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Asia

Expedia’s climb in Canada has been remarkable. Fifteen years ago, Expedia.ca was just coming into existence. Most Canadians looking for hotels at the time used something called a land-line telephone at home to book hotels or even went without reservations and cruised the highways of Canada and the U.S., or the streets of Europe, looking for flashing vacancy signs in hotel windows. Now, Expedia.ca is the largest on-line travel service provider in the country and does $12 billion gross in business in Canada per year; a target they reached back in 2012. From zero hotel properties and zero airlines in ... continue reading →

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Sure, a ticket to see Aunt Gladys next spring would be a great way to spend your Aeroplan points. But maybe this Christmas you could try something a little sexier or exotic (no offence to Aunt Gladys). You’re in luck, because Aeroplan officials have unveiled a huge lineup of goodies that you can purchase to impress your loved ones, or those you’d like to make love you a little bit more. From glamorous Tissot watches to Bose electronics to Roots shaving kits to one-of-a-kind gifts you simply can’t find in a store (such as a guitar autographed by members of ... continue reading →

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I was travel editor for five years at the Star. I’ve been travelling the world (on and off) for 25 years or so. But I still can’t figure out why Asian airlines are able to do things North American airlines can’t. Or won’t. There’s just something about the service you get when you fly an airline like Cathay Pacific that you won’t find on American or Delta, and probably not WestJet or Air Canada. It’s little things, I think, such as nicer bathrooms and hand lotion even in economy washrooms. Not to mention a TV screen that showed passengers what ... continue reading →

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BANGKOK – Being on the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking the Chao Phraya river in this city is a pretty cool place to watch a thunderstorm. Kinda ruined my shot at dining outdoors at the luscious-looking Thai restaurant here (see photo of the  seating area by the river) at the Peninsula Hotel, but I’ll try tomorrow for a drink anyway. It’s my first visit to Thailand and, naturally, first to Bangkok. So far, so good. I had fabulous and spicy Tom Yum Goong soup at the outdoor café here overlooking the river, as well as a dish of minced ... continue reading →

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Here are two blogs from various visits to Hong Kong, one of the world’s great cities. HONG KONG – This is a huge, bustling, wild and teeming city. No doubt about that. But one of the things I love about Hong Kong is that you can get away from it all far easier than in many cities. There’s Victoria Peak, of course, where you can walk for a couple miles amid hanging vines and towering trees and gaze down at not only the buildings of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon but also vast ravines and wide open stretches of ocean ... continue reading →

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