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Spotlight On Dan McGowan, General Manager, Fairmont Empress

By Sharon Hirschowitz, Global Head of Media & Communications for The International Luxury Hotel Association
28 July 2021
3 min read
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Fairmont Empress

Fairmont Empress Hotel sits proudly at the centre of culture and history in Victoria, British Columbia. This is the best of all worlds – where contrast meets distinction, opulence blends harmoniously with the understated and fabled history meshes with contemporary affairs. One of the oldest hotels in Victoria and a National Historic Site built in 1908, this grand dame is an alluring blend of classic and contemporary, vintage and cutting-edge.

What is your outlook for the summer?
Dan McGowanThe Province of British Columbia has entered Step 3 of our BC Restart Plan and we can now welcome guests from all of Canada. At Fairmont Empress, we are focussing on a few important segments of travel including family travel, wellness and outdoor soft adventure celebrating the fact that “Fairmont Empress is in the heart of the city, and on the edge of nature.” We anticipate seeing marked growth in occupancy in the coming weeks and months.

How are you reaching out to the local community?
We are using every communication tool we have to stay connected with our local community who we feel it is our privilege to support. Our team has been utilizing local and regional radio, TV, print media to keep in touch as well as our strong social media network to keep everyone informed.

Everyone is ready to travel, and Empress created a locally focused Island Holiday staycation package that is for BC Residents only. https://www.fairmont-empress.com/offers/hotel-offers/island-holiday/

How have you adjusted your programming to allow for safe travel?
Fairmont Empress proactively adopted all BC safe business practices as outlined by the British Columbia Provincial Health Order, and of course Accor’s world class leading safety protocols program All Safe and Well. Through this program we are committed to ensuring our guests stay safe and stay well in our hotel. To learn more about Accor’s ALL Safe and Well program and standards, and how we are keeping our guests safe, please visit www.allsafeandwell.com.

What are your guests telling you after a challenging year?
Our guests are thrilled to be in the hotel again and we are so thrilled to welcome them back to Canada’s Castle on the Coast. The Empress Hotel has only closed twice in its 113 year history and both times during this pandemic. We took the opportunity to close the hotel for three months to complete a mechanical system modernization. This has allowed us to be more efficient, align to our Planet 21 sustainability program. https://www.fairmont.com/sustainability, create our unique Bee Well Program https://www.fairmont-empress.com/bee-well/, as well as continue to maintain and elevate our guest experience. Our guests and our colleagues see the hotel as a beacon in our community. When we are okay, they are going to be okay too. Our reopening has offered a sense of relief to many. After being closed for the last fifteen months, Fairmont Gold has now also reopened. Guests are looking for the same best guest service possible in all areas while still wanting to feel safe.

How have you stayed in touch with them during the pandemic?
Our guests are our number one priority. “In All That We Do, We Think Of You.” We have stayed connected to our guests throughout the pandemic in many ways including social media, newsletters, and our website at www.fairmont-empress.com.

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