OMCA Report
Feb. 20, 2015

Get ready! OMCA Marketplace registration opens March 17
Be sure to get online on March 17 and get registered for the OMCA Marketplace in London, ON, Nov. 15-18! Our members have spoken and we've been listening, so this year's event will bring new and exciting features to make sure we bring you an even better show.

Just a few new things to watch out for:
- Nov. 15-18 with 3-day Marketplace, Monday to Wednesday
- Targeted education seminars specific to our tour operators on Nov. 15
- Interactive mobile app, including direct delegate-to-delegate messaging

We've got more in store, so mark your calendars and stay tuned!More

Ontario Northland closing motor coach stations
Canada Newswire
Transformation is underway at Ontario Northland and we are focused on increasing our efficiency, containing our costs and increasing revenue. Our motor coach services are vital to Northern Ontario and we need to streamline our services in order to be sustainable. As part of transformation, Ontario Northland will be closing the Englehart and Matheson stations.More

Mayor John Tory finds warm reception from Justin Trudeau on transit, infrastructure help
Toronto Star
Mayor John Tory got a warm welcome in chilly Ottawa as federal parties readying their election platforms welcomed his SmartTrack transit plan and call for a new partnership with Toronto and other cities. Liberal MP Adam Vaughan raved about his meeting with Tory and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. More

Toronto has record-breaking 14.3 million overnight tourist visits in 2014
National Post
A record-breaking 14.3 million visitors stayed overnight in Toronto in 2014, according to the city's tourism association. Tourism Toronto said the growth could be attributed to 2.3 million American visitors, a 3.7 per cent increase from 2013, and more tourists than ever before from overseas countries. More

Forever Open Road coming to a road near you?
Daily Commercial News
While it may sound like something from a sci-fi film, roads that clean and repair themselves, interact with vehicles and monitor their own condition, all while adapting to extreme weather conditions, are innovative ideas in a concept called Forever Open Road. This vision was created by the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories (FEHRL) and Thierry Goger, its secretary general, presented the plan to produce the "fifth generation road" at the the Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA) convention. More

Report: Pan Am Games organizers have spent 80 per cent of capital budget
Toronto Star
Organizers for this summer's Pan Am Games in Ontario say they've spent 80 per cent of their capital budget so far, with roughly five months to go before the international competition begins. More

Delays coming to border crossing in Sarnia
Today's Trucking
The U.S.-bound span of the Blue Water Bridge, in Sarnia, On, will close for three months, starting in April. While the 75-year-old crossing to Michigan gets new blacktop, the second bridge, built in 1997, will carry all truck and passenger vehicle traffic between Point Edward and Port Huron. More

Pan Am Games traffic plans include HOV lanes, free transit trips for spectators
Metro News
The provincial government is asking Torontonians to change their transportation habits during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, but the Minister in charge of transportation won't say how badly residents' commutes will be affected.More

New law could mean tougher penalties for assaulting transit drivers
Global News
People convicted of assaulting transit drivers may soon face longer sentences under a new amendment to Canada's criminal code. Bill S-221 sailed through both houses of Parliament in less than a year, passing unanimously in the House of Commons. The law requires judges to consider assault on a transit driver an aggravating factor when passing sentence. It covers not only drivers of buses and streetcars, but also school buses and taxis. More

Can Toronto support an outdoor winter music festival?
The Brrrrr! Festival existed in Toronto for a short span from 2013-2014, taking place at Echo Beach over first two days in its first year, then just one night in its second year. The event was inspired fairly directly by Montreal's Igloofest — scouts spent long nights at in Montreal learning on the (frozen) field how Piknic Electronik make it work in sub-zero temperatures.More

5 apps that are changing the travel industry
By Archita Datta Majumdar
2015 has brought new hopes for the economy, and the travel and hospitality industry is especially abuzz with excitement as they anticipate solid bookings ahead. In a recent report, "Global hospitality insights: Top thoughts for 2015," EY says that the travel and tourism sector will grow by almost 3.9 per cent this year. With more people travelling, it is no surprise that we are looking at ancillary growth as well. The hottest travel apps are one such focus, for travel without technology is unthinkable now. More

Ontario committed to accessibility
Government of Ontario
Mayo Moran's comprehensive review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) provides valuable advice and important feedback that will serve as a guide to making Ontario accessible by 2025. She found overwhelming support for accessibility across all sectors. Provost Moran also identified areas where improvements can be made — including helping businesses understand their accessibility requirements and finding ways to help them comply. More

Windsor not interested in lowering speed limits
CBC News
The City of Windsor is not interested in changing speed limits on unmarked residential roads. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation was seeking input from municipalities across the province on whether they would consider changing the default speed limit for unmarked, residential roads. More

Hamilton's inertia on LRT may prove costly
Hamilton Spectator
An urban express transit corridor runs through a large, diverse municipality that has more than half a million residents, multiple downtowns and various local interests. The municipality is characterized by underperforming urbanized areas, extensive suburbs and a large rural area that includes some of the best farmland in Ontario. More

How does Expedia's shopping spree affect the travel industry?
By Judy Connors
Expedia, the online travel booking company that recently purchased Travelocity, announced it will now acquire Orbitz in its quest to dominate the online travel business. With Expedia's acquisition of both, Expedia could control more than two-thirds of U.S. bookings through OTAs and become the largest OTA by bookings worldwide. How do these moves affect the travel industry? And what does it mean for consumers? More