'Be Our Guest': Markham boosts visitor economy with special deals under 3 major programs
July 16, 2021
While the Toronto Marriott Markham Hotel was among those in the hospitality sector impacted by pandemic closures and restrictions, it is very optimistic about the future as the province continues to reopen.
“We’re excited about the prospects of welcoming back more guests at the hotel and being able to host in-person meetings and events,” said Bob Wong, the director of sales and marketing at the hotel.
The recent launch of three major initiatives by Destination Markham to support the reopening of businesses and to stimulate Markham’s visitor economy will certainly help.
The Safe Travels Stamp is a global tourism program created to assure local and international travellers that businesses are safe to visit. To date, over 185 Markham businesses have already become Safe Travels certified.
Over 1,200 have also downloaded the #MyMarkhamPass -- a mobile-exclusive savings pass for residents and visitors to download and use across businesses in the area to help support the tourism sector.
The Be Our Guest program rounds out the campaign.
Created to support the hotel and hospitality sector, the program provides guests at Markham hotels with an incentive to shop and eat at Markham businesses.
Participating hotels offer a DMC Cash Card -- a prepaid Visa card -- that can be used if you book an overnight stay and show your Together Apart Summer Cirque show ticket.
Together Apart, created by the Concierge Club, launched at the Markham Fairgrounds on Canada Day and runs until mid-July.
It is Canada's first physically distanced cirque event, bringing people safely together while being apart. It features Montreal’s own world-famous, multiple Tony Award-winning 7 Fingers acrobatic collective.
“We feel that the Together Apart Summer Cirque is one of the premiere live events taking place in Ontario this summer,” said Wong, adding it’s great the Destination Markham package is working in conjunction with the live event.
The Toronto Marriott Markham is also the official hotel partner for Together Apart, so the hotel’s Be Our Guest package also includes an exclusive ticket discount code to any of the shows.
“I think it is a fabulous program Destination Markham has put together to support the local hotels here in Markham, including our own,” said Wong, adding the three programs will help provide guests the confidence and the peace of mind to explore and experience all that Markham has to offer.
“Giving people a sense of confidence to travel safely is key for us,” he said, adding the compelling package encourages local staycations in Markham.
Mayor Frank Scarpitti said the city is committed to working with local businesses to welcome visitors back “warmly and safely.”
“Destination Markham is providing a one-stop website listing businesses who have been certified with the Safe Travels stamp to show Canadians that Markham is a safe and enjoyable destination of choice, and I encourage Markham businesses to participate.”
With the province reopening, increased vaccination rates and a decrease in COVID case counts, the hotel has already seen an uptick in bookings, especially on the weekends, Wong said.
Launching a pop-up patio experience has also been a great success drawing in a lot of customers, he added.
The Terrace by Draco is an extension of the hotel restaurant Draco, which is named for the dragon constellation.
The elevated patio located on the third floor of the hotel features delectable lounge fare, handcrafted cocktails, craft beer and wine. It also features art from the Markham Group of Artists, showcasing works that are rotated every two weeks.
“We will have different collections throughout the summer time and aim to have meet-the-artist nights once allowed under Step 3 guidelines,” said Wong.
To view participating hotels and book your stay, go to visitmarkham.ca/beourguest.