Meeting Community

  • ‘It’s bad’: COVID-19 pandemic hits Ottawa-Gatineau hotel sector

    OTTAWA — Hotels that remain open in Ottawa and across Canada are operating at five per cent capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s bad,” said Steve Ball, president of the Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association, during an interview with News Talk 580 CFRA’s “Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.” “Hotels, not just in Ottawa but across the country, are operating under five per cent for the most part. When you close borders and you eliminate travel, obviously your hotel sector is going…

  • COVID-19 Hits Travel Search Hard

    In a newly released study, trends data provider, SEMrush has analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on online behaviour to reveal that travel sectors and travel companies have been hit the hardest. According to SEMrush data, Google search volumes for the major global airlines fell significantly between January and March 2020 as the outbreak spread and flights were grounded. Branded searches within the overall industry average declined 16.2% from January to February, followed by an additional decrease of 6.7% between February…

  • Air Canada Preparing for Relaunch, But Many Questions Remain

    Canada’s largest airline is carefully plotting what a return to travel may look like. But it’s far from easy. Lisa Pierce, Managing Director, Canada and USA Sales for Air Canada, took part in a TravelPulse Canada 1 on 1 Facebook Live Chat on Tuesday and talked about the difficulties of running an international airline in such a turbulent time, as well as chargeback, travel vouchers and the travel trade in general. “We absolutely have to look to the future,” she told TravelPulse…

  • Porter Using Federal Program to Rehire Hundreds

    There’s good news for Porter Airlines employees. The airline on Friday said it intends to access the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to return hundreds of its team members to payroll. The airline temporarily suspended all flights on March 21, to support the public health response to COVID-19, and as travel restrictions and personal movement limitations were increasing. The majority of Porter’s 1,500 team members received temporary layoff notices at that time, with a small group maintaining business…

  • Transat recalls 4,000 employees with payroll assistance from CEWS

    MONTREAL — Transat is bringing some 4,000 of its employees back on payroll and will use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to help make ends meet during these challenging times. Like airlines around the world, Transat has had to ground flights and temporarily lay off staff during the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines including Air Canada have also rehired employees to take advantage of financial assistance through CEWS. On March 23, Transat announced the temporary layoff of 70% of its staff when it was forced…

  • Marriott sees sharp fall in global RevPAR as travel slows

    Marriott International has said it expects RevPAR across its hotels to fall by 23 per cent during the first quarter of the year in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. In America, the figure is expected to be 20 per cent, though the hospitality giant warned the data was still being finalised. While there have been early signs of improving demand trends in Greater China, the negative trends in the rest of the world have not yet stabilised, Marriott added.…

  • WestJet to hire back 6,400 laid-off workers

    TORONTO — WestJet is following Air Canada’s lead and hiring back thousands of laid-off workers now that the government has agreed to pay the majority of their wages. In a video posted to social media late Wednesday night, WestJet president and CEO said nearly 6,400 employees will be brought back onto the company’s payroll – although most of them will not be asked to perform any operational duties. “There will simply not be enough work there for them, but it…

  • Air Canada Re-Hiring 16,500 Workers; Transat Hopes It Can Do the Same

    Air Canada is re-hiring workers who were recently let go because of COVID-19, while Transat says it hopes it can do the same thing. In an email to TravelPulse Canada Wednesday afternoon, Air Transat’s Christophe Hennebelle said that Transat “hopes to be able to use it to recall all of its employees and avoid other furloughs.” “We are presently studying available information and are impatiently awaiting details of the draft legislation, which has not yet been tabled, to confirm that…

  • Marriott updates cancellation policy to woo travellers

    Marriott International has updated its cancellation policy as it seeks to encourage travellers into booking hotel rooms once the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is past.  For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, the company will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival. Any change or cancellation must be made by June 30th. The policy also includes reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive. For guests making…

  • Tories ask Liberals for plan for extra help for tourism and hospitality sectors

    OTTAWA — The Opposition Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to come up with a plan specifically to help the nation’s restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors. Many of them were either among the first to close due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, or have seen dramatic declines in business as consumer spending drops. A handful of Conservative critics say in a statement this morning that the government must give these businesses the tools to open their doors…

Venue & Supplier Profiles