Agents' Choice 2018

Greg Coates

Assistant Editor

After more than 10 years working as a journalist in the newspaper industry, Greg joined Baxter Travel Media where he has worked for the past 23 years, currently as Assistant Editor.
During his tenure at Baxter, Greg has visited and written about more than 50 countries. Passions include photography, music, golf and a secret obsession with Words With Friends.
Greg is also a Toronto Blue Jays fan and having grown up in Brockville is an avid follower of the Montreal Canadiens, sorry Leaf fans. He even got to meet Habs’ star goaltender Carey Price (pictured) during a recent visit to Las Vegas for the NHL Awards.
Overall country count: A little more than 50.

Best travel memories: going on safari and visiting the wineries of South Africa, cruising the Mediterranean with Crystal Cruises, taking part in the inaugural sailing of Uniworld’s S.S. Catherine, and getting to meet Prince Philip during a trip to Britain.
Still on the bucket list: More Asia, Peru, Kenya, Croatia and Ecuador/Galapagos.

Rail Europe on track with ‘new’ agent site

Rail Europe and partners hosted approximately 80 agents in Toronto last week as part of a two-city Canadian road show and took the opportunity to relaunch its newly enhanced travel agent web site – – which went live during the event… Read >>

TL Network celebrates a year of accomplishments
Bleisure, Last Chance travel trending for 2018

Agents interested in where their clients’ interests may lie this year may want to look at what’s trending for 2018, according to Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group president John Lovell.
This includes Bleisure travel (extended corporate travel trips), Sproup – a word coined by TL Network – and meaning special access, special perks for groups, and adventure travel (which does not necessarily mean climbing Mount Everest)… Read >>

RCI brings a Symphony to sea

A new mobile “frictionless” check-in system, the Ultimate Family Suite and one of the world’s largest sports bars are just a few of the unique features that Royal Caribbean International has revealed about its new Symphony of the Seas, set to be the world’s largest cruise ship when it debuts next April… Read >>

Open for business and ready to welcome you

The Caribbean is open for business and several tourism organizations have teamed up to get the word out with a $1-million marketing campaign and a new website – .
The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the trade association representing the mutual interests of the cruise industry and destinations and stakeholders in the Caribbean,.. Read >>

On track with Barbados!
2018 all about cuisine, visitors advised to pack an appetite

Despite the devastating destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in some parts of the Caribbean, many destinations are just fine and welcoming visitors, a message Peter Mayers, Canadian director of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), wants to get out… Read >>

Canada wraps up successful Invictus Games
Torch passed to Australia as Sydney gets set to host 2018 Games

It will be a hard act to follow, but Australia is ready for the challenge as Canada wrapped up a hugely successful Invictus Games Saturday night (Sept. 30), passing the torch to the land Down Under, as Sydney gets set to host the Games next October… Read >>

Halloween Horror Nights
Where the nightmares never end!

It’s scream season at Florida’s Universal Orlando where clowns with chainsaws, the infamous Overlook Hotel and all things that go bump in the night come together for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights… Read >>

ACV brings star power to Toronto sun launch
Gala event attracts close to 1,000 agents

It was a night to remember as Air Canada Vacations (ACV) brought a little star power – in the form of singer Shawn Desman – to the official launch of its 2017/18 Sun Collection in Toronto last week… Read >>

Falling for Colorado
Whiskey, cowboy poetry and beer

It’s a special time of year in Colorado, and those lucky enough to visit during the fall can experience numerous unique getaways and experiences, not to mention a chance to take in one of the hundreds of festivals or special events… Read >>

Las Vegas ready to drop the puck
Just for the sport of it…

While skeptics may think the National Hockey League is taking a bit of a gamble by bringing a team to Las Vegas – the Vegas Golden Knights are set to take to the ice next season – many others, including more than 14,000 season ticket holders, would disagree… Read >>

SeaWorld San Diego gets back to its roots
New, inspiring experiences that matter

In a year in which it is celebrating its largest expansion ever, SeaWorld San Diego is also getting back to its roots – education and conservation – and adding a much more educational element to its shows and attractions… Read >>

The Australis Experience
Patagonia-specialist adding second purpose-built ship

Small-ship adventure cruise line Australis has good news for agents with wanderlust clients interested in sailing to the “end of the world” – it is launching a second ship next year, Ventus Australis, sister ship to Stella Australis … Read >>

Colourful San Antonio
a popular vacation destination for Canadians

Home to Texas’ top two attractions – The Alamo and The Riverwalk – San Antonio, like the rest of the lone start state, is proving to be a popular vacation destination for Canadians, attracting about 60,000 a year… Read >>

Life’s a splash at Universal’s new Volcano Bay

Families looking to get wet and wild can once again do so at Universal Orlando Resort with the May 25 opening of its newest theme park – Volcano Bay.
The impressive 25-acre water park replaces Universal’s former Wet ‘n Wild water park and features more than 18 attractions… Read >>

Friendly Puerto Vallarta
Get a taste of the real Mexico

Living up to the moniker of being the world’s friendliest city – as named by Condé Nast magazine – may be a challenge, but one Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta is taking in stride and living up to as shown by the number of travellers flocking to the sun destination each year… Read >>

Out and about in Las Vegas
‘Entertainment Capital’ continually reinventing itself

Not when it comes to sharing what the “Entertainment Capital of the World” has to offer. Sin City has come a long way from simply being a place to try your luck in the casinos or partake in a $5 all-you-can-eat buffet. Entertainment options range from world-class shows to high-end foodie tours to zip-lining down Fremont Street… Read >>