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.
The Okinawa option
Travellers to Asia whose leisure priorities are focused on big cities like Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo can also consider a quiet island stopover in the immediate vicinity. Okinawa is that island, a place that is only now starting to achieve some tourism visibility in North America… Read >>
Tiger tourism’s role in conservation
International Tiger Day has just passed (July 29), once again spotlighting efforts to maintain and even increase the small population of tigers remaining in the world. International Tiger Day has been in operation every year since 2010, when it was created at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit… Read >>
Rural charms of Northern Thailand
For 18 days in early July, the attention of the world was drawn to a tiny, mountainous corner of northern Thailand where 12 boys from a junior soccer club and their coach were trapped deep in a cave complex by rising flood waters… Read >>
Tourism summit leverages aspects of Hawai’i Aloha
Some of the core qualities underlying the Hawai’i tourism success story are applicable across the board to all destinations. These are driving the agenda at the upcoming 2018 Global Tourism Summit in Waikiki in early October… Read >>
First Nations operators set attendance record at RVC 2018
The largest-ever representation of Canadian Indigenous tourism operations to attend the Rendez-vous Canada international travel trade market attended this year’s edition of the event. RVC 2018 in Halifax welcomed 41 Indigenous tourism businesses, each of which held appointments with tourism product buyers from around the world to promote new travel packages, outdoor adventures, cultural activities and accommodation options from coast to coast… Read >>
China outlook serves as RVC centrepiece
The role of the Chinese visitors in Canada’s tourism industry got extra attention at this year’s Rendez-vous Canada 2018, as cooperative tourism promotions by the two countries continue to take effect through the year… Read >>
Vancouver to Munich
Jet lag lessened on Lufthansa A350
With a recently awarded five-star rating for Lufthansa by Skytrax, passengers can expect a top shelf level of service and amenities on board the flight. But, in addition, the A350 offers a benefit that can’t be seen, but will be felt by all those aboard, regardless of their assigned cabin class.
That is, new technology delivers more comfortable pressurization levels within the aircraft… Read >>
Caribbean sun shines on TTAND conference
A meeting schedule that built in extra relax time under the Caribbean sun was an appealing component for attendees at The Travel Agent Next Door annual conference recently.
About 140 agents from TTAND came to the conference at the Majestic Colonial all-inclusive resort on the popular beaches of Punta Cana in mid-April… Read >>
ANA educational stirs interest in the trade
Canadians discovering Okinawa
New tour programs that feature the Japanese island of Okinawa are now coming to market, following the operation of a successful agent fam trip there late last year by ANA (All Nippon Airways)… Read >>
Airlines make changes, no rebooking fees charged
Boracay cleans up, but closes down
Airlines that operate flights to the Philippines are now making changes to frequencies and schedules to account for the unprecedented closing of Boracay, the nation’s most popular resort island. Boracay will be closed to tourists for six months as of April 26, in order to execute a massive environmental rehabilitation and rebuild of its overloaded waste disposal infrastructure… Read >>
Millennials make their mark
A generation once principally associated with smartphones and social media is now raising families and becoming the largest consumer force in North America. The travel habits and preferences of millennials were the subject of the recent Future of U.S. Millennial Travel webinar, which was based on a survey conducted by the Resonance Consultancy of Vancouver and New York… Read >>
Grizzly bear viewers may benefit from hunt demise
BC’s estimated 15,000 grizzlies can now, for the most part, wander the wilderness without fear of being felled by a hunter’s bullet. The law applies across the province with the exception of those areas that have been set aside for First Nations occupants, who retain traditional rights to hunt the bears for food, social and ceremonial purposes… Read >>
More travel from China destined for Canada
Travel-hungry tourists from China are already arriving at Canadian airports in ever-increasing numbers, and the recently announced 2018 China-Canada Year of Tourism is forecast to
drive even more of those arrivals… Read >>
Amazing Thailand reveals its New Shades
As the tourism arrivals leader in the ASEAN region, Thailand has every reason to retain confidence in its well known tourism tag line, “Amazing Thailand.” But as vacation trends and tastes evolve, the country’s tourism authorities have deemed that a new angle on the tried and true favourite will be beneficial and necessary… Read >>
City and Country
From a great city to the goodness of the grape
Far below the equator, near the bottom of the world, Argentina summons travellers with a blend of sleek, urban style shaped by a turbulent history and flavoured by renowned wines and cuisine.
History and style cross paths in Buenos Aires, whose roots reach back to its founding in 1536… Read >>