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Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Jen Savedra (Editor)
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CANADIAN TOURISM SNAPSHOT

It was a very good year
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04 MAR 2015: The early 2014 tourism report card for Canada has been filed: it was a good year, with 17.1 million international visitors coming to Canada, a 3 percent rise on the previous year. That positive news is tempered slightly by the knowledge that Canada has not reached its full potential: our tourism growth is below the global average of 5 percent recorded by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), says the latest Tourism Snapshot from the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s Research department. MORE

PROFITS OVER SAFETY

Only some airlines ban rechargeable battery shipments
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04 MAR 2015:  Some of the world's largest airlines are banning bulk shipments of rechargeable batteries in the face of mounting evidence of their potential to cause catastrophic in-flight fires. MORE

CHANGES AT CRYSTAL

New Ship. New Owner.
By WALLACE IMMEN
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04 MAR 2015:  An announcement of a new ship for Crystal Cruises came with a stunning addition, the company that founded Crystal is selling the line. But the company was quick to reassure loyal customers of the luxury brand that all is well and in fact the deal should make Crystal even better.  Japan’s NYK shipping company will sell the cruise line it founded in 1988 to Genting Hong Kong, which is a shareholder in Asia’s Star Cruises as well as Norwegian Cruise Line, which recently took luxury lines Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises into their family. MORE

WESTJET IN FEBRUARY

A record 1.6 million passengers
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04 MAR 2015:  WestJet has announced February 2015 traffic results with a load factor of 84.3 percent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 3.3 percent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 3.7 percent over the same period. MORE

SIEM REAP SAILS THE MEKONG RIVER

First Avalon Suite Ship in Asia
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04 MAR 2015: A journey with Avalon Waterways gets travellers closer to all the must-see sights and introduces them to the locals and their way of life.  And now, travellers have the opportunity to live the “suite life” in Asia.  For the first time, Avalon Waterways has introduced a new, 36-guest Suite Ship on the Mekong River. MORE

THE FORGOTTEN COAST

Serenity and oysters. Does it get any better.
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04 MAR 2015:  Tiny Apalachicola is often overlooked by Florida visitors lured by the state's bigger tourist draws such as Disney World, South Beach and Key West. Getting here isn't as easy as getting to the tourist hotspots, but the extra travel is worth the effort for anyone wanting to experience Florida as it was before all the highways, high-rises and high-end development. MORE

MATERNITY TOURISM ON THE RISE

Feds target industry
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04 MAR 2015: Women who come to the US from China to give birth to automatic American citizens may not be breaking the law by doing so, but it's illegal to lie about why they're coming into the country. MORE

RIVIERA NAYARIT

Pacific Bliss on the Bay of Banderas
By ANITA DRAYCOTT
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04 MAR 2015: I’ve noticed a trend. Folks take a weeklong vacation in Puerto Vallarta. They love it and spend two weeks the following year. Weeks become months and often these folks (myself included) start venturing further up the Bay of Banderas and into the state of Nayarit for the entire winter. Bucerias is so popular with Canadians, especially those from the West Coast, it’s been dubbed “BC-rias.” MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

HOLY MAN CAVE

Toronto tunnel has no deep purpose
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03 MAR 2015: Seems that neither basement nor garage were good enough. Two young men who built a mysterious tunnel in Toronto apparently had no criminal intent - they just wanted a man cave, police said Monday. MORE

TOURIST KILLED AT GLACIER

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03 MAR 2015: Alaska State Troopers say a 28-year-old Italian tourist was killed when he was crushed by a large piece of ice that broke from a glacier. Alexander Hellweger died Sunday in the accident at the head of Lake George Glacier, north of Anchorage. MORE

LABOURS LOST

Disputes force flight cancellations at SAS and Norwegian
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03 MAR 2015: Scandinavian Airlines says some 50 flights were cancelled Monday to and from Denmark after members of a Danish cabin crew union walked out to protest the carrier's plan to transfer employees to a domestic airline acquired by SAS. MORE

GOOGLE RIDE

Zipping through the Amazon
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03 MAR 2015: - For its next technological trick, Google will show you what it's like to zip through trees in the Amazon jungle. The images released Monday are the latest addition to the diverse collection of photos supplementing Google's widely used digital maps. MORE

NEW ZEALAND PLAYS HOST

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03 MAR 2015: New Zealand is hosting two brand new events to the country in March: The Ultimate Waterman and Crankworx. Born in Whistler, Crankworx is the world’s largest mountain bike event and is now truly global. From March 25 to 29, Crankworx will be held in Rotorua. MORE

YOU CAN VISIT NOW

North Korea lifts Ebola instigated travel restrictions
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03 MAR 2015: North Korea has lifted severe restrictions on foreign travel it imposed last year to keep the Ebola virus from crossing its borders. The already isolated country virtually closed its borders to foreigners last October, halting all non-essential visas and requiring those few foreigners allowed in to undergo three weeks of quarantine. The rules applied to diplomats, NGO workers and even senior North Korean officials returning from overseas trips. MORE

BRAZIL TAKES BEST BEACH

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03 MAR 2013: Earning the coveted No. 1 spot on Trip Advisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice awards global list of World’s Best Beaches for the second year in a row was Baia do Sancho on the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Fortaleza. MORE

HELLO NITTY GRITTY

The lean bottom line
By PAM STELLINI
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03 MAR 2015: A strange hotel will be opening in Japan this summer. The owners are working on the recruitment process right now and have identified about ten of the staff members they hope will help them achieve the epitome in efficiency. They boast of their receptionists having girlish gestures. And if all goes well future staff members will appear to sweat. MORE
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