Month: December 2019

Tourism HR Canada is delighted to recognize Tony D’Ariano, who recently celebrated his 15th anniversary as Maintenance Manager at the Residence Inn by Marriott London Downtown.

Tony was announced as the 2019 winner of the Tourism Employee of the Year Award at the Canadian Tourism Awards, a gala evening held during 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.

“It was a pleasant surprise finding out that I won the award for Employee of the Year,” states Tony. “I am so humbled and extremely appreciative for being selected as the winner. My hotel journey began 15 years ago and has been a positive experience on my life to this day. I have met many wonderful people that have moulded me into the service fanatic that I am today.”

Nominated by General Manager Anna McNutt, Tony consistently goes above and beyond to provide service excellence to guests and colleagues alike.

“Tony is an integral part of the Residence Inn team and is as passionate today as the day he started his Marriott Journey,” shares Anna. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Tony contributes to training, team building, cost savings, sales efforts, especially repeat opportunities, guest relations, staff relations, innovative solutions, service recovery, and—above all—the passion to excel with a positive influence to the overall team environment.”

Anna details that Tony is on call to help guests day or night, no matter what the issue is. If he is unable to fix it, he’ll research until he finds a solution. She explains, “He will be the first to make recommendations to a contractor, project manager, or owner if it is going to improve the overall guest experience for the long term. He will stand up for continuous improvement resulting in minimal deficiencies during unexpected property visits.”

He is laser focused on efficiencies, keeping track of warranties and recycling and reusing every item he can. Items that can no longer be used by the hotel are found new homes through charities or recycling companies. He collaborates with outside contractors to keep costs low and minimize disruptions to staff and guests.

The safety of everyone at the hotel is top priority to Tony. He is head of the Health & Safety Committee, taking the lead on training. He is also a member of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) Safety Group. He keeps an eye on the hotel camera system outside his working hours and stays up New Year’s Eve to converse with returning partygoers to ensure no unregistered guests enter. Says Anna, “He was instrumental in the success of the hotel receiving Gold as Canada’s Safety Champion for two consecutive years through Occupational Safety.”

His passion for excellence extends beyond his regular duties. He’s driven guests to the airport when they were unable to squeeze into a taxi; he’s changed flat tires on guests’ cars; he’s coordinated a windshield replacement; he’s helped guests who’ve had a car accident miles from the hotel; he’s gone to pawnshops to track down lost items; he’s even helped a guest solve a plumbing problem they were having…at home…and provided the parts and tools for the guest to make the repair.

“As a manager, Tony leads by example through his Service Frame of Mind,” adds Anna. “He excels in teamwork and inspires his staff because he ‘walks-the-talk’. He is the first to volunteer, taking the lead in staff functions, event set-up, food and decoration pick-up, and in rallying the troops. He is the first one on site for our fund-raising or social events with a donation in hand, and the last one to leave in order to assist his team with the take-down and clean-up. As importantly, he gets us going in the wee hours by showing up with coffee for everyone. If anyone needs a drive home, he looks after that too.”

“Tourism is about creating experiences. Tony stands out by creating moments for both internal and external customers. He is the go-to guy and everyone on the Residence Inn team appreciates his contribution each and every day.”

Professionals with Tony’s passion to consistently go above and beyond are what make Canada a leading global tourism destination. His dedication to helping guests and colleagues offers a shining example of the more than 1.8 million individuals working in tourism, daily creating incredible memories for visitors from around the world. Congratulations, Tony!

A new initiative is building on last spring’s successful series of LGBT+ Inclusion Training workshops, conducted by CGLCC, Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Tourism HR Canada.

Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada’s Canadian Experiences Fund, this recently launched project supports Canadian tourism businesses as they seek to ensure their operations are open and welcoming to all travellers and workers.

Valued at US$200 billion, LGBT+ tourism is an opportunity for economic development with great potential for profitable, long-term products and services. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) states that LGBT+ travellers are recognized as travelling with greater frequency and with higher-than-average spending. Businesses have the opportunity to diversify and expand product and service offerings, and the option of extending seasons or creating new experiences.

The first inclusion workshops took place last month in interior British Columbia. The timing of the project kick-off was essential to reach mountain towns prior to their peak ski season.

The Golden area hosted one of these first sessions. CGLCC facilitated an inclusion workshop for owner-operators, management, and frontline staff of activity-based and accommodations businesses. Topics included:

  • Why safe space is important in the workplace and what it looks like
  • The internal and external benefits of LGBT+ inclusive space
  • New strategies when interacting with LGBT+ employees and customers
  • An opportunity to put new concepts and learning into practice

An additional component saw a local tourism stakeholder trained a new facilitator. The Train the Trainer component is intended to familiarize new CGLCC facilitators on the inclusion workshop content, in locations across Canada. CGLCC is based in Toronto, so having facilitators based across Canada is essential to the economic sustainability of these inclusion workshops.

Joanne Sweeting, Executive Director of Tourism Golden, pursued her region’s participation in this project after a local business brought the workshops to her attention. She stated that the facilitator training allows for a locally based resource that is affordable and accessible for small regional destinations. Her plan will be to host at least one inclusion workshop every year for business stakeholders in the Golden area, timing it to include seasonal staff.

“As the DMO, we will focus on education and assisting our businesses to develop Golden into a welcoming and inclusive destination, which at the moment is in the early stages,” she explains. “In preparation for the time when we can truly promote Golden as an inclusive destination directly to the LGBT+ market, Tourism Golden will begin to work on creating image, video and branding assets that speak to diversity. When we are product-ready we will begin actively marketing to the LGBT+ travel market segment to raise awareness and visitation in line with our overall organisational goals.”

She adds, “As an employer, our recruitment, training, employee handbook and workplace practices are already in place. We will, however, lead by making that inclusivity more obvious with things like rainbow stickers at the visitor centre and offices.”

CGLCC and Tourism HR Canada will be offering this workshop across Canada over the coming months. If your tourism business or Destination Marketing Organization would like to be a part of this project or would like more information, please contact

Tourism HR Canada is pleased to announce a new partnership with Windmill Microlending, a registered charity organization that offers low-interest microloans to skilled newcomers to Canada who struggle with the cost of upskilling, credentials, and accreditations.

Serving newcomers since 2005, Windmill provides up to $15,000 in microloans to pay for professional examinations, training, assessments, professional association fees, books and materials, living allowance, and other related expenses associated with obtaining credentials and training. Windmill explains that these internationally trained individuals often cannot access mainstream credit because they have low income and/or no Canadian credit history.

At the initial meeting, both Tourism HR Canada and Windmill Microlending identified some strategic areas of alignment with Tourism HR Canada’s Destination Employment project, considering that both organizations share a similar target audience (newcomers to Canada).

With Windmill Microlending’s long-standing relationship with immigrant serving agencies in Alberta and Saskatoon, Tourism HR Canada will leverage this opportunity to network and reach out to newcomers about participating in Destination Employment. Qualified beneficiaries can in-turn visit Windmill Microlending to access low-interest microloans.

Partnerships such as this one have become imperative to re-emphasize the importance of industry collaboration and the Government of Canada’s initiatives towards achieving a shared vision and common goal of helping newcomers secure sustainable jobs upon arrival in Canada. In the near future, other areas of strategic alliance will also be explored.

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(seasonally unadjusted)

In November 2019, the unemployment rate1 in the tourism sector was at 5.3%, which is 0.8 percentage points higher than the rate reported in November 2018, and higher than the previous month (October 2019), when the unemployment rate stood at 4.6%.

At 5.3%, tourism’s unemployment rate was below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.5%.

With the exception of Food & Beverage Services, all tourism industry groups have reported higher unemployment rates than the same month last year (Table 1).

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 3.8% in Ontario to 17.1% in Prince Edward Island.

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

Tourism employment comprised 10.8% of the total Canadian labour force for the month of November.

Table 1 – Employment Rate by Tourism Industry Group – November 2018/2019
Tourism Industry Group2 Unemployment Rate –
November 2018
Unemployment Rate –
November 2019
Tourism 4.5% 5.3%
Accommodations 7.9% 8.6%
Food and Beverage 5.0% 4.8%
Recreation and Entertainment 4.6% 7.2%
Transportation 1.9% 2.8%
Travel Services 2.6% 4.5%
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 16, 2019.