BC Hotel Association
Making Travel a Family Affair • Hotels and the 100-Mile Diet
Guest Safety • Utilizing Social Media • Olympic Momentum
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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
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
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
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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.
Year after year.
As an employer of seasonal staff, you must recruit
employees season after season, year after year.
Through 365jobs you will find job ready candidates,
who can return to you season after season. That’s
because we find other employment for them in your
off-season, so they can hop between seasonal jobs
they enjoy without periods of unemployment.
Qualified candidates, with a higher likelihood to
return… doesn’t that sound like an easier idea?
Visit our website for details.
Funding Provided Through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
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.
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
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,”
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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,”
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.
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. email@example.com.
Westwood boasts wonderful scenery and golf, and is renowned for its The BC Hospitality Foundation - “working together to help our own”.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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
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.
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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