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Association News

GroupConnect announces launch
GroupConnect is excited to announce the launch of the group travel industry's most comprehensive website,, developed to provide your business with more opportunities to capture the group travel market. The new user friendly combines and, into a one-stop shop for group travel information. By creating one website, GroupConnect will drive more traffic and attract all market segments to one place.

InfoTree, a travel technology software company, has taken over management responsibilities of GroupConnect and brings a wealth of experience in the travel industry. A dedicated team of engineers has been assigned to GroupConnect and will be developing new features every couple of months.

New features coming soon will include: trip planner utility; comprehensive vendor review system; request an appointment function; and a modified "Request for Proposal" function. All these new functions are being created to provide the end user with more opportunities to find your business/services which in turn provides the members with opportunities to close more sales. For more information, please contact GroupConnect at 1-866-644-1664 or
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York Street closure in downtown Toronto
A temporary closure of downtown Toronto's York Street between Harbour Street and Queens Quay will occur from Sept. 15 to Oct. 3. This temporary street closure is required to connect the newly installed storm water infrastructure on Queens Quay to the existing infrastructure on York Street.

Here's what to expect:
• Traffic: There will be no northbound or southbound access to/from Queens Quay from York Street. Westbound traffic on Queens Quay will continue through the intersection.
• Pedestrians: All sidewalks and crosswalks on York and at the York/Queens Quay intersection will remain open.
• Bus Parking layby: The York Street layby will not be accessible during this closure. The two new laybys located at 208 and 218 Queens Quay will be available for short-term loading and unloading.

York Street will re-open as soon as this construction is complete. The expected completion date is Oct. 2.

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MTO offers help sessions for DCP training curriculum development
As reported previously in OMCA Report, MTO has extended the deadline to March 31, 2015 for Recognized Authorities (RAs) to submit their new training curriculum based on the new training standards issued to RAs in December 2013. To assist RAs in this regard, MTO is offering to hold some sessions to help those who have questions around curriculum development. Sessions will be a "drop-in" format where RAs /SAs can bring their curriculum and review it with MTO staff. Times will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dates and locations will be arranged and an email distributed as each is confirmed. If your organization would like to host a session in your region, please contact Mary Jane Bauer at
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MTO announces proposed fee for licence upgrades and renewals under Driver Certification Program
MTO has announced that the proposed fee under the revamped DCP program will be $20 for each licence upgrade or renewal. The fee is expected to be implemented on Jan. 1, 2015. As the fee must be established by Regulation, the proposed fee is currently posted for public comment on the Government of Ontario Regulatory Registry website. The fee comes as no surprise to Recognized Authorities, as MTO announced over two years ago it would fall somewhere between $18 and $22 per upgrade or renewal.
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Industry News

Improvements to Highway 410 announced
Government of Ontario
Ontario is widening a 12-kilometre stretch of Highway 410 from south of Highway 401 to Queen Street, to improve traffic flow and safety in the Greater Toronto Area. The project includes:

• Repairing, repaving and expanding the section of Highway 410 from six to 10 lanes
• Building one general purpose lane and one High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction
• Repairing seven bridges
• Constructing two new ramps at the highway 401/403/410 interchange
• Opening two new carpool lots
• Installing concrete median barriers and high-mast lighting

Construction is targeted for completion by fall 2018.

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Come Find Your Happy Place

Here in Lafayette, Louisiana we’re smiling from ear to ear thanks to Wall Street Journal’s naming us the ‘Happiest City in America’. That’s in large part because we’re known for letting the good times roll. With our distinctive blend of food, music and culture it’s no wonder people are heading down south with a smile on their face.

Fall tourism rising as travellers enjoy fewer crowds, nice weather and sometimes better prices
Fall used to be off-peak for tourism everywhere except New England and other fall foliage destinations. But autumn tourism is rising, with traditional summer hotspots increasingly busy September through November.
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Bus tour explores Alice Munro heritage
London Free Press
Roll up, roll up, for the magical Munrovia tour. Two of the leading heritage champions in London, ON, are helming a bus tour of an inspiring destination to our north, Alice Munro country. Organized by the London and Middlesex Historical Society and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario London region branch, the tour goes Sept. 20.
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Queen Street West garners international praise as one of the world's 'hallmarks of hipness'
National Post
Long known locally as Toronto's hub of art and good coffee, West Queen West has been gaining international plaudits of late. In July, The New York Times called the area a "neighbourhood... like no other." Vogue recently went even further. In an online gallery, the magazine dubbed West Queen West the second coolest neighbourhood in the world.
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Groups Shouldn't Stay Anywhere Else!

Call us today to get in on 2015 NOW!!
888-771-1786 or
609-340 -7715
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.
Farm Tour

How about a visit to North Platte while you’re sitting at your computer? The virtual tours created for North Platte by Interactive 360 can be found here

Poll: Not all Canadian drivers are aware of the effects of prescription drugs on their driving ability
Canada Newswire
According to a new report from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, almost 780,000 drivers on Canadian roads admitted to driving under the influence of potentially impairing prescription drugs in 2013. The new report, The Road Safety Monitor 2013: Drugs and Driving, based on a survey of Canadian drivers, looks at drivers' views, experiences and behaviours in relation to the use of licit and illicit drugs and driving.
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Better transit tops wish list for financial firms
Toronto Star
Toronto needs to improve its aging roads and transit system if it wants to retain its title as Canada's financial services hub, according to a new study by the Conference Board of Canada. The city compares well to a dozen other top global financial centres, but transportation infrastructure "stands out as the one important area needing improvement," Michael Burt, director, industrial economic trends for the Ottawa-based economic think tank, said in a release issued recently.
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The case for complexity
By Anne Rose
Go easy. Take it easy. Easy does it. Nice and easy. We are constantly exhorted to do things the easy way. But is the easy way the best way? When designing your next client itinerary, why not consider the harder, more complex and more comprehensive path? There are multiple benefits to this approach as a travel agent, despite being more time-intensive.
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Windsor company aims to make roads safer with technology
CBC News
A Windsor-based company is standing out at a large auto-technology conference taking place in Detroit. Praveen Singh, is the CEO of Arada Systems, a company that makes special computerized systems that can better direct motorists.

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GO plans to add more bus services
GO Transit has announced it will add more service. More bus trips are promised by the regional transit agency, including a new weekend bus route between York University and the University of Waterloo when the modified GO schedule goes into effect.

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Kitchener tour company has come a long way
The Record
When Larry Hundt was a student at the University of Waterloo in 1969, he hired buses to carry students back to their homes in the Greater Toronto Area on Friday evenings and return with them on Sunday nights. "It was a crazy market at the university at the time," he says.

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Smaller cities can get in tourism game with creativity
The Star Phoenix
While we tend to think almost exclusively of major world cities when we think of unique urban experiences, many mid-sized cities have been able to leverage their unique historical, demographic and geographical features to provide enjoyable and differentiated experiences. It doesn't necessarily require major investments, with a little creativity going a long way.
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New push to drop Ontario residential street speed limit to 40 km/h
CBC News
There's a new push to lower the default speed limit on residential roads across Ontario. The default speed limit in Ontario cities is 50 km/h where there are no posted speed limit signs. Ottawa-Centre MPP and cabinet minister Yasir Naqvi is asking his government to amend the Highway Traffic Act to lower that speed limit to 40 km/h.
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Toronto Region Board of Trade: Politics and transit don't mix
Global News
A new report calls for better government structure in an effort to allow agencies, such as Metrolinx, the ability the see plans through without interference. Different models from around the world (London, Stockholm, New York City and Portland) were cited as examples that have withstood political change and different ideas.
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Revisiting the St. Jacobs Farmers' Market
St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, located just north of Kitchener and Waterloo is said to be "Canada's largest yearround farmers' market," and the area has many bus tours going to this destination each year. Well, you may remember that its largest building was destroyed by fire last September, on Labour Day. Let's check out what happened and what is happening.
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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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