When she got the call to come in for a job interview at Baxter Travel Media, Ann Ruppenstein had to push it back a week as she was out of the country trekking for mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in Rwanda and Uganda.
Armed with a journalism degree from Ryerson University, where she also studied photography, and several years of experience working for community newspapers in Toronto, she started working for Travel Courier and Canadian Travel Press in 2015.
The Emo-born and Thunder Bay-raised writer got a taste for travel at a young age, spending her summers in Germany growing up, and now calls Toronto home.
Specialties include: destination features, trade profiles, adventure travel, luxury travel, weddings/romance.
Favourite part of the job: Aside from the travel, getting to profile some of the most influential people in the industry. A memorable highlight was flying in a private jet with Sandals Resorts’ CEO and deputy chairman Adam Stewart.
Overall country count: 25 and counting.
Best travel memory: visiting with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, trekking Machu Picchu and taking in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
What’s still on your bucket list: Antarctica, Patagonia, Ecuador/Galapagos, South Africa, Iceland, Laos, Croatia, Vietnam and the list goes on.
The adventure advantage
Special Agent G takes education to new heights
Put on by G Adventures at the adventure operator’s Base Camp over the course of a weekend, the interactive Special Agent G (SAG) program goes far beyond educating the trade about the company, says Denise Harper, director of sales, Canada for G Adventures… Read >>
Women In Travel
Taking the risk is worth the reward
They’re movers and shakers. Their contributions have changed and continue to change the nature of travel, both in Canada and around the world. In this week’s issue, Canadian Travel Press’ series of profiles on Women in Travel continues for the last instalment of 2017, featuring Booking.com’s CEO Gillian Tans… Read >>
Looking back, moving forward
Tour operators talk about the year that was and what’s to come
From the Trump Slump or the Trump Bump to travel bans and natural disasters, the past year was full of surprising moments that impacted the travel industry. Here we sat down with Canadian and international tour operators to get the lowdown on what was unexpected in 2017 and what to expect in 2018… Read >>
Enjoy the ride
Sandals kicks into Overdrive
From approved plans to build simultaneous Sandals and Beaches branded resorts in Trinidad and Tobago to the unique features set for Sandals Royal Barbados – the all-suite property slated to open on Dec. 20 complete with a rooftop pool and bar, and a four-lane bowling alley… Read >>
Agents a driving force as Canadian visits to Caribbean grow
The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s secretary general Hugh Riley believes travel agents are a growing force in booking travel to the region. “Travel agents are major influencers in booking travel to the Caribbean and getting more so than before,” he tells Canadian Travel Press… Read >>
It’s wild, it’s ancient and so much more
Between increased air access, the ease of getting around and visitor arrivals from Canada growing to 203,000 last year, there are many reasons for agents to sell Ireland, but Debbie Moran, trade engagement advisor for Failte Ireland can add to the list… Read >>
Finding out what tourism is all about…
at the annual Sandals, Baxter golf tournament
Members of the trade from across Canada brought their A-game to Jamaica last week for the 23rd annual Canadian Travel Industry Golf Tournament presented by Baxter Travel Media and Sandals Resorts… Read >>
The evolution of ME
“Listen, travel agents are dead,” says Tony Cortizas, VP of global brand strategy for Meliá Hotels International, pausing dramatically before continuing. “No. They’re a major driver for the company. I think their role is changing, but I’m 20-something years in the leisure industry, and I’ve been listening to that story of travel agents going out of business for a long time, and it’s obviously not happening.”.. Read >>
A game changer for Canadian agents
With Belfast and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland clinching a coveted spot as the number-one region in the world for travellers to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 ranking, as last year saw a record number of Canadians travel to Ireland, and as non-stop and year-round air access from Canada continues to increase, all signs point to further growth for Canadians travelling to the Emerald Isle… Read >>
Always up for the adventure
At the moment, Vancouver-based Trish Sare can be found in Argentina, leading BikeHike Adventures’ first trip of the season in Patagonia, on a journey that will take the group on a hike alongside the Viedma Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for a cruise on Lake Argentine to view the Upsala Glacier, the largest in South America… Read >>
The Spanish Way
Seeing the sights and sounds of Spain
One thing that stands out about the Spanish way of life is how locals truly take the time to savour food. Dining goes far beyond simply fueling the body – it’s a time for friends and family to gather, unwind, and socialize. Unlike so many dining tables across North America, meals just aren’t rushed – it’s all about enjoyment, the conversation, and the experience… Read >>
One bite (or sip) at a time
The mayor of Nuremberg, Ulrich Maly, said it best – between hearty doses of sausages and pieces of roasted pork, wine, beer and “potato dumplings sized like children’s heads,” residents of the Bavarian city certainly know how to enjoy life to the fullest… Read >>
From peak to peak to palm trees
What could top taking in panoramic views of 24 snow-capped mountain peaks, including one of Switzerland’s most famed summits – the Matterhorn? Arriving in a helicopter, perhaps?
These are all possibilities that await at Glacier 3000 in Les Diablerets, just one hour from the palm tree-lined lakeside promenade in Montreux. Aptly named for its location at an altitude of 3,000 metres, Glacier 3000 can be found at the highest point of the Vaudois Alps… Read >>
Call it a comeback
Canadian arrivals to Jamaica bounce back
At a time when Jamaica is poised for a record-breaking year – with the Jamaica Tourist Board projecting visitor arrivals to top 4.2 million – the Canadian market is doing its part to help fuel the growth… Read >>
Sailing beyond borders
They’re movers and shakers. Their contributions have changed and continue to change the nature of travel, both in Canada and around the world. In this week’s issue, Canadian Travel Press’ monthly series of profiles on women in travel continues with Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises… Read >>
Switzerland focuses on individual travellers and experiences
Although Switzerland is in the middle of a period of steady growth in tourism from overseas markets – including Canada – the European country is consciously not appealing to the masses… Read >>
Off-the-beaten-track weddings sizzle for Canadians
While tropical locations are as hot as ever, some Canadian couples are heading to more off-the-beaten-path and rather unique places for their destination weddings. From the Vegas Strip to romantic destinations in Ireland, here’s the lowdown on what – and where’s – popular… Read >>
Fall for these destination weddings trends
From ceremonies infused with local traditions to lavish luxurious locations, today’s destination weddings are anything but cookie-cutter. Whether it’s going the extra mile to reach a more remote country or paying a little bit more for a truly memorable experience, modern day brides and grooms are going after the celebrations of their dreams… Read >>
A new era for Palladium
Being in a competitive industry vying for the vacation dollars of travellers with ever-changing wants and needs, Jacques De Paep, Palladium Hotel Group’s commercial director for North America, believes businesses can’t afford to stand still… Read >>
The sisterhood of the travelling women
WOMEN IN TRAVEL: JENNIFER HADDOW
They’re movers and shakers. Their contributions have changed and continue to change the nature of travel, both in Canada and around the world. In this week’s issue, Canadian Travel Press’ monthly series of profiles on women in travel, continues with Jennifer Haddow, the owner and director of Wild Women Expeditions… Read >>
Into the Pearl of Africa
Whether it’s the thrill of coming into close proximity of a lion, realizing the true grandeur of an elephant or witnessing the moment a leopard pounces on its prey, African safaris and guided walking tours provide a unique opportunity for travellers to experience wildlife in its natural habitat… Read >>
A Sensatori Experience
Selling the sensatori Azul Beach Resort Jamaica
Situated on Negril’s picturesque Seven Mile Beach, visitors now have another option for their Jamaican vacation: the newly opened Sensatori Azul Beach Resort Jamaica by Karisma…
Travelling Man: John Boulding
As Insight’s Director Readies To Step Down From The Position, CTP Looks Back On His Impressive Career
John Boulding, the director of Insight Vacations, actually got his start with The Travel Corporation long before taking on a leadership role, reports assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press… Read >>
Grenada: Spicing it up in the Caribbean
Authentic. Colourful. Instagram-able.
There are many words to describe Grenada, but according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority, it’s the people that truly define the destination, reports Press Today’s Ann Ruppenstein… Read >>
Intrepid’s Big Vision
Purpose Beyond Profit
Just over one-week on the job as the newly appointed CEO of the Intrepid Group, James Thornton – the first non-founding member to hold the gig – shared the story of how the trade played a vital role in getting the tour operator off the ground back in 1989, reports Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press… Read >>
Taking Risks And Reaping Rewards
Sandals Resorts Is All About Innovation
The Sandals Resorts International story started more than three decades ago when founder and chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart opened the flagship Sandals Montego Bay in 1981… Read >>
A Tale Of Two Cities
Magnificent Madrid, Beautiful Barcelona
Well into an elaborate tapas spread and a glass – make that two – of cava in a dimly lit restaurant bustling with conversation and laughter, it became apparent just how the Spaniards view meals as social occasions, reports Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier… Read >>