Month: December 2018

Canadian Tourism Awards Ian Cheverie and Presenters
(L to R) MP Wayne Easter, MP Gudie Hutchings, MP Alaina Lockhart, Ian Cheverie, Charlotte Bell (TIAC), Dave McKenna (TIAC Board), Philip Mondor (Tourism HR Canada) [Photo credit: Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)]
Tourism HR Canada is delighted to honour Ian Cheverie, Guest Experience Manager & Concierge at The Great George Hotel in Charlottetown, PEI.

Ian accepted the Tourism Employee of the Year Award at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Tourism Congress. The award recognizes a frontline professional whose leadership, dedication, and high quality of service exemplify excellence in the tourism industry.

Ian joined the team at The Great George eight years ago, working in an entry-level guest service position. After earning promotions to front desk and then sales assistant, Ian’s initiative and passion for crafting the perfect guest experience led to the creation of his own guest services department, which has blossomed into a team of seven.

“I feel truly blessed to be part of an industry that celebrates the best qualities of our regions, as well as our industry leaders that live and breathe tourism,” says Ian. “The overwhelming support and encouragement from my entire province since my return from The Canadian Tourism Awards with this recognition from Tourism HR Canada is a statement to our strong sense of community—we are all celebrating here in Prince Edward Island! Receiving this prestigious award was an evening I will never forget, and I now look forward to taking our guest experience to the next level when it comes to sharing my pride and passion for what I do, where I work, and where I live.”

Ian’s commitment to hospitality is evident in all he does—he continually strives to create an unmatched guest experience, even using his free time to gain a deeper knowledge of tourism across the province. Guests frequently request his personally vetted island tour itineraries and join his popular Historical Walking Tour. He has implemented numerous programs to make each guest’s stay memorable and unique and spends time getting to know each guest to ensure their next stay is further tailored to their likes and interests. Guests regularly send notes of thanks and mention Ian in online reviews.

The Great George team is inspired daily by his enthusiasm. Ian developed a half-day Guest Experience training program for new employees, sharing aspects of the hotel and the broader industry in PEI. A quarterly employee newsletter, Checking In with Ian, keeps the team apprised of new initiatives, upcoming guests, and key happenings at the hotel and within the region. His recent The Great George Values Card is part of each hotel team member’s uniform—it guides them in their daily interactions, putting the hotel’s values into action statements.

Ian is the only Les Clefs d’Or concierge in PEI, a process that takes two years of ongoing training and testing to complete, and is nationally certified through Emerit as a Guest Services Attendant. He has won awards from the Murphy Hospitality Group and the Tourism Industry Association of PEI.

“Ian goes above and beyond every day to deliver memorable experiences for our guests and he challenges and inspires every one of our team members to do the same,” says Megan Hunt, The Great George Hotel general manager. “With his passion for our hotel, the tourism industry as a whole, and our beautiful province of PEI, Ian connects with our guests in a way that truly exemplifies the genuine Island hospitality that has become the trademark of our guest experience. You can literally feel the difference when Ian is on property—his energy and enthusiasm is unmatched. A perfect example of what happens when you invest in young people in this industry, we are truly lucky to work alongside such an outstanding professional.”

Ian’s enthusiasm for working in tourism in catching—frontline staff at The Great George aspire to his position, and he discusses industry career options with tourism and hospitality students at Holland College in PEI and Oulton College in New Brunswick.

Professionals with Ian’s desire to consistently go above and beyond are what make Canada a global tourism destination. His passion for the ultimate guest experience is a shining example of the more than 1.8 million individuals working in tourism and hospitality, daily creating incredible memories for visitors from around the world. Congratulations, Ian!

For more tourism success stories, subscribe to Tourism HR Insider.

Destination Employment LogoTourism HR Canada is actively recruiting members for our Destination Employment advisory committee. We are seeking individuals from a range of backgrounds and locations who bring real world experience and ideas on how to innovate HR interventions for newcomers to Canada.

This could be your opportunity to help shape program and product development that is integral to an overall strategy to facilitate the growth projected in recent tourism research: provide employment opportunities and support businesses in finding the right individuals.

The Destination Employment pilot program was developed to offer work opportunities to newcomers to Canada while addressing current and projected labour shortages facing the accommodations sector. The project is a key national strategic initiative that will require input and oversight over the next three years.

Now is the best time to get engaged and lend your voice, expertise, and opinions to the activities and resources being leveraged for this initiative. We’re seeking additional input from:

  • Hospitality professionals (frontline, supervisory, and management/executive)
  • Representatives from immigrant serving agencies and other community groups
  • Representatives from associations serving the accommodations sector (industry and professional associations/bodies)
  • Training and service providers (educators, trainers, and researchers)

Commitment to the advisory committee can be as little or as much as your schedule and level of interest allow. Members are invited to meet in person in Ottawa in early March (potential travel subsidies are currently being sought), and there will be quarterly conference calls and bi-monthly written updates.

To accommodate members who can only participate short term, we are recruiting a large committee to ensure engagement from all stakeholder groups throughout the pilot.

If you have a voice and perspective that can assist us in making Destination Employment an unmitigated success…let’s hear from you! Please contact

The recent growth of tourism activity in Canada has attracted a renewed focus on the sector by various stakeholders, including government. Despite this renewed focus, tourism businesses continue to struggle with a range of issues that require attention.

To determine the extent of these issues, Tourism HR Canada and The Conference Board of Canada are undertaking a Tourism Outlook and Labour Issues Survey—part of a wider tourism labour supply and demand study. The study will highlight the most significant issues facing tourism businesses today and into the future and quantify the degree to which labour issues have already impacted the sector—and will continue to do so.

Your answers will allow us to highlight those issues that not only impact your competitiveness but also cause the sector to underperform relative to its true potential.

We invite tourism businesses to participate in the Tourism Outlook and Labour Issues Survey. It will only take about ten minutes. Please click here to share your perspective on tourism and labour issues.

To stay informed on the release of the survey results and the study, subscribe to Tourism HR Insider.

(seasonally unadjusted)

In November 2018, the unemployment rate1 in the tourism sector was at 4.5%, which is 0.6% lower than the rate reported in November 2017, and higher than the previous month (October 2018), when the unemployment rate stood at 4.3%.

At 4.5%, tourism’s unemployment rate was well below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.2%.

All tourism industry groups reported lower unemployment rates than the same month last year (Table 1).

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 1.7% in Alberta to 16.1% in Prince Edward Island.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for tourism in each province, with the exceptions of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec, were below the rates reported for the provincial economy (Figure 1).

Tourism employment comprised 11.2% of the total Canadian labour force for the month of November.

Table 1 – Employment Rate by Tourism Industry Group – November 2017/2018
Tourism Industry Group2 Unemployment Rate –
November 2017
Unemployment Rate –
November 2018
Tourism 5.2% 4.5%
Accommodations 8.3% 7.9%
Food and Beverage 5.4% 5.0%
Recreation and Entertainment 5.9% 4.6%
Transportation 2.0% 1.9%
Travel Services 4.1% 2.6%

Figure 1 – Tourism Sector vs. Total Labour Force Unemployment Rates by Province (Seasonally Unadjusted)

1 To determine unemployment rates, industrial (NAICS) classifications are based on the most recent job held within the past year, and are self-identified by the respondent. Unemployed persons are those who, during the reference period, were available for work but were on temporary layoff, were without work, or were to start a new job within four weeks.

2 As defined by the Canadian Tourism Satellite Account. The NAICS industries included in the tourism sector are those that would cease to exist or operate at a significantly reduced level of activity as a direct result of an absence of tourism. Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, customized tabulations. Based on data for the week ending November 10, 2018.