July 19, 2021 (OTTAWA) - The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses has released the following statement in response to today’s border announcement:

“The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses is pleased by today’s plan for reopening Canada’s border. Our businesses look forward to safely welcoming U.S. travellers in August and international travellers in September.

While this is welcome news, most tourism businesses lost our international travel summer season. This reopening alone will not save many of Canada’s businesses in the tourism, travel, hospitality, arts, festivals and events sectors from financial ruin this fall and winter.

Over the coming months, our industry is facing a perfect storm. The wage subsidy (CEWS) and fixed costs (CERS) support programs that kept us alive are sharply declining, while business and convention travel remain low, and Canadians think about travel south in the fall and winter.

Even with Canada’s border open to all fully vaccinated international travellers, Canada’s hardest hit businesses need tailored support to stay alive and employing almost two million people.”


Washington (July 20, 2021) – Midway through 2021, a new report and state-by-state job loss breakdown released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) find that while leisure travel is starting to return, the hotel industry’s road to recovery from the pandemic is long and uneven, with urban markets disproportionately impacted.

Industry projections have improved since January with the uptick in leisure travel, but the industry remains well below pre-pandemic levels. Key findings include:

  1. More than one in five direct hotel operations jobs lost during the pandemic—nearly 500,000 in total—will not have returned by the end of the year
  2. Hotel occupancy is projected to drop ten percentage points from 2019 levels
  3. Hotel room revenue will be down $44 billion this year compared to 2019
  4. States and localities will have lost more than $20 billion in unrealized tax revenues from hotels over the past two years

The findings come as AHLA and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association host their Virtual Action Summit (July 20-22), where hoteliers from nearly every state across the country are scheduled to meet with members of Congress to share how COVID-19 impacted the industry and call for additional aid by urging Congress to:

  • Cosponsor and pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act (S.1519/H.R.3093)
  • Cosponsor and pass bills to establish fair per diem rates (H.R.2104/S.2160)
  • Help provide hoteliers access to the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which currently excludes many hoteliers

“Despite an uptick in leisure travel, midway through 2021 we’re still seeing that the road to a full recovery for America’s hotels is long and uneven. These findings show the economic devastation still facing hotel markets and underscore the need for targeted relief from Congress for hotel workers and small businesses,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA“Hotels and their employees have displayed extraordinary resilience in the face of unprecedented economic challenges, but whether it’s the Save Hotel Jobs Act, fair per diem rates, or expanding the aperture on the Employee Retention Tax Credit, we need Congress’ help on the way to a full recovery. That’s why the industry is united behind our Virtual Action Summit.”

COVID-19 is the single worst economic event in the history of the American hotel industry. While the recent uptick in leisure travel for summer is encouraging, business and group travel, the industry’s largest source of revenue, will take significantly longer to recover. Business travel is down and not expected to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023 or 2024. Major events, conventions and business meetings have also already been canceled or postponed until at least 2022.  

Despite being among the hardest hit by the pandemic, hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry yet to receive direct COVID-related aid.


CALGARY, Alberta, July 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PBA Group of Companies and EllisDon are proud to announce the official topping off of The Dorian, a $110 Million 27-story dual-brand Marriott Autograph Collection and Courtyard Marriott hotel that will feature 308 luxury rooms in downtown Calgary. This much anticipated milestone marks the completion of the structural phase of the building, which has been overseen by EllisDon, bringing Calgary’s newest luxe hotel one floor closer to reality.

Located at 525 5th Avenue SW, between 5th Street and 4th Street, The Dorian will be two hotels in one beautiful tower. The upper portion of the tower will house 133 Autograph Collection rooms, while the lower portion of the tower will be home to 175 Courtyard Marriott rooms.

“We are really excited about The Dorian and the role we envision this hotel property playing in the revitalizing of Calgary’s downtown,” said Patricia Phillips, CEO of PBA Group of Companies. “Not only will it immediately create 150 jobs for the local economy, but it will also benefit the hard-hit hospitality and tourism sector here as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and begin to welcome tourists back to our world class city.”

The Dorian, inspired by Oscar Wilde and his provocative novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, will create a sophisticated, design-forward, vibrant space for travelers and locals alike while also making a significant impact on Calgary’s downtown skyline and economy. The Dorian will also feature Calgary’s first 27th floor outdoor patio and resto lounge.

“EllisDon is proud to be PBA’s construction manager for the Dorian Hotel and equally proud to celebrate the topping off milestone, which has been accomplished in large part due to the efforts of our subsidiary, EllisDon Forming,” said Jeff Fox, Senior Vice President at EllisDon. “The concrete structure has been topped off on schedule and has been built with a high degree of quality and safety. Congratulations to the EllisDon project team and to the leadership at PBA.”

Slated to open in June 2022, The Dorian was the first Marriott property in Alberta to be awarded an Autograph Collection hotel. Just like the Autograph Collection’s tagline ‘exactly like nothing else’, the Dorian will also emphasize and showcase the best of Calgary with a community-focused business model that will integrate local suppliers for items the hotel needs, from food and beverage offerings to soap and linens, and procuring art from local artists and artisans.

For more information and updates on The Dorian, please visit


Years in the making and hugely anticipated, Versante Hotel — Greater Vancouver’s first new luxury boutique hotel in years, and the first hotel of its kind in the city of Richmond — finally opens to the public on Thursday, July 29.

Every detail at Versante, from leading-edge technology to vibrantly colourful interior design, has been carefully considered to offer the most unique and captivating hotel experience in the region.

“Having spent almost 20 years managing boutique hotels in Canada and the US, I can’t overstate how special a property Versante is,” says General Manager, David Curell. “In a region crowded with branded hotels, we’re proud to be Richmond’s only independent boutique hotel, and locally owned and operated. Our guests are independent spirits who seek out fresh and innovative experiences everywhere they go.”

Here are some of the many reasons why Versante is Canada’s most remarkable new hotel experience of 2021.

100 guestrooms and suites boasting five bold décor themes – developed by Vancouver-based CHIL Interior Design – evoke a distinct personality. Wall coverings, fabric selections and furniture colours were customized to create an immersive experience within each room scheme. In addition to either two luxury queens or one king-size bed, each room features:

• Contactless check-in/out, room entry and lighting controls via the Versante App. The app also allows for contactless room-service ordering, as well as connecting with the Versante guest-services team

• Complimentary high-speed wi-fi with unlimited bandwidth

• 24-hour room service

• Spa-like bathrooms featuring the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, large rainforest shower with heated floor, and, in most guestrooms and all suites, a freestanding soaker tub with view window

• Floor-to-ceiling windows in most rooms, offering expansive mountain and river views

• Energy-efficient View Smart auto-tinting windows

• State-of-the-art MirrorTM workout technology in select suites

• Versante is the only hotel in Canada featuring bath amenities by Red Flower, a women-owned New York City brand whose acclaimed bath and beauty products are biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Situated in Richmond, Versante is only 20 minutes by vehicle from Downtown Vancouver, and mere minutes from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The city of Richmond was cited by The New York Times as having the best Asian food in North America — so you can discover incredible culinary experiences just steps away. World-class shopping, golf, recreation, gaming, and much more are also close by.

In addition to a 24-hour fitness facility with Peloton bikes and Life Fitness cardio equipment, guests may retreat to the serene outdoor rooftop terrace with a saltwater pool and hot tub.

Versante is home to an array of thrilling new dining concepts. Experience Mediterranean flavours at Bruno, or ascend to Alaïa and marvel at sweeping 12th-floor views. Versante Bar is a sophisticated lounge offering delectable small plates and classic cocktails by night.


• A showstopping lobby evoking the vibrancy of a Chinese night market, including one-of-a-kind pieces by world-renowned Vancouver artists Andy Dixon and Marie Khouri

• Complimentary airport transfer by luxury car

• Complimentary bike rental

• Pet friendly

• Over 5,500 square feet of function space for meetings, events, weddings, and more.

Reservations are now being accepted at


The federal Government of Canada announced the investment of a minimum of $50M from the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) in Indigenous tourism projects. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is very pleased with this renewed commitment from the government to support the recovery of the Indigenous tourism industry across the country.

"The Government of Canada demonstrated their commitment to the importance of investing in Indigenous tourism in Canada,” said Keith Henry, president and CEO of the ITAC. “This is a very significant direct commitment for Indigenous tourism businesses, Indigenous Tourism Provincial/Territorial Partners and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. We are working out the two-year implementation details and will be moving quickly to support our Indigenous tourism industry recover and rebuild."

The aforementioned investment is part of a total commitment of $500M in the TRF to support the tourism industry overall, of which $485 million will be delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) directly to tourism businesses and organizations to help aid in the creation of new tourism experiences, or enhance existing ones. Of this $500 million, a minimum of 10% will be invested in Indigenous tourism projects ($50M). Additionally, $15M has been allocated in part to support national ITAC projects.

Individual businesses and Provincial/Territorial Indigenous Tourism Organizations will need to apply for repayable or non-repayable funding directly through their respective RDAs. Contributions to Indigenous entities (not generating profits) will normally be non-repayable. Indigenous applicants are invited to apply through the process described below.:

Though Canadian domestic travel restrictions have begun easing, this funding has come at a crucial time as international borders remain closed and operators have nearly lost their second full summer season of business. While many businesses received initial non-repayable grants through ITAC in fall 2020, without a further influx of funding to offset these compounded losses, and the fact that ITAC was only allocated $2.4M of the requested $68.3M in the 2021 federal budget – meaning they could not provide further financial support to their members – their viability to survive the third wave was uncertain. After months of advocacy efforts by ITAC to secure the future of their operators, experiences and community members, this financial commitment by the Government specifically for Indigenous tourism businesses is welcomed by ITAC and showcases their recognition of Indigenous tourism as a vital part of the economy and the culture of the country.


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