Editorial Board   

Mr. Schuurman

Darrell Schuurman

Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Darrell Schuurman is the co-founder of Travel Gay Canada, working towards improving economic opportunities for members through research, product development, and the promotion of Canada as an LGBT travel destination. Mr. Schuurman is also the co-founder of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Schuurman has over 20 years experience in tourism, working in the accommodation, transportation, tourism services, and travel trade sectors of the industry. Mr. Schuurman is currently the Managing Partner at DNA Marketing Group, a specialized marketing company offering a full-range of services for the tourism industry. Prior, Mr. Schuurman spent 6 years with VIA Rail Canada as Manager of Market Development and 5 years with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council as Director of Sales & Marketing. Mr. Schuurman completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree concentrating in Tourism at the University of Calgary, and completed his Executive MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University.

Mr. Schuurman can be contacted at 416-761-5151 or darrell@cglcc.ca

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.