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Treaty 6, Métis Region 4, Edmonton, Alberta (May 25, 2022) – National Tourism Week runs May 29-June 4 and representatives of Alberta’s Indigenous tourism industry are set to highlight why they’re poised to lead the way in economic growth for the province.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but one thing has been made clear over this past year: the Indigenous tourism industry is in growth mode,” said Shae Bird, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Alberta. “With summer quickly approaching, our Indigenous operators across the province are excited and ready to welcome guests to engage in a wide variety of activities.”

An annual celebration of tourism across Canada, National Tourism Week gets set to kick-off under the theme Travel Now: For Work, Life, and Play. From coast-to-coast-to-coast tourism partners come together to champion and promote Canada’s destinations, tourism businesses and employees.

Playing a vital role in Canada’s future tourism growth is sustainability, a role ITA’s member operators are incredibly familiar with. Businesses such as Mahikan Trails, Painted Warriors and Hideaway Adventure Grounds continue to actively promote harmony with the land they inhabit and integrate those teachings into each of their offerings.

Tourism is vital to Alberta and Canada and not only for its ability to generate economic activity, but also for its ability to showcase our values. The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on tourism across the world, however Indigenous tourism was especially hard hit and operators in Alberta felt those impacts. Now, through the hard work and resilience of operators, 2021 saw modest gains in GDP contribution and employment, setting 2022 up as a year for tremendous growth and opportunity.

Métis Crossing is a pivotal example of the resilience and growing strength of the Indigenous tourism industry.

As Alberta’s first major Métis cultural interpretive destination, Métis Crossing used the pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen its offerings and programs. Metis Crossing’s leaders entered into a joint venture partnership with Visions, Hopes and Dreams to reintroduce bison and heritage species to the newly established Visions, Hopes and Dreams at Métis Crossing Wildlife Park. Additionally, it expanded its hospitality offerings beyond the already established campground facilities to include the newly-opened Lodge at Métis Crossing, a 40-room, boutique luxury lodge overlooking the North Saskatchewan River.

Métis Crossing was able to create these offerings because of the increased interest across Alberta in learning about the land and the Peoples that have inhabited it since time immemorial.

Additionally, across Alberta, ITA members are playing a key role in reconciliation. Members such as Warrior Women, Talking Rock Tours and Buffalo Stone Woman are contributing to the collective understanding of Indigenous viewpoints, history and future by getting visitors connected to the history of the land they inhabit through wilderness education, Indigenous traditions and hands-on training.

ITA’s members across the province are working hard to grow Alberta’s economy.

Explore the full list of ITA members and their travel stories at IndigenousTourismAlberta.ca.

 
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Tourism tells our story to the world, and the workers in that industry make possible the memorable experiences people carry with them for the rest of their lives. Today at an event with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, announced the launch of the formal engagement period for the renewal of Canada’s Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

Minister Boissonnault will work with the tourism sector, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous tourism partners to renew the strategy and set a course for growth, investment and stability. The Minister also spoke about supports for small and medium-sized enterprises and his vision for the tourism and hospitality industry in the coming years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an undeniable and unique impact on Canadian tourism. To help the tourism and hospitality industry weather the challenges of the past two years, the Government of Canada provided $23 billion in emergency support. Now, with travel safely resuming and the industry beginning to turn the corner, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for tourism to thrive and grow even stronger. The government is deeply invested in seeing the tourism industry thrive again and reach its full potential as a job creator and economic driver in communities all across Canada. As announced in Budget 2022, one of many measures that will help fuel the resurgence of tourism is the renewal of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

The strategy will focus on important areas such as workforce challenges and destination development, which have become increasingly significant since the first strategy was launched in 2019.

Tourism stakeholders, business owners and employees, as well as members of the public, are invited to visit New Federal Tourism Growth Strategy to provide input and help lay the foundation for the future of Canada’s tourism industry. 

Quotes

“Today’s launch of the consultation period for the renewal of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy is a significant and exciting step for Canadian tourism. There is a lot of work to be done, and I know we can position the sector for long-term growth by coming together in a spirit of collaboration. Working with industry partners and provincial and territorial colleagues, we will plot a course for a bright future for this sector and for the Canadian economy.”

– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

 
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TORONTO, ON (May 31, 2022)Choice Hotels Canada, one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the country, is bolstering its franchise support and development growth with the promotions of two long-standing corporate head office employees - Graham Marsh and Rob Alldred.

Marsh has been named National Director, Franchise Development. In this role, he will continue to be responsible for development activity in his assigned territories and will now oversee the entire Franchise Development team. He will continue to report to and work closely with company CEO, Brian Leon, on system growth and overall development strategy. Prior to this, Marsh was Director, Franchise Development, a role he held since 2015; his contributions have been key to Choice Hotels Canada’s success in development in recent years.

Rob Alldred is taking on the role of National Director, Franchise Services. A seasoned industry veteran, Alldred’s hospitality career dates back to 1997, where he held a number of roles, including general manager, and garnered a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities owners and general managers face across the country. He joined Choice Hotels Canada in 2013, spending his first five years as a Franchise Performance Consultant in Ontario before his most recent role in Franchise Development, where he was highly successful in growing the Ascend Hotel Collection portfolio in Canada.

“Our goal is to continually increase the strength of the Choice Hotels Canada system and provide best-in-class franchise support as we continue to grow, and these new appointments will help us do just that,” said Brian Leon, CEO, Choice Hotels Canada. “Graham and Rob both excelled in their previous roles with CHC and have proven track records. We are excited about moving forward with these new department leaders in place.”

For more information, visitwww.choicehotels.com.

 
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CALGARY, AB, May 27th, 2022 – Calgary-based Superior Lodging Corporation is excited to announce that effective immediately, Erin Penner has been promoted to the role of Vice President, Development.

Erin brings with her more than three years of experience, and a proven track record as the current Director of Franchising and Development with Superior Lodging Corporation. Erin has contributed greatly to ensuring each of the Travelodge by Wyndham, Super 8 by Wyndham and Thriftlodge brands have maintained a healthy pipeline of growth across all Canadian regions. The team looks forward to her further contributions as she steps into this new role.

“I am extremely pleased to make this announcement on behalf of the entire team at Superior Lodging” said Marc Staniloff, President & CEO, Superior Lodging Corp. “Erin brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to this role that will be vital in continuing the growth of each of our brands across Canada.”

Erin will continue to be based out of British Columbia, Canada, working closely with franchisees and team members based across the country. Please join us in congratulating Erin on this exciting achievement. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 204.998.9509.

 
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(Vancouver) go2HR is proud to announce the completion of the BC Tourism & Hospitality Labour Market Information (LMI) research project. The project launched in January 2021 with the purpose of developing up-to-date and relevant LMI to provide the industry with the data needed to ensure a thriving workforce during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships (SLMP) program provided funding for the project through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.

The LMI project created highly anticipated new analytical resources for labour recovery planning for the industry. The BC Tourism & Hospitality Employment Tracker tracks monthly employment metrics in the industry, by region and by worker demographics. The project also created 11 Workforce Profiles, providing in-depth information on key employment and demographics of the workforce offered from a provincial, sector and regional perspective. The LMI Research Project Final Report details labour demand projections, recovery scenarios, and a summary of worker and employer sentiments about the industry, as well as recommendations to plot the path forward on labour recovery.

These research findings will help inform labour strategies to support labour recovery. The tourism and hospitality workforce makes up 12% of BC employment. The sector, which is the largest employer of youth in BC and home to many diverse peoples, was shocked by the onset of the pandemic and subsequent starts and stops, shrinking employment from 350,000 in 2019 to 298,000 at the end of 2021. The industry is fully aware of the challenge to build back a thriving workforce and has recently come together to develop a comprehensive labour recovery framework (LRF link) that identifies targeted, prioritized solutions to advance tourism and hospitality recovery.

Krista Bax, CEO go2HR, is grateful for the generous and timely support from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and the strong industry support and engagement from 18 industry organizations and hundreds of employers and workers who shared their perspectives. Data-driven decision-making is critical to get the most out of our labour recovery efforts. With new LMI, as an industry, we are aligned and informed on the workforce, the impacts from COVID-19 and how to best move forward. “These research findings will be immediately integrated into our labour recovery `efforts, “she noted.

Industry leaders were excited by the project’s completion, noting that this critical piece of research has largely been absent prior to the pandemic.

Indigenous Tourism is an essential part of the tourism and hospitality sector in BC. We partnered and participated with go2HR on both this project as well as our own labour market research. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on our labour force leads to better understanding broadly and helps to forge the path to recovery more effectively. We know that the tourism sector is a great place to advance economic and cultural reconciliation and look forward to using this research to guide those efforts,” said Brenda Baptiste, Chair of Indigenous Tourism of BC.  

“Accurate labour market data is a critical component to rebuilding British Columbia's visitor economy. Our industry was the first and hardest hit by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. The Tourism Industry Association of BC congratulates go2HR for their work on this important file which will help inform and shape the tourism workforce in the years ahead,” said Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of BC.

“The BC Hotel Association has been an active participant in the BC Tourism & Hospitality LMI Research project as a member of the Governance committee,” said Ingrid Jarrett, CEO BC Hotel Association. “We’ve been keenly supportive of this work from the start. go2HR has led this project with a commitment to excellence on behalf of industry. Accurate, real-time and sector specific data is not only the smart way for us to plot our way back to economic health, it is the only way forward after the staggering devastation on our industry,” she noted. 

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities and workers has been devastating, and the future is so uncertain. It is encouraging to see various components of the tourism and hospitality industry band together to conduct this important labour market research. Having this information and accompanying analysis will be helpful for the communities and businesses who are struggling and are trying to plan for the future and for future hiring,” stated Anthony Everett, chair of the BC Tourism Resiliency Network and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island.

 

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