Podcast

Ann Ruppenstein

Assistant Editor/Photographer


When she got the call to come in for a job interview at Baxter 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: 32 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.


Family bonds on a cruising adventure
Two if by sea

It felt like I was venturing into the great unknown as I pulled my carry-on towards the loading ramp of Holland America Line’s newest ship, Nieuw Statendam, with my aunt in tow in the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. While she hasn’t travelled much since having twins 18 years ago and I frequently find myself on the road, this trip would mark new territory for me too, as my first cruise… Read >>


Five trends to watch out for this year

After analyzing booking data from its 350,000 global travellers across more than 1,000 trips on every continent, Intrepid Travel has released its annual list of travel trend predictions.
Ranging from a spike in extended layovers to an increasing demand for finding female empowerment abroad, Darshika Jones, director of North America for Intrepid Travel, points out that this year’s trends align with greater global themes the 30-year-old adventure travel company is hearing about in the news and seeing in political and social agendas… Read >>


Collette makes a difference locally and globally

In 2020, Collette’s newly relaunched small-group travel style, Explorations, is going to feature impact moments for travellers to make a difference as they discover and explore the world. These moments include supporting social enterprises and non-profits, such as the Sheroes’ Hangout, a cafe in India staffed by women who were victims of acid attacks… Read >>


Driving innovation through collaboration

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, in honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, Canadian Travel Press’ series of profiles on Women in Travel continues with Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Best Western Hotels & Resorts… Read >>


Take a closer look at Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam

Picture this: Oprah Winfrey is donning pajamas and handing out shots of tequila, as passengers taking part in Holland America Line’s Girls’ Getaway cruise go wild with excitement at the sight of the popular talk show host, film star and founder of O, The Oprah Magazine… Read >>


New hotel welcoming guests on Montego Bay’s Hip Strip
S marks the spot

During Jamaica’s golden era, actress Katharine Hepburn was captured in iconic photographs zipping around Montego Bay in a stylish convertible. A blast from this past – in the form of a sister car to the 1953 Singer convertible – is now welcoming guests upon arrival at the newly opened S Hotel located on the Hip Strip… Read >>


Beyond sun, sand and sea
The Caribbean has a whole new story to tell

Although over 75% of the Caribbean “didn’t even have a breeze” from the devastating hurricanes of 2017, the CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association said the impact of Irma and Maria were widespread across the region… Read >>


Exploring Hong Kong like a local

One of the most photographed vantage points of Hong Kong comes from the top of Victoria Peak. As the highest point on Hong Kong Island, the panoramic views of the seemingly endless slew of high-rises jetting out from the green hills below and across Victoria Harbour is a must-see for many visitors… Read >>


Connectivity key to driving tourism initiatives
To Hong Kong, and beyond

For the eighth year running, Hong Kong has come out on top as the world’s most visited city, according to market research company Euromonitor International, beating out the likes of London, Bangkok and New York… Read >>


A first look at Xolumado Inspiration Village

Ahead of its official opening this month, travel agents on location for the 11th annual Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Sales & Marketing Forum in December got an exclusive preview of Xolumado Inspiration Village by Karisma… Read >>


Canadian agents in the spotlight with Karisma

Forty-one Canadian travel agents were among the top producing travel agents celebrated recently at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ 11th annual Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Sales & Marketing Forum held at the El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya… Read >>


Winter is hot for Canadian hotels
Weathering the trends

When it comes to what’s visually luring travellers into booking a particular hotel, it turns out the money shot isn’t just of the view, but also the loo. “Oddly enough, a bathroom photo [is important],” Bonnie Vesterfelt, Expedia’s Toronto area manager tells Canadian Travel Press… Read >>


The big trends of 2019

Over the course of the year, Canadian Travel Press’ Women in Travel series featured some remarkable individuals across the travel industry from Canada and around the world. In the second instalment of a year-end feature, some of the experts previously profiled in the section share their thoughts on the big trends for 2019… Read >>


A suite escape
Live the ultra-luxe life in Miami

Miami is constantly evolving and reinventing itself. For travellers, the coastal Florida destination offers the best of a beautiful beach escape and a city getaway across diverse cultures and a buzzing nightlife… Read >>


Seven big disruptors for 2019
Women in Travel — Focus on the future

Over the past year, Canadian Travel Press’ Women In Travel series has featured some remarkable individuals who impact the industry, both in Canada and around the world. In the first of a two-part end-of-the-year roundup article, some of the experts previously profiled in the section reveal what they think will disrupt the travel industry in 2019… Read >>


Sunwing says hello to Daytona

Ahead of launching service to Daytona Beach, Sunwing brought 120 travel agents from the Toronto area to Florida’s Atlantic coast for a one-day FAM trip to get a taste of what’s on offer – from its famed beach to top draws like the Daytona International Speedway… Read >>


Teara Fraser: Learning to fly

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 with Teara Fraser, the CEO of Iskwew Air… Read >>


A new lounge takes off at Billy Bishop

Nieuport Aviation officially celebrated the completion of its terminal upgrades at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Nov. 14. Although it means complimentary beverages (so long free cappuccino!) and most snacks (the shortbread cookies reportedly remain) have gone out the window, passengers now have a variety of restaurants and grab-and-go items to choose from, including OBISPO, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters and Market@416… Read >>


Jump into Club Med Turkoise

Our names are written on a chalkboard to determine the order of the trapeze lesson. I feel my heart beat a little bit quicker as the one before mine gets scratched off, meaning the dreaded moment has come: I’m next… Read >>


Go your own way
Catering to the rise of solo travellers

This may come as a surprise – it appears our ambitions to travel don’t always match up with reality. After surveying 20,500 global travellers, recent research by Booking.com found that, while the majority of people are keen to push their limits, experience new cultures and try local delicacies, .. Read >>


Club Med blazes the trail for growth

As she officially kicked off the 2018–2019 season, Club Med’s Senior VP, Canada & Mexico, Carolyne Doyon, had one word to describe what’s in store for the all-inclusive sun and ski vacation provider: being a “trailblazer.”.. Read >>


Bucket-list bliss
The Moorings offers a one-of-a-kind vacation

After touching down on Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, and taking a short stroll from the airport over to the marina, captain Martin Street pointed to the biggest yacht in the vicinity and announced it would be our home for the next few days… Read >>


Caribbean free from active Zika classification

So long and good riddance, Zika. With no detectable levels of the virus found in the region over the past 12 months, the Caribbean Public Health Agency announced the World Health Organization is no longer flagging the Caribbean with an active high-risk category warning for Zika transmission… Read >>


The power of positivity

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 with Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways… Read >>


Passion at play
Britain focuses on the reasons behind why we travel

Moving beyond destination-based marketing and attracting visitors to specific cities like London or Birmingham, VisitBritain’s new I Travel For brand campaign focuses on the passions that inspire people to travel… Read >>


Adventures in Andalusia

It was a spot so scenic that upon first sight, author Washington Irving described it as “a most picturesque and beautiful city, situated in one of the loveliest landscapes that I have ever seen.” Even decades after backpacking through Andalusia as a student, Bill Clinton returned to Granada to witness what he’d called “the most beautiful sunset in the world.”.. Read >>


Discovering another side of Jamaica

After taking a winding road from Kingston high up into Jamaica’s lush Blue Mountains, I’m sitting in a 200-year-old Georgian style house about to taste coffee brewed from beans grown and harvested in the famed surrounding range… Read >>


Louisiana feeds the soul
Rebranding showcases what makes the state authentically unique

Whether it’s a warm bite of gumbo or a wild swamp adventure, the Louisiana Office of Tourism has launched its new Feed Your Soul campaign and branding, which focuses on what makes the state authentic and unique… Read >>


Jamaica is ready for a hot winter

Winter is coming – and those in Jamaica’s tourism sector can’t wait.
With a boost in airlift secured, a record number of arrivals already in the books for the first half of 2018 and new room inventory coming online, it’s shaping up to be another hot year for the Caribbean destination… Read >>


Experience elevated elegance with Luxury Gold
Keys to the VIP

During a visit to Italy, Brad Ford had an experience that truly stood out from the crowd. Rather than touring the tourist hot spot with the masses, he was able to explore every detail of The Sistine Chapel’s intricate ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, exclusively with the small group on his Luxury Gold Ultimate Italy itinerary and seven invited guests of the Pope… Read >>


Facing fear to find success
Women in travel Carolyne Doyon

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 with Carolyne Doyon, senior vice president, Canada and Mexico, Club Med… Read >>


A world of wonders await in Germany

As I stood in front of a bronze statue of a rooster on top of a cat, on top of a dog, on top of a donkey outside of the Town Hall in Bremen, I could almost hear my great-grandfather providing sound effects – crowing, barking and meowing – like he used to when I was a child, making for a more lively reading of The Bremen Town Musicians… Read >>


Upgrade your winter
Canadian travel to Switzerland shows no signs of cooling off

Coming off a record year with the best overnight results in a quarter of a century, Canadian travel to Switzerland shows no signs of cooling off. In fact, numbers for the first half of 2018 show a 3.9% increase in overnights and a 4.5% boost in arrivals, with Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia being the strongest source markets… Read >>


Off to the races in Kissimmee
Travel agents come out on top in The Air Canada Race 2018

It started as an inside joke, but it’s a motto that may have helped one team successfully come out on top in the 2018 edition of The Air Canada Race held in partnership with Experience Kissimmee… Read >>


Brave New World
Thriving in an era of self-booking

What do travel agents actually do? While on the surface it may seem like the job is about selling airline tickets, hotels and car rentals, Jason Merrithew, president of Merit Travel, says it really comes down to providing expertise, experience and service… Read >>


Luxury travel uncovered

When it comes to luxury travel, the gloves are off – white gloves, that is. While luxury often gets associated with white glove service and champagne upon arrival, Jason Merrithew, president of Merit Travel, says these days it’s all about experiences… Read >>


It’s All In The Family at Collette

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 with Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, the president of Collette… Read >>


Have family, will travel
1,000 km, eight people, seven nights and two cars made for one memorable adventure in Newfoundland

It didn’t start out as planned. Instead of kicking off a family vacation with eight of my closest relatives, thanks to a delayed flight and a missed connection I found myself sitting alone in a hot tub in the backyard of an expansive house that sleeps 16… Read >>


Iberostar raises the bar

Fresh off a €500 million renovation primarily across its European properties, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is now in the next phase of its global expansion plan with another
€700 million in upgrades and new properties underway in the Americas… Read >>


The next big thing
Travel industry experts reveal top travel trends

Millennials may not have as much money as Baby Boomers, but according to Diana Ditto, director of product design at Collette, this cohort changed the face of travel today.
“They were the ones that created this experience economy. They demanded and still do demand authentic experiences. In designing product now, the traveller is so changed,” she says… Read >>


Making the world a better place… one trip at a time
Women in Travel: Marianne Schaubeck

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 with Marianne Schaubeck of Reservations Africa and African Preschools Society… Read >>


Where old meets new

Standing on the cobblestoned streets of Dresden, it’s easy to see why the massive dome of the Frauenkirche is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, even though it went 60 years without being part of its iconic skyline… Read >>


Escape to luxury at Serenity at Coconut Bay

During the planning stages for Serenity at Coconut Bay, the new all-inclusive, adults-only luxury resort in Saint Lucia, president and CEO Mark Adams wasn’t deterred by the fact that the ground didn’t quite measure up, so to say… Read >>


Serenity awaits
Discovering Saint Lucia’s newest all-inclusive, adults-only resort

As he shows me around my spacious suite, my butler Gregg is explaining the range of services his team is ready to do for guests – from unpacking suitcases and ironing to drawing aromatherapy bubble baths at a chosen time or even as a surprise… Read >>


Ready for takeoff
Azores Airlines to add new aircraft on Toronto route, promotes stopover program

With a hub in Ponta Delgada, Gavin Eccles, chief commercial officer of Azores Airlines, plans to position a stopover in the archipelago, as a way for travellers to experience two unique destinations for the price of one… Read >>

 

 

 

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