Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Distinction Awards!
2018 was another record-breaking year for tourism in Montréal, with more guests (on more direct flights than ever before) visiting our fair city to experience that unique joie de vivre you can't find anywhere else. And to kick off Tourisme Montréal's 100th anniversary in 2019, we've just presented this year's Distinction Awards (previously known as Les Prix Ulysse) to tip our hat and reward the best tourist initiatives in the city. We're big fans of the city we call home, and the following recipients are helping make the world big fans too, one tourist at a time.
The Bill Brown Award
Acknowledging team leaders in Montréal’s tourism industry under 35 years of age, the 2018 Bill Brown Award was presented to Angèle Vermette of Guidatour for her inspiring leadership, community involvement and forward-looking abilities. Previously an employee at the company, her rapid rise up the ladder now sees her holding the role of president. Kudos!
The Student Prize
For students in their second or third year of study in tourism, the Students Prize recognizes strong potential candidates for future industry leaders. A student at ITHQ, Alexandra-Jade Girard has demonstrated true passion in her studies – one that she also shares with prospective and fellow students.
The Concierge Prize
For the winners of the Concierge Prize, a job well done is more important than any shiny trophy – although those do look nice up on the mantelpiece too. Nominated by his home hotel the Hôtel Le St-James, Yannis Trianafyllou leaves every customer smiling and satisfied.
The Innovative Welcome Award
This award recognizes innovations and excellence in the welcome offered to tourists in-destination and the Hôtel Monville is the definition of a smart hotel. With helpful staff working in coordination with a team of beloved robots (who even deliver room service), the Monville is a true innovator.
The Destination Promotion Award – less than 50 employees
This prize recognizes organizations who’ve promoted Montréal in a unique and significant way, working as a team of less than 50. The winning MURAL Festival has grown in leaps and bounds, becoming in the process one of the world’s premiere public art events, with a full program including performances, food and craft market.
The Destination Promotion Award – more than 50 employees
A legendary event in Montréal for over 35 years, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is a master of reinvention and not just keeping a finger on the pulse, but setting trends as they go.
The Innovation Award – companies with less than 50 employees
Winners in this category must have created a new product, offer or technology that has had a positive effect on the tourist experience in Montréal, working as a team of 50 or less. MU’s major mural projects throughout the city, including a stately portrait of Leonard Cohen visible from Mount Royal, have had a major impact on everyone in Montréal, tourists and citizens alike.
The Innovation Award – companies with more than 50 employees
The Phi Centre defines what it means to be multifaceted – a cutting-edge meeting venue, immersive and trend-setting museum space focusing on VR and a fully programmed arts space with a full calendar of performances and activities that has very quickly become one of Montréal’s must-visit spots.
The Business Meetings and Conventions Award
Following major renovations and the unveiling of the Espace C2 on its rooftop, the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has maintained its place as one of the top events venues in the city – not to mention one of Montréal’s most beloved hotels.
The Synergy Prize
Commemorating a game-changing collaboration between two organizations, the Synergy Prize proves that two heads can be better than one. Working hand in hand, the ITHQ and the annual outdoor winter festival that puts the city in lights Montréal en Lumière, collaborated on bringing some of the city’s best chefs into the fold. There’s nothing like a happy tummy to keep visitors warm!
The Museum Award
The Pointe-à-Callière archaeological museum may be built on the spot where Montréal was born, but it’s innovations and tech-savvy presentations put it ahead of the pack. In 2018, their Queens of Egypt exhibition used cutting edge technology to show scenes of every day life in ancient Egypt – juxtaposed with their permanent collections of Montréal history. 2018 also marks a record-breaking year for the museum who welcomed more than 525,000 visitors.
The Sports Tourism Development Award
A new category this year, the Sports Tourism Development Award commemorates an organization doing stellar work in the fastest growing tourism sector in Canada. Refusing to rest on its laurels as an iconic piece of Olympic History, the Olympic Park is operating fully in the present, hosting major events like the FINA Diving World Series and cutting-edge events like Jackalope that thrill audiences from around the world – and bring them in droves to Montréal.
The Tribute Award
As the President and CEO of Air Canada, this year’s winner Calin Rovinescu has made Montréal into one of the world’s 50 cities with the best international connectivity, and played a major part in transforming the Montréal-Trudeau airport into a major hub servicing over 150 destinations worldwide. It’s never been easier to get to Montréal, and the world is coming thanks to groundbreakers like Rivinescu.
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