OMCA Report
Sep. 5, 2014

Register for Marketplace: Appointment selections begin Sept. 16!
OMCA
The OMCA Marketplace Passport went live on Aug. 12; appointment selections will begin on September 16. Don't wait to sign up, click here to register now. If you need any assistance, please contact us at the office at info@omca.com or 416-229-6622.More

Educational Tour Operators: 2014/2015 Attractions Ontario Field Trip Planner
OMCA
OMCA is once again taking part in the Attractions Ontario Field Trip Planner. Attractions Ontario currently has 52 school boards onboard to distribute the 2014/2015 planner to schools and teachers across the province. Below is a description from Attractions Ontario's website:

Ontario's Field Trip Planner for Students and Youth Groups is designed to inform teachers, tour operators and youth group leaders about the curriculum-based educational programs available at Ontario attractions. Are We There Yet? represents a new focus for Attractions Ontario- Education Tourism. This is the fastest growing segment of the group tour market today. Are We There Yet? has been sent to all schools in the Province of Ontario, both public and separate.

Click here to view the current guide for 2013/2014 (OMCA is on pages 4-5)

The cost for tour operators to participate is $200.00, before tax. If you would like to be included in this year's edition, please send an email to Christine Loo at christine@omca.com by or before Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. More

October P.R.I.D.E program sold out
OMCA
The October 19-24 P.R.I.D.E. is now sold out. If there is sufficient interest, an additional P.R.I.D.E. program could be arranged for November or early December. Operators interested in sending a trainer to a November or December program are advised to contact Michele O'Bright at mobright@osba.on.ca. More

Is it time for higher speed limits on Canada's highways?
Yahoo!
In B.C., the speed limits are rising on about 1,300 kilometres of highway this summer — in a few cases up to 120 km/h. Quebec is exploring the idea of variable speed limits — as high as 120 but only when the weather's good — as part of a pilot project on two highways this fall. Not to be overtaken, some Ontario motorists have mounted a campaign that would allow vehicles to be able to roll along at up to 130 km/h on some of the province's better highways. More

407 ETR opens new lanes between Highway 400 and Highway 427
Canada Newswire
407 ETR has announced the opening of a new lane in each direction, between Highway 400 and Highway 427. The new lanes (running eight kilometres in each direction) will keep customers moving at a fast, safe and reliable speed on the world's first all-electronic, open-access toll highway. The lanes were built well ahead of time in anticipation of increased traffic demand, and the work done to complete the project was timed in a manner that caused virtually no traffic delays. More

Northern Ontario drivers get studded tire extension
Government of Ontario
Drivers who live in northern Ontario can now put on studded tires earlier and keep them on longer, providing motorists with more options to stay safe during severe or extended winter weather. Northern Ontario residents can now use studded tires from Sept. 1 to May 31. The change is based on advice and recommendations from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). More

Machines serving people: A continuous debate
By Linchi Kwok
Every time when a machine replaced labors in an assembly line, we gave a big round of applause. Now, when machines are replacing the service staff in hotels, shall we make a big toast to celebrate a new revolution? Or shall we mark it the beginning of "the end of humanized service" in the hospitality industry? As customers, we probably have had enough negative experience with those automatic services provided by machines, such as calling the cable or telephone companies. Now that Starwood is introducing a "Botlr," or robotic butler to the Aloft Hotels, will the hospitality industry follow the same path of other businesses, offering more "cold" automatic services?More

Police urge road safety as children head back to school
Global News
Police across the Greater Toronto Area are urging motorists to be mindful of school zones as thousands of children head back to class. Toronto police, in partnership with the Toronto District School Board, launched its annual two week back-to-school campaign recently. The awareness strategy focuses on road-users and their poor driving habits. More

Pan Am Games could leave accessibility legacy
Toronto Star
Ontario is nowhere near ready to welcome visitors with disabilities to the province for next year's Pan Am Games, a prominent advocate says. David Lepofsky, a spokesperson for Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, said Queen's Park is missing a unique opportunity to use the games as a catalyst to improve accessibility in restaurants, hotels and transit, among other things. More

Toronto: Get ready for even more speed humps
The Globe and Mail
Supporters of speed humps say they play a crucial role in slowing cars down to safer speeds in residential areas. Critics say they're ineffective as safety mechanisms and a danger to some vehicles. Speed humps are proliferating across the country at varying rates, though no city rivals Toronto for sheer numbers. More

European tourists lament Canadian car culture
Ottawa Citizen
Yours to discover: Parking garages, strip malls and Tim Hortons drive-thrus. A pair of European tourists say they're coming back from a five-week tour of Canada, including Ottawa, with a disappointing impression. More

Long-running Toronto airport shuttle to shut down due to gridlock, new Union-Pearson rail link
National Post
A 21-year-old Toronto airport shuttle will shut down service in the coming months due to downtown gridlock and the promise of a new rail line to Pearson, officials said recently. More

Too big to care about customer service
By Harry J. Friedman
I've been wondering lately how big you actually have to be to stop caring about how you treat your customers. The inspiration for this article came from taking a business trip and finding myself in an airport news/gift store. Zero help. Zero care. Zero everything. It's not my style to start blaming the staff for their poor effort in making my visit at the least enjoyable. I am one who firmly believes staff members behave the way management allows them to behave. But I've been noticing more and more, this sea of bodies being hired to do the minimum. How does this happen? More

Toronto mayor's race: Who has the best plan to fix the city?
CBC News
From an urban planning perspective, there are billion-dollar gaps in funding for aging infrastructure and affordable housing, and more than a million cars set to join our strangled streets in the next 15 years alone. So if you're just tuning in after summer holidays, you may be wondering where this interminable mayoralty election is at, and who has the best plan to fix the city? More