OMCA Report
Feb. 14, 2014

Online Registration now open for Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE)
OMCA
OTE is just eight weeks away — April 14-16, 2014. OTE 2014 promises to offer excellent education sessions and networking opportunities. Get the latest information on key industry topics that affect your operations and discover new tools to improve your organization. OTE is the place to expand your professional network and elevate your business. Take a look at the "Program-at-a-Glance" and you'll see how this year's OTE business session line-up includes a broad range of topics and issues facing the bus industry today. Reserve your place today by registering online at https://ote.ca/registration/conference_registration.cgi.More

OTE Trade Show is the place for suppliers and manufacturers to reach bus operators
OMCA
The 2014 Ontario Transportation Expo (OTE) Trade Show is fast approaching — Tuesday, April 15, 2014. OTE is the only show of its kind in North America that provides exposure to a combined market, and brings buyers, decision makers and "influencers" from the motor coach, public transit, school bus and specialized transportation industries, together with "sellers" (suppliers and manufacturers of services and equipment) all under one roof. One show. One price. Great leads — excellent sales and business.

Click on EXHIBITOR REGISTRATION from the OTE home page at www.ote.ca. The trade show floor plan can be viewed at the following link: http://www.ote.ca/tradeshow_info.html#tradeshow More

New at OTE: Supplier Update Sessions
OMCA
As noted on the OTE Program-at-a-Glance, OTE organizers have decided to try something a little different this year. For a nominal fee of $500 plus expenses, an Exhibitor can reserve a meeting room (in the trade show building – International Centre) before the trade show opens to announce a new product or service offering, provide technical information updates or simply meet and greet customers in a quieter, more controlled environment. Because of limited space, only a few number of rooms are available and on a first-come, first-served basis. The Exhibitor may choose to extend a private invitation or make the 8:00-9:00 a.m. time slot open to any show attendee, but meeting room capacity is limited and invitees must have a badge granting entry to the show floor. Costs for renting and catering will be the responsibility of the Exhibitor. For more information, please contact Michele O'Bright at mobright@telus.net.

For all trade show details, please visit the trade show info page on the OTE website at http://www.ote.ca/tradeshow_info.html.More

Prevost marks first 90 years by celebrating its legacy, and by moving forward
Prevost
Eugène Prevost, whose wooden furniture business in his hometown of Sainte-Claire, Quebec was well respected by 1924, entered the motorcoach business quite unexpectedly that year. A fellow Sainte-Claire entrepreneur needed a wooden coach body to sit atop a truck chassis he had purchased. He commissioned Prevost to build it. For a number of years that followed, Prevost continued to build furniture, but it became increasingly clear that buses were his future. More

Canada-Mexico air travel accord set to boost tourism and business links
The Globe and Mail
Canada and Mexico are putting new air travel measures in place that should boost tourism and business opportunities between the two countries, Mexico's ambassador says. Francisco Suarez said the change is among the initiatives that could come up when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto meet in Mexico.More

5 distribution channels every tour operator should harness
Business 2 Community
A distribution channel is the way that your services get to your customer, and how they pay for it. It can either be a direct transaction (for example, through your website), or involve third party resellers. For tour operators, there are five third-party distribution channels that can't (or at least shouldn't) be ignored. More

Waterloo woman's Greyhound bus ordeal spurs accessibility changes
CBC News
A routine bus trip in and out of Toronto turned sour for a Waterloo woman in a wheelchair, and her experience is prompting Greyhound to improve accessibility on its buses and offer annual driver training. Chantal Huinink, a student at Wilfrid Laurier University, had gone to Toronto to see a show with a friend. Huinink has cerebral palsy and uses a motorized wheelchair.More

Peer-to-peer websites helps people find lodgings, cars, tours and meals
The Record
Travel-oriented P2P websites — those that allow travellers to rent lodging, cars, sports equipment and more from individuals, along with sites that link visitors with locals for tours, meals and other experiences — are gaining traction. From websites such as CouchSurfing, which pairs budget travellers with locals who have a spare sofa (or bed), to OneFineStay, which offers "distinctive" rentals and provides some hotel-style amenities (such as professional cleaning), the P2P industry generated an estimated $3.5 billion last year.More

Luxury website offers hotel package for S$747,000
inSing.com
For globetrotters who only stay at the very best hotels and suites, a luxury website has created a package that includes stays at 10 of the most extravagant properties around the world, from the Burj Al Arab in Dubai to the largest hotel suite in Europe. Launched by British site VeryFirstTo.com, the 21-day trip circles the world from New York, Paris, Dubai and Hong Kong for the princely sum of £359,000 (S$747,000). More

Ex-Tourism Montreal boss grilled over excessive spending
CTV News
MNAs want to know how the former head of Tourism Montreal didn't know how much he was spending and why he was getting tax refunds. Charles Lapointe, the former CEO of Tourism Montreal, spent Monday afternoon at the National Assembly as MNAs questioned his expenses at the agency. More

Driving lessons in snow and winter conditions
By Jack Webber
Driving during the summer and winter are two completely different things. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. I have heard many stories about how such-and-such did not let the weather change how they drove. They are usually the ones who end up in the ditch at the first sign of snow. More

Niagara border crossings could see less bus congestion with soon to be introduced online bus arrival reservation system
OMCA
About six years ago, OMCA met with U.S. and Canadian border crossing officials responsible for the three Niagara crossings and proposed a web-based coach arrival scheduling system. OMCA put forward the idea as a way for US CBP and CBSA to more effectively schedule staff to meet bus traffic volumes, and to distribute bus traffic more evenly across the three border crossings. More

RV winterized? Take a short day trip to get away
By Charles Noble
Thanksgiving and Christmas were over, and we were getting restless. I had already winterized our trailer and our pop-up four-wheel camper, and we only had a few spare days between commitments. The wife was eager to put away the Christmas decorations and was feeling a little stressed, so I decided it was time for a break. I went to the garage and got my 1954 Chevrolet out of storage, and we took the freeway up to San Luis Obispo and went west to the coast into Morro Bay. More