Toronto, ON (July 6, 2020) – Choice Hotels Canada is thrilled to announce that one of its hotels, the Quality Inn & Suites Val d’Or has been named the 2020 International Quality Hotel of the Year by Choice Hotels International, based in Rockville, Maryland. This is the second time this hotel has been awarded this prestigious international distinction.

The hotel also received a 2020 Platinum Guest Satisfaction Award, given to Choice Hotels Canada properties in the top three per cent of its more than 330 hotels. This is the eighth consecutive year the hotel has been honoured with a Platinum Award, having been recognized each year since 2013. 

In 2014, the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or was recognized not only as Canadian Hotel of the Year, but also the International Quality Hotel of the Year. In 2018, the hotel won the Canadian Hotel of the Year award again. The hotel has also been awarded six Canadian APEX awards, which recognize stellar performance, sales and revenue growth and ongoing commitment to guest service. In 2018, the hotel’s general manager, Alexandre Audet, was awarded Leader of the Year by Choice Hotels Canada. The award recognized outstanding leadership, with Audet’s focus on employee recognition leading to a reduction in the turnover rate and outstanding customer satisfaction ratings.

"Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or is undoubtably a stand-out star in our system and is frequently recognized for its excellence,” said Brian Leon, president, Choice Hotels Canada. “The ownership, general manager and hotel team has consistently gone above and beyond and their exceptional efforts have not gone unnoticed by guests.”

Choice’s Real Guest Reviews rank the property a 4.8 out of 5 and 98 per cent of guests would recommend the hotel. As of June 30, TripAdvisor ranks the property as number one of eight hotels in Val-d’Or, with an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.

“We are delighted that our hard work and commitment to the guest experience has once again been recognized,” said Alexandre Audet, general manager of the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or. “The collective efforts of our entire team enable us to provide every guest with a welcoming, comfortable stay. I am forever grateful for everything they do – day in and day out.”

The 82-room hotel is owned and managed by the Cree Regional Economic Entreprises Company (CREECO) of Eeyou Istchee and Trahan Holdings of Val-d’Or. For business travellers, the hotel boasts a full business centre with conference facilities. The hotel also operates a hot breakfast service that is free to guests.

Reservations at the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or can be made by calling the hotel directly at (819) 874-8888 or by visiting


July 3, 2020

Elite and young independent travelers are crucial to the recovery of the travel sector as they are likely to be the first tourists to embark on international travel, however according to a survey by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, *35% of Gen Z and *48% of Gen Y are still extremely concerned about COVID-19.

Many travel and tourism influencers are drawn from this traveler group, and what they think of and write about in their travel experiences can be highly useful to travel marketing and so they will be indispensable for destination recovery if utilized effectively.

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Amid the pandemic, consumer habits have changed and the importance of having an effective social media presence has been heightened. Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) should engage with influencers and operate across multi-channel platforms to ensure a stronger position for recovery.”

Rather than an induced image brought by a TV ad or campaign, an authentic perception of a destination brought on by another traveler will likely be more credible.

According to GlobalData’s Destination Influencer Dashboard, both VisitGreece and FailteIreland are two of the top ranking on the network. Both DMOs have utilized influencers in marketing campaigns in the past to captivate travelers’ interests bringing real-time engagement worldwide.

Bonhill-Smith continues: "DMOs should recognize the overriding power of an influencer to promote new activities, experiences or even to gain traction within a new market."

Twitter and YouTube have been the most widely used platforms for travel campaigning during COVID-19, but it is clear that platforms such as TikTok also have untapped marketing potential. Some campaigns released by DMOs, such as #DreamNowVisitLater (VisitNorway), have gained considerable interest on TikTok and this is likely to reflect positively on the perception of the destination among younger demographics.

Bonhill-Smith adds: “Social media traffic has dramatically increased as consumers have utilized this as a tool to escape stringent lockdown restrictions. Certain changes are likely to become long-standing as individuals will be more dependent on this to alleviate anxieties and influencers should be a key consideration in travel recovery strategies.”


Coast Salish Territories / Vancouver, BC (July 2, 2020): As British Columbia enters Phase 3 of the Province’s Restart Plan, Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is encouraging residents to safely visit Indigenous tourism businesses using their new Trip Planner mobile app. The app is an intuitive planning resource with educational tools that immerses travellers in the culture, history and raw beauty of BC’s Indigenous territories. Now live, the app features enhanced travel and safety information, including up-to-date operating hours, booking requirements and new community protocols.  

After successfully flattening the curve of COVID-19 infections in BC, the Province has unveiled the next phase of economic recovery. Under Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, residents can resume non-essential travel within the province, ensuring to tour safely; travel in smaller groups and adhere to physical distancing measures; and respect newly introduced community guidelines and protocols. Residents who feel comfortable travelling are encouraged to spend their summer holidays in BC, supporting local businesses while exploring the Province’s distinctive regions with care.

ITBC is proud to launch this enhanced version of its Trip Planner App to support responsible provincial explorations while sharing key information about Indigenous activities and attractions that are open for business. The educational platform makes it easy for users to find up-to-date information about Indigenous accommodations, attractions and cultural experiences that are open and operating this summer season, and provides free access to an evolving library of traditional songs, legends and languages to enhance travel experiences. Travellers may also use the interactive map to find nearby Indigenous venues and adventures, or follow suggested itineraries to embark on comprehensive cultural experiences. New operating hours and reopening information will feature prominently, allowing travellers to browse safety protocols and make advance bookings as required.

ITBC’s Trip Planner Mobile App is now available for download. Users are encouraged to read through regional offerings before making travel plans, and to book in advance where possible. Download the app here and to learn more about Indigenous tourism in BC, visit or follow ITBC on social media.


Ottawa, ON (June 24, 2020) - Tourism HR Canada today launched the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit to guide the hard-hit industry as it works to recover and build resiliency for the medium to long term.

The COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit is a practical, free, web-based program that includes guidelines, workflows, checklists and tools focused on topics like finance, health and safety, human resources and change management to provide action items for tourism operators planning and launching their reopening and recovery efforts. The English version of the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit is now available at; the French version will be released in the coming weeks.
“Since COVID-19 shutdowns began, the tourism industry has been decimated, with nearly 1 million people losing their tourism jobs and most businesses being temporarily closed,” said Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “With regions slowly allowing businesses and experiences to reopen there is not only hope but a determination to see a rebounding of the once-thriving sector and community as a whole.”
The toolkit includes five modules – Workforce, Communications, Budget & Finance, Marketing and Strategic Planning – and aligns with industry-specific tools already available from key oversight organizations. Each module provides businesses with a roadmap containing actionable tools and tips for implementation, linked to two key themes:

  • Plan: Design and establish policies, procedures and plans for major business and societal disruptions.
  • Respond: Navigate new pressures and address critical questions at the onset of a major disruption; enable rapid response and decision-making to prioritize effectively.

Recognizing there are varying needs and challenges faced within the broader tourism sector, SMEs can access comprehensive industry-specific HR content.
Delivering guidance and instructions for best practices, the contents of the toolkit were developed based on a series of in-depth interviews conducted with SMEs nationwide to understand their current reality and their future needs as the country rebounds from the impact of the pandemic. The toolkit is dynamic and will be updated regularly with new content – all focused on business recovery and resiliency – to reflect new information and market changes. Tourism HR Canada is also partnered with agencies and associations to ensure collaboration and a sharing of tools and resources across platforms to better serve the tourism community.
“The most important conversations taking place are about how to instil confidence in businesses and visitors that it will be economically feasible and safe to re-open and return to travel,” says Mondor. “The best way to do that is to outline a clear set of guidelines to be followed, provide resources and tools to be implemented and create education about how to move forward in these mid- and post-pandemic realities. With businesses following these measures, the public will feel assured that everything is done in order to maintain their health and safety and this will open up the concept of non-essential travel once again.”
The COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit was launched earlier today with a webinar hosted by Tourism HR Canada’s President and CEO, Philip Mondor. A recording of the webinar can be found at


Halifax, NS – June 24, 2020

Exceptional and distinctly Nova Scotia luxury comes to the Halifax waterfront with MUIR, a new hospitality experience that expresses the essence of Nova Scotia through refined design, amenities, and warm, gracious service. The Armour Group Limited today unveils the brand which will welcome guests in 2021.

MUIR, Gaelic for sea, takes inspiration from the forces that have shaped Nova Scotia and its people. Our rugged architecture, sea-faring traditions, strong, resilient character, warmth, and hospitality have all influenced MUIR. At MUIR, you’ll see and sense Nova Scotia in the design, décor, amenities, art collection, and in refined, elevated regional dining. Every piece of furniture and lighting throughout MUIR is bespoke, designed and made in Canada, reflecting a modern interpretation of traditional East Coast design. Each hotel room will feature original art and pottery from our region. MUIR evokes a sense of this place in a contemporary, uncommon way.

Designed by acclaimed Canadian designers Studio Munge, MUIR’s contemporary design honours traditional materials and craftsmanship. MUIR is a one-of-a kind destination that symbolizes an unwavering commitment to authenticity through a modern lens that is unparalleled in the region and welcoming to locals and visitors alike. It is born of this place and simply could not exist anywhere else.

“MUIR is a physical and spiritual manifestation of Nova Scotia, exploring materiality and craftsmanship of our past, yet imparting a contemporary relevance. It is an invitation to an inspired future. Anyone who visits MUIR will see this softly spoken in every detail,” says Scott Armour McCrea, President and CEO, The Armour Group Limited.

As the centrepiece of the Queen’s Marque district, designed by celebrated Nova Scotia architect, Brian MacKay-Lyons, MUIR is an essential waterfront location and vibrant setting against a backdrop of prime restaurants, galleries, shops, and nightlife. The result sets a new and distinctive standard for luxury in Halifax and beyond.

MUIR is pleased to welcome its General Manager, Desmond Acheson. A deeply seasoned hotel executive, Mr. Acheson is a native of the UK, educated in England and Ireland, and now, Canadian by choice. He has worked around the globe from London to Whistler, from Cairo to Hong Kong and has held leadership positions with many of the world’s most revered luxury hotel brands including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

For more information and to follow the MUIR story as it unfolds, visit

Download this file (Armour_FactSheet.pdf)Armour_FactSheet.pdf[ ]1367 kB

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