At the coffee break I joined in the Zumba team and pumped it up a bit!
Lunch was hosted by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Raffles, and Swisshotels. At the end of the meal they showed a couple of videos: on the magestic Faimont Hotel in Banff, and one from Travel Alberta that blew everyone away.
The first part of the afternoon was spent meeting with hotel partners again, as well as other suppliers offering solutions to our client's meeting planning challenges. Then at a joint General Session of ConferenceDirect associates and our partners (~1000 people) the Canadian Tourism Commission presented a coast-to-coast snapshot of what's happening in the hospitality industry in Canada, including the recent or soon-come openings of four luxury hotels in Toronto: Ritz-Carlton, Trump, the *new* Four Seasons, and the Shangri-La.
InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Mike Fegley made a short presentation, and mentioned the launch of two new brands under the IHG umbrella: one that will offer a luxury experience to the Chinese traveller, and Even Hotels - for road warriors who want to maintain their healthy lifestyles while away from home.
IHG also sponsored a speaker from MMGY Global who gave a fascinating and entertaining talk: Emerging Lifestyles and Travel Trends - getting into the reasons behind some of the things we're seeing and making some very plausible predictions about what to expect.
The highlight afternoon, though, was the "fun nun" who spoke on behalf of Sisters of Charity and the work they're doing to protect children from being forced into prositition and sexual slavery. It was a paticularly poignant message to that audience since much of the abuse takes place in hotels around the world. She spoke about training programs for hotel staff to recognize the signs and what steps to take. ConferenceDirect and IHG made a generous joint donation to ECPAT USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking).
That evening Team Canada was hosted by Lina Farrell of the Sheraton Niagara Falls to dine at celebrity Chef Todd Eglish's bluezoo restaurant, (at the Swan and Dolphin) followed by a private boat ride on the Epcot Lagoon to watch the fireworks.
Dessert was served aboard the boat - sweeet!!