Robustly Optimistic


When it comes to business travel, there’s a lot of optimism out there. That feeling was certainly apparent at the 2014 Best Western Business Travel Summit held in Toronto yesterday (Feb. 18).

Now in its eighth year, this year’s panel featured Best Western’s senior vice-president sales & marketing, Dorothy Dowling; Vision Travel’s COO, Brian Robertson; Hotel Association of Canada president, Tony Pollard; and was moderate by Bryson Forbes.

Robust seemed to be the operative adjective used to describe the current business travel climate, with Best Western’s Dowling telling her audience that the business environment in Canada had been “robust” throughout 2013 and that she was “encouraged” by the results her company had been seeing in the first quarter of 2014.

Vision Travel’s Robertson agreed with Dowling’s observations, observing that for the travel management company 2013 had seen Vision post double-digit gains, while in the early part of 2014, it was seeing high single digit increases.

For his part, Pollard offered results from the newly released 2014 Travel Intentions Survey that the Hotel Association of Canada has been conducting for almost a decade. The 2014 results indicate that business travel expectations are up, with the Prairie provinces posting some notable gains.

The hour-long summit session covered a range of topics including differences between the Canadian and US markets; the impact of the dropping Canadian dollar; ancillary fees; the impact of 2014 winter weather on business travel and lots more.

Watch for the full story on Best Western’s 2014 Business Travel Summit in an upcoming issue of Canadian Travel Press.

Seen in the photo from l to r, are Dorothy Dowling, Bryson Forbes, Tony Pollard and Brian Robertson.