Canadian hospitality industry screwed over by America-centric voting? Maybe...
I don't get it. Every time some idiot like Sarah Palin goes up in approval ratings down south, we get folks who watch Jon Stewart regularly calling the Canadian embassy and demanding they be allowed to move to a place where people actually pay taxes for public improvements such as health care and transit.
Americans SAY they love Canada. But there's Chris Bosh talking about how "different" it was to play in Canada (Yeah, Chris, we ARE a different country). And now here comes Travel + Leisure magazine with its 2010 ratings for great hotels.
In fairness, their voters in the U.S. probably are 10 times the number of their Canadian readers. And the T + L poll DID put three Canadian cities in their top 10 of U.S. and Canadian cities overall (Vancouver, Quebec City and Victoria). They also made the remarkable Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City (see lobby photo at left) their number three U.S./Canadian small hotel, and put the lovely Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino B.C. as number four in top resorts, followed by the Post Hotel and Spa in Lake Louise, Alberta in the fifth spot.
But that was all she wrote for Canada. One property in the top 10 small hotel category and two properties in the top 50 of resorts.
There may be a bit of an explanation. Canadian properties came fourth and fifth in the resort category, so perhaps Americans like to come here on vacation but aren't coming here to stay in our cities. I can kinda see how that might make sense, but what about all the business folks coming into Toronto and Vancouver for movie deals or computer company transactions?
Is it possible all our larger properties in our big cities really suck? I don't think so. I haven't stayed in a lot of them, but I don't see how the Four Seasons in Yorkville, for example, falls behind the Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland. The concierge at the Ritz in Cleveland might be terrific, but in the final analysis all he can do is tell guests where to go in Cleveland, right?
"Uh, there's the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And the LeBron James Museum. On second thought, strike that second idea."
Okay, Cleveland's not really that bad. there are nice restaurants and bars and lovely architecture. But, really, not a single Canadian property in the top 50? Boo.
For the record, the top large hotel in U.S./Canadian cities was the Trump International in Chicago, followed by the Peninsula in Chicago, the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and the Sutton Place in Chicago. The WIndy City notched a stunning four representatives in the top seven, so good for them. We've been writing more about Chicago of late in Star Travel and will continue doing so, just fyi...
On the T + L top city chart for the U.S. and Canada, the top choice was, no surprise, New York (see photo) followed by San Francisco, Charleston, South Carolina, Chicago, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Vancouver, New Orleans, Quebec, Victoria and Washington D.C.
For the entire globe, T + L voters made Bangkok number one, followed by Chiang Mai, Thailand, Florence, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Rome, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Oaxaca, Mexico, Barcelona and New York City.
It's a positive move for Thailand to notch the number one and two spots given the political troubles. Ditto for Mexico in landing the number four and eight positions.CANADIAN AIRLINES BOUNCE BACK
Pretty good news today for Canadian airlines. Air Canada said its load factor in July was a solid 84.9 per cent, up 1.3 percentage points from last July. The airline also posted a second quarter operating income of $75 million, compared to a loss of $113 million in the second quarter of 2009. That's a remarkable change.
Air Canada officials said business was strong to Asia and Europe.
Similarly, WestJet Thursday said it's July traffic was up 18 per cent compared to last year, with a load factor of 80.7 per cent. Officials said their second quarter earnings were up 130 per cent, to $21 million.