Wharf Hotels Appoints Axis Travel Marketing as Global Sales Agency for UK and Europe

Wharf Hotels, Hong Kong’s hotel management company, has appointed Axis Travel Marketing as its new global sales agency (GSA) for UK and Europe with effect from 1 April 2018.


Formerly known as Marco Polo Hotels Management Limited, Wharf Hotels is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, operating across Asia under the luxury brand Niccolo Hotels and premium brand Marco Polo Hotels.  A Hong Kong headquartered company recognising diverse cultures that celebrate the spirit of discovery, Wharf Hotels operates 16 hotels in China, Hong Kong and the Philippines with two new Niccolo Hotels currently under development, strengthening the portfolio to 18 hotels by 2019.


The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, opened in January 2018 as the Niccolo brand’s flagship hotel, following successful openings in Chengdu and Chongqing. Honouring its Silk Road heritage, Wharf Hotels pays homage to the legendary spirit of travel, exploring and sharing experiences as the embodiment of Niccolo and Marco Polo Hotels, the essence of which can be found in each of its vibrant locations.

Patrick Ngiam, Global Director of Sales, Wharf Hotels said: “We are delighted to work with Axis Travel Marketing as our new GSA for UK and Europe.  We are confident that this new partnership will allow us to further strengthen the positioning of our brands and explore new client opportunities in these markets, which are of crucial importance for our hotels”.


Emma Cashmore, Founder and Managing Director of Axis Travel Marketing said: “Following a competitive pitch process, we are thrilled that Axis Travel Marketing has been selected to work with Wharf Hotels.  An expanding hotel network in Asia, we are confident to bring global corporate accounts to its 3 contemporary urban chic hotels in the Niccolo collection and 13 established hotels by Marco Polo.  Its unique portfolio of properties that celebrate local experiences for global modern travellers includes Marco Polo Ortigas, Manila, recently rated Five-Star by Forbes Travel Guide for the second consecutive year, and Marco Polo Hongkong, located at the premier Canton Road address overlooking Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline.”

Cashmore also added: “At Axis Travel Marketing, we strive to provide our travel industry clients with innovative sales solutions and marketing support and are committed to collaborate with Wharf Hotels to sustainably grow inbound room nights and revenue to its hotels”.

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Ten of the best for Ottawa in 2018

2017 was an extraordinary year for Ottawa, with it playing host to the national Canada 150 celebrations. However, 2018 is also shaping up to be a year to remember, as the capital city prepares to host countless festivals, concerts and shows that will celebrate everything from food and drink to sport, music and heritage. At Ottawa Tourism we look ahead to ten of the best.


  1. WINTERLUDE 2018 marks the 40th edition of the event, when Ottawa will be transformed into an enchanting city of all things snowy and frozen. Organisers are promising a festival that will be bigger and better than ever, with some 600,000 revellers expected to descend on the Canadian capital 2 – 19 February. The bumper sized celebrations will be centred in and around three downtown locations, all of which will be free of charge to the public. winterlude.gc.ca


  1. THE GATINEAU WINTER BEERFEST Held in the Canadian Museum of History’s spectacular Grand Hall, more than 10,000 festivalgoers will attend the lively two-day event (2-3 February), during which time 35 breweries will be on site offering over 100 different types of beer to thirsty members of the public. Talented brewers from both Ontario and Quebec (and Vermont in the USA) will be on hand to showcase the capital region’s finest selection of flavours and aromas from the world of craft beer. festibiere.ca


  1. GATINEAU LOPPET The cross-country ski race is set to wow winter sports enthusiasts 16 – 18 February. The event, now celebrating its 40th edition, is the biggest race of its kind in Canada with more than 3,000 experts and amateurs expected to take part from 20 different countries. The Gatineau Loppet has its roots in the Quebec’s Lachute region but the race moved to Gatineau Park just outside Ottawa city centre in 1982. Spectators from all over the world will join in the snowy excitement, with plenty on offer to keep people of all ages and skiing abilities entertained. gatineauloppet.com


  1. OTTAWA POUTINEFEST One of Canada’s most popular culinary creations is poutine, a hot mess of chips, gravy and squeaky cheese curds. In fact, it’s so popular that gourmet versions of the traditionally fast-food treat have popped up over the years. Ottawa PoutineFest shares some of the best with locals and visitors 27 – 29 April outside Ottawa City Hall. More than 30 purveyors of poutine will set up shop, offering over 100 different variations of the popular dish. ottawapoutinefest.ca


  1. CANADIAN TULIP FESTIVAL The 66th edition of this much-loved festival is set to take place 11 – 21 May and will transform the city into an oasis of colour. The event is the largest of its kind in the world, celebrating the beginning of spring and international friendship with the Netherlands. Over one million tulips in 50 dazzling varieties will wow half a million visitors as they blossom in public spaces across the capital – including over 250,000 in one park alone. tulipfestival.ca


  1. TD OTTAWA JAZZ FESTIVAL Returning for its 37th edition at Confederation Park and at several other venues throughout the city 21 June – 1 July. Hundreds of thousands of jazz and pop fans are expected to attend the super cool event, which will showcase a variety of home-grown and internationally acclaimed stars. Previous headliners have included Brian Wilson, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, David Byrne and Aretha Franklin to name a few. This year’s line-up is hotly anticipated with details set to be revealed in the coming weeks. For ticket and festival information visit: ottawajazzfestival.com


  1. MUSIC AND BEYOND The summer festival features classical music from leading orchestras, choirs, bands, baroque groups and small ensembles. Now in its ninth year, Music and Beyond also plays host to the visual arts, drama, poetry recitals and art cinema. Shows, performances and screenings will take place 4 – 17 July in a variety of beautiful venues throughout Ottawa including historic churches and the spectacular Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. musicandbeyond.ca


  1. RBC ROYAL BANK BLUESFEST Set to take place 5 – 15 July, Bluesfest is one of the largest international music events (not just the blues) in North America and, according to Billboard Magazine, is one of the top ten most successful music festivals in the world. The event attracts more than 300,000 revellers and has previously featured the likes of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Noel Gallagher, Deep Purple, Kanye West, B.B King and Lady Gaga. 2018’s headline acts will be announced in the coming weeks, stay tuned! ottawabluesfest.ca


  1. GATINEAU HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL Few countries allow hot air balloons to fly directly over their Parliament, but in Canada, if the wind is blowing from the right direction, it’s encouraged at the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, known to locals as the Festival de montgolfières de Gatineau. From the 30 August – 3 September a stunning array of colourful balloons will pepper the skies above the Ottawa River, while vast crowds of spectators below look on in awe. balloongatineau.com


  1. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ACROSS CANADA Taking place throughout the festive season each year, this is a national programme of beautiful Christmas illuminations that light up cities throughout Canada. During the festival, Ottawa and neighbouring Gatineau glow each evening as hundreds of thousands of multi-coloured lights create a fairy-tale like scene. christmaslights.gc.ca


Plan your trip to Ottawa: www.ottawatourism.ca



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Canada’s Nordik Spa-Nature to open new 60 room hotel

Plans have been announced to build a 60 room hotel at Nordik Spa-Nature in the Canadian province of Quebec, just a 15-minute drive north of the capital city Ottawa.   The Scandinavian-inspired resort, which is located near the entrance to beautiful Gatineau Park, is North America’s largest Spa complex.

The resort, which has been in operation for 15 years, is currently home to group accommodation only, with two existing stylish lodges. The new hotel will be surrounded by trees and set over 40,000 square feet, including two underground storeys. The property will offer individual rooms and will be dedicated to the concepts of wellness, yoga and meditation.

Nordik Spa-Nature is hugely popular with locals and increasingly so with holidaymakers. It benefits from seven outdoor pools, cascades, an infinity pool, eight saunas and an excellent restaurant and bar serving a range of locally and internationally inspired dishes. The resort is one of only two places in the world where guests can enjoy a relaxing Källa treatment, floating in its saltwater pool.

Construction is set to begin this winter, with the new hotel expected to be open by the summer of 2019. The spa will remain open throughout.

Visit the Nordik Spa-Nature website:  https://chelsea.lenordik.com

Plan your trip to Ottawa: www.ottawatourism.ca


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Business Events Canada hosts its Annual European Canada Week

Business Events Canada (BEC) and their partners returned to Europe this September for their annual series of roadshows designed to promote the country’s world class meeting, conventions & incentive travel offerings to local meetings and incentive agencies.


The interactive and informative events in France and UK provided attendees with networking opportunities and practical advice on holding events in Canada whilst helping them get up to speed with all the latest news and developments, from airlines, new hotels to venues and incentive travel options.


The first event took place in Paris on Monday 18th September at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of Canada to France and the second event took place in London on Thursday 21st September at Canada House, 1 Trafalgar Square. The events kicked off with a drinks reception followed by the “Totem Poles Challenge” game and a prize draws of two tickets to Canada.


Highlighting Canada’s unique culture, all of the guests were given “Totem Poles” replicas. A type of First Nations art, the Totem Poles were the symbol chosen to emphasize the importance of Canada’s rich aboriginal history which is preserved in attractions, events, and adventures, found in every province, from coast to coast.  Especially ordered for the occasion, the Totem Poles made guests engage by travelling around the venue to meet with Canada partners while collecting quirky and interesting facts.


Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director of BEC, commented: “Recently voted the World’s Most Reputable country 2017 by the Reputation Institute, Canada’s vast landscape is punctuated with distinct, dynamic and in-demand destinations, with chic and connected cities on the doorstep of pristine wilderness. With such a dynamic and ever evolving industry, Business Events Canada sees the importance of creating a platform where buyers, meeting and incentive planners can hear more about our offering, explore our destinations and find the inspiration for their next meeting or event”.


Emma Cashmore, the European representative for BEC, commented: “From the ease of access and great range of airlift to our world class venues and facilities and packed, year-round calendar of events and festivals, Canada is a natural choice for holding international events for European clients. Our Canada Week  roadshow events act as a ‘one stop shop’ for European event planners and MICE agents, helping them discover everything they could ever want or need to know about holding a major event in Canada”. 



Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director of BEC



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Listen to the great folk of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has a long and rich association with great music and through its historical and cultural links with Scotland and Ireland, is perhaps best known for the genre of folk. Today the province boasts an exciting and eclectic music scene encompassing not just folk but pop, blues, Jazz, dance and more, as well as traditional music. Annually Nova Scotia plays host to hundreds of concerts and music festivals, and this year, as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, holidaymakers can expect a bumper programme of live music throughout the province; we pick three of the best not to be missed.

The Stan Rogers Folk Festival (30 June – 2 July): The summer festival informally known as Stanfest will take place in the picturesque Eastern Shore fishing community of Canso, located 3.5 hours from Halifax, and is expected to draw crowds of more than 10,000. The event, which honours the late Canadian folk artist Stan Rogers, brings together the region’s best folk musicians alongside international stars. Past headliners have included Don MacLean, Juice Newton, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Richie Havens, Jim Cuddy, Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow and Ricky Skaggs. The three day celebration of all things folk will this year fall over the 150th anniversary Canada Day Weekend, meaning a truly electric atmosphere throughout. www.stanfest.com

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival (12 – 16 July):  The largest summer festival in Atlantic Canada will take place in Nova Scotia’s provincial capital Halifax and will attract up to 55,000 revellers. The 31st edition of The TD Halifax Jazz Festival will include some 350 local musicians as well acclaimed national and international artists, spanning not just Jazz but also roots, blues, Latin music and R&B. Last year Lauryn Hill and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers were amongst the stars to perform, and this year’s line-up is being hotly anticipated. Positioned on the fashionable and centrally located Halifax Waterfront, the festival will take place just a stones throw away from many of the city’s top tourist attractions and landmark hotels. http://www.halifaxjazzfestival.ca

The Celtic Colours International Festival (6 – 14 October): Founded in 1997, the multi-award winning festival has grown in to one of Canada’s largest music events, attracting tens of thousands.  During the nine day festival, Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island will host hundreds of events and activities in a celebration of Celtic culture. Featuring some of Nova Scotia best musicians, as well as artists from all over the world, performances will take place in a range of locations including community halls, churches, theatres and even schools amidst the vivid autumn colours. Holidaymakers can expect Gaelic singing, Cape Breton fiddling, accordion playing, bagpiping and more as they tour around Island’s charming communities and scenic roads, including the famous Cabot Trail! http://celtic-colours.com


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Ottawa 2017 Mobile App Launched

This year Canada marks its 150th birthday, with holidaymakers invited to join in a countrywide, year-long celebration. The main focus for national events will be the capital city Ottawa, where 12 epic months of big, bold, immersive and moving experiences are on offer. To make the most of Ottawa in 2017, and to help visitors plan their trip, the dedicated Ottawa 2017 Bureau and the office of Mayor Jim Watson have released a mobile App in partnership with the Canadian bank CIBC.

Launched just before New Year’s Eve and powered by Bell, the free experiential App is available for download to iOS and Android devices. It provides details of upcoming Ottawa 2017 Signature Events, national partner events, sporting events, associated events and community events. The descriptions are image-led and users can search by theme, alphabetically or by event date. The App also contains rich video content set to music including a short overview of the Ottawa 2017 programme. There are also bite-sized films about individual events and experiences.


A virtual photo booth allows App users to take pictures using a variety of special filters; the first of which had a festive theme. More filters will be added throughout the year, each of which will be styled around an Ottawa 2017 experience. Other more interactive features will be added to the App in the coming months that will allow users to interact with events in real time.

To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, visit: The App Store or Google Play .

For more about Ottawa’s epic programme of events in 2017 please visit www.ottawa2017.ca

Plan your trip to Ottawa www.ottawatourism.ca



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Ottawa Welcomes the World

In 2017 Canada marks its 150th birthday, with holidaymakers invited to join in a countrywide, year-long celebration. The main focus for national events will be the capital city Ottawa, where 12 epic months of big, bold, immersive and moving experiences will be on offer. Billed as an ‘Ottawa 2017 Signature Event’, Ottawa Welcomes the World will be a one-off series of day festivals that will celebrate the culture and heritage of more than 90 participating countries.

Canada’s capital is home to more than 120 embassies and high commissions. In partnership with the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has invited foreign ambassadors and dignitaries to take part in Ottawa Welcomes the World between March and December 2017 at the city’s Aberdeen Pavilion and Horticulture Building – both located in Lansdowne just south of the downtown. Each day’s events will be open to Ottawans and holidaymakers alike, and will celebrate the culture of each nation through music, food, cinema, dance and more.

Countries from all over the world will take part spanning Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia; with the first event hosted by the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic of Greece on 21 March. Other countries set to take part include Turkey, Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, Guyana, UAE, Serbia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Rwanda, Colombia, China, Japan and Thailand to name but a few. In addition to the national days, there will also be series of Ottawa Welcomes the World partner events. They include a festival on 24 May that will celebrate the culture of 30 African countries, and a showcase on 11 June that will be hosted by a delegation of 18 members of the European Union.

In addition, the British High Commission and the Embassy of France are working on a project with the London-born photographer Rip Hopkins. Hopkins, who is of both British and French nationality, is taking a series of photographs that will demonstrate how British and French culture is represented in the Canadian capital. His exhibition, called Canada Canada, will be on show between 28 April and 11 June next year at Ottawa City Hall.

For more about Ottawa’s epic programme of events in 2017 please visit www.ottawa2017.ca

Plan your trip to Ottawa www.ottawatourism.ca


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