|Advisory Panel recommends against a casino at Ontario Place - Tuesday, December 04, 2012|
Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport issued a statement today from the work of the Advisory Panel led by John Tory to consider the question of building a casino on the Ontario Place site. The panel has recommended that a casino not be built at Ontario Place. As part of the review going forward, submissions will be asked to address parkland, commercial, retail, residential, recreation and entertainment uses for the Ontario Place site.
To read the full statement click here.
|Ontario Place report emphasizes year-round parkland - Tuesday, December 04, 2012|
John Tory, Chair of the Minister’s Advisory Panel on Ontario Place Revitalization, released the panel’s final report that would see Ontario Place turn into a year-round public destination without admission charges. Also included in the report is the return of the Forum concert amphitheatre venue and residential living space. The report’s recommendations are available here.
|US FTC Warns Hotels to Disclose "Resort Fees" - Monday, December 03, 2012|
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a press release and posted a warning letter on its website concerning "dip pricing" fees charged by hotels following consumer complaints and an investigation. "Dip pricing" is defined broadly as a pricing technique in which firms advertise only part of a product's price and reveal other charges later as the customer goes through the buying process. These other changes can include daily fees, sometimes called "resort fees" such as use of gym or pool facilities, internet access and local calls, bottled water, mini-bar snacks and newspapers. The posted warning letter strongly encourages that hotels review their websites and ensure that their ads do not misrepresent the total price consumers can expect to pay. See the full article on the FTC website.
|Casino Consultations to Begin - Friday, November 09, 2012|
The City of Toronto has approved that consultations with the public and business move forward on establishing a casino in Toronto. The City will then report to the Executive Committee in February/March 2013 on the results of the consultation. For more information including reports presented to the committee please look here.
|WSIB premium rates to increase by 2.5% - Wednesday, October 24, 2012|
The WSIB has announced that premium rates will increase by 2.5% for all employer rate groups in 2013. The Board maintains that the increased rate is a necessary step to reducing the WSIB’s unfunded liability (UFL), which has grown to $14.2 billion. The full release is available here.
|No aviation fuel tax in BC - Friday, October 12, 2012|
British Columbia has eliminated the aviation fuel tax for international flights reducing costs for airlines and increasing the province's tourism competitiveness to bring more flights into the region. The full story is available here.
|Q3 accommodation employment & GDP rises - Friday, October 12, 2012|
StatsCan’s third quarter national tourism indicators show that tourism spending in Canada increased 0.8% in real terms. This was the ninth consecutive quarterly increase in tourism spending, for a cumulative gain of 8.2%. Driving the increase was higher spending by Canadians at home (+1%). Gains were seen also seen in accommodation employment (+2.9%) and moderately in accommodation GDP (0.7%). A detailed table can be found here.
More information is available here.
|Domestic Tourism Up - Friday, September 28, 2012|
StatsCan National tourism indicators for the second quarter 2012 indicate that tourism spending has increased for the 12th consecutive quarter across Canada by 0.4%. Increased domestic tourism spending by Canadians at home rose 0.7% offsetting a decline of 1.1% in spending by international visitors as a result of a 3.3% decline in overnight travel from overseas countries. Overnight travel from the United States was up 0.3%. Read the full report here.
|Ripley’s to open Toronto Aquarium in 2013 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
A Ripley’s World Class Aquarium is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013 and construction of the 130,000 square foot attraction has already begun at the base of the CN Tower. The attraction will feature more than 13,500 exotic sea and freshwater creatures, comprising more than 450 species and a unique 96-metre-long (315 foot) moving walkway through an acrylic tunnel deep below the Shark Lagoon. It is expected to draw nearly two-million visitors each year. View the detailed press release here
. Vist the Ripley’s website here
|Pearson rail link construction begins in Spring - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced that construction will begin this spring for the new three-kilometre Air Rail Link 'spur line' connecting downtown Toronto to Pearson International Airport. The service between Union Station and Pearson will branch off the Georgetown south corridor and connect to a new passenger station at Terminal 1. Construction of this portion of the Air Rail Link is expected to be completed by summer 2014 and the Air Rail Link will be in service in time for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. More information is available here.
|Microsoft chooses Toronto for 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Microsoft has chosen Toronto as the site for its 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference, slated for July 9-13, 2012. Expected are 15,000 people from 130 countries. Read the press release here
|January 1st deadline for compliance - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Businesses must now be in full compliance with the Accessible Customer Service Standard
as of January 1st
as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Compliance information and a toolkit to help your hotel become compliant are provided here.
|2012-13 Ontario Budget Update - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The Hon. Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan has delivered the Liberal government’s 2012-13 budget; Strong Action for Ontario. The focus is to achieve a balanced budget by 2017-18 through a five-year plan that focuses heavily on a priority commitment to education and healthcare, significantly reducing program spending and containing costs across the public service sector. For every $1 in new revenues collected in 2012, there is $4 of expense measures being taken. The government has noted that debt interest payments is the 3rd largest expense in the budget and has found measures that will reduce borrowing by more than $3 billion over 6 years. The full budget paper is available here.
The GTHA Budget Analysis is available here.
|Changes proposed to Occupational Health & Safety Act - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
The Ministry of Labour (MOL) is proposing a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to assist workers who believe they have been punished by their employer for raising a health and safety issue. The proposed regulation would also assist small employers who are responding to a reprisal allegation made by a worker. The proposed new regulation is part of a MOL initiative to implement recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety. The MOL is currently consulting on the proposed regulation. More information is available here.
|GTHA in the News: Casino Debate - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
GTA hoteliers are not ready to bet on a casino plan, but say this region is in dire need of a new entertainment complex to lure international tourists. Read the full story by thestar here.
|Tourism numbers up in 2012 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012|
Preliminary results from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport indicate positive tourism numbers for Ontario.
• International border crossings were up by 5% in April 2012 and up by 7% in January to April 2012
• US border crossings were up 5% in April 2012 and were up 7% in January to April 2012.
• Overseas border crossings grew 3% in April 2012 and were up 10% in January to April 2012.
Preliminary results for 2011 are available here.
|Sound Music Tariffs - Friday, August 24, 2012|
Many hoteliers have been contacted by Re:Sound with an invoice for past due music royalties. The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) recognizes this may be the first time you have been contacted by Re:Sound. Re:Sound is a bona fide organization and they are sanctioned by the federal Copyright Board of Canada. Re:Sound is separate and distinct from SOCAN which collects license fees on behalf of composers and music publishers. Re:Sound collects fees on behalf of record companies and performers. Read more here: News