Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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A day in the Life of Alejandra Lemus at the Fairmont Château Laurier

Hello! Bonjour! Hola!

Fairmont Château Laurier (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

Fairmont Château Laurier (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management program at Royal Roads and I am completing my internship at the magnificent Fairmont Château Laurier!

Fairmont Château Laurier is located in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Ontario. It was built in 1912 and it has 429 guest rooms. This property it is a landmark for the city and Canada. It has held historic events and has become the second home for many famous people that have transformed Canada’s history.  The hotel it is situated in the intersection of Rideau Street and Mackenzie Avenue.  This location gives the hotel a competitive advantage with its unique views to the Rideau River, Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and ByWard Market.

 

Source: Fairmont Château Laurier

Source: Fairmont Château Laurier

Did I tell you that I just moved from British Columbia?! Well, I certainly did. I have the amazing opportunity of living with an extraordinary local family in The Glebe neighborhood. This area has wonderful little stores that every time that you come back, you find something to fall in love with.  The close proximity of my living area to the hotel has given me the opportunity to bike to work as much as possible, and that is how I start my day to work.

Rideau Canal (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

Rideau Canal (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

 

From the Glebe, I bike to work for 20 minutes on the side of Rideau Canal. At the beginning it was hard. It has been too long since I biked but the wonderful view of the Canal has encouraged me to keep going.  After parking my bike, and changing into my uniform, I head to the front desk office to report to my shift supervisor and ask for a “pass on” of the day.

 

 

War Memorial ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

War Memorial ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

As a trainee, the Guest Services Manager on duty reminds me about certain procedures that they would like me to focus on for the day and encourages me to familiarize myself with guest interactions. After my briefing, I go to the front desk to complete my daily tasks such as: check-in and check-out of guests, complete daily checklist, and assist guests with any requests.  I love my team. They always have a sincere smile on their face and they are always willing to help me without hesitating. I have the opportunity of working with colleagues from Ontario and also from Québec in the front desk department but at the hotel, multiculturalism is truly experienced and embraced.

My amazing team (Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

My amazing team (Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

Working at the front desk means that every day is different. During my first week, I had the opportunity to assist the FIFA Women’s Word Cup players that were competing in Ottawa. Moreover, every day I have the pleasure of communicating in both French and Spanish. Every time that I had the opportunity to assist a guest in my native language, Spanish; it gives me a sense of pride in my culture. A few days ago, a guest from Puerto Rico told me that he felt fortunate to have been assisted in his native language.  Short but meaningful comments like these; remind me why I love this industry and the part I play in it.  In another instance, a Mexican family that I had assisted asked me if I would be available to assist them for the duration of their stay! The next day, they requested to talk to me, even though they only needed assistance with a small request, they kept calling for me to help them. This reaffirmed that I am working in the right industry and the Fairmont Château Laurier is helping me to keep learning and creating “moments into memories” (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts) for our guests.

 

Burrito Shack ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

Burrito Shack ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

During my days off, I enjoy spending time getting to know my neighborhood and the city. A couple days ago, I ate at the Burrito Shack, a Mexican restaurant that believes in buying local products, giving back to the community through school lunches and catering to locals. Yes, their food is delicious.  Additionally, some days off I travel to Montreal to visit my amazing husband and family. I still need to make time to go and visit my relatives in Hamilton, it feels good to be so close to family again, perhaps I will plan a visit in the near future on my days off.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I highly encourage you to visit Ottawa and one of its milestones, Fairmont Château Laurier. There is always something new and wonderful to visit and explore here.

 

 

 

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A Day in the Life at the Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, China- by Rachel Small

 

Welcome to my work abroad dream at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre.

Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre is located in the Yuexiu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong in China. It is a district that is known to be the “gateway of the Chinese foreign trade”.

Crowne Plaza- Guangzhou City Center

First of all, I will like to introduce the area of Guangzhou. The language that is spoken is mainly Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Guangzhou is an amazing place to live as a foreigner in my personal opinion. You are able travel to different parts of China, Hong Kong, and Macau by train, metro, bus, and ferry. It also allows you the chance to travel around Asia with less travel time and expenses. As well, many foreigners within the Guangzhou area gather around to places like “The Brew”. The Brew is a Canadian operated pub that hosts the best North American burgers and wings within Guangzhou. On my first day in Guangzhou and Canada’s Day, I went to The Brew to meet with my new coworkers and fellow foreigners in Guangzhou.  It is really a mix of Canadian pub atmosphere and Chinese pub culture.  During, my free time, I usually walk around Yuexiu district for around 30 minutes in different directions and visit “The Oppa House” to eat Korean food. So far, I have explored places like Panyu, Zhujiang New Town, and Tianhe District. Within a few weeks, I will be visiting Hong Kong to get a new phone since mine doesn’t work here and it is less expensive in Hong Kong. Overall, I feel that working for the IHG brand is suitable for me because it allows me the chance to grow and learn from my coworkers and guests. I am really excited to stay here for 1 year and possibly longer.

So…CP front

My life as an intern in Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre has been exciting and eventful.  I am a Guest Service Management Trainee, at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre. The Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre soft opening was on June 25th 2011. Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre is an exclusive international 5-star standard hotel that features 460 guest rooms and suites with a city view or Bai Yun Mountain view. It is known as the 63 Building with 3 restaurants, gym facilities, lobby lounge, 2 ballrooms, and 9 meeting rooms.

Overall, I work five to six days a week depending on my days off. I have different shifts throughout the week. I am living at the hotel, which is convenient since it only takes me six minutes to clock in. As well, I am able to greet guests on my way to work, which makes it a good start to the day.

Today is July 6th 2015 in Guangzhou, China.  My shift today starts from 7:30am until 4 – 5pm. For most of the day, I am located at the front desk or Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant (Fresh).  The first thing that happens in the morning is an early morning briefing for the Front Desk, Concierge, and Guest Service staff. It is a way for everyone to understand what is going on within the hotel for the day and expectation from our managers. After the meeting, I check through my emails and do online Opera training.  My Opera training is about making reservations, and checking-in and out guests. I talk to myself to practice how to speak to the guests. An Example would be “Welcome to Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, how may I help you?”. This way I can smoothly work as Front Desk staff.

Restaurant

Around 8am, I head up to the 5th floor to Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant. On the way, I greet guests “Good Morning” in Chinese and/or English. Once, I arrive at Fresh. I look around the restaurant to make sure all the names for the dishes are in the correct spot and head to tables to greet guests. While I greet guests, I ask if they would like any coffee and get to know their experiences within the hotel. At times, I assist with seating guests to help the hostesses. Overall, it is important to make sure that nothing at the buffet table is empty by advising fellow staff or getting it myself. The challenge for me is about knowing the correct Chinese word for an item or request by a guest.  This is because I am an English-speaker with a beginner level of Mandarin Chinese. Another important task that I have at Fresh is to give out guest satisfactions survey cards to understand the guest opinions during their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The survey is given to help improve the restaurant by the guests’ needs and experiences.

Other locations that I visit during the morning are the Crowne Executive Lounge Floor on the 56th floor, 50th Premium Lounge, or the Lobby. Today, I headed to the 56th floor and 50th floor to check on the morning food arrangement, staff, and guests. Once, I check over everything. I head back to either the 5th floor or front desk. Since, I am training to work on the front desk I head back downstairs to learn Opera and study information about the hotel.

RachelAround 10am, I head up to Fresh for breakfast with coworkers.  Usually for my daily meals, I can eat at the tenants canteen or Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant.  After breakfast, I visit the 3rd floor to check on events held today. Since I do have class and work assignments. I take time to do projects for the hotel and reflect on my progress with my coworkers.

Around 12:30, I am a lobby ambassador. I help to direct guest to the front desk or other locations within the hotel. It is important to make sure that guest are directed to proper locations and ask if they need help with their bags. Once, I have stayed within the lobby for a while, I either head back to practice Opera or head up to fresh to help with lunch. I do almost the same thing for lunch at Fresh except I don’t ask people for coffee. I check to see the names are correct, food is fully stocked, and staff is okay. After that I stay for lunch for about 30 minutes.

Once, I have finished my lunch, I head back to the front desk lobby 2to have a briefing again at 2:40pm. The briefing is to inform the new shift staff of today events and information. Once, briefing is over I stay in the front desk office to review Opera training and information. I check on the front desk staff to help get documents for them. As well, it is a chance for me to learn first hand about front desk tasks. Some of the tasks are about getting documents and scanning passports. If the front desk isn’t busy, I will be the lobby ambassador or I will go back to Opera training.

Lastly, the day ends looking through my emails and saying goodbye to my coworkers. I clock out to end my shift and head upstairs to rest for an early morning shift again.

food and friendsOne of the best things, that I like so far working at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou is having the opportunity to communicate with international and Chinese guest. My coworkers help me to improve my language abilities because we learn from each with English and Mandarin. I have learnt a lot about the area and Chinese culture. As well, I had the opportunity to go to the 63rd floor known to be a formerly used helicopter landing of our hotel, in order to see the panorama view of Guangzhou.  I also had the chance to visit other hotels to learn the differences and start individual projects. I am simply living up to my dreams because the staff here is friendly, outgoing, creative, and respectful. They are all leaders in their own way. I wouldn’t be successful in my training without their help and encourage. There have been endless experiences that I would love to mention working here for my internship. However, it is easier to experience it for yourself.

Take a leap of faith and work abroad.

 

 


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A Day in the Life of a Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites Intern! – Marta Grabowski

A Day in the life:

Hello, I am a Royal Roads University student completing my internship at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites in Vancouver.  The Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites is located in the West End of Vancouver.  The West End consists of many, many different varieties of restaurants and English Bay, one of Vancouver’s beaches!  The Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites consists of 269 rooms in a 35 floor tower.  The base of the hotel is a community mall which has everything I need, a grocery store and a wine store! http://www.denmanplacewines.com/

 I am lucky enough to have seized the opportunity to live at this Coast Hotels property while completing my internship.  I am spending these 12 weeks in a one bedroom suite on the 20th floor.  This makes my commute to work every day just a quick elevator ride!!

The Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites is located in the West End of Vancouver, right beside English Bay and Stanley Park. I am living at the beach for my internship!

 

730am: Alarm goes off.

7:40am: Get out of bed, walk into my living area and turn my laptop on to check my @coasthotels email.  While the computers turning on, I enter the kitchen to make some breakfast.  Breakfast is ready just in time to check the email and the daily sales report.  I specially look over the occupancy for the past day, compared to month to date and then compared to budget.  I also look at how the other departments are doing for budget and month to date.

8:00am: Get ready for the work day

8:27am: Leave for work

8:30am: Arrive in the Sales and Catering department.

The Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites is currently in the second phase of their $9 million renovations.  This makes sales so much more exciting.  The hotel has new TVs, furniture and linens in the guest rooms.  Showing off these new and improved guest rooms to prospective clients is something that makes everyone feel very proud.

I also had the opportunity to work with a professional photographer to take new pictures of the guest rooms and views from the top floor that will be featured on the Coast Hotels website and a variety of brochures.

The gorgeous view of Coal Harbour:

The newest corporate sales manager has yet to start his new role in the hotel (previously working as a Duty Manager on the front desk) so in the mean time I have taken over his office!

I check in with the Director of Sales to double-check my duties for the day.

9am-11am: Compiling Summer Discount Flyers and making calls to a variety of businesses to send these flyers to.

11am-Noon: Surprise! Michelle, a sales manager from Coast Coal Harbour brings a client over for a site visit to our property because Coast Coal Harbour is too small to accommodate the requirements of the client. Great teamwork between the two properties! Winning Together is an important Coast Hotels value.

I quickly rush down to the front desk, grab a key card for couple of rooms and take the elevator to the 19th floor to turn the lights on and double/triple check the show rooms.  The client then arrives and we show him the different guest rooms we have to offer.

Examples:

A Comfort Room:

One Bedroom Suite:


After viewing the guest rooms, we go back down to the Conference level and explain and show the client a variety of options for the different spaces in the conference rooms.  The client is considering hosting a large convention in the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites (CPHS) and therefore needs a large room for convention space. CPHS is lucky enough to have Denman Cinema’s as a part of their building

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Denman-Cinema/185674881464146?sk=wall

After showing all the amenities (pool, fitness centre, restaurant and pub) to the client, we establish that our sales team will create a proposal to offer to the client.

Noon-1pm: Lunch time! I head back up to my room to relax and enjoy lunch. Followed by a walk along the beach and grabbing a Starbucks coffee to power through the afternoon.

Depending on which department I am in, lunch varies.  The Brasserie Bistro is a popular lunch spot for the leadership teams.  Great food and great service!!

http://twitter.com/#!/BrasserieBistro

1pm – 430pm: Back to the sales office! Depending on how the day is going, I go through the variety of offices and offer my help to any of the sales managers.  The afternoon can consist of prospecting phone calls to possible future clients, or to stuffing catering packages.

As a thank you to the Vancouver Police Department for their bravery during the Vancouver 2011 Riots, I created gift baskets from Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites:

 

430-8pm: Change out of business attire and into shorts and a t-shirt.  Since Vancouver is close to home for me, my boyfriend is a frequent visitor.  Weekday evenings we put our runners on and hit the StanleyPark seawall!

http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley/seawall.htm

 The 10km walk/run/bike/rollerblade wall starts and ends right in front of the Coast Plaza, my summertime home!  Afterwards, we’ll end up hungry, there are too many eateries to choose from in the West End!  We’ll try something new for dinner most nights.

My internship also over lapped with the Canucks 2011 Playoff run. I was lucky enough to not be in the midst of all the riots.  I am also lucky enough to have had the opportunity to walk through the streets during the clean up and see the true side of Vancouverites shine through.

 

8pm: time to relax, catch up on personal emails and work on some RRU homework.

 

930/10: watch the sunset from my 20th floor view.

 

11: bedtime!

And I can’t forget one of the best parts of living at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites…

The annual Celebration of Light fireworks!  Here’s a sample of what I get to experience for 3 great nights this summer:


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A Day in the Life of the Destination Marketing Intern at Tourism Victoria – Bradley Cottrell

Bradley Preparing for the Tourism Victoria Membership Forum

Membership Forum Preparations


I am Bradley Cottrell. For my internship semester in the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management program at Royal Roads University, I have stayed in Victoria, BC and have been working at the corporate office of Tourism Victoria, which is a non-profit destination marketing organization for the city. My official title during this internship is the Destination Marketing Intern and a large portion of my day is spent engaging the community of members and fans of Tourism Victoria in meetings, events and social media.

Being from Calgary, Alberta, I had moved to Victoria specifically for school at Royal Roads University. I have grown to love this city, and felt that with my previous marketing background that a corporate position was the best to go after. Although the program is called international, staying local where I could build upon the reputation and brand that Royal Roads has established gave me great leverage into finding an internship that matched my personality and interest. This also has also given me a strong possibility of turning an internship and education into a full career with many paths to pursue.

My work at Tourism Victoria is varied and I do not have a set day by any means. The only constants I can count on day-to-day is the three kilometre walk in and the three kilometre walk home along the Songhees West Song Walkway. I love that living in a smaller city I have the ability to walk to work every day even though I do not live in the core.

Also, since Victoria has one of the only functioning inner harbours in the world, I get some pretty cool scenes along the way like this:

I am usually up around 5:30 a.m. and get a breakfast meal in my belly to start the day. I like to do some light exercise, shower and pack some snacks and a lunch before heading off to work to start at 8:30 a.m. When I started, I needed about an hour to walk the 3 km’s into the core from my home. After buying some proper footwear and not stopping to take pictures for a blog, I cut that time down to about 35 minutes. In comparison to living and working in Calgary where I lived outside the downtown core, I would have an hour drive minimum at best most days and after a snowfall, usually much more.

Part of my morning walk to Tourism Victoria

Once at work, I like to check out the analytics and statistics of how various projects are going since the day before. In my two months at Tourism Victoria, a couple large-scale, never before done, experiential marketing campaigns were launched in target market cities such as Vancouver, Seattle and Calgary. Being able to work with and learn from the Director of Destination Marketing, Trina Mousseau, has been an experience so positive that I struggle to adequately describe it.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Downtown Victoria

A large part of gathering tangible data to analyze the next day and making sure key marketing messages are received by the target markets is interacting with both the Tourism Victoria membership companies, as well as the community at large. The Twitter hashtag #Bradtheintern was specifically created by Margaret Doyle with me in order to brand myself within Tourism Victoria as a social contact. This has been picked up by some of the most influential people in Victoria’s hospitality industry and with most things so far in my internship, I feel honored to be part of it.

Tourism Victoria is located here at Bastion Square

Social Media is an ongoing project throughout the day and I often times find myself adding comments, answering questions and conversing with the community on Facebook and Twitter. Something that has made this blog post vastly easier to compose is that I have been tasked with reviving the “Going Local” blog for the company. This plan behind this blog was originally for many industry and community experts to impart knowledge that the average visitor would not know and help them get a more rewarding tourist experience. Being that I am not an expert at anything (except maybe procrastinating writing any blogs), the scope of “Going Local” has changed slightly to provide a local tourist point of view from a perspective of someone who lives in the city, but is new to the experience. My fit in the role was obviously an easy choice. The blog has taken me all over the city and I have had a wonderful experience being a local tourist. I get away with asking all the silly questions and have an easy time making light of it because there is no language or culture barrier.

The View across the Harbour from the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa

These are about the only regular activities I do each day. Many other tasks fill up my time, as I am sort of a “Johnny on the Spot” jack-of-all-trades type person around the office. Each day absolutely flies by, and I rarely even stop to take a lunch break. Whether I am creating a potential marketing campaign to launch on short notice, writing a press release, going to festivals and events like the Dragon Boat Festival, I am motivated and excited by the prospects of what another day will bring.

#Bradtheintern covering the opening of the Victoria International Buskers Festival

While my internship may not have the glamour of being in an exotic land or tropical location, there is a quantifiable take away that I get from being able to attend meetings and shake hands with the owners and executive managers of the hospitality businesses in Victoria. Between the education with Royal Roads University and the hands on experience I have received with Tourism Victoria, I have no doubt that I will be able to join many of my classmates and alumni in going international once again when the right opportunity comes along.

The Russian Tall Ship "Pallada" Paying a visit in the bustling harbour


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A Day in the life of an Intern at COAE by Piercarlo Natera

Intro

I’ve been procrastinating about getting started with this blog as I wasn’t too sure on what to write and how to really start it. Now that there is less than a week left I have no choice but to start and what better day than today. I had a really great day as I went White Water Rafting on the Elaho River courtesy of the company I am doing my internship for, Canadian Outback Adventures & Events (COAE). I will tell you more about the company further down the post but first let me tell you what an amazing day it was! The rafting as well as the people I went with was phenomenal! So thank you COAE and the super awesome rafting crew. It’s already my third time rafting this summer and every time I go I have a ball!!!

Unlike almost everyone in the class who went abroad I decided to stay in BC, which I consider home now, because I just love it here; even more now that I live on the North Shore. I love my backyard and I just can’t get enough of it. There is so much to do and it’s just beautiful.

BC hasn’t always been home for me. I am originally from Cancun, Mexico. My dad is Mexican, my mom is Canadian, French-Canadian, and I was born in the U.S. So I am basically a mutt! A good friend of mine I met when I lived in Pemberton called me The Quebexican. Although I consider myself a mutt I feel very lucky and fortunate of having a multicultural background. It has created tons of opportunities for me as well as made my life way easier. I can work across North America with no problem as well as I speak three languages. I am sure you can guess which ones. Anyways, enough about me and more about the company I am doing my internship for, and most importantly, what A day in the life of an Intern at COAE looks like.

Who is COAE?

COAE provides corporate team building events, group activities, and training and educational programs as well as is an adventure tourism outfitter. The company was founded back in 1992 and its mission statement is Live Stories Worth Telling. Our team building events are based on popular t.v. shows such as Amazing Race, Survivor, Iron Chef, Cake Boss and the list goes on. To see the full list of team building events go to www.canadianoutback.com. It is a very exciting time for the company as the American Outback Adventures & Events (AOAE) division has just expanded their operations to the North East U.S. area as well as COAE also open a new division called British Outback Adventures & Events (BOAE). Furthermore, there are some interesting projects on the way but I can’t talk about them as of the moment.

A day in the life of an intern…

It’s hard to describe exactly one day because everyday has been different for me so far; at least almost every day.

I had never worked for an event company so this was my first time venturing into the world of events. Most of my internship consisted of being out on events and assisting in any way or form. Normally I meet the event coordinator at the head office in North Vancouver, which can range anywhere from 5 am to 10 am, and from there we load up the van with all the equipment we prepped on the days prior to the event. We then head to the event’s location and meet up with the rest of the staff unless it’s a travel day, which we then all meet at the head office. Once we arrive at the location we do a staff briefing. After the staff briefing we start setting up the course for the event. This can vary depending on the event but it usually takes about half an hour to an hour and a half. From there everyone breaks off and goes to their designated stations. Most events run for about 3 hours in total. Once the event is finished we take down the stations, pick up whatever trash is left behind by the participants and load up the van so we can head back to the head office. By the time we get back to the head office it has already been a long day. All that is left to do is unpack the van and put everything away. That is what a day out on an event looks like.

When there are no events a typical day would look something like this

• Get in to the office between 8:30 and 9:00 am.

• Check my emails and respond to any important emails.

• Help Event Coordinators with logistics and prepping for any upcoming events.

• Prepare budgets

• Contacting suppliers

• Printing course material

• Going out and buying supplies for upcoming events

• Go on site visits to get familiarized with event locations

• Translate documents from English to French as well as contact suppliers in Montreal

Describing my internship in one day really makes it no justice. I have put together a little video showcasing events I was on this summer, which is more an accurate representation of what being an intern at COAE.

I hope you enjoyed this video. I’ve had tons of fun during my internship and I’m very satisfied with my decision. In fact I’m so happy with the company that I will be working with them once I finish. Lately I’ve been training for my new role in sales. I will be joining the sales team as a sales representative. I look forward to what the future has to bring and I wish all my fellow classmates success.

Hasta pronto!!!

Piercarlo Natera


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Tourism Marketing by Brian White

Destination development is one of the most complex topics in the vocabulary of tourism- and one of the more controversial, so this piece is a general discussion that doesn’t include names!   Many heated debates have occurred over destination management priorities, particularly whether or not development initiatives should be part of destination management at all. Many hoteliers naturally want to see the tax based investment going towards selling the destination, with its current leisure and business opportunities successfully profiled, and providing a measurable return in room-nights, food and beverage sales, transportation, and other hospitality- related expenditures. Destination development, it is said, really should come under the broader heading of economic development, traditionally led by various levels of government with the participation in an advisory role of community members, hoteliers and other representatives of the tourism and hospitality sector.  In larger communities, these development projects are often big-ticket items, such as hotels, trade and convention centres, infrastructure projects, or cruise ship terminals. In smaller communities, downtown revitalization, infrastructure projects, and capacity building are more common.

While this division of responsibilities may have represented the status quo for the past three decades, there might need to be a sea change in the way we approach destination development. Now that the biggest travel generator is the internet, marketing- and product development- has been turned upside down, and destination management and decision-making may require some new models- or as Tourism Vancouver has termed it, a ‘Re-think’.  As regional populations grow, smaller communities merge to form conurbations and share regional services. But some fragmentation in representation of the overall destination is inevitable, as regional centres become destinations in their own right and organizational structures change to reflect the new reality. In the Lower Mainland, many communities have developed unique destination appeal and have built their own successful market positions. So the system of BC DMOs that was sustained for a quarter century is transforming at all levels, from the provincial to the municipal and regional, and hoteliers might need to consider the best way forward in committing time and energy to ensure vibrant and competitive destination management and development.

Hoteliers, faced with a dip in revenues due to recessionary times, have in some cases formed their own marketing organizations to better access emerging opportunities and to reflect their particular interests. As markets fragment and communication media become at the same time more targeted and more universal on the internet, perhaps some consideration should be given to alternative models of organization. The proposition is that hotels generate an increasing volume of travel to destinations by themselves, using internet tools and by leveraging their brands, nationally and internationally. While continued cooperation with destination organizations doesn’t seem to be in question, the redeployment of effort and resources to marketing hotels as primary destinations, and with regional attractions and events as complements, seems to be emerging as a trend.

This idea might be contested where really large, iconic attractions are concerned.  Because they have been built in to provincial destination branding for so long, their brands – Butchart, Whistler, Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge- are closely interwoven with BC’s ‘Super, Natural’ and our ‘Canada- Keep Exploring’ national brand, and in the case of Butchart may be  nearly as well known as the provincial brand: (“Butchart Gardens- isn’t that on Victoria Island?”). So, hoteliers might find themselves building individual partnerships that support new product development and marketing initiatives, while still contributing to and participating in DMOs. There’s nothing remarkable about the situation unless the hotelier sees their DMO support and involvement as being less valuable to their bottom line. With many hotels responding to rapidly shifting market demand, the larger issue of destination development support could become obscured by the increasing opportunities that arise from presenting the hotel as a destination in itself, with a cluster of product and service partners around it. The problem that emerges with this model is that larger scale initiatives involving substantial infrastructure and capacity building investment and coordination may not attract sufficient involvement and support from the hotel community, and that the DMO might not have as much political influence without a strong hotelier presence. With partnerships aimed at emerging niche markets, for example, there is often a rapid turn-around time in building and selling a new product. So if hotels take on more of a travel generator role, then it should make sense that there should be a renewed interest by hoteliers in participating in DMOs and in fact being key drivers of the destination agenda. What seems to be emerging is a true multi- level destination network model, with larger regional destination marketing alliances continuing, and clusters of regional hotel and resort-based alliances able to quickly build and sell their own products and design their own destination partnerships.  With so much structural change going on at all levels in the province, we need to keep in mind the critical role of destination development in maintaining and enhancing our competitive position.

 

 


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Student/Industry Rendezvous 2011 by Mags Doyle

Yesterday I went with professor Candace Blayney and 25 students to the Industry Rendezvous at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver along with hundreds of other tourism and hospitality students who met to speed-network and mingle with some of the top managers and HR professionals in the province. Despite the foggy day outside, inside the conference hall it was aglow with smiling faces, and nervous students who had to stand up and rush to find another table to sit down at at every 15 minutes to network and ask questions of HR professionals who readily answered for nearly 2 hours every imaginable query a young student could have. It was really something to look out at a sea of faces eager to join the industry who were investing in an education that will really make a difference to the future of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Some of the cohort taking a moment away to pose!

The importance and value of this event  for students is enormous–it is a unique opportunity that does not happen at any other venue or any other time during the year and Link BC has done an amazing job growing this event and putting in the forefront of industry’s mind when it comes to support. There was a great networking session with tea and cookies provided after the speed-dating, and I was able to be in on some quality conversations between interns and prospective employers. Having senior HR Directors representing their respective brands was an opportunity not many of the interns had had before so it was very helpful for them to have a face to face opportunity to ask their questions about their upcoming internships.

Some of our graduate students and instructors from Eton College

I was really impressed with the number of senior management who came out to support and share their experiences and advice with the students from a huge list of colleges and universities from all over the province.  A huge shout out for the team at Link BC and our own alumni, Morgan Westcott who MC’ed and got the students psyched to network like pro’s! For those of us from the Island, it made for a long day, but so worth it–can’t wait to see how it evolves for next year!

More of the 2010 cohort from the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Mgmt. program


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Convocation 2010

Convocation 2010 was special. We actually say that every year, but each year is special because it is a time when we, as the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, see the smiling faces of family (that look like our students, too cool!) and hear all the stories from them about what brought their children or spouse to this place and how it changed their lives. It’s the sweet spot of the year to be sure. Here are a few quotes and pictures from our staff and faculty from Convocation 2010. Enjoy!

Our Masters in International Hotel Management students!

From Geoff Bird, core faculty member, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management:

It is always inspiring to see graduates walk across the stage at convocation.  It symbolizes both an accomplishment of one adventure and the start of another in the graduate’s journey through life.  To have played a small part in contributing to that journey is truly the best reward as a professor!

Wearing our green hood proudly!

From Vivian Kereki, Program Associate for STHM:

Being a recent grad myself I know what an exciting time convocation day is. Oftentimes you’ve been away from the academic setting for some months (as was the case for the STHM graduates this year) and convocation provides an opportunity to reunite with your fellow classmates. What a treat it was to see or MA and BA learners welcome each other with warm embraces! I felt very privileged to be able to photograph this day of celebration. Congratulations all graduates!

MA in International Hotel Mgmt student, Tania, says it all!

From Tanya Aindow, School Manager, STHM:

Well, my commitment shows in that I was there all day while the World Cup was on. True dedication.

Melody the Marshalling Queen!

From Melody Andersson, Program Associate, STHM:

Convocation is a very special celebration and it was a privilege to share with the graduates on this day of recognition.  June 18th was very exciting for me as it was my first convocation with the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and I had the pleasure to meet and chat with both the BA and MA  graduates.

Professor Ted Wykes overcome with excitement about his outfit.

From Brian White, Director, STHM:

We’ve now celebrated our third convocation for the School of Tourism and Hospitality! That means three years of alumni advancing in their professional careers,  and increasing awareness of our BA and Ma programs. We are immensely proud of our graduates, many who have already gained outstanding management experience in international settings. With our MA graduates we see not only some career advancement taking place, but also excellent and useful graduate research papers that will benefit BC’s competitive position in the marketplace. So- congratulations to all our graduates, and we look forward to keeping up with their progress in the exciting tourism and hospitality global marketplace!

From Margaret Doyle, Internship and Industry Relations Coordinator:

Convocation is always a special time at Royal Roads University. We see all the hard work come to fruition, the stories of how our students have launched dynamic careers, or advanced in existing ones, or in some cases, discovered new opportunities they never dreamed of. Watching our grads tossing their hats in the air and smiling cheek to cheek is a reward we treasure because at the end of the day, our students are what our work is all about here at the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Mags and Jenny enjoying a reunion moment after the ceremonies!

Can’t wait for next year! Thanks to all who supported us, and best of luck to our amazing graduates as they go forward in their careers and their lives.

Bachelor's of International Hotel Management celebrate!


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A Farewell to Interns

As final assignments are handed in, and interns become professionals, it is a bittersweet time  for me as Internship and Industry Relations coordinator and I have to ‘officially’ say goodbye to the students with the hopes of keeping in touch, networking with, and remaining friends long into the future. I recently wrote about their journey and success’ for our alumni magazine, InRoads. You can read the full article here:

http://www.royalroads.ca/about-rru/the-university/news-events/inroads-newsletter/2009-october-november/from-mountain-to-metropolis.htm

Meanwhile, I am heading into back to back interviews with this year’s interns, finding out about their passions, their experience, and most importantly, their dreams. Stay tuned to hear great things from this group!

-Margaret Doyle


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So…how was Australia? (Oct 21,2009)

what trip to Australia would be complete without petting a Koala?

I have been asked by many people this week how my brief time was in Australia so I thought I would contribute to our blog in order to share the information with a wider audience. As many of you know I was invited to make a presentation to an organization called THE ICE (Tourism and Hospitality Educators International Center for Excellence). Every year they host a panel of experts conference and this year I was invited to make a presentation on the evolution and future of Tourism and Hospitality Education in Canada. Fortunately RRU has a professional development fund that individuals can access to help defray the costs of participation in this type of event and I was very pleased that I could use these funds to participate.  The 2 day conference provided me with many ideas about what we might be able to do in the future with our tourism and hospitality programs as well as the opportunity to connect with many potential partners. Immediately after the conference concluded, I was able to spend a day at the Association of Australian Hotel Schools Career Fair where I met with approximately 20 potential internship employers. Many of the organizations I talked to were very interested in hearing from BA students who wanted to complete an internship in Australia and I will be presenting this information to this year’s cohort later in the fall. On day 4 of my visit, I spent the day at the William Blue School of Hotel Management. We are trying to work out an agreement whereby if our students want to complete an internship in Australia they will facilitate and supervise in exchange for us doing the same thing for any of their students that are interested in interning here in BC.  On my last work day in Australia, I visited with the International College of Hotel Management in Manly. If you have never been to that part of the world, Manly is a 35 minute passenger ferry ride from Sydney and a great way to see some of the sites including the Opera House.

sydney waterfron

The beach at Manly is famous for surfing, but as I was in a jacket and tie I could only stare longingly at it. For those of you who haven’t I was pleasantly surprised by how much their campus reminded me of ours here at RRU.  As they have an MBA program with a specialization in Hotel and Tourism Management they are interested in determining if there is some way that their students might be able to access our graduate certificates.  On my only free day in Australia, I took a tour that included stops at a wildlife park where we learned about the fauna of Australia, some beautiful botannical gardens  (although not as nice as ours!)

DSC01561

and a stop at an old historic mine site that included a walk in the rain forest.  It was a long 12 hour day but I am really glad I took the opportunity. Although it was  a long way to go for a week, I am really glad that I took advantage of the opportunity as I came home with numerous new contacts for jobs for students and exchange opportunities. Furthermore I was able to spend a good deal of time with my Australian counterparts learning about some of the issues that they are challenged by including the development of an accreditation process for schools and a diminishing pool of domestic students.

So, whats next on the agenda for me? Well, between classes and other responsibilities at work and at home, I am currently in Calgary attending the Canadian Resort Investment Conference where I am going to be meeting with resort owners and operators that may be interested in some of our programs. We are also going to be discussing whether or not there is a demand for specialized education in the field of Vacation Home Ownership. After a few days at home I am going to be attending the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Conference in Saint John New Brunswick. I will take advantage of that opportunity to make presentations at both New Brunswick Community College and Nova Scotia Community College to update them both on our transfer agreements and what is new at RRU.  I will also be participating in the University Transfer Fair at Holland College in PEI.  In mid November I will be at the SAIT University Transfer Fair and making presentations to their tourism and hospitality students about RRU and then in late November I have been invited by the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council to participate in an advisory group meeting in Montreal. After that – rest at home and get reaquainted with my own bed!