Flanders

Ian Stalker

Senior Writer

I was born in Quebec but I have also lived in Alberta, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Favorite part of the job may well be doing the Ask the Agent feature in Canadian Travel Press as it enables me to directly learn what travel agents are thinking about topical issues.

I believe that I have travelled to some 42 countries.

Best travel memories would have to include entering King Tut’s tomb in Luxor, Egypt; arriving at Machu Picchu after hiking the Inca Trail; wandering the old quarter of Marrakech, Morocco; climbing temples in Tikal, Guatemala, and Palenque, Mexico; seeing the Petra by Night performance in Petra, Jordan; Angel Falls, Venezuela; the Hotel Nacional in Havana; and heading south on the Dempster Highway between Inuvik, N.W.T.; and Dawson City, Y.T.

My bucket list would have to include Potosi, Bolivia. By all reports its fascinating.


AMResorts making Dreams come true in Acapulco

AMResorts has truly lofty plans for Acapulco, which it hopes will help reattract foreign visitors to Mexico’s first major resort destination. The company has acquired the Grand Hotel, a high-rise property found on downtown Acapulco’s main street and which overlooks Acapulco Bay… Read >>


Tobago promotes its ‘untouched’ side

The CEO of the Tobago Tourism Agency says his destination amounts to something of anti-mainstream Caribbean retreat that is markedly different than much of the rest of the Caribbean. Louis Lewis told a recent Toronto gathering that his island hasn’t seen the massive tourism infrastructure development that some other parts of the Caribbean have… Read >>


Meliá proud of its upscale presence in Punta Cana

Meliá Hotels Inter-national says there’s plenty that’s Grand about one of its Punta Cana properties. The Grand Reserve among other things has 108 guest units with swim-up pools for those eager to experience a luxury vacation in the Dominican destination… Read >>


Canadians find Thailand refreshing, reguvenating

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says Thailand is a “fitting” place for those interested in their physical well-being. Puangpen Klanwari, director of the tourism authority’s Toronto office, told a Toronto gathering last week that her homeland is “known for a lot of things – our diverse landscapes, delicious dishes, Thai smiles, our Thai way of life, but most of all, Thai-land is a world-renowned destination for wellness.”.. Read >>


Acapulco upbeat about AMResorts’ pending arrival

Acapulco’s on the verge of seeing a very weighty name in all-inclusive lodging arrive in the Pacific Coast destination, with tourism officials expecting it will provide a big boost to a city that has seen its share of foreign tourists vacationing in Mexico fall in recent years… Read >>


Best Partners Ever!

Tourist boards and tour operators alike are singing the praises of this country’s travel agents, saying the work they do is nothing less than invaluable. With May 1 Travel Agent Day looming, agents’ travel industry counterparts are eager to show their appreciation for those who direct clients their way on a daily basis… Read >>


Zipline can be an Acapulco highlight

I joined others visiting Acapulco for Tianguis – Mexico’s annual tourism show – where we were invited to try XTASEA, billed as the world’s longest zipline over water. Participants leave from a lofty tower, crossing over an ocean bay and then once again find themselves above terra firma before coming to a stop… Read >>


Discover the undiscovered in New York State

The New York State Division of Tourism wants to draw attention to parts of New York State that are at times overshadowed by the bright lights of New York City… Read >>


Badlands are great lands for nature enthusiasts

Katelyn Richter says there’s nothing bad about South Dakota’s Badlands. In fact, they’re actually an intriguing sort of place that have landscapes that often seem lunar-like and are marked by buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires, says South Dakota Department of Tourism spokeswoman Richter, noting the state’s Badlands National Park is marking its 80th anniversary this year… Read >>


Minor brings a touch of Thailand to Portugal

Thailand’s Minor Hotels added Portugal’s Tivoli Hotels & Resorts to its brand inventory and also brought a weighty brand name in Thai resort circles to the Iberian country, introducing elements of Thailand hospitality and culture to southern Europe… Read >>


So amazing, visitors can hardly bear it

Jacinthe Doucet says the part of Quebec she promotes is offering those who would be absolutely giddy about the prospect of seeing free-roaming bruins in the wild an opportunity to grin and bear it. Doucet promotes the Lanaudiere and Mauricie regions – dubbed Authentic Quebec – which includes large wilderness tracts, among them La Mauricie National Park… Read >>


Pennsylvania has a thriving whiskey scene

Pennsylvania as its epicentre. Pennsylvania tourism officials say an app will be in place in July for the Whiskey Rebellion Trail, which begins in Washington DC and works its ways through southern Pennsylvania, ultimately reaching Pittsburgh… Read >>


Cancun resort proud of its Mexican ambience

Cancun’s Park Royal Beach Resort can offer its clientele both a Mexican vacation experience or a very Mexican vacation experience, with those guests able to choose the degree of familiarization they wish to have with the Latin American country… Read >>


Switzerland welcomes alpine explorers

Switzerland Tourism is promoting hiking opportunities in the alpine nation, with CEO Martin Nydegger noting during a recent Toronto visit that his homeland has 65,000 km of marked hiking tails, which nearly matches the 70,000 km of roads in the country and, if linked together, would circle the globe 1.5 times… Read >>


Inland Quintana Roo offers great vacation experiences

Carlos Joaquin would like to see those vacationing in Caribbean Sea-fronting Cancun and Playa del Carmen step inland for part of their holiday. Joaquin, governor of the state of Quintana Roo, home to Mexico’s most popular beach destinations, says his jurisdiction has a host of other tourism attributes in addition to its famed sandy shores… Read >>


Peruvian resort upbeat about its new menu

Chilean resort company explora, which has a lodge in Andean Peru’s Sacred Valley, has teamed up with a prominent Peruvian chef who has created a menu featuring many Andean ingredients that reflect the valley’s biodiversity… Read >>


Le Boat makes houseboat cruising a breeze

Lisa McLean says those who might be nervous about the prospect of guiding one of Le Boat’s houseboats along Ontario’s Rideau Canal this year should simply look at her own experience doing so… Read >>


Peru: More than meets the eye

Elisabeth Hakim of Peruvian tourist board PromPeru told a recent Toronto gathering that “everyone associates Peru” with Machu Picchu, the mountaintop Inca site that has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status and has become an iconic symbol of the Latin American country… Read >>


Agent voices concerns about Mexico’s annual tourism show
Uncertain future?

A Toronto-based Uniglobe travel agent who frequently visits Mexico and is a familiar face at the country’s annual tourism show Tianguis says she’s far from certain that the early-April exhibition will continue to be a fixture on Mexico’s tourism scene… Read >>


Hanoi tour vehicles a reminder of the Vietnam War

Goway’s Vietnam program has dropped what would certainly have been a terrible gas-guzzler that served as a reminder of the Vietnam War but tour operator clients visiting Hanoi can explore the city in another vehicle that also recalls that long-running conflict… Read >>


Checking in at the Sun & Sea

The Barcelo Hotel Group’s Solymar property in Varadero lives up to its translated name. The resort’s name in English would be Sun and Sea, a fitting description of a resort in sun-soaked Varadero and which lies on the type of ocean-fronting beach Varadero is famed for… Read >>


Partners for life
Trafalgar makes agents a priority

Trafalgar proudly notes that it has been befriending travel agents for more than 70 years, and its parent company has established a terrific rapport with them as well. Wolf Paunic, who oversees Trafalgar’s Canadian operation, says the tour operator continually reaches out to the travel agency community… Read >>


US CBP executive clears up some misconceptions

The man who oversees US Customs and Border Protection’s presence at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport says the United States remains a welcoming nation for both those wanting to visit it for vacations and people needing to travel there for business and uses CBP statistics to demonstrate that… Read >>


Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar offers shopping on a grand scale

Hakan Baykara says those planning to visit Istanbul’s famed Grand Bazaar needn’t fear that they may end up spending days in something of a maze. Baykara says rumors of people getting lost in the massive shopping complex are groundless, and, in fact, it’s relatively easy for visitors to navigate around it, thanks to some very orderly planning… Read >>


Diplomatic missions will now promote Mexico

The longtime director of the Mexico Tourism Board’s Toronto office has offered a parting thank you to the travel trade for its support, as Mexico’s new government is undertaking a radically different approach to tourism promotion… Read >>


Aeromexico connects Canadians to more than Mexico
Beyond expectations

Aeromexico is eager to be a bridge between this country and destinations south of its homeland, with the Mexican carrier serving 18 points in Central and South America, reaching cities as far south as Quito and Lima… Read >>


Discover an ocean ‘teeming with life’ with Adventure Canada

The Adventure Canada employee among other things oversees the tour operator’s diving program, which has participants don dry suits and then enter frigid Nunavut, Greenland and Newfoundland waters during the company’s June-October northern cruise season… Read >>


Telling the stories of Canada’s north
Adventure Canada

Jason Edmunds is eager to show people his childhood backyard and other northerly locales relatively few Canadians venture to. Edmunds is an expedition leader with Mississauga, Ont.-based Adventure Canada, which has a program that features the East Coast, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut, along with the likes of Greenland and parts of Europe… Read >>


Cruising Havana in a classic car is cool

Do the rugged American-made vehicles that have been rolling along Havana streets for over half a century look pretty in pink? Apparently many of those who chauffeur foreign tourists around the Cuban capital think that’s the case, as do plenty of visitors… Read >>


Operator fears China dispute could hurt travel to other destinations

Tour operator Silk Holidays says the current dispute between Ottawa and Beijing is already cutting into Canadian visitations to China and warns that other Asian destinations’ tourist trades could suffer as well if those tensions drag on… Read >>


Austrian has Canada covered
Charming way to fly

Austrian Airlines reports its aircraft will continue to be visible in Canadian airspace this summer, even as codeshare partner Air Canada’s planes will be the ones physically linking Toronto and Vienna… Read >>


It’s all about location, location, location
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski

Those staying in Old Havana’s Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski will have no trouble following in some of Ernest Hemingway’s storied footsteps… Read >>


Former director upset by upcoming Mexico Tourism Board office closing
Que Pasa, Mexico?

A former director of the Mexico Tourism Board’s Toronto office says he has no doubt that the apparently imminent closing of that office will be damaging to Mexico’s efforts to attract Canadian tourists… Read >>


Korea proving popular with Canadians

John Park, director of the Korea Tourism Organization’s Toronto office, says a sporting spectacular seen as glitch-free and which showcased Korea to the world, is expected to help lead to more than 200,000 Canadians visiting the Asian nation this year… Read >>


Costa Rica proud of it’s natural side

Costa Rica is great for nature enthusiasts wanting to indulge in a little monkey business. The Central American country, a pioneer in the ecotourism movement, is home to different types of primates, a Toronto audience was told recently… Read >>


Florida destination weather’s October hurricane

Hurricane Michael huffed and puffed, but it didn’t come anywhere close to dealing a knockout blow to the tourist trade in the coastal Florida city of Panama City Beach. The Oct. 10 hurricane only lead to “minimal structural damage” in the northwestern Florida destination, which was “90% up and running” as of Dec. 4, says Jayna Leach, vice-president of marketing for Visit Panama City Beach, the local tourism promotion body… Read >>


Nature befriends Florida’s Lee County

Nighttime isn’t always the right time – at least when it comes to those who shun the nightlife scene when on vacation. Tamara Pigott, executive director of Florida’s Lee County Convention & Visitor Bureau, says her Gulf of Mexico-fronting destination isn’t interested in becoming a lively and perhaps raucous destination… Read >>


Vow renewals: a lucrative opportunity for agents

Geri Bain says travel agents who’ve benefited financially by booking destination weddings and honeymoons for clients can benefit once again if their clients remain smitten with one another long after initially tying the knot… Read >>


Tour operators suggest US airport users arrive early

Two tour operators that send clients to the United States are suggesting that clients who are nervous about possible lengthy lineups at security clearances at US airports during the US government shutdown should make a point of arriving earlier than normal for the checks… Read >>


Financial incentives offered to Florida-bound Canadians

VISIT FLORIDA is touting the Power Play Parity Program, which Staci Mellman of VISIT FLORIDA’s head office said during a Jan. 15 Toronto gathering offers “more than 100 great deals on travel” to her state for Canadians… Read >>


Tour operator says spat’s not yet harming its China program

One of the tour operators sending Canadians to China says it hasn’t yet seen any sign that the current tensions between Ottawa and Beijing that began when Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver is curtailing its China business… Read >>


Quebec happy to host Old Man Winter

Isabelle Cyr says it isn’t just Jack Frost who will appreciate being outdoors in Quebec these days. Cyr, spokeswoman for Quebec Original, which promotes Quebec’s tourist offerings, says Quebec is once again a seasonal winter wonderland, with outdoor enthusiasts able to enjoy the likes of skiing, dog-sledding, snowshoeing and a host of other activities… Read >>


Azores Airlines offering agents more choice

Azores Airlines is preparing to offer travel agents more money and their clients departing from Toronto more choices. The carrier, which will close out 2019 with four weekly flights between Toronto and the Azores’ Ponta Delgada, will have daily service between the destinations during the peak May-September summer season, a Toronto gathering was told last week… Read >>


All-inclusive option adds another dimension to Florida Keys

The Bungalows Key Largo resort – slated to open in December in the Florida Keys’ Key Largo – will be offering all-inclusive stays, becoming the only property in the area to do so, a spokeswoman for The Florida Keys & Key West, said during a recent Toronto gathering… Read >>


Turkish Airlines using technology to put trainees in the pilot’s seat

Turkish Airlines has gone the high-tech route to help determine whether aspiring pilots can weather bad weather. The company’s Istanbul training facility includes simulators that are virtually identical to the cockpits in the aircraft in Turkish Airlines’ fleet, with students able to use them for the likes of learning how to land the carrier’s planes… Read >>


Let there be lights

Kalin Pallett wants to truly high-light some dazzling lights for inquisitive sorts. Pallett is with the Whitehorse-based Aurora/360 Experience, which this February plans to carry people in a charter B737 to a height of 11,000 metres, providing what it says will be a particularly spectacular airborne viewing of the Northern Lights… Read >>


Acapulco official upset by plan to close tourism offices

A long-time promoter of Acapulco tourism says she has little doubt that the seemingly probable closure of Mexico Tourism Board offices in Canada and others will be damaging to Mexico’s efforts to attract tourists to the Latin American country… Read >>


Reports say Mexico ready to close tourist board offices

Two veteran Toronto-area travel agents are predicting that the reported impending closures of Mexico Tourism Board offices in Canada and elsewhere will be damaging to Mexican efforts to attract foreign visitors, while one tour operator expects such a move would have little effect on its Mexico program… Read >>


Istanbul ‘ultimate meeting point’ between east and west

Two notable emperors were bullish about Istanbul. Napoleon demonstrated his appreciation for the city when he stated that, “If Earth was a single state, its capital would be Constantinople,” as Istanbul was called for much of its existence, while Roman emperor Constantine made it the capital of the Roman Empire, choosing it for that role in part because of the city’s location, which sees part of the city in Europe and part in Asia… Read >>


Carrier’s Canada-Istanbul link could see more flights

Turkish Airlines is eager to serve as a modern-day Orient express for those wanting to travel from this country to Istanbul. The carrier now has six weekly non-stop flights from Toronto to a city that straddles the dividing line between Europe and the Orient, and three a week from Montreal, and Mustafa Dogan… Read >>


Cuba city displays its creative style
The art of Camaguey

Camaguey, Cuba, has an artistic bent. Luis Viamontes Borras of Infotur says the city is home to many theatrical companies and many artists, who frequently display their creations in local galleries. “The local government has been smart enough to promote them,” Viamontes Borras says of creative city residents.. Read >>


Coastal Florida airport offers quick access to Orlando theme parks

Lori Booker says the coastal Florida airport she promotes offers quicker access to Mickey Mouse’s home turf than the larger airport found in Walt Disney World’s backyard… Read >>


Georgia seeks to make inroads in Canada

Tracy Vaughan and her colleagues are holding out a hand of friendship to Canadians making a vacation journey by car to Florida or who decide that they simply would like a road journey that’s a little shorter… Read >>


Going solo made easy with Just You

Just You – which uses the tagline “solo adventures together” – is the only tour operator in Canada specifically catering to those who wish to travel with a group, but without a roommate, he says. The company, which doesn’t charge single supplements, won’t book two people into the same room. Those wanting to share a room with a partner must book separate rooms, although they can still share a room, something that would leave one of the booked rooms empty… Read >>


Mother Nature has smiled on Belize

You too can see a toucan in Belize. The ecology-minded country has protected more than 40% of its terrain from development, and that in turn has provided a shelter for a host of exotic birds such as toucans, says Deborah Gilharry of the Belize Tourism Board, the logo of which actually has a toucan on it… Read >>


Curaҫao is a painter’s paradise

CuraÇao can be picture perfect for people wanting to brush up on their art skills. The CuraÇao Tourist Board held a recent event in Toronto overseen by prominent Curacao artist Garrick Marchena, whose island has long-established ties to Holland, which produced such household names in art as Rembrandt and van Gogh, and has a flourishing art scene, underscored by murals that are appearing on the island… Read >>


Cuba is accommodating visitors with a new flair

Canadians planning to flee to Cuba in the coming months to escape Old Man Winter’s icy grip will arrive in a Caribbean country home to a number of enhancements to its tourism infrastructure.
Janet Ayala of Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism told a recent Toronto gathering that Cuba has seen a number of recent hotel openings, among them Varadero’s Meliá Hotel Internacional; .. Read >>


Run Barbados: Fun, festive and definitely world class

Barbados is happy to host people who are on the move. Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. is promoting Dec. 7-9’s Run Barbados festival, which features a one-mile walk and 5K, 10K and half-marathon running races, a celebration of athleticism in a destination best known for its sun-splashed beaches… Read >>


The Great Outdoors lies on Phoenix’s doorstep

Douglas MacKenzie doesn’t believe his landlocked state is at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting tourists because it doesn’t front ocean. MacKenzie is spokesman for Visit Phoenix and says those vacationing in his Arizona city of Phoenix who want to cool off in water can easily do so in a swimming pool… Read >>


Tidings of joy from Kissimmee

The Central Florida city of Kissimmee is spreading some Tidings of Comfort and Joy to those who dream of fleeing upcoming winter weather. The city, a stone’s throw from Orlando, hosted an event in Toronto recently that featured a Christmas tree, a reminder that Christmas and winter are drawing nearer… Read >>


Havana looks forward to its 500th year

Those wielding brooms and brushes are out in force as Cuba’s largest city gears up for a major milestone. Cuban tourism minister Manuel Marrero visited Toronto recently, providing an update on all that’s happening in his homeland, including preparations for Havana’s celebrating its 500th anniversary in 2019… Read >>


Mexican hotelfirm upbeat about Cuba debut
Doors open

Mexican hotel company Grupo Posadas will make its debut outside its homeland with twin openings in Cuba on Nov. 1. The company, which has different hotel brands and properties throughout Mexico, will open resorts in Varadero and Holguin at the start of next month… Read >>


Australia: There’s nothing like it!
Canadian agents invited to become Aussie specialists and win

Tourism Australia is seeking a talented Canadian travel agent to become a part of a new VIP program. The tourism body is inviting those who have completed introductory modules of its Aussie Specialist Program (ASP) to be one of the country’s first-ever Aussie Specialist Ambassadors, the rewards of which will include a free fam to the country next spring… Read >>


Education looms large at TLN Regionals
School’s not out for members of Travel Leaders Network

The network hosted its second 2018 Ontario regional in Toronto last week, and will hold similar events in Calgary and Edmonton later in October. Christine James, Travel Leaders Network’s vice president Canada, says the annual gatherings benefit Travel Leaders Networks members who attend, among other things providing an educational component that will translate into more money in their bank accounts… Read >>


Mullen trades moguls for Mexico

Former national ski team member Cary Mullen has gone from life in winter’s extremely fast lane to now hosting winter-weary refugees in a sun-soaked part of the world that will never experience the sort of snow Mullen saw growing up in Banff… Read >>


Kenya: Home to the wonders of Africa

Tunai, governor of Kenya’s Narok County, told a recent The Travel Corporation/ME to WE gathering in Toronto that his Kenyan jurisdiction is home to the likes of lions, frequently dubbed the king of the beasts; leopards; elephants; giraffes; and other creatures that lure wildlife enthusiasts, and he promised that Narok County is taking steps to protect them at a time when much of African wildlife populations are dwindling because of poaching and human encroachment… Read >>


Experience wildlife from A to Z

Goway’s Africa program spans a range of wildlife ranging from A(ardvark) to Z(ebra).
Moira Smith of Goway’s Africa program told a recent Toronto gathering that the program features 22 countries, with many of those countries having predominantly wildlife-based tourism, .. Read >>


China Eastern Airlines wants to make inroads in Toronto

China Eastern Airlines wants to build the same kind of reputation among the general public in the Toronto area as it has among expatriate Chinese living in the Ontario capital.
The Shanghai-based airline has daily Toronto-Shanghai service, offering passengers a choice of First, Business and Economy Class service on the B777-300s it uses on the route… Read >>


ANA upbeat about its use of Tokyo airport

ANA has gone from being an operation that began with two helicopters to one that has a very weighty presence in both Japanese and international airspace.
Kana Watanabe, assistant manager of passenger sales in ANA’s Vancouver office, reports that her carrier is the largest in Japan,.. Read >>


TIAC talks cannabis legalization

Don’t expect tourism authorities in this country to reach out to marijuana enthusiasts who like to take the high road when they travel abroad.
In fact at a recent TIAC town hall gathering in Toronto, officials from TIAC and other tourism organizations weighed in on the Oct. 17 legalization of cannabis in this country,.. Read >>


Old meets new in Cuba’s capital
Gaviota upbeat about luxury Havana hotels

Cuba’s Gaviota Tourism Group has put a new face on an Old Havana landmark that it says adds another upscale dimension to the Cuban capital.
Gaviota’s vice-president of marketing Frank Pais Oltuski Rodriguez told a Toronto audience last week that developments for the Cuban tourism powerhouse include the just-opened 321-room Iberostar Grand Hotel Packard,.. Read >>


It’s bottoms up when the sun goes down

Cricket Wagner of St. Pete Beach, Florida’s, Sirata Beach Resort says resort guests needn’t be thirsty when they gather during the evening to watch the sun lower itself in the sky.
The Gulf Coast-fronting resort this year began posting the times of area sunsets, and inviting guests to enjoy 30 minutes of free beer, wine or rum punches as they watch the nightly spectacle… Read >>


Vietnam proud of its distinctive cuisine

A Vietnamese tourism delegation visited Toronto recently, promoting the attributes of the southeast Asian country, which includes a food scene that drew international attention when the late food enthusiast Anthony Bourdain and former U.S. president Barack Obama had lunch together in modest but popular Hanoi restaurant Bun Cha, which serves the likes of pho, a hugely popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine… Read >>


Cuban history lives on in Santiago de Cuba

Tourism officials say the city of Santiago de Cuba can lay a rightful claim to playing a pivotal role in the Cuban Revolution, with the eastern city being home to the structure that saw the first shots fired in that multi-year guerrilla campaign… Read >>


History still unfolding in Axum

Ethiopian tourism officials are inviting tourists to follow in some regal footsteps they proudly state also belonged to a storied Biblical figure. Those officials boast that the city of Axum stands on a site where the Queen of Sheba once held sway, and those visiting it will see long-standing reminders of its past greatness – along with another reminder of its glorious history that unfortunately is no longer standing… Read >>


Little works are a big deal for elephant conservation

Puangpen Klanwari, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Canadian office, holds a colourful Elephant Parade carving. With Klanwari are her colleagues Viktor Spysak and Kayla Shubert… Read >>


St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ tourism takes off with new airport

Last year’s opening of Argyle International Airport has given the tourist trade in St. Vincent and the Grenadines a major shot in the arm, with Canadians among others giving more attention to a destination that has become easier for us to reach… Read >>


Barbados makes inroads in all-inclusives market

Barbados Tourism Marketing wants to dispel any belief that Barbados can’t cater to those who like to vacation at all-inclusive resorts, a vacation experience that has built a huge following in the Canadian market… Read >>


TIAC town hall takes on the issues in Toronto

Several prominent people in the tourism trade want people outside their industry to show a little more love for travel and tourism. Tourism Toronto head Johanne Belanger told a recent TIAC town hall session in Toronto that the “lack of understanding of the value of tourism outside of the industry” is baffling to her… Read >>


Mother Nature has been kind to Baja
Blessed by nature

The head of the Los Cabos tourist board says the area his destination is in has clearly been blessed by nature. Rodrigo Esponda said during Mexico’s annual tourism show Tianguis that the region has “desert, mountains and two seas,” with those seas being the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortes,.. Read >>


Chicago pizza tours a tasty treat

Steve Dolinsky isn’t the least bit bothered by the fact that his Chicago tours are remarkably cheesy. Dolinsky – in Toronto recently for a Chicago promotional event – launched Pizza City, USA in May, which has tours showcasing the city’s pizza offerings,.. Read >>


Puerto Rico pleased with post-Maria progress

Hurricane Maria huffed and puffed, but tourism officials say it couldn’t knock Puerto Rico’s tourism trade down for the count. Those officials say power is once again up and running throughout the country, tourists visiting will find plenty of hotels and attractions to choose from… Read >>


New Zealand launches another daredevil attraction

New Zealand’s newest thrill attraction is expected to fling people from far-flung locales.
The latest venture for Henry van Asch – who cofounded AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand – is the Nevis Catapult, which flings people into the air in the remote Nevis Valley… Read >>


Weakened Lane moves away from Hawai‘i

Hawaiian tourism officials were telling those vacationing in Hawai‘i Monday they should continue to be cautious, even as Hurricane Lane weakened dramatically and was moving away from the state… Read >>


Celestial displays make Chilean desert sparkle
Atacama – simply amazing

Those visiting northern Chile’s Atacama Desert may find themselves feeling a little star-struck.
Travel journalist Joe Yogerst told a Chile Tourism Board reception in Toronto recently that Atacama – considered the driest place on the planet – has spectacular nighttime celestial displays,.. Read >>


Artisans create fashion by Recycling
Crafted with care

Stephen Martinelli believes the interior Costa Rican community of El Roble de Sarapiqui is looking a little more spic and span these days thanks to a couple of local artisans. Martinelli, working in Costa Rica with the U.S. Peace Corps, notes Ligia Ecalante and Mayela Lara are fashioning crafts for tourists out of items that might otherwise end up as litter in local streets… Read >>


Discover the Czech Republic in the heart of Europe

Jiri Duzar of Czech Tourism says his homeland is smack-dab in the middle of Europe, something that he says well serves visitors wanting to explore different countries on that continent… Read >>


Tour Operators regret suspension of Saudia Toronto Service

Saudi Arabian Airlines’ decision to suspend Toronto service in the wake of an ongoing diplomatic feud between Ottawa and Saudi Arabia has disappointed tour operators that send people to the Middle East, even as those tour operators note there are numerous alternatives for those planning to travel to the region… Read >>


The Hawai‘ian Islands – distinctly different

Colin Wood says Hawai‘i vacations never need to amount to more of the same.
Wood, Account Director for Hawai‘i Tourism Canada, notes those considering a Hawai‘i vacation have a choice of islands, with differences in those islands quickly becoming apparent to those that visit them… Read >>


Experience, reliability is what apto is all about

A new alliance comprised of tour companies working in inbound tourism proudly states its members collectively have considerable expertise. The Toronto-based Alliance of Pioneer Travel Operators now has some 30 members from destinations as diverse as Iceland, Peru, Greece, Hungary, Guatemala, India, Egypt, Turkey, and Spain… Read >>


Trafalgar launches new ‘First Look’ initiative
Program allows clients to lock in pricing travel dates

The tour operator unveiled its First Look concept in mid-July, saying the agent-focused initiative enables loyal partners to offer clients an exclusive “First Look” to book and provides 10% savings on the tour operator’s 2019 tours in Europe and Britain… Read >>

 

 

 

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