Working as a travel reporter was always regarded as a sort of unattainable goal during journalism school at Ryerson Polytech in Toronto, so being hired as a writer/editor at Baxter Travel Media in the late 90s was definitely a win. Before that, I had worked as editor for a communications industry magazine in Toronto, and as a weekly columnist for a motoring section in the Toronto Star, amongst other editorial jobs.
The position as western Canada editor for Canadian Travel Press/Travel Courier, based in Vancouver, combines opportunities to do both travel news writing and destination feature journalism. My favourite part of the job is that it is never predictable or repetitive, given that the travel industry is always changing and evolving. And the prospect of visiting parts of the world that are appealing for many reasons cannot be discounted as a big motivator.
The world is full of compelling cities, important heritage sites, stunning natural treasures and more – all of which can be experienced through this job. I also enjoy living in one of the world’s most attractive and livable cities.
I count over 50 countries visited as part of my work. Some of my favourite places to date include Tuscany in Italy, Yorkshire and Cornwall in England, the Silk Road city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Camp Leakey orangutan reserve in Kalimantan in Indonesia, Lijiang in Yunnan province in China, Milford Sound and the Southern Alps in New Zealand, Kauai in Hawaii, Kangaroo Island in Australia, Mendoza in Argentina, Cathedral Lakes in British Columbia, and many more.
I particularly love to go to places that feature wildlife – hence the inclusion of Kenya, Borneo, Australia and B.C. in the list. I hope that conservation-oriented travel stories can help sustain animal species that are under siege.
I also like to go places where I can drive a car or ride a motorcycle. For instance, a trip to the South Island of New Zealand was hosted by Tourism New Zealand and gave me the opportunity to ride through amazing landscapes on a BMW. Some of the best trips have been on the roads of Europe, including drives on the twisty lanes of Yorkshire, on the high-speed autobahns of Germany and on the country roads of Italy aboard a Ducati. Another top favourite was driving portions of the Silk Road by Land Rover. A benchmark for crazy was set by riding a motorcycle in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
What’s on my bucket list? Melbourne, Vienna, Kathmandu, the Himalayas, more Italy, more United Kingdom, more Ireland, Uganda/Rwanda for gorillas, India for tigers, the Galapagos Islands and lots more. It is impossible for the bucket to ever really be empty.
Kiwi Pete onboard as Air New Zealand adds seats
The fact that he has finally found a way to fly is a happy revelation to Kiwi Pete, the new spokes-celebrity for the latest Air New Zealand promotional video. The comedic, normally flightless kiwi continues a tradition of demonstrating Air New Zealand aircraft features using movie stars and fictional personalities to grab viewers’ attention. .. Read >>
Waves of change
It’s a far different Waikiki that surfing pioneer Duke Kahanamoku oversees now, and hopefully, he would be pleased. The famous spokesman of the surf, whose statue borders the beach, would see that the last remains of a rustic Waikiki are long gone… Read >>
Eco and cultural tourism grows in Taiwan
For many travellers, Taiwan is largely defined by the retail/culinary attractions of the capital city, Taipei, with its busy, cosmopolitan environs. And, while that outlook is entirely valid, it fails to encompass the many other cultural and nature-borne aspects of this island at the top of the South China Sea… Read >>
Hawaii welcomes East and West at global event
Like the Hawaiian voyaging canoe that has circled the earth, the recent Global Tourism Summit in Hawaii brought a similar planetary outlook to the main stage of the Hawaii Convention Center. For the first time, the agenda of the Hawaii tourism conference was expanded to a more international audience than in past years… Read >>
Mainstream travellers motivated to visit Taiwan
A buyer market composed of non-Asian “mainstream” customers continues to slowly grow for Taiwan as a holiday destination, says Super Value Tours in Burnaby, BC. But it is still a work in progress, as English-speaking mainstream travellers in Canada increase their knowledge of Asia and discover the differences between major tourism magnets like China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Southeast Asia. “… Read >>
Mainstream travellers motivated to visit Taiwan
A buyer market composed of non-Asian “mainstream” customers continues to slowly grow for Taiwan as a holiday destination, says Super Value Tours in Burnaby, BC.
But it is still a work in progress, as English-speaking mainstream travellers in Canada increase their knowledge of Asia and discover the differences between major tourism magnets like China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Southeast Asia. “.. Read >>
Climbers reach inspiring heights at HMI
In search of adventure
Would-be mountaineers don’t have to look hard for inspiration when visiting Darjeeling, India.
This city near India’s northern border sits at 2,000-plus metres among the foothills and steeply creased valleys near the Himalayan range… Read >>
Booking sites block business with animal interaction operators
The film “Blood Lions” is no longer being shown at theatres, but the impacts of its world tour in 2016 have spread like a bomb blast. They are driving supplier bans by major booking sites and may even be affecting South Africa’s tourism image… Read >>
Wilderness with luxury in Utah
There is still time to see the sights of Utah under the summer and fall sunshine – while keeping the attractions of winter in mind.
The sprawling Zion Ponderosa Ranch in Kane County offers a very comfortable introduction to the Utah wilderness, with a wide selection of accommodation and activity choices. It covers 4,000 acres and borders the east boundary of Zion National Park… Read >>
Wildfires hurting tourism in the West
It’s been called the second worst fire season for BC on record, and tourism operators are amongst the many being impacted by wildfi res in the province. The wildfire season got off to an early start in 2017, with many blazes well underway throughout July. A long stretch of unusually hot and dry weather into August has yielded no rain, and there are now enough fires, combined with winds, to generate a smoke haze in Vancouver… Read >>
Hong Kong’s Hidden Treasures
Secrets of the city await discovery
Arriving in 1841, British occupiers saw enormous potential in the way that Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon mainland circled Victoria Bay (now Victoria Harbour) to create an ideal, sheltered port – not to mention a commanding market position next door to China, in a stunning geographic location… Read >>