Together with the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (The Roundtable), industry leaders from Ottawa are calling on the federal government to announce a reopening plan for Canadians before calling an election. With the second consecutive summer travel season now officially in jeopardy, time is ticking for Ottawa businesses.

In a normal year, Ottawa’s tourism sector generates $2.2 billion in revenue; last year $1.4 billion was lost to COVID-19. The summer travel season is disproportionately important to local Ottawa businesses.

With vaccination rates where they are today, businesses have suffered unnecessarily; in large part resulting from the federal government’s failure to produce a comprehensive and science-based reopening plan.

Canadians have been rushing in droves to get vaccinated – breaking records nearly every day. In Ottawa alone, nearly 50 per cent of Ottawa adults are now fully vaccinated and almost 70 per cent have received one dose of the vaccine, making Ottawa one of the most vaccinated cities in the world. The federal government should be rewarding this effort with clear guidance on what reopening looks like. Fully vaccinated foreign travellers are still unable to visit Canada and this leaves a devastating impact on local business.

As Canada gears up for a likely fall election, the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable requests that the federal government hold off on sending Canadians to the polls until a comprehensive reopening plan is established and implemented. We can’t play politics with the livelihoods of Canadians and Canadian business.


Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

“Canada is known for having some of the most amazing tourist attractions in the world. Every year millions of foreign nationals visit cities across the country to experience first-hand what Canada has to offer. This year, for the second year in a row, local businesses that rely on national and internationals visitors are still struggling,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “We all know that an election means a pause on all government activity. Canadians and Canadian businesses deserve to know what re-opening looks like long before a
federal election is called.”

Sueling Ching, President and CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade

“At this stage in the pandemic, we expect our federal government to have a clear plan in place. Countless businesses in Ottawa have either already permanently closed or are on the brink of bankruptcy,” said Sueling Ching, President and CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade. “Our business community needs a predictable, clear and science-based plan in place to build back our economy. Tourism in the Ottawa area is a key driver of the local economy which normally draws millions of  visitors each year. With vaccines rolling out across the country, businesses expected that tourism would return to Ottawa. Instead we are left waiting for a plan.”

Susie Grynol, President and CEO, Hotel Association of Canada

“Eighty percent of Canadian tourism revenue comes in over twenty per cent of the time. July through Labour Day is disproportionately important to sustain our sector. The large number of visitors in Canada's summer months is able to sustain hospitality and tourism operators through the slower winter travel season. Cutting that period short, even a little bit will significantly impact their likelihood of survival,” said Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada.

Jamie Kwong, Executive Director, Ottawa Music Industry Coalition

“The pandemic has devastated Ottawa’s music sector and shown how crucial the arts are to Ottawa’s business community. Our members rely on the influx of foreign tourists every year, particularly in the summer months, for their livelihoods,” said Jamie Kwong, Executive Director, Ottawa Music Industry Coalition. “By bringing together artists, local businesses, venues, and festivals together, our Coalition makes meaningful contributions to the local economy and cultural fabric of this country. We are calling on the federal government to put a plan in place to prevent
further negative economic and cultural impacts.”

Joe Kowalski, Founder of Wilderness Tours, Ottawa River

“After operating for over 40 years, Wilderness Tours has become a major attraction and adventure destination for Canadians and foreign tourists alike. Like all businesses across the country, we have done our part this year to put in place strong COVID-19 protocols to protect our staff and guests, despite challenging circumstances,” said Joe Kowalski, Founder of Wilderness Tours, Ottawa River. “With vaccination rates rising every day, we believe the government should have a clear re-opening plan in place to ensure we don’t lose yet another summer of tourism.”

Ross Meredith, General Manager, The Westin Ottawa

“Usually at this time of year The Westin Ottawa is buzzing with people from all over the world. This year, it’s eerily quiet. Ottawa is a world-class city, we are home to many of the best festivals, concerts, and sporting events that the country has to offer. However this year everything’s cancelled,” said Ross Meredith, General Manager, The Westin Ottawa. “Our ballrooms are empty, and restaurants are quiet – no weddings, no conferences, no meetings. As a result, our hotel is struggling. We need a plan to start getting back to normal, we can’t afford to wait.”


At the end of Q2 2021, Europe remained the only world region with a year-over-year increase in hotel rooms in construction, according to June pipeline data from STR.

June 2021 (% changes in comparison with June 2020)


  • In Construction: 237,304 rooms (+7.9%)
  • Final Planning: 177,165 rooms (+13.0%)
  • Planning: 147,712 rooms (-6.4%)

Germany (49,027) and the U.K. (36,444) lead Europe in total rooms in construction.

Asia Pacific

  • In Construction: 476,302 rooms (-2.8%)
  • Final Planning: 181,453 rooms (+8.8%)

Planning: 271,268 rooms (+13.6%)

Among countries in the region, China has the most rooms in construction (290,619), followed by Vietnam (31,732). 

Middle East & Africa

  • In Construction: 135,740 rooms (-3.6%)
  • Final Planning: 45,313 rooms (-9.0%)
  • Planning: 57,953 rooms (-13.8%)

Saudi Arabia (39,362) and United Arab Emirates (37,954) lead in construction activity.  


  • In Construction: 243,395 rooms (-11.2%)
  • Final Planning: 243,809 rooms (-19.8%)
  • Planning: 297,929 rooms (+25.9%)

The U.S. holds the majority of rooms in construction in the region. In addition to the U.S., Mexico (13,721) and Canada (9,325) have the highest number of rooms in construction in the region.


Accor, a world-leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,100 properties, 10,000 food and beverage venues and an unparalleled portfolio of brands throughout 110 countries has announced the appointment of Indu Brar as Senior Vice President, Customer Technology Services, North & Central America.

In this role, Brar will be responsible for delivering on the Group’s technology strategy for the North & Central America region with a focus on optimizing performance, supporting existing and new hotels, delivering projects, and building partner relationships. She will sit on the Accor North & Central America management committee, with dual reporting lines to Carla Milovanov, Global Senior Vice President, Customer Technology Services, and Heather McCrory, Chief Executive Officer, North & Central America.

A seasoned hospitality professional with more than 30 years of experience, Brar most recently served as General Manager for the historic Fairmont Empress in Victoria, overseeing the $60 million renovation and repositioning of the iconic property. She previously held Hotel and General Manager positions at Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver; Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston; The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel in New York City; and Fairmont Winnipeg.

“In North & Central America, we support Accor’s ambition to build iconic and leading brands, to extend our global presence, to develop the leadership potential in our employees, and to strive to make a positive impact; all of which requires progressive technology,” said McCrory. “Brar’s extensive experience leading hotels across the US and Canada equips her with invaluable insights and a hotel-centric perspective which will prove powerful when paired with our talented technology team and resources. Additionally, Brar’s role on the management committee will elevate the function and ensure that it is a top strategic priority in everything that we do.”

“Technology has proven a critical driver for our industry. But it’s about more than the latest tools and platforms; technology’s true potential lies in the ability to deploy those tools and platforms intuitively and effectively to enhance the relationships we build and the experiences we create for our guests and employees,” said Brar. “I’m in a unique position in that I’ve experienced what this means on the hotel side, and now, I’m thrilled to be able to play a critical role in bringing this to life for Accor North & Central America. It is an incredible opportunity to help our hotels thrive in an era driven by technology and empower our teams as we continue to reinvent and transform in order to anticipate, meet and exceed stakeholder expectations.”

The appointment is a key role within Accor’s Customer Technology Services team serving partners and hotels globally and across the region. The announcement further signifies the Group’s focus on technology and digital services transformation.

Brar holds an MBA from Queens University, Smith School of Business, and her CHA designation. She is based at the Accor North & Central America hub headquarters in Toronto.


Accor, owner of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, and the international family-controlled Hinduja Group, are pleased to announce the appointment of Philippe Leboeuf as Managing Director of Raffles London at The OWO, effective July 2021. Raffles London will open at The OWO on Whitehall, opposite Horse Guards and St James’s Park, in 2022. The much anticipated 125-room and -suite hotel and 85 branded residences sit within the former Grade II* listed Old War Office building, located at one of the capital’s most historically important and powerful addresses.

Most recently, Leboeuf was Regional Vice President of Operations for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and General Manager of Mandarin Oriental Paris, positions he held since 2013 and 2010 respectively, and brings over 30 years’ experience operating luxury hotels to the role. Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, he was General Manager of Claridge’s in London for three years, and held various senior management positions in the luxury hospitality sector including with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, The Carlyle in New York, Leading Hotels of the World and Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. A French national, Leboeuf holds an HEC Paris Master’s degree in Finance and Advanced General Management and a Diploma in Hotel Administration from Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

As Managing Director of Raffles London at The OWO, Leboeuf will be responsible for overseeing and executing operations for the London flagship Raffles property, one of the hospitality industry’s most significant global openings in 2022. Having undergone a monumental transformation over the last five years, The OWO will also comprise a collection of nine restaurants and bars and an immersive spa.

“On behalf of the Raffles brand, I am delighted to welcome Philippe to our flagship location in London,” said Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles & Orient Express. “He is a true professional, well-known and highly respected throughout our industry, bringing a luxury pedigree and dedication to service excellence that our loyal guests, discerning travellers and local clientele will respect and admire. Having had the pleasure of working with him in the past, I am confident that under Philippe's guidance, The OWO will further Raffles’ reputation as an enduring and timeless brand, built upon a rich heritage and an uncompromising commitment to service, glamour and enchantment.”

“Leboeuf is a seasoned hotel operator, an incredible leader and with his international experience, I am confident both Raffles London and The OWO will become one of the world’s leading hospitality destinations. He brings a unique skillset to the role, and will offer guests the highly personalised and intuitive service that Raffles is renowned for”, said Madani Sow, Chief Executive Officer, Westminster Development Services Limited, development manager for The OWO.

Commenting on his appointment as Managing Director of Raffles London at The OWO, Philippe Leboeuf said: “I am honoured to be appointed Managing Director of Raffles London at The OWO. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I look forward to making the vision a reality for a new unique destination for London which captivates everyone who steps through its doors, creating special memories for hotel guests, residents of the 85 Raffles branded residences, and visitors to the collection of nine restaurants and bars.”

The Old War Office, originally completed in 1906 and designed by British architect William Young, is steeped in history. Formerly the site of the original Palace of Whitehall, home to Henry VIII and other monarchs, the building has witnessed world-shaping events whilst influential political and military leaders including Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George held office. It inspired Ian Fleming to write the infamous James Bond series after working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Service. Its grand architecture has made the building a dramatic location in numerous Bond films, and more recently The Crown drama series.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts, a legendary brand known for developing and transforming landmark properties in storied destinations around the world, continues to carry out an exciting growth and development plan. Taking a discerning approach to global expansion, each new Raffles represents the cultural crossroads of the market, serving as an oasis of tranquillity, tradition and timelessness for visitors and locals alike. Over the next few years, Raffles will more than double its illustrious portfolio, adding a host of distinguished addresses that will continue to set the standard in the luxury hospitality industry. Later this year, Raffles will open iconic new hotels in Dubai (The Palm), Bahrain, Udaipur, and Macau. Looking to 2022 and beyond, the brand will debut flagship locations in London (2022), Boston (2022), Doha (2022), Moscow (2022) and Jeddah (2023), among others.


The federal Government of Canada has 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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