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Ilona Kauremszky

As a frequent traveller, Ilona has filed numerous articles on the travel industry for leading consumer and trade publications and rubbed shoulders with the famous and not so famous, pulled G-forces in race cars and tested her acrophobia in more ways than she cares to remember. A former editor of a meetings magazine, you'll often spot her covering one of your events.

As a weekly Q+A travel columnist of a major newspaper, Ilona provides readers with travel tips and advice. Ilona also co-produces mycompass.ca and its digital TV channel, mycompasstv.

RECENT ARTICLES


THE MAGIC OF MAPLE LEAF ADVENTURES

18 MAR 2019: Maple Leaf Adventures, a Canadian-owned enterprise, has morphed into a boutique eco-tourism initiative that leads guests to uncharted territories for award-winning bespoke wilderness encounters. High experience tourism is pegged as one of the fastest growing sectors in cruising. As one cruise insider notes, Canada's fabled Pacific Coast is ready for mindful exploration.


SNAPTRAVEL WANTS TO BE YOUR NEW HOTEL FRIEND

12 MAR 2019: Established for busy travel consumers who want a hotel room pronto, SnapTravel intends to alleviate hotel booking dilemmas by being your 'friend.' The Canadian based digital hotel booking company is best described as a “conversational commerce” hotel reservation system. They hosted an evening for TravelMassive social media influencers to share company news and awareness of their services.


SUNNY WAYS TO ROLL INTO NORTH CAROLINA

04 MAR 2019: Quebec folks will soon be able to converge on North Carolina happenings with the new Air Canada daily non-stop Montreal-Raleigh service starting on June 3. Those in the GTA have already enjoyed direct air service to the south-eastern US State.


A TRIP LIKE NO OTHER
A Wessex Girl Remembers

20 FEB 2019: Turn back the clock, brew a pot of tea, and hunker down in your favourite chair on this cold winter day to read A Wessex Girl Remembers –Memories of a War-Time Childhood. Canadian travel writer Tess Bridgwater has written her memoirs using a 12 mile radius in the southernmost corner of Wessex she frequented as a 12 year-old growing up in southern England to unravel intriguing historic footnotes of epic proportions.


THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
Checking it out at the New York Times Travel Show

06 FEB 2019: The travel year is looking good. Despite political unrest and the wrath of Mother Nature in some destinations, you'd never consider these points taking a walk through the rows of tourism exhibits at this year's 16th annual New York Times Travel Show which was held at the Javits Center.


FILL YOUR HEART WITH IRELAND

05 FEB 2019: Tourism Ireland is ready to ‘Fill Your Heart With Ireland.’ The new global campaign unveiled recently by Tourism Ireland is the biggest one of its kind to date. ‘Fill Your Heart with Ireland,’ is a 10-million euro investment from the Irish Government, designed to drive continued growth to the regions and to encourage visitors to travel in the shoulder season.


CELEBRATE
World Celebrations 2019

28 DEC 2018: Ready for the official count down as we bring in the New Year? We've spun the globe around to highlight some headliner events that'll be splashing some big ink. Here's the rundown:


AUTENTICA CUBA
More than just sun and sand

06 NOV 2018: A recent trade event aptly dubbed “Autentica Cuba” hosted by The Ministry of Tourism of Cuba saw a coterie of the Caribbean country's most important travel execs from Cubanacan to Mintur and even a rep from Cuba's Medical Services who later in the evening added free dental service to the grand prize giveaway- an all-inclusive trip for two to Varadero's newest Melia Internacional with scuba diving included.

 


CHINESE GREATS

29 OCT 2018: Before sporting enthusiasts flood the plains of Beijing for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics this Olympic host city has plenty of reasons clients should make the great trip now. Mine starts with the Great One. On a recent direct flight to Beijing with Air Canada none other than 'the' Wayne Gretzky was on board albeit in first class.


MIAMI IS SIZZLING

18 OCT 2018: Miami is sizzling hot - group of Toronto travel agents can attest to that. Representatives from The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau invited seasoned travel pros to roll up their sleeves in an interactive cooking class that had them slice, sauté, and simmer some traditional Latin flavours at Cirillo's Culinary Academy in the city's west end. 


ROYAL HOT SPOTS IN NEW ZEALAND

15 OCT 2018: On an island where you're more likely to encounter grazing sheep than humans, the nature scenes are definitely a big bonus. That's because New Zealand – a pint-sized nation compared to the behemoth neighbour across the Tasman Sea – packs in sunshine, splendid sea views, and homegrown solitude, the kind that's luring one particular newlywed Royal Couple to hopefully tour some action-packed areas on North Island.


ONE GRANDE GRACIAS
From the Gaviota Tourism Group

03 OCT 2018: Senior brass from Cuba's largest travel company put on a grand fete to say “Gracias” to Canada's travel industry partners for their continued support of travel to Cuba. The special event was also to celebrate some of Gaviota Tourism Group's grande tourism developments.


GAVIOTA TOURISM GROUP RAMPS UP FOR WINTER

26 SEP 2018: Cuba's largest tourist company is growing so you can expect even more travel products to the popular sun-kissed nation. Frank Pais Oltuski, marketing vice president with Gaviota Tourism Group announced yesterday at a trade media luncheon hosted by the Cuba Tourist Board in Toronto, that the Cuban tourism company powerhouse has grown by more than 12 percent due to a slate of projects, investments, and new hotel openings on the books through 2025.


AIR FRANCE KLM AND PARTNERS AT TIFF

11 SEP 2018: A push on customer intimacy is one of the top priorities for Air France/KLM Group's new vice-president and general manager in Canada, Vincent Etchebehere. His goal is to understand customer needs and address them in a timely fashion by putting more emphasis on digital strategies like the use of social media networks and AI at the service of customer relations. The term 'intimacy' is tres Francais. Trade press gathered around snug intimate tables at the pop-up Parisian-style Bistro Air France which was available during TIFF's opening weekend for an informal meet and greet over bubbly and croissants.  


PICKING FLORAL FAVES IN OTTAWA GATINEAU

05 SEP 2018:  Beat the blistering heatwave!  It's time to smell some flowers and kickback in the nation's capital.  Once there, take your pick on which side of the Ottawa River to begin this unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime garden tour. I did, no regrets despite the 43 humidex.  


NAMASTE FROM INDIA

29 AUG 2018: “You have never taken a yoga class before.”  There. He said it. My yoga instructor in India has outed me. Red-faced and confused I thought my attempts of the usual Namaste, Downward Dog and other yoga poses were pretty good. What did I know? It turns out not much.


NEW ZEALAND UNCAPS NEW WORLD WINES

14 MAY 2018: Event planners know they’re onto something when they see a line-up of guests waiting to get inside. That was the scene last week at the Glass Factory. The Parkdale industrial warehouse-turned-event space held that grunge appeal for today’s new age wine tasters and those interested in experiencing the next new cool wines from the land of Kiwis.


WALL TO WALL ART
Banksy comes to Toronto

09 MAY 2018: Next month a former munitions factory in the city’s west end will serve as ground zero for the  largest exhibition ever showcasing the world’s most well-known but rarely seen living graffiti artist. The identity of Banksy - whose iconic “Balloon Girl” currently ranks as the U.K.’s number one favourite artwork - may be the art world’s biggest secret.  While few have actually glimpsed the enigmatic British street artist, many art lovers would love to catch a glimpse of him if only for a fleeting moment.


SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLD
Big plans for the Canadian market

19 APR 2018: Coming off the best year ever, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) saw double digit growth in luxury hotel bookings due to the exceptional work of travel agents and consultants. “This year business is growing by 20 percent in the first quarter,” said CEO, Filip Boyen  at an industry event held recently at the Art Gallery of Ontario.


PONANT CELEBRATES 30 YEARS
More ships and an eye on the Canadian market

21 MAR 2018: The world leader in luxury expedition cruising celebrates 30 years come April 1. That’s no April Fools’ joke. Up until now Ponant, the French-owned cruise company known for its high-style voyages sailed to little known remote destinations inaccessible to larger ships. Founder Jean Emmanuel Sauvee, a sea man from the French Merchant Navy had a passion and a dream to create this new style of luxury cruising through a unique concept of sea travel. Enter Ponant, French meaning ‘to the west.’

 


SURPASSING EXPECTATIONS
Heating up in The Bahamas

05 MAR 2018: "Bahamas is hot right now," the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D'Aguilar told a full house of travel partners and media at a lunch presentation recently hosted by the Government Ministry and the Bahamas Tourist Office.

 


RIGHT UP THERE
Ireland ranks Canada among top 10 tourist markets

27 FEB 2018: Canada now ranks among the top 10 tourist markets for the Emerald Isle, and has record-high visitor numbers to back it up. Last year over 200,000 Canadian travellers experienced the friendly hospitality, rich history, strong heritage and majestic natural landmarks that make Ireland a world-renowned top European tourism destination.

 


EUROPE YOUR WAY

12 FEB 2018:Transat’s new Europe 2018-2019 programme has added the latest consumer travel product called, “Your Way tours,” an independent semi-guided tour package to satisfy the growing demands from independent travellers. Dan Prior, Transat sales manager for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, highlighted the option during the company's Europe Training Academy held last week in Toronto. 


FIND YOUR GREAT BRITAIN
UK launches new campaign

08 FEB 2018: It was easy to find a “GREAT” group of VisitBritain’s tourism executives at the Spoke Club earlier this week. They were all standing in front of an illuminated red-white-and blue “GREAT” sign, part of a showpiece laced around VisitBritain’s new brand campaign


TRAVEL PROS HIT NEW YORK

07 FEB 2018: As sub-zero winter freezes the nation and your clients are relaxing in summer climes, meanwhile a crop of travel professionals headed to the heat of the Big Apple where business and pleasure unite - even in the off season.

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