Hotel Wi-Fi is one of those touchstone issues travellers love to talk about. Who’s got the best? And who’s got it for free? There’s a new study out from Hotel WiFi Test that ranks hotels around the world, which is a great idea. The bad news for Canadians is there’s no Canada table. But there is date for Europe and the U.S. and Asia, so it’s still pretty useful. And a bit surprising. Despite continuing criticism, there are far too many hotels in the U.S. that charge for Wi-Fi, which I’ve argued is like charging for water in the shower ... continue reading →

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A new report released today says wine tourism is a growing and important part of Canada’s tourism industry. That’s not really news, but the report from the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) finds that wine tourism attracts a whopping 3 million visitors a year and drives $1.2 billion in spending a year for the critical national tourism sector. Canadian wine regions are world-class, not only because of the great wine, but also the hospitality, infrastructure and natural beauty, which we believe can be further promoted to would-be international visitors,” said Dan Paszkowski, President ... continue reading →

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Lennon and McCartney. Lemon and lime. Golf and Scotch. Some things in life just go together. They grow in similar climates. They grew up together. Or, like golf and Scotch, they hail from the same country and count as perhaps a nation’s greatest two inventions. I like to think the first game of golf was followed by the winner buying a dram for the boys. Or maybe girls. Or perhaps golf created Scotch. I mean, maybe one day long, long ago a guy in the Scottish Highlands was whipping his mashie club along a particularly peaty bit of soil and ... continue reading →

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We’ve wasted a lot of years in this country as the Canadian government continually slashed at federal tourism budgets. But rather than be churlish about this, I’m going to congratulate Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Tory government in Ottawa for FINALLY waking up and smelling the visitor numbers. It’s not as much money as tourism folks were asking. The latest releases I saw from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada were talking about $35 million a year from Ottawa for three years. The release they sent out today says Harper has promised $30 million but spread over those same ... continue reading →

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My recent stay at One&Only Palmilla was my first-ever trip to the Cabo San Lucas area of Mexico. And it was my first-ever exposure to the One&Only Resort brand. I hope it won’t be the last for either. It was just three nights, but I have to say I was HUGELY impressed by what I saw and felt (and ate and drank) during my stay last week. The only resorts I’d been to in Mexico prior to this trip were in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area, so that was my frame of reference. No offence to that area, as I love ... continue reading →

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From one part of Canada to another. Last night the folks from the Calgary Stampede were in town, putting on a humdinger of a party at Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon in downtown Toronto. The bar was a sea of white hats with red trim, and they had a smokin’ good band called Trinity Bradshaw. They didn’t do a big press presentation, preferring to let the great food and music – okay, and the beer – speak for itself. But I can tell you I went to the Stampede last year for the first time and loved it. The atmosphere at ... continue reading →

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NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE Niagara and the wine region is one of the best city getaways in North America; an easy drive from the Greater Toronto Area. But staying the night can get expensive, and you don’t want to taste wine all day and then get behind the wheel. Solution? The special GO Transit train and bus to Niagara. I had the opportunity to try it out the other day, taking the train from Union Station in Toronto. We glided past quiet suburbs and pretty ravines on our way to St. Catharines, a trip of about 90 minutes. From there we were able ... continue reading →

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