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Residence Inn by Marriott has always been a great spot for folks who want spacious hotel suites for longer-term stays. But now they’re giving the properties a millennial-friendly, social spin. Hotel officials were in Toronto Wednesday night to show off their “Inn the Mix” program, which provides “social hours” with local beer and wine and cool food options at Residence Inn properties. “Millenials are travelling more for business,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager for Residence Inn, Towne Place Suites, Protea and Marriott Executive Apartments. “They’re used to having social time so we wanted a program with ... continue reading →

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I wrote yesterday that it was a great day to book a flight. Then came news of more great travel deals this morning. On top of what I mentioned yesterday (see below for details), I got a note this morning to say that SATA/Azores Airlines is offering 25% off all flights from Canada to Portugal as a Boxing Day special. The airlines’ web site says the deal is for any route between Canada and Portugal operated by Azores Airlines and SATA Air Açores but does not include interlines/codeshares with other carriers. The sale runs from now until Jan. 4, 2017, ... continue reading →

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Canadians would rather travel with their mobile phone than with a loved one, says a study from hotels.com. And we’re not averse to booking a hotel room while on the toilet. The company’s Mobile Travel Tracker study found that two-thirds of Canadians (66 per cent) named their mobile phone as their favourite travel accessory, compared to 47 per cent who said their best friend or loved one. (Maybe they use their mobile phone to do live chats with their spouse, but still….) The study also found that 69 per cent of Canadians spend one to two hours a day on ... continue reading →

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WestJet Encore began two years ago as a regional division of WestJet with two aircraft serving five cities. With today’s announcement that they’re adding a whack of new flights in the Maritimes and Newfoundland (as well as new options in Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa), WestJet’s Encore division is up to 16 planes serving more than 20 destinations, officials said. WestJet executives took to the tarmac at Stansfield International in Halifax today to unveil several new flights, including Halifax-Glasgow (May 29 on regular WestJet, not Encore), Halifax-Gander (July 15 on Encore), Halifax-Deer Lake/Corner Brook (July 15, Encore) and Halifax-Sydney (July 15, ... continue reading →

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It’s that time again. The Sochi Olympics have already begun, and the Opening Ceremony is Friday at 11 a.m. Eastern time. This is the first winter Olympics I’ve missed being at since Nagano. I was the Star’s Olympics assignment editor and on-site web person for all the Games from Sydney in 2000 up to Vancouver in 2010. Vancouver was a magical way to finish my Olympics career. I spent pretty much 15 to 16 hours a day at the Main Press Centre, organizing assignments and covering the odd press conference and writing sometimes eight or 10 stories a day for ... continue reading →

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