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Europe

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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The city of Okotoks, Alberta was ridiculed couple years ago when one section of a page of their campaign read “There are a number of things to do in Okotoks.” Yeah, that’s probably not going to win any major advertising awards. Back in the 1990s or so, the city of Barrie, Ontario had a sign when you came into town saying, “Beautiful Barrie, Ontario’s Most Progressive City.” I was never able to prove that, but last I checked there weren’t any homeless people, all the elderly were well looked after and the only crimes were small children shoplifting tiny bits ... continue reading →

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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 just had lunch today with a former colleague who said he’d been thinking of taking a trip to see a Christmas market in Germany. “Maybe not now,” he said, referring to yesterday’s tragic attack in Berlin, where 12 people were killed and many more innocent people injured by a maniac with no respect for human life. “Too many soldiers with guns now.” I see his point. And it’s an easy one to make. It’s also the wrong approach. Because if we stop travelling, the terrorists win. And I’m not going to let that happen. I’m not going to jump ... continue reading →

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