Travel Best Jobs

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.

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 >>