June 25, 2021

“The Hotel Association of Canada announces the 2021 Board of Directors” attached.

Download this file (2021 BOD_Press Release.pdf)2021 BOD_Press Release.pdf[ ]106 kB

TORONTO, ON (June 25, 2021) – Realstar Hospitality is proud to announce the opening of its newest
Motel 6 in Brooks, Alberta. This marks the ninth hotel for the brand in the province and the thirty-sixth location across the country. 

Motel 6 - Brooks is the first location in Canada that is completely renovated with the award-winning ‘Gemini’ design. Created with the modern traveller in mind, the ‘Gemini’ features sleek wood-effect flooring, quartz countertops and a sophisticated colour palette with bright yellows and teal. All guestrooms feature a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge and microwave. In addition, guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, complimentary morning coffee in the lobby and an onsite restaurant. At Motel 6, travellers over 60 years of age receive a special ‘ 60Plus’ discount; kids 17 and under stay free when occupying the same room as an adult family member and pets always stay free.

“Motel 6 - Brooks is a welcome addition to the brand, offering great value to those exploring the city or to those travelling through,” said Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality. “With the Clean@6 Program in place at all Motel 6 locations, we continue to provide guests with a clean, comfortable stay.”

Minutes from top tourist attractions such as Tillebrook Provincial Park, Duke of Sutherland Park and the Brooks Golf Club, Motel 6 - Brooks is within close proximity to a variety of nearby restaurants and bars and the Brooks Regional Airport. 

“We are excited to open our doors as a Motel 6 and look forward to welcoming travellers, just in time to enjoy the sunshine and the city’s many summer activities,” said hotel owner, Slava Govorov.


Toronto, ON (June 23, 2021) – As the hospitality industry plans for recovery and the return of travel, Choice Hotels Canada is pleased to announce new additions to the Sales, Revenue Management and Franchise Services teams.

“Earlier this year we made substantial changes to our Sales division, including launching a new strategy to place our hotels and brands in a progressive position at all levels of sales,” says Julie Chan-McConnell, Senior Director, Commercial Strategy & Performance at Choice Hotels Canada. “We are pleased to welcome new team members to corporate sales and revenue management at this critical time as we steer through and beyond COVID-19 business recovery for our hotels.”

To help support the corporate B2B sales team, Monique Bourque joined the team as Global Account Manager. Fully bilingual with over twenty years of sales experience in hospitality including roles as Director of Sales and General Manager, she has a well-rounded understanding of hotel operations and the challenges and opportunities that franchisees face. She will oversee a portfolio of global and national corporate accounts across Canada, primarily focused in Quebec, to identify opportunities where Choice Hotels Canada can offer more value.

Lisa Pasqualotto also joined the sales team in the newly created position of Specialist, Account Services. Fully bilingual, Lisa has over twenty years of experience across several positions in the hospitality industry for various hotel companies. Her sales background and knowledge will provide a solid foundation and critical support working closely with corporate and specialty account managers to align opportunities for both clients and hotels.

To champion the roll out of ChoiceMAX, Choice Hotels’ new robust revenue management system, Jennifer Nielsen joined the team as Manager, Revenue Optimization. The recently launched revenue management platform was developed using proven, industry-leading technology to help hotels effectively manage rates and maximize revenue opportunity. With over 20 years of experience at a number of international brands, Jennifer began her hospitality career on the sales side, including close to a decade in leadership roles. Her sales skills have provided her with a solid foundation when it comes to developing and recommending pricing strategies.

“This last year has emphasized the importance of ongoing dialogue between our franchisees and how instrumental it is for our mutual success, “says Brendan Gibney, Senior Director, Franchise Services at ‎Choice Hotels Canada. “Our franchisees are the heart of our business and our highly experienced and engaged team of consultants are key as we move into recovery and beyond.” 

Joining the Franchise Services team is Steve White as a Franchise Performance Consultant supporting hotels across Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Steve has decades of hospitality experience with various brands, as Director of Operations and General Manager in both Eastern and Western Canada. Throughout his career, Steve has demonstrated a proven track record of helping hotels grow their business through sustainable revenue management practices, employee engagement strategies and cost management. 


Also joining the team is Jean-Paul Sarkis as a Franchise Performance Consultant in Quebec. Jean-Paul, who is bilingual, has more than a decade of on-property experience as a General Manager with major hotel brands. Most recently, he served as a Franchise Performance Support Manager for an international hotel group, where he helped drive performance for a portfolio of franchisee owners and hotels across Canada and the United States.  A trusted business advisor, Jean-Paul has significant experience in driving hotel performance in key areas such as revenue, sales, operations, service and guest satisfaction.


VICTORIA, BC – June 2021:Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the iconic world leading hotel group known for its historic luxury and unparalleled service, has announced the appointment of Dan McGowan as General Manager of Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC.

In his new position, McGowan will lead the overall operations, performance, and strategic direction for Fairmont Empress. Joining the Fairmont Empress team following his most recent role as the General Manager of Fairmont San Jose, McGowan brings over 25 years of experience working within the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand.

“Fairmont Empress is a long-standing icon of historic celebrations and timeless luxury for the Vancouver Island community,” says Jens Moesker, Regional Vice President & General Manager, Fairmont Pacific Rim. “We are so thrilled to welcome Dan to the team, as his extensive knowledge and experience leading prominent historic Fairmont properties across North America will be instrumental in continuing to provide Victoria visitors and locals alike with unforgettable moments and experiences.”

Prior to his time at Fairmont San Jose, McGowan held progressive leadership roles throughout Fairmont properties across North America, spending time at hotels such as Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Fairmont Vancouver Airport, Fairmont Dallas and Fairmont Palliser.

McGowan holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Hotel & Food Administration from The University of Guelph. He has also completed the Career Development and HMDC (Hospitality Managers Development Course) through the University of Guelph. As an active leader in the tourism community, McGowan volunteer leadership roles such as Board of Directors of Tourism Richmond, Chair of the Hotel Association in Calgary, Board of Director of Tourism Calgary, Board of Directors of Visit Dallas and Board of Directors of Tourism San Jose.


Price is the most important factor to 47%* of consumers when selecting accommodation, according to a poll by GlobalData. The data and analytics company notes that, with less budget for travel but a strong desire to escape, many will turn to budget providers to satisfy their travel cravings.

Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Budget hotel operators will be well positioned to benefit from an increase in bargain-hunting travelers looking for the cheapest accommodation possible. With many countries still only permitting outbound travel to a handful of countries and domestic holidays booming in the short term, accommodation prices have risen. Research conducted by consumer group Which? revealed that UK breaks were 35% more expensive this year than last year. Therefore, travelers will be looking for a bargain among a sea of inflated rates.”

GlobalData’s consumer survey (Q1 2021) showed that travelers are more price sensitive than before the pandemic, which is unsurprising given that 87%** of global respondents expressed that they were concerned about their personal financial position during the pandemic.

Gardner continues: “The pandemic has placed a considerable strain on travelers’ finances. Despite this, travel demand is still high, and many are looking to escape in desperate need for a change of scenery. Travelers are more likely to trade extras offered at mid- to upper-scale hotels for a more basic ‘pay for what you need’ service standard.”

The same GlobalData poll showed that ‘prestige and loyalty offered’ was the least important factor when selecting a hotel/accommodation. Many upscale hotels have invested in developing a loyal following. However, the pandemic has caused a shift in traveler sentiment that could impact this type of investment.

Gardner adds: “The financial squeeze from the pandemic will likely push travelers to budget travel options, forgoing loyalty benefits in the process. To counteract the shift towards budget alternatives, mid to upper-scale hotels should focus their efforts on price promotions. Offering additional discounts for loyalty program members, freebies, or free upgrades could entice those looking to make their stay more comfortable despite a depleted travel budget.

“As travel begins to return, post-pandemic travelers are likely to have reduced funds, and budget hotels will benefit. Price promotions and incentives could be a crucial strategy for mid to upper-scale hotels to counteract this trend, however, travelers are more likely to be influenced by price in the initial travel recovery period.”


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