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Toronto's new mayor announces measures to reduce gridlock
OMCA
Last week, Toronto's newly elected mayor John Tory announced a six-pronged strategy intended to help relieve some of the city's traffic congestion headaches. OMCA has had a number of conversations with Mr. Tory and his staff about this issue already. They did reach out and call us the day of the announcement so they are at least aware of our concerns.
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Industry News


Ontario to spend billions to create high-speed rail corridor
CTV News
The Ontario government is moving ahead with its plans for high-speed rail and it could prove to be an economic boon for London. The line would connect Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto and could see Londoners land in the Big Smoke in about an hour. The province plans to invest $29 billion over 10 years in years in transit and transportation projects across Ontario.
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Facebook ranks Niagara Falls tops for 2014 check-ins
CTV News
Facebook has released its list of 2014's most popular Canadian places to check in, and it seems that tourist hot spots in and around Toronto dominate the list. Niagara Falls, that perennially popular tourist attraction, finds itself at No. 1 on the list followed by several other spots near Toronto. Here's the full list.
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Union-Pearson rail fares to be $27.50 one-way
Toronto Star
The $456 million Union-Pearson Express will launch in the spring with a base one-way ticket price of $27.50, but most riders will pay less, government officials announced recently. The UPX fare with a Presto card will be $19, if the Metrolinx board approves the proposed fare structure as expected. Airport workers, who have been fighting for the train to be priced at a rate similar to the TTC, will pay $10 a ticket, or $300 for a monthly pass.
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Shania Twain Centre in Timmins is demolished
Timmins Times
After nearly 15 years as a hoped-for iconic tourist attraction in Timmins, the Shania Twain Centre fell to a pair of wreckers shovels recently. The building that was admired by fans and tourists from around the world is now nothing more than a pile of rubble waiting to be trucked away so that drilling and blasting work can continue on Goldcorp's Hollinger open pit mine. Planning for the building began back in 1999 and the centre was officially opened on Canada Day 2001.
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Come Stay at Fanshawe College!

Guests can enjoy a comfortable stay in affordable modern ensuite accommodations with the added benefit of a living and kitchenette area in each four bedroom suite and a complimentary continental breakfast! The versatility of our accommodations makes us ideal for groups, families and conference delegates. Stay at Fanshawe, Rest Assured!
 


Metrolinx proposing GO Transit fare hikes
CTV News
GO Transit has proposed a fare hike of approximately five per cent for those who buy paper tickets instead of buying passes, which would start on Feb. 1. The proposal, which will be discussed at a Metrolinx board of directors meeting on Thursday, suggests a tiered fare increase approach to meet the needs of a growing customer base. GO Transit President Greg Percy suggested in the proposal that the fare increase be based on distance travelled by the user.
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Hills of the Headwaters honor region's tourism champions
Caledon Enterprise
Exemplary business and customer service in the tourism industry were brought to the table at the Hills of the Headwaters 2014 Taste of Tourism Awards this month. It was a day of celebration where guests braved a cold, blustery day to honor those businesses who help profile the Hills of the Headwaters region as one of Ontario's premier tourism destinations. The ceremony took place at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives and regaled guests with a casual and interactive evening of networking and celebrating.
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TTC board member looks to Calgary model for better bus service
Toronto Star
One of the TTC's citizen board members thinks it might be time for transit officials to follow Calgary's lead and talk to fellow riders on the bus. Alan Heisey is asking the TTC to think about putting transit officials, including board members, on city buses to gather riders' comments and complaints on their regular routes. The idea comes from Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who mentioned it in a Toronto speech in October.
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Hospitality brand survival: Gen X and millennial markets
By Kay Corriere
Until the early 2000s, it was all about the baby boomers, born 1946-1965. The 49-68-year-olds drove restaurant and lodging prosperity with excessive discretionary spending. Hospitality companies that marketed to the boomers' peak spending years saw increases in sales and market share. Now, aging baby boomers' spending habits have changed with impending retirement. Chains that built business models around the baby boomers' partialities are now struggling to attract a younger clientele.
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Speedsville Road bridge set to re-open over Highway 401 in Cambridge
Waterloo Region Record
The Speedsville Road bridge could open to traffic shortly over Highway 401 in Cambridge. The five-decade-old, two-lane bridge was demolished in early May. A new, longer bridge was needed to make way for planned widening of Highway 401 to 10 lanes underneath it in the next few years. The new bridge was originally planned to be open to traffic in November, but cold weather slowed work. Now, weather permitting, the bridge could be open shortly, said Liane Fisher, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
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Look out, hotels: Airbnb means business
By Archita Datta Majumdar
This summer, Airbnb announced its formal foray into the business travel industry by signing a partnership with Concur. The company looked at the big data and saw how business travel could be a lucrative source of revenue. Airbnb designed a portal specifically for this purpose, making it easier and more tempting for businesses to book rooms through them. Since then, Concur officials have stated that the growth in the use of Airbnb by business travelers has seen a meteoric rise this year, not just for domestic destinations but for international travels as well.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
Welcome to Lawton Fort Sill

Come explore Native American history, pioneers, wildlife habitat, and military heroes. Nestled in the oldest mountains, Lawton Fort Sill is rich with relics and tales from long ago. You will discover inspirational beauty, historic importance, and natural splendor. Our meaningful past and unique present will make your visit unforgettable.
Golden Spike Tower

A panoramic view of Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard will greet railfans from the two observation decks of the Golden Spike Tower. The eighth story fully enclosed viewing platform offers a 360 degree view of Bailey Yard and the Platte River valley. - See more here
Come Stay at Fanshawe College!


Guests can enjoy a comfortable stay in affordable modern ensuite accommodations with the added benefit of a living and kitchenette area in each four bedroom suite and a complimentary continental breakfast! The versatility of our accommodations makes us ideal for groups, families and conference delegates. Stay at Fanshawe, Rest Assured!


New survey reveals top trends in the hotel industry
Lodging Magazine
The American Hotel & Lodging Association and its Foundation recently released an industry survey examining the top trends in the hotel industry, which this year is marked by personal service, healthy lifestyles, and convenience. The survey, "The 2014 Lodging Study Hotel Trends: An Inside Look at Popular Amenities and Guest Services" conducted by industry data provider STR, illustrates how hotels are adapting to consumer demands by adjusting their services and amenities to take into account guests' needs.
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Tow-truck drivers snarl traffic with Bill 15 protest
Toronto Sun
More than 1,000 tow trucks descended on Queen's Park Tuesday to protest a bill that requires operators provide an itemized list of charges to customers and give the option to pay via credit card. Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, which passed in the legislature recently, will also limit the number of hours tow-truck drivers can work per day.
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The state of the tour
Travel Pulse
The tour business has long been plagued with a bit of an inferiority complex. Indeed, the word "tour" has been virtually eliminated in the names of most of the companies that are active members of the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) because of its negative association with escorted motor coach programs that spanned multiple cities in a short amount of time.

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John Tory, the new 'traffic' sheriff in town
Toronto Sun
Mayor John Tory warned there's a "new sheriff in town" when it comes to traffic. Tory recently rolled out his six-point plan to tackle Toronto's traffic congestion. "I was sent to City Hall to act on traffic among other things," Tory said during a press conference inside the city's traffic management centre

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The Pan Am traffic plan: It's on you, Toronto
The Toronto Observer
The problem: the 2015 Pan Am games will undoubtable spike traffic in Toronto, adding visitors and athletes to an already-gridlocked city. The solution, according to the new Pan Am Transportation Plan: avoid rush hour.

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Conference Board of Canada: Modest tourism growth predicted for Ottawa in 2015
Ottawa Business Journal
While 2015 is shaping up to be a good year for the Canadian Tourism Industry, a new report issued recently by the Conference Board of Canada suggests only modest growth in Ottawa. The report predicts visits to Ottawa will increase by just 1.4 per cent next year, but that number will start rising as the calendar moves closer to Canada's 150th birthday party in 2017.
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OMCA Report
Frank Humada, Multiview, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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Oliver Kirby, Multiview, Content Editor, 289.695.5401   
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Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed in those articles not written by OMCA staff do not reflect the views of OMCA and are presented here merely for the information of our members.

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