, skill        a medical issue. For more information, call 604-984-8649 or e-mail
competitions, and lots more.                                                  asacks@bchospitalityfoundation.com.
Westwood boasts wonderful scenery and golf, and is renowned for its           The BC Hospitality Foundation - “working together to help our own”.

                                                                                                                                        InnFocus 25
                           Olympic Momentum
                        Will the 2010 Olympic Games Produce the
                               Promised Tourism Benefits?
                                                                    by Rod Harris

While more than 3 billion viewers are estimated to have watched the 2010      prior to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, tourism marketing efforts
Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the critical question is whether         [were] delayed”. The report went on to state that “no impacts [were]
the much anticipated incremental tourism benefits will be generated,          noted for 2003 to 2007”, as it relates to increased visitation, growth in
resulting in $20 billion in annual visitor expenditures in BC by 2015.        the labour force, or effects on communities and the hospitality industry.
An economic impact assessment prepared by the management consulting           Given this situation, even more aggressive rates of growth will need to
firm InterVistas in 2002 suggested that “the incremental economic             occur if the much touted tourism benefits from hosting the Olympic
impact of the Games wholly attributable to dollars spent by nonresidents      Games are to be achieved.
of British Columbia... [will] amount to 55,000 direct person years of         The Auditor General has stated that two thirds of the benefits of
employment in British Columbia …$2.1 billion in direct economic activity      hosting the games will result from tourism, but they will not happen
(GDP)… [producing] $277 million in direct provincial tax revenues, [and]      automatically. A properly funded, skillfully executed marketing plan
$294 million in direct federal tax revenues.”                                 is required.
After the largest event hosted by BC since Expo in 1986, is the tourism       During the Games, BC launched its $40 million television campaign for
industry on track to achieve these goals?                                     airing in Canada and the US, which represented close to 80% of Tourism
The leading international management consulting firm                          BC’s annual operating budget. The advertisements featured engaging
PricewaterhouseCoopers released an interim report in December 2009,           spots with such prominent British Columbians as Sarah McLaughlin,
in which they state that “because of restrictions on marketing efforts        Steve Nash, and Michael J. Fox.

26 InnFocus
Most, if not all of the other provinces, had invested significant           shifted as a result of the campaign will also be essential, along with
incremental resources in the Games with a combination of advertising        conversion research on those who have completed a vacation in BC, to
and entertainment at host venues. The federal government also invested      calculate actual incremental expenditures. In applying such performance
an incremental $26 million in tourism-specific activities through the       measures, it is important to establish the campaign objectives well in
Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).                                          advance, and to institute robust tracking tools to measure the actual
The preparation for the Games required a tremendous amount of               results.
work by many individuals in the tourism industry, including a tourism       While it is critical to know what the results of this campaign, it will be
consortium consisting of Tourism BC, Tourism Vancouver, Whistler,           the incremental tourism revenues in the years following the Games
Richmond, and the CTC. A range of innovative programs were employed         that are a true measure of ROI on the total investment in the Olympics.
to invite the world to “share the excitement”, by welcoming guests          Performance will be evaluated in the context of extremely challenging
in beautiful new visitor centres, and by providing GPS enabled, ‘just       times for the industry, exacerbated by introduction of the HST which,
in time’ travel information on iPhones, showcasing sights to see and        according to a study released by the Council of Tourism Associations,
nearby restaurants. Rural communities were featured in 1,800 pages of       will be taking an additional $363 million from the pockets of our visitors
information on the Tourism BC website, and more than 30 individual          and tourism businesses annually, starting in July 2010.
centres had prepared marketing plans to capitalize on the Games.
                                                                            On top of the HST, there will be an additional 2% tax on overnight stays
Over the past 5 years, a close working relationship had been forged with    in accommodation properties in more than 40 communities throughout
the international broadcasters, who were provided access to thousands       the province. This will render tourism businesses, in areas such as the
of photographs of Super, Natural BC and close to 300 hours of high          east Kootenays, uncompetitive with those operators of golf courses or ski
definition video footage to be shown during times between athletic          resorts in low tax provinces such as Alberta or US States like Montana.
                                                                            To successfully manage its way through such a difficult landscape, and
In the professional marketing world, a suite of tools are available to      to achieve the much anticipated ROI on the Games, a solid business plan
gauge the performance of such campaigns. The strongest indication will      is essential. The tourism industry will be interested in knowing what is
be from actual bookings or reservations that are directly attributable to   being done to achieve the long-term goals and benefits of having hosted
the campaign. Additional proxy indicators can also be employed such         the 2010 Games.
as website visits, page views, time spent viewing, or “click throughs”
to individual tourism operators’ websites. Pre and post research with       Rod J. Harris is an Adjunct Professor at Royal Roads University and can be reached
prospective visitors to determine how their travel intentions have          at 250-391-2600 ext 4268 or rod.1harris@royalroads.ca.

                                                                                                                                                InnFocus 27
Card Fraud Liability Shifts to Merchant
                                                                        by Bruce Marshall

Canadian banks have issued CHIP cards to the majority of their                      missing imprints. In the case of stolen or counterfeit cards, the bank
customers, and in an effort to reduce fraud, the payment industry has               (issuer) absorbs the cost.
also announced timelines for retailers and POS/ATM providers to ensure
their equipment is compliant with CHIP cards. Following are some                    Change in Fraud Liability
important deadlines you should be aware of:
                                                                                    CHIP technology was introduced in the UK in 2005 and resulted in a
October 1, 2010 - Visa® will shift financial liability for fraud to those that      35% decline in fraud over the next two years. However, the move to
have not yet migrated to EMV (chip card standard).                                  CHIP technology caused the migration of fraud to non-compliant ATMs
October 15, 2010 - MasterCard® International states that liability for              and POS terminals. Based on this experience, card issuers around the
fraudulent activity conducted on any lost, stolen or counterfeit card               world - including Canada - have acknowledged this and have mandated
will become the liability of whichever party involved in the transaction            the liability shift for fraud. Effective October, 2010 liability for card fraud
is non-chip compliant.                                                              in Canada shifts to the non-chip compliant party in a transaction, which
                                                                                    leaves retailers open to the risk of fraud for the first time. Merchants
December 31, 2010 - Interac® Association set transition requirements
                                                                                    that have not updated their ATMs or point of sale terminals to accept
to ensure that the majority of Canadians will be able to fully benefit
                                                                                    chip cards will need to cover the cost of any card fraud resulting from
from this new technology by 2010, at which point the majority of ABMs
                                                                                    the use of a MasterCard® or Visa® card on their systems.
and debit cards will be converted. 50% of ATMs must be compliant by
December 31, 2010, and the remainder by 2012. POS terminals must                    There are about 60,000 ATMs and 600,000 POS terminals in Canada
be 100% converted by 2015.                                                          that require replacement or upgrading to accept CHIP technology. Some
                                                                                    ATMs can be upgraded with software, others will need new components,
Fraud Liability                                                                     and many will require complete replacement. Merchants are encouraged
                                                                                    to act now or risk being put on wait lists due to inventory shortages from
The cost of fraudulent card use typically falls onto the issuer (the                ATM and POS manufacturers.
bank), sometimes to the acquirer (ATM/POS provider), but rarely to
the merchant. Current merchant liability is rare and typically involves             Bruce Marshall is VP of Cashline ABM/Merchant Fast Cash and can be reached at
acceptance of an expired or invalid card, a duplicate transaction or                250-920-9750 or bruce@cashline.ca.

28 InnFocus
                  Human Resources                            by go2

Creative Ways to Engage Your Staff, Part 2
This article completes our discussion on               2. Employee input into decision                         4. The organization’s reputation for
employee engagement strategies.                        making. Pietracupa explains, “Annually, each            social responsibility. “Fairmont Hotels &
Employee engagement and retention through              hotel puts together a strategic plan, which speaks      Resorts’ commitment to the environment and
incentives are related but distinctly different        to its vision for the next five years. What are         sustainability is longstanding,” reveals Hall.
concepts. Incentives tend to be tangible rewards:      its goals? How will we get there? The strategic         “We were leading the way 20 years ago with
awards, bonuses, trips, and staff discounts.           planning committee is made up of different              the Fairmont Green Partnership program. We
Employee engagement is a more subtle process           levels of ambassadors at their hotel. Each hotel        have produced a green manual on sustainable
- a kind word, or congratulations on a job well        submits its strategic plan to head office, and we       best practices in the lodging industry. Each of
done - making employees feel they are part of a        roll it into the corporate strategic plan. By getting   our hotels has a Green Team. We compost and
specific culture, imparting a sense of belonging       [employees] involved, we believe it demonstrates        recycle in all sorts of ways and have energy-
that inspires them to go the extra mile for their      that they know what they’re doing and we respect        efficient lighting.
employer.                                              their opinions.                                         We have raised money for Haiti relief for the
Human resources consulting firm Towers                 We came up with values from focus groups                Red Cross. We collect food for the Food Bank
Watson surveyed 90,000 employees in nearly             articulating what was the culture. It wasn’t some       at Christmas, and locally, we adopt families
20 countries and found that 40% of employees           leaders off in an ivory tower looking up best           from North Shore Family Services. We create a
feel disenchanted or disengaged. Concluding            practices of Fortune companies. We went to              Christmas tree for them and decorate it with gifts,
that “engaged workers are not born, they are           our people and asked what it meant to work for          and then the employees take it to the family.”
made,” the company identified five key drivers         Coast. We brought the culture to the forefront;
of employee engagement:                                we didn’t impose the culture.
                                                                                                               5. The organization’s ability to quickly
                                                       Our orientation, training, management system,           resolve customer concerns . “Our
1. Senior management being sincerely                   and strategic-planning process allow all                philosophy is that you should have all your
                                                       ambassadors to have a say in what it’s going to         people programmed to an organic whole,” states
interested in employee well-being. One
                                                       take to make their hotel better.”                       Pietracupa. “Your people need to know how they
of the most important things management can
do to foster a sense of engagement is to take a                                                                connect to solve customer problems. Then, when
genuine interest in their employees. See them as       3. The ability to improve skills and                    a situation comes up, it isn’t coming out of left
people, not just a “pair of hands”. This is doubly                                                             field at them.
                                                       capabilities. Encouraging staff to enhance
important at Coast Hotels where their core             their work skills - and therefore be better             Our Culture Through Living the Values program
philosophy is “If our ambassadors [employees]          equipped to move up the job hierarchy within            helps to provide the behavioural and attitudinal
are satisfied, our guests will be satisfied,” states   the hotel - pays off for the employer, because the      tools of performance excellence. The On The Job
Lissa-Maria Pietracupa, Vice President, People         employee will tend to stay with the organization        program provides the technical components
& Culture for Coast Hotels & Resorts.                  instead of seeking a better job elsewhere.              of performance expectations. We also teach
A simple example illustrates the point:                Fairmont pays particular attention to this              Making It Right, which is service recovery.
Pietracupa profiles ambassadors on bulletin            practice in its foodservice area. “Fairmont Hotels      98% of guests are no problem, but with 2%
boards throughout the organization, highlighting       & Resorts have apprentices in the kitchen who           something happens and you have an unhappy
what they do away from work. “They’re real             are working toward their Red Seal, and we pay           guest. We take that guest’s problem and view it
people stories about what they do with their           when they go to school,” notes Arlene Hall,             as an opportunity to turn it around to provide
families and what’s important to them. They            Regional Director of Human Resources for                excellent service.”
volunteer in community centres and crisis              Fairmont in the Pacific Northwest. “Also, our
centres and coach sports teams,” she reports.          health and safety manager is certified to deliver       Les Wiseman is writing for go2 - The resource for
“And those things should be recognized.”               FoodSafe training and certification.”                   people in Tourism. For more information on using
                                                                                                               human resources to improve your business’ bottom
                                                                                                               line, visit www.go2hr.ca

                                                                                                                                                    InnFocus 29
COTA Progress Report: The Competitiveness
Challenge of the BC Tourism Industry                                                               by Peter Larose

It has practically become cliché to speak of the volatility of our provincial    With respect to transportation infrastructure and access, sentiment
tourism industry in recent years. From health pandemics to climate               was more positive about the effectiveness of our road and sea (ferry)
change, global recessions to fuel price spikes and terrorist threats, we have    transportation systems, and less positive about our air transportation
collectively come to accept that, in addition to death and taxes, the only       system.
certainty in life is change itself. But while we cannot control the myriad       In terms of the marketing system, industry leaders were unequivocal in
external factors that affect our businesses, we can manage them in such          stating the need to secure adequate and predictable funding for marketing
a way as to best retain or even enhance our relative competitiveness as a        agencies, while balancing the need for flexibility and innovation with the
tourism destination.                                                             need for greater alignment and integration of the various levels of the
The mandate of the Council of Tourism Associations (COTA) is to educate          system. Due to the overwhelming degree of interest in enhancing the
and advocate the interests of the BC tourism industry, in order to ensure        competitiveness of our three-tier marketing system, COTA is redoubling
that the overall system is cohesive, viable, and competitive. In response        its efforts to support this area.
to the ongoing changes and the numerous responses of governments and             Making objective measurements is a challenge. The final draft of the
the tourism stakeholders, COTA has embarked on an ambitious task to              Progress Report will utilize both survey data and hard, quantitative data
assess our overall competitive position, so that we can make more precise        in order to enhance the reliability of our assessments.
assessments of our relative strengths and weaknesses. Without the facts, we
are subject to the whims of decision-makers and influencers of public policy.    At present, we have little hard data on the industry’s competitive position,
                                                                                 but we do know a few things. For example, we know that BC spends more
So, how competitive are we, anyway? Does our transportation system               than most other jurisdictions in Canada for provincial marketing. However,
function as smoothly and efficiently as, say, those of New York, Hawaii, or      relative to the size of our provincial tourism industry, we actually spend less
Provence? Do we manage our natural spaces and recreation experiences             than any other province or territory in Canada, except Ontario.
as well as Costa Rica or Montana? Is the overall tax burden on businesses
and visitors increasing or decreasing compared to five or ten years ago?         With regard to the community marketing system, the only system-wide
                                                                                 information we have is the degree of support for renewals of community
In a real-time survey of nearly 250 senior tourism industry leaders at           destination marketing organizations (DMOs). Of the dozens of renewals
COTA’s Tourism Leaders’ Summit in April, COTA posed these types of               undertaken - typically every five years - 98% have had a higher level of
questions to our industry’s leaders. In some cases, the perceptions were         support by the accommodation sector than the support level at the time of
often as diverse as the tourism industry itself. However, we did see a variety   the organization’s inception. This suggests that when the accommodation
of areas where clear trends were apparent, sometimes in surprising ways.         sector has a role in the oversight and accountability of DMOs, they are
Despite claims of senior governments in Victoria and Ottawa about our            often pleased with the results.
lower tax burden, most businesses felt that tax cuts in personal and             COTA will be looking to complete the Progress Report in the coming
corporate income taxes have been more than offset by increases in fees,          months, and will be releasing the first draft at the 2010 BC Tourism Industry
surcharges, levies, property taxes, lease payments, and other types of taxes.    Conference in October 2010.
Two areas critical to tourism viability are the arts/culture/heritage sector     The process will be challenging from a technical and logistical point of view.
as well as the outdoor recreation sector. When asked how well we are             However, despite these challenges, we are certain that the Progress Report
supporting these areas, respondents expressed that we are doing poorly           will help us engage in more sophisticated discussions about our overall
with supporting arts, culture, and heritage, whereas there was generally         strengths and weaknesses, so that we can address our competitiveness
a more favourable perception regarding the effectiveness of our outdoor          challenge in these turbulent times.
recreation management systems.
                                                                                 Peter Larose is Director, Policy and Corporate Communications at the Council of
                                                                                 Tourism Associations (COTA). He can be reached at 604-685-5996.

 30 InnFocus
               Names in the News
Congratulations to the new general managers at the following properties:                                      The Coast Penticton Hotel opened in April, located one block from Lake
Doug Andrews, Coast Inn of the North, Prince George; Michael                                                  Okanagan and next to the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, the South
Dempster, The Cove Lakeside Resort, Kelowna, and The Outback                                                  Okanagan Events Centre, and the Penticton Wine Information Centre. It’s
Lakeside Resort, Vernon; Cory Helmer, Best Western Wine Country                                               newly renovated with a wide variety of well-appointed, modern guestrooms
Hotel & Suites; John Histed, Coast Sundance Lodge, Sun Peaks;                                                 including family suites that sleep up to six. Amenities include an indoor
Michelle LeSage, Best Western, The Westerly Hotel, Courtenay;                                                 pool and waterslide, outdoor pool & lounge deck, a half acre of outdoor
Todd Mallen, Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa, Osoyoos; Brian                                               grass recreation area, and an onsite family restaurant.
Mclauchlan, Burrard Inn, Vancouver; Dave Melanchuk, The Fernie
                                                                                                              The new Best Western Kamloops hotel is a big supporter of green-friendly
Stanford Resort; Cheryl Neathway, Holiday Inn Express Hotel Surrey;
                                                                                                              practices. Eco-initiatives at the property include geothermal energy for
Sachindra Sharma, Hilton Vancouver Airport; Joachim (Joe) Striegan,
                                                                                                              heating and cooling of public areas and pool, natural chlorinated pool,
the Coast Inn of the West, Terrace; and Darryl Wilson, Travelodge
                                                                                                              energy efficient design, and ongoing recycling programs.
Victoria. Don McNeil is the new owner and manager of the Ocean View
Hotel in Prince Rupert. Bellstar Hotels and Resorts has appointed Ralf                                        The newly opened Best Western Hudson’s Hope Inn & Suites is located
Strub as Vice President of Operations. Jonathan Cross is President at                                         on the bank of the Peace River in the Rocky Mountain foothills of BC. It
The Hospitality Inn, Port Alberni.                                                                            offers exceptional amenities, excellent customer service, and a convenient
                                                                                                              location to local attractions and recreation areas.
The Residence Inn by Marriott is now The Coast Blackcomb Suites
at Whistler. The Executive Inn Kamloops has a new name, the Hotel                                             Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler is now owned by Tumuluri Asset Management
Five540Forty.                                                                                                 Inc. with partners Ram Tumuluri, Jamal Hotel Holdings Ltd., and the
                                                                                                              Varshney family. The Lodge will now be managed by T & V Hospitality Inc.
Geoffrey Howes has been named Chair of the BC Hospitality Foundation.
                                                                                                              HED Insurance and Risk Services has changed its name to Western
COTA board of directors appointed Lana Denoni of Denoni Sales and                                             Financial Group Insurance Solutions as of May 1, 2010. Western Financial
Marketing as the association’s new Chair. Denoni takes the helm from                                          Group is one of Canada’s largest insurance brokerages, with more than
Jim Storie of the Vancouver Trolley Company who becomes Past Chair.                                           90 locations in over 80 communities, serving over 400,000 customers
Joining Denoni on the COTA board are newly elected members Dave                                               across Canada.
Cowen, Craig Murray, Anne Pigeon, and Allen Tozer.
                                                                                                              Congratulations to Larry Vander Baaren, President, and the team
The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) announced that Nicholas Carson                                          at Hendrix Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, who were awarded
has assumed the role of Chair of the HAC board of directors. As a result                                      the ESI Dealer of the Year 2009 award in the large volume category.
of recent changes and new obligations, Scott Allison, who was elected                                         Congratulations to the team at Ecolab, who won HAC’s 2009 Outstanding
HAC Chair in February, has asked Carson, the current HAC Vice-Chair,                                          Supplier of the Year Award. Ecolab was the inaugural winner of this award,
to take on the position of Chair earlier than expected. Allison will remain                                   having been selected for its high standard of customer service and support.
on the HAC Executive Committee.
                                                                                                              The new owners and operator of The Pantry Restaurants, RAMMP
go2 chose Sarah Flockton from the Coast Blackcomb Suites in Whistler                                          Hospitality Brands Inc., plan to open more than 100 restaurants across
as the winner of its Gold Medal Customer Service Photo Contest. The                                           Canada over the next seven years. The new ownership group is spearheaded
contest was created to recognize outstanding tourism professionals during                                     by former senior executives from some of Canada’s most well known casual
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Nominated                                             dining restaurant and consumer brands. Partners include Mike Cordoba,
by Coast Blackcomb, the winning photo features a handmade medal tally                                         Al Cave, Peter Dhillon and Robin Chakrabarti as well as Mike
and event board that was created and updated daily by Flockton. Hotel                                         Hoffman, son of the founder of The Pantry. This franchise expansion will
staff, visitors, and local bus drivers checked the tally and event schedule                                   include a re-energized focus on the customer experience and a rebranding
for daily updates and to answer guests’ inquiries. A friendly rivalry was                                     that will give the family restaurant chain a new feel, updated identity and
established among the multicultural workplace. “Daily trivia” questions                                       expand its appeal to a younger demographic. RAMMP Hospitality Brands
were also posted on the board to encourage interaction with guests.                                           Inc. also owns the Rockwell’s restaurant chain.

     ARETE Safety & Protection Inc.      29    go2                                  28    Restwell Sleep Products          25

     BCHA Membership                     11    Gordon R. Williams Corp.             22    Rona Inc.                        20

     BCHICE                              27    Guestfolio Communications            21    Serta                             8

     BC Hospitality Foundation        23, 31   HRP - Hotel Renovations by Prostar   6-7   Tex-Pro Western Ltd.              8

     Bell                                12    Hospitality Industrial Relations     24    Vancouver Community College      13

     Cashline ABM/Merchant FastCash      26    J.W. Woodcraft                       10    Western Financial Group Insurance 5

     Chemistry Consulting                 4    MJB Law                              14    Whiteshell Chairs                22

     Coldstream Commercial               BC    OK Wireless                          24    Worksafe BC                      20

     Essential Amenities                 15    Oceanside Interiors                  30    ZLC Financial Group               9

     Gescan                              19    Orkin                                18
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machine and it uses half the space of traditional washers and dryers! Staff
can load the wash then handle other tasks while the laundry is being pro-
cessed. Your laundry will be completely washed and dried in one machine
in just over an hour!

This unique 350 G-force is a 3-in-1 wonder. It can operate as a washer only,
dryer only, or as a wash-&-dry combination machine. You can easily install it
anywhere – on wood floors, 2nd floors, and over basements – with no need
for concrete foundation or steel base. Call today to learn more!

              Authorized Electrolux Professional Laundry Dealer

                                          (604) 940-8668
                                          (888) 872-0777

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