Travel Alberta

2017 Alto Ambassador

Every year one member of Alberta’s tourism community is recognized for their exceptional contribution to the industry. This year’s Alto Ambassador is APX Hotel Group’s Vice President of Operations Robin Cumine. 

Robin Cumin

Robin arrived in Alberta in 1979 and, after a brief and unsuccessful bid to get on with the Banff Springs Hotel, landed his first job back in Calgary at the Westward Inn (now Hotel Arts).

It was an auspicious start, and he easily recalls a moment when he knew that the hospitality industry would become his passion.

“I was a twenty-something night manager,” Robin explains, “We got a call from a guest who forgot their passport. He was in Banff, but not coming back to Calgary, so I drove up and delivered it to him at the Banff Springs Hotel where he was staying.”

In the retelling, you aren’t left with the impression that Robin considered this action extraordinary, just a natural extension of what it means to go above and beyond in guest services. 

Robin’s career has been well served by his commitment to service, having held senior level positions over his three decades in the business with Travelodge, Silver Birch Hotels & Resorts, MacLab Enterprises and Royal Host Suites and Hotels.

Robin Cumin

Equally impressive is the recognition that properties have collected under his guidance, including Housekeeping Award of Excellence and Employer of Choice designation (2012- 2017) from the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association, and Wyndham Hotels ‘Best of the Best’ Award. In 2016 he earned IHG’s Quality Excellence Award – one of only 24 recipients out of the 5,400 properties in the Americas.  

Robin is quick to point out that he alone is not responsible for those awards, and his role was helping his teams provide true service to their guests.

“What am I most proud of?” he responds before adding, “It’s less about my accomplishments, it’s about the people I’ve helped coach.”

“Robin’s skills as a leader and mentor have allowed many individuals to grow,” says Monica Batt, Human Resources Manager with APX Hotel Group, “As these individuals become leaders, they continue positively impacting others to do the same.” 

Robin’s influence isn’t restricted to the hotels he leads, becoming an increasingly influential leader in the larger business community. He is a member of several boards and associations, and is actively helping to shape tourism in the province. 

Robin Cumin

He also led the creation of Edmonton’s Destination Marketing Fund which, in addition to becoming a model to be copied, has helped elevate the profile of Edmonton, and Alberta, to an international travelling audience. 

Other examples of his dedication and vision are seen in the successful hosting of the Edmonton Grand Prix, the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and the 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice. 

Despite his success, Robin is humbled by being named the Alto Ambassador for 2017. 

“I’m very honoured, and surprised. There are lots of people more qualified. This is the greatest honour.”

Which is exactly the response you’d expect from someone who dedicated themselves to going the extra mile for others since 1979.