In the News June 2012

Coast Hotels & Resorts has appointed Ben Guanzon to the position of Executive Director, case Information Technology, responsible for developing and managing strategic IT initiatives to improve operational effectiveness and enhance the guest experience at Coast’s 40 hotel properties.

“Information technology is the backbone of any successful hotel brand,” said Robert Pratt, President of Coast Hotels & Resorts. “Ben’s strategic expertise and diverse industry background are a great fit with Coast Hotels’ focus on driving innovation and operational excellence as we continue to grow.”

Ben has more than 20 years information technology experience with expertise covering IT strategy, governance, application development, and delivery of cost-effective IT operational services including help desk, technical support, business analysis, project management and consulting to both public and private sector companies. Most recently, he was Director, Information Technology at Vancouver Community College (VCC) leading a team of 35 technology professionals delivering IT applications, infrastructure, educational technology and services to college staff and students.

About Coast Hotels & Resorts

Coast Hotels & Resorts is a leading hotel chain in western North America. The company’s philosophy of serving its guests through a superior standard of value, hospitality and service enables its continuing expansion. Coast Hotels & Resorts now manages and franchises over 40 hotel and resort properties located throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, the western United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Visit or call 1-800-663-1144 for more info.


Tourism Vancouver’s recent appointment of a tourism energy specialist is believed to be a worldwide first among destination marketing and management organizations. The role was made possible through sponsorship from BC Hydro with the mandate to guide member hotels, restaurants and attractions in energy efficiency and conservation initiatives.

The new tourism energy specialist role will enable Tourism Vancouver to more actively support the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and goal to be the world’s “greenest” city by 2020. The services of the tourism energy specialist will build on the BC Hydro partnership and further assist Tourism Vancouver’s 1,000-plus member businesses to manage their energy and realize financial savings.

A 2011 survey conducted by Capilano University on behalf of Tourism Vancouver found that 81 per cent of Tourism Vancouver member businesses were interested in the services of an energy specialist.

“As the destination marketing and management organization for Vancouver, respect and stewardship of our spectacular natural setting is important to us,” commented Paul Vallee, Tourism Vancouver’s executive vice president. “Our new tourism energy specialist position helps to ensure we’re conscious of our environmental footprint while doing our job to position Vancouver as one of the top destinations worldwide.”

BC Hydro has partnered with Tourism Vancouver since 2008 to offer resources and education to member businesses, including funding the successful Ambassadors for Conservation Program. This year, Tourism Vancouver has been nominated for a BC Hydro Power Smart Excellence Award in the Conservation Partner category.

“Conservation and being smart with your power is the most environmentally friendly and least expensive way to meet future demand for electricity,” said Lisa Coltart, executive director Power Smart, BC Hydro. “We expect demand to grow by about 50 per cent over the next 20 years. Energy management is an effective tool to help businesses be more energy-efficient and sustainable.”

After a wide search, Vancouver-based Gwendal Castellan was hired to fill the role of tourism energy specialist. Castellan holds a Geography degree from the University of Victoria as well as a certificate in Sustainable Energy Management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.