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Australia/New Zealand/PAC

What a mess. As folks in Puerto Rico try to cope with flooding and the lack of electricity from the effects of Hurricane Maria, the post-Maria work continues for St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in poor Dominica, which bore the full force of the hurricane’s wrath earlier this week. The Caribbean Journal today was reporting that “Hurricane Maria clobbered Puerto Rico on Wednesday, sending it into a total island-wide blackout, with reports of significant property damage.” Top that off with the severe damage done by Hurricane Irma to St. Martin/St. Maarten, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Cuba and ... continue reading →

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An item on the Newsday website says that Toronto’s own CN Tower is the 11th most photographed landmark (or at least the 11th most hashtagged landmark) on the planet. That’s a bit surprising in some ways, as it puts what was once the world’s tallest freestanding structure higher on the list than such notable places as The Taj Mahal and even Buckingham Palace. Then again, it IS a very large tower and it’s in a huge city that’s very close to not only millions of Canadians but tens of millions of Americans who want to come up and take advantage ... continue reading →

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Hong Kong makes sense. Certainly Tokyo. But Athens? And how does my home city of Toronto end up fifth best for food in Canada? Booking.com today released a list of the top destinations its travellers enjoy for great food. There are some obvious inclusions and some surprising exclusions, if you ask me. (Which you technically didn’t). Here’s what booking.com customers came up with for a ranking of the food scene in Canada: 1. Vancouver 2. Montreal 3. Halifax 4. Winnipeg 5. Toronto I don’t want to get all parochial here, but there’s not a chance Toronto is only the fifth ... continue reading →

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First they went low. Now they’re going long. It was just 10 days ago or so that Calgary-based WestJet announced they were going to launch Canada’s first ultra-low-cost air carrier, a move that would see them tangle directly with New Leaf Travel in a sort of Canadian version of Ryanair or Easyjet. On Tuesday, the airline zagged in the opposite direction, announcing it will buy up to 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with an eye on grabbing some of Air Canada’s long-distance routes to Asia, Europe and South America. It’s a heckuva plan for a company that still positions itself as ... continue reading →

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Canada’s renewed investment in tourism seems to be working. The low Canadian dollar and U.S. politics also might be helping. Figures released today by Destination Canada show that arrivals into Canada last year jumped 11% to our highest level in 14 years. Visits from the U.S. reached 13,899,814; up 10%, while international arrivals jumped a whopping 16 %. In total, Canada attracted 19,979,334 visitors; the second highest amount ever and the highest since 2002. This year could be even better given it’s our 150th birthday, with parties planned coast to coast, and the continuing low dollar. There also are reports ... continue reading →

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