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2014 -15 Provincial Budget 2013 Year at a Glance Jeff Mowatt and The Art of Guest Service AHLA Workshops Come To You Learn to TrustYou





Get Ready to Check In to the AHLA’s 94th Annual Convention & Tradeshow The AHLA’s Annual Convention & Trade Show is quickly approaching, with just a few short weeks until the festivities April 24-26 at The Banff Centre. The AHLA is beyond excited for this year’s event as we prepare to officially unveil the Alberta pilot of Check In Canada – the Hotel Association of Canada’s Approved Accommodation Program. At convention members will learn about the features and benefits of Check In, and how it can help you reduce the high cost of dealing with OTAs Need more convincing on the benefits of attending? Here’s our top three:

Learn: With two keynote presentations, twelve business sessions, and a tradeshow filled with over 80 exhibitors, learning and professional development opportunities are plentiful.

Network: Over 450 guests, exhibitors, and speakers are expected to attend this year, providing plenty of opportunity to meet and mingle with industry experts and peers.

Speak Up: New to the agenda this year is a collaborative town hall forum to discuss the labour challenges in our industry. AHLA members will be encouraged to discuss current labour challenges and how we can come together to fix them. Panel members include: Dave Kaiser, President and CEO, Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association Tony Pollard, President, Hotel Association of Canada JoAnne Kirkland, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Tourism Division for Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation Barb Mulholland, Director of Learning, Community Learning Campus, Olds College Registration is filling up! To find out more or to register visit

Inspiring Service Growing Value

Message from the President & CEO 2014 -15 Provincial Budget On March 6th I attended the provincial government lockdown for budget 2014 – a closed stakeholder briefing provided in advance of the actual budget address. Attendees are provided with detailed budget documents and given an overview of the budget and the economic outlook by senior government officials. The following are some highlights that are relevant to our industry. Increase in operational budget Goal one of the Alberta Tourism Parks and Recreation (ATPR) business plan states: “Tourism in Alberta is a $10.3 billion industry by 2020, providing sustainable economic benefits to all regions of Alberta.” The operational budget for the ministry is increased to $193 million from $182.66 million – signaling our government’s commitment to this goal. Included in this is a significant increase in the budget for the Tourism Division, something that should strengthen its capacity to provide leadership for tourism product development.

“Tourism in Alberta is a $10.3 billion industry by 2020, providing sustainable economic benefits to all regions of Alberta.”

Increase in Travel Alberta budget The 2014 budget for Travel Alberta is increased to $56.3 million from $50.5 million. The increase is consistent with the rise of the tourism levy collected in 2012-13 and represents a similar 70/30 allocation for tourism marketing and tourism product development as last year. Given Travel Alberta’s administrative efficiency, this is positive news for industry as the increased funds can be used for marketing our province. No increases in liquor mark ups No increases in liquor mark ups in the budget is good news for the hospitality industry. Liquor revenue is forecast to grow to $745 million versus $728 million for the past year. However, budget figures also show a continued decline in actual and forecast VLT revenue. This trend negatively impacts AHLA members who own and operate beverage hotels and who, over time, have become highly dependent on gaming as their primary source of income. It is interesting to note that while overall gaming revenue is forecast to decline in 2014-15, the government is targeting a healthy increase in 2015-16. This could indicate an expansion of gaming is in the works. Budget 2014 is based on a healthy outlook for the Alberta economy. Key projections include: An acceleration of real GDP growth to 3.7% from estimated 3.3% for 2013 Higher oil industry revenue based on increasing production and a weaker Canadian dollar forecast at $US.91/$Cdn Population growth of 2.9% Unemployment rate of 4.4% Inflation rate of 2.2% With increased investment in tourism, a favorable tax regime, and a positive economic outlook, budget 2014 bodes well for another strong year for Alberta’s tourism and hospitality industry. We look forward to serving you!

Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association

For more information on the work accomplished by the AHLA in 2013 please view our Annual Report. The report will be distributed at convention and available online at To request a copy please email

Inspiring Service Growing Value

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A recent report from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council is predicting the shortage of labour in Alberta’s Accommodation industry to grow to over 2,800 full-year jobs by 2030

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Convention Sneak Peak: Jeff Mowatt and The Art of Guest Service… Influence with Ease Some people claim that it’s a complex process taking customer service to the next level. Jeff Mowatt disagrees. That’s why he calls his approach, Influence with Ease®. Jeff reveals easy-to-apply tips, tools and phrases that generate significant results including: strengthened guest loyalty, increased spending per guest, and recharged team spirit. Attendees of Jeff’s presentation will learn the Influence with Ease® approach to: Enhance your staff’s gratuities by 12% by having them use a two word phrase more often (hint: it’s not please or thank you, or the guest’s name) Move beyond repeat business to create loyalty (there is a difference) Use the most prevalent shift in buying trends to boost your business Position your guests’ choices so they select higher value options Prevent guests from defecting just to save a few dollars

Disarm cynics with your ‘grand intention’ Ensure that TripAdvisor messages about your property strengthen rather than damage your brand Prevent miscommunications that lead to stress and work overload Boost communication skills both at work and in your personal life Recharge your spirit and brighten your interactions with others. To learn all this and more, be sure to attend Jeff Mowatt’s keynote presentation on April 26 at the AHLA’s Annual Convention.

check in A P R I L

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The Banff Centre

A recent report from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council is predicting the shortage of labour in Alberta’s accommodation industry to grow to over 2,800 full-year jobs by 2030

AHLA Workshops Come To You The AHLA hits the road to host employee development workshops This spring the AHLA will be hosting a number of employee development workshops in communities around Alberta. Workshops on the agenda include: Housekeeping Edge- Half day workshop designed to improve housekeeping standards, team effectiveness, efficiency, employee morale and guest satisfaction. Front Desk Agents- Half day workshop designed for all members of the front desk department. Focus will be on developing strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills, all while creating a strong commitment to customer service.

Training & Coaching Skills for Supervisors- Full day workshop designed to put supervisors on the road to becoming exceptional trainers. The session will help supervisors understand how to determine and set training objectives and create a positive work environment for their team. To find out more information on dates, locations, and registration please visit If you are interested in having an AHLA workshop come to your community please express interest to Karen Harrison, Training Coordinator at 780-436-6112 x 225 or

Inspiring Service Growing Value

Learn to TrustYou Confused on how to manage your reputation online? We have a solution. Potential customers often change accommodation decisions based upon both good and bad reviews, positive and negative social media posts, and comments online. Such posts have the ability to spread quickly across the various search engine and social media platforms, sometimes negatively impacting your business. In today’s digital environment it has become increasingly important for service providers in our industry to have their online reputation monitored to mitigate negativities while proactively building a positive reputation for your business. The AHLA is very excited to announce our partnership with TrustYou. TrustYou is a global online reputation management company specializing in the hospitality industry. They aggregate, analyze and distribute all consumer reviews across the internet and compile updates, sentiment and trends into one central dashboard for hoteliers. The dashboard allows hoteliers to understand what is being said about them online and proactively manage their reputation.

Members will receive a number of benefits with the Online Reputation Management (ORM) program, including: Data for your property and 5 of your competitors; Break down of performance by category to see how your property ranks; Free Guest Satisfaction Survey; Reputation monitoring including daily email alerts, positive and negative trending topics, translation of reviews into 25 languages, trends and feedback from Twitter, Facebook, etc., identification of guests who check-in via their social networks. To learn how TrustYou can help your business improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, drive marketing and perfect customer service, contact TrustYou at or call Alan Young at 1.705.241.5244.

Rick LeLacheur has been elected as the new Travel Alberta board chair. Rick has served on the Travel Alberta Board of Directors since 2009 and was appointed vice-chair in 2012.

2014 Travel Intentions Latest Results from the 2014 HAC Travel Intentions Survey The Hotel Industry of Canada (HAC) recently published the results of their annual Canadian Travel Intentions Survey. Relevant takeaways to our industry include: 81% of business travelers will be travelling more or the same for business in 2014. The highest increase for business travel in 2014 is in the Prairies and BC at 27%, 3% more than the national average. 83% of leisure travelers will travel more or the same as last year and 11% will travel less. Respondents from the Prairies

Note to Convention Attendees:

expressed the most uncertainty regarding leisure travel with 17% indicating they will travel less than 2013. 72% of leisure travelers said ratings on internet booking services and other sites have a great deal of influence on where they choose to stay. For business travelers, online testimonials have the most impact on accommodation selection.

Friday, April 25th 4:30 pm Housekeeping Award Presentations

To view the full results of the survey visit

Saturday, April 26th 5:00 pm Employer of Choice Award Presentations

If your property is receiving an award this year, please note that the awards will be presented immediately prior to each event.

Saturday, April 26th 7:30 am AHSA Certificate of Recognition Presentations Saturday, April 26th 11:30 am Gold Key Award Recipients’ Check in

Ahla innsight March - April 2014  

Ahla innsight March - April 2014

Ahla innsight March - April 2014  

Ahla innsight March - April 2014