OMCA Report
Sep. 25, 2015

Last week for OMCA Industry Awards nominations
The deadline for OMCA Industry Awards nominations is coming up next week on Friday, October 2. The awards will be presented at our Annual Marketplace on Tuesday, November 16, 2015. There are nine categories, including Driver Excellence, Supplier Member Award of Distinction, Lifetime Achievement, and Heroism.
Click here for nomination criteria and application forms.More

Marketplace appointment selections now live!
Delegates can now log in to MyOMCA to make appointment selections — click here to begin. Appointment-taking delegates received an e-blast yesterday morning with their OMCA login ID and password.
To make your appointment selections, log in and click on the Request Appointment tab to view and select the list of delegates, and complete the process. To research your appointments before selecting, use the Delegate Search tab. Appointment selections will end on Friday, Oct. 2. More

October parking blitz announced for Toronto
Mayor John Tory has announced Toronto police will conduct another blitz on cars parked or stopped illegally on Toronto's major roadways, beginning Oct. 5. While the announcement refers to "cars," past experience suggests enforcement activities will also include buses and trucks. Bus operators should remind drivers to respect parking signs whenever possible. When picking up groups at times when no stopping or no standing is allowed, drivers need to minimize the time spent waiting for groups to board and drivers should stay with the bus, ready to move if requested. To make matters worse, the marked "bus loading zone" and "bus parking zone" on Richmond Street south of the Sheraton Hotel have been eliminated to make way for a bike lane.

OMCA is working with Tourism Toronto, the Toronto Attractions Council, the Toronto Hotel Association and the City to get the City to address our growing concerns about the ever diminishing number of stopping places due to bike lanes and other infrastructure changes, the discriminatory $300 fine for coaches (compared to $40 to $100 for any other vehicle including trucks) and the need for more enforcement discretion when differentiating between "parking," "standing" and "stopping."More

Metrolinx evaluating 50 potential new GO station locations
Toronto Star
Metrolinx is evaluating 50 potential sites for new GO stations, including those identified in Toronto Mayor John Tory's SmartTrack plan, in an effort to grow ridership and provide GO customers with more choices. It's not yet clear how many more stations the provincial agency will add as it expands GO with a regional express rail program that will see electric trains running, in some cases, at 15-minute frequencies.More

Wynne says Ontario won't budge from latest offer to elementary teachers
The Globe and Mail
Premier Kathleen Wynne says she is unhappy that elementary teachers are threatening to step up job action, but the province is not budging from its last contract offer. Ms. Wynne vowed not to give the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario a better deal than the province has negotiated with other teacher unions. More

Rotating teachers strikes could be next
Timmins Press
As elementary school teachers escalate their labour actions, the public school board is warning parents to be aware of school closures occurring within short notice. "The decision to close a school for a day might come at short notice," Linda Knight, director of education for District School Board Ontario North East, said parents need to be aware. More

Brantford GO bus service negotiations continue
Brantford Expositor
Discussions aimed at bringing GO Transit bus service to Brantford are ongoing. "All I can say right now is that negotiations with the city... are continuing," Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson for Metrolinx, which operates GO Transit, said recently. More

Fall brings rising tourism expectations
Niagara Falls Review
Continued, targeted marketing — and an influx of visiting seniors — should help Niagara Falls get through tourism's typical off season, Wayne Thomson says. The chairman of Niagara Falls Tourism said his agency, Tourism Partnership of Niagara and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation are ramping up their fall marketing campaign, particularly in the United States. More

Sault to host tourism summit
Northern Ontario Business
Sault Ste. Marie will host the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit in November. The second annual tourism summit will take place Nov. 16 to 18 at the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre. The event is a partnership between Tourism Northern Ontario and Nature and Outdoors Tourism Ontario. More

Metrolinx proposes integrated fares for the GTHA
Toronto Star
It could be a decade before the region's 11 transit agencies have a single integrated fare system even though the TTC will be fully accessible by the provincial Presto fare card at the end of next year. But Metrolinx officials say they expect some aspects of a unified fare system to roll out much sooner. More

Can traditional travel agencies compete?
TravelDaily Conference's third executive roundtable panel for the day was ready to tackle the topic: how can traditional travel agencies rejuvenate themselves and compete efficiently in the online marketplace? The cast of seasoned executives and managers included some of the oldest and most vibrant names in the travel agency landscape. More

Hoteliers embrace pet-friendly operations
Hotel News Now
When it comes to meeting the needs of the growing number of guests who travel with their pets, some hoteliers are finding that practical policy and some personalization can go a long way. Some properties are new to allowing pets, while others have a long history of catering to the furry and multi-legged companions. Either way, to the guests, pets are like family, so hoteliers say they need to find a way to accommodate them. More