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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


TRAVEL MASSIVE
Time to visit Montreal

08 MAY 2017: Montreal plays host to some very big events, including the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs and the Formula One Grand Prix. It is a city of crowd pleasers. Montréal is prepping to celebrate 375 years which incidentally falls on May 17. But like most parties in la belle province one day will not do the party trick. Try weeks and in this case, months of celebrations.

 


VIMY RIDGE
Canada commemorates centenary of pivotal World War I battle

10 APR 2017: More than 20,000 people, most of them Canadians, attended a solemn ceremony Sunday to commemorate a World War I battle in northern France that remains indelibly etched on Canada's national identity 100 years after it happened.

 


PICTURE YOURSELF IN TEXAS

03 APR 2017: A long-time sun-seekers sunny spot just got a little closer. Recently the State of Texas, alongside a team of Texas tourism partners, and the state’s Canadian PR agency VoX International hosted a breakfast media briefing to showcase the big news from the Lone Star State.


JOIE DE VIVRE
A French state of mind

13 MAR 2017: Eye-high leg kicks, squeals, and bold burlesque attire, the kind with a tight bustier and petticoats were all part of a musical grand finale to a trade show only the French could seamlessly orchestrate. It’s pure Joie de Vivre.


IRISH SMILES IN TORONTO

01 MAR 2017:  Much of Old Europe might be battling various industry concerns that have been in the headlines lately but there’s one destination, as senior tourism executives noted, that has come off a Canadian record breaking year. So, as we lead up to St. Patrick’s Day – what better month than March to kick off with a story on Ireland.


NOW AND THEN
Travels with my Mother

27 FEB 2017:  “Heavenly.”  “How beautiful.” My Mother’s favourite expressions on our recent trip to her homeland echoed at nearly every turn.   In the winter of her years we returned to Budapest last fall to embrace some family milestones and to spend some quality one-on-one time and see if a one-month vacation would do it. It sure did.


BE A LEADER
New TL Network Canada

06 FEB 2017: The newly redesigned Travel Leaders Network is leaner, more efficient, and is aimed in driving success among its members, according to a group of executives in Toronto last week to discuss the benefits in its recent restructuring.


SANDALS ROYAL CARIBBEAN OVER THE WATER VILLAS

17 JAN 2017: It’s the waterbaby of waterbabies. Forget about flying around the world for over the water villa vacays. Take a short flight instead and get ready to soak in a Caribbean Nirvana like no other.


THREE TO GO
Sandals just keeps getting better

16 JAN 2016: Gordon “Butch” Stewart, one of the pioneers of the all-inclusive concept and one of the Caribbean’s biggest all-inclusive resort insiders is standing by the cockpit of the Gulfstream private jet, wishing his son Adam and the rest of his VIP guests (yours truly included) the time of our lives. Moments later we lift off for some island hopping to another totally different world.


2017 HERE WE COME

29 DEC 2016:  Around the globe destinations are prepping for monumental celebrations that seem to come around once in a blue moon. Whether it’s a country, region, or perhaps even a leading attraction prepare for a year of blockbuster events and milestone anniversaries.


TRAVELLING WITH INSIGHT

27 DEC 2016: One luxury escorted tour operator promises to satisfy bucket list trips, culinary cravings, and authentic experiences in one dream trip.  Judging by the high repeat visitor numbers it appears to be working.


COME AS YOU ARE
Florida Keys and Key West

20 DEC 2016:  One sun destination insider who used to battle Minnesota’s harsh cold winters once took an island vacation to Florida’s southernmost tip, and never left. She managed to successfully beat the old local saying there. “They say if you get sand in your shoes you will return again and again,” Carol Shaughnessy, a Florida Keys and Key West tourism rep and resident laughs. Instead Carol stayed. It’s been over 30 years.


IN LOVE WITH SWITZERLAND

12 DEC 2016: One compact European country is known for producing more than its fair share of life’s sinful pleasures (hint: sweet chocolates and rich cheeses). “We Swiss people eat lots of cheese and look forward to a lot of Swiss chocolate,” laughs Franziska Amstutz a rep from the Valais Tourism at a media dinner hosted by Switzerland Tourism and the regions of the Matterhorn and Lake Geneva which includes the Vaud.


ONE SEA, ONE VOICE, ONE CARIBBEAN

06 DEC 2016:  If the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac is correct on its winter prediction Old Man Winter will be back.  But during those bouts of snow squalls and sub-zero temperatures, clients could be swiping the cold harsh white powder (snow) for that other warm welcoming powder (sand).


THE SWEETS OF COLONIAL CUBA
Part 2

29 NOV 2016:  An artists’ mecca past and present, Camaguey, home to 300,000 residents, is home to some of Cuba’s finest and most important artists. Until recently, Camaguey which is an inland city was isolated but the introduction of the Cuba Railroad Company in the 1900s which is headquartered there helped change all that.


THE SWEETS OF COLONIAL CUBA
500 years

21 NOV 2016:  For nearly two decades Canadian sun seekers have been Cuba’s number one source market. We like to stretch out on our towels preferably with a thirst quenching bevvy of choice at one of the country’s generous all-inclusive properties.


WINTER IN QUEBEC
A great time for a visit

18 NOV 2016:  Before the cold snap really hits, tourism representatives from Quebec would like to remind us how much fun there is exploring their winter wonderland. Picture a grand chateau overlooking the ice-fringed St. Lawrence River, frozen ponds turned into skating rinks, and the magic of freshly fallen snow blanketing cityscapes and countrysides.


TEXAS TO DO

16 NOV 2016: The second largest state in landmass and population certainly has a corral of trip advantages starting with its seven geographic regions and widely different landscapes.  It’s no surprise then that Canada is the second largest international visitor source market for Texas.  In 2015, the State reported 453,000 Canadians enjoyed the climate, attractions and hospitality Texans are noted for.


BACK TO BRAND
Transat makes key branding decision

14 NOV 2016:  Denise Heffron, vice-president of National Sales and Commercial at Transat, announced the travel company’s new Europe offerings at an industry lunch last week where guests also heard Transat has reverted to using only Transat and Air Transat as its key brands.


A TASTE OF IRELAND

09 NOV 2016: If you scoot down to the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on until November 13 at the Exhibition Place, chances are you will see the beloved mascot, Turbo the Goat. But Turbo the Goat isn’t any old goat. The award-winning four legged farm animal was also one of the special guests at a recent full Irish breakfast get together hosted by Tourism Ireland, which this year has partnered with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for the second year.


A COCOA DIP INTO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

07 NOV 2016: In a post Halloween haze a couple of days after the annual trick or treating tradition, there I am munching on - more chocolate.  It’s not any chocolate though. It’s designer ware of gourmet chocolate that has given new meaning to a sun spot we often associate with all-inclusives and too much rum.


Flock To Florida This Winter

28 OCT 2016: If scares of the Zika virus and hurricanes are enough to turn off clients from visiting one of Canada’s favourite winter sun spots, have them do a rethink.


THE BEST KEPT SECRET
Colima

25 OCT 2016: “The two big things Mexico is big on we have,” boasts Mexico’s new tourism minister of a state more commonly associated with big cargo ships.  Cesar Castaneda who began his new role in February and once was the director of the Mexican Tourism Board in Toronto and Montreal, is referring to salt and limes.


ULTIMATE ITALY

14 SEP 2016: Inside the storied lobby of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence my travelling concierge Daniele is busy dialling a local phone number I’m dictating. He then passes his phone and suddenly I hear an old friend I haven’t seen in a decade say, “Ciao Ilona.”


LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL
New Orleans Part 2

24 AUG 2016:  New Orleans is a city one could easily get swept up in whether it’s watching the budding buskers in the French Quarter, or indulging in the icing sugar-coated beignets at Cafe du Monde, or sinking your teeth into the hefty cold cut-rich muffaletta sandwiches at Central Grocery. That’s not even considering the countless tours one could take.

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