Ninth Annual Tourism HR Forum Wrap-up and a First Look at Preparation for Next Year

Delegates to the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)’s ninth Annual Tourism HR Forum went home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the labour challenges that face the tourism industry today.  The national event was presented by the CTHRC and co-hosts the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) at the Edmonton Marriott at River Cree. Over 170 delegates, including tourism professionals, human resource specialists, association representatives, educators, and students, arrived from all over Canada to take advantage of this valuable professional development activity.
The HR Forum focused on providing new ideas for building a dynamic workplace as well as practical tools for addressing today’s labour shortages and developing human resource strategies to prevent or mitigate shortages tomorrow.  CTHRC Spokesperson Nancy Greene Raine kicked off the Forum with a keynote talk on her experiences as a business owner in the tourism sector and a reflection upon the impact the 2010 Olympics will have on tourism to Canada.  High-energy keynote presentations were given on leadership (Ferio Pugliese, Westjet), using technology to recruit staff (Jesse Hirsh, Broadcaster, Researcher, and Internet Guru), and motivating staff to strive for excellence (Jim Knight, Hard Rock International), while panel discussions covered such topics as the CTHRC’s employee-rated Employer of Choice program and the process of hiring new Canadians.

Feedback from delegates indicated a high level of approval for the venue, speakers, and networking opportunities.  Many were satisfied with the registration fee, stating they got significant value for the cost.  Most delegates felt that the content was very relevant to the specific human resources needs of their tourism business and said they would recommend the Forum to others.

To generate interest for the 10th HR Forum, which will be held in Prince Edward Island, PEI representatives outdid themselves in preparing a lively and delicious lunch for all delegates.  Anne of Green Gables presided over the popular meal, which included traditional seafood chowder, a mussel station, and the very popular mashed potato martini bar (mashed russet or sweet potato served in a martini glass and garnished with the guests’ choice of toppings like lobster, olives, and melted cheese).

The CTHRC and the Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI) will be co-hosting the 10th HR Forum November 14-16, 2011 at the Rodd Charlottetown, which belongs to the award-winning Rodd Hotels & Resorts chain.  In November 2010, Rodd Hotels & Resorts took home the award for Human Resource Development at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)’s Tourism Leadership Summit. 

A four-and-a-half star hotel, the Rodd Charlottetown is housed in a building constructed by CN Railways in 1931.  Guest rooms feature meticulous replicas of period furnishing, draperies, and linens while embracing modern conveniences such as free wireless internet, an indoor swimming pool, and fitness centre.  Ideally located in downtown Charlottetown, this cozy hotel serves up warm PEI hospitality to its guests while providing an excellent example of a business with a strong HR focus on training and retention.  Offering a host of professional development opportunities to its employees, 75% of all Rodd Charlottetown staff is emerit-certified.

Presentations from the 9th Annual HR Forum are available on the CTHRC website and information on the 10th Annual HR Forum theme and speakers will be announced as they become available.