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News Around Town – May 2020


By: Katherine Craig | May 27, 2020

Job Announcements

We extend a big, warm congratulations to Ryan Young. On April 1, he joined the Ottawa Marriott Hotel as Director of Sales & Marketing. He can be reached by email at or by phone 613-783-4242.

Congratulations to Gabrielle Whittaker who recently transitioned to a new position as Events Specialist at Kinaxis. Her new role supports planning, coordinating and executing internal and external events, including conferences, tradeshows, meetings and webinars. Get in touch with Whittaker by email at or by phone (1) 343-803-3980.


Industry Updates

Originally scheduled in early June, MPI’s World Education Congress Grapevine has been postponed to November 3-6, 2020. Participants are invited to attend either in-person in Texas or virtually from the comfort of their hometown. This event promises to reconnect and rekindle the flames of our vibrant profession, returning it to the center of economic growth…because when we meet, we change the world! The registration website offers numerous options.

The Events Industry Council (EIC) has announced the members of its APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force. This large group of meetings industry leaders will aggregate, curate and communicate protocols globally for meeting face-to-face safely again. The task force includes representatives from the U.S.A., Canada and around the world. Find the member list and read about the next steps the group will take here.

Attention future Certified Meeting Professionals! With many people facing economic hardship during this time, EIC has announced that it is freezing the #CMP recertification fee at US$225 until September 30. It is also offering free continuing education (CEU-qualifying) webinars and providing COVID relief on the application and exam fee for those who are furloughed, have had their position eliminated or are experiencing a salary reduction. Find the full details on its website.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada teamed up with Twenty 31 to release its fifth Dashboard report on the state of tourism in Canada during COVID-19. The document provides an analysis of the current and future potential key drivers of tourism recovery and includes a new “Global Easing of Travel Restrictions” section.


COVID-19 Statistics

Shared from Jennifer Beatty’s CoffeeTalk presentation on April 29, 2020


  • Tourism continues to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, although there are initial glimmers of hope in the industry, particularly in Asia.

  • Despite initial signs of recovery, the tourism industry will be drastically changed. From the aviation sector, to accommodations and others, almost every aspect of the tourism industry will be heavily impacted by the pandemic.

  • Oxford Economics has downgraded its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts again. It expects a near 7% plunge in activity in the first half of 2020, resulting in global GDP falling by 2.8% for the whole of 2020. This is a much worse contraction than the 1.1% drop recorded in 2009.

  • According to a Destinations International survey reported by Skift, 50% of destination management organizations (DMOs) will run out of funding within six months, due to a lack of destination marketing fees (DMFs).


  • Leading indicators continue to point to an easing of travel restrictions occurring gradually starting with inter- and intra-provincial travel (around mid to end of June or the beginning of July), followed by regional travel (mid-July), and eventually, international short-haul (mid- to late-August) and long-haul travel (into the fall).

  • Many of Canada’s municipal DMOs have furloughed or laid off staff; in some cities this is upwards of 50 to 90%. This is because the primary revenue source—hotel DMFs—are being held back from previous years and/or not being collected at all, given the current severely reduced hotel occupancies.

  • The Canada-U.S. border is likely to remain closed for weeks, though the Quebec-Ontario was to re-open on the May long weekend.

  • Some tourism organizations, primarily linked to events, cruises and adventure tours, are already preparing for a 2021 recovery.

  • Two-in-five (37%) of those who have experienced job loss in their household say they are not equipped to handle even an extra CAD$100 expense in the next 30 days.

  • Canada’s economy shrank by 9% in March, the biggest monthly decline on record.

  • More than one-third (34.5%) of Canadian workers expressed worry that they might lose their job or main source of self-employment income in the next four weeks.


Upcoming Chapter Events

Wednesdays at 10 AM* – Weekly CoffeeTalk (on Zoom) *No CoffeeTalk scheduled for May 27

Wednesday May 27 from 11:30 to 13:30 - Virtual Round Tables: Post Pandemic Edition

April 15-17, 2021 – the EVENT announced the postponement dates for the 2020 event scheduled in Toronto.

katherine-craig-headshot-2019 Article written by Katherine Craig, CMPCHEO Foundation

Article edited by Melanie Hudson, National Association of Federal Retirees



Katherine Craig

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