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Caribbean

We lost Prince and Glenn Frey of The Eagles and Leonard Cohen. And a certain Twitter-loving business guy of mixed intelligence got elected president of the U.S. But there were some great things for me in the year in travel, including a yodelling shop owner, a sex-crazed marsupial and a chance meeting with the son of one of the fabled Marx Brothers. So here are my annual Jimmy Awards for travel, this time with an eye on the off-kilter, weird and just a little bit strange. Best Rum-Punch-Drinking-Monkey: This fellow (of course, it may have been a lady monkey) at ... continue reading →

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I spent a great deal of time in Canada and the U.S. in 2016. I also had visits to several Caribbean Islands, including small spots like Mayreau on a Sea Dream Yacht Club cruise and larger islands such as the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Barbados and St. Martin. I had week-long visits to both Australia and New Zealand. And I managed time in Portugal, England, Italy, Germany and several other countries on my Viking River cruise. Here are my Jimmy Awards for top travel spots of 2016 outside Canada and the U.S. Best Beach Surprise: Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic. Reached via ... continue reading →

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I’ve been using my Aeroplan points for the better part of two decades, often cashing in to buy flights for my wife or for my family to visit my Dad in California. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s good to take advantage of special offers to boost your points. Aeroplan often has great specials and bonus point programs, and it’s crazy to not take advantage. That goes especially for the latest round of specials, which Aeroplan is practically begging you to use by handing out special tips on how to maximize your card. Tip number one, of course, is ... continue reading →

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Good. But not good enough. The Jamaica Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, was in Toronto last week to talk about tourism in Jamaica. Last year some 380,000 Canadians visited Jamaica. That’s good, and Canadians spend more than most tourists, but it’s below the record of 400,000, Bartlett said. In a report in the Jamaica Gleaner, Bartlett said the Canadian market dropped 6.8 per cent in Jamaica last year. Which is why he was in Toronto to talk with travel planners, Canada’s major airlines and journalists. He told the Gleaner the meetings in Canada “are a crucial part of ... continue reading →

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There are challenges for sure. But Caribbean tourism officials are grateful for the Canadians who continue to visit year after year. The chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Richard Sealy, and the secretary-general of the CTO, Hugh Riley, are in Toronto this week to meet with major players in the business and to be sure Canadians continue to shower affection – and dollars – on the Caribbean. “Things are very good at the moment,” said Sealy, who also is the tourism minister for Barbados, one of my favourite spots in the Caribbean. “Visitor numbers are good, receipts are good. We ... continue reading →

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