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TRANSAT TO CLOSE TORONTO CALL CENTRE

78 jobs to be eliminated
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30 MAY 2016: Transat A.T. is eliminating 78 jobs as it closes its Toronto call centre and reorganizes some of its tour activities in a bid to improve profitability. The Montreal-based company, which operates Air Transat, said 66 positions will be eliminated when the Toronto call centre closes Sept. 12. MORE

MONTAGNESE LEAVES TRAVELBRANDS

Travel agents let go. Rumours are flying.
By JEN SAVEDRA
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30 MAY 2016: TravelBrands has announced the resignation of Nino Montagnese, senior vice president of sales and marketing. Montagnese began at TravelBrands in early 2015 where he was joined last September by his former boss at ACV, Zeina Gedeon, who is now CEO at TravelBrands. MORE

HOME AND AWAY

Kissimmee is the place to stay
By JEN SAVEDRA
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30 MAY 206: We met up recently with Nori Rodriguez, communications director for Experience Kissimmee, who was in Toronto with a dozen partners reminding us of all the area has to offer and highlighting the latest developments and improvements. Despite the less than stellar performance of our loonie, Canadians continue to flock to Kissimmee not the least for its proximity to the Big Parks and entertainment venues, along with the diversity of accommodation available. MORE

TOURISME MONTREAL ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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30 MAY 2016: Tourisme Montréal has announced its Board of Directors for the upcoming year during the Annual General Assembly at the Saint-James Club of Montreal. Raymond Bachand will continue to chair the Board of Directors, which is comprised of 15 members. MORE

MOVING ALONG

Holiday air travellers get a break from long security lines
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30 MAY 2016: Travellers who were dreading long airport security lines ahead of the Memorial Day weekend instead reported moving quickly through checkpoints Friday after authorities opened extra screening lanes and used bomb-sniffing dogs to give some passengers a break from removing their shoes. MORE

HOLA AND OLA

The good, the bad and the ugly.
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30 MAY 2016: With sunny days getting longer and lazier, sparkling beaches warming up and terrorism fears driving customers away from other Mediterranean destinations, Spain and Portugal are reaping an economic bonanza from tourism. However, while most in the cash-strapped nations are welcoming the influx, some locals have been exasperated by the crowds of tourists. MORE

STORMS HALT ALL FLIGHTS INTO HOUSTON AIRPORT

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30 MAY 2016: Heavy thunderstorms that caused flooding in Central and Southeast Texas halted all flights coming into and leaving Houston's largest airport for nearly two hours. Houston Airport System spokesman Bill Begley said the Federal Aviation Administration ordered a ground stop on Friday for all flights into and out of Bush Intercontinental Airport. The ground stop lasted from 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time. MORE

TOP 10 US BEACHES

Hawaii takes top spot but Florida nabs three
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30 MAY 2016: Every year, visitors await Dr. Steve Leatherman’s annual Top 10 Beaches list, eager to discover the beaches with the softest sands and clearest waters. MORE

INTO SPAIN

By ANN WALLACE
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30 MAY 2016: It was early this year when I finished a column on this site with the words “… but now we have plans to travel farther afield via a different mode of transport. Stay tuned!” So, as promised, I now take up that story. MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

PASSENGERS EVACUATED

Korean Air jet has engine fire in Tokyo
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27 MAY 2016: An engine fire broke out on a Korean Air jet about to take off from a Tokyo airport Friday and seven people may have been injured, an official said. MORE

TOURISM SOARS IN BC

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27 MAY 2016: Smart marketing, the low dollar, great snow conditions and new international flights are all contributing to increasing tourism numbers for BC. March visitors were up over 16 percent over last year and the fastest growing markets are from France and Mexico. MORE

DELTA DROPS REGINA ROUTE

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27 MAY 2016: This past fall, Delta Airlines switched to a larger aircraft for its Minneapolis-Regina flights. The airline has noted a poor performance on the route since then, and recently announced it will be ending service as of July 31. That leaves the capital of Saskatchewan with no flights from a US carrier. MORE

COURTING DISNEY

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27 MAY 2016: When Disney’s Magic cruised into the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavillion mid month it was the result of a year of planning. Both the cruise line and the Sydney Ports Corporation wanted to ensure that the Cape Breton experience was a pleasant one as they welcomed the Disney vessel for the first time. The Port of Charlottetown, undoubtedly took notes as they will welcome Disney Magic for the first time next year. MORE

A TASTE FOR WINE

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27 MAY 2016: Passengers on board Cunard’s newly rejuvenated Queen Mary 2, will now be able to indulge in a unique collection of 450 fine wines, including the highly sought after California Screaming Eagle at $4,500 per bottle, which is to be served by the glass for the very first time. MORE

BACK OFF

Agressive local vendors discourage tourists
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27 MAY 2016: Visitors to Jamaica are undoubtedly aware of local vendors seeking their business. When those visitors choose not to get off a cruise ship to avoid what they consider harassment by the locals, then it is a serious problem for the country’s tourism. MORE

PASSING THE SMELL TEST

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27 MAY 2016: The Pacific Jewel was berthed at Australia’s Sydney Harbour in February where it is reported to have shown sulfur levels nearly three times the limit. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued Carnival Cruise Line a $15,000 fine, which they are appealing, saying it took 20 days for the fuel samples to be analyzed. MORE

OPTICAL ILLUSION

Artist makes Louvre Pyramid disappear
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27 MAY 2016: French street artist JR has made the famous Louvre Pyramid in Paris disappear in an optical illusion. The artist covered the huge glass pyramid with a trompe l'oeil installation that makes it seem as if the monument at the heart of the courtyard has disappeared. MORE

NOTHING TO WEAR

One reason to travel light
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27 MAY 2016: Desire Resorts, known for its adult vacation experiences is taking its adults, couples-only, clothing-optional concept to sea with its first-ever Desire Cruise, aboard the newly-refurbished luxury liner Azamara Quest. MORE

SEAWORTHY

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27 MAY 2016: The financial reports of three major cruise lines show healthy earnings for those at the helm, with Frank Del Rio president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, taking home the bounty with just under US $32 million ($41.7 million) including salary, stock and option awards and other compensations. MORE

SIX WAYS VISTA UPS THE FUN QUOTIENT

The Biggest Ship Yet for Carnival
By WALLACE IMMEN
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27 MAY 2016: The dance floor is packed with ladies who can’t help but get up and salsa to the band’s infectious Cuban beat, while half a dozen bartenders muddle mojitos and dance with daiquiris. MORE
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